​Nokia sells 20,000 N1 tablets in four minutes, with 500,000 more buyers lining up

Nokia's N1 tablet, its first device to be released after the sale of its handset business, appears to be off to a strong start in China.

The N1 tablet. Image: Nokia
Nokia might not make handsets these days but it looks like it can still turn out a popular tablet, with the company claiming its new N1 racked up sales of 20,000 units in four minutes and two seconds.

The N1 went on sale in China on January 8 through local partners, which are selling the device for RMB 1599 ($257).

Nokia announced the sales figures on its 'N1' account on Chinese social network Weibo - taking a leaf out of the marketing book of China's Xiaomi, which regularly boasts when new devices selling out within minutes of launch. According to the post, there are 566,438 others waiting in line to purchase an N1 tablet.

Nokia announced the Lollipop-powered N1 tablet last November, with the device drawing comparisons to Apple's iPad mini.

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The 7.9 inch tablet is running on a 2.3GHz Intel 64-bit Z3580 Atom processor and comes with 2GB of RAM and 32GB of onboard storage, but has no microSD support. The device also comes with an eight-megapixel rear camera, a five-megapixel front camera and a 2,048 x 1,536 pixel display.

The N1 is also the only device on the market that uses the new Type-C USB power connector. One of its key advantages is there's no up or down on the plugs, which means no more fiddling around when plugging it in.

The N1's sales may have been helped by favourable benchmark results it's garnered in recent days. As noted by GSMArena, one Chinese benchmark pegged the performance of the N1 ahead of the iPad mini 3, which cost 2888 RMB for the 16GB version and isn't available with 32GB.

Would-be buyers in the US and Europe could be waiting some time for the N1. Nokia has so far only committed to selling the N1 in China. While it does anticipate expanding to other markets, it hasn't said when or where the tablet will launch.

Unlike the handsets Nokia made prior to selling its devices business to Microsoft last April, Nokia relied on contractors to build the N1. Its own input was limited to design and software, such as its Z launcher, both of which the company hopes to license to other tablet makers.

Nokia's Finnish headquarters declined to comment on the figures. The tablet isn't sold by Nokia itself - the manufacturing, sales, and support is all handled by Foxconn.

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