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”]

Two new high-end LG smartphones pop up on Geekbench

With MWC right around the corner, all eyes are on LG and its next G6 flagship, set for a February 26 unveiling. But it seems that’s not the only hot new product the Korean giant is cooking up. A few days ago a mysterious LG H871 handset popped up on Geekbench. Today brings two more handset listings of the same nature.

Their models names are LGE LGUS997 and LGM-G600L and the testing app reports 4GB of RAM and a Snapdragon MSM8996 chipset in both. This, along with the reported Android Nougat ROM is the only information we have to go by. Unfortunately, the chipset model does introduce a fair level of confusion. Qualcomm actually uses MSM8896 for a total of four chips – the Snapdragon 820 and two Snapdragon 821 varieties. Granted, these are all pretty similar in hardware terms, but clock speeds vary somewhat:

  • MSM8996 “lite” : 2×1.8 GHz Kryo & 2×1.36 GHz Kryo
  • MSM8996 : 2×2.15 GHz Kryo & 2×1.6 GHz Kryo
  • MSM8996 Pro-AB : 2×2.15 GHz Kryo & 2×1.6 GHz Kryo
  • MSM8996 Pro : 2×2.35 GHz Kryo & 2×1.6 GHz Kryo

None of these models explicitly states a clock frequency of 1.9 GHz on any cluster, which could be attributed to a number of things – reporting error, slight tweak or a new chipset variant altogether.

We are already fairly certain that the LG G6 will be using the Snapdragon 821 chip. The 4GB of reported RAM do somewhat clash with our current believe that the flagship will have 6GB. Then again, there was also a rumor, at some point, stating that 6GB would be released in North America and Europe, while 4GB is what other markets will get.

We could just as easily be looking at the G6 Lite and G6 Compact as well. Going back to model numbers, it is also worth noting that the LGUS997 definitely sounds like an exclusive US carrier version of sorts. Hopefully, more info will come to light at MWC.

[“source-smallbiztrends”]

The Future of Mobile Marketing: Smartphones and Augmented Reality

With each new year, marketers continue to say that mobile marketing is going to be huge. Has the time already come, or are there more developments in mobile marketing and technology yet to be seen?

Mobile is one of the most innovative technology platforms out today, and with about 50% of mobile users (and 70% of affluent customers) owning a smartphone, the market for apps and further technological advancement is greater now than ever before.

The Future of Mobile Marketing

Smartphone users are expecting a deeper personalized engagement and assistance from their phones. Many people are dependent on their phone as their sole source of telecommunication, as well as a way to connect via social media and email. They also use it for entertainment and consuming content. This means that app and operating system developers need to fulfill a hefty order: To continue to make smartphones an integral part of user’s lives.

Facilitating Experiences

FourSquare and Yelp have released app updates in the last year that allow users to be notified when their friends have checked into the same location or are nearby. This type of GPS-location for a user’s social network is even further reducing the need to communicate directly with friends to find out where they are. This can be useful when attending large events, going out with new friends while running into some new ones or even avoiding an ex-girlfriend/boyfriend/husband/wife or boss.

Besides utilizing mobile to market locations as a place where a user’s friends are hanging out, mobile apps can also be used to market events or unique experiences. This includes secret concerts or performances for only certain app users or a special on hot air balloon rides that a user just happens to be a few blocks away from. Users like the gratification of having apps do the work for them. That way, they can focus more on their friends and the experience itself, rather than spending effort having to find it.

Augmented Reality

Augmented reality (AR) continues to be the golden child in the minds of those thinking about the future of mobile marketing. Think of all the potential for local businesses – instant restaurant reviews (which Yelp has already been utilizing since 2009), hotel locations, online prices for products on shelves and more. Not to mention all the games and entertainment experiences that augmented reality can bring into users’ homes.

The potential of augmented reality is seemingly endless, especially because it is still in development and its potential remains vastly untapped. HowStuffWorks (who has a great video on AR) estimates that by 2020, there will be 50 billion devices connected to the internet. This means that online sensors can influence how users see reality in relation to their individual preferences and past history.

Price Comparison

Mobile makes it easy to instantly check for product and service prices, as well as for coupons and discounts, from anywhere there is wifi access or cell phone service. While many mobile marketing apps, like CouponSherpa (available at Google Play and iTunes) and Apple’s passbook, have utilized this to create services based on a user’s location, search and available connected profiles, the future still remains wide for further possibilities.

For instance, what if a restaurant’s app noticed a user’s negative tweet about a competitor and instantly text them a lucrative coupon? Or if a user’s smart phone GPS says they are in the area, a business could pay to be part of an app that offers instant, unique deals personalized to that user, depending on where they are (Groupon is going down this road with their instant deals).

The future of mobile marketing will depend largely on apps reacting to the customer, instead of the customer initiating the request for information themselves. GPS location, as well as inter-connected social media APIs will make this second nature.

Interaction With the Outside World

In relation to augmented reality and mobile marketing based on a user’s behavior and location, mobile technology may also continue to make a user’s life easier by increasing their ability to interact with the outside world. Instances may include:

  • Using Shazam to listen to an infomercial to instantly buy the advertised product.
  • Ordering photos from Shutterfly directly from a user’s smart phone camera album.
  • Using apps or bluetooth to pay for purchases at a department store.
  • Scanning a piece of furniture’s barcode to search for tutorial videos on how to assemble it.

There are many instances where the Internet already makes smartphone users’ lives easier than ever, but the key to future development is fine-tuning what has already been done while also innovating further ways to streamline and make things more efficient.

While mobile marketing has already come quite far in just the past few years, the fact remains that there is much more that can still be done. With almost every electronic device available being built to connect to the Internet, smartphones and other gadgets alike will bring marketers and users together to create experiences, influence purchases and make life a little easier.

Mobile Future Photo via Shutterstock

[“source-smallbiztrends”]

How Apple Changed the World of Smartphones

How Apple Changed the World of Smartphones

Brand loyalty is never more important to consumers than when buying a car, choosing between Coke and Pepsi, or upgrading a smartphone. Whether you are a hyper-loyal iPhone user or you prefer an Android or other device, there is one admission that we all, as smartphone users, must make. Apple’s original iOS, and the interface and environment that it existed within, laid the necessary foundation that allowed the rest of our future mobile and smartphone devices to propagate and thrive.

Before you jump ship, this is not a fanboy love letter to Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) and the iPhone, but rather an engaged look at how Apple’s first iOS altered the smartphone culture and where the future of that now present culture is headed.

Life Before Apple’s First iOS

A lot of big changes and industry-altering innovations come as a result of a void needing to be filled. In 2007, there certainly existed one of these voids in the smartphone world. At this time, mobile devices had a lot of the same utilities and capabilities as our present ones. Sure, the app boom had yet to crest the horizon, but they were able to perform all of the necessary functions: e-mail, text messaging, web browsing, calendars, solitaire, video, etc. In other words, everything we need our smartphones for, they were capable of doing it.

The issue was how they did it. Whether it was BlackBerry’s track ball, the scroll wheel or a stylus, every proposed innovation was typically overshadowed by its own drawbacks. For instance, the stylus created an almost touchscreen-like interface that made moving from application to application much smoother, but they had the immediate drawback of being easy to lose or misplace (I actually remember a time when the grocery store sold a three pack of styluses in the checkout aisle).

The void began to grow as smartphones got smarter and smarter, but devices and their interfaces remained clunky and rifled with drawbacks.

Enter the OS X or, How Apple Changed the World of Smartphones

The very first iPhone operating system was, at the time, named the OS X, before later adopting the iOS label that Apple now uses. In a lot of ways, save for one, this now-prehistoric iPhone was mediocre. It did not have a lot of the same capabilities as other smartphone devices at the time. It did not have 3G connectivity, it lacked the ability to take and send quality pictures or video and it had a shortage of other useful apps and utilities, like GPS. Basically, in almost every category that we typically judge a smartphones performance or capabilities, the original iOS and iPhone fell well short, except for one.

The Touchscreen Environment

What Apple succeeded at ­—what they created and revolutionized — was the touchscreen environment. They were not the first device to have this technology by far, which is why the word “environment” is included, because that properly describes what the OS X achieved. Where other companies simply leveraged touchscreen technology, only Apple was successful at creating an interactive world that users manipulated and changed to their own liking.

They managed to create an illusion and a good one at that. The magic of the first iOS was its ability to import on users the feeling that every button, icon, page or other clickable had its own weight and size. A lot of this “magic,” we take for granted now, but at the time it was truly incredible.

Even the act of using two fingers to zoom in or out, which has been adopted by every smartphone on the market, created an incredibly clever shortcut because it continued this illusion that you were interacting with an object and not just an organized collection of pixels. It was also an effective way to make map navigation and zooming better.

To express the effectiveness of this small innovation, we need only look at the BlackBerry Curve 8300, which was arguably the biggest competitor to Apple’s first smartphone devices. While the Curve had GPS capabilities, unlike the iPhone, zooming or moving around on the map was such a complex process that you practically needed a professional cartographer and a BlackBerry programmer on hand to figure it out.

After the iPhone’s release, every touchscreen and smartphone design became a dinosaur. Even though the original iPhone had its own drawbacks and deficiencies, the experience of using it was superior and unmatched by any device that was currently on the market.

Why iOS Versus Android Matters Less Now

The impact that the seemingly physical environment created, by Apple’s touchscreen and OS X, had changed the way we looked, and continue to look at, smartphones. Detractors of Apple often suggest that they have not innovated much since and have even copied many of their competitors emerging and existing technologies. Yet, to do this, we take away from the tremendous splash that the first iPhone had.

This importance is often lost in the iPhone versus Android debates. The extreme brand loyalty for our chosen smartphone provider makes it hard to admit the opposition’s upsides and advantages. This sort of competitive comrade is, at least it should be, diminishing the number of debates we have regarding what smartphone is best. Arguably, a lot of these conversations circulated around the apps each brought to the table. Yet, Android and iOS have both emerged as the undisputed leaders that nearly every app has cross-platform capabilities and updates.

Thus, it really boils down to preference. Nearly every hand in the smartphone industry has done something, big or small, to advance the mobile device environment as a whole. Rather than continuing to look at the differences between each, we should be welcoming the advances that the competing brand makes because they are ultimately driving all mobile devices to be better. In essence, they are all looking at what the next void will be and how to fill it as perfectly as the original iOS did.

What Will the Next Void Be?

While the future of anything is always simple speculation, there are two emerging cases, as to what the next big innovation will be that surges smartphones into the next generation. A lot of experts believe that this will be the transformation from the current swipe, pinch and zoom, touch, hold, press, etc. functionality, to say and do processes, which is why we have seen so many digital assistants (Siri, Cortana) emerging lately.

The goal of these digital assistants is very similar to that of the original Apple iOS; they are trying to make things faster, simpler and more cohesive. For so long, our phones have operated through buttons (touch and physical) and we often fall short of unlocking their true potential out of simple ignorance. In other words, we do not even know everything our devices and apps are capable of. A digital assistant can help close this loop because they know all the functions, you need only ask it of them.

The second possible innovation, which Apple is already working toward, is alpha apps. In short, these apps compound a number of pre-existing programs under one umbrella. It is based on the premise that our apps today are very separate from one another and rarely play with each other.

For example, you open Google Maps to find a new restaurant in your area. Then, you have to open an entirely new application to find reviews or a menu about the restaurant(s) in question. Finally, you have to open a browser because you see a dish on the menu you have never seen before and need to investigate it. We are constantly doing this; we open several apps during the journey of achieving a single, simple objective.

Similar to digital assistants, alpha apps also aim to close the loop and ultimately make life easier and more productive for the user. It also solves the common problem that many smartphone users have with regards to dead or unused apps on their device; many of these come preloaded onto the phone. Alpha apps would better utilize these programs, even deem some of them obsolete, and ultimately make our smartphones cleaner and more organized.

Conclusion

All three of these past, present and future technologies (the original Apple iOS, digital assistants and alpha apps) all have one thing in common. We do not realize we need them until they are here.  The world was content with the smartphone technology before the iPhone. While our BlackBerry and Motorola phones were far from perfect, considering the current market of smartphones, they satisfied our needs at the time.

What Apple did to truly alter the smartphone industry was only achieved by understanding that innovation was not in the hardware or making phones smaller or sleeker. It was about changing the culture and the way people thought of, interacted with and how they understood the device in their pocket. They filled a void before we, as consumers, knew there even was one.

Collectively, the leaders of the smartphone industry are going to continue to push the boundaries of our mobile devices.  It is not clear yet, which way the industry is going to pull next, whether its alpha apps, more effective digital assistants, or something entirely different. What is certain, however, is there are more moments to come that will be as earth shaking as when Steve Jobs first swiped to unlock the iPhone.

Apple Photo via Shutterstock

[“source-smallbiztrends”]