LeEco, the Chinese ‘ecosystem player’ that arguably offers the best value-for-money smartphones in India, 61,000 of its second-generation smartphones worth Rs 72 crore on Day 1 of its sales.
The company sold the Le 2 and its more expensive cousin, the Le Max 2, yesterday on LeMall.com and Flipkart at prices of Rs 11,999 and 22,999 respectively. It said it received 61,000 orders on Day 1.
The disclosure of information is in contrast to the policy of Xiaomi, which did not reveal how many devices it sold or how many orders were received when it started the sales of its competing Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 model.
As a result, there were widespread complaints that it had put on a few thousand units for sale. Soon after starting its sale, Xiaomi had to stop the weekly flash sale claiming that it was not able to bring in stocks from China. It was only in April, more than a after it began selling the model in India, that bulk stocks started hitting the virtual shelves.
Many LeEco fans feared that they too would be subjected to the unpleasant experience of scarcity and lack of transparency when LeEco 2 began selling in India.
However, 60,000 units being put on sale should settle some of the doubts in fans’ minds, though it remains to be seen how many of the orders were for the Le 2 and how many for the Le Max 2.
Though the Le Max2 offers value for money at the high end, and is the cheapest phone in India with the high-end Snapdragon 820 processor, demand for models priced above Rs 20,000 tends to be restricted in the market.
On the other hand, the hottest category of smartphones in India is the ‘affordable flagships’ priced in the Rs 11,000 range.
These typically come with a mid-to-high range chipset and a full-HD 5.5-inch display. Both Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 and Le 2 belong to this category.
Another recent entrant to the category is Honor 5C, which is a 5.2-inch model unlike the others, and is priced at 10,999. However, unlike the others which come with 32 GB of internal storage and 3 GB RAM, this one offers only 16 GB of internal memory and 2 GB of RAM.
Currently, the best selling phone in this category is Redmi Note 3, which has sold close to 1.5 mln (15 lakh units) in India so far.
With Le 2 also starting off, chances are that the number of these mid-range devices sold in India could overtake the entry level smartphone segment priced in the Rs 7,000 range.
While 2015 saw huge sales of entry-level smartphones, this year, the action seems to be shifting to the 11,000 range, partly because of lack of exciting models in the Rs 7,000 range. It is only recently, with the introduction of Lenovo K5 — priced Rs 6,999 — that the entry-level category is again witnessing some action. The Chinese company sold 52,000 of the phone on the first day of availability a week ago.
Another notable model in this segment is the Swipe Elite Plus, which offers much superior specifications and features compared to the Lenovo K5 at the same price. However, the Swipe Elite Plus has one key weakness — the Snapdragon 615 chipset.
Though the chipset has many advantages over competing ones such as the Lenovo K5’s SD 415, it suffers from one big issue — high power draw.
The high power draw of the SD 615 means that the Swipe Elite Plus — despite being a monster in the entry-level category — lasts for only 4-5 hours of active use. Similarly, the high power draw also results in more heat being generated than is the case for most smartphones.
Meanwhile, the Lenovo K5 will again be available for purchase on Amazon today at 2 PM.