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Xiaomi claims Mi 5 preorders exceed 16 million

Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi announced reservations of its latest flagship model the Mi 5 have exceeded 16 million, indicating a serious supply shortage.

Xiaomi founder Lei Jun is under fire for the promised ample supply of its latest Android smartphone the Mi 5, with the company saying demand for handsets has far exceeded expectations.

The company prepared some 4 million sets of the Mi 5 for the first rounds of sales, falling far short of the total 16 million reservations, Xiaomi said this week.

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The Chinese smartphone firm, known for its high cost-effective products, has long been criticised for high-profile publicity but low product supply. Shortly after Xiaomi officially kicked off online sales of the Mi 5 on Tuesday, consumers found that the handset became unavailable, similar to the sale of previous Xiaomi models in the past.

Despite Xiaomi preparing three to four times the amount of Mi 5 handsets compared with earlier launches, the smartphone went out of stock almost immediately due to an immense demand, according to a local Chinese report.

The latest Android flagship smartphone Mi 5, unveiled by Xiaomi in late February, is equipped with Snapdragon 820 processor and a number of other advanced features, with retail prices as low as 1,999 yuan ($305). Lei Jun had promised in the press conference that the company prepared more handsets in advance this time to cater the likely huge demand.

Many consumers are venting their displeasure towards Lei Jun's Sina Weibo account. In a post on Wednesday, when Lei asked "What's your favourite part of Mi 5?", replies included "Unable to get one".

Xiaomi's official online store indicates that the next round of Mi 5 sales will start at 10am CST on March 8.

Xiaomi sold a total of 70 million handsets in 2015, falling short of its 80 million target, and lagging behind major Chinese competitor Huawei's 108 million.

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