Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi has denied reports that its products will be available "officially" in the US. Reports of Xiaomi and Meizu handsets being officially brought to the US by US Mobile flooded the internet as both the companies have gained huge market shares in the smartphone industry but are still not sold legitimately in the US.
Earlier, PC Mag reported that US Mobile, which uses T-Mobile's network, is selling, servicing and supporting a few Xiaomi and Meizu phones. The story flooded the internet with US buyers showing enthusiasm to get the devices.
However, speaking to IB Times UK, Xiaomi denied any move to sell in the US. The company wrote saying: "Recent reports have indicated that Xiaomi products will be available in the US. Xiaomi only offers a small selection of accessories for sale in the US through Mi.com. There are no plans to sell smartphones through any authorised distributors in the US and US Mobile is not authorised to sell Xiaomi products in the US."
This is a major update from what company vice president Hugo Barra had told Bloomberg last year that even if it does enter the US market it will not be any time soon. This is also contrary to the claim made by US Mobile that select Xiaomi models would go on sale "officially". The offering if made available for select models would in fact be fulfilled by a third party.
Android Police said: "It is suspicious that some US T-Mobile MVNO that no one has heard of is working with an electronics distributor in Hong Kong to sell grey market Xiaomi and Meizu devices on its online store, and they don't even support US LTE bands."
In the PC Mag report, Ahmed Khattak, founder and CEO of US Mobile, was quoted as saying: "US consumers have traditionally had to compromise to afford incredible devices. Now, with the launch of our marketplace, we are thrilled to offer complete range of exceptional smartphones for low monthly payments and to give our customers access to exceptional phones otherwise not available in the US."
Khattak also hinted at an ongoing relationship with Xiaomi and Meizu distributors saying their future devices might have US LTE bands. The phones going on sale, according to the report, are Xiaomi Redmi 2 for $119, the Xiaomi Mi 3 for $135, the Meizu Note 2 for $149, and the Xiaomi Mi 4 for $219.
According to IDC's latest report, Xiaomi is now the fifth largest smartphone seller in the world as per shipment, ahead of better-known names like LG, Sony and Motorola. The Chinese budget phone-maker managed to gain close to 5% of the total market share last year with a total of 70.8 million shipments.
Meizu is yet to offer a comment.