Xiaomi’s copycats could invade the U.S. this year

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Xiaomi Mi Notebook Air
Xiaomi products could soon be on sale near you.
Photo: Xiaomi

Xiaomi is gearing up to invade the U.S. with its Apple clones.

We’ve been waiting years for the Chinese company to make its most popular gadgets available outside of Asia. Now Xiaomi has confirmed that it plans to enter the U.S. market in late 2018 or early 2019.

Xiaomi has a reputation for copying Apple’s best designs, which it combines with much more affordable price tags. It has taken inspiration from obvious places like iPhone and iPad, but also Apple TV, the Magic Trackpad, and even the Apple Store.

In an emerging market like China, this makes Xiaomi’s products incredibly appealing to those who are unable to afford the real thing. At one point, Xiaomi was the most valuable startup in the world. Now it is struggling to compete against local rivals like Huawei.

Xiaomi will fight Apple on its home turf

Xiaomi hopes the solution to that problem is making its most popular devices available outside of Asia. It plans to fight Apple on its home turf, with a statement from chairman Lei Jun confirming plans to expand into the U.S. “by end 2018, or by early 2019.”

Some Xiaomi gadgets, like set-top boxes and headphones, can already be purchased in the U.S. But its most popular and most exciting products — its smartphone, tablets, and laptops — are only available in Asia and parts of Europe.

Xiaomi’s latest products, with the exception of its stunning Mi Notebook Pro, don’t take quite as much inspiration from Apple as they used to. This should mean the company will be able to avoid the wrath of Apple’s lawyers in the U.S.

It will be incredibly interesing to see how Xiaomi’s arrival could change the U.S. smartphone market. It has already been shaken by OnePlus, another Chinese startup, which combines impressive hardware with affordable price tags.

A similar contender could make the $1,000 iPhone X look even more expensive.