The Chinese-made Xiaomi Mi3 was revealed back in September 2013 as a 5-inch smartphone powered by the at-the-time high-end Snapdragon 800 processor. The device was announced as going on sale in India in July 2014. The launch was so successful that Xiaomi sold out in under 40 minutes on the launch day, helped in part by how Xiaomi manufacture their devices: in batches. This is in contrast to the big name manufacturers such as Sony, HTC and Samsung, who make devices in the hundreds of thousands. Xiaomi is still one of the smaller players in the smartphone market and presumably is only able to order a batch of handsets rather than establish an ongoing production line. However, this batch manufacturing process is a brilliant form of hunger marketing, taking a leaf from other well known manufacturers such as Apple and Samsung. After all, if a new smartphone has been launched but it's only available in limited quantities, you're going to want it, right?
Xiaomi's hunger marketing tactics worked in India and now they're pulling a successful and desirable handset from sale after just five weeks. This might just be a stroke of brilliance! Xiaomi selling the Mi3 in India was an important step for Xiaomi as a first step into selling the handsets outside of China and so far, their strategy appears to have worked.
The Mi3 is being replaced with the cheaper and less powerful Redmi 1S and Redmi Note devices. The Redmi 1S is based around a 1.6 GHz quad core Qualcomm processor with a 720p 4.7-inch screen but has a local price of just 5,999 Rupees, approximately $99. This compares with 13,999 Rupees for the Mi-3. The larger Redmi Note has a 1.4 GHz eight core MediaTek processor and a 720p 5.5-inch screen. The Note will sell for 8999 Rupees, around $150 and again significantly cheaper than the Mi3. Xiaomi are selling these in limited quantities, perhaps in the hope of continuing their successful hunger marketing strategy.
Xiaomi's successful product launch in India will be followed by launches in Brazil and Russia before rolling out to other developing smartphone markets such as Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand and Mexico. It doesn't look like we'll be seeing Xiaomi devices for sale in the more developed US, UK or core European markets just yet but there is no doubt that the Chinese branded smartphones are coming.
What do you think of the Chinese handsets? Would you be interested in a high value device? Hit us up in the comments below.