Last week, Microsoft said that the Taiwanese contract manufacturer Foxconn, which makes 40 percent of consumer electronics worldwide including a variety of Android and Chrome-powered products, had agreed to license its patents. Now, the software giant announced another patent-licensing deal with ZTE, the fourth largest telecom producer in the world. ZTE makes a whole lot of Android-powered smartphones and tablets. The licensing agreement with the Chinese handset maker marks a major advance in Microsoft’s quest to extract patent payments from all its competitors making Android phones. With the ZTE deal in place, a full 80 percent of Android phones sold in the US have now taken a license to its patents. Unlike Foxconn, the official announcement regarding ZTE does not explicitly say that Microsoft is getting paid. A Microsoft spokesperson said the company’s patent agreements are “generally royalty-bearing.”
Microsoft has insisted for years now that any company making Android phones needs to license its patents. The campaign has been so successful that the American software giant was making more money from patent licensing than from its own mobile phone system. More than 50 percent of the Android phones in the world have agreed to take licenses to its patents, including smartphone makers like LG, HTC, and Samsung. And that number is likely going to jump up today, as it announces that Foxconn, the Taiwanese company that makes 40 percent of the world’s consumer electronic devices, has agreed to join its licensing program. Foxconn will be paying Microsoft, the agreement will apply to all Android and Chrome OS devices made by Foxconn worldwide, including smartphones, tablets, and televisions …
There are so much news from China that passes by that we couldn’t possibly cover it all. Here are the Chinese tech news that have left behind because we’re just too busy or too lazy to post. There are stories on HTC’s facebook phone, Apple banned Chinese e-book app, the sales number of Xiaomi phone and so on, check them out after the break. Video for this week: the Chinese really love to watch Jon Stewart making fun on North Korea. Hope everyone have a fresh start to your week and enjoy using you favourite gadget.
Microsoft’s after-sales service of its Surface tablet has attracted criticism from China’s state-owned radio. The criticism may be the opening shot against the world’s largest software maker, similar to what Apple faced in the past month. The latest release of Surface Pro should follow the nation’s law requiring notebook computers to have a one-year repair warranty for the whole device and a two-year warranty for main parts, as compared with the company’s one-year pledge for both. Microsoft began selling Surface tablets in China in October and made its first global sale in Beijing. Recently the software giant launched its Surface Pro tablet earlier this month, partnering with popular Chinese online seller Tmall to launch an additional online store in the region. A lot of foreign companies may not be familiar with China’s after-sales policies, but we hope those China’s state-media are not demanding an apology from Steve Ballmer in order to promote their credibility. In the meantime, Microsoft has responded the issue, according to The Verge, the company indicates Surface Pro and its main components are covered under a two-year warranty consistent with Chinese law.
Microsoft’s hybrid tablet the Surface Pro may hit the Chinese market on April 2. The software maker announced the news in a blog post on Chinese social media SINA Weibo, but has not yet revealed the exact pricing. Microsoft China has not confirmed any specifics about further launches for the Win8 tablet. The move follows a recent partnership with popular Chinese online seller Tmail to launch an additional online store in the region. The Surface Pro was launched in the United States and Canada in early February, but most of the customers couldn’t get their hands on devices due to lack of supply. The sales of Surface RT in China is really terrible from what we heard and Microsoft is hoping consumers in the largest market can help to boost up their sales. We just hope the launch of Surface Pro in China won’t be facing another supply shortages …
After launching its own Chinese online store last year, Microsoft has opted to partner with popular Chinese seller Tmall to launch another online store in the region. The new partnership will see over 50 products made available on Microsoft’s Tmall store, including Surface, Office, Windows Phone, and other hardware and accessories. Tmall is ran by Alibaba.com, the country most influential e-commerce company. The business-to-consumer shopping site handles goods for more than 50,000 merchants, including major brands like Dell, Lenovo and Samsung. Tmall is a popular destination for Chinese consumers. The significant move is expected to help boost Windows Phone sales in Chinese market, as well as Microsoft’s new Surface tablet. Surface RT has been reportedly off to a slow start worldwide, the market share amounted to only 1 percent in China market, and Nokia couldn’t deliver enough Windows Phone device for Chinese customer. Right now, Android Handsets dominate in China, while Apple maintains its niche in the high-end segment, leaving only little room for Windows-based phones. We’re just hoping the additional online outlets can help to increase Microsoft’s prospects in China.
Windows Phone is supported by several major brands such as Nokia, HTC, Samsung, and Huawei. Despite these big names, Microsoft is still looking for new partners. Chinese OEM Phicomm is in negotiation with Microsoft to produce a Windows Phone handsets. Phicomm is the brand name for Shanghai Feixun Communication Co. Ltd. The company is typical of the multitude of small Chinese manufacturers that are creating phones largely by building off the back of standard reference designs, effectively putting together products from off the shelf components. These companies do make some efforts to customise the design or software, but the biggest selling point is usually the low cost of the devices. A Phicomm Europe representative has revealed it’s negotiating with Microsoft to adopt Windows Phone 8. As the negotiations are in an early stage, a budget Windows devices may still take some time to reach the market …
According to research firm IDC, the shipments of Microsoft’s Surface RT tablet in China reached only 30,000 units during the fourth quarter of 2012. Among all tablets, the Surface RT’s market share amounted to only 1 percent in Chinese market. In China, Microsoft decided to only sell the product through local electronics retailer and its own online sales channel. We still clearly remember back in October, the first day sales for the device attracted a long line in Beijing. Globally, Surface RT shipments reached 900,000 units. Rival Apple launched its iPad mini and 4th-gen iPad in the communist land during December last year. This allowed the company to grab a 62 percent share of the tablet market, with 1.4 million shipments. Android devices are growing in popularity too, with their market share increasing to 36 percent. We will keep a close look whether Chinese consumer will be demanding for the Surface Pro tablet. Overall, Microsoft is loosing significantly in the tablet market …
There are so much news from China that passes by that we couldn’t possibly cover it all. Here are the Chinese tech news we have left behind this week because we’re just too busy or too lazy to post. There are stories on Samsung big investment in China, difficulties on bringing Chinese games to the West, Apple desperately needs an cheap iPhone and so on, check them out after the break. Video for this week: watch how American satirical television show laugh at the China’s air pollution… Hope everyone have enjoyed your weekend and a fresh start to your week.
Early this week, there’s news reported that China is considering to end the 12-year ban on video game consoles, but now it seems this long-running ban won’t be lifting any time soon. Local journalist spoke to representatives from the country’s Ministry of Culture, who underscored that ending up the ban hasn’t come under consideration. The authorities emphasized that undoing the ban — which has been in effect for over a decade — wouldn’t be up to the Ministry of Culture alone. Rather, it’s a complicated process that necessitates input from various influential parties. Sony representatives also told the Chinese media that there was no confirmed news to report regarding the issue. Well, that’s sure to disappoint million of Chinese gamers, however it’s business as usual at the black market, continue its supply of game consoles through illegal import.
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