To call Chinese smartphone manufacturer Xiaomi's online only flash sales model a hit in India will be a gross understatement. The company made its debut in the market in July this year with a partnership with home grown e-commerce major Flipkart.com. As part of the partnership, the company's flagship device Mi3 went on sale exclusively on the e-commerce site for Rs 13,999.
The first flash sale saw over 1 lakh pre-registrations for the smartphone, and lasted for less than 40 minutes. The second one lasted just five seconds. This led to a lot of criticism from frustrated customers who could not get their hands on the smartphone. Xiaomi Global's VP Hugo Barra even apologized on the behalf of the company, stating that Xiaomi completely underestimated the demand in India.
But things did not get any better, since the third and fourth sale lasted for only two and 2.4 seconds respectively.
The fifth flash sale, which began at 2pm today, again ended within 2.3 seconds. In total, the company has sold 75,000 Mi3 devices across its five flash sales. Registrations for the next sale will open at 6pm today, which will begin on August 26, 2014. Note that those who registered for today's sale but missed out will also need to register once again. Also, only one phone per registered user per sale will be available.
Here is a quick look at the specifications of the device.
Originally unveiled in China last year, the smartphone sports a 5 inch full HD IPS LCD touchscreen display (1920Ã—1080 pixels resolution) with 441 ppi pixel density. It runs on the Android 4.3 Jelly Bean operating system (optimised with MIUI version 5), which can be fine-tuned with custom-built themes, built-in apps and widgets, and robust settings options.
Powered by a 2.3GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 8274B processor with Adreno 330 GPU, the smartphone has 2GB of RAM. The internal memory of the device is 16GB (available storage capacity 13.22GB) but further memory expansion is not available.
It has a 13 megapixel autofocus rear camera with dual-LED Flash (and Stacked CMOS sensor) and a 2MP front facing camera for video calling. Both the cameras can also record full HD videos (1080p) at 30 frames per second. On the connectivity front, it has Bluetooth 4.0, Wi-Fi (with Wi-Fi Direct) and 3G. Mi3 also has GPS (with A-GPS support) and Near Field Communication (NFC).
The dimensions of the device are 144mm x 73.6mm x 8.1mm and its weight is 145gm. Xiaomi has provided a 3,050mAh battery in the device which it claims will provide up to 25 hours of talk time, 50 hours of music playback and 500 hours of standby time. According to the company, Mi 3â€²s body uses a magnesium alloy frame which is coated in three layers of thermal graphite film.
Apart from the smartphone, the company has also listed its Mi Power Bank in two capacities of 10,400 and 5,200mAh on its site, however, a pricing for the same has not been disclosed.
In addition to Xiaomi, other Chinese smartphone manufacturers that already have a presence in the country include Gionee and Oppo. Obi Mobiles- a venture of ex-Apple CEO John Scully's Inflexionpoint- had recently entered the Indian smartphone market with its flagship device Octopus S520, while Jolla, a smartphone company from Finland is also planning to launch its devices based on Sailfish OS in the country.