Last month, Xiaomi held an event before MWC in Barcelona to announce its new flagship phones, but that wasn’t the first time we’d seen them.
The 13 and 13 Pro were first released in China in December. It took well over two months for the phones to be released everywhere else. Even longer was the wait for the Watch S1 Pro and Buds 4 Pro, which were shown off at the same time. These products were first announced in August 2022.
But Xiaomi has done this before, and it’s far from the only Chinese company to do so. So, why do we have to wait so long for products that are already out there?
Tech Advisor talked to Ou Wen, who is in charge of Western Europe for Xiaomi, to try to find out. As you might expect, a global launch is more complicated than just sending the products farther away.
“We may need to customize our products for different markets, which can take some time. For example, Xiaomi may need to translate the user interface and optimize its products for different network frequencies and standards in Western Europe.”
“We might have to change our products for different markets, which can take some time. For example, Xiaomi may need to translate the user interface and adjust its products for different network frequencies and standards in Western Europe.
“Sometimes, Xiaomi puts more emphasis on launching new products in its home market than in other places. This lets the company get initial feedback on the product before putting it on the market worldwide.”
In a separate interview, TJ Walton, Product Marketing Manager at Xiaomi International, said that Xiaomi didn’t want to rush this testing phase: “The process of R&D (research and development) is very difficult. We want to make sure that the products we sell in every country are as good as they can be for that country.”
Xiaomi has this luxury because the company is popular in China, where Ou Wen says it has a “significant” market share. Even though according to Canalys, Xiaomi was only the fifth most popular smartphone brand in Q4 of 2022, they still sold 8.5 million phones in the country in just three months.
Because this review process is so strict, only a small number of the products Xiaomi makes ever make it outside of China. This isn’t likely to change soon, but you can already buy smart home devices, personal care appliances, and even an electric scooter from its global website.
Ou Wen also hinted that more new products could be coming to the area soon: “One of our goals in Western Europe is to continue to improve our portfolio of smart home, lifestyle, and wearable products.”
“I’m sure Xiaomi has the potential to become more and more important in the Western European market.”
Counterpoint Research says that Xiaomi is the third most popular smartphone brand in the world, so it’s clear that this process will take time. However, Xiaomi’s growth in Europe since its launch in 2017 has been impressive.
But it looks like those long delays between China and the rest of the world will continue.
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