Chinese smartphone powerhouse Xiaomi has long had eyes on the global market, and today they started making progress in expanding outside of the People's Republic with their first launch in Singapore. ZDNet reports that Xiaomi's mid-range Redmi Android handset is now on sale in Singapore for S$169 (that's around $134 USD), while the flagship Mi3 is expected on March 7 for S$419 ($332 USD).
The Redmi is launching on all three of Singapore's carriers — M1, SingTel Mobile, StarHub — and while their combined 8 million subscribers pale in comparison to even the smallest carriers in China, it's a start for Xiaomi's global plans. To celebrate the launch, Xiaomi customized its MIUI interface with "Singapore-centric app icons and a wallpaper of the city's skyline."
Xiaomi recently poached former Google Android VP of Product Hugo Barra to head up their expansion plans, and Barra was on hand in Singapore along with Xiaomi co-founder Lin Bin. Xiaomi's set up a service center for local customers and will soon be opening a regional corporate office and distribution center to serve the whole of southeast Asia with localized support and features.
For now, Xiaomi is focusing on Asia, targeting Singapore's neighbor Malaysia for their next launch. Jumping the Pacific Ocean for the Americas is apparently not in the near-term plans, though having gone from their first launch three years ago to 15 million devices last year and a target of 40 million sales this year, Xaiomi is certainly on a roll — the rest of the globe can't be too far off, eh?