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Chinese Smartphone Invasion Begins 181

snydeq writes "Tech giants Apple, Google, and Microsoft were no-shows at CES this week in Las Vegas, which worked out just fine for Chinese vendors looking to establish a name for themselves with U.S. consumers. 'Telecom suppliers Huawei and ZTE, in particular, have set their sights on breaking into the U.S. market for smartphones and tablets. ... Whether these Chinese imports can take on the likes of Apple and Samsung remains to be seen, but as Wired quotes Jeff Lotman, the CEO of Global Icons, an agency that helps companies build and license their brands: "The thing that's amazing is these are huge companies, and they have a lot of power, but in the United States nobody has heard of them and they're having trouble gaining traction, but it's not impossible. Samsung was once known for making crappy, low-end phones and cheap TVs. Now they're seen as a top TV and smartphone brand."'"
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Chinese Smartphone Invasion Begins

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 11, 2013 @06:24PM (#42562663)

    It's sold under the Apple brand.

  • Re:Nope (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 11, 2013 @06:31PM (#42562725)

    If I could pay $20 for a crappy low-end phone that ran Android that would last 6 months, I'd seriously consider it. At that rate, I'd spend $40/yr. which is under half the price I pay now for a cheap Virgin phone (which I buy outright).

    If it was $30 and lasted a year, that'd be even better.

    Sure, the prices aren't there yet, but more competition is only going to drive prices down.

  • by Lumpy ( 12016 ) on Friday January 11, 2013 @06:35PM (#42562759) Homepage

    I have used a LOT of china smartphones. and they all suck badly. really poor Android installs, really REALLY bad hardware. Innovative ideas, I LOVE the dual sim phones, but they either come with batteries that are garbage or the phone it self has QC issues that make it a swing and a miss.

    So unless they have a dual core 1.5ghz Android 4.2 phone for $29.00 unlocked... they will not sell many.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 11, 2013 @06:48PM (#42562887)
    As compared to the strange sounding Hyundai, Volkswagen, Nokia, Nissan, Lenovo, etc... They do OK in US market.
  • Re:Nope (Score:5, Insightful)

    by NatasRevol ( 731260 ) on Friday January 11, 2013 @06:53PM (#42562949) Journal

    So what?

    The bulk of the cost of owning a smart phone is the cellular service.

    If your phone costs $50, $250, $450, $650, it's about 5-15% of the total cost of ownership.

    In other words, if you're looking more closely at the cost of the phone rather than the functionality of the phone, you're missing the point of owning a smartphone.

  • I've used a lot of American, Japanese and Korean smartphones with really poor Android installs and really bad hardware.

    I've also used some really good ones. There are some damn nice phones coming out of China now, quad core and vanilla Android nice.

  • by bmo ( 77928 ) on Friday January 11, 2013 @07:12PM (#42563087)

    LG used to be known as Gold Star. Gold Star was known as the "junk" brand of Sears, K-Mart, Zayre (oooh, I'm old) and other stores that targeted the low end consumer.

    Gold Star had such a bad reputation that they changed their name to LG which stands for Lucky Gold Star.

    Those that pooh-pooh the Chinese brands are ignoring all of the history since WWII. We used to laugh at Honda, Toyota, Kawasaki, Sony, NEC, Yamaha, and all the other Japanese brands, and now they high quality and popular (even luxury brands!). The American car and electronics manufacturers were complacent and we nearly completely lost automobile manufacturing entirely *twice* - only to be bailed out with government loans. We lost consumer electronics manufacturing entirely in the US.

    Korean brands used to have a ridiculously bad reputation. Now we have Korean brands that people are more than willing to buy, sometimes preferring them over Japanese brands like Sharp. Hyundai used to be viewed as a disposable car (I had an Excel at one point). Now they are good quality transportation, as good as anything Japanese (but maybe not Infiniti or Acura).

    And now we have idiots replying to this story saying that the Chinese will never make higher quality goods, as if the Chinese are somehow inherently inferior. This smacks of denial and racism, frankly, the same kind of denial and racism that we used against the Japanese and Koreans, before the Japanese and Koreans kicked our asses in manufacturing.

    It feels good to think that you're superior to other people...but this is delusional. This is why Jared Diamond's book angered so many conservatives - he exposed the environmental, food, and natural transportation advantages people in the Middle East and Europe had over other locations on the planet. He detailed how these advantages were the real reason why European civilization became so successful, instead of some inherent quality of "white" people. And you see this every day. You see it in the denial that "those people over there" can't possibly be as good scientists and engineers as we in the US are.

    It's a dumb worldview, and eventually self-defeating, because where the manufacturing goes, the science and engineering goes too. We here in the US are not special. Complacency brings down empires - political and economic both. We have been complacent for 60 years, because we thought the post WWII boom would go on forever.


  • Re:Nope (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 11, 2013 @07:36PM (#42563273)
    I think a more important question is: do I go all across Europe, ie to Spain & Slovenia?

    I'd say the answer is no. At least not regularly enough that I'd base my choice of phone plan on this.
    The point of having a smartphone is mostly to show off to other people as far as I can tell. That and email.
    Why would I watch Netflix on the road in Europe?
    It's not even available here.
    Besides, I have a nice big screen at home.
    I'll use that for movies instead of a tiny phone display.
  • by Sycraft-fu ( 314770 ) on Friday January 11, 2013 @08:42PM (#42563831)

    You seem to be arguing with someone that doesn't exist in this thread. I've seen nobody say "China can never make quality hardware." What people are saying is that they will need to make quality hardware, before they'll gain much in the way of US marketshare. Many of us have noticed that goods developed and branded by Chinese companies tend to be cheap at the expense of all quality. That will be a problem in the smartphone market most likely.

    I'm quite sure China can produce quality goods, because I own some of them. I've goods that were produced in China, to the spec of a foreign company that are quite high quality. However that does not mean that the goods their domestic companies are choosing to produce are high quality.

    Also your whining about complacency and bringing down empires shows a real lack of awareness of the US and the world. For one, you can hardly call the US complacent. Lots of top notch R&D happens in the US, lots of top notch manufacturing. A simple example would be the CPU most likely in your PC: Intel. They have the most advanced fabs in the world, and ruthlessly push the technology curve ahead. And yes, they manufacture in the US dominantly (8 of 11 fabs).

    What's more there's nothing to "bring down". The US is a nation, not an empire and guess what? The US doesn't have to be #1 at everything to still be a nice place to live. I've been to a number of countries, all of them by definition not #1 at all the things the US is, and they were all quite nice. Canada, Norway, the UK, all places I would be very happy to live. They don't get to claim many "#1s" but they don't have to. It isn't a situation of "Someone is the best and everyone else sucks."

    There is room in the world for a successful China AND US, just as there is room for a successful UK, Canada, France, Germany, Japan, Taiwan, and so on.

"No, no, I don't mind being called the smartest man in the world. I just wish it wasn't this one." -- Adrian Veidt/Ozymandias, WATCHMEN