Apple CEO Tim Cook just said on the company’s earnings call, record revenue in China, Taiwan, and Hong Kong, are the only regions of the world where Apple’s revenue grew from last quarter. The iPhone 5 and iPad Mini didn’t launch in China until December 2012, so most revenue from those launches was recorded in the first three months of 2013. And China has been a huge growth area for Apple over several quarters. During the earnings call, Cook also mentioned figures from research firm IDC indicating that the smartphone market could double in size in the upcoming years. Most of that growth is certainly going to happen in emerging markets. Right now China is dominated by cheap smartphones running Android. Cook noted that the company is selling the iPhone 4 as its low-cost device for first-time buyers. In China, the 8GB iPhone 4 cost 3088 yuan (UD$500) unsubsidised, while a 16GB Xiaomi Phone 2S cost only 1999 yuan (US$324), which has a better specification. So what’s your pick ?
China UnionPay, the only domestic bank card organization in communist China, has entered an agreement with Intel to provide mobile payment services. The collaboration was announced at IDF’s keynote in Beijing. The organization is set to use Intel’s Identity Protection Technology and also its distribution of the Hadoop software framework for data centers. During the event, the company has also unveiled the UnionPay Quick Pass service which allows consumers to use an NFC-enabled smartphone powered by Intel processor to pay for products everywhere from department stores to vending machines. To date, the total number of UnionPay card issued worldwide has exceeded 3.5 billion, with presence in all over China and network extended to more than 140 countries. So the joining force is absolutely creating a huge business for Intel in Chinese market and around the world. By the way, is that means if your Android phone is not powered by Intel chips, you will be prohibited to use the mobile payment service ? And what about Apple iPhone that doesn’t even support NFC ?
TCL, the Chinese electronics and home appliance company, has a product placement deal to appear in Iron Man 3 movie. Everything from Tony Stark’s motion panel device to his huge 4K Smart TV will be came from the Chinese company. Alcatel, a smartphone brand from TCL, has announced that the One Touch Idol will be also “featured” in the film. The company is one of several Chinese companies (along with Huawei and ZTE) hoping to find space in an already crowded U.S. smartphone market. Alcatel is trying to find a niche as a mass-market brand that can offer perhaps not the latest and greatest, but a lot of technology at a good price. That’s something that can even appeal to superheros. TCL has released some EXCLUSIVE footage regarding its product placement, so far we can see, Tony Stark is not using the Alcatel’s gear, an anonymous jounalist and his buddy James Rhodes (War Machine) are dealing with.
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 are just too busy or too lazy to post. There are stories on the shut down of China’s Nokia flagship store, Baidu knockoff Google Glass, Huawei loosing business in U.S. and so on, check them out after the break. Video for this week: young woman sells herself online, but not for sex … Hope everyone have a fresh start to your week.
Chinese mourners now have a new way to remember their loved ones who have passed on by scanning QR codes that are displayed on tombstones. Through the use of QR codes that are displayed on a tombstone, Chinese smartphone users can scan and learn more about the individual’s past and what they did while they were alive. This high tech feature is now available on tombstones located at the Shengjiang cemetery in Shenyang, capital of north-east Liaoning province in China. According to the cemetery manager, there are already over 10 people who have signed up for the brand new service to have the barcodes added to the tombstones …
Television is no longer mainly for “watching” but is trending toward something to which people “listen”. According to Google Taiwan, many people when supposedly “watching” TV will turn on their smartphone, tablet or laptop computer to surf the net, so that their eyes are constantly moving from screen to screen. In Taiwan, many people have the TV on as background and only pay attention to the screen when they hear things that interest them. According to Google’s research, 79 percent of the mobile users in Taiwan will search the internet after watching TV ad. Using the Internet to watch TV has also become a trend in Taiwan. Google’s YouTube cellphone view rate grew by three times last year compare to the previous year. The public is also familiar with using YouTube to watch TV content. From our own observation, most people in Hong Kong are also having the same pratice of “listening” to TV instead of watching. Over here, some TV ad can even interact with mobile phone user. As for the people in mainland China, the young generation spend most of the time using their smartphone to watch streaming video, watching or listening to TV is not common, especially for the rural dwellers.
China Mobile is teaming up with China UnionPay, the country’s only domestic bank card organization, to promote their new mobile phone wallet service. The service, based on near field communication (NFC) technology, allows users to make financial transactions through their mobile devices. Users with phones equipped with an NFC SIM card will be able to make payments at affiliated stores and locations. The service will effectively integrate information on users’ bank cards, public transportation cards and membership cards into a single digital storage space. The service will be push in 14 pilot regions including Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou. The scale of the entire e-wallet industry chain is expected to reach 150 billion yuan (US$24 billion) this year. Some analysts even expect the penetration rate of NFC mobile phones will reach 20 percent over the next 3-5 years based on the pool of 1.1 billion Chinese mobile phone users. We doubt the widespread of the e-wallet service in China. Not all smartphones come with NFC, the best example is Apple’s iPhone. And the NFC SIM card is also not compatible to every single phone on the market, such as model that use micro-SIM, or battery that cannot be replaceable which has no room to hide the antenna bridge.
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 are just too busy or too lazy to post. There are stories onSmart TV’s user habit in China, Alibaba’s online shopping credit, China better internet infrastructure and so on, check them out after the break. Video for this week: a tourism video of Dongguan city telling the world they are not “Dickensian Factory City”… Hope everyone have enjoyed your weekend and a fresh start to your week.
China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology said Google has too much control over China’s smartphone industry via its Android OS, and the communist believe they had the ability to create its own mobile operating system. The authorities are not so happy while the core technology and roadmap is strictly controlled by Google. They are having a report saying Google had discriminated against some Chinese companies developing their operating systems by delaying the sharing of codes. Google had also used commercial agreements to restrain the business development of mobile devices of these companies …
A Coca-Cola marketing campaign in Hong Kong has shown us what is called fun and creative mobile advertising. Every night at 10 pm, Coca Cola aired their ad on television, prompting thousands of viewers to grab their phones and start shaking them to virtually “catch” the falling bottle caps on the screen to win instant prizes. Dubbed “Chok! Chok! Chok!” – meaning rapid motion in local slang – the interactive campaign became a hit in late 2011, and sent viewers at home, in cinemas and in front of giant outdoor screens into a frenzy. Nine million people in HK saw the TVad, and 380,000 downloaded the dedicated app to their phones. The success indicates that marketers may be finally figuring out how to direct adverts at consumers via smartphone.
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