Home » Geopolitics » Xiaomi, OPPO and Meizu–top Chinese brands of smartphone innovation

Xiaomi, OPPO and Meizu–top Chinese brands of smartphone innovation

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Core information:

The branded superphone business is skyrocketing  in China with news such as:
GiONEE (金立), the emerging global competitor on the smartphone market [‘Experiencing the Cloud’, July 22, 2013]
MIUI ROM 3.8.2 Update Highlights [MrMiui YouTube channel, Aug 1, 2013]

Added shortcuts to the address bar Added search box on “Hot sites” page for quick access Added “Do not disturb” in Settings Find MIUI here (en.miui.com) Facebook:http://www.facebook.com/miu… Twitter: https://twitter.com/#!/miuirom Google plus: http://gplus.to/miuiofficial MIUI is one of the most popular Android ROMS in the world. It is based on Android 2.3 and 4.0, featuring a rich user experience and user customizable themes. MIUI is updated every Friday based on feedback from its users. Now with over 20 million users and 17 MIUI fan sites worldwide, MIUI is the choice of many Android users globally.

UPDATE Aug’13: Xiaomi $130 Hongmi superphone END MediaTek MT6589 quad-core Cortex-A7 SoC with HSPA+ and TD-SCDMA is available for Android smartphones and tablets of Q1 delivery [‘Experiencing the Cloud’, Dec 12, 2012; Aug 1, 2013]
XiaoMi Mi3 No Longer Feature Tegra 4, Launch Delays To September [GSMinsider, July 28, 2013]: “NVIDIA unable to fulfil the terms from XiaoMi and the Chinese firm had decided to end the discussion. The Chinese source mentioned that XiaoMi turns to Qualcomm after the partnership with NVIDIA failed.
New funding round values Xiaomi at $10bn [Shanghaiist, July 28, 2013]
Tencent Holdings to invest US$2 billion in Xiaomi, says paper [DIGITIMES, July 25, 2013]

China-based Tencent Holdings, which runs one of the largest web portals in China, QQ.com, reportedly plans to commit an investment of US$2 billion into China-based smartphone vendor Xiaomi Technology, according to a Chinese-language Economic Daily News (EDN) report.

Tencent is likely to complete the planned investment in Xiaomi through one of its investment arms in Russia, Digital Sky Technologies, said the paper, quoting media reports in Hong Kong and China.

Neither Tencent nor Xiaomi has confirmed the reports.

Xiaomi shipped 7.03 million smartphones, valued at US$1.32 billion, in the first half of 2013, the paper quoted Xiaomi CEO Lei Jun as saying.

Xiaomi sells over 7 million smartphones in 1H13 [DIGITIMES, July 16, 2013]

Xiaomi Technology sold 7.03 million own-brand smartphones in the first half of 2013, close to the 7.19 million units sold in 2012, according to the company.

Xiaomi recorded revenues of CNY13.27 billion (US$2.14 billion) for the first half of 2013, more than the CNY12.65 billion posted for 2012, the company indicated.

Xiaomi launched smartphones initially in the China market in August 2011, and in Taiwan and Hong Kong in the first half of 2013. As sales of existing Xiaomi smartphones will continue and new-generation models will be launched in August, Xiaomi said it is confident of reaching its target shipments of 15 million smartphones for 2013.

In addition to smartphones, Xiaomi has launched Xiaomi connected set-top boxes (STBs) and is likely to launch large-size LCD TVs and tablets for own-brand sale in the second half of 2013, the company indicated. Xiaomi smartphones are produced by Taiwan-based ODMs Inventec Appliances and Foxconn International Holdings (FIH), while Inventec Appliances additionally undertakes ODM production of Xiaomi STBs. Xiaomi may have Taiwan-based ODM Wistron produce TVs, and FIH tablets.

Two and a half months ago we had even the news that Meitu Kiss Released. Will It Be Another Xiaomi? (built specifically for ladies) [TechNode blog in China, May 16, 2013] having the following lead:

imageWe once introduced how the photography-focused Meitu Kiss phone came into being and it is backed by Cai Wensheng, a legendary figure in China’s tech industry. Today it is officially released, together with MeituAir, the cross-platform photo management software.

With Android 4.2, quad-core MT6589 processor and 4.5-inch 1280 x 720 display and 8 mega-pixel front & rear camera, it’s priced at 2199 yuan (US$357)

and conclusion:

The strategy sounds the same with Xiaomi’s — to gain users with comparatively good-value-for-money smartphones, build ecosystem with software and make profits from consumer-facing paid services and business-facing offerings. As Xiaomi is backed by Lei Jun, another classic figure in China’ s tech sector, it is speculated the two companies would be direct competitor in near future. Also the same with Lei Jun, Mr. Cai has invested a variety of tech companies, from gaming to Weibo content marketing agencies, that would help provide Meitu Kiss with content and services.

So it is quite actual to have a look at the domestic premium brand situation in China:

image

The 10 most talked about products in the domestic mobile phone market of China in April 2013 and their main parameters (source: http://www.tqun.com/article-16949-2.html):

image

For the top 3 most innovative brands I’ve extended the table of main parameters coming next as follows (the source is the same: http://www.tqun.com/article-16949-2.html):
image
and prepared a table showing similar parameters about the market leading models:

image

Then here is and appraisal of the strengths of the most innovative Chinese domestic brands as of May 15, 2013 :

  1. 小米 Xiaomi
  2. 魅族 Meizu
  3. OPPO
  4. Chinese domestic brand expansion into the global market: the AndroidGuruz initiative from India


1. 小米 Xiaomi

Lei Jun: Xiaomi is Here to Stay [mobiSights, May 7, 2013, image insert from the same day MIUI News]

image

Lei Jun, founder and CEO of Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi said he is determined to continue creating world-class phones, capable of competing with the global heavyweights at a fraction of the price.

“I admire giant companies like Huawei, Tencent, Sina and Alibaba, but I don’t want to create another Huawei, Tencent, Sina or Alibaba. My dream is to maintain my current company as a small one. (like a) small restaurant that people line up outside of to buy my products, and my friend will call me to reserve seats for them.” Jun said during a keynote address to the 2013 GMIC [Global Mobile Internet Conference] Beijing.

In late April, Xiaomi’s new smartphone, the Mi-2S 32GB sold out (200,000 units) in less than a minute after it went up for sale.

Lei went on to explain he bases Xiaomi’s business strategy on the examples set by two Chinese companies – Tong Ren Tang traditional medicine chain, which has a history of more than 300 years in China, and Hai Di Lao Hot Pot, which is famous for fast and friendly customer service.

Two of Tong Ren Tang’s business principles appeal to Lei Jun – its adherence to strict moral and quality baselines and its fair and reliable treatment of its employees.

Hai Di Lao’s exceptional customer service inspires Lei Jun, who said he wants his staff to communicate with their clients and customers as much as possible so that his company can pinpoint problems and get feedback from the users.

Despite criticism from many outside sources, Lei Jun said he will continue working towards perfecting Xiaomi’s business model and will keep striving towards the “perfect” smartphone.

The 3 years anniversary event:
[HD] 2013 Xiaomi Fans Carnival Full Official Presentation (Chinese & English Subtitles) [Xiaomi China YouTube channel, published April 19, recorded April 9, 2013]

[First some company history was presented. Then the MIUI V5 was introduced the design overview of which was also presented [19:30–22:05] by a prepared video you can see separately later under the title “Introducing Xiaomi MIUI V5 (HD)”. After that a series of key considerations implemented for proper MIUI functionality were presented just to demonstrate how complex had the 3 years long MIUI project been so far. … MIUI related endin

See also: Xiaomi’s Third Founding Anniversary in Numbers [TechNode blog in China, April 9, 2013] from which some worthwhile excerpts are:

Lei Jun, co-founder and CEO, revealed that the company made 12.65 billion yuan [$2B] in pre-tax sales in 2012 with a total of 7.19 million Xiaomi phones sold (1.37 million were sold through China Unicom while the rest sold online). Mr. Lei said earlier that the net profit could be about USD 200 million and their sales goal for 2013 was 15 million Xiaomi phones. ( the presentation in Chinese)

MIUI, a custom Android ROM built in Xiaomi phones and available for download, announced earlier that its users surpassed 15 million. According to today’s release, the app store within MIUI has 20 thousand apps, with daily downloads reaching 3.5 million and the total exceeding 500 million; the game center, launched in last September, has 10 thousand games, with a total of 60 million downloads and one million each day; the MIUI theme designs have been downloaded for a total of 600 times and 3.5 million daily. All the mentioned categories have become MIUI’s revenue sources and we heard that the monthly income had become considerable [¥ 10M = $1.6M] earlier this year.

The cloud storage service, released about half a year ago, now is holding 300 million photos, two billion text messages. 6 million photos and 13 million are uploaded onto it daily. As for the number of users, Mr. Lei said “one to two million”.

It’s no secret that Lei Jun and his team want to make an iPhone-style business to have as many users as possible buy Xiaomi phones and accessories, and consume software and digital content there. The difference must be they don’t plan to make high profits from selling hardware — it helps gain users — but count on the MIUI platform as source of long-tail income. As for the future, you can’t see a lack of investments or talent happen to the company. How far can it go? Behold.

Xiaomi Phone 2S and 2A announced with MIUI v5, the former entering Hong Kong and Taiwan [engadget, April 9, 2013]

image

After selling 7.19 million phones in China last year, Xiaomi is now one step closer to world domination with a new device that’ll take it to new territories: the Xiaomi Phone 2S (or Mi-2S). As the name and look suggest, this is pretty much the same device as the 4.3-inch Xiaomi Phone 2, except it comes with Qualcomm’s newer Snapdragon 600 quad-core chip clocked at 1.7GHz, plus a beefed up camera of 13-megapixel resolution (with F2.2 aperture) on the 32GB model. The 16GB 2S, on the other hand, gets the same old 8-megapixel F2.0 imager. The rest of the hardware is the same old: 2GB RAM, 2,000mAH removable battery, 720p IPS display, dual-mic noise cancellation, 2-megapixel front-facing camera and WCDMA 850/1900/2100MHz radio (there’s also a CDMA version for China Telecom).

Unlike the previous launch, the 16GB flavor of this phone is already in stock on the day of announcement and is ready for purchase in China today for ¥1,999 or about $320 unsubsidized. Actually, strike that — apparently the first lot of 200,000 units promptly sold out (likely thanks to scalpers). Luckily, Xiaomi is finally tapping into the Hong Kong market via its xiaomi.hk website starting April 23rd, so chances are genuine buyers in Hong Kong won’t have to compete against the machines from mainland China; and Taiwan customers will also be able to buy a 2S from either local carrier Far Eastone towards the end of this month, or from xiaomi.tw starting next month. No word on the availability of the 32GB model just yet, but it’s already priced at ¥2,299 or about $370 unsubsidized.

The familiar-looking phone on the right is the Xiaomi Phone 2A. Much like how the original Xiaomi Phone got a “Youth Edition” fork, the 2A serves as a budget variant of the Xiaomi Phone 2, which is why the CPU’s been “downgraded” from the quad-core APQ8064 to the dual-core MSM8260A (with just 1GB RAM). On the other hand, this particular version of MSM8260A does utilize Qualcomm’s newer Krait 300 architecture instead of Krait 200, and it’s clocked at 1.7GHz instead of 1.5GHz. The same old 16GB storage space, 2,000mAh removable battery, 8-megapixel main camera, 2-megapixel front-facing camera and the powerful Adreno 320 graphics chip are here to stay.

That said, the rest of the 2A is rather peculiar considering this model is meant to be a cheaper offering: the 720p IPS screen has been bumped up from 4.3 inches to 4.5 inches, and the phone also comes with NFC, 5GHz WiFi plus a new audio engine co-developed with Sweden-based Dirac (instead of using Dolby’s). It’s no wonder that this phone is a “2A” instead of yet another “Youth Edition,” but it is also baffling that Xiaomi has avoided throwing in NFC for the 2S as well. Anyway, the 2A will be available in China three weeks from now. The price? ¥1,499 or about $240 unsubsidized.

Of course, let’s not forget the software. Both phones are graced with the presence of the new MIUI v5, which benefits from not only a leaner look (with a new system font, general visual tweaks and also less distracting stock wallpapers) but also from live icons. Here are a handful of new software features added to the already rather intuitive Android fork from Xiaomi:

  • Pre-identification of unknown incoming caller ID (based on Chinese crowd-sourced phone number database, so China only), so you’d know if it’s a spam call or just the delivery man calling
  • Phone book is able to look up the most common service hotline numbers in China, including banking services and restaurants
  • Toggle automatic call-recording for specific incoming callers (CEO Lei Jun said this was his idea)
  • Voice recorder supports 168 hours of continuous recording, saved on the fly, wouldn’t be interrupted by incoming calls or notifications (which are muted automatically); and the recorded MP3 files won’t show up in the native music player
  • System lets you monitor and control data traffic from each app
  • Unified background sync of apps for longer standby time — up to twice as long compared to vanilla Android 4.1
  • MiChat (which is also available outside MIUI) now supports walkie-talkie-style video messages instead of just audio
Lei also used his stage time at today’s packed “Xiaomi Fans Carnival” to bolster Xiaomi’s position in the mobile content world. According to the CEO, his company’s app store MiStore today offers 20,000 apps and has seen a total of 500 million downloads so far, while its Doukan store now has 3,000 legit e-books, and Xiaomi’s game center comes with 10,000 games — including PopCap’s official China debut of its classic titleBejeweled today — with a total of 60 million downloads. As for video content, the Xiaomi Box has yet to take off properly after its botched launch due to demands from a provincial regulator, but 50,000 of them have already been sold in the three launch cities so far. We’ve been told to expect a full China roll-out in May, so stay tuned.
The question now is whether Xiaomi can extend this aspect of the company to around the world. Sure, Hong Kong and Taiwan make a good first step towards the international market, but it’s also a relatively easy step given the similar cultural backgrounds. Xiaomi’s real success will only be proven when it does eventually enter, say, Europe as we had once heard; and it wouldn’t hurt to see some improved hardware design instead of just software. We shall take another pulse check in about a year’s time.

[Exclusive] Xiaomi Co-founder Hong Feng on MIUI [TechNode blog in China, April 17, 2013]

We heard that the monthly revenue from MIUI reached 10 million yuan. Hong Feng, co-founder and lead of MIUI, confirmed the number in an interview at our ChinaBang 2013. He added that that’s just the beginning of monetization.
Hong Feng used to work at Google China as senior product manager leading local services such as music search and input method. Three years ago he was invited by Lei Jun, CEO of Xiaomi, to become one of the seven founders. The first version of MIUI was launched four months after the inception of Xiaomi company.
MIUI announced 15 million installs and officially release the latest version, MIUI V5, not long ago. Approaching 10 million were in Xiaomi phones shipped and the rest were installed in non-Xiaomi Android phones. Xiaomi claims MIUI is the best customized Android ROM on the market.
Hong Feng is proud that MIUI has a group of core, loyal users who are active on its platform. MIUI is well-known for its online forum that engineers would answer questions from users and collect user needs there. His team also visit users in different cities regularly. He’s also proud that fans around the world did 22 language versions, apart from three official language versions, for MIUI.
Apart from gaming, other revenues generated from MIUI are mainly derived from the built-in browser with paid placements on the start-page, paid search, and the app center, according to Mr. Hong. Also, the company has been selling paid theme designs that the sales must be minor compared with gaming.
ARPU of gaming, in general, is relatively high. It’s no wonder more and more Chinese mobile service providers, such as UCWeb and 91, set up gaming platforms to monetize their big user pools. The users, 3-4 mn, of the games center within MIUI are very active, Hong said. Xiaomi also partners with game companies to custom editions of popular games tailored to MIUI users.

Duokan, the mobile reading platform acquired by Xiaomi last year, is exclusive of the sources that make up the 10 million monthly revenue. Duokan has been selling digital books and now has 30 thousand paying users. It hopes to make profits in 2014 that needs one million paying users, according to Hu Xiaodong, VP at Duokan.

When asked about the monetization plans in the near future, Hong said that they’d just try to produce the best possible products at the lowest possible prices — which means they’d try to gain as many users as possible and profit from them later and gradually.
It’s no secret that companies with considerable user bases, Qihoo, Sogou, UCWeb, 91 and the like, are trying to profit from every possible source, gaming, CPM/CPC-based advertising, CPC/CPS-based e-commerce transactions, paid digital content, etc. When it comes to a customized Android ROM? It works the same.

Xiaomi Mi2S vs HTC One / Samsung Galaxy S4 / LG Nexus 4 [News – MIUI Official English Site, April 26, 2013], note that the first bechmark is Antutu

Xiaomi Mi2S vs [new] HTC One [having also Snapdragon 600 SoC]

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Xiaomi Mi2S vs Samsung Galaxy S4

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Xiaomi Mi2S vs LG Nexus 4

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[3.5.10][ROM Download] Unofficial MIUI V5 for 41 devices released for public! [Beta Team – MIUI Official English Site, May 10, 2013]

New devices this week (10, May, 2013):
OPPO Finder
Samsung E120L (Galaxy S II HD LTE)

Hey MIUIers,
After a week’s testing by MIUI Beta Team, MIUI V5 for the following devices developed by MIUI unofficial devs are released for public today!

Guys please report bugs in respecting bugs sections to keep developers posted about bugs and to avoid unnecessary confusion.

Note:
1. OTA update of unofficial MIUI V5 released once a week.
2. Download links of full rom updated every Monday.

– Google Nexus S
– Google Galaxy Nexus
– Samsung Galaxy S II I9100g
– Samsung Galaxy S II I9100
– Samsung Galaxy Note I9220
– Samsung Galaxy S I9000
– Samsung E120L (Galaxy S II HD LTE)
– ZTE U970
– ZTE U930
– ZTE N880E
– ZTE N909
– Sony Ericsson Lt18i
– MOTO Defy
– MOTO Defy+
– MOTO Atrix 4G Me860
Lenovo K860i
– Lenovo K860
– Huawei C8812
– Huawei C8812E
– Huawei Honor U8860
– Huawei U8818
– Huawei Honor2 U9508
– Huawei Ascend D1 XL U9510E
– Huawei C8860E
– OPPO Finder
– LG LU6200
– LG SU640
– LG P990
– LG P970
– SKY A820
– HTC Desire Z
– HTC Desire HD
– HTC OneS S4
– HTC OneS S3
– HTC Incredible S
– HTC Sensation (G14/G18)
– HTC HD2
– HTC Desire S
– HTC Mytouch 4G
– HTC EVO 3D(CDMA)
– HTC EVO 3D(GSM)

MIUI: 999 days! [News – MIUI Official English Site, May 10, 2013]

MIUI was officially launched on August 16th, 2010. Today, May 10, 2013, means that MIUI ROM has been inexistence for 999 days! Tomorrow will be our 1000th day!

In these 999 days, we have accumulated over 15 million fans worldwide and the ROM can now be flashed across 33 Android devices.

Of course, we can only have achieved this milestone with the help of our dedicated fans. They have made unofficial versions of the ROM and in various languages so even more users can enjoy MIUI worldwide.
Although, this milestone is something we are proud of, we also realize there are many areas of improvement and problems to be solved. In essence, this means that MIUI is still growing and there will be challenges along the way. But with the help of our dedicated fans and hardworking MIUI team we hope to celebrate the next milestone and continue to see MIUI thrive!

Xiaomi MI-Two – [ENG SUBS] Full Official Presentation 2012 [XiaomiUnofficial YouTube channel, published on Sept 7, 2012, recorded on Aug 16, 2012]

[Led by Xiaomi co-founder and CEO Lei Jun] Original source: http://v.youku.com/v_show/id_XNDQ3ODU3OTM2.html This presentation in higher quality: All 4 videos from this presentation in HD:http://youtu.be/-8whu5sFppY PPT show (English) from this presentation:http://youtu.be/BbqVl2egyIs 0:03:00 – End of Launch Conference Opening Video 0:05:30 – End of App-Controlled Wi-Fi Racer 0:49:00 – End of 3D Look of Xiaomi Mi-Two The exception is the video of MIUI Free Launcher, because there are subtitles. It is better to start watching from: 0:58:04

Official promotional video of Xiaomi MIUI V4 (English Subtitles) [MrMiui YouTube channel, Aug 10, 2012]

Introducing Xiaomi MIUI V5 (HD) [MrMiui YouTube channel, April 10, 2013]

Find MIUI here (en.miui.com) Facebook:http://www.facebook.com/miuiromchina Twitter: https://twitter.com/#!/miuirom Google plus: http://gplus.to/miuiofficial MIUI is one of the most popular Android ROMS in the world. It is based on Android 2.3 and 4.0, featuring a rich user experience and user customizable themes. MIUI is updated every Friday based on feedback from its users. Now with over 1.5 million registered users and 17 MIUI fan sites worldwide, MIUI is the choice of many Android users globally.

As Xiaomi Sells Out of New Flagship Phone, Bin Lin Talks About the Disruptive Chinese Start-Up’s Approach (Video) [AllThingsD, Oct 30, 2012]

Xiaomi co-founder Bin Lin was in many ways the perfect speaker for our Dive Into Mobile conference. Xiaomi is one of the most interesting corporate stories from the transformative global spread of smartphones, but its quick ascent is not widely known about outside of China.
The company, which is just two-and-a-half-years old but already has sold more than five million phones and employs 1,700 people, has disrupted the Chinese home handset market by making and selling top-of-the-line smartphones direct to consumers for a fraction of the expected price.
Today, Xiaomi launched its second major phone, known as the Xiaomi Phone 2, or the Mi-2. A run of 50,000 units sold out in two minutes and 51 seconds.
While companies might shy away from literally naming one of their phones a “me too,” the new Xiaomi phone has much in common with Apple’s iPhone 5, including the size and shape of the handset, the way application icons tile on the screen in Xiaomi’s modified version of the Android Jelly Bean OS, and the look and feel of the built-in camera application.
But Lin was quick to pull his iPhone 5 out and show that the (slightly larger) Mi-2 has a better display — 720 by 1280 with a pixel density of 342 pixels per inch.
Sitting on a red couch (instead of our signature D conference red chairs) at the hotel to which we had evacuated for Hurricane Sandy, Lin told me about his company’s plans for the Mi-2 launch as well as its long-term strategy.
As we spoke on Monday, Lin seemed remarkably unstressed on the eve of his company’s big launch. That’s because Xiaomi phones are offered only online and typically sell out in a matter of minutes to fans who apparently follow the company’s progress like they would a rock band.
In fact, last week, a block of 300,000 of the older Mi-1s model — that is, a phone that everyone knew was a week away from being outdated — sold out in only four minutes and 15 seconds.
Xiaomi released just 50,000 phones for order today and said it would have 250,000 more available in mid-November.
To date, Xiaomi has sold 3.5 million Mi-1 units and 1.8 million of the between-upgrades Mi-1s. That’s only a single-digit percentage of the Chinese smartphone market, where as many as 200 million smartphones are expected to be sold this year.
The base model for the Mi-2 costs just $230. Lin said Xiaomi spends “almost that price” to manufacture the phone, but that the company doesn’t mind its low margins because it is pursuing a strategy similar to Amazon’s Kindle Fire.
Xiaomi doesn’t spend any money on retail and barely any on marketing. Instead, the company corresponds with fans on Weibo and in forums, asking for their product feedback and sometimes incorporating it.
Xiaomi creates its own hardware and its own modified-Android software, and expects revenue to flow in from e-commerce in the future.
“As we see huge adoption of smartphones, we see e-commerce getting more mature, with logistics and payment systems,” Lin said. “As we get more adoption of software, the money will come after.”
E-commerce is the specialty of Xiaomi co-founder Lei Jun, who founded Joyo.com, which is now Amazon.cn. Meanwhile, Lin is the software guy, having most recently led Android development in China as an engineering director of Google. Others from the seven-member Xiaomi founding team include a Motorola hardware expert and a Microsoft development director.
That unified approach has a familiar precedent in Apple, though Lin noted that Xiaomi is not yet at the point where it custom-designs its own chips.
As for what Xiaomi will do next, Lin said that the company is working to expand internationally and sees Taiwan and Hong Kong as its most likely targets, given their similarity to China. He also acknowledged rumors about Xiaomi building a set-top box, saying that kind of personal computing device might be a natural extension.
But for now, Xiaomi’s approach is really quite simple, Lin said. “The strategy is to build top-end handsets. That’s what we’re good at.”

More information: Bin Lin tag on AllTingsD

CO-FOUNDER AND PRESIDENTimage XIAOMI CORPORATION

Bin Lin co-founded Xiaomi Corporation with angel investor Lei Jun in April 2010. He is now president of Xiaomi Corporation, and is in charge of Xiaomi’s day-to-day operation, business and product strategy, carrier relationships, and business development with strategic suppliers and business partners.

Lin worked at Google Inc. as engineering director from 2006 to 2010. He founded and led Google China’s engineering effort for Mobile, Android apps, and Google Music. Under his leadership, his team successfully launched many Google products for the China market, including Google Mobile Maps, Mandarin voice search, mobile verticals such as video, dictionary, finance, and local, Android Pinyin IME, Android Dictionary, Android News and Weather widget, Google Music (free streaming and download of legal music online), Google Pinyin IME, and various OneBoxes.

Prior to joining Google, he worked at Microsoft from 1995 to 2006, and held various senior positions, including software design engineer and development lead at Microsoft’s Redmond headquarters. Lin admits that he is older than he looks, but says, “It’s never too late to start your own business if you have a young heart.” His first cellphone was a Motorola StarTAC.

POSTS WITH BIN LIN

And how that innovation started: Xiaomi Tech Unveils Its Own Smartphone: RMB 1999 with Dual-Core 1.5G CPU, Fastest Ever [TechNode blog in China, Aug 16, 2011]

Xiaomi Tech, a mobile apps vendor, has just unveiled its long-rumored smartphone today. The phone is equipped with dual-core 1.5G CPU which makes it the fastest smartphone in terms of CPU clock speed in the whole world

image

Some of its technical specifications:

*Qualcomm MSM8260 Dual-Core 1.5G CPU, 1G RAM,
– 4 GB capacity,
– can expand to 32G.

*Sharp 4 inch display, resolution: 854-by-480-pixel resolution.

*Battery: 1930mAh.
– Standby time:up to 450 hrs.
– Talk time: up to 15 hrs.
– Audio playback: up to 45 hrs.
– Video playback: up to 12 hrs.
– Play game: up to 6 hrs.

*Cellular and wireless
– GSM+WCDMA
– GPS, GLONASS, A-GPS, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth

*Size and weight
– 125×63×11.9mm
– 149 grams

Xiaomi Mobile is built on on MIUI OS (based on Android 2.3.5). As we wrote before, MIUI has strong user base around the world, with several global fans clubs in US, UK, Germany, Italy, Spain,Australia, Russia and more.

Honestly, the sheer specification of Xiaomi Mobile is already stunning, while its price is something even more surprising and unexpected. With only RMB 1999 (US$ 312), you can get the fastest mobile in the world and a bunch of powerful hardware. The Android phone market is expected to see mounting competitions in the near future.

Xiaomi Mi2A VS Meizu MX2 [phonezilla2013 YouTube channel, May 10, 2013]

小米 Xiaomi Mi2A vs. 魅族 Meizu MX2

小米 Xiaomi  vs. 魅族 Meizu


2. 魅族
Meizu

Meizu MX2 Flyme 2.0 OS Official Introduction [androidsales YouTube channel, May 7, 2013]

Flyme 2.0
[Meizu microsite in English, the original Chinese version came on-line on Dec 22, 2012]

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New system: Flyme 2.0

Based on the latest Android kernel, Flyme 2.0 is specificall designed as the soul of MX. The brand-new system, coming with a full suite of apps and powerful cloud services, is sure to surprise you.image

Dedicated Design

3452 improvements of interaction and 417 new features are added to Flyme 2.0, which means greater visual elegance and ease in operation. We care about your experience in using our product and hence dedicate ourselves to optimize every detail in concern and recover them to original simplicity.

The most frequently used icons are moved to the top of the screen and automatically hidden in full-screen display. The buttons like Back and More will appear on the innovative Smart Bar. The beautiful breathing light is designed to wake the phone is a stylish manner.

Unparalleled Built-in Service

Flyme 2.0 does not only meet what you want, but also helps you find out more you want. The unparalleled built-in services we developed for you are going to surprise youl like never before.

image

GPU acceleration, HTML5 streaming, and smart interaction better the browser performance. Enjoy surfacing with the Flyme Web Browser.

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When you can’t pick up the phone, Flyme Voicemail will record the message for you. No carrier involvement, no fees.

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Add filters, rotate, crop, and enhance the image on photos – you can easily edit photos on MX and share them.

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Tree-structure file arrangement app allows you quickly browse, access, copy and move files on the go.

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Doodle, insert photos, and add text – the new Notes app brings note-taking to the next level.

Closer Networking

We are dedicated to integrated the most valuable network resources and connect you with the world close at hand.

Music
Online Music is the fruit of year’s concentrated R&D endeavor and the best music app at present. Plenty of copyrighted lossless music is available and its payment is simplified. All you need is connect to the network and indulge your ears in your favorite tune.

 

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Video
Online Video marks a new level of video services. With greater network expansion, you can search and watch online video as you like. The most resourceful video app is at your service.

 

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App Center
We encourage third-party apps to fertilize the soil for virus-free software development, tapping boundless potential for more applications. You can quickly browse, search for and install the apps you want, with the ease of mind that they have all gone through our strict audit system.
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Powerful Flyme Cloud Services

A free Flyme account is all you need to get full cloud services to manage over MX. The latest Flyme Web helps you browse and manage data on your MX at ease. It get everything for you smartly.

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Flyme can automatically sync your contacts, text messages, phone settings, and call logs; bringing you concenience like never before.
Featuring voice messages, Flyme messages lets you communicate more efficiently. Now you can insert voice messages in SMS and send to friends who have Flyme accounts. You are going to love this new way of messaging!
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Flyme Blacklist is intelligent enough to acurately filter unwanted calls and block spam messages to free you of the annoyance.
Flyme reminds you at once when new versions of Flyme OR are released. OTA (Over The Air) download and upgrade with nothing more than a few swipes and taps.
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Flyme Sharing enables you to share files of any format any size with your friends at ease.
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Phone Finder helps you locate your lost phone, with remore lock and alerts.

MEIZU MX2 MX5S A9 Quad Core with Flyme 2.0 4.4 Inch 1280*800 RAM 2GB 1.6GHz 16G Version [blogmerimobiles YouTube channel, April 1, 2013]

Flyme X for Meizu MX2 coming soon [phonezilla2013 YouTube channel, May 10, 2013]

How that innovation has started:
For The First Time, People Queue for a Chinese Phone, Meizu M9 [TechNode blog in China, Jan 3, 2011]

imageIf you see people are queuing for a new product from Apple, you would not be surprised; if you see Chinese buyers queue for something from a Chinese brand, you may think it is weired and would not take it serious. We have tens of local mobile phone brands in China, some are Shanzhai and some are not, some are really in bad quality and some are not only relatively cheaper but also quite handy and powerful. But, never ever, we’ve seen people are so thirsty for a new phone model and even queueing for it.
M9, produced by Meizu and regarded as the best iPhone 4 replacement from a local manufacturers, is out at 2st, Jan 2011. And in Huaqiangbei, the cradleland for China Shanzhai phone, over a thousand Meizu-fans were queued for their dream-phone, M9 made by Meizu which they have been waiting for 2 years since the release of M8.
imageWe thumb up to Meizu M9. Although you might see a different story when M9 comes to Beijing, Shanghai etc where people are more addicted to iPhone, I appreciate the courage and ambition Meizu has to compete with iPhone. As some people said, Chinese see the hope beyond Shanzhai.

[image via qq.com]

Here is a video report about that product: Meizu M9, $380 Android phone with Retina Display [Charbax YouTube channel, April 7, 2011]

The price is $380 unlocked, for an Android phone with a same type of retina resolution display as on the iphon4. I think it uses the Samsung Hummingbird ARM Cortex-A8 1Ghz processor with 512MB RAM, please post in comments if you know more specs.

See also: Meizu, Chinese Best iPhone-Liker Is Testing Its App Store [TechNode blog in China, Nov 11, 2009]

Meizu Technology Co. Ltd, the maker of the best Chinese iPhone-liker, Meizu M8 officially entered the hype of Chinese mobile App Store. Its application store, aka Meizu Developer Network is now available on http://developer.meizu.com/.
According to this official announcement, application is required to become a Meizu developer. Once the application is accepted, the developer can develop and submit his application which will be verified and tested by Meizu operation team. Meizu user will be able to download the tested applications via a client (mobile version of the app store?) running on Meizu mobile phone.
It’s at very early stage. Roughly counting, there are only 23 applications listed on the site right now. But the comments posted by J. Wong, CEO of Meizu on its official BBS are quite interesting:
    • Meizu developers will be given 70% of the revenue share;
    • A voucher worthy of RMB 15 yuan will be given to Meizu VIP users (I am not sure how to become a VIP) to stimulate the market;
    • The mobile version of application store will come with the new UI (screenshots) of Meizu M8 by this year.

    See also: Chinese firm clones Apple’s mystique [The Los Angeles Times, Sept 7, 2010]

    After M9 they had Meizu MX, Exynos4412 quad-core 4″ retina Android phone [Charbax YouTube channel, Oct 28, 2012]

    It’s impressive that Meizu has the Samsung Exynos4412 quad-core in this phone

    See also:
    MEIZU outs its MX Quad-core Android smartphone, Galaxy S III unveiling rumored for May 3 [Yahoo! News, April 16, 2012]
    “Meizu’s third-ever smartphone is its best product yet” [Engadget, Dec 15, 2011]
    “…here in China a home-grown brand is inspiring its own platoon of highly-motivated buyers” [Reuters TV, Jan 4, 2012]
    “Samsung’s TouchWiz and Motorola’s MotoBlur skins could learn a thing or two from Meizu” [CNET Reviews, Jan 25, 2012]

    The good: Meizu’s MX runs a unique and capable Android skin made to look like iOS. This compact smartphone is fast, fun to use, and boasts penta-band GSM compatibility.

    The bad: The Meizu MX’s camera isn’t quite up to the superphone camera caliber of the iPhone 4 or Android, and its China-only availability puts it out of reach for most smartphone shoppers.

    The bottom line: If you think you have no use for a Chinese iPhone clone running Android, the Meizu MX could drastically change your worldview. Despite a few quirks, the MX is a slick Android- and iOS- inspired hybrid that also flaunts a few tricks of its own.

    Then came $400 Meizu MX2, 4.4″ 1280×800 Exynos4412 [Charbax YouTube channel, March 11, 2013], actually in December 2012

    Here is Meizu’s latest flagship smartphone, running on the Exynos4412 quad-core ARM Cortex-A9 processor and using a new 4.4″ 1280×800 LCD display.

    But in fact the whole smartphone business development started with M8 first shown by Meizu at CeBIT 2007 [Charbax YouTube channel, March 26, 2007], as traditionally they were an MP3 player manufacturer

    Meizu is a Chinese Mp3 player manufacturer who has announced the Meizu M8 to be a product that will look like the iPhone and be cheaper. They are launching the Meizu Music Card which has got a nice scrolling button and it’s cheap but only Flash memory based. Watch this video in HD quality athttp://techvideoblog.com/cebit/meizu/


    3. OPPO

    Updates:

    OPPO to Attend XDA DevCon in Miami [press release, June 21, 2013]

    SHENZHEN – June 21, 2013OPPO today announced they will be attending XDA DevCon as an Elite Sponsor. The conference, hosted by the popular XDA Developers site in honor of their tenth anniversary, will take place in Miami, FL from August 9-11. The conference will feature the developing community’s top speakers and developers and feature the leading names in mobile technology in an effort to nurture and enable greater innovation.
    Sponsor to Support Development Community
    A core part of OPPO’s company culture lies in its commitment to working with its fans to develop and deliver the best products possible. For that reason, OPPO is a strong proponent and supporter of the developer community. In fact, OPPO recently worked closely with XDA to bring CyanogenMod to Find 5 for Android enthusiasts around the world.
    DevCon provides a setting for the best and brightest in the developer community to meet, engage and collaborate face-to-face. OPPO is proud to sponsor an event which encourages this kind of innovation and will further immerse OPPO into a community which can help OPPO create the best smartphones on the market.
    “We have been working with XDA Developers for a few months” said Pete Lau, Vice President of OPPO, “At first, we were a bit skeptical. Then gradually, as we opened up more, we saw the developer community become really passionate about OPPO.” …

    OPPO & CyanogenMod at XDA:DevCon 2013 [OppoOfficial YouTube channel, July 30, 2013]

    Find 5 is OPPO’s first truly international smartphone. Since launch it has attracted many customers, fans, and developers from all over the globe. We are extremely proud of this. [Guillaume Lesniak from CyanogenMod appearing in this video]

    Nemesis [Steve Kondik CyanogenMod Founder, till 2013 with Samsung, July 26, 2013]

    My goal for CM has always been to break open these mostly proprietary mobile devices so we can turn them into the product we really want.  I think over the last few years, we have largely accomplished this goal- CM is available in some for almost every device imaginable. What’s most important to me is that anyone can get the code, hack on it and change whatever you want, build it, and flash it to your device.

    It’s a huge amount of work, and has left us little time to work on other things. This is good and bad though. Just as Google made it easy for so many people to get into mobile with Android, we’ve made it easy for anyone to get into making their own aftermarket ROMs. It’s awesome. There’s so much crazy stuff that people are building that nobody has thought of before.

    Nemesis is our plan to improve the user experience in the right places. The new camera app, Focal [created by Guillaume Lesniak, see interview], is just the start. Without giving too much away, invoking teaser videos, or giving ETAs, I can confidently say that awesome things are going to keep coming. Watch out 🙂

    Read also: CyanogenMod Team Introduces Nemesis Stage 1: Focal [xda developers, July 29, 2013]

    Coinciding with the release of Android 4.3 and and an updated stock camera, stage one of the CyanogenMod team’s top secret “Project Nemesis” was finally unveiled on July 26.  According to the development group’s weekly wrap-up on www.cyanogenmod.org, the goal of this project is to bring users the best custom operating experience possible. As such, Focal, a feature-packed camera application, was announced as the first component geared towards reaching that goal. CyanogenMod developer Guillaume Lesniak (XDA Recognized Developer XpLoDWilD) posted details about the new camera on Google +, explaining almost a dozen new and improved features that were integrated into the Open Source app. …

    End of Updates

    Oppo Find 5 Full Review – Everything You Need to Know – Cursed4Eva.com [Cursed4Eva TV YouTube channel, April 1, 2013]

    [From India] This is my FULL and Comprehensive Video Review of the Oppo Find 5 X909. All the hardware and software aspects of the Oppo Find 5 are covered in this video. The Oppo Find 5 X909 is a top of the line phone, argueably the best that China has to offer, coming from Oppo a well known brand in China when it comes to blu-ray players. The Find 5 X909 matches flagship phones from major manufacturers like HTC (Droid DNA, Butterfly), LG (Google Nexus 4) and Sony (Xperia Z) spec for spec and even pulls ahead at times but does this translate to great real life performance? Watch and find out! 🙂 If you have any questions, you can contact us at http://www.cursed4eva.com/forums

    Oppo, the Apple of China to Enter India With Find 5! [Trak.in, May 15, 2013]

    Oppo is that to China what Apple is to USA and Oppo has decided to enter the Indian smartphone arena and it has chosen its flagship device, the Find 5 for doing so.
    The Oppo Find 5 will be made available in India courtesy of AndroidGuruz and the smartphone provides a pretty good alternative to the flagship devices like the Samsung Galaxy S4, Sony Xperia Z and the HTC One.
    And it will come at a price around Rs.10,000 [$182.5] less than those flagship devices.
    The Oppo Find 5 will retail for Rs. 27,445 [$501] for the 16GB variant whereas the 32GB variant will set you back by Rs.31,259 [$571].
    Oppo will be selling Find 5 on their own website hosted on AndroidGuruz domain. I am surprised that will not be listed on e-commerce sites that may really shoot up the numbers of units sold.
    Having said that, Oppo cannot be compared to other Chinese brand, due to the kind of specs and quality it provides.

    Quality Meets Style with the OPPO Find 5 – The Fifth Element Unfolds [press release, Dec 12, 2012]

    OPPO Find 5 Unveiled With 5” 1080P Screen, 13 Megapixel HDR Camera and More

    image
    BEIJING -December 12, 2012 -At the OPPO Find 5 “The Fifth Element” Launch Event held in 798 Art District today, OPPO introduced one of this year’s most mysterious and anticipated mobile products, the OPPO Find 5. The all new, industry leading OPPO Find 5 was announced to an audience of over 500 members of the international press, OPPO fans, developers, and partners, in what marks a spectacular end of year for the mobile industry.
    See – like you’ve been blind all along
    The OPPO Find 5 features a 5.0” 1080p IPS screen with a staggering 441 PPI pixel density, allowing you to experience a world of crystal clarity and the most realistic colors. With OGS technology that combines touch sensors with display, colors are more vivid and lifelike, and you’ll feel as if the screen contents are floating on its surface.
    Despite its large screen, the OPPO Find 5 is easy to hold thanks to its super slim 3.25mm bezel. When the screen is off, the front becomes a borderless sheet of pure black, mysteriously calming yet satisfying to the eye.
    Touch – and your fingers won’t stop
    Industrial design has always been one of OPPO’s core strengths. An example is the Find 5 front frame. Although it only weighs a mere 6.3 grams, the front frame alone takes four hours to craft. Starting with a 210 gram piece of stainless steel, it undergoes 12 manufacturing processes, after which it is given a black chrome plating in a 1470 °F (800 °C) vacuum environment. The result from this demanding process not only protects the screen from impact, it also contributes to the Find 5’s amazing look and feel.
    The overall design of the Find 5 is minimalist, relying on straight lines and simple shapes that removes distractions, while at the same time being built using the best materials and techniques available, giving OPPO Find 5 a simple and understated, yet refined and premium look and feel.
    Cherish and share, the beauty from every journey
    On the backside, OPPO Find 5 comes with the most advanced 1/3.06-type 13-megapixel camera sensor available on the market, adept at taking great photos in low light conditions. With market-leading Stacked CMOS technology, it features an f/2.2 aperture, 4-layer coating and blue glass filters. On the front, Find 5 it is fitted with a 1.9-megapixel camera.
    OPPO Find 5 is the world’s first smartphone with hardware supported HDR photography and video recording. It redefines smartphone video recording, with its capability of recording video in 120 FPS, five times the speed that the human eye can perceive. Apart from videos being silky smooth in normal playback, they will also be smooth during slow-motion playback and clear during freeze-frames. In addition, the camera on the Find 5 is capable of taking 100 photos at 5 per second with Burst Mode.
    OPPO Find 5 will bring you into a new era of wireless sharing. With NFC functionality, gently touching two phones will pair them in less than a tenth of a second, 50 times faster than Bluetooth pairing. OPPO’s NFC SmartTags with preset actions will add simplicity and convenience to your life. Find 5 also supports Wi-Fi Display and DLNA, two technologies that allow you to wirelessly project screen contents onto your television in HD.
    Listen, and rhythm will touch your heart
    Find 5 comes with the powerful Dolby 3D surround sound technology and the exciting Dirac HD technology, combination of hardware and software usually only found in high-end audio and cinema sound systems. With Dirac, you will clearly hear a difference, and become immersed in music the way the artist originally wanted to express it.
    Love, for it is the Fifth Element
    OPPO never set out to create the most powerful phone. Internally, we have always said that we create products in the intersection of romance and technology, and Find 5 is a product that OPPO employees worked passionately and relentlessly on. Just like Plato was convinced of quintessence, an element beyond thematerial world, there is more to the Find 5 than the mere sum of its parts. There is an element beyond the purely rational, and that element is love. OPPO Find 5 is infused with of our love, a love we wish to explore with the world.
    OPPO Find 5 is set to launch in early 2013 across selected markets.
    OPPO Find 5 Specifications
      • Network: UMTS/HSDPA/HSUPA/HSPA+/HSPA+42 (850, 1700, 1900, 2100MHz), GSM/EDGE (850, 900, 1800, 1900MHz)
      • Processor: Qualcomm APQ8064 Quad-Core 1.5GHz
      • Display: 5.0” 1080P 441PPI IPS (1,080×1920)
      • Memory: 16GB ROM, 2GB RAM
      • Camera: Main: 13 megapixel Stacked CMOS sensor with HDR, Front: 1.9 megapixel, 120 FPS video recording, f/2.2 aperture, blue glass filters
      • Connectivity: 802.11a/b/g/n Wi-Fi (802.11n 2.4GHz and 5GHz), Wi-Fi Direct, Bluetooth, NFC
      • Features: Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean), GPS, Wi-Fi Display, DLNA, Gyroscope, Digital compass, Microphone, Sensors (light, proximity, magnetic and gravity)
      • Battery: 2500 mAh built-in lithium-ion battery
      • Included Accessories: Power adapter, USB Cable, Headphones

      OPPO Find 5 – When Technology Meets Affection [OppoOfficial YouTube channel, May 13, 2013]

      Find new encounters. Find adventure. Find the first touch. Find love. Find wonder. When technology meets affection – OPPO Find 5.

      OPPO Find 5 – Features [OppoOfficial YouTube channel, March 17, 2013]

      OPPO Find 5 has 131 special features, among them NFC, Wi-Fi Display and Pop-up Play. —————————————-­—————————————-­—————– Find us on Social Media and get the latest OPPO news delivered in your news feed! Facebook: http://bit.ly/OPPO-Facebook Google Plus: http://bit.ly/OPPO-GooglePlus Twitter: http://bit.ly/OPPO-Twitter

      OPPO Find 5 – OGS One Glass Solution Technology [OppoOfficial YouTube channel, Feb 28, 2013]

      One Glass Solution technology eliminates the space between your display and touchscreen, allowing you to almost touch what’s on your display.

      OPPO Find 5 – Camera [OppoOfficial YouTube channel, Feb 20, 2013]

      See what the 13 megapixel camera on the Find 5 can do.

      The Journey of OPPO [OppoOfficial YouTube channel, Nov 30, 2012]

      OPPO Brand History From the very beginning, we vowed to never become a regular brand…

      OPPO Finder – Ultra-slim Smartphone [OppoOfficial YouTube channel, Nov 28, 2012]

      OPPO Finder X907 is the world’s thinnest smartphone at only 6.65 mm.

      About OPPO

      OPPO is a globally registered technology brand, with a long history of serving customers in North America, Europe and Asia, delivering products that receive high ratings from experts around the world.
      Since entering the mobile market in 2008, we have been restless in our pursuit of the latest technology, the highest quality and the most user friendly products.
      Leaders in Technology
      We are passionate about exploring the latest that technology has to offer. Since the start, our products have pushed the boundaries of technology. An example is the 6.65mm OPPO Finder we released in mid-2012, then the world’s thinnest smartphone. Towards the end of 2012, we announced one of the world’s most anticipated smartphones, the OPPO Find 5, featuring a 5″ 1080p display and a 13 megapixel stacked CMOS sensor, it was the world’s first smartphone with hardware supported HDR.
      The Highest Quality Standards
      OPPO uses only highest quality components available on the market. Alliances with the leading international partners ensure that we have the latest and best hardware available. With an uniquely independent R&D capacity, we design, develop, manufacture, market, and sell our products ourselves.
      We have full control over the entire supply chain, from our factories to the hands of our customers. This way, we can design for the end product in mind and ensure that only the best quality products reach our customers.
      Customers First
      Our customers are the core of our business, and satisfying them is the precondition to our existence. OPPO products are co-developed with our customers, with customer feedback playing a big role in both hardware and software development. For our smartphones, we have adopted rapid release cycles, releasing firmware updates every other week based on customer feedback.


      4. Chinese domestic brand expansion into the global market: the AndroidGuruz initiative from India

      Our overview of the most innovative Chinese brands is even more actual as with question Will AndroidGuruz change the way we perceive Chinese smartphones? [Trak.in, April 24, 2013] it is stated first time that the current “below standard” perception about Chinese phones could seriously change outside their domestic market:

      We Indians perceive Chinese phones as something below our standard but we’ll gladly go in for a smartphone from an Indian vendor like Micromax and Karbonn.
      But Chinese are all set to change that as the inherent flaws that the Chinese phones have had of warranty and reparability are going to be taken care of in near future when Androidguruz [website], a consortium of about 50 Chinese smartphone brands set up shop in India.
      What is AndroidGuruz?
      AndroidGuruz [Facebook site] is a retail smartphone chain that has been floated by Zopo Mobiles and the brand will set up 200 retail shops in India soon and they will be responsible for the warranty and servicing of the Chinese smartphones in India.

      image

      Why it would change the game?
      Indian smartphone vendors such as Micromax, Karbonn and Lava get their smartphones made from China and these are then imported into India. These are nothing but rebranded Chinese handsets and these can be found in different markets under different names.
      For instance, the most popular smartphone from an Indian manufacturer today is the Micromax Canvas A116 HD which is made by a Chinese company, Beidou Chi and it can be bought in Pakistan under the name of Qmobile A16 HD.
      So companies which manufacture smartphones for Indian companies have tied up and will be entering the Indian markets with their products on their own. Why I think these would make for better devices is because the middlemen, in this case the Indian manufacturers would be eliminated from the scenario and we could have the smartphones directly from the manufacturers, thus resulting in money saving.
      Servicing Issues
      Chinese manufacturers have a servicing issue but AndroidGuruz would take care of that issue. They’ll offer a 3 month replacement warranty for each handset and the standard one year warranty. The company will take care of the servicing issues as well through these centres.
      What you should look forward to?
      Companies such as Umi, Zopo, Jiayu and Gionee have already made their way into Indian markets but due to the lack of service centres have not been able to get a strong footing despite having some real great products in their portfolio.
      So what AndroidGuruz will do is that it will take those great products to the masses and since the service centres would be in place, the after sales issues would be taken care of.
      The Only Hiccup
      The only reason why I think this great venture might fail is the perception of the Indians. For instance, Fiat’s 1.3 litre Multijet engine is the reason cars such as Swift, Dzire, Manza and the likes are famous but the company’s own offering, Punto has literally bombed at the sales charts.
      As Indians, we trust Micromax more than Zopo or UMI and that is the reason why the Indian manufacturers will continue to have a dominance despite the fact that Chinese smartphones will offer similar products at a lower price point.
      Verdict
      I’ll say go in for the Chinese smartphones as they are relatively new in the market so they’ll ensure you get the best service to build a loyal customer base as happy customers account for free advertisement. The middlemen will be eliminated and you’ll get a product that is absolutely value for money.

      Chinese mobile firms use start-up to enter India [The Hindu, April 9, 2013]

      The Shenzen-based consortium wants a franchisee network in the country
      A consortium of Chinese mobile makers are planning a quiet entry into India with the help of a start-up, which would set up over 200 sales and service centres for nearly 50 different manufacturers.
      The start-up, a company called AndroidGuruz, plans to set up sales and experience zones, giving the Chinese companies a foothold into the Indian market.
      “The Government has already given FDI clearance or is in the process of granting clearance to these 40-45 brands which are in the mobile phone business. We are looking to give the consortium, which is made up of these brands, a support network,” said Vivek Despande, Asia Support Manager of AndroidGuruz.
      The Shenzen-based consortium wants a franchisee network in the country, which will comprise brands such as Zopo, UMI, JiaYu and Mogu.
      The first such store will open in New Delhi over the next three months [opened on July 8, 2013] with more in Bangalore and Mumbai to follow by the end of the year.
      According to Mr. Despande, while the companies would initially sell Android-based phones, it could serve as a prelude to offering tablets and other such devices.
      India battleground
      The smartphone battleground in India has received tough Chinese competition over the last one year, with established brands such as Huawei and Lenovo managing to make slow inroads into the market. Huawei, in fact, plans to set up nearly 250 experience centres by the end of 2013.
      Three months ago, Chinese firm Konka announced its entry into India with an investment of $30 million.

      As of May 2013 only OPPO Find 5, one of the Top 3 most innovative domestic brands in China, was “available” on the AndroidGuruz as shown by the screenshots (see the below image on the left) but pages for six other brands were prepared as well (see the below image on the right):

      imageimage

      Here is how the already available Oppo Find 5 Review! [Marques Brownlee YouTube channel, Feb 9, 2013] included in the Find 5 Description page is presenting this top of the class product:

      The Oppo Find 5! It’s the Storm Trooper of 1080p smartphones in 2013. Gotta love it!

      More information:
      Oppo Now in India !! [on Androidguruz FB timeline, May 11, 2013] which had the following reply

      Androidguruz Our arrangement is official approved for online sales in India, will start retail sales in 1 month, tech support and service warranty will be given, please note the prices of oppo are internationally same !!!!
      Yesterday [May 15] at 4:54pm

      – however there is a recent information from China that Oppo Not Launching In India, Androidguruz Fake?!! [GizChai, May 15, 2013] containing the following reply from OPPO

      image

      Update as of Aug 1, 2013:

      Two and a half months later the sitemap shows the following changes:

      imageNote that Caesar brand has gone and THL Mobiles appeared. Looking at the menu row there is the BLU brand as well. But the reality is:
      Umi: both XII QUADCORE and X1S QUAD CORE are out of stock
      Zopo: both ZP 900S (LITE) and ZP900 LEADER are out of stock
      Jiayu: from June 24
      G2 1 GB RAM, Rs9,999 ($165)
      G2 512 MB RAM, Rs8,900 ($147)
      G2S 1 + 4 GB ROM, Rs11,500 ($190)
      G3 (Quad-core + 1 GB + 4 GB ROM), Rs12,500 ($206)
      G4 (Quadcore + 1 GB + 4 GB ROM), Rs14,500 ($239)
      G4 ( Quadcore 1.5 GHz + 32 GB ROM), Out of stock
      Xiaomi: none
      THL Mobiles: none
      Iocean:
      X7 Youth Plus, Rs15,999 ($264)
      X7 Youth Turbo, Rs12,500 ($206)
      July 9: Blu Mobiles Coming to India in August !!!
      July 9: Blu Nex Technology
      July 9: Blu Product Roadmap (36 photos)
      July 9: Blu Feature Phones (23 photos)
      July 10: AndroidGuruz Store in New Delhi
      July 17: AndroidGuruz Franchise Campaign
      July 19: Blu Dash coming next week to India

      So it seems to be that the originaly Indian initiative is starting to move with Jiayu, Iocean and soon with Blu brands.


      8 Comments

      1. […] Xiaomi, OPPO and Meizu–top Chinese brands of smartphone innovation [‘Experiencing the cloud’, Aug 1, 2013] […]

      2. […] Xiaomi, OPPO and Meizu–top Chinese brands of smartphone innovation [Aug 1, 2013] […]

      3. […] Xiaomi, OPPO and Meizu–top Chinese brands of smartphone innovation […]

      4. […] further information and market analysis: – Xiaomi, OPPO and Meizu–top Chinese brands of smartphone innovation [‘Experiencing the Cloud’, Aug 1, 2013]- The Upcoming Mobile Internet Superpower […]

      5. ricko says:

        China-based Tencent Holdings, which runs one of the largest web portals in China, QQ.com, reportedly plans to commit an investment of US$2 billion into China-based smartphone vendor Xiaomi Technology, according to a Chinese-language Economic Daily News (EDN) report.

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