As I was reviewing an old business plan for Wandoujia, I stumbled across our old projections for Android growth. In Nov. 2010, we projected Android to have about 140 million users worldwide, with 20 million in China, by the end of 2012. Oh my, how very very wrong we were.
The Staggering Rate of Smartphone Adoption
In a LinkedIn post from November of 2012, former Director of Google China and head of Beijing-based venture firm Innnovation Works Kai Fu Lee predicted that the installed base of smartphones in China would double to 500 million by the end of 2013 (note that Mobithinking [...]
Nestled in the hills of Shenzhen in southern China, stands a factory that churns out smartphones day and night. Migrant workers labor for fourteen-hour shifts, six days a week. Most welcome the overtime, which is usually paid. Components stand around in cardboard boxes piled around the edges of the factory: MediaTek chipsets, touch screens, 8GB of flash memory, and a generic black plastic case. After assembly, the device will be flashed with a modified version of Android Ice Cream Sandwich that’s stripped of all traces of Google and pre-loaded with about forty Chinese apps. One ChinaDroid is ready for sale.
One of the highlights of last weekend’s China Game Developers Conference in Shanghai was the talk given by Kabam Games co-founder, chief technology officer and current Beijing office manager Michael Li, who told the story of the company’s journey to producing the #1 grossing iOS game (both overall and in 26 different countries) and #2 [...]
As I exited the Taipei City Hall metro station, two beautiful Taiwanese girls in short shorts and skimpy tank tops approached me. The ice-cold shower of reality hit me two seconds later when I found that they were trying to sell me something. D’oh.
But my interest was rekindled when I discovered that something is WeChat (or 微信 in Chinese), the mobile chat app that we at TechRice have predicted as the China tech story of 2012.
Now the story has moved beyond China.
Despite the high-end ambitions of Xiaomi’s larger domestic rivals like ZTE and Huawei, Xiaomi and its colorful founder Lei Jun are often called the Chinese answer to Apple’s iPhone. Similarities between the two smart phone makers include highly knowledgeable, devout followers and a belief that user experience transcends the phone itself. There is also [...]
Not sated with rolling out 3G and network infrastructure from Brazil to Yemen, the Middle Kingdom’s two telecom giants, Huawei and ZTE, are chasing supremacy in smartphone sales to the developing world’s rapidly modernizing consumers. Though no panacea, affordable mobile phones are a boon for developing world consumers and can translate to both economic and [...]
In PC Internet, Silicon Valley companies are leading the world. In the mobile Internet era, UCWeb CEO Yongfu Yu believes that Chinese companies will soon join American companies in global leadership.
Facebook may have shelled out for Instagram, but don’t expect a billion-dollar acquisition of a mobile startup by Tencent anytime soon.
Instead, version 4.0 the Weixin mobile app is vintage Tencent. The new release adds a host of new SNS features, many of which copy from Path, Instagram, and Google Circles, and still others that are completely new and unique. It’s a prime example of the homegrown combination of copying, remixing, and innovation that Tencent executes to perfection.
A month ago, the user interface designer at the startup I’ve joined suggested that I give QQ Music a try. To be honest, I’m not a great fan of Tencent’s products, maybe because I live in Shanghai where people generally view Tencent as a lower-class brand, although that’s changing with Weixin.
Yet upon log-in to QQ Music, I was surprised by the Windows 8 Metro-style design, a slick interface that feels classy. Digging deeper, it turns out QQ Music’s mobile app is even more functional than stylish, one that I’ve continued to use since I first opened it up upon.
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