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Once you have regular security problems on your Windows 10 PC like me, and you are essentially already close to 100% using web applications only like me, than it is time to move over to the Chrome OS platform. And this could be done now with a rock bottom cost. This is what I’ve found by examining the latest Chrome OS platform information as well as the entry level hardware represented by devices built on Rockchip RK3288-C SoC (a low-end quadcore 64-bit ARM SoC with lowest cost IP inside, so the SoC is the lowest cost too).
There is a “hidden” advantage as well. The “Android apps on Chrome OS” is in Beta now, but when the current Android Framework in Chrome OS will move from support of Android Marshmallow [6.0] to Android Nougat [7.0] Coming to Chrome OS 58 or 59 all Google Play store apps will be available properly on Chrome devices as well. In a companion post I’ve examined the current state-of-the-art of Android security as well, and that is looking much better than that of current Windows 10. So as far as all this information is concerned such a platform change looks like the final solution for my current security issues on Win10.
There is a further impetus from yesterday’s news on Microsoft Edge comes last in browser security battle By 18 hours ago from techradar: (more…)
February 14, 2017, RSA Conference: Delivering Secure, Client-Side Technology to Billions of Users Adrian Ludwig, Director of Android Security, Google.
Google aims to make the web safe for all. Director of Android Security Adrian Ludwig will discuss the progress they’ve made, the gaps that remain and how client-side security can make the web more secure.
30 Aug 2016, WIRED UK: How Google is putting security at the heart of Android By ADRIAN LUDWIG. Google’s director of Android Security explains the operating system’s built-in security features
Android has been the fastest growing operating system of all time.
The total ecosystem is huge: 400 companies partner with 500 carriers to produce over 4,000 distinct phones, tablets, and TVs running Android.
When we founded Android, the idea was somewhat crazy — build an open standard for hardware makers. Android is open-sourced and provided for free on all hardware.
This makes it possible for hardware makers to build a wide variety of different devices (phones, tablets, and even watches) while simultaneously making it easier for developers to build one app that works across any of these different devices.
Having an open ecosystem and over a billion users means that we take security very seriously. From the very beginning, security has been baked into the heart of Android. For example:
All Android applications run in what we call an “Application Sandbox.” Just like the walls of a sandbox keep the sand from getting out, each application is housed within a virtual ‘sandbox’ to keep it from accessing anything outside itself. This means that even if a user were to accidentally install a piece of malware, it’s forbidden from accessing any other app on the device.
The latest security technology
Android devices use leading hardware and software security technologies such as encryption, application signing, system integrity checks, SELinux, ASLR, and TrustZone to protect user data and the device.
More control in Android M
Users are even more safe with the new permissions model in Android M by giving them more control over what apps are allowed to access. Apps trigger requests for permissions at the time they need to do something.
For example, if your photo posting app wants to access your photo roll, it has to ask you first. So if a flashlight app starts asking for access to your phone book, you can just say no.
Google Play — our official marketplace for Android apps and games — is also an important part of Android security. Before applications become available in Google Play, they undergo an application security review process to confirm that they comply with Google Play policies, prohibiting potentially harmful applications. We suspend developer accounts and apps that violate our policies.
Third Party Verify Apps Feature
Since Android allows alternative app stores other than Google Play, our users often download apps from third-party app stores. In order to help make this third-party experience secure, we also have a feature called Verify Apps that warns the user or blocks potentially harmful apps, even if the app wasn’t from the Play Store.
It will check apps when you install them and periodically scans for potentially harmful apps to keep users safe. Over 1 billion devices are protected with Google Play which conducts 200 million security scans of devices per day.
The results of these efforts have made malware relatively rare on Android. Based on our research, fewer than one per cent of Android devices had a Potentially Harmful App (PHA) installed in 2014, and fewer than 0.15 per cent of devices that only install from Google Play had a PHA installed.
In future installments, we’ll talk more about how we work with the broader security community to protect Android users, and offer a few tips for you to protect your phone as well.
THE CONTRIBUTION FROM THE PARTNERS COMMUNITY
31 Aug 2016, WIRED UK: How Google’s bug bounties reward you for hunting out flaws in its Android software By ADRIAN LUDWIG. Google’s head of Android Security explains how bug bounties keep the OS secure.
Our last post looked at the ways in which we protect users against harmful software inside of Android and through our app store Google Play.
Android, however, is an open ecosystem used by more than 1.4 billion people around the world, so it makes sense to tap into all of those Android partners, developers, users, and researchers to help locate vulnerabilities and problems. This is the advantage of an open ecosystem: we can work with the broader security community who help us improve security and make Android stronger.
The priority for this approach is that we must be transparent about how exactly Android works. Android is open source, and this means we publish the latest programming source code for Android here.
Anyone can review the code to identify potential security risks. Anyone can build a device using this open source code (as well as add their own customisations). And anyone can suggest modifications or improvements to the core open source project.
Secondly, we work hard to encourage research on Android. We have come up with many ways to incentivise people to poke around in our code and find problems.
In 2010, Google started what we call security reward programs to pay security researchers who find major flaws. In 2014 alone we paid more than $1.5 million to security researchers who found vulnerabilities in Chrome and other Google products.
The success of this program led us to extend it directly to Android. In 2014, we started Google Patch Rewards — an experimental program to reward proactive security improvements for a few of our open-source projects. Rewards for qualifying submissions range from $500 for one-line improvements, up to $10,000 for complicated, high-impact improvements that almost certainly prevent major vulnerabilities in the affected code.
Then in 2015, we started the Android Security Rewards Program to help reward the contributions of security researchers who invest their time and effort in helping us make Android more secure. Through this program we provide monetary rewards and public recognition for vulnerabilities disclosed to the Android Security Team.
The reward level is based on the bug severity, increasing for higher quality reports that include reproduction code, test cases, and patches. In the last six months of 2015, we paid more than $200,000 to researchers for their work, including our largest single payment of $37,500 to an Android security researcher. This was part of the total $2 million paid out to researchers across all the programs.
On top of our own programs, we also sponsor third-party competitions such as Mobile pwn2own, ZDI’s annual contest that rewards security researchers for highlighting security vulnerabilities on mobile platforms.
Finally, we work closely with our hardware partners so devices can be updated with the latest patches. For more than three years, we have been working with Android manufacturers every month through bulletins of security issues with which they can keep their users secure.
Nexus devices have always been among the first Android devices to receive platform and security updates. Since last year, Nexus devices have been regularly receiving security-focused, over-the-air (OTA) updates each month in addition to the usual platform updates. These fixes are also released to the public via the Android Open Source Project.
For Android, security has always been a priority. We are extremely grateful to the wider research community for helping us find security flaws. It’s great to us — but more importantly, to 1.4 billion people around the world — to see so many people pitching in to make Android safer.
FROM THE USERS THEMSELVES
2 Sept 2016, WIRED UK: How to keep your Android phone safe from prying eyes By ADRIAN LUDWIG. Google’s director of Android Security reveals practical ways to keep your data safe.
Over the course of this dedicated security series we have focused on how security is baked into the very heart of Android.
But the Android operating system also empowers you to take safety into your own hands.
This final piece in our series focuses on how each and every Android phone user can play an active role when it comes to safety on the internet. Today, smartphones have become nearly indispensable. So it’s important to keep your phone, but also its contents, secure.
We’re going to walk you through some top ways to keep your mobile security skills as sharp as possible. These are simple but highly effective ways to keep you safe, such as finding your phone if it’s lost, keeping your personal information secured, and making sure the apps and games you download are safe.
One of the most basic threats to mobile security is pretty simple and is probably something that has happened to all of us: losing your own phone. We entrust our phones with some of our most personal data – texts from loved ones, family photos, work emails, bank account information, and more. In the wrong hands, that data could cause trouble but when your phone goes missing, it’s not always easy to figure out where to start, who to call, or how to keep your information safe.
Find Your Phone is a new Android feature that will help you if your phone is ever lost or stolen. In a few simple steps, you can not only locate your phone, but also lock and call it, secure your account, leave a callback number on the screen, and more. The feature can be used to find lost Android and iOS devices, and soon, you’ll also be able to access it by searching Google for “I lost my phone.”
You can use Find Your Phone in My Account, or just by searching ‘find my phone’ on any Google browser. Plus, it works for both Android and iOS devices.
A second easy thing you can do if you don’t want anyone who picks up your phone or tablet to have access to your stuff is to switch on your mobile device lock. On an Android phone or tablet, you can pick a PIN, a password, or a pattern.
For added security, you should also set your device to automatically lock when it goes to sleep. You can take this even one step further and customise your settings so that your patterns and passwords are not visible when you’re entering them.
Download apps from trusted stores and marketplaces and help ensure your phone is safe when it’s in your own hands. Some apps can affect your device’s security, so only download them from places you trust. We work to make sure that all apps available on Google Play pass stringent policy checks, including checks for potentially harmful behaviour.
If you have Google Play installed, you’re automatically protected from potentially harmful apps with the Verify Apps feature. It’s turned on by default and warns you before you install an application we believe is potentially harmful. It’ll also check your device once a week for potentially harmful apps. If you see a warning from Verify Apps, we recommend not installing that app.
In the last year, we’ve significantly improved our machine learning and event correlation to detect potentially harmful behaviour. We protect users from malware and other Potentially Harmful Apps (PHAs), by checking more than 6 billion installed applications per day. We protect users from network-based and on-device threats by scanning 400 million devices per day. And we protect hundreds of millions of Chrome users on Android from unsafe websites with Safe Browsing.
We have also continued to make it even more difficult to get PHAs into Google Play. Last year’s enhancements reduced the probability of installing a PHA from Google Play by over 40 per cent compared to 2014. Within Google Play, install attempts of most categories of PHAs declined. Data Collection decreased over 40 per cent to 0.08 per cent of installs, spyware dropped 60 per cent to 0.02 per cent of installs and hostile downloaders also decreased 50 per cent to 0.01 per cent of installs.
Overall, PHAs were installed on fewer than 0.15 per cent of devices that only get apps from Google Play. About 0.5 per cent of devices that install apps from both Play and other sources had a PHA installed during 2015, similar to the data in last year’s report.
It’s critical that we also protect users who install apps from sources other than Google Play. Our Verify Apps service protects these users and we improved the effectiveness of the PHA warnings provided by Verify Apps by over 50 per cent. In 2015, we saw an increase in the number of PHA install attempts outside of Google Play, and we disrupted several coordinated efforts to install PHAs onto user devices from outside of Google Play.
The Nokia phone business is to be relaunched via a $500M private startup with Android smartphones and tablets in addition to the feature phones for which manufacturing, sales and distribution, would be acquired from Microsoft by a subsidiary of Foxconn
REDMOND, Wash. — May 18, 2016 — Microsoft Corp. on Wednesday announced it reached an agreement to sell the company’s entry-level feature phone assets to FIH Mobile Ltd., a subsidiary of Hon Hai/Foxconn Technology Group, and HMD Global, Oy for $350 million. As part of the deal, FIH Mobile Ltd. will also acquire Microsoft Mobile Vietnam — the company’s Hanoi, Vietnam, manufacturing facility. Upon close of this deal, approximately 4,500 employees will transfer to, or have the opportunity to join, FIH Mobile Ltd. or HMD Global, Oy, subject to compliance with local law.
Microsoft will continue to develop Windows 10 Mobile and support Lumia phones such as the Lumia 650, Lumia 950 and Lumia 950 XL, and phones from OEM partners like Acer, Alcatel, HP, Trinity and VAIO.
As part of the deal, Microsoft will transfer substantially all of its feature phone assets, including brands, software and services, care network and other assets, customer contracts, and critical supply agreements, subject to compliance with local law. The transaction is expected to close in the second half of 2016, subject to regulatory approvals and other closing conditions.
Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT” @microsoft) is the leading platform and productivity company for the mobile-first, cloud-first world, and its mission is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.
For FY16 Q3:
- Surface revenue increased 61% [to $1.111] in constant currency driven by Surface Pro 4 and Surface Book
- Phone revenue declined 46% in constant currency
Now under Nokia Technologies (TECH) the relaunched Nokia phone and tablet business will also exploit such TECH innovations as the recent Nokia OZO: a better way to capture VR
Nokia signs strategic brand and intellectual property licensing agreement enabling HMD global to create new generation of Nokia-branded mobile phones and tablets
Espoo, Finland – Nokia has announced plans that will see the Nokia brand return to the mobile phone and tablet markets on a global basis. Under a strategic agreement covering branding rights and intellectual property licensing, Nokia Technologies will grant HMD global Oy (HMD), a newly founded company based in Finland, an exclusive global license  to create Nokia-branded mobile phones and tablets for the next ten years. Under the agreement, Nokia Technologies will receive royalty payments from HMD for sales of Nokia-branded mobile products, covering both brand and intellectual property rights.
HMD has been founded to provide a focused, independent home for a full range of Nokia-branded feature phones, smartphones and tablets. To complete its portfolio of Nokia branding rights, HMD announced today that it has conditionally agreed to acquire from Microsoft the rights to use the Nokia brand on feature phones, and certain related design rights. The Microsoft transaction is expected to close in H2 2016. Together these agreements would make HMD the sole global licensee for all types of Nokia-branded mobile phones and tablets. HMD intends to invest over USD 500 million over the next three years to support the global marketing of Nokia-branded mobile phones and tablets, funded via its investors and profits from the acquired feature phone business.
Nokia-branded feature phones remain one of the most popular choices of mobile phone in many markets around the world today, and HMD will continue to market them as part of an integrated portfolio alongside a new range of smartphones and tablets. HMD’s new smartphone and tablet portfolio will be based on Android, uniting one of the world’s iconic mobile brands with the leading mobile operating system and app development community.
As also announced today by FIH Mobile Limited (FIH), a subsidiary of Hon Hai Precision Industries (trading as Foxconn Technology Group), the remainder of Microsoft’s feature phone business assets, including manufacturing, sales and distribution, would be acquired by FIH. HMD and Nokia Technologies have signed an agreement with FIH to establish a collaboration framework to support the building of a global business for Nokia-branded mobile phones and tablets. This agreement will give HMD full operational control of sales, marketing and distribution of Nokia-branded mobile phones and tablets, with exclusive access to the pre-eminent global sales and distribution network to be acquired from Microsoft by FIH, access to FIH’s world-leading device manufacturing, supply chain and engineering capabilities, and to its growing suite of proprietary mobile technologies and components.
Nokia will provide HMD with branding rights and cellular standard essential patent licenses in return for royalty payments, but will not be making a financial investment or holding equity in HMD. Nokia Technologies will take a seat on the Board of Directors of HMD and set mandatory brand requirements and performance related provisions to ensure that all Nokia-branded products exemplify consumer expectations of Nokia devices, including quality, design and consumer focused innovation.
HMD would be led, once the Microsoft transaction closes, by Arto Nummela as CEO, who previously held senior positions at Nokia and is currently the head of Microsoft’s Mobile Devices business for Greater Asia, Middle East and Africa, as well as Microsoft’s global Feature Phones business. HMD’s president on closing would be Florian Seiche, who is currently Senior Vice President for Europe Sales and Marketing at Microsoft Mobile, and previously held key roles at Nokia, HTC and other global brands.
Ramzi Haidamus, president of Nokia Technologies, said:
“Today marks the beginning of an exciting new chapter for the Nokia brand in an industry where Nokia remains a truly iconic name. Instead of Nokia returning to manufacturing mobile phones itself, HMD plans to produce mobile phones and tablets that can leverage and grow the value of the Nokia brand in global markets. Working with HMD and FIH will let us participate in one of the largest consumer electronics markets in the world while staying true to our licensing business model.”
Arto Nummela, CEO-designate of HMD, said:
“We will be completely focused on creating a unified range of Nokia-branded mobile phones and tablets, which we know will resonate with consumers. Branding has become a critical differentiator in mobile phones, which is why our business model is centered on the unique asset of the Nokia brand and our extensive experience in sales and marketing. We will work with world class providers in manufacturing and distribution to move quickly and deliver what customers want.”
Vincent Tong, Chairman of FIH, added:
“We are looking forward to fostering a strong and long-term collaboration with HMD global and Nokia. We are impressed by the experience and expertise of the HMD management team and are committed to supporting them with our manufacturing, technology and supply chain capabilities, to capture market opportunities together in the future.”
1 Excluding Japan
About Nokia Technologies
Nokia Technologies (TECH) is Nokia’s advanced technology and licensing business. Formed in 2014, TECH builds upon Nokia’s solid foundation of industry-leading licensing and technology R&D capabilities. By focusing on Digital Health, Digital Media, Brand Licensing, and Patent Licensing, TECH is expanding the human possibilities of the ever-evolving world of technology. In 2015, Nokia Technologies launched OZO, the world’s first virtual reality (VR) camera designed for professionals.
Nokia is a global leader in the technologies that connect people and things. Powered by the innovation of Bell Labs and Nokia Technologies, the company is at the forefront of creating and licensing the technologies that are increasingly at the heart of our connected lives.
With state-of-the-art software, hardware and services for any type of network, Nokia is uniquely positioned to help communication service providers, governments, and large enterprises deliver on the promise of 5G, the Cloud and the Internet of Things.http://nokia.com
About HMD global
Registered and headquartered in Helsinki, Finland, HMD is a new private venture founded to create a new generation of Nokia-branded mobile devices. HMD is run by a group of experienced industry leaders, including CEO Arto Nummela, previously of Nokia and currently the head of Microsoft’s Mobile Devices business for Greater Asia, Middle East and Africa as well as Microsoft’s global Feature Phones business, and President Florian Seiche, who is currently Senior Vice President for Europe Sales and Marketing at Microsoft Mobile, and previously held key roles at Nokia, HTC and other global brands.
We are proud to announce that the Nokia brand will be returning to the worldwide mobile phone and tablet market.
Every day our fans continue to ask for Nokia smartphones. In fact, in a recent survey, we found that Nokia smartphones are amongst the top five considered brands for purchase by smartphone buyers – and they aren’t even available yet.
So, under a new agreement, Nokia Technologies has granted HMD, a new company led by some of the world’s top mobile specialists, an exclusive global license to create a full range of Nokia-branded smartphones, tablets, and feature phones for the next decade.
The new smartphones and tablets will be based on Android, uniting one of the world’s iconic mobile brands, Nokia, with the leading mobile operating system and app development community.
There is still much work for HMD to do, so you’ll need to wait a bit longer to see what the next wave of Nokia phones and tablets look like. One thing we can assure you is that they will exemplify what you have come to expect from all Nokia devices, including quality, design, and innovation.
A big thanks to you and all of the Nokia supporters around the world. You continue to remind us of the difference our devices have made in your lives. We can’t wait for you to meet the next generation.
Arto Nummela is currently the Vice President of Mobile Devices Business of Microsoft in Greater Asia, Middle East and Africa region.
Subject to regulatory approval and the closing of the Microsoft feature phone transaction to the new company, Arto will become CEO of HMD global, the holding company & exclusive licence holder of Nokia phones.
As an experienced figure in the telecoms industry, Arto has a proven track record in commercial success, building long-term partnerships to enable global business innovation and growth. An intrinsic part of this process – is establishing and motivating strong teams around him – as well as being committed to continued personal growth.
Arto has deep roots in Finland, but has a genuinely global perspective built through experience. His insights into consumer business have been deepened by leading diverse teams from Europe, the Americas, India, the Middle East, Africa and the Asia-Pacific region, including Australia, China and Japan.
Having been an intrinsic part of the original Nokia team, Arto’s list of accomplishments include; open-distribution model development, strategic alliances, joint ventures and partnerships, market-based pricing strategies, global R&D management – specifically for high end smartphone devices, ramping up new global phone architecture work, as well as ramping up product portfolio for new cellular technology generation, alongside a very strong focus on employee loyalty and retention. Arto has led teams in strategic and tactical global product planning, developing and launching new products, as well as brand development and broader market expansion. From 2011 to 2013, Arto also served as a member of the board of directors for CommNexus, a California-based tech incubator, built for start-ups.
Since 2015, Arto has been driving the Microsoft Devices business in Greater Asia, the Middle East and Africa, with global leadership of the Feature Phones business. He joined Nokia in 1994, leading through Microsoft’s 2014 acquisition of the company.
Florian Seiche is a recognised name in the telecoms industry, having been one of the key figures behind the launch and subsequent growth of the HTC brand. He has since gone on to develop and drive the mobile divisions at Nokia and most recently at Microsoft, in the role of VP of Sales across Europe.
Subject to regulatory approval and the closing of the Microsoft feature phone transaction to the new company, Florian will become President of HMD global, the holding company & exclusive licence holder of Nokia phones.
Well known for his lynchpin role as President of HTC EMEA (Europe, Middle East, and Africa), Florian not only established HTC’s EMEA operations in 2005, he went on to oversee the growth of HTC’s business and brand to become one of the most critically acclaimed phone names in the world.
His big brand global experience is far reaching. Prior to joining HTC, Florian was the Global Director of Devices for the Orange Group in London (2003-2005). Under his leadership, Orange successfully rolled out its ‘signature device’ program, which contributed considerably to increased phone usage and ARPU, while at the same time increasing customer loyalty by delivering a compelling user experience.
Florian began his career at Siemens, where he worked for more than ten years. Between January 2000 and February 2003, Florian served as Vice President and General Manager of Siemens Mobile Phones USA in San Diego, leading Siemens’ mobile phone entry into North America.
Having worked extensively across both sales and marketing, Florian boasts an intimate understanding of both consumer trends and demands, as well as the requirements of the key stakeholders in the telecoms supply chain.
Florian holds both Master’s and Doctorate degrees in Economics from the University of Cologne, Germany. He lives in Windsor, UK with his wife Michele and son Jan-Philipp.
Sept 29, 2015: Android 6.0 Marshmallow – Official Announcement of all features (Nexus Event 2015) – GIGA TECH in 8 minutes
Oct 6, 2015: The Top 3 new features highlighted for the Android 6.0 Marshmallow on the android.com/history
Now On Tap
Get assistance without having to leave what you’re doing—whether you’re in an app or on a website. Just tap and hold the home button.
Define what you want to share with apps on your device and when. Turn permissions off at any time, too.
Enjoy a battery that works smarter, not garder. Marshmallow optimizes your juice for what matters most with features like Doze and App Standby.
Sept 29, 2015: All Features of Android 6.0 Marshmallow from the official Android – Marshmallow page
All about Android 6.0, Marshmallow
Sept 29, 2015: A developer’s overview of Android 6.0 Marshmallow by Android Developers
Sept 29, 2015: Android 6.0 Marshmallow based lead devices information from S’more to love across all your screens from the Official Google Blog
New Nexus phones
We made Android to be an open platform that anyone can build on, and today there are 4,000+ Android devices in all shapes and sizes. Android’s diversity is why it’s become the most popular mobile platform in the world, and the latest version, Marshmallow, takes Android to a new level of performance.
While we love all the Android devices out there, every year we build Nexus devices to show off the latest and greatest, directly from the people who built Android. Today we’re introducing the latest Nexus treats, both running Marshmallow, sweetened by amazing apps and sandwiched by some cutting-edge hardware (see what we did there?):
- Nexus 6P is the first all-metal-body Nexus phone. Built in collaboration with Huawei, this 5.7” phone is crafted from aeronautical-grade aluminum, with a USB Type-C port for fast charging, a powerful 64-bit processor, and a 12.3 MP camera sensor with massive 1.55µm pixels (hello, better photos!). The Nexus 6P starts at $499.
- You’re not the only one who misses your Nexus 5. We’ve joined forces with LG to bring it back with the new Nexus 5X, which gives you great performance in a compact and light package, with a beautiful 5.2” screen and the same 12.3 MP camera and Type-C port as the Nexus 6P. Nexus 5X starts at $379.
Both phones include a new fingerprint sensor, Nexus Imprint, which gives you quick and secure access to your phone, as well as use of Android Pay (in the U.S.). They are available for pre-order on the Google Store from a number of countries, including the U.S., U.K., Ireland and Japan, and come with a free 90-day subscription to Google Play Music. In the U.S., pre-orders include a $50 Play credit to help you stock up your favorite music, apps, games and shows. And, finally, for you Project Fi fans out there, you’ll be happy to know Nexus 6P and Nexus 5X will work on your favorite network. Request an invite to our Early Access Program at fi.google.com.
Oct 5, 2015: Official Android 6.0 Marshmallow Review by Tim Schofield
Oct 15, 2015: Answer to the question “Will Xiaomi finally step to the conventional way of upgrading to Android?” put to Hugo Barra in Hangout with Mi – Episode 2 from Xiaomi India
The official release of Android M has just happened. That means that people like us only now have been given what they need to be able to start the porting process. Of course Google has been working with M for the new Nexus devices for a while. That’s exactly the reason why Nexus exists. So we’ve just started the porting work, and it takes some time to make sure that it all super well optimised.
By the way I should mention, if you look a little bit about the process for doing an upgrade. It’s not like just get some code from Google, like start moving into our code base. Actually it’s at least a two-step process. In fact I would argue that it’s a three-step process.
The first thing to happen is: Whoever makes the chipset, the SoC that powers that particular phone. Maybe let’s talk about Mi4i. Mi4i is on Qualcomm MSM8939, Snapdragon 615 v2 [rather Snapdragon 616 MSM8939v2, see Snapdragon 616 on Qualcomm site], it means it’s powered by Qualcomm. So Google Android team provides the build to Qualcomm. Qualcomm—beginning of now, just like happened—then will take a few months to do the work of making sure that the kernel level stuff is optimised, and correctly able to support then the layers above, the BSP [?Board Support Package?] framework, the so one and so forth.
Then Qualcomm takes that codebase, let’s assume it will be ready in January—to give you a hypothetical date here—and then provide that to the different smartphone brands like Xiaomi for example. Then our BSP team, which stands for basement processor—it’s the low level part of the operating system that includes everything under the framework—they will take that codebase from Qualcomm and then putting the extra work [needed to ensure] that it’s very optimised for battery consumption, for performance, so on and so forth, for Mi4i. They have to do the same work for every other device.
Then the System UI team—concerning that most OEMs have done some amount of System UI work—has to do a little bit of work of optimisation obviously to make sure that all the features are there.
At least these 3 steps that have to be taken by not only Xiomi, but every OEM to be able to bring devices to a new version of the operating system. Make sure that it’s optimised. It’ll be unacceptable for us to launch Android M on Mi4i in a way that doesn’t perform at least as well, if not obviously, ideally better, then it performed on [Android 5.0] Lollipop. So it’s like quite a long process.
Smartphone market outlook and the MediaTek Helio X10 based Xiaomi Redmi Note 2/Prime launched for $125, $140 and $156
Let’s start with an extremely good presentation video by Mrwhosetheboss:
And an actual experience video from Chinese sources (finished by comparing to iPhone 6):
Aug 16, 2015, Xiaomi Today: Xiaomi sold 800,000 Redmi Note 2 phones in 12 hours
Note that Xiaomi has already been the top Chinese company tracked here:
– Dec 12, 2012: 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
– Aug 1, 2013: Xiaomi, OPPO and Meizu–top Chinese brands of smartphone innovation
– Aug 30, 2013: Assesment of the Xiaomi phenomenon before the global storm is starting on Sept 5
– Sept 5, 2013: Xiaomi announcements: from Mi3 to Xiaomi TV
– June 12, 2014: Xiaomi’s global offensive with Hugo Barra in charge is threatening Apple—with 10.4 million smartphones sold in China it had already outsold Apple in Q1’14, having “just” 9 million iPhones sold there from which we must at least understand the market situation in China upto Q1 2014 as the reference for the Xiaomi’s progress presented here:
With the Q3 2015 Redmi Note 2/Prime advancement Xiaomi will kill the much hoped (by some stock market analysts) incremental opportunities for the $199 Apple iPhone 6 and $299 iPhone 6 Plus in China and throughout the world. And recall that those were announced 11 months ago as “The Biggest Advancements in iPhone History“
Why? Because being in the smartphone device business for just 4 years Xiaomi has already been on or around the top in China for the last 12 months, as well as has launched an impressive global march.
That global sales campaign has been going on in Asia, Russia and Turkey so far, but it is now expanding to Latin America with new model launching in Brazil [CCTV America YouTube channel, July 14, 2015]: “The world’s third largest smartphone maker is taking a different approach in its plans for global domination. Instead of looking to expand in the obvious markets like the U.S. and Europe, Xiaomi is looking to South America. CCTV’s Paulo Cabral filed this report from Sao Paulo.”
And it is not difficult to foresee a huge global success for the company as in India Xiaomi became “the 5th biggest seller of phones in the country, a feat accomplished in only 8 months“: Smartphone company Xiaomi expanding to India and beyond [CCTV America YouTube channel, March 20, 2015]
And now China’s Xiaomi Begins Making Smartphones in India [Voice of America, Aug 14, 2015]: “Xiaomi’s Redmi2 Prime smartphone [NOT the Note 2 one], priced at about $110, began rolling out from a factory in Sri City in southern Andhra Pradesh state this week. … entered the Indian market just a year ago, but since then price conscious consumers have snapped up 3 million phones.“
Also this all happened after “The Chinese smartphone maker, Xiaomi, held a second flash sale of its new 4.7″ Redmi 1S [at $110/699 RMB almost of the same price level as this year’s $125/799 RMB Redmi Note 2] on Tuesday [Sept 9, 2014], after selling out in just four seconds a week ago.“: Chinese smartphone Xiaomi competes with Apple [CCTV America YouTube channel, Sept 9, 2014]
from which I will include the following Q2 CY2014 market share slide for China here:
as this position of being “on the top or around it” has been kept by Xiaomi ever since.
Then we should not forget what only 8 months ago was introduced as Xiaomi launches MiNote, a new iPhone competitor [CCTV America YouTube channel, Jan 15, 2015]: “The tech world is abuzz about Chinese tech company Xiaomi’s bid to compete with Apple and Samsung. Xiaomi CEO Lei Jun unveiled the MiNote and MiNote Pro [at $313/1999 RMB and $391/2499 RMB a kind of twice as expensive predecessors to the new Redmi Note 2/Prime] on Thursday, both are cheaper than similar iPhone models. CCTV’s Xia Cheng reported this story from Beijing.”
With that Xiaomi will kill Samsung high-end opportunities as well.
Let’s look first at the quite drastic decline of the Samsung smartphone business for the last year and a half (data from Strategy Analytics as it’s been represented in the Apple and Huawei move on Samsung article of July 30, 2015 from Telecom.com, with the vendor rankings in the table according to the latest quarter, i.e. Q2 2015):
Note that Coolpad (Yulong) and ZTE are also globally represented Chinese brands, not mentioned so far in this article.
Then I can again refer to Samsung-related high-end specification comparisons produced by GSMinsider:
And don’t be fooled with the Qualcomm Snadragon 805 and 801 SoCs used by Samsung in these 2014 vintage devices as Samsung itself abandoned Qualcomm as an SoC supplier for its 2015 devices:
Note: Such Samsung move of abandoning the Qualcomm Snadragon 805 and 801 SoCs in its latest high-end products is not an accident but a hard-pressed necessity. The octa-core Qualcomm Snadragon 810 replacing the 805/801 had serious thermal throttling problems, and the Chinese brands were starting to use other octa-cores, among them the quite competitive MediaTek Helio X10. See the following Q1 2015 technology landscape presentation composed of the graphical views from the April 12 and April 24 reports by CINNO Research (in addition to the camera related view on the right):
And software-wise Xaomi is already 5 years in the smartphone business with a lot of quite enthusiastic supporters for its Android based Mi User Interface throughout the world. The MIUI 5th Anniversary: Greetings From MIUI Fans From All Over The World testimonial video from the MIUI ROM YouTube channel dated August 12, 2015 is stating that: “MIUI is one of the most popular Android ROMs in the world. It is based on Android, featuring a rich user experience and user customizable themes. MIUI is updated every Friday based on feedback from its users. Now with over 100 million users and 34 MIUI fan sites worldwide, MIUI is the choice of many Android users globally.“
What kind of “much hoped incremental opportunities (by some stock market analysts) for Apple” I was talking about?
From India Will Overtake US to Become World’s Second Largest Smartphone Market by 2017 [July 1, 2015] by Strategy Analytics the following chart has been produced for Dazeinfo’s Global Smartphone Sales 2015 – 2017: India Will Surpass The US [July 1, 2015] report: That chart has been used by Brian Nichols in his Why Apple’s Growth-Related Fears Are Overblown [Aug 12, 2015] article on Seeking Alpha for its final argument that:
… the market sees China as imperative to Apple’s future growth outlook and while true at the moment, there’s a catalyst forming that should lessen the company’s reliance on China and lead to many millions of new iPhone sales.
China is not that “forming catalyst” that I mentioned earlier. Instead, Apple has a prime opportunity to grow in India over the next year or two, a market that’s growing rapidly with middle class consumers and is the world’s second largest economy by population behind only China.
… with India’s help, which includes the growth in middle class consumers through 2020, India might very well one day become just as important as China to Apple.
Before coming to such final argument Nichols is talking about the current market situation in China via a chart from Above Avalon’s China Mobile Is a Game Changer for Apple [April 29, 2015] research note and with the following comments around that:
I expect Apple to find additional growth in China next year, regardless of what has transpired from a macro perspective over the last few months. The reason is simple: Improved network coverage. Fact of the matter is that most Chinese consumers are still using 2G or 3G networks, which are hardly compatible with the iPhone 6. At the end of the first quarter, China Mobile (NYSE:CHL) had 153 million 4G customers, up from 90 million in December of 2014 and just 1.3 million in February of 2014. However, China Mobile had 815 million total customers. So that means the majority of its subscribers are still on 2G or 3G networks. Given the rate at which China Mobile has added 4G customers during the last 16 months, investors can rest assured that its network and 4G customers will be far larger by this time next year. Notably, most of those 4G customers will need smartphones, and Apple has quickly become the most popular choice in China.
As for China’s second and third largest wireless carriers, China Unicom (NYSE:CHU) and China Telecom (NYSE:CHA), they have nearly 500 million customers collectively. And believe it or not, China Unicom and China Telecom’s 4G network is even more underdeveloped than China Mobile’s network. However, both China Unicom and China Telecom are working just as fast to build their respective 4G networks. Once more, this increases Apple’s market opportunity in China, and is the key reason why I think Apple’s growth in China will continue through next year, probably at a very high double-digit rate.
So these are the speculations which IMHO do not take into account the new product waves from major Apple and Samsung competitors, especially Xiaomi.
Xiaomi’s new 5.5″ Redmi Note 2 launched in China just this week for $125/799 RMB (16GB version supporting TDD-LTE for a China specific 4G version of LTE as well as TD-SCDMA, the China specific 3.5G — targeted at China Mobile subscribers) and $140/899 RMB (16GB version supporting both TDD-LTE and FDD-LTE, i.e. both 4G versions — for the subscribers of any mobile operators, and especially of China Unicom and China Telecom) is the actual case in this regard. Watch the Xiaomi Redmi Note 2 Prime first look miui 7 pre-order video direct from the launch (the QR code at the start and the end has been positioned out of my embedded view):
Announced: August 13 2015
Sound Alert Types:
The 2.2 GHz Redmi Note 2 Prime version with 32GB storage and support of TDD-LTE + FDD-LTE will sell at $156 (999 RMB).
– Aug 13, 2015: All About Redmi Note 2/Prime: Specifications, Price, Hands-on Pictures! review by Xiaomi MIUI Official Forum
– Aug 13, 2015: Xiaomi New Product Launch: MIUI 7(China), Redmi Note 2(Prime), Mi Wi-Fi nano full launch information (not only the Redmi Note 2/Prime) by Xiaomi MIUI Official Forum, from which the major Redmi Note 2 and 2 Pro Android competition (Huawei P8 and P8max with Hisilicon Kirin 930 and 935 SoCs, and Meizu MX5 (with the same MediaTek Helio X10 @2.2 GHz) on the Chinese market is described as:
Note: regarding the benchmarked performance of each SoC I will recommend the results made available in the Exynos 7420 vs Snapdragon 810 vs MediaTek Helio X10 Turbo MT6795T vs Hisilicon Kirin 935: Benchmark Scores [July 3, 2015] GSMinsider article
– For a much broader competitive comparison I will recommend the Redmi Note 2’s comparisons by GSMinsider which currently contains comparisons (spec-wise):
Aug 13, 2015: Additional videos from XiaomiHK YouTube channel:
Xiaomi – MIUI Introduction (with English subtitles)
Xiaomi – MIUI V7 Endurance
i.e. MIU 7 on [Xiaomi’s] Mi 4, Huawei Honor 6, Meizu MX4 and Samsung Galaxy S5
Xiaomi – MIUI V7 Performance
Xiaomi – RedmiNote2″>Xiaomi – RedmiNote2
Xiaomi – RedmiNote2 Camera
Important videos available on the Bloomberg Business website only, with 3 most important videos added to them from the CCTV America YouTube channel:
June 5, 2014: Here’s Why Hugo Barra Left Google to Be Xiaomi VP: Xiaomi Early Investor Robin Chan discusses Xiaomi’s hiring of Google’s Hugo Barra on Bloomberg Television’s “Bloomberg West.” Former Xiaomi Board Member Hans Tung also speaks.
July 17, 2015: Xiaomi’s Hugo Barra: Studio 1.0 (Full Show 7/16): This week on Studio 1.0: Emily Chang sits down with Hugo Barra, vice president of global operations at Xiaomi. (Source: Bloomberg) 21 minutes from which I will include here the only slide displayed
Plus a lot of other unique information is available in that interview: like the 2015 vintage business model of Xiaomi (investments into non-platform startups to build business partnerships, a whole ecosystem around Xiaomi etc.).
I will add to that the product shown in the Bloomberg interview as an example of such ecosystem generation. This has been documented in Xiaomi launches $13 fitness band [CCTV America YouTube channel, Aug 18, 2014] as: “Chinese Smartphone maker Xiao-mi has started selling an interactive wristband called the Mi Band. The device can measure one’s heart rate and monitor sleep patterns. It’s not the first such device to hit the market, but so far, it’s the cheapest.”
I will also add the Xiaomi Buying Spree Gives Apple, Samsung Reason to Worry [Bloomberg Business YouTube channel, Jan 8, 2015] video stating that: “Xiaomi zoomed past Apple Inc. and Samsung in China smartphone sales just three years after releasing its first model. Founder Lei Jun is now on a buying spree to take that momentum beyond handsets. Bloomberg’s Edmond Lococo has more on “On The Move Asia.” (Source: Bloomberg)”
Then remember the already known facts mentioned in the second video on the Bloomberg website like: “Xiaomi is not Apple“, “Xiami is an Internet company” (“an Internet platform and services brand” heard in another interview), “services are inherent part of Xiaomi“, “Xiaomi is one of the biggest e-commerce sites in China“, “the Xiaomi platform products are enhanced in functionality on requests from its users by around 50%” etc.
As the latest proof-point of such an Internet platform and service strategy of the company watch the Chinese mobile co. Xiaomi launches wallet app [CCTV America YouTube channel, March 26, 2015] video:
Other videos from Bloomberg Business YouTube channel:
Jan 15, 2015: Xiaomi’s Rapid Rise to $45B Valuation Topping Uber: Xiaomi is Apple and Samsung’s rapidly growing threat. Now the world’s third-largest smartphone maker, Xiaomi is releasing its next phone on Thursday at an event in Beijing. Bloomberg’s Cory Johnson looks at how just fast this company is growing. (Source: Bloomberg)
June 5, 2014: Meet the Billionaire ‘Steve Jobs of China’ Lei Jun: Xiaomi co-founder and chief executive officer Lei Jun is known as the Steve Jobs of China, complete with a wardrobe of black shirts and a cult following. But what did he do before starting Xiaomi, and how has his personality helped drive Xiaomi’s success? Bloomberg West’s Emily Chang gives us an overview of this rock star CEO.
Jan 5, 2015: Xiaomi Doubles Revenue to $12B as Phone Sales Triple: Xiaomi, whose investors include billionaire Yuri Milner, more than doubled its revenue in 2014, according to a blog posting by CEO Lei Jun.
Feb 13, 2015: Xiaomi’s Barra: U.S. Market Is Important in Many Ways: Xiaomi’s Hugo Barra discusses the company’s global expansion plans with Bloomberg’s Brad Stone on “Bloomberg West.”
June 4, 2015: Xiaomi Grows Wearable Device Market Share: Xiaomi is looking to elbow its way into the wearable device market. New figures suggest it took a quarter slice of global sales the first three months of the year. Bloomberg Intelligence’s Jitendra Waral discusses the sales figures on “Trending Business.”
Other videos from the CCTV America YouTube channel:
July 22, 2014: Hugo Barra on latest Xiaomi products: Chinese tech firm Xiaomi showed off some of its latest products on Tuesday. The Beijing-based company unveiled its new Mi smartphone and billed it as a challenger to Apple’s iPhone. Analysts say the Mi 4 will be a make or break product for Xiaomi after sales of the older model proved disappointing.The company is also aggressively expanding overseas. Hugo Barra, Xiaomi’s Vice President for overseas business spoke with CCTV’s Xia Cheng.
July 14, 2015: Eric Schiffer on Xiaomi’s global strategy: For more on Xiaomi’s global strategy, CCTV’s Michelle Makori spoke to Eric Schiffer, CEO of Patriarch Equity.
Dec 22, 2014: Tech company Xiaomi flourishes in China, India despite patent disputes: China’s Xiaomi tech company is often compared to Apple. Founded in 2010, Xiaomi has quickly surpassed Samsung to become the top smartphone in China and third in the world. Xiaomi phones are currently only sold online and in China and India.
Dec 22, 2014: Ari Zoldan of Quantum Networks discusses Chinese companies, patent troubles: CCTV America’s Sean Callebs interviewed tech industry expert and CEO of Quantum Networks Ari Zoldan about the rise of Xiaomi and it’s legal battles.
Recommended background information on this same blog:
- MediaTek’s next 10 years’ strategy for devices, wearables and IoT [March 10, 2015]
- MediaTek CorePilot™ 3.0 with Tri-Cluster™ [July 3, 2015]
Aug 3, 2015: 16nm/DDR4！联发科Helio X30/X22曝光- MTK手机网 by MTK mobile phone network (MTK手机网) as has been translated by Google and Bing with my manual edits as appropriate by the meaning
MediaTek has earlier launched a solution, code-named Helio X10, the MT6795 [Aug 1, 2014] kind of high-quality product [see in the background post No.1], but at the end of this year, with a more advanced technology, a higher performance 10 core processor Helio X20 will come [see in the background posts No.2]. Now follow-up products in the Helio high-end product line have been exposed, and with that more violent MediaTek’s solutions will be available.
Weibo user named @Kuro_Ne_Ko released a message a few days ago, in which the Helio X30 was announced and some information was published on Helio X22. According to the released content Helio X30/X22 will be the next push of the MediaTek’s flagship program, i.e. a significant upgrade to the X20.
It is reported that Helio X30 uses a 16nm FinFET technology and a ten core design as the X20, but the architecture is different. Helio X30 uses a more aggressive four clusters processor design. The first group has four [Cortex-]A72 performance cores, clocked at 2.5GHz; the second group of has the same Cortex-A72, their number is 2, and the frequency rate is 2GHz; and the rest is integrating 2 [Cortex-]A53 CPU cores at 1.5GHz, and the 2 other [Cortex-]A53 CPU cores at 1GHz.
This is all for a 10 core, 2xA53+2xA53+2xA72+4xA72 design. On the basis of the Helio X20 Tri-Cluster architecture [see in the background post No.2], the increase of the number of clusters, as well as the number of Cortex-A72 CPU cores will let the Helio X30 work under different loads more efficiently, one can imagine. Helio X30’s performance when going into a full play will undoubtedly be even better than that of the X20.
In addition to the architecture and technology upgrades, other specifications of Helio X30 could also be upgraded, such as memory. Helio X30 finally supports LPDDR4 (dual-channel /1600MHz/4G), in storage [functionality] can support the eMMC5.1 specification, and supports POP [Package on package] packaging. On the other hand Helio X30 will integrate a 800MHz ARM Mali-T880MP4 graphics processor that supports a camera of 40 million pixels (24fps), or 16 million pixels (60fps) as well as 8 million pixels (120fps).
Another Helio X series high-end product has also been exposed, code-named Helio X22. This new product is an upgraded version of Helio X20, the clock frequency will be increased, while other specifications should be close to Helio X20.
This year is the starting year for building the high-end MediaTek brands. The results achieved are also obvious, its current top-end product Helio X10 has been used by HTC, Gionee [金立], VIVO and OPPO, makers of flagship products. Supported by stronger performances, Helio X30/X22 are also expected to be used by a large number of manufacturers. After all it is already apparent that Mediatek products have the advantage of low power consumption. However, taking into account that the recent Helio X20 has to wait until December or so to be listed, Helio X22 and X30 should be for a more later date.