Sadly, there are no official plans to launch phones or tablets in Western markets

Speaking at a press event today in San Francisco, Hugo Barra of Xiaomi said that the Chinese company intends to launch its direct-to-consumer Mi.com store in the U.S. very soon. The current time table given for a launch is "a few months" — but unfortunately for fans (or potential fans) of Xiaomi's phones and tablets the initial launch will be limited to simpler, non-phone products.

Xiaomi makes far more than just phones — headphones, power banks, routers, smart home items, even air purifiers, and those items are far easier to bring to market in new areas. Issues with localization of hardware and software of phones, as well as certification to run on new networks and sell in new countries, present very interesting challenges to entering a big new market like the U.S.

Speaking in a Q&A session, Xiaomi co-founder Bin Lin said that beyond those issues there are consumer buying habit hurdles to jump over. People in the U.S. are still very tied to buying phones and tablets from large retail outlets and subsidized by carriers. Xiaomi sells everything it makes directly through its own e-commerce channels and without carrier involvement, which doesn't always jive with what U.S. consumers want.

Xiaomi isn't saying what exactly it expects to sell in the market or what its goals are for the launch of Mi.com in the U.S., but Lin and Barra did put collective feet down that there are no plans set to launch Xiaomi phones in the states at any specific point in the future.