Xiaomi may not sell smartphones in the the U.S., but it has a sizeable market in India and China. A decision to sit out Mobile World Congress could affect its future.
If Mobile World Congress seems a little light this year, there’s a good reason why — Samsung has said it will not be announcing the Galaxy S8 at the annual trade show, and now Xiaomi has revealed it will have zero announcements.
Last year, Xiaomi announced its flagship smartphone, the Mi 5, at MWC in Barcelona. While the Mi 6 was rumored to make a splash this year, it seems like Xiaomi fans will have to wait a little longer. According to TechCrunch, a Xiaomi spokesperson said the company is skipping the show.
Most smartphone manufacturers debut their flagship devices for the year at MWC. Despite the no-show by Xiaomi, there’s still quite a number of devices to look forward to — such as LG’s G6, Sony’s upcoming Xperia lineup, and BlackBerry’s keyboard-laden flagship.
Xiaomi is still relatively new to the show, and a key reason for its absence could be due to slow growth in smartphone sales. The company recently said it will not reveal how many smartphones it sold in 2016, which marks the first time it has not done so. In an open letter to staff, Xiaomi CEO Lei Jun said the company grew “too fast.”
The Chinese company attended CES 2017, where it announced a white variant of the Mi Mix, as well as a 4K TV.
Hugo Barra, a former Googler that helped put Xiaomi on the world stage as vice president of international, recently left the company citing health issues and homesickness. Barra just announced that he has been hired by Facebook to head its virtual reality efforts. Xiaomi’s loss of Barra could also have affected its decision to attend MWC.
Either way, don’t expect a new Xiaomi phone any time soon.