Le 2, the latest mass market smartphone from LeEco, got off to a decent, though not overwhelming, start to its first flash sale in India.
In the first 24 hours, 1.5 lakh people signed up for the sale that will be conducted next Tuesday. The number is decent, but could also indicate flagging demand for such phones as consumers have been spoilt for choice in the Rs 10,000 segment in recent weeks.
Back in March, when Xiaomi launched its highly-anticipated Redmi Note 3, it received a total of 8.5 lakh registrations over a period of 5 days before the first sale took place. (It’s a different matter that only a few thousand phones were eventually sold in the sale.)
Similarly, when LeEco launched its first model Le 1s in February, the total number of registrations was 6.05 lakh for the first first flash sale. Moreover, the number increased to 10.3 lakh (1 mln) in time for its second flash sale. Unlike Xiaomi, LeEco actually managed to sell a lot of phones in addition to signing up lakhs of would-be buyers, receiving 70,000 orders in its first sale and 95,000 in the second.
If we compare the numbers for the first 24 hours only, LeEco got only around 1 lakh registrations for the Le 1s. In other words, the Le 2 has seen an increase of 50% in first-day registrations compared to Le 1s.
However, demand for the Le 2 is widely expected to be higher than that for Le 1s, as LeEco is now a well recognized brand among savvy smartphone users in the country. When the 1s was launched, it was one more untested Chinese brand trying to make a mark in India.
The Le 2, priced at Rs 11,999, is arguably the best smartphone under Rs 15,000 — going by specifications. Its biggest competitor is the Redmi Note 3. Xiaomi has started advertising the model in mass media, something it never did for earlier models.
However, the Le 2 clearly enjoys several advantages over the Xiaomi model, starting with a processor that is about 50% more powerful. The Le 2 reportedly also has better cameras, and a significantly upgraded display compared to its predecessor.
One possible area of concern is availability. Like the Redmi Note 3, the Le 2 is being introduced in India early in its lifecycle. This could restrict the availability of stock for Indian buyers.
Xiaomi, for example, was roundly criticized for launching its 32 GB Note 3 in India and then failing to bring in stocks in time. However, the fact that the Indian version of the Le 2 is different from the Chinese version suggests that the company has set aside a separate manufacturing set-up specifically for this country.