Chinese streaming video company Letv has exploded onto the smart hardware scene over the past year, and perhaps its biggest hardware play is its new line of smartphones. The company broke a domestic record for a new smartphone company by selling 1 million phones in three months. Now, it says it has sold more than half that in a single day.
On Tuesday, the company launched the second generation of its smartphone line, the Le 1s, on its own website and on ecommerce platform JD.com. In just a couple of hours, it had registered a total of more than 550,000 orders.
There are a few caveats, though. First, the company had only 300,000 of the phones in stock, so the other 250,000 orders are just pre-orders. Letv also began accepting pre-registrations for the Tuesday sale back in late October, so customers had been accruing for a while by the time the phones actually went on sale.
Still, it’s an impressive accomplishment, especially given that Letv performed a similar feat just months ago, when it sold nearly 600,000 phones in a single day in September. Counting today’s pre-orders, then, it has sold well over two million smartphones already in its debut year, with the lucrative Singles Day shopping event and holiday season still to come.
Those numbers don’t put it anywhere near Xiaomi just yet; Xiaomi sold 60 million smartphones last year and is on track to exceed that number this year (though not by as much as analysts originally thought). But Letv’s barely been a smartphone player for half a year, and the company is already showing some impressive growth. In a few years it really could be on Xiaomi’s level, especially if the latter company continues to stagnate.
Of course, it’s worth pointing out that Letv’s tactics with these flash sales are straight out of Xiaomi’s playbook. Flash sales are also cited by some as part of the reason for slowing Xiaomi growth – consumers are fed up with the gimmicky sales model – so Letv could hit the same roadblock at some point in its own journey.