Xiaomi Tech Stories March 22, 2016

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I argued a couple of months ago that ‘peak iPhone’ was likely a temporary phenomenon, but that Apple might have to be willing to accept lower margins if it is to continue to grow its sales.

I think it will also need to learn to be a little more flexible when it comes to its profit margins, especially in growth markets. That ~40% markup has served it well for a great many years, but I don’t think it can necessarily expect to maintain it indefinitely.

Yesterday, the company indicated its willingness to do just that. For the first time, Apple’s entry-level phone is a brand-new device that offers close to flagship specs at a price level close to the previous-generation phone. That will hit Apple’s margins on the device for sure, but the company is looking to the long-term …

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Xiaomi Tech Stories October 29, 2015

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Two separate market share reports show that Apple increased its share of the global smartphone market year-on-year, with Samsung’s share declining. Strategy Analytics estimates that Apple grew its market share from 12.2% in Q3 2014 to 13.6% in Q3 2015, while Counterpoint has the numbers at 11.9% to 13.1% …  expand full story

Xiaomi Tech Stories August 20, 2015

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New data from Gartner suggests that iPhone sales grew 36% year-on-year, while Samsung’s sales fell 5.3% in the same period. Apple’s market share climbed from 12.2% in Q2 2014 to 14.6% in the same quarter this year. Other winners were Chinese brands Huawei and Xiaomi.

Gartner said that while overall smartphone growth was sluggish, Apple continued to dominate the premium end of the market, with other vendors struggling to compete.

Apple’s double-digit growth in the high-end segment continued to negatively impact its rivals’ premium phone sales and profit margins. Many vendors had to realign their portfolios to remain competitive in the midrange and low-end smartphone segments. This realignment resulted in price wars and discounting to clear up inventory for new devices planned for the second half of 2015 … 

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Xiaomi Tech Stories August 3, 2015

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Apple has lost its top position in smartphone shipments in China, reports Canalys, falling from the #1 slot it achieved in Q4 of 2014 to #3 in Q2 of this year.

Canalys did not reveal Apple’s market share (a number it would like its clients to pay for), stating only that Xiaomi took the top slot with a 15.9% share, with Huawei close behind at 15.7%. A separate market size estimate from Counterpoint, with similar numbers, suggests that Apple’s market share in the country may have fallen to around 12.2% …  expand full story

Xiaomi Tech Stories January 27, 2015

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If Apple does indeed report iPhone sales in line with analyst expectations of 66.5M units, the company could be closing in on the market share lead Samsung has held in the smartphone market since 2011, reports the WSJ.

Research company Canalys notes that Apple’s anticipated growth in iPhone sales coincides with a dramatic drop in sales of Samsung smartphones.

Samsung’s share has been falling, hurt by lackluster sales of its flagship models and the rise of homegrown brands in fast-growing emerging markets. In the third quarter, Samsung shipped about 78 million smartphones, about 25% share of the global market, down from 34% a year earlier, Canalys said.

While that still leaves Samsung well ahead for now, it’s a trendline which could see Apple regain the lead it once held …  expand full story

Xiaomi Tech Stories January 26, 2015

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Apple Senior Vice President of Retail Angela Ahrendts is continuing to go all in on growth in China. In video messages to employees in recent days and weeks, Ahrendts has been recruiting employees from United States-based Apple Retail stores to relocate to China to help build up Apple’s retail efforts in the region. In a note to employees late last week, sources say that Ahrendts reported that approximately 200 Apple retail workers from the U.S. have already offered to make the move. Ahrendts added that the offer to move to China “has no expiration date because as the business grows, our needs will only become greater, so as your personal and professional life changes, just always keep China at the top of your mind, because we’re going to need you…”

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Xiaomi Tech Stories August 18, 2014

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Not content with a blatant copy of the iPad mini and a smartphone called the Mi Phone, Xiaomi’s latest Android overlay – MIUI 6 – bears more than a passing resemblance to iOS 7. The flat icons, the icon screens scrolling above the fixed app tray at the bottom, the calendar, calculator, compass …  expand full story

Xiaomi Tech Stories August 8, 2014

Men are silhouetted against a video screen with Apple and Samsung logos as he poses with Samsung S3 and Samsung S4 smartphones in this photo illustration taken in the central Bosnian town of Zenica

Steve Jobs famously declared back in 2010 that Android was a stolen product, and he was willing to “go thermonuclear war” in order to “destroy” it.

“I will spend my last dying breath if I need to, and I will spend every penny of Apple’s $40 billion in the bank, to right this wrong,” Jobs said. “I’m going to destroy Android, because it’s a stolen product. I’m willing to go thermonuclear war on this.”

Back in April, I suggested three reasons it might be time for Apple to settle its Android disputes and move on. The relatively small damages award in the most recent case (and which now looks set to be further reduced) provided a fourth reason not long after I wrote that piece. But I think the case today is even more compelling …  expand full story

Xiaomi Tech Stories July 22, 2014

Xiaomi VP and former Google exec (unconvincingly) denies the company copies Apple

You’d think it would be pretty hard to deny that Chinese Android phone and tablet manufacturer Xiaomi copies Apple – yet that’s exactly what former Google exec and now Xiaomi’s global vice president Hugo Barra tried to do in an interview with The Verge.

Allegations of it copying Apple are “sweeping sensationalist statements because they have nothing better to talk about,” he says.

Well, let’s see …

Let’s start with the company’s phones. Admittedly they don’t look much like iPhones, but they are called … the Mi Phone. Still, I’m sure that’s coincidence.

Then there’s the company’s tablet. No prizes for guessing the name of that. And here’s what the Mi Pad looks like – remind you of anything?

Barra says that’s coincidence, too.

“If you have two similarly skilled designers, it makes sense that they would reach the same conclusion,” he argues. “It doesn’t matter if somebody else has reached the same conclusion.”

Let’s look at the marketing materials. Hmm, anyone ever seen spec boxes like these anywhere before?

What about a product launch. I can’t quite put my finger on what it is, but there’s something about a company CEO on a stage wearing blue jeans and a black turtleneck that looks somehow familiar …

Still, Xiaomi CEO Lei Jun toned it down today, swapping the turtleneck for a t-shirt as he introduced the company’s new wearable, the Mi Band. Sacha Pallenberg tweeted this photo of Lei Jun’s original approach to the launch, making a smaller announcement first and then introducing it with the words …

But hey, two similarly skilled presenters are going to reach the same conclusion about how best to spring a surprise, right?

Top image credit: Business Insider

Xiaomi Tech Stories July 9, 2014

‘Apple of China’ brand Xiaomi pips iPhone in latest Chinese app usage stats

Android may have the raw numbers, but iPhone users have always been the ones to make the most use of their phones – from web browsing through enterprise to paid apps. Mobile analytics company Flurry reports that one Android brand has finally caught up – but only in China.

Over the past 6 years, the average Apple iPhone consumer has spent more time in apps than consumers of every Android device we track- by a wide margin. This year, it looks like the story is about to change. In an analysis we conducted on a random sample of 23,000 devices in China throughout January 2014, we found that Xiaomi is now in the lead as far as time-spent in apps is concerned.

It’s no coincidence that the brand is Xiaomi. The company, and its CEO, has blatantly copied Apple’s marketing approach in every way from product launches right the way down to the Steve Jobs style clothing of the company’s founder. The company even recently announced an iPad mini clone known as the Mi Pad.

Xiaomi’s antics have so far been ignored by Apple, which has been focusing on developing good relationships with China, but given the company’s ambitious international expansion plans, there may come a time when Apple has to take a harder line.

(via TNW)

Xiaomi Tech Stories July 7, 2014

Photo: ibtimes.com

Photo: ibtimes.com

After warning earlier this month that Q2 didn’t “look too good,” Samsung today released its earnings preview for the second quarter of 2014. The South Korean company reported an operating profit of $7.1 billion (7.2 trillion won), missing analyst estimates of $8 billion (8.1 trillion won). This comes out to a 24 percent drop year over year (via Bloomberg).

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Xiaomi Tech Stories May 15, 2014

How blatant? Xiaomi announces ‘Mi Pad’ iPad mini clone [Video]

Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi, the company which specialises in imitating Apple’s marketing for its Android handsets, has launched its first tablet, reports Reuters – and it’s an iPad mini clone. The company has even named it the Mi Pad.

The Mi Pad is essentially a colorful plastic version of the iPad mini with Retina display design, and even has an identical screen resolution of 2048×1536. The tablet has a 2.2GHz Nvidia K1 processor, 2GB RAM and a choice of 16GB or 64GB storage. A heavily-forked version of Android attempts to complete the iPad emulation with an iOS-like look to it.

Xiaomi started life making low-cost, low-spec Android handsets for the Chinese market, but has gradually upped its game to higher-end phones. Last August, Google’s former VP of Hugo Barra joined the company in August of last year (amidst a certain amount of gossip).

Xiaomi has long blatantly copied Apple’s marketing approach, down to its CEO Lei Jun copying Steve Jobs’ trademark blue jeans and black turtleneck shirt at Apple-like product launches.

The $240 Mi Pad will initially be sold only in China, but it’s believed the company plans to expand later into other developing markets, with India, Brazil and Mexico among those suggested. The Mi Pad is said to begin “public testing” in June. No date has yet been given for it to go on public sale.

Xiaomi Tech Stories January 27, 2014

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While Android reaching almost 70 percent of smartphone sales across 12 key markets is the headline, with iOS falling to just under 24 percent, it is Samsung feeling the pressure, says Kantar, reporting sales figures for the final quarter of 2013.

After years of accelerated growth, Samsung is now coming under real pressure in most regions, with European share down by 2.2 percentage points to 40.3% and in China its share ended the year flat at 23.7% […]

Apple has lost share in most countries compared with this time last year, but importantly it has held strong shares in key markets including 43.9% in USA, 29.9% in Great Britain and 19.0% in China …  expand full story

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