Chinese smartphone start-up Xiaomi Corp (小米) yesterday partnered with Chunghwa Telecom Co (中華電信) to sell its phones in Taiwan as part of a push to double its global shipments to 40 million units this year.
Xiaomi last year shipped 18.7 million units worldwide, company co-founder and president Bin Lin (林斌) said during a media briefing to unveil the company’s latest flagship model, the Mi3, in Taipei yesterday.
With its home market its biggest contributor to sales, Xiaomi is aggressively exploring new markets, such as Southeast Asia, to seek further growth, Lin said.
Xiaomi, based in Shenzhen, will make its first move by tapping the Singaporean market early next month after Xiaomi Global vice president Hugo Barra first revealed the company’s overseas expansion plans in Taipei in December last year.
Chunghwa Telecom, the nation’s top telecom, joins local peer Far EasTone Telecommunications Co (遠傳電信) in offering the Mi3. Far EasTone sells the phone in a package that includes a screen protector for NT$10,599.
Last year, Far EasTone obtained the exclusive rights to sell Xiaomi smartphones, including the Mi2 and the Red Rice in Taiwan.
Xiaomi sold more than 200,000 phones in Taiwan last year, according to Far EasTone.
Presales of the Mi3 are scheduled to begin today at Far EasTone and Chunghwa Telecom stores.
Consumers can get a free Mi3 by signing up for a Far EasTone service plan with a minimal monthly fee of NT$1,773, or subscribing to Chunghwa Telecom’s service plan and paying a NT$1,143 minimum monthly fee.
The Mi3 will be also available on Xiaomi’s Web site for NT$9,999 from Wednesday next week.
The Mi3 is equipped with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 800 chip and a 5-inch high-definition screen.
Separately, Far EasTone vice president Maxwell Cheng (鄭智衡) said yesterday that the company plans to purchase 2.5 million smartphones this year, half of them entry-level models.