Nokia’s (News - Alert) first “flash sale” in China last week was apparently a roaring success. The company offered an undisclosed number of units of its new Nokia 6 Android (News - Alert) smartphone through the sale, all of which were sold within one minute. The record-breaking event points to the increasingly unquenchable demand for new and better smartphones and devices as well as just how quickly the mobile market is growing in the APAC region.
Nokia offered the new phone, it’s first branded smartphone in three years, on Chinese e-commerce platform JD.com. The sale had 250,000 registrations within the first day of its debut, peaking at more than one million registrations at the time of the flash sale. The mid-range Nokia 6 is a fairly standard smartphone, featuring a Snapdragon 430 chipset, 4GB of RAM (News - Alert), a 16-megapixel rear camera and an 8-megapizel front camera. Averaging around $245, the unit runs Android 7.0 Nougat out of the box and also features a USB 2.0 port.
The long awaited offering marks Nokia’s return to the smartphone space after selling its handset unit to Microsoft (News - Alert) in 2014. That sale had a non-compete agreement tacked on, prohibiting Nokia from selling new mobile devices until the end of 2016. Microsoft’s foray into the smartphone business was disappointing and the company ended up taking a disastrous $7.6 billion write-down on its Lumia handset unit.
Far from sitting idle during that time, Nokia took pains to stay in the next generation communications game, licensing out its design, patents and even branding to other companies, enabling them to create Nokia-branded devices while the company sat back and collected royalties with little risk. The strategy worked well, and Nokia licensed its brand to Foxconn in 2015, which created the N1 Android tablet for China. The companies used a flash sale to sell that device as well, selling out 20,000 units in a matter of minutes.
It remains to be seen if Nokia can compete in the heavily saturated smartphone market, which is even more competitive in the APAC region. For now, a second flash sale in China is in the works, with around 1.4 million registrations so far. And Lazada, an online retailer in the Philippines, will begin selling the phone tomorrow for around $370.
Edited by Alicia Young