Foxconn trying Xiaomi-style online flash sales of secondhand iPhones
The traded-in devices, which are inspected and repaired by Foxconn, are available via its flnet.com ecommerce site. but because of limited numbers and high demand, the company is trying Xiaomi-style flash sales every Wednesday at noon.
The company's first sale sold out quickly, by 2 PM all of devices were gone. It's not clear how many were actually available, but interest was so high that the traffic broke Foxconn's website. As late as 10 PM local time on Wednesday, the site was still only intermittently accessible.
Foxconn is offering the certified secondhand devices at a massive discount. A used 16 GB iPhone 5S costs just RMB 2099 ($338). Buying the same model new would run users more than double that: RMB 4488 ($724).
Foxconn's resales are officially sanctioned by Apple, and supply comes from Apple's new trade-in program, which allows customers to trade in previous-generation Apple devices (so long as they're from China, Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan) at Apple stores for a cash payout. Apple pays about RMB 1500 ($242) for a used iPhone 5S.
Foxconn's web-based flash-sale approach to moving the repaired and re-warranted devices is reminiscent of Xiaomi, which has been selling its phones via online flash sales on its site from the beginnning. ■