Apple is expected to say this week that it has sold more iPhones in China than on its home turf in the US for the first time last year, highlighting the shifting power balance of the smartphone market.
Analysts estimate that the US tech group reached the turning point in iPhone sales after expanding its presence in China last year via a deal with China Mobile, the country's largest network operator, and after the release of the latest iPhone 6 in the country in October.
Apple is continuing its aggressive retail expansion into the Middle Kingdom, with plans to open 5 new Apple stores in China in the early days of 2015. Prior to Spring Festival, the company has reportedly said it will open 5 new retail shops, including the new store in Zhengzhou that opened earlier this month. The next one on the list will be in Hangzhou, where doors will open at Apple’s new West Lake store on 24 January.
Demand for tablets will continue to be slow in 2015, with sales reaching 233 million units for the year, or only an 8 percent increase from 2014, research firm Gartner said.
Ranjit Atwal, research director at Gartner, said global sales have been growing in double digits prior to 2014.
Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi Corp., which recently became the world’s most valuable technology startup, said its smartphone shipments more than tripled in 2014, beating its expectations.
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Vietnamese mobile phone retail giant The Gioi Di Dong (Mobile World) will introduce hitherto unseen services and products as it strives to reach next year's turnover target of USD1 billion, its chairman Nguyen Duc Tai said on Monday.
The biggest mobile phone retailer in the country also aims at post-tax profits of VND886 billion (USD42 million) the next year, Tai told Viet Nam News.
Move over Uber. The Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi has confirmed it has raised a USD1.1 billion round at a pre-money valuation of USD45 billion, reportedly making it the most valuable tech start-up in the world.
Uber has previously been valued at USD40 billion.
Investors in Xiaomi's latest round include All-Star Investment, DST, GIC Hopu Fund, Yunfeng Capital and others.
Smartphone users now account for over half of Japan's mobile telephone subscribers, a survey of 2,000 adults said on Saturday.
The Dec. 5 to 8 survey, which drew valid responses from 63.7 percent of the pollees, found the ratio had risen to 52.7 percent from 43.7 percent a year ago.
Usage was quite high among young people, with 93.4 percent of subscribers in their 20s and 85.7 percent in their 30s using smartphones, the survey said.
Samsung Electronics is gearing up to release a low-cost Tizen-powered smartphone in the USD100 price range, according to local media reports, responding to intensifying competition from Chinese budget smartphone makers shaking up the market.
The phone will be launched in India, the world's third largest smartphone market, by end-January, South Korea's Yonhap news agency reported on Sunday, citing industry sources.
China Mobile, China's largest telecommunication service provider, has forecast that it will have 250 million 4G customers in 2015.
The company has experienced robust 4G business growth in 2014 and had more 50 million 4G users as of the end of October, China Mobile chief executive officer Li Yue said on Friday.
China's 4G is powered by the homegrown technology, Time-Division Long-Term Evolution (TD-LTE), one of the two major international standards in the mobile telecom industry, the other being Frequency Division Duplex.
The Gioi Di Dong (Mobile World) Joint Stock Company, Vietnam's largest mobile phone retail chain, has reached a post-tax profit of VND609 billion (USD29 million) after 11 months, 140 percent of the annual target, the company has announced.
The revenue during this period was more than VND14 trillion (USD666 million), as much as 108 percent of the annual target.
The company also announced that it will reach the target to open 350 outlets nationwide by the end of the month.