News by Andrew Kameka on Tuesday October 15, 2013.
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Xiaomi, the Chinese smartphone vendor that recently poached Hugo Barra from Google, has a string of successful smartphone launches since it debuted in 2011. The company's fans are buying devices at such a fast rate that Xiaomi recently sold-out of 100,000 phones in less than 90 seconds.
Earlier this morning, Xiaomi tweeted that it sold 100,000 units of its MI3 smartphone in 1 minute and 26 seconds. That's an average of 1,163 sales-per-second, a sales rate that quite a few struggling companies wouldn't mind right now. For instance, it would take BlackBerry nearly three days to sell as many BB10 devices.
How did Xiaomi manage to sell so many devices so quickly? Scarcity. Xiaomi's business model is to build an Android smartphone, hype up its release, and then begin selling pre-orders for a low-cost phone that is sold directly to customers. The company purposely creates demand that will succeed its limited supply released in batches, so it can make a phone knowing that an entire round of sales are guaranteed within minutes of availability. The MI3 was unofficially sold-out the minute the device was conceptualized.
Xiaomi's quickstrike sales model works well in China. It sold 7.03 million devices in the first half of 2013, according to The Next Web. Xiaomi sold 7.19 million in all of 2012, so its growth is eye-opening. Xiaomi hired Hugo Barra in order to spearhead its growth efforts outside of China, so selling thousands of phones under the same model elsewhere could prove to be an interesting challenge.
Andrew is MobileBurn.com's managing editor. He is based in Miami, Florida.