Sat, Nov 30, 2013 - Page 13 News List

Xiaomi’s phone slated for pre-orders

By Lisa Wang  /  Staff reporter

Chinese smartphone brand Xiaomi Corp (小米) is slated to make online pre-orders available for its new entry-level smartphone, the Hongmi, in Taiwan starting on Monday, in an attempt to expand its local presence.

Xiaomi plans to offer 10,000 Hongmi smartphones for pre-order through Dec. 8 in the first-wave sale, the company said in a statement on Thursday.

Consumers can log into Xiaomi’s Facebook account to enter their pre-orders.

The Hongmi runs on MediaTek Inc’s (聯發科) quad-core processor with a clock speed of 1.5GHz. This is the first Xiaomi smartphone running on MediaTek processors, rather than on processors from Qualcomm Inc.

The Hongmi has a 4.7-inch high-resolution screen and carries a price tag of NT$3,999 (US$135), which is only half the price of smartphones from other brands with similar specifications.

HTC Corp (宏達電) on Wednesday launched four new mid-tier smartphones, including the HTC Desire 300, which has the lowest retail price of NT$7,900 among the four. The HTC Desire 300 is powered by a dual-core Qualcomm chip with a slower clock rate than the Hongmi.

The Desire 300 has a 4.3-inch screen and 5-megapixel camera, both of which are less advanced than those of the Hongmi.

Xiaomi launched the Hongmi in China three months ago. The company sold 100,000 units in less than one minute on the device’s launch day.

The Chinese smartphone company is selling its previous-generation model, the Xiaomi 2S, exclusively through local telecom operator Far EasTone Telecommunications Co Ltd (遠傳電信).

Xiaomi said that it will also sell Hongmi smartphones through Far EasTone stores at a later date.

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