Chinese smartphone giant, Xiaomi, is set to open its doors to U.S. and European consumers shortly, putting Western manufacturers under greater pressure from its low prices.
Xiaomi will launch a trial of its online "Mi Store" to Westerners from Monday, offering a limited supply of accessories, including headphones and fitness trackers—in what could be argued as a prelude to selling phones.
Customers should be drawn in by its prices, starting as low as $9.99 for a battery cell (5000mAh Mi Power Bank), while the Mi Band costs $14.99, a fraction of the price of rival fitness trackers found on U.S. sites.
Mi.com will start off shipping to the U.S., Germany, France and the U.K.
People in the U.S. can start ordering from Mi.com from 10 p.m. ET (7 p.m. Pacific time) on Monday. Those in the U.K., France and Germany can start ordering on Tuesday from 7 a.m. ET (12 p.m. BST).