Gadget enthusiasts love and hate Xiaomi for one thing: the number of devices available for orders during their launch. Whenever there is a new product launch, the Chinese smartphone brand will be snapped up by customers in minutes.
Xiaomi has never had a problem selling out of deliberately limited quantities of any of its devices. In a Chinese flash sale on November 19, it sold 100,000 phones in six minutes. Earlier too on November 11 (Singles Day), it sold 200,000 in less than three minutes in China.
The same case happened in Singapore today with its inaugural launch of Redmi, the budget Android device for Xiaomi. When it was opened for orders earlier at 12pm today, the phone was snapped up in minutes, with reports from customers saying that they couldn’t place the purchase anymore at 12:10pm.
For the lucky ones who were able to place their orders, they are rejoicing and waiting to get their hands on the actual device.
Vulcan Post spoke to Arnaud Bonzom, Assistant Director of the MBA Career Development Centre at INSEAD, who was among the lucky ones to successfully place his order for the Redmi. Arnaud oversees Entrepreneurship, SMEs, Technology and Social Impact at INSEAD.
Originally an iPhone 5 user, Arnaud first heard of the Chinese brand when he was in China two months ago.
“I was looking to buy one Xiaomi phone at China Telecom, but I finally decided to wait until Xiaomi comes to Singapore. I never had an Android phone and I would like to try this platform and also to use a device from Xiaomi. On the other hand, it is also a good second device for travel with the dual sim card feature,” Arnaud told Vulcan Post.
Cost seemed to be the main consideration for customers exploring alternatives to brands such as Apple or Samsung.
Available at only S$169 without any contracts or post-paid plans, Redmi is a high powered budget Android smartphone: it sports a quad-core processor and a high definition 720p screen which has a pixel density close to that of Apple’s iPhone 5s. It runs on a quad-core MediaTek MT6589T 1.5GHz processor, a great bargain especially at only S$169.
Arnaud went online at 12pm earlier today when Redmi was available for orders. He mentioned that he pre-registered his interest last night and ensured that his Xiaomi account was already set up in advance. This way, he does not need to complete the registration forms and could straight away place the order for Redmi as soon as it was available. Arnaud was also an active user of PayPal, and he was able to ensure that the transaction order goes through with his active PayPal account. He ended up being one of the first few customers to place the order for Redmi.
“A very good Internet connection was very helpful too,” Arnaud said, advising that customers should be ready in case Xiaomi Singapore is launching another device. Come March 7, Xiaomi’s flagship product Mi3, will be launched in Singapore. The 5-inch screen Xiaomi Mi3 will cost S$419 (US$332) in Singapore, which is about the same as its price-tag in mainland China.
So yes, if you are looking to place another order for Xiaomi Mi3, make sure that you pre-register for it and have an active PayPal account, plus a good internet connection.
Or you can just wait for the local telcos in Singapore to sell them with post paid plan.
Update 3.30pm: Xiaomi Singapore shared on its Facebook page that Redmi was sold out in 8 minutes earlier today.