Redmi 1S, Xiaomi’s newest smartphone, was launched yesterday in India. We saw what happened when the Xiaomi Mi3 was launched about a month ago. First lot was sold in 42 minutes, and after that it was only matter of seconds. Xiaomi bragged that they sold out a batch of Mi3 in 2.8 seconds!
With the Redmi 1S costing only INR 5,999 (SGD$120), in comparison to the Mi3’s price tag of INR 13,999 (SG$ 280), we can expect the competition to be fiercer – and it was. According to sources like Time and CNet, 40,000 phones were sold in less than 2 seconds. There is no official confirmation from either Xiaomi or Flipkart, the former’s distribution partner. I tried to get the phone myself to understand how it happens.
The registration opened 1 week ago for everyone, and 2 hours before the sale opened, people who registered interest would received the following in an email from Flipkart.
While they announced that there were up to 40,000 phones available for sale, there was in actuality only 38,000 phones available to the public, as 2,000 phones were reserved from premier Flipkart users. With 38,000 phones and over 2,50,000 people going after it, only 1 out of every 6 aspiring buyers could get the phone. In other words, 85% of buyers now need to wait for the 2nd sale on the 9th of September, for which registration is now open.
However, Flipkart’s website was badly messed up during the flash sale. The payment gateway crashed severely and the whole site malfunctioned. Some customers saw orders in their carts that they never ordered. For me, I had an Asus Zenfone shipped to me with Cash On Delivery payment method which I eventually cancelled.
Flipkart didn’t utilise the Distributed Load Network, which could have solved this problem in the first place. With a distributed load network, when any website experiences unforeseen traffic, new servers are provided to the site and therefore there is no damage to the customers’ browsing experience. I can’t help but to wonder if they will shift to that technology.
Without boring you on how irritated Indians are right now (My personal tip for you: if you meet an Indian, pretend you’ve never heard of Redmi 1S or Xiaomi, just to be safe), here’s what I did to get my hands on the phone that is so sought-after.
- I was advised to log into my Flipkart account at least 2 hours before the actual sale. I did, thus avoiding entering same page with 2,50,000 other people.
- Open the page and resume doing your everyday activities until 5 minutes before the sale. For me, it was 1.55pm when I closed every other tab of my browser and every application which might eat my bandwidth.
- I did two refreshes, at exactly 1.58pm and 1.59pm, to make sure that I wasn’t accidentally signed out.
- After the second refresh, I got ready and watched the counter reach zero. The Buy Now button immediately appeared in place of the timer. I clicked on the Buy Now as soon as I could. Don’t click multiple times, it will goof the case up. Do one precise and accurate click.
- It was shown that the item was added to my cart. I could finally relax, I have earned my Redmi 1S.
Remember, it will only take 2 seconds to make or break, so stay alert. Do not hurry to make the payment. Once you have it in your cart, you have ample time to make the payment. I paid 6 hours after the sale!
However, be warned that this not a foolproof plan. It might not always work. Therefore it might help to also ask another friend to stand by to try to buy it as well as a precaution, just in case your attempt failed.
Did you miss the first sale? The next one is next Tuesday. Good luck, and tell us all about your buying experience.