Xiaomi has been making waves in the U.S. in recent months despite having never officially launched a phone in the region. Between the impressive Mi Note 2 and the innovative Mi Mix concept phone, an increasing number of people are able to identify the Chinese company's brand and ambition without ever interacting with one of its products.

That may change — and the little-known Mi Box doesn't count — starting in early 2017 as Xiaomi plans to unveil a "global" product at CES in January, the first time in its short history it has done so.

While there is no indication a phone is part of that strategy — Xiaomi likely can't, or doesn't want to, get over the regulatory and licensing roadblocks necessary to enter the U.S. market — the product is likely mobile-adjacent, perhaps a Daydream headset or a smartwatch.

We won't have to wait much longer to see — CES is just over a month away.