China’s already crowded smartphone market just got more packed, with new devices from Letv — a Chinese internet company relatively unknown to many westerners — netting 1.2m pre-orders in a single day.
The company, which runs one of China’s better known video streaming websites, launched the Le1, Le1 Pro and LeMax smartphones. Letv is offering free internet and free video content to its smartphone users, as well as a relatively low price of $245 for the Le1.
乐视推出了乐1、乐1 Pro和乐Max 三款智能手机。乐视经营着中国较为知名的视频播放网站之一。乐视向其智能手机用户提供免费上网服务和免费视频内容，还有相对低廉的价格——乐1售价为245美元。
Xiaomi, an internet company that branched out into selling phones, adopted a similar strategy four years ago. Its device was intended to be a “gateway to an ecosystem” rather than merely a device on which to make calls and surf online.
Letv’s advantage is its access to content, including foreign television series such as Netflix’s House of Cards.
乐视的优势在于获得其内容，包括Netflix的《纸牌屋》(House of Cards)等外国电视连续剧。
But although 1.2m pre-orders might be cause for champagne corks to pop elsewhere in the world, it is not that big a deal in China — new smartphone launches in the country can generate 4m daily pre-orders from the likes of the industry leaders such as Huawei and Xiaomi.
Xin Haiguang, a technology industry expert in Beijing, said the level of pre-orders was “an encouraging number for Letv, a newcomer smartphone maker. But it does not come as a huge surprise, nor is it very likely that the number is exaggerated, because frankly it’s not that large.”
Xiaomi wrote the playbook on marketing smartphones in China with its online strategy, cheap prices and networks of fans who popularise the phones through word-of-mouth. This method has been widely mimicked by competitors, prompting Xiaomi last month to cut prices on its latest phone model, the Mi4, due to competition.
Letv declined to comment.