Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi is finally set to bring its handsets to the U.S. market.
According to Xiaomi’s global vice president Hugo Barra, the company is planning to make its entrance into western markets sometime before the end of 2017, CNET reported.
The move could prove a boon for Xiaomi, which struggled to hit its device shipment goals for the full year 2015.
Though it originally targeted full year shipments of 100 million units, Xiaomi missed even its bottom goal post of 80 million shipments. The company announced in January it only shipped just over 70 million devices in 2015, but growth was still strong at nearly 18 percent year over year, TrendForce said.
Despite disappointing shipment figures and a lack of presence in the United States and Europe, Xiaomi snagged the fourth place in a global ranking of the 2015 smartphone market share with 5.6 percent, according to TrendForce. The company trailed Samsung with 24.8 percent, Apple with 17.5 percent and fellow Chinese smartphone maker Huawei with 8.4 percent. Xiaomi edged out Lenovo and LG, which were in fifth and sixth place with 5.4 percent and 5.3 percent, respectively.
The news of a potential market expansion comes in the wake of Xiaomi’s launch earlier this week of its new Mi 5 flagship handset at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.
With a cost range of $305 to $413 depending on the model and an impressive set of tech specs that include a Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor, a 16 mp camera and a base memory level of 32 GB, the Mi 5 could prove to be a cheaper, solid alternative to devices offered by competitors like Apple and Samsung.
For comparison, Samsung’s new S7 handset will run consumers around $780, while Apple’s latest 16 GB iPhone 6s retails for $650.
For now, however, potential U.S. customers will have to wait as the company has yet to open up sales of its smartphones in western markets.
Xiaomi said the Mi 5 will initially only go on sale in China on March 1. The device is expected to become available in India and “other countries” soon.