Why did 400,000 people register to buy 150,000 Xiaomi Redmi 1S phone last week, a phone which they have never seen at any mobile store, never held in their hands and still be willing to pay Rs 5999 (under $100), despite already having a well running primary phone. I usually do not buy phones online, but after much research, a Rs 6000 bet was one I was willing to take to buy another phone.
Here are all the goodies which came out of the small MI box. The bright orange battery is catchy and the free SIM tray and screen protector are a quick way to get started. The phone build is great, feels a little heavy – turn it on and the 4.7′ display is brilliant (1280 x 720 display with 312 ppi). You cannot compare it to a Samsung S5 or Apple iPhone or even the more expensive MI3 model, but it was a great buy for me for this price. Its just a day old for me, and as I use it more, I will know more about its good and bad features, which I will share.
I discovered here are some of the reasons these Mi Redmi 1S phones are just selling out before you can click Buy.
- Great product – There is no doubt the specs are good and they are providing a great product at a great price. You can create however much buzz you want, but if the product is not good, you simply cannot line up people to buy it, whatever the price.
- Great price – The prices cannot be beaten for the mobile specs. Under $100 mobile phone with the current specs is definitely a good buy. Of course it wont have the weight, screen, materials or the build to match a $500 phone, but for the money you are paying, its surely a great buy.
- Tight Supply – You cannot buy it off the market, or for that matter even buy it right now. You have to register to buy it only on Flipkart (So at least they can limit the serious buyers!) and then wait for the flash sale to start at a particular time and day. Then be logged in to grab the product in time as the countdown goes to zero, and the supply lasts a few minutes (depending on the number of mobile phone on sale).
- Viral buzz – Everyone wants one. Just as anything which is difficult to get, the Redmi 1S has generate enough buzz that 400,000 people registered to buy the 150,000 phones which went on sale recently. I was one of the buyers and kept a close watch on the events. The more the supply chain is tight, the more you publicize it, the more they want it.
- Strong Brands – The company Xiaomi is a well established Chinese brand and they found a strong Indian online brand partner in Flipkart to sell out the phones quickly. Flipkart is a big well established online brand, and people trust it enough to give out their credit card details and deliver an intact phone in time, with reliable post purchase support.
- Most wanted Freebies – My phone shipped with the Micro-SIM tray which allows me to use the smaller SIM into this phone, so I do not get surprised how to fit my SIM into this phone. It also ships with a screen protector, so I can start using my mobile phone right away without shopping for a screen guard first. It was a great move I think.
- Amazing MIUI – The MIUI is the preloaded version of their mobile software, which is a modified version of Android. So you get all your super useful Android tools, in a nice and clean interface which you will just love. In fact you might like what the new software version MIUI6 has in store when it is released.
- Needed Updates – Within 5 minutes of using the phone, I realized it was heating up fast. I was disappointed, and thought it was a price to pay for a cheaper phone. But surely it cant be an isolated issue, unless I got a bad phone. They identified the heating problem on their Facebook page, and I simply needed to update the software, which I did, and the heating issue was fixed! Of course are still on Android 4.3 (which is not the latest version) and I hope it will update soon).
In fact the buzz keeps continuing every week as the Flash sales keep happening on Flipkart every 1-2 weeks, and the demand will gradually decline as most users will grab the phone they wanted. Also note it made newspaper headlines recently when IAF raised a flag over security concerns, which prompted them to reply to concerns and promise Indian data centres by 2015.
PS – No financial interest. Not sponsored.