Yesterday Xiaomi announced the Mi 5 flagship – a genuinely impressive device with three different versions. It features either glass/metal or glass/ceramic build and packs a 5.15″ IPS 1080p display, a Snapdragon 820 chip with 3GB or 4GB RAM, a 16MP OIS rear camera, a 4MP UltraPixel selfie snapper, 32/64/128GB storage, and a 3,000 mAh battery. It is also the first device to introduce the Marshmallow-based MIUI 7.
Xiaomi’s VP Hugo Barra announced the company’s latest and greatest at a dedicated event held at the MWC. It quickly gathered lots of positive first impressions, not only for its specs but because of the hint of an international availability later on.
As it turns out, the global launch may have been exaggerated. In a recent interview, Hugo Barra revealed Xiaomi only has plans for making Xiaomi Mi5 available only on the current markets it operates on. He confirmed Xiaomi is eyeing other markets, but “it’s far too early to make any statements”.
Barra continued that he isn’t withholding information; he honestly doesn’t know how the things will pan out in the future. He wants Xiaomi to become officially available in Europe and the USA but this expansion is only on the wishlist for now. What he hopes for though is that the announcement event in Barcelona wouls help build up Xiaomi’s brand internationally.
Later this year the Mi 5 should hit Xiaomi’s core markets – China, India, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, Philippines, and probably, Brazil. We might see it in even more markets after that, but as of now it’s rather unlikely. It seems the rest of the world is left to rely on gray imports.