Xiaomi Technology expects its revenues from cloud storage services in 2015 to hike on year by 4-5 fold, according to company chairman and founder Lei Jun speaking at the Global Big Data Era Guiyang Summit 2015 in Guiyang, southwestern China. In order to meet Big Data demand from users of its smartphones and other smart devices, Xiaomi has invested US$1 billion to develop cloud storage services through cooperation with China-based software developer Kingsoft and began to provide the services in 2014, Lei said.
Xiaomi, a 5-year-old upstart, whose tablets and smartphones have enjoyed remarkable sales in China, is now setting shop in Europe and the U.S.; however, smartphones and tablets will not be featured in the company’s European and U.S. markets. Xiaomi plans to launch an online platform for U.S. consumers this coming Monday evening. Through this online marketplace, consumers will enjoy a variety of accessories that include portable battery backs, headphones, and activity trackers. Later on Tuesday, Xiaomi will also hit the ground running in France, Germany and the U.K., according to Billboard.
Google 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.
Xiaomi, 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.
Lei 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 Technology shipped 14.98 million smartphones in the first quarter of 2015 compared to 11 million units shipped a year earlier, the China-based 163.com 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.
HONG 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.
BEIJING: 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.
Like Baidu and Alibaba, Xiaomi is eyeing China’s finance industry and seeing dollar signs. Today the company is officially launching a money-market fund called Huoqibao inside a new standalone app called “Xiaomi Finance.” Like the Alibaba-affiliated Yu’ebao, Xiaomi’s Huoqibao lets consumers save excess cash and earn interest from it. After registering for a Xiaomi Finance account with one’s national ID, users can bind a bank card to the app can store as little as RMB 1 (about US$0.15). The fund is managed by China’s E Fund Management and currently offers an annual return rate of 4.26 percent.
Targeting 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.
As the Apple Watch is fueling business opportunities for smart wearable devices, the wearables market in China is estimated to surge from 2.2 billion yuan (US$355 million) in 2014 to 13.6 billion yuan (US$2.2 billion) in 2015 and 23 billion yuan (US$3.7 billion) in 2016. To win a slice of this prospective market, many listed Chinese tech companies are actively proceeding with their products, our sister paper Want Daily reports. Among them are Xiaomi, ZTE, Huawei, Qihoo 360, and Baidu, all of which have kicked off investments in the burgeoning industry to cash in on the potentially lucrative market for smart wearable devices.
On 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.
Xiaomi Technology has unveiled its new high-end smartphone, the Xiaomi Mi Note Pro, which sports a 5.7-inch QHD display, Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 CPU, and 13-megapixel camera with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of onboard storage. The new model is to go on sale in China on May 12 at CNY2,999 (US$484) unlocked, further expanding the portfolio of the vendor’s mid-range to high-end product line.
Chinese software company Kingsoft expects sustained growth in its cloud computing and storage businesses as it begins to serve Xiaomi’s rapidly growing overseas users this year, its chief executive said. The Zhuhai-based, Hong Kong-listed firm also hopes to diversify beyond Xiaomi, which made up most of Kingsoft’s revenue last year, as it gains new customers in the rapidly growing Chinese market for cloud services.
RATAN Tata, chairman emeritus of the holding company of India’s Tata conglomerate, has acquired a stake in Xiaomi Technology, a deal that is likely to bolster the Chinese phone maker’s presence in the world’s third-largest smartphone market. Financial details of the unspecified stake bought by Tata in Xiaomi, the first by an Indian, were not disclosed by the Chinese company yesterday. Xiaomi, the No. 3 global smartphone maker, was valued at US$45 billion in December.
Huawei unveiled its new Honor 4C handset in Beijing on April 28, the first day of the three-day Global Mobile Internet Conference, as the Chinese company eyes the market for smartphones priced below 1,000 yuan (US$160), reports Shanghai’s China Business News. Zhao Ming, president of Huawei’s Honor brand, said Honor has set its sight on the global market and will focus on products and services that meet the needs of users.
“Are you OK?” – it’s a phrase that’s gone sarcastically viral in China after Xiaomi CEO Lei Jun gave a rather awkward English-language presentation at Xiaomi’s recent launch event in India. If you haven’t heard about this, The Wall Street Journal has a nice rundown, but the video really speaks for itself:
BEIJING: China’s Tencent Holdings Ltd launched an operating system for internet-connected devices such as TVs and watches that is open to all developers, taking on domestic rivals Alibaba Group Holding Ltd and Xiaomi Inc in the smart hardware space. Tencent Operating System (OS) and TOS+ allow manufacturers and developers to freely use the platform if they agree to share revenue. This model mirrors Google Inc’s Android mobile OS, and could help Tencent replicate the US firm’s conquest of the majority of the world’s smartphones.
Late last week, executives from Xiaomi and LeTV butted heads on Weibo over LeTV’s claim that it has the first “borderless” smartphone. It started with Xiaomi CEO Lei Jun mocking the borderless claim since LeTV’s phone does have thin black screen borders. After a rebuttal from a LeTV executive, LeTV CEO and founder Jia Yueting chimed in with this apparent message of peace: “I hope Chinese companies can work hard together to overtake the iPhone hand-in-hand, push forward progress in the industry, and create greater value for consumers.”
Indian biz tycoon Ratan Tata, who heads the US$100 billion Tata group, has just picked up a stake in Xiaomi from China. More than the investment itself, a thumbs up from the chairman emeritus of the Tata Group, who is one of the most respected business figures in India, adds to the Xiaomi mojo which has already cast a spell over the country.