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”]

U.S. Spends Less as Other Nations Invest More in Education

U.S. spending on education declined from 2010 to 2014. (Hero Images/Getty Images)

The world’s developed nations are placing a big bet on education investments, wagering that highly educated populaces will be needed to fill tomorrow’s jobs, drive healthy economies and generate enough tax receipts to support government services.

Bucking that trend is the United States.

U.S. spending on elementary and high school education declined 3 percent from 2010 to 2014 even as its economy prospered and its student population grew slightly by 1 percent, boiling down to a 4 percent decrease in spending per student. That’s according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development’s annual report of education indicators, released last week.

Over this same 2010 to 2014 period, education spending, on average, rose 5 percent per student across the 35 countries in the OECD. In some countries it rose at a much higher rate. For example, between 2008 and 2014, education spending rose 76 percent in Turkey, 36 percent in Israel, 32 percent in the United Kingdom and 27 percent in Portugal. For some countries, it’s been a difficult financial sacrifice as their economies stalled after the 2008 financial crisis. To boost education budgets, other areas were slashed. Meanwhile, U.S. local, state and federal governments chose to cut funding for the schoolhouse.

“Overall (U.S.) education spending has been cut quite severely in the last few years,” said Andreas Schleicher, who heads the OECD directorate that issued the report. “That clearly puts constraints on the environment you have for learning.”

How lower spending constrains learning is subtle. Schleicher has pointed out for years that there isn’t a clear relationship between money spent and student outcomes. Some countries that spend far less than the United States on education consistently outshine this country on international tests.
And even with the decline in spending, the United States still spends more per student than most countries. The United States spent $11,319 per elementary school student in 2014, compared with the OECD average of $8,733, and $12,995 educating each high school student, compared with an average of $10,106 per student across the OECD.

The way that high-performing countries achieve more with less money is by spending it differently than the United States does. For example, larger class sizes are common in Asia, with more resources instead spent on improving teaching quality. During the period of U.S. budget cuts to education, there weren’t major changes to how the money was allocated.

“If you simply cut spending with your existing spending choices, you will end with less for less,” said Schleicher, citing school districts in Oklahoma that cut the number of school days to four from five each week.

One big way that the U.S. education system differs from others is in asking teachers to carry a heavy teaching load. U.S. teachers teach close to 1,000 hours a year, compared with 600 hours in Japan and 550 hours in Korea. In these countries, teachers might specialize in one course, such as Algebra I, and teach it only a few periods a day. The rest of their work week is spent on other activities, such as preparing lessons or giving feedback to students.

“In the U.S., teachers have less time for professional development, teacher collaboration, lesson preparation, working with students individually,” said Schleicher. “In other countries, teachers have a lot of time to watch each other’s lessons, design lessons and evaluate lessons.”

By contrast, the U.S. system spends a lot of resources on keeping class sizes relatively small, and hiring more teachers for them.

The OECD’s data echoes what the National Center for Education Statistics in Washington, D.C., has been tracking. It found that education spending for elementary and high school students had fallen for several years in a row from 2009 to 2013, due to a combination of federal, state and local budget cuts. Spending rose a smidgen during

the 2013-14 school year, the most recent year for which data is available, but, after adjusting for inflation, it is still well below the 2009 peak.

Last week’s U.S. Census report showed that middle class incomes are rising. One could argue that the economy is flourishing just fine with less spending on schools. But education is an 18-year, long-term investment, from pre-K through college. It could be that we won’t see our economic prospects smashed from this divestment for many years down the road.

This column was written by Jill Barshay and produced by The Hechinger Report, a nonprofit, independent news organization focused on inequality and innovation in education.

[“Source-usnews”]

Despite recent setbacks, India needs more private education

Currently, private schools can only be run as an educational charitable trust which means any profits the school makes have to be retained and cannot be taken out. In turn, the government often provides land at highly concessional rates to set up these schools. Photo: HT

Currently, private schools can only be run as an educational charitable trust which means any profits the school makes have to be retained and cannot be taken out. In turn, the government often provides land at highly concessional rates to set up these schools. Photo: HT

In the wake of the tragic murder of a seven-year-old boy at Ryan International School in Gurugram, followed just a few days later by the ghastly molestation of a little girl at a school in the capital, the lens is once again on private schools. In any case, the business of private education has been under fierce scrutiny for a long time now with the Delhi government currently engaged in a battle of wills with private schools over fee hike which it deemed exorbitant. Government schools, by contrast, are seen as catering to the poor and the marginalized.

The manner in which the debate has been framed seems to suggest a different set of expectations from private and government schools. That relates not just to outcomes but also to conduct and staff behaviour besides, of course, physical infrastructure. Given the kind of money they pay, parents of children who attend private schools, expect high standards of safety and security.

Evidence now suggests that’s not been happening. Indeed, private schools, which abound in India and have a long history in the country, haven’t quite delivered the goods.

India’s best colleges in engineering, management, medical and legal education have carved out a name for themselves in global ratings of higher education institution even if their rankings in various lists tend to be low because of a few factors. The same, however, cannot be said of even the elite private schools in the country, none of which have any global standing. That may be because they are forced to adhere to a curriculum and structure that lacks both imagination as well as excellence. But that doesn’t absolve them of their continued mediocrity.

All this suggests that private education isn’t the way to go for India in terms of quality as well as quantity. In developed Western countries with much higher GDP, the bulk of school education is in the public domain with only a few private schools catering to the rich. In the US, for instance, only about 10% of schools are in the private domain.

Yet, in India, even though government schools outnumber private institutions, they have been grossly inadequate in meeting the aspirations of the people. With a few exceptions, Delhi being one of them, most Indian states seem completely incapable of providing a half decent education infrastructure for young Indians.

According to research by Geeta Kingdon Gandhi, professor of education and international development at the Institute of Education, London, and president of City Montessori School, a private institution in Lucknow, as quoted by IndiaSpend, between 2010-11 and 2015-16, the number of private schools in India grew 35% from 220,000 in 2010-11 to 300,000 in 2015-16. By contrast, the number of government schools in the same period grew just 1%, from 1.03 million to 1.04 million. This, despite the fact that the 2009 Right to Education Act as per which all children between the ages of six and fourteen should be provided free and compulsory education, effectively makes it mandatory for state governments to set up more schools.

If the growth in numbers is beyond the capacity of the states, any improvement in quality isn’t even a priority. Indian students fare abysmally in global tests related to early school education.

Admittedly, in a few of the states like Punjab, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu, government schools have been seen to outperform private schools in reading skills in local languages, once household and parental characteristics were controlled for, according to a state-wise analysis in Annual Status of Education Report (ASER) 2014.

Part of the reason why private schools have failed to deliver is also because they have little transparency in their working and consequently, no accountability. Currently, private schools can only be run as an educational charitable trust which means any profits the school makes have to be retained and cannot be taken out. In turn, the government often provides land at highly concessional rates to set up these schools. It isn’t a model that can appeal to a company. Those that do have to use a complicated method whereby the school trust hands over its management and operations to a private company against a steep charge.

Instead of the current debate about private versus public schools, the focus should be on enabling the private sector to set up more schools but under direct and close scrutiny of regulatory authorities. Given the limited resources of the states, there is no point heading off private intuitive in education. Instead, it should be encouraged but made much more accountable for quality and conduct.

Sundeep Khanna is a consulting editor at Mint and oversees the newsroom’s corporate coverage. The Corporate Outsider will look at current issues and trends in the corporate sector every week.

[“Source-livemint”]

Acer at IFA 2017: Laptops, Gaming PCs, 360-Degree Cameras, and More

Acer at IFA 2017: Laptops, Gaming PCs, 360-Degree Cameras, and More

Acer Chromebook 15

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Acer introduced its new gaming Predator series devices
  • It also announced new Chromebook 15
  • A new 23.8-inch Aspire S24 all-in-one desktop PC also announced

Taiwanese manufacturer Asus has kicked off its IFA 2017 campaign with bunch of announcements including gaming laptops, PCs, and more. The company showed off all-new Predator gaming line alongside the new 23.8-inch Aspire S24 all-in-one desktop PC. Acer also revealed two connected 360-degree cameras, new projectors, and new Pawbo products. The company announced Nitro 5 Spin convertible laptop and Switch 7 fanless 2-in-1 notebook at the same event.

Acer Chromebook 15
The all-new Chromebook 15 is being marketed as the “only Chromebook in the industry with a 15.6-inch display and aluminium design.” The Acer Chromebook 15 will be made available in either a touch screen or non-touch screen models.

It will be available in EMEA (Europe, the Middle East, and Africa) in October starting at EUR 499 (roughly Rs. 38,000). It will also be available in North America in October starting at $399 (roughly Rs. 25,500), including the United States, where it will be offered at Best Buy and the Acer Store. The company claims up to 12 hours of battery life and the new Chromebook will support Android apps via Google Play when it is launched. It will be available in configurations of dual-core Intel Celeron and quad-core Intel Pentium processors available with 32GB or 64GB of storage as well as 4GB or 8GB of RAM. It features a backlit keyboard and weighs 1.72kg while measures 378x256x18.9mm. Connectivity options include Intel Wireless-AC (802.11ac) wireless featuring 2×2 MIMO technology; two USB 3.1 Type-C ports; Bluetooth 4.2; two USB 3.0, and an HDMI port.

Acer Swift 5 and Spin 5
At its IFA event, Acer also launched the Swift 5 and Spin 5 laptops. The Swift 5 will be available in North America and EMEA in December starting at $999 (roughly Rs. 64,000) and EUR 1,099 (roughly Rs. 84,000) respectively. China will be the launch market in November starting at CNY 7,499 (roughly Rs. 73,000). The Acer Spin 5 on the other hand will be available in North America and EMEA in September with 13-inch model starting at $799 (roughly Rs. 51,150) and 13-inch model starting at EUR 899 (roughly Rs. 69,000).

The new Swift 5 is said to offer stylish portability alongside capable performance. It weighs less than 1kg, and is built with ultra-light magnesium-lithium and magnesium-aluminium alloys. The laptop is powered by eighth generation Intel Core processors, and is said to deliver up to 8 hours of battery life. It has a full-HD IPS touchscreen display, and a backlit keyboard.

acer spin 5 acer

Acer Spin 5

The Spin 5 convertible laptop on the other hand has a rotating display like others in its series, letting users switch between laptop, tablet, display and tent form factors. The 13-inch model weighs 1.5kg and is at 15.9mm thin, while the 15-inch model is is just over 2kg and 17.9mm thin. They both ship with eighth generation Intel Core processors, up to 16 GB of DDR4 RAM, and even a discrete Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 graphics.

Acer Switch 7 Black Edition and Nitro 5 Spin
Acer also introduced its fanless 2-in-1 notebook dubbed Switch 7 Black Edition. It features a 13.5-inch display with 2256×1504 pixels and is powered by Intel Core i7 processor. It comes with a kickstand and runs on Windows 10. Acer Switch 7 Black Edition will be going on sale in December starting at $1,699 (roughly Rs. 108,000).

Acer also revealed its new Nitro 5 Spin convertible laptop targeted at gaming enthusiasts. It starts at $799 and will be going on sale from September. It comes in two display sizes including 13-inch and 15-inch sizes. It is powered by Intel’s 8th generation processor offering up to 16GB of RAM.

New Predator line
Acer showed off its new Predator line up comprising the Predator Orion 9000 series gaming desktops with Windows 10 and the Predator X35 monitor with Nvidia G-sync. Additionally, Acer is also offering a new Predator headset and mouse to enhance control and gaming experience.

acer predator monitor ifa2017 acer

Predator Orion 9000

Acer Predator Orion 9000 series features a black-and-silver spacecraft-like exterior with customisable RGB lighting along the sides of the front bezel. The device comes with two handles and wheels covered with a carbon fiber pattern. Acer says that “the new rigs can be easily moved from one location to another.” It also features liquid cooling and Acer’s IceTunnel 2.0 to keep the temperature down. The series come with support of up to 4 Radeon RX Vega cards for high resolution in stereo and refresh rates. Gamers will also get option of two Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080Ti cards in SLI, which support virtual reality with ease. The Predator Orion 9000 will come with Intel Core i9 Extreme Edition 18-core processor and up to 128GB quad-channel DDR4 memory.

The Predator X35 monitor, on the other hand, offers a colour gamut covering 90 percent of the DCI-P3 colour standard and supports 4ms response time, and high 200Hz refresh rate combined with Nvidia G-Sync for smooth gameplay.  It sports a large 35-inch display with 21:9 aspect ratio with a WQHD (3440×1440) pixels  resolution. It comes with Acer HDR Ultra and Quantum Dot technology.

The Predator Orion 9000 Series gaming desktops will be available in North America in December with starting prices at $1,999 (roughly Rs. 128,000) and in EMEA in November starting at EUR 1,999. The Predator X35 display will be available in Q1 2018. The company has also introduced new Predator Galea 500 gaming headset and Predator Cestus 500 gaming mouse which has been priced at $299.99 (roughly Rs. 19,200) and $79.99 (roughly Rs. 5,200) respectively.

Acer Aspire S24
Apart from launching the new Predator series and Chromebook 15, the company also revealed its all-new 23.8-inch Aspire S24 all-in-one desktop PC. Powered by Windows 10, Acer Aspire 24 is being marketed as the company’s “slimmest ever” featuring a display with a side profile of only 5.97mm. Under the hood, the all-in-one packs Intel’s 8th Generation Core processors with optional Intel Optane memory with Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC (802.11ac 2×2 MIMO) technology.

acer aspire 24 ifa2017 acer

Running Windows 10, Aspire 24 offers Cortana and Microsoft Edge features. It comes with up to 256GB SSD and 2TB HDD of storage space. The Acer Aspire S24 will be available in North America starting January starting at $999 and in EMEA from November this year at EUR 999.

Acer’s new 360-degree cameras
Acer on Wednesday also announced two LTE-connected 360-degree cameras including the Holo360 all-in-one camera that allows users to capture, view, edit and share with just one device, and the Vision360 cloud-connected in-car camera. The Acer Holo360 is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 mobile processor with Qualcomm’s Connected Camera platform. It supports capabilities such as stitching videos in real-time, comes with integrated LTE connectivity, and a 3-inch touchscreen for operation. The Acer Holo360 offers an all-in-one solution to livestream 360-degree videos. The Holo360 runs on Android 7.1 Nougat which allows users to share 360-degree photos and videos directly to social networks.

Acer Vision360, on the other hand, is a cloud-connected 360-degree camera with use of two “ultra-high quality cameras.” The Acer Vision360 can be used in cars for recording all angles around the car in 4K quality video.

Additionally, when an object collides with the car when it is in motion; the device triggers a recording that includes GPS coordinates of where the incident occurred, which is not only saved in a secure area on the device’s internal storage, but also uploaded to the cloud for evidence preservation. Apart from the camera, the Vision360 is mounted on the windshield, aligned with the driver’s eyes and also displays the vehicle’s current speed. The Acer Holo360 connected camera will be available in North America from November at $429 (roughly Rs. 27,500) bundled with a water-resistant case.

Projectors
Acer also unveiled two new projectors including the Acer VL7860 catering to the home cinema enthusiast, and the Acer P8800, for top-notch image quality for public venues or larger rooms. Pricing and availability details of the new projectors were not shared by Acer at the event.

Pawbo products
Pawbo, Acer’s wholly owned subsidiary, introduced two new products including Pawbo iPuppyGo, a lightweight tracker that keeps tabs on pets’ activity and wellness, and Pawbo WagTag, a cloud-connected collar for dogs to keep track of the location.

pawbo munch acer ifa2017 acer

Pawbo Munch

 

The company also showcased Pawbo Munch, which is a smart treat-dispenser that works with the Pawbo+ allowing pet owners to interact with their pets, whether at home or from afar. No pricing was announced for the products at the event.

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[“Source-gadgets.ndtv”]