Google seeking new partners for nexy generation Nexus phones; China vendors may prevail

China.gifGoogle will continue to roll out its next-generation Nexus smartphones, and a number of handset vendors including Lenovo, Xiaomi Technology, Huawei and LG Electronics are likely to gear up efforts for winning the cooperation project, according to sources at Taiwan’s supply chain. But since LG has produced the Nexus 4 and Nexus 5, Google is more likely to choose China-based handset makers as new partners, either for strengthening its presence in China or supporting the development of new production partners, said the sources.

TSMC to manufacture fingerprint sensors for next iPhone

TaiwanTSMC will reportedly manufacture fingerprint sensors for use in the next-generation iPhone series at its 12-inch wafer fabs using 65nm process technology, according to industry sources. In response, TSMC said the company does not talk about any customer engagements. For existing iPhone models, fingerprint sensors are being built using TSMC’s 0.18-micron process at the foundry’s 8-inch facilities, the sources noted.

MediaTek with 10-core chips likely to win orders for Xiaomi high-end phones

TaiwanXiaomi, which uses Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 810 SoC for its Note-series smartphones, will likely switch back to MediaTek for its flagship smartphones, according to industry sources. Xiaomi uses Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 810 SoC for its latest flagship series – Mi Note – compared to the company’s previous flagship models utilizing MediaTek’s solutions. Nevertheless, MediaTek with its recently-unveiled 10-core chip, the Helio X20, is expected to attract orders from Xiaomi, the sources said.

Asus Malaysia rolls out ZenFone 2, world’s first 4GB RAM smartphone

MalaysiaASUS Malaysia has announced the availability of the ZenFone 2 series at its recent ‘Incredible Zen Day’ consumer event in Kuala Lumpur. ZenFone 2 has a luxurious metallic hairline finish and is 3.9mm at its thinnest edges, and with a 72% screen-to-body ratio, it packs a 5.5-inch screen into a compact body similar in size to most 5-inch smartphones, Asus Malaysia said in a statement. “Our aim in 2015 is to become the No 2 smartphone brand in Malaysia, as we were No 3 last year,” said Asus Malaysia country manager Jimmy Lin, without citing his source.

Smartphone innovation has hit bottleneck in China: Xiaomi CEO

ChinaLei Jun, founder and CEO of Chinese smartphone manufacturer Xiaomi, said on May 13 that the smartphone market in China has encountered a bottleneck for innovation and that growth has been slowing down, reports Sina’s tech news portal. It is not necessarily a bad thing, however, Lei said. Handset makers always have to take care of user needs such as battery life and the display quality.

Xiaomi ships nearly 15 million smartphones in 1Q15, says report

ChinaXiaomi Technology shipped 14.98 million smartphones in the first quarter of 2015 compared to 11 million units shipped a year earlier, the China-based quoted company CEO Lei Jun as reporting. Xiaomi’s smartphone shipments reached 61.12 million units in 2014. In related news, a recently released IDC report indicated that Xiaomi shipped 13.5 million smartphones in China in the first quarter of 2015, accounting for a 13.7% share, trailing after only Apple which shipped 14.5 million units for a 14.7% share during the same period.

Indian mobile phone sales fall for the first time in 20 years

IndiaNEW DELHI: Indian mobile phone sales have dropped for the first time in 20 years, raising the question: Is a slowdown at hand for the world’s fastest-growing smartphone market?  Mobile sales dropped 14.5% in the first quarter (Q1, January-March) 2015, on a quarter-to-quarter basis, compared to Q4 (October-December) 2014 — from 62 million handsets in Q4 2014 to 53 million handsets in Q1 2015, according to a CyberMedia Research report.

4G smartphone sales to increase in India: Report

IndiaNEW DELHI: Sales of 4G handsets in India is expected to increase to 7% of total smartphone sales in the country this year, according to international market research firm GfK. “In first quarter of 2015, 4G share in both (India and Indonesia) was well below the global average, at 4% and 7%, respectively. 4G unit share within smartphones is expected to reach 7% in India and 10% in Indonesia in 2015,” the latest GfK report on global smartphone market said.

Taiwan market: Microsoft releases 3 smartphones for entry-level to mid-range segment

TaiwanMicrosoft has launched three smartphones, the Lumia 640 LTE, Lumia 640 XL LTE Dual SIM and Lumia 430 Dual SIM, in the Taiwan market, targeting the entry-level to mid-range segment. The Lumia 640 LTE sports a Qualcomm quad-core Snapdragon 400 CPU, 5-inch HD display, 8-megapixel camera and a 2500mAh battery, priced at NT$6,990 (US$229) unlocked.

Third-generation Moto G smartphone listed on Flipkart

IndiaNEW DELHI: E-commerce website Flipkart, which is the exclusive sales partner of Motorola in India, has created a placeholder listing for the third-generation Moto G smartphone, suggesting that the handset can be expected to hit the market soon. First spotted by technology blog GadgetRaid, the listing has since been deleted from the Flipkart website.

MediaTek 10-core chips likely to attract orders from many smartphone vendors

TaiwanMediaTek’s recently-introduced Helio X20 SoC series for high-end smartphones has reportedly received positive feedback from international smartphone vendors. MediaTek’s new 10-core chip solutions will likely attract orders from the company’s existing clients including Sony, LG Electronics, HTC, ZTE, Lenovo and Meizu, according to industry sources. Huawei and Xiaomi have also expressed interest in MediaTek’s Helio X20 chips, said the sources.

China is close to ‘peak smartphone’. What happens next could be a huge win for Apple

ChinaMore than 90 percent of China’s consumers now have smartphones, IDC said earlier week. Smartphones are now a common tool in the country, owned by the average Zhou, just like washing machines or rice cookers. That’s why China’s smartphone shipments dropped four percent year-on-year in Q1 2015, to 98.8 million units – the first time in six years that has happened. So China is now close to ‘peak smartphone’. What happens next? Here are a few things that might occur in the year ahead:

Why Chinese smartphone makers are turning to India

IndiaHONG KONG: The most important market for Chinese smartphone makers may no longer be China. For years, hundreds of millions of Chinese have bought new smartphones. In the process, they lifted the fortunes of local handset makers, from the well known like Huawei and Lenovo to the obscure like Coolpad and Gionee. But the era of fast growth is coming to an end in China, where the research group IDC said that phone sales fell 4% in the first quarter from a year earlier, the first contraction in six years. IDC expects no growth in China’s smartphone market in 2015.

Micromax Canvas Nitro 2 launched at Rs 10,399

IndiaNEW DELHI: Indian brand Micromax has listed a new smartphone, named Canvas Nitro 2, on e-commerce website Infibeam. Though a formal announcement about the smartphone is yet to be made, the e-tailer is selling the model for Rs 10,399. The new Canvas Nitro 2 has a 5-inch HD (720p) display with 178-degree viewing angles and runs on Android 4.4 (KitKat). The smartphone is powered by a 1.4GHz octa-core Mediatek 6592 processor that is backed by 2GB RAM. It comes with 16GB internal storage and supports microSD cards with capacities up to 32GB.

China to be Apple’s biggest market in 2 years: Tim Cook

ChinaBEIJING: Apple CEO Tim Cook in an interview with news portal has predicted that China will be the company’s largest market in two years. Visiting China, Cook announced Apple’s plans here include both a huge expansion in the number of Apple stores, and the introduction of Apple Pay, the company’s electronic payments system.  According to reports in Chinese media, the technology giant is talking to Chinese e-commerce company Alibaba and to banks on plans to launch Apple Pay.

Apple beats Xiaomi on home turf, becomes No. 1

ChinaBEIJING: Apple has for the first time overtaken Xiaomi to become the largest vendor of smartphones in China, one of the world’s largest markets.  Apple grabbed 14.7% of market share in the first quarter of 2015, surpassing Xiaomi, which had a 13.7% share, according to market researcher the International Data Corporation (IDC).  The two companies were followed by state-owned Huawei, then Samsung and Lenovo.

China market: Smartphone sales decline on year in 1Q15, says IDC

ChinaSmartphone shipments in China contracted 4% on year to 98.8 million units in the first quarter of 2015, the first time in six years that China’s smartphone market has declined on a yearly basis, according to IDC. On a quarterly basis, the first-quarter shipments contracted 8% on the back of a large inventory buildup at the end of 2014.

Xiaomi tries to end waiting period for phone buyers, amid complaints

ChinaTargeting sales of 80 million phones this year, Xiaomi is planning to end “flash sales” of small quantities of its best-selling products. The fast-rising company is China’s largest smartphone vendor, but its devices haven’t always been easy to buy. Xiaomi typically sells limited quantities of its smartphones once a week through its website, forcing customers to often scramble to place orders online. Chinese media have dubbed Xiaomi’s distribution model as a form of “hungry marketing”, that leaves consumers starving for more products. It’s also been the harshest complaint leveled against the company, said Xiaomi president Lin Bin on Tuesday.

Alibaba in talks to buy US$1.2bil stake in Micromax: sources

IndiaMUMBAI: Alibaba Group Holding is in talks with India’s Micromax Informatics to buy an about 20% stake in the smartphone maker, helping the Chinese e-commerce giant expand in one of the world’s fastest growing markets for the devices, several people with direct knowledge of the matter said.  The deal, if completed, would see Alibaba investing as much as US$1.2bil (RM4.31bil) in Micromax, the second-largest smartphone brand in India by sales, and would value the company at up to US$6bil (RM21.58bil), two of the people said.

Xiaomi, Qihoo 360 announce new smartphone models

ChinaOn May 6, Xiaomi introduced its new Note smartphones, while at the same time Qihoo 360 announced it was returning to the smartphone market, Guangzhou-based 21st Century Business Herald reports. Xiaomi’s Note smartphones will hit the shelves May 12 with a price of 2,999 yuan (US$485), Xiaomi chairman Lei Jun said, dismissing earlier market speculation of a 3,299 yuan (US$530) pricetag. Lei said that making the price so cheap was no easy task as now it’s very difficult for Xiaomi to make profits from it.