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600 units of Super X-Fi amp sold in first 20 minutes: Creative

Founder Sim Wong Hoo says an element of "pent-up demand" behind the initial launch numbers, doesn't expect sales to scale linearly for now

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Creative came into play earlier this year after Mr Sim said he had achieved the "holy grail" of headphone audio. The company's shares soared 12 per cent last week on rumours of the Super X-Fi's impending launch. 

Singapore

PUNTERS who have been trying to gauge the sales uptake for Creative Technology's newly launched Super X-Fi amp headphone amplifier will probably have to keep guessing. 

The company has remained secretive about orders so far, saying only that it sold 600 units in the first 20 minutes that its sxfi.com online store went live at 6.34pm on Monday.

Creative founder and chief executive Sim Wong Hoo said in a statement on Wednesday night that consumer interest has been heartening: "In barely 20 minutes, we clocked in an amazing 600 units sold ... It actually took Sound Blaster four days for us to reach 600 units when we launched it at COMDEX 1989 (the computer expo trade show) in Las Vegas."

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The Sound Blaster sound card, Creative's most successful product, went on to sell over 400 million units worldwide. 

Mr Sim noted that an element of "pent-up demand" was behind the initial launch numbers for the Super X-Fi amp. "You probably can't expect this number to scale linearly at this initial phase. It's early days yet and we are just testing out the product in a small market like Singapore."

The market has been divided over how well Creative's computational audio technology known as Super X-Fi will be received by the public, ever since Creative came into play earlier this year after Mr Sim said he had achieved the "holy grail" of headphone audio.

That news turned Creative into a seven-bagger in seven sessions in March. Creative shares fell seven Singapore cents or 1.11 per cent to finish at S$6.22 on Wednesday, after jumping 12 per cent last week on rumours of the impending launch. 

While some are disappointed that the initial launch of the Super X-Fi amp is smaller than expected since worldwide sales will only commence in November, others are betting that Creative will be able to convince hardware makers to put its Super X-Fi chips into their products.

Still, others remain sceptical about whether the "three-dimensional" sound experience that industry critics have written about is really as good as it sounds. The answer will become clearer now that the Super X-Fi amp is hitting the market.