Chinese Phonemaker Xiaomi Sells 100,000 MiPhone 3 in 83 Seconds

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By Vittorio Hernandez | October 17, 2013 10:15 AM EST

Apple may have sold 9 million units of the iPhone 5S and 5C on the first weekend these two newly released devices appeared on store shelves, but some quarters doubt the authenticity of the claim, especially now that there are reports that demand for the 5C is lower than expected.

A relatively new Chinese phone firm, Xiaomi, appears to have broken global record in smartphone sales after it sold the first batch of 100,000 MiPhone 3 smartphones and 3,000 MiTV sets on Wednesday noon at its Web site. The phones were snapped in just 83 seconds, while the TVs in 118 seconds.

The two sold-out devices were launched in September in Beijing.

The very fast sales of the two devices could partly be attributed to its low price of $327 or 1,999 yuan for the 16GB version of the smartphone and $490 or 2,999 yuan for the Android smart TV. The 32GB version of the mobile phone costs $410 or 2,499 yuan.

The 83-second sale for the Mi unit broke Xiaomi's own record established in August 2013 of 90 seconds for the first 100,000 units of Hongmi smartphones. Another 50,000 Mi 2 model of the Chinese phone maker were snapped up in five minutes when Xiaomi tapped Sina Weibo, China's equivalent of Twitter, and an additional sales channel for the trial run of that model.

Some analysts, however, have criticised Xiaomi's strategy of limited weekly sales for its gadgets as creating false demand. But the phone firm insisted the strategy keeps supply for its smartphones balance with demand, removing the risk of overstocking inventory which is what caused substantial loss and massive write offs for Microsoft for its Surface tablets and BlackBerry for its Q10 and Z10 smartphones.

With 7.19 million devices sold in 2012, Xiaomi is expected to double that number for its 2013 sales to 20 million, even as Bin Lin, the co-founder of Xiaomi, said the firm is struggling to cope with high demand for its products. Xiaomi is working hard to increase its capacity, said Mr Lin who probably is now the envy of some phone makers outside Apple and Samsung.

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