Feeds

China’s handset-makers plan home-grown platforms

Apple, Android takedown on the cards as 4G roll-out looms

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

Shen argued that knowing what segment to target is key to the success or failure of handset makers in a market where around 80 per cent of sales are made independently of carrier-based contracts.

“It is a hugely competitive market so you really need to make your products stand out and target a segment where you can excel,” she told The Reg.

“Samsung and Apple are high end brands which position their devices as premium products so they can command premium prices while Huawei and ZTE are good at competing at the low end. There are many different segments to target but once you’ve decided then you need to put all your resources into things like marketing, branding and distribution.”

Not in my back yard

For those big name handset makers and platform providers rubbing their hands with glee at the prospect of an ever growing mobile user base of potential customers, however, Deloitte’s Chou had a word or two of warning.

He argued that, as in many other spheres of life, Chinese companies would eventually look to better and edge out their international rivals in the domestic market.

At the very low end of the smartphone market this will come in the form of “micro-innovation” in the shanzai industry, he said.

Now, shanzai are products deliberately designed to copycat more famous models at a fraction of the price, but Chou argued that shanzhai peddlers themselves will become increasingly innovative and mainstream in taking the best of well-known products like the iPhone and tailoring them to the domestic market.

Even established platform providers Apple and Google, which between them have most of the smartphone market, could see their mobile ecosystem empires challenged in time.

“No Chinese handset maker has a solid platform that can compete with Apple and Google yet but we are at a very early stage,” he said. “Vendors like Huawei and Lenovo are providing smartphones not because they want to earn a profit from the sales but because they eventually want to dominate the application market.”

Handset vendor Xiaomi already has its own OS while Lenovo is also working on a home grown platform, although the details of exactly how they plan to build their respective mobile ecosystems and eventually make money from different software and service offerings remain to be seen, Chou explained.

One way they could appeal to the domestic user, he suggested, was in offering pre-loaded services from home grown web companies which have the green light from government censors and are more popular Chinese equivalents of globally famous sites.

So, for Google read Baidu, for Twitter read Sina Weibo and instead of Facebook, Renren.

None of this is going to happen anytime soon, of course, but when it comes to China, things have a habit of moving faster than expected. ®

Business security measures using SSL

More from The Register

next story
Brit telcos warn Scots that voting Yes could lead to HEFTY bills
BT and Co: Independence vote likely to mean 'increased costs'
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
New 'Cosmos' browser surfs the net by TXT alone
No data plan? No WiFi? No worries ... except sluggish download speed
Radio hams can encrypt, in emergencies, says Ofcom
Consultation promises new spectrum and hints at relaxed licence conditions
Blockbuster book lays out the first 20 years of the Smartphone Wars
Symbian's David Wood bares all. Not for the faint hearted
Bonking with Apple has POUNDED mobe operators' wallets
... into submission. Weve squeals, ditches payment plans
This flashlight app requires: Your contacts list, identity, access to your camera...
Who us, dodgy? Vast majority of mobile apps fail privacy test
Apple Watch will CONQUER smartwatch world – analysts
After Applelocalypse, other wristputers will get stuck in
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.