Taking a break from the routine of getting “customers to fight like dogs”, as a irate fan termed it, Flipkart has announced that it would add an Xiaomi Mi3 to the shopping carts of those who have tried to buy the phone five times or more over the past few weeks.
The announcement has come as quite a surprise to fans waiting impatiently to buy the high-end, but low priced phone for several days. It was expected that Flipkart would release another 25,000-50,000 Mi3 for sale during next week.
“25000 Mi fans who have tried to buy Mi 3 at least five times or more will find the device added to their cart on Flipkart.com. These fans will now get a chance of buying the Mi 3 without having to register or hit the “buy” button,” Flipkart said.
Mi India has had a great response from fans till now, and has sold around 90,000 or so Mi3s and around 2 lakhs of Redmi 1S phones so far in India. The company’s phones are priced around 50% below what other brands like Samsung and LG charge, making the phones a big hit among consumers.
“The lucky fans eligible for this festive surprise will be intimated directly on October 5th that they will have the Mi 3 made available directly in their cart on October 6, 2014 and will have about 1 to 2 hours to checkout. If there are dropouts or a fan declines to purchase the device a second batch will have the device in their cart the same day,” Flipkart said.
Interestingly, the language of the press release almost makes it sound like they are giving the Xioami Mi3 phones free to the fans. (Of course you’ll have to pay for it.)
“We would like to pay tribute to our most passionate fans through this little gift of recognizing their passion for our products. Even though they have repeatedly tried to get the device and failed, their determination to get Mi 3 clearly sets them apart as fans that any brand would be lucky to have. We do recognize this and have taken this initiative to provide them direct access to purchase the Mi 3. We wish all our fans a happy Dussehra, Eid, and Diwali, and thank them for their love and support,” said Manu Jain, GM and Head of India Operations at Xiaomi.
RTN had earlier reported that Flipkart is likely to sell between 25,000-50,000 Xiaomi Mi3 phones later this week or early next week.
Till now, most of the flash sales have involved a maximum of 20,000 units.
The initial sale of the phone was conducted with an estimated 5,000 units, which was later increased to 20,000.
Also included will be a sale next week will be nearly 1 lakh Redmi 1S phones, priced at Rs 5,990. Nokia recently launched its Lumia 830, which has very similar specifications, for Rs 28,800.
Xiaomi has already released the next version of its flagship phone, Mi4, which is expected to be launched in India towards the end of this year. That phone, however, is likely to come in the Rs 18,000 range, and not for Rs 13,990 like the Mi 3.
As a result, the demand for the Mi4 is seen to be limited, especially if launched at present as the price may have to be kept at Rs 20,000 range. By December, prices are expected to dip slightly, making the phone more affordable.
Xiaomi is also planning to launch a high-end Mi Pad, which would be similar to the Apple iPad, later. That model too would carry a high price.
Mi3 comes with a full HD display and a high-end Snapdragon processor.
It would be interesting to see if the latest round of Mi3 “offer” manages to attract the same level of interest, as Indian players like Micromax have launched Mi3-killer phones with similar specifications at the same price.
For example, the Xolo Q3000 comes with a 5.7-inch full-HD display, 2 GB of RAM and a 1.5 GHz Mediatek turbo quad-core processor. The phone is priced at Rs 14,300, just Rs 300 more than the Xiaomi Mi3.
Going by customer reviews, the Xolo Q3000 too has been a hit with its buyers. Like the Mi3, the Xolo model also does not come with the latest Android KitKat operating system, but does have a bigger display.
Another 5.5-inch phone being launched next week is the LG G3 Stylus, priced at Rs 21,000, though we expect the online selling prices to be in the range of Rs 17-18k.
Other contenders, like the Micromax Canvas Nitro, priced at Rs 12,800, have also been launched since the last flash sale of Xiaomi Mi3. The phone comes with a slightly more powerful octa-core processor, Android KitKat and a 13 MP camera.
The only downside is that instead of full HD, Canvas Nitro has a 720p display. Another contender is the new Micromax Canvas 4 plus, which has a 720p HD display and is priced at Rs 17,000 at present. The price of the newly launched phone is expected to fall to Rs 15,000 in a couple of weeks.