Xiaomi sells 10,000 phones in under 10 minutes, eyes a move to Singapore

Xiaomi looks set to bring its sell-out devices to south-east Asia, with a launch in the region imminent.
Written by Liam Tung, Contributing Writer

Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi may soon begin moving into south-east Asia after another of its Android devices sold out over the weekend.

Xiaomi is carving out a reputation for its sell-out campaigns, the latest being its Taiwanese launch for the budget Hongmi or 'Red Rice' Android phone. The company made 10,000 available for NT3999 ($135) yesterday, which sold out in under 10 minutes. Or more precisely, as Xiaomi wrote in a Facebook update, "within nine minutes and 50 seconds".

It was the fast-growing company's first flash sale outside of the Chinese mainland, according to Tech In Asia.

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Xiaomi's budget Red Rice phone sells out in Taiwan. Image: Xiaomi.

Xiaomi boasted even more impressive figures for its new Mi3 flagship phone, when it claimed to have sold 100,000 of the device in 86 seconds this October in mainland China. The higher-end product retails for 1,999 yuan ($327) in the country.

Since launching its first smartphone in 2011, Xiaomi has quickly ascended to the top tier of China's smartphone market, which is dominated by local vendors but ruled by Samsung. Xiaomi even nudged past Apple in the second quarter of 2013 with five percent marketshare in China versus Apple's 4.8 percent, according to analyst firm Canalys.

Apple has since reclaimed the lead over Xiaomi in China; however, the Chinese company is now eyeing a move to south-east Asia, which would expand its current footprint in China, Taiwan and Hong Kong.

Speaking at a press briefing in Taiwan on the weekend, former Google Android exec and recently appointed VP of Xiaomi, Hugo Barra, indicated a south-east Asia launch was imminent.

According to Tech In Asia, Barra said he had been to Singapore in recent weeks and that "we're trying to get our operations for south-east Asia set up as quickly as possible".

That the company is planning a move to other markets isn't surprising, with expansion into new countries one of the reasons the company cited for Barra's appointment. 

Xiaomi claims to have sold 7.19 million handsets with sales of $2bn last year and expects to sell 15 million this year. It also claims its Android skin, MIUI, has more than 20 million users.

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