We all know how misleading Chinese “registrations” and “flash sales” can be. If device manufacturers want to artificially inflate buzz around new products, they only need to put a very limited batch up for grabs at first, then gloat about the hours, minutes or seconds it took for inventory to run out.
Meanwhile, when you don’t ask for financial information upfront, reservation numbers are meaningless, and resulting unit sales look altogether different. Still, Xiaomi is reportedly having big trouble lining up actual Mi 5 demand and manufacturing, desperately calling for Foxconn and Inventec to rapidly crank up assembly and production.
Obviously, the Xiaomi Mi 5 is completely unavailable around the world at the time of this writing, and initial volumes sold in China earlier this week disappeared before most prospective buyers could realize orders were live in the first place.
A second wave of flash sales should take place next Tuesday, on March 8, and chances are you’ll also have to act fast then if you long for the handheld. Media speculation circles 4 million as the number of Mi 5 copies prepped for early availability, though it remains unclear how many of those were up for grabs this past Tuesday.
As for the slightly smaller, technically inferior Mi 4s, interest is understandably lower, but Asian press estimates Xiaomi sold at least 200,000 units of that too within 24 hours of the 5-incher’s launch. The up-and-coming OEM hasn’t confirmed any figures, both as far as production and sales are concerned, which suggests we’re not dealing with a classic attention-inflating situation here. It also means Westerners probably shouldn’t hope for a Mi 5 expansion before summer.