A GLOBAL SMARTPHONE FORCE: Lei Jun, chairman of the Chinese upstart smartphone maker Xiaomi, took to Sina Weibo on Thursday to tell the public that Xiaomi has plans to supply at least 40 million smartphones for the year in 2014.
In the second quarter of 2013, Xiaomi barely cracked the sixth-place spot in China for smartphone market share, just ahead of Apple. If it meets its goals for 2014, Xiaomi would become one of the top three smartphone vendors in China, and would be competing alongside its Chinese smartphone vendor rivals ZTE, Lenovo, and Huawei in the global smartphone market.
OUTPACING THE MARKET: While lofty, it may not be impossible. Jun also announced that Xiaomi had sold 18.7 million phones during 2013, which is growth of 160% over 2012 sales and well above its own initial target of 15 million phones for the year.
But to sell 40 million phones next year, Xiaomi would have to more than double its shipments for a second consecutive year, with targeted growth of about 122%. This far exceeds the pace at which the global smartphone market is growing. Research firm Canalys puts average annual smartphone growth to be somewhere around 18% through 2016.
Xiaomi’s strong performance in 2013 can be attributed to its ability to grasp onto a segment of the market in China that gravitated toward cheaper Android handsets during the year. If it can achieve this on a wider scale outside of China, Xiaomi could become a force on the global market as well. (Reuters)
In other news…
WEARABLES ONSLAUGHT: The CES convention happening this weekend in Las Vegas may be the first big showcase for the massive number of wearable computing devices that are set to hit the market in 2014. Here’s a rundown of what to expect. (PCWorld)
Smart home startup and Internet Of Things pioneer Nest has raised a significant new round of funding that places its valuation somewhere between $US2 and $US3 billion. (Recode)
Ahead of the Microsoft takeover, Nokia is getting ready to officially shut down its Symbian and MeeGo app stores. To start the process, Nokia has now inhibited the ability of Symbian and MeeGo developers to update existing apps. (ZDNet)
INTRODUCING WINDROID: What if Windows leveraged the Android app ecosystem by forking its own version? Chester Ng at VentureBeat considers the competitive advantages Windows might gain if it could provide its users with the best Android apps on the market while replacing Google services with its own compelling alternatives like Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint for productivity, Skype for messaging, Xbox for entertainment, and Bing for search, among others. (VentureBeat)
Samsung will be introducing a remake of its Android-powered point-and-shoot Galaxy Camera in 2014. The Galaxy Camera 2 will ship with Android 4.3. (Forbes)
Tech analyst Ross Rubin selects his favourite mobile and wearable computing devices from 2013. (Engadget)
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