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At US Mobile, we believe that US consumers should have access to cheap cell phone plans and all of the most popular devices available worldwide. Yesterday we launched our webshop, a curated marketplace to bring value to our customers.
Of course, when you think about devices that offer value, manufacturers such as Xiaomi, OnePlus, and Meizu come to mind. Our goal is to give our valued customers access to great devices. Together with our third-party distributors, we partnered to make it happen.
To share the news, I reached out to a very accomplished journalist to cover the exciting launch of our marketplace and, more specifically, the fact that we would be making these devices available in the US.
This is nothing new. Amazon, eBay, and other US marketplaces offer Xiaomi, Meizu, and countless other brands. However, the challenge with such marketplaces is that you don’t always know with whom you’re dealing. The concern is that if something goes wrong with your phone or if you have any service-related questions, you are stuck without a warranty to back the device.
Here’s where we created a better experience for our customers. By partnering with third-party distributors who sell and ship the devices, We offer our customers warranty and support locally in the US. Customers can simply call our 24/7 Customer Support team with any service-related issue or send the phone back to US Mobile for repairs.
Neither US Mobile nor PCMag claims that US Mobile is an official distributor. We were clear in our mentioning that US Mobile will continue to work with Xiaomi and Meizu distributors. Product listings on our webshop specifically noted that such devices are “sold and fulfilled” by our third-party partners. Several outlets did include this, such as this article on Cnet.
Safe harbor rulings protect US businesses to sell imports directly or through their marketplaces, very much like Amazon and eBay do.
Why did we decide to pull some listings off our webshop?
All of the phones sold on US Mobile are a carrier and, in most cases, region agnostic. We don’t force our customers to buy US Mobile service plans with our phones, so customers can technically buy a phone from US Mobile and use it on any carrier they choose.
US Mobile is first and foremost a wireless carrier, and as such, our enabling pages can make the devices go through rigorous testing and certification if they wish to do so. If US Mobile were purely a contract-free phone seller, the phones would still be in our catalog.
We will continue to work with our enabling carriers to try to certify these phones on their network. There is a process that we will have to make these phones go through. If we are successful, we promise to enable our distributors to offer these phones on our marketplace again.
Since Xiaomi has purchased 1,500 Microsoft patents and around 7,500 other patents we can safely assume that they are making a strong reach into the US and UK markets. I can’t wait to see these phones here in the US as I’m tired of Samsung, LG, HTC, Google, Apple, and other makers price gouging the phones that aren’t worth anywhere near the price they try to sell them for. I use currently the Onetouch Idol 3 5.5 and I love that phone and it didn’t cost me more than $120. We need outside companies to compete with these greedy manufacturers to help bring back competition and get these companies back to caring for their consumers, not their bottom line.
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