Are smartphones making us smarter? Bosses are especially concerned about this at the workplace because people check their phones as often as 150 times a day–meaning we may be distracted more than 50% of the time at work and have lower productivity. However, our devices are good for relationship building, and having a good friend at work tends to extend an employee’s stay at a job. In addition, smartphone use helps ensure that the workday never really ends and work time can extend into evenings and weekends. This could be both good and bad news because long hours can translate into lower productivity and, eventually, illness.
Huawei is one of only a few Chinese companies that has become truly global, deriving more revenue abroad than at home. Long a telecom equipment provider, Huawei shifted its focus to consumer devices and took only five years to become the second most profitable Android smartphone maker and the third largest in terms of production. How did the company manage to do that, given that the smartphone industry is highly competitive? And smartphones are only the highest-profile part of the sprawling telecom giant. With over 170,000 employees across the globe, what is the company’s management system like and what could we learn from Huawei’s model?
Technology has helped demolish walls between different industries and many tech giants are investing in different sectors. LeEco stands out amongst its peers for its ambition and audacity, its ultimate ambition is to build an ecosystem through quick—and diversified—acquisitions and investments. The company has transformed from one focusing on just video content to one that makes smart TVs, smartphones and even cars and virtual reality headsets. Although many people doubt its capabilities, the company seems to be doing well financially. But what does the future hold? Will its audacious plans succeed?
The writing is there on the wall for all to see: the era of personal computers is over and this is the age of smartphones. Lenovo, a giant PC maker, seems to be late to the party. The hotly contested Chinese smartphone market already has strong global players like Apple and Samsung, and aggressive domestic brands like Huawei, Xiaomi and ZTE. How can Lenovo gain a foothold in such a competitive market? Will selling in overseas markets help? Will its Motorola acquisition be of use? And finally, can Lenovo become the proverbial dark horse that catches up from behind and ultimately wins the race?
Xiaomi, once the most popular smartphone vendor in China, is showing signs of decline. Back in the day, Xiaomi broke the mold by offering a feature-rich phone at an impossibly low price point. Its unique marketing strategy and business model helped it to break online sales records. But soon others started copying Xiaomi’s strategy and the novelty wore off. The company has been slow to innovate. For phone buyers, Xiaomi ended up being a low-end phone: once they had enough money, they would upgrade to an Apple or Samsung. Today Xiaomi is quickly diversifying from phones to rice cookers and drones. But is that enough to come back to relevance?
Companies that have spent months being feted by the media don’t tend to revise down their sales target, but in March Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi did just that—from 100 million units set in December 2014 to 80-100 million. Rival Chinese brand Huawei overtook Xiaomi in the third quarter as China’s top smartphone vendor. It’s a reality check for the upstart vendor, which soared to fame and a $45 billion valuation in less than five years as China’s first-time smartphone buyers snapped up handsets at a furious rate. But Xiaomi isn’t the only one hurting from the smartphone market slowdown in China.
Are you among those who worry about where their products come from? So you prefer to shell out an extra buck for fair trade coffee instead of a regular cup of joe. You look for the Fairtrade certification when you buy clothes. But what about your phone? Fairphone, an Amsterdam-headquartered company, is selling phones on the premise that they are made from conflict-free minerals. Is that a compelling proposition for customers? Will they pick an ethically produced phone over an iPhone which has greater functionality, more aspiration value and a style quotient?
Unlike parent company Lenovo, ZUK is trying to woo youngsters and blaze its own path. To do that it is immersing its engineers in their environment and involving youngsters in the conceptualization and design process.
Chinese smartphone company OnePlus has received many accolades in the global market. Can it recreate the same magic in China?
Lenovo is trying to crack the Chinese smartphone market with ZUK, the erstwhile ShenQi. But has it really figured things out?