There are certainly still gaps in the Chinese market and room for new products that address local needs. Electronics manufacturer Xiaomi recently discovered the untapped low-end smart phone market and is now cashing in.

Xiaomi, the brainchild of investor and tech guru Lei Jun, redefined the Chinese smartphone market by launching an extremely powerful smartphone running on a smartly-designed Android skin at a price almost anyone could afford.

Recently, Xiaomi increased their sales target for 2013 from 15 million to 20 million smartphones as a result of the recent release of their first batch of the new “Red Rice” model which sold out in 90 seconds:

Xiaomi unveiled its new budget smartphone on July 31, setting the price at just $129. The Android-powered device, called the Xiaomi Hongmi (meaning red rice), soon attracted 7.45 million pre-orders. Today at midday (August 12,2013), Xiaomi put its first batch of 100,000 Hongmi phones up for sale, and all available models were snapped up in 90 seconds.

The Xiaomi Hongmi has a 720p 4.7-inch screen, a quad-core 1.5GHz processor (a budget MediaTek MT6589T), and an 8-megapixel rear camera. It supports only TD-SCDMA 3G, so it can only be used on China Mobile with 3G data.


In addition to Xiaomi’s maverick success, the company has also proved difficult to predict, ignoring the expectations for a tablet launch and instead launching a set-top box for online video.

More from Tech in Asia here.