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(LEAD) Xiaomi begins offline sales of smartphones in S. Korea

All News 17:16 January 27, 2016

(ATTN: ADDS details in para 4)

SEOUL, Jan. 27 (Yonhap) -- Chinese tech giant Xiaomi Inc. has started selling its smartphones in South Korea through local dollar-shop chain Daiso, industry sources said Wednesday, marking the first time for its mobile devices to be sold at offline stores here.

The Xiaomi Redmi 3 and Redmi Note 3 carry a price tag of 99,000 won (US$82.34) and 129,000 won, respectively, through vending machines installed at Daiso stores.

Also available are the BlackBerry Q10 and the Lenovo A806 for 169,000 won and 29,000 won, respectively.

The smartphones, 300 units of which were available, were sold out an hour after the release.

Earlier this month, KT started sales of the Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 through online shopping site Interpark Corp., but it was suspended only two days later, only citing "legal matters."

Xiaomi's Redmi Note 3 smartphone has already been a hit among early adopters since end-2015. Industry watchers estimate around 10,000 units were sold here through direct purchases.

Amid the rising popularity of budget smartphones in the country, South Korea's No. 3 mobile carrier LG Uplus Corp. also kicked off sales of Huawei's Y6 smartphone in December, with sales reaching 20,000 units this month.

colin@yna.co.kr
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