Xiaomi’s smartphones have made a big splash in China in recent years, and the company recently announced that it’s sold 3 million phones in India since entering that market a little over a year ago.
Now it looks like there’s a chance Xiaomi may finally be preparing to bring some of its smartphones to the United States. The Wall Street Journal recently reported that Xiaomi was “considering entering the US market,” and less than a week later a Xiaomi smartphone showed up at the FCC website.
The phone in question is the Xiaomi Redmi 2 Pro. It’s a 4.7 inch phone with a 1280 x 720 pixel display, a Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 processor, 2GB of RAM, 16GB of storage, a 2,200 mAh battery, 802.11b/g/n WiFi, Bluetooth 4.0, and support for 4G LTE.
Xiaomi already sells this phone in select markets for around $110 and up.
The unit featured in the FCC documents is a GSM850/1900 phone with support for LTE bands 2, 4, and 7. That means it should have at least some support for AT&T and T-Mobile’s US networks.
Keep in mind that not every phone submitted to the FCC eventually goes on sale in the US. But it looks like Xiaomi is at least considering offering a US version of the phone.
In other parts of the world, phone shoppers are used to paying high up-front prices for a phone and bringing it to the carrier of their choice, which is why Xiaomi’s low-cost hardware has been able to stand out. In the US, phone makers have typically worked with wireless carriers to bundle phones with a 2-year contract, giving the illusion that even expensive phones like the iPhone can be had for $200 or less.
But things are changing a bit, with a growing number of companies including Motorola, Asus, ZTE, and BlackBerry selling contract-free phones in all price ranges. Perhaps that’s why Xiaomi sees an opportunity in the US… if the company actually sees an opportunity in the US. Nothing’s been officially announced yet.