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Xiaomi goes global, a bit, with impending Singapore launch

Its Android smartphones go on sale in Singapore on Friday, marking the first time that up-and-comer Xiaomi has offered its devices outside of Greater China.


Xiaomi, the China-based smartphone maker that has caught the attention of mobile aficionados worldwide, has finally branched out of China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan.

The company on Wednesday announced that its Android-based handsets will go on sale on Friday in Singapore. The midrange Redmi will retail for about $134, while its flagship Mi-3 smartphone will go for around $332, CNET Asia reported Wednesday.

Xiaomi has been a mobile darling for the last year or so, and gained all the more attention for hiring Google's former head of Android product development, Hugo Barra, to lead its overseas expansion. It offers what would be considered by most reviewers high-end devices that come in at surprisingly affordable prices. Xiaomi has also used restricted supply to build up strong demand for its handsets, which typically sell out countrywide within minutes after their launch.

The company sold about 18 million phones last year, up from 7 million in 2012, and has ambitions to sell roughly twice as many this year.

Next up for Xiaomi's global expansion is Malaysia, according to CNET Asia. There are currently no plans for a North America or Latin America launch.