Why You Have To Wait So Long For Xiaomi Products Outside China
Xiaomi officially announced its latest flagship phones at a pre-MWC event in Barcelona last month, but that wasn’t the first time we’ve seen them.
The 13 and 13 Pro originally arrived in China in December, meaning it took over two months for a global launch to materialize. For the Watch S1 Pro and Buds 4 Pro that were unveiled alongside them, the delay was even longer: those products were first announced in August 2022.
But that’s nothing new for Xiaomi, and it’s far from the only Chinese company to take such an approach. So why do we have to wait so long for products that are already in the hands of the public?
Tech Advisor interviewed Ou Wen, Xiaomi’s General Manager for Western Europe, to try to find out. As you can imagine, a global launch isn’t just a case of shipping products further afield.
“We may need to customize our products for different markets, which may take some time. For example, Xiaomi may need to translate the user interface and optimize its products for different frequencies and network standards in Western Europe.
The usual local certifications and approvals follow, but this does not explain the delays of several months. It turns out that Xiaomi uses its native China to rigorously test new products before any potential global launch.
“Xiaomi sometimes prioritizes launching its new products in its home market before… other regions. This allows the company to generate initial feedback before launching the product globally. »
In a separate interview, TJ Walton, Product Marketing Manager at Xiaomi International, clarified that Xiaomi did not want to rush this testing phase: “The R&D (research and development) process is extremely complicated. We want to make sure that in all the regions where we market products, they are as suitable as possible for the region.
Xiaomi affords itself this luxury due to the company’s popularity in China, where Ou Wen describes its market share as “significant”. Despite being only the fifth most popular smartphone brand in the fourth quarter of 2022 (according to Canalys), Xiaomi still sold 8.5 million handsets in the country in just three months.
Dominik Tomaszewski / Foundry
Unfortunately, this rigorous review process means that only a small percentage of products launched by Xiaomi come out of China. That’s unlikely to change anytime soon, but you can already buy various smart home devices, personal care devices, and even an electric scooter on its global website.
Ou Wen also hinted that more new products may be coming to the region soon: “One of our goals in Western Europe is to continue to improve our product portfolio for smart home, lifestyle and wearables. “.
“I’m sure Xiaomi has the potential to become more and more important in the Western European market.”
It’s clear that this process will be gradual for the world’s third most popular smartphone brand (according to Counterpoint Research), but Xiaomi’s growth in Europe since its debut in 2017 has been impressive.
However, these long delays between Chinese and global launches are expected to continue.
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