Xiaomi Says It Shipped More Than 10 Million Smartphones Last Month

Xiaomi Says It Shipped More Than 10 Million Smartphones Last Month

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Xiaomi sold more than 10 million smartphones in India
  • It’s a record performance for the company
  • The company also reached a milestone in India

September was a big month for Xiaomi. The Chinese smartphone maker shipped more than 10 million smartphones last month across all the markets where it operates, Xiaomi’s chief executive officer Lei Jun said.

A thrilled and happy Jun, who shared the announcement, thanked employees and partners. The company also reached a major milestone in India. Roughly three years after entering the nation, Xiaomi’s vice president and India head Manu Kumar Jain said the company had shipped more than 25 million smartphones in the country.

The big jump in sales comes as people in South Asian countries including India begin to prepare for the festival season. In India, for instance, Amazon India and Flipkart have been cashing in on the festive season, giving customers lucrative discounts with sales past and sales to come. Xiaomi said last month it had sold more than one million handsets in just two days, a major improvement over its performance in the country last year, when it took 18 days to sell one million smartphones.

Even as Xiaomi has always been known as a company which plays very aggressively, offering some of the best hardware at the price point, the company has appeared more focused in the recent months. It recently launched the Mi Mix 2, a bezel-less smartphone, and Mi A1, its first Android One smartphone for markets like India.

The recent development will help the company better compete with Chinese smartphone maker Huawei, which recently posted better sales than Apple. The company shipped north of 73 million smartphones in the first two quarters of this year, averaging more than 12 million handset shipments in a month. According to marketing research firm Strategy Analytics, Huawei shipped 38.4 million handsets in Q2 2017, while Oppo shipped 29.5 million handsets. In comparison, Xiaomi had shipped 23.16 million handsets in the quarter that ended in June.

[“Source-gadgets.ndtv”]

SoundCloud Says It Has Enough Cash to Last Until Fourth Quarter

SoundCloud Says It Has Enough Cash to Last Until Fourth Quarter

SoundCloud, the world’s biggest music-streaming service, is still struggling to find a business model – it now has enough cash to last until fourth quarter, after laying off 40 percent of its staff, a representative said on Thursday.

The Berlin-based start-up is different from rivals Apple, Spotify, and Amazon in that it relies more on amateur musicians, for whom it provides a rare platform, and less on major commercial artists.

But like them, it has yet to turn a profit. The big music labels on which most of the services depend – themselves under pressure from the shift to digital music – strike hard bargains.

And SoundCloud – which said three years ago it had an audience of 175 million, a figure it has not updated – lacks either Spotify’s large base of paying subscribers or the deep pockets of Apple and Amazon that can subsidise their music services.

Last week, SoundCloud said it was firing 173 staffers and closing its London and San Francisco offices to focus on Berlin and New York. “We’re on our path to profitability and in control of SoundCloud’s independent future,” co-founder Alex Ljung wrote in a blog post.

Technology website TechCrunch reported, however, that staff were told at a meeting this week that the layoffs only saved the company enough cash to hold out until the fourth quarter.

A spokeswoman the SoundCloud declined to comment on the TechCrunch article in depth. She did say, “SoundCloud is fully funded into the fourth quarter. We continue to be confident the changes made last week put us on our path to profitability and ensure SoundCloud’s long-term viability.”

She declined to comment on funding beyond the end of the year.

The news has reignited speculation that SoundCloud will be acquired by a rival. It was targeted by Spotify last year in a bid that was later aborted.

Spotify, recently valued at $13 billion, is now planning a direct listing on the New York Stock Exchange later this year or in early 2018, sources told Reuters in May.

“The biggest problem I see is that the financial problems will absorb much of management’s time in trying to raise more money, meaning that the real problems of the business go unaddressed,” independent technology analyst Richard Windsor wrote in a note.

“Of all the potential suitors, I think Google makes the most sense,” he said, noting SoundCloud’s similarity to Google’s YouTube in its focus on user-generated content. “Google will probably be most able to monetise what SoundCloud cannot.”

SoundCloud, which was launched in 2008 and has never said how many paying subscribers it has, last month launched a budget subscription package in the hope of persuading more listeners to convert from the free service.

SoundCloud raised $100 million last June from a group of investors including Twitter, valuing the company at roughly $700 million (roughly Rs. 4,510 crores), according to Re/code.

In March, it raised a further $70 million in debt from Ares Capital, Kreos Capital and DavidsonTechnology to meet its expected 2.5 times year-on-year revenue growth in 2017, a company spokeswoman said.

Co-founder Alex Ljung said in a public interview at the Tech Open Air conference in Berlin this week that the company was fundraising, although he declined to comment on a rumour it was trying to raise $250 million (roughly Rs. 1,610 crores).

[“source-gadgets.ndtv”]

Tinder is so last year. In 2017, dating apps will get more selective.

To add more fuel to the anti-2016 fire, dating experts are calling it a bad year for dating trends. “I wanted so bad to say something positive, but it’s mostly negative,” joked Michelle Jacoby, owner of DC Matchmaking and Coaching.

From ghosting to asking to split the check, 2016 was a year of dating don’ts. Experts linked daters’ general sense of feeling burned out from online dating to negative trends that appeared in the past year. With the first week in January being the busiest time for online dating, we asked three experts to explain how these trends will translate into the dating culture of 2017.

“Dating ADD,” as Jacoby calls it, increased in 2016.

Having constant access to a pool of potential matches at their fingertips is making people more impatient, causing unrealistic expectations for first dates and a general decline in effort. Daters are “more quick to judge because they know that if you’re not spectacular, they can go back to their inbox, and just swipe right again tomorrow,” Jacoby says.

This means a lot of first dates, and not many second dates, as noted by Jess McCann, author of “You Lost Him at Hello: From Dating to ‘I Do’ — Secrets from One of America’s Top Dating Coaches.” McCann has seen an increase in ghosting, or cutting off communication and suddenly disappearing, among her clients’ dates, citing it as a major reason some are losing faith in online dating.

More first dates means men are less likely to pick up the check. 

“I have seen an increase in my clients saying, ‘I asked him if he wanted to split it and he said sure,’ ” Jacoby says. In the millennial crowd, guys are shying away from the concept of dates altogether, opting to just hang out instead.

Jacoby says that when she was online dating 10 years ago, it was standard to send two- to four-paragraph introductions. Now, it’s a stretch to get people to write much beyond, “Hey, what’s up?”

With so many options and oftentimes minimal results, people are now more inclined to send out 20 brief messages than take the time to send three personalized ones, Jacoby says.

There are so many dating apps, the market is getting saturated and daters are feeling overwhelmed.

“When human beings are offered many choices, they’re actually less likely to make a decision or selection,” Jacoby says.

People are tired of going on 100 dates before someone finally interests them. “Right now it’s sort of just shooting in the dark,” McCann says.

Newer apps recognize that people are looking for something to tell them whether they have a chance with someone before they invest time and effort, so online dating is trending toward niche apps.

“I think if you want to niche it down and you like really fit people and that’s who you want to meet, great,” Jacoby says. But she warns that selecting someone based on résumé qualities isn’t a guaranteed match.

Daters are tired of dead-end conversations.

“People are burned out because they’re spending so much time on their mobile phones and they’re swiping … and the percentage of those swipes to actually meeting in person is really disproportionate,” says Julie Spira, founder of CyberDatingExpert.com.

Spira says she believes that 2017 will see more of a push for people to meet in real life. She predicts a rise in apps like Whim, which skips the pre-date conversation and immediately matches people for meetups.

McCann notes that many of her clients are preferring to meet the old-fashioned way, ditching apps in favor of connecting through friends, being set up or meeting people at social events like weddings and parties. “I’m seeing people using a lot of meetup groups to meet people, so they can do something they actually like but also hopefully meet somebody new that way.”

As dating has changed, so have the rules.

Old-school dating notions have become obsolete. Playing hard-to-get will get you nowhere in online dating.

“If someone interesting writes to you and you can see that he’s online now, don’t go ‘Oh, I’m going to make him wait an hour,’ ” Spira says. “Within that hour he could schedule three dates, and one of them he could end up being smitten with, and you played the waiting game, so you lost.”

You may be communicating with one person, but that person could simultaneously be chatting with maybe 20 other people. “You always have to keep in mind that you need to stand out, with every word you write and every picture you post,” McCann says.

Apps are constantly being updated with new technology that allows you to communicate in different ways, including GIFs, which can help a person stand out.

Spira recommends standing out by using exclamations and addressing the person by name when you message them. “If you don’t use their name, we go to a default place of believing that somebody is copy and pasting the same message to everyone, and that is just such a turn-off.”

[“source-smallbiztrends”]

Here Are Some Last Minute Facebook Advertising Tips for the Holidays

Here Are Some Last Minute Facebook Advertising Tips for the Holidays

If you haven’t been working on your holiday advertising game plan since September, you’re actually late to the party. Many successful marketers start holiday-specific advertising early in the fall to get exposure among users and influence consumer shopping early on, especially on Facebook. In fact, I can recall seeing gift-giving, holiday-related advertisements on Facebook as early as the beginning of September.

The good news is that if you haven’t made any advertising moves yet, there’s still time.

More than half of the people in the United States say Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) is somewhat or very influential on their holiday shopping. The platform has become a super spot for e-commerce, as strategic posting and visual ads are wildly successful among users. Here are few ways you can make the most of Facebook advertising over the holidays.

Decide Who You’re Targeting

Having a little clarity about your target audience will help you focus your ads with better precision. Are you going to try and reach your loyal, existing customers? Are you trying to reach out to new customers? Maybe both?

Depending on your answers to these questions, your approach to constructing an advertisement will vary. Get to know the audience you’re speaking to before you actually start speaking to them and you’ll produce ads that yield high conversions.

Retarget, Retarget, Retarget

Retargeting-the practice of advertising to users your brand has previous experience, exposure, or transactions with-has an impressive transaction improvement rate. If there’s one sure way to drive conversions and spike sales this holiday season, retargeting is it.

The Facebook Conversion Pixel and SDK can be added to websites and mobile apps, helping advertisers reach their audiences with specific, targeted ads. There are also plenty of other great retargeting tools that can help you reach your audience.

Use Ad Targeting at Holiday Shoppers

This sounds exactly like retargeting, but it’s a bit different. Facebook actually offers ads that are targeted specifically at holiday shoppers. So, if you have a highly engaged user who browses through content related to holiday shopping, Black Friday, and Cyber Monday, you can use that as a segment to target specifically.

Facebook puts together the audience of engaged holiday shoppers, and your targeted ads get displayed to them. Last year, this targeted segment ran from Thanksgiving through New Year’s Day and was accessible through the Facebook self-service dashboard>Behaviors>Seasonal and Events.

Be Strategic with Your Facebook Page Maintenance

Now is no time to get sloppy with the upkeep of your Facebook page. To thrive through the holidays, you must regularly populate your business/brand page with compelling content while responding and interacting with consumers as much as possible.

You can make your cover photo holiday related, ensure that your business contact information is updated and clickable, and execute all the musts for an awesomeFacebook page.

Facebook Photo via Shutterstock

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