THL Versus Xiaomi in Lazada Philippines : THL Will Drop T100s Price to Php 10,599 to Challenge Xiaomi on June 25 and 26

I've just received confirmation from our friends at Novo7Tech, the official and exclusive distributor of THL smartphones in the Philippines, that they will be selling THL T100s Monkey King 2 exclusively via Lazada on June 25 and 26, 2014 (that's Wednesday and Thursday next week) for only Php 10,599 -- that's a whopping Php 3,400 off its regular SRP!

THL T100s

Interestingly, Php 10,599 is also the price tag of Xiaomi Mi3, which will be distributed solely by Lazada upon launch on June 26, 2014. Obviously, it is not by coincidence that THL will be lowering the SRP of its current best-selling Octa Core flagship to the same amount on the same date via the same online store. While Novo7Tech didn't really disclose their exact reason or the motivation for doing this promo, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that it's primarily meant to challenge or counter Xiaomi's much talked about entry in the Philippine market. (Or perhaps to even jump on Xiaomi's hype to create buzz for themselves -- even if it means severely lowering the price of their product. Either way, it benefits the Pinoy consumers, which I'm sure everyone likes.)

Published on April 17, 2014, this my exclusive interview with Mr. Adrian Lim - Novo7Tech's IT Director - where he did a quick unboxing of their breakout release THL T100s and gave me a quick rundown of the handset's key features and technical specifications.

It is worth noting that this is the first move by a competing mobile player in the country - and a fellow Chinese one at that - to somehow try to grab Pinoy consumers' attention away from Xiaomi's debut (or to use it for their own advantage). Xiaomi, of course, has seen tremendous success in its key markets primarily in China where its very affordable yet high-spec'd smartphones - headlined by Xiaomi Mi3 - outsell the Apple iPhone.

"Xiaomi will only be selling 3,000 Mi3 sets on June 26. Will you also be matching that figure?" I asked Sir Adrian during our meeting. "Nope, Mark. We intend to sell more on those two days; the 25th and 26th. So yes, the promo will be valid until T100s stocks last."

So will this be just the first of the many attempts of mobile companies in Pinas to dampen the public's interest in Xiaomi and protect their own share in the local market? Only time will tell.

Coming from the advertising industry and having worked on campaigns by brands from various industries, I know for a fact that there will always be room for every player in the market (local or international) -- even in the face of a great competitor like Xiaomi. Why? Well, first, because there are many, many ways to sell a product. Second, because consumers have varying needs and wants. And finally, because a brand or product, no matter how good or seemingly flawless will always have weaknesses that competitors can pounce on and take advantage of. Simple as that.