A top executive from Chinese phone maker Xiaomi said that the company does plan to eventually sell phones in the U.S. market but it has no set timeframe or date.
Speaking at the Code Conference, Xiaomi Vice President of International Hugo Barra said that the company is working on the U.S. market but said it first has to have the right customer service plan in place. Barra didn't mention what many consider to be the biggest hurdle in Xiaomi's U.S. future--intellectual property rights. The company has been focused on high-growth markets where patent enforcement is weaker than in the U.S. Network giant Ericsson (NASDAQ: ERIC) has alleged in the past that Xiaomi was illegally violating its wireless patents, which disrupted Xiaomi's sales in India.
Although Xiaomi isn't currently selling phones in the U.S., it did recently open a Web store to sell accessories like headphones and wearables with the goal of positioning itself as more than a smartphone maker. Barra said that Xiaomi is selling a million of its Mi Band fitness bands a month.
Xiaomi started in China but has expanded to India, Indonesia, Singapore and other Asian countries. According to research firm IDC, the company was the world's No. 5 smartphone maker in the fourth quarter of 2014, with 4.4 percent global market share. Samsung Electronics, Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL), Lenovo and Huawei were ahead of the firm in market share.
Barra is a former Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) executive who was heavily involved in Android; he left the search company to join Xiaomi as vice president of international operations in 2013.
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