Apple rival Xiaomi sells 2 million smartphones in 12 hours

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By Larry Banks

Xiaomi, the startup smartphone company usually referred to as the “Apple of China” just sold 2 million smartphones in a 12-hour “flash sale”.

Last week, the company held a “Mi Fan Festival” to mark it’s fifth anniversary and sold an incredible 2.12 million phones with a revenue of $335 million.

Fan devotion to Xiaomi

Xiaomi’s fans are extremely devoted to the company. The Chinese startup tries hard to court them, such as holding special “festival” flash sales, as well as promoting their products on social media and parties in expensive nightclubs for its most loyal fans.

The strategy seems to be paying off, as in just five years the company has gone from nothing to being the most valuable startup in the world, even though it spends less as a percentage on marketing than rivals such as Samsung.

As an example, over the launch weekend in September last year, Apple managed to sell 10 million new iPhone 6 devices. This is a similar number per hour to Xiaomi’s festival, however the company didn’t actually launch any new products during the sale.

Xiaomi CEO Lei Jun

Besides phones, Xiaomi also sold 38,000 Mi TVs, 247,000 Mi Power Strip fitness bands and 770,000 ‘smart’ appliances in the company’s best ever online day of sales.

Xiaomi says it won’t come to the US for several years, but it’s stellar growth must be on Apple’s radar, which under the new retail leadership of newcomer Angela Ahrendts is in the middle of huge expansion in China.

In the past, Xiaomi’s smartphones were accused of being cheap copies of Apple’s devices, leading Jony Ive, Apple’s design guru, to label them as being tantamount to theft. However more recent devices have had a very distinctive and clean design.

Images Courtesy of DepositPhotos