July 24, 2015 report
Xiaomi pairs with Uber to get phones delivered a day early
People living in Singapore and Kuala Lampur are set to be the beneficiaries of a deal between Chinese phone maker Xiaomi and ride-arranger Uber—for one day only next week, people using the Uber app will be able to order the Xiaomi made Mi Note, and have it delivered right away. Customers there that want the Mi Note should be exited because it will mean they get their phone much earlier—typically there is a five day shipping delay.
Sales of the Mi Note officially go on sale in both places on Tuesday, those that take advantage of the offer will be able to do so on Monday. Uber has arranged with a delivery service to carry the new phone to the customer right away—within minutes it will be on its way.
This is not the first time that Uber has conducted a sales gimmick meant to boost its profile, in times past they have allowed customers to order Christmas trees or even kittens. It also appears to be a deal that is more than it seems. Uber is currently facing serious competition in China from an app called, Didi Kuaidi. To gain an edge both companies have been brokering partnerships with other tech companies. With this new collaboration, it appears that Uber is hoping to set itself up as an app that comes with MiUI, a layer of software that comes on Xiaomi phones—it is apparently sort of like the old AOL interface that came on early PCs—users are "pushed" towards retail establishments, or in this case, towards a service that offers rides, which is apparently a burgeoning business in the world's most populous nation. Xiaomi will benefit from the promotion too, of course, from all the publicity and online chatter the deal has generated for its new phone. The company is growing rapidly and has recently announced plans to expand beyond the Asian market into Brazil.
The promotion running Monday will allow users to pay for the phone with the credit card used to pay for Uber services, already on file, making it a very simple and easy process. Uber will even allow customers to track the car that is bringing them their new phone.
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