US welcomes Xiaomi and Meizu…sort of

Xiaomi Mi 4

Until a few hours ago, it looked like folks in the US would finally be able to lay hands on Xiaomi and Meizu phones. US Mobile which rides on T-Mobile’s network, had announced that it was offering devices from the aforementioned companies along with after-sales services to customers. Both Chinese brands have built a reputation on their value-for-money products.

US Mobile seemed to be the only operator who dared to introduce the two companies stateside until now. The Xiaomi Redmi 2, Mi 3 and Mi 4 were pegged at $119, $135 and $219, in that order, while the Meizu Note 2 was going for $149. As PCMag noted, the handsets are however not compliant with LTE networks in the country. But that won’t be your biggest problem if you’re trying to buy one of these smartphones right now.

Xiaomi doesn’t seem to have cut a deal with US Mobile over sales of its phones in the US though. Maybe that is why none of the devices mentioned above are among the MVNO’s product listings currently. Instead of displaying ‘Out of stock’ signs, they simply cannot be found on the site. As this Reddit user points out, the handsets carried ‘Sold and fulfilled by Omni Electronics HK,’ while they were still up for grabs.

Also see: Xiaomi Mi 5 live images reveal metal unibody, fingerprint sensor

Omni Electronics HK is an importer, which explains why the Xiaomi and Meizu offerings are not compatible with LTE in the US. So neither of the two Chinese companies have made an official entry into the North American market. Even if consumers are willing to settle for 3G or lower speeds in exchange for a budget phone, what about the heavily customized skins they use? These are tailored just for their specific regions.

We don’t see an importer doing anything about the software aboard. Let’s just wait for Xiaomi and Meizu to stop being shy about introducing themselves to the US, shall we?