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Global Tech

Huawei Eyes Big Growth, ZTE Rolls out Game Box

Telecoms giants Huawei and ZTE are in the headlines for their newer product initiatives, as each tries to offset slowing growth in their core telecoms equipment business. Of the pair, Huawei’s news looks the most bullish, with the company targeting a sharp rise in smartphone sales as it sets its sights on overtaking Apple as the world’s second largest seller. Meanwhile, ZTE has formally rolled out its new gaming console, the FunBox, which looks a bit more exciting that I’d originally imagined and carries an extremely low price tag.   More

Global Tech

China: Xiaomi, Huawei Set 2014 Goals, ZTE Adjusts

The start of a new year is seeing two of China’s top smartphone and telecoms equipment makers lay out their new goals for 2014, with fast-rising Xiaomi aiming to continue its explosive growth as the more mature Huawei targets more modest gains. Meanwhile, another leading telecoms player, ZTE, is also detailing a major reorganization aimed at rekindling growth as it tries to diversify beyond its core business of building networks for big telcos. All of these plans are consistent with previous signals from each of the three companies, and in that regard aren’t very surprising. But they do provide a hint of where priorities will lie in the new year.   More

Business

Kirkpatrick: Apple Could Shake Up Wearable Tech in 2014

What’s in store for Apple in 2014? Will Apple shake up wearable technology and traditional television, or will it struggle to innovate? Techonomy’s David Kirkpatrick speculated about Apple’s year ahead on Bloomberg Surveillance last week, predicting good things for the tech giant. Even in China, where Apple’s market share is relatively low, Apple has a “great opportunity,” said Kirkpatrick, who is a Bloomberg contributing editor. “It’s a very high-quality, well-respected product in China,” he explained, pointing to Apple’s standing as a higher-status, luxury brand. “In China, status matters very much.”   More

Digital Startup Culture Video

Can Silicon Valley Survive?

Silicon Valley hasn’t had one of its best years. There are more and more complaints about inequality, discrimination against women and minorities, lack of innovation and a focus on short-term economic gain. The Valley, veterans say, isn’t what it used to be. And, they go on, if Silicon Valley is to survive, it has to reinvent itself in an increasingly competitive global economy where most of the rest of the world is trying to emulate the Valley. So, I asked David Kirkpatrick, when I interviewed him at an Ericsson and AT&T Foundry hosted FutureCast event that focused on the future of innovation, how exactly can Silicon Valley reinvent itself?   More

Digital Global Tech

What’s Behind Apple’s iPhone Deal with China Mobile?

Last week will go down in the history books as the week when China finally entered the high-speed telecoms era with its granting of 4G licenses after years of waiting. But China still has the dubious distinction as one of the world’s few markets where Apple’s wildly popular iPhone isn’t available to more than half of the country’s 1 billion mobile subscribers. That looks set to finally change soon, with media reporting that China’s dominant carrier China Mobile has finally signed an iPhone deal with Apple.   More

Digital Global Tech

Weibo: Google’s Schmidt Eyes China Gadget Market

The microblogging realm has been buzzing these past few days with speculation on a brief China visit late last week by Google Chairman Eric Schmidt, who checked out counterfeit goods at a gadget market in Beijing’s Zhongguancun high-tech area. Equally interesting was the inclusion in Schmidt’s group of two former Google executives who now work for Xioami, the fast-rising smartphone maker that hopes to someday become China’s equivalent of Apple.   More

Business

Kirkpatrick: Apple Still Defined by Great Products

Despite reporting quarterly earnings any other company would envy, Apple received a heavy dose of criticism from industry experts. A bevy of business and tech outlets reported on Apple’s “disappointing” quarter, pointing to the company’s shrinking margins as proof that it’s stuck. Pundits blamed the standstill on Apple’s sluggishness in rolling out what consumers want: the next big tech innovation—or two or three. Techonomy’s David Kirkpatrick joined Bloomberg’s “Taking Stock” Monday night to offer his opinion on Apple’s fourth-quarter results and what they forecast for the company’s future.   More

Global Tech

Xiaomi Joins Mobile OS Field

There’s an interesting report out saying that up-and-coming smartphone maker Xiaomi is developing its own mobile operating system (OS), becoming the latest Chinese player to try to muscle in on a market now dominated by three U.S. companies—Apple, Google, and Microsoft. I’ll admit there have been so many similar initiatives by both Chinese hardware and Internet companies these days that it’s hard to know which of the campaigns are genuinely new systems and which are just variants of Google’s popular and free Android OS.   More

Digital Global Tech

China Lands on iPhone Global Launch Map

China reached an important milestone this week when it was included for the first time in the global launch for Apple’s newest smartphone, the iPhone 5S. The move reflects the growing importance of China to Apple, which now counts the market as its second largest. China’s inclusion in the global launch also reflects an effort by Apple to try and win back local consumers, many of whom have recently abandoned the U.S. tech giant due to long waits to get the latest iPhones and a series of negative media reports.   More

Global Tech Manufacturing

Where Do Apple’s iPhones Come From?

Apple has never been as popular as it was in the 2nd quarter of 2013. In the Q3 earnings call, Apple reported that 31.2 million iPhones were sold in that quarter. This was a quarterly record for Apple. Contrast this with 26 million iPhones sold last year. In this infographic, we trace the iPhone 5 supply and manufacturing chain. Did you know that 90% of all the rare-earth minerals used on an iPhone 5’s circuitry, screen, speakers, and glass cover are mined in China and Inner Mongolia? What does the rest of the world contribute to the making of the iPhone 5?   More

Business Global Tech

Chinese Smartphones Surge, Apple Sinks

We’ve been reading all year about how China is set to overtake the US to become the world’s largest smartphone market in 2013, and now we’re seeing some numbers that tell the story more vividly. The latest figures on China’s smartphone market show Apple’s position slumping in the second quarter, as sales have surged for a field of domestic players cranking out millions of cheap models, many selling for less than 1,000 yuan ($160) each.   More

Digital Government

White House Intervention in Apple Patent Case Sets Bold Precedent

In the ongoing patent dispute between Samsung and Apple, the White House has finally put its foot down. It squashed a verdict handed down by a U.S. trade court that would have banned the import of some older Apple smartphones and tablets, a ruling that was likely to hurt the U.S. economy, U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman said. The White House joins the U.S. Justice Department and U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in arguing that such standard-essential patent cases should rarely lead to a product ban on US territory.   More

Global Tech Government

Apple Falls Victim in China Anti-Foreign Campaign

As if its China troubles weren’t bad enough following a weak earnings report, global tech giant Apple is now coming under political fire from central bureaucrats in Beijing for failing to deliver promised donations after an earthquake earlier this year. Frankly speaking, I don’t have a lot of sympathy for Apple or any of the other firms that get this kind of criticism, since I find their quickness to announce donations after any major disaster somewhat insincere and largely a publicity ploy. But the fact that yet another foreign firm is coming under attack from central government sources this month certainly adds to my previous assertions that Beijing has recently embarked on a drive to discredit foreign firms and divert attention from other domestic problems.   More

Digital Media & Marketing

Kirkpatrick: Chromecast Gives Google More Data for Ads

Techonomy’s David Kirkpatrick appeared on Yahoo! Finance on Thursday, calling Chromecast “another major move by the Internet companies that’s going to hurt the old economy of cable systems.” While old systems require viewers to pay ongoing monthly subscriptions, Google Chromecast asks users for a one-time investment of just $35. But what Chromecast consumers aren’t paying for with actual money, they’re paying for with their own information, including what they view and how they view it. This information enables Google to better target its ads and charge buyers more for them.   More

Business Digital

How Google Could Break Down Cable TV’s Door

Cable TV is ripe for getting ripped apart, and it looks like Google could be the one to do it. All media is just data. And that means the cable TV business as we know it makes no sense—a business essentially held in place by legal duct tape, not market forces. Where I live in New York, we have Time Warner Cable. It works like the cable service in most every town. One cable line comes into the house, but then you can buy three different services: a constant firehose of video content we call cable TV; a broadband Internet connection; and a voice service we call the telephone.   More

Digital Government Opinion

Did Obama Just Destroy the U.S. Internet Industry?

News about the National Security Agency's PRISM program and its privileged access to internal user data at nine U.S. Internet companies has unleashed a torrent of justified anger and hand-wringing. But the worries do not go far enough. Almost everybody is still looking at this through a narrow domestic lens. Our values and goals may be more challenged than you think.   More

Business Digital

Is Apple’s Blossom Fading?

Apple is arguably the Brangelina of companies: It’s not young anymore, and there isn’t much new there. But our fascination and fixation endure. Widely regarded as a bellwether for the global economy and a perennial favorite on Fortune’s World’s Most Admired Companies list, Apple’s better-than-anticipated earnings report reveals a company that continues to capitalize on its unwavering customer loyalty numbers, baked-in culture of innovation, and relentless focus on design as a key market differentiator. But with its iconic founder gone and the company maturing under the leadership of CEO Tim Cook, some are seeing signs of stagnation and decline.   More

E-Commerce Global Tech

New Smartphone Moves From Alibaba, China Mobile

We’re seeing some interesting new moves in the smartphone space from e-commerce leader Alibaba and dominant carrier China Mobile, as each makes big new bets in the fast-evolving area. Alibaba is launching its mobile operating system on a new series of smartphones with several Chinese partners, following a similar aborted attempt last year. China Mobile, meanwhile, is planning a major overhaul for its popular but rapidly aging Fetion mobile messaging service, in an attempt to compete with newer, more popular third-party apps like Tencent’s WeChat.   More

Cities Digital Global Tech

Alibaba, Baidu Invest in Chinese Taxi Apps

The rapid rise of location-based services (LBS) on the Internet is spawning a new generation of start-up companies, with taxi finders one of the latest to join the trend. Such apps use GPS technology to create services that rely on a person’s location, such as helping that person to find nearby restaurants or shops. Just this week a friend was telling me about one such new LBS to help frustrated consumers find taxis, and now we’re reading about two other companies that are moving onto the investor radar with their own new tie-ups.   More