Tag: xiaomi

Xiaomi claims smartphone sales drops will not harm it

980China’s Xiaomi will not suffer from the downturn in smartphone sales as its profits will be driven by sales from smart home devices as well as revenue from its software eco-system.

But last year Xiaomi missed its global smartphone targets by 12 percent, while its third-quarter China smartphone sales have fell by 45 percent. Analysts are a bit worried that the company’s high value might not be still warranted.

But Xiaomi’s global vice-president Hugo Barra said the company’s business model was not based on money made from handset sales and that it did not need to raise more funds or see any point in doing so at a valuation of less than $46 billion.

The company model was giving handsets without making any money but getting it back on the recurring revenue streams over many years.

Xiaomi could flog 10 billion smartphones and not make a cent, he said. Which further confuses the question of how the outfit makes money at all. Xiaomi, which discloses little of its profit and revenue figures anyway.

Recently it has emphasised its range of home appliances such as air and water purifiers, and rice cookers as key earnings drivers.

The company has invested heavily in India and Southeast Asia and is making its first forays into the U.S. market – launching next month its first device capable of roaming on the country’s 4G networks.

Barra said they are first targeting Chinese users traveling in the US, but are laying the groundwork for direct sales to US consumers.

Apple suffers as global sales of smartphones grows

CaptureThe fruity cargo cult Apple is floundering even while the smartphone market has picked up, according to the latest figures from the Gartner Grope.

According to the Big G, Apple has had three consecutive quarters of slowing demand and seen its sales decline by 7.7 percent while its rivals saw an increase of 4.3 percent.

Global sales of smartphones to end users totaled 344 million units in the second quarter of 2016.  Overall sales of mobile phones contracted by 0.5 percent with only five vendors from the top 10 showing growth. Among them were four Chinese manufacturers Huawei, Oppo, Xiaomi and BBK Communication Equipment and South Korea’s Samsung.

Anshul Gupta, research director at Gartner said that demand for premium smartphones slowed in the second quarter of 2016 as consumers wait for new hardware launches in the second half of the year.

In addition, the decline in sales of “feature phones” (down 14 per cent) bolstered the decline in overall sales of mobile phones in the second quarter of 2016. All mature markets except Japan saw slowing demand for smartphones leading to a decline in sales of 4.9 percent. In contrast, all emerging regions except Latin America saw growth, which led to smartphone sales growing by 9.9 percent.

In the second quarter of 2016, Samsung had nearly 10 percent more market share than Apple. Samsung saw sales of its Galaxy A and Galaxy J series smartphones compete strongly with Chinese manufacturers. Its new smartphone portfolio also helped Samsung win back share it recently lost in emerging markets.

Apple continued its downward trend with a decline of 7.7 percent in the second quarter of 2016. Apple sales declined in North America (its biggest market) as well as in Western Europe. However, it witnessed its worst sales decline in Greater China and mature Asia/Pacific regions, where sales declined 26 percent. Apple had its best performance in Eurasia, Sub-Saharan Africa and Eastern Europe regions in the second quarter of 2016, where iPhone sales grew more than 95 percent year on year, Gupta said.

Among the top five smartphone vendors, Oppo exhibited the highest growth in the second quarter of 2016 at 129 percent. This is due to strong sales of its R9 handset in China and overseas.

“Features such as an anti-shake camera optimized for selfies, and rapid charge technology, helped Oppo carve a niche market for itself and boost sales in a highly competitive and commoditized smartphone market,” Gupta said.

Android regained share over iOS to achieve an 86 percent share in the second quarter of 2016. Android’s performance continued to come from demand for mid- to lower-end smartphones from emerging markets, but also from premium smartphones, which recorded a 6.5 percent increase in the second quarter of 2016.

A number of key Android players, such as Samsung with the Galaxy S7, introduced their new high-end devices, but Chinese brands like Huawei and Oppo are also pushing their premium smartphone ranges with more affordable devices.



Millions of Xiaomi phones have bugs

bugMillions of Xiaomi phones are vulnerable to a “flaw’ that could allow an attacker to remotely install malware.

Although the flaw in the analytics package in Xiaomi’s custom-built Android-based operating system has been fixed, it could be a while before users install the patch.

Security researchers at IBM, who found the flaw, discovered a number of apps in the package that were vulnerable to a remote code execution flaw through a so-called “man-in-the-muddle” attack and allow an attacker to run arbitrary code at the system-level.

Xiaomi is advising users should update their devices as soon as possible. The flaws rely on a lack of encryption and code-checking and verification. The risk is that if the phone is already hacked the update could be theoretically modified in transit although the hackers would have to be rather quick.

Companies are getting more into trouble for software that they supply with their hardware.  Lenovo faced a scandle when some some its bloatware arrived with a particularly nasty security flaw. It did fix it and bundled off a patch, but the case highlighted the risks for suppliers in providing such software to users.

Microsoft sells 1,500 patents to Xiaomi

Microsoft campusSoftware king of the world Microsoft is flogging off 1,500 of its patents to Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi in what the two companies say is the start of a long-term partnership.

The deal includes a patent cross-licensing arrangement and a commitment by Xiaomi to install copies of Microsoft software, including Office and Skype, on its phones and tablets.

Wang Xiang, senior vice president at Xiaomi said that this is a big collaboration agreement between the two. It means that Xiaomi can be a major player outside China where it is hampered by weak patent protection and a fear of a prolonged patent battle.

Wang said the acquisition of Microsoft patents, which included voice communications, multimedia and cloud computing, on top of some 3,700 patents the Chinese company filed last year, were “an important step forwards to support our expansion internationally.”

Xiaomi launched its first US device earlier this month, a TV set-top box it developed in cooperation with Google, which owns the Android operating system it and most Xiaomi devices run on. Xiaomi has also launched a tablet which runs a version of Microsoft’s Windows operating system.

Jonathan Tinter, corporate vice president at Microsoft, said the company was keen to tap into Xiaomi’s young, affluent and educated users by having its products pre-installed on their devices. He declined to go into detail about the patent deals, but said the overall deal was something “we do only with a few strategic partners.”

Florian Mueller, a patents expert who consulted for Microsoft in the past, said it was rare for Microsoft to actually sell its patents, adding “it’s possible Microsoft found it easier to impose its Android patent tax on Xiaomi as part of a broader deal that also involved a transfer of patents.”

Xiaomi misses sales targets

missed-target-550x330Smartphone maker Xiaomi admitted that it had shipped more than 70 million handsets in 2015, and while this figure might be seen as great in the rest of the world, the company missed its own ambitious targets.

The figure was announced in a photo featuring Xiaomi President Lin Bin which was posted on the company’s microblog with the banner: “2015 Xiaomi mobile shipments: Over 70 million!”

However this was putting a brave face on things. Earlier this year Xiaomi had estimated total annual sales of 80-100 million, but then in July reported semi-annual sales that for the first time were lower than the previous six months.

Xiaomi has discovered that its main domestic market was saturated.

The Tame Apple Press is cheering that the news is proof that Apple will win in China as Xiaomi was seen as its only rival. This is rubbish of course, but it does not stop Reuters repeating it. The best that Apple could have sold in China was 20 million. Xiaomi’s main rival is Lenovo and Huawei.

Still it is not bad given that the company has only been running for five years and in the past has been locked out of countries with strong IP law enforcement. The company has put its market value at $45 billion. It also lacks many products to sell.

Xiaomi’s annual sales growth for the year was now 14.5 percent, he said, still above the average overall annual market growth rate of 12 percent. Shah forecast 2016 growth at 16 percent, based on expectations that Xiaomi will start sales in the United States, Latin America and Eastern Europe.

Xiaomi gets special Intel kickback

IntelA report said that for every CPU it sells to Chinese vendor Xiaomi, Intel will give away a tablet CPU too.

The report, in Taiwanese wire Digitimes, quotes sources in the supply chain for the information.

It’s transparently clear what the chip vendor is doing. It still only has a minute share in the tablet market which is dominated by other players, and it hopes that the move will spur Xiaomi to make Intel based tablets.

Xiaomi has made a name for itself in the smartphone market, and Intel has only a weak presence in that market too.

But while the deal might look juicy and attractive, it transpires that the “free” chips are cheap Atom microprocessors.

Xiaomi is a relatively new player in the PC notebook market and is expected to launch products in Europe in the new year.

Notebook vendors face fresh challenges

_asustek_and_amd_new_partnership_to_boost_upcoming_desktop_apuA report said that Chinese entrants into the notebook market in Western Europe and the USA will pose new challenges to existing vendors.

Digitimes said that Xiaomi and Huawei will launch products in the more “mature” markets next year, giving HP, Dell, Lenovo and the other traditional players a run for their money.

The same report suggested that Samsung is preparing a fresh foray into the notebook market soon after it withdrew from the fray last year.

And it suggests there is pressure on Taiwanese giants Acer and Asustek to merge in face of declining sales in the notebook sector. Acer is firmly against such a move.

Lenovo is in the doldrums, while Digitimes said in its report that Toshiba and Fujitsu are likely to consign their notebook lines to Japan Industrial Partners (JIP).

JIP had previously taken over Sony’s notebook business, once one of the corporation’s jewels in its crown.

Samsung’s still the smartphone leader

SamsungA market research company said that over 331 million smartphones shipped in the third quarter of this year.

Digitimes Research (DR) said that Samsung accounted for 25.6 percent of the systems, followed by Apple (14.5%), Huawei (7.4%), Lenovo (4.8%), LG (4.5%), Xiaomi (3.8%) followed by a number of other brands.

DR said that the top 15 vendors accounted for 81.4 percent of total shipments with nine Chinese companies in that league.

DR estimates that smartphone shipments in the current quarter will total 396.8 million handsets – meaning that total shipments this year will be 1.326 billion units – a rise of over 10 percent compared to 2014.

Wearable market blossoms

Apple WatchThe relatively new “wearables” sector blossomed in the third quarter, with shipments up 197.6 percent compared to the same quarter last year.

IDC said that Xiaomi and XTC look like they will be strong contenders in the sector, in which IDC includes both basic wearable devices and so-called “smart” devices, like the Apple watch.

Chinese vendors in general appear to have leaped onto the wearable bandwagon, said Ramon Llamas, research manager at IDC.

“China has quickly emerged as the fastest growing wearables market, attracting companies eager to compete on price and feature sets.”

Shipment volumes for both basic fitness tracking and more sophisticated gadgets have both increased.

IDC said there’s a bifurcation not only in features but in pricee too, with smart watches costing over $400 and basic unites at $95 or so.

Fitbit is the king of the wearables castle, while Xiaomi’s cheap Mi Band selling over 97 percent of volumes in its home market.

Battle heats up on enterprise network front

William Xu, HuaweiA battle royal is on between six big companies in a bid to increase their enterprise sales.

According to IHS Tech, out of these six the leaders are Brocade, Cisco, HP and Huawei – all of which have successfully diversified their offerings.

Chinese firm Huawei – nowhere in the network enterprise stage only a few years ago – has created a dedicated enterprise unit and aiming to sell its products in “underserved” markets. Because it was originally founded by a PRC officer, Huawei is viewed with some suspicion in the USA. Huawei has sold PC servers for some time and is making a big push on selling PC notebooks in the new year.

Cisco, on the other hand, has managed to move into an “end to end” IT company and IHS believes Cisco’s position is virtually assured.

HP Enterprise is determined to stay in the game too, while Juniper is particularly strong in targeting enterprises with complicated network needs.

Brocade continues to make inroads into data centres, having positioned itself to be there from the very start, while Avaya has over 20 years experience of selling managed services, IHS said.