/// As Xiaomi Sells Out of New Flagship Phone, Bin Lin Talks About the Disruptive Chinese Start-Up’s Approach (Video)

October 30, 2012  |  All Things Digital


Xiaomi co-founder Bin Lin was in many ways the perfect speaker for our Dive Into Mobile conference. Xiaomi is one of the most interesting corporate stories from the transformative global spread of smartphones, but its quick ascent is not widely known about outside of China. The company, which is just two-and-a-half years old but already has sold more than five million phones and employs 1,700 people, has disrupted the Chinese home handset market by making and selling top-of-the-line smartphones direct to consumers for a fraction of the expected price. Today Xiaomi launched its second major phone, known as the Xiaomi Phone 2, or the Mi-2. A run of 50,000 units sold out in two minutes and 51 seconds. While companies might shy away from literally naming one of their phones a “me too,” the new Xiaomi phone has much in common with Apple’s iPhone 5, including the size and shape of the handset, the way application icons tile on the screen in Xiaomi’s modified version of the Android Jelly Bean OS, and the look and feel of the built-in camera application. But Lin was quick to pull his iPhone 5 out and show that the (slightly larger) Mi-2 has a better display — 720 by 1280 with a pixel density of 342 pixels per inch. Sitting on a red couch at the hotel to which we had evacuated for Hurricane Sandy, instead of our signature D conference red chairs , Lin told me about his company’s plans for the Mi-2 launch as well as its long-term strategy. As we spoke on Monday, Lin seemed remarkably unstressed on the eve of his company’s big launch. That’s because Xiaomi phones are offered only online and typically sell out in a matter of minutes to fans who apparently follow the company’s progress like they would a rock band. In fact, last week, a block of 300,000 the older Mi-1s model — that is, a phone that everyone knew was a week away from being outdated — sold out in only four minutes and 15 seconds. Xiaomi released just 50,000 phones for order today and said it would have 250,000 more available in mid-November

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As Xiaomi Sells Out of New Flagship Phone, Bin Lin Talks About the Disruptive Chinese Start-Up’s Approach (Video)

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