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The China Bazaar : The impact of Chinese domination on smartphones

Xiaomi, Gionee, Vivo and now Meizu – The Chinese smartphones are taking on the world! But is this invasion a good sign? Is using a $100 Chinese phone the same as using a $1000 iPhone? How will this impact the industry? Let us analyse:

The Good

The greatest boon to the customer  has been a drop in the price brackets, spearheaded by these Chinese devices.  You no longer need to sell out your kidneys to buy a smartphone! With Redmi 1s  being priced under 7000  along with the likes of Lenovo A6000, you now get fast processors, hi-speed connectivity and excellent performance – at exceptional price points. Also, this has fuelled a price war between the champions (Samsung, Apple, HTC, etc) and the challengers (Micromax, Karbonn, Lenovo, etc). Motorola’s attempt to cash in on Moto G, and later Moto E`, testified that even the Champs want to take over this segment. With increased features and reduced pricing the customer is only at advantage in this ongoing price war.

A major effect of this import is the increased innovations in smartphones. These phones come with different advancements and great enhancements (Oppo’s reversal camera or MI’s MIUI for instance), which force the international and even local players to look into their R&D! It’s no longer easy to fool customers, if you don’t give the consumer what they want, someone else will.

The Bad

The biggest impact of this invasion is on the local retailers & manufacturers. Micromax now not only needs to fight Apple but also Xiaomi. As our Prime minister pointed out in one of his speeches – It drains our wealth!

Apart from this moral-economical issue, there are a few more hindrances. With the price brackets coming down, it seems companies are less likely to experiment. If incorporating a better technology would make the phone expensive – the  company would be shy to try it! This might lead to stagnation, where price is the only influencing factor in the competition.

Another effect which is a a by product of the aforementioned stagnation is monotony! Look around, you’ll see how all the new phones don’t only look similar but infact are… An octa-core processor from  Mediatek, a 13MP back camera, a 5MP front camera, a 5 inch display – it seems there’s a standardization of specifications in the market!  Even the likes of Apple or Samsung now keep upgrading their hardware rather than updating the features & functionalities.

The One who Changed it all

But there are those who still innovate! The phone that shook the world as it proclaimed itself “the flagship killer” and certainly stood by it. Though Chinese in its origin the Oneplus One had a global approach. With limited invites available through contests, quizzes and other social network gimmicks, the phone soon created a frenzy!  Purchasable through flash sales, it did sell in a flash, week after week!

But this one was not all about marketing. Packing an Octacore Snapdragon processor, with 3 gigs of RAM and more importantly running on the most popular custom android rom Cyanogenmod, the phone was fully packed. This 5.5 incher also offered a great battery back with a 3300 mAh under its hood. Oneplus One very creatively merged the bridge between performance and pricing. This innovation is necessary for this industry to sustain.

The Chinese domination is here to stay. And instead of retreating, it’s growing from strength to strength. But can the markets survive in heterogeneity? Would experimentation end? What is more important pricing or productivity? Only time will tell.

Sidhant Malhotra

Image credits: www.hngn.com



Exudes the curiosity & enthusiasm of a child, yet he surprises you with his tenacity. He prefers being called SyD and is addicted to playing video-games & watching Californication series! Technology is his opium & he is known among his peers for providing effective tech-help (and unconventional relationship advice!). Associated with various organizations & individuals, Syd is extremely fascinated by Human Psychology, Evolutionary Biology, Greek & Indian mythology, Cosmology, Natural Magic and of course, Bollywood. He likes to party like there's no tomorrow and lives by the phrase -hakuna matata! Ping him on sidhantm@dubeat.com for any assistance or otherwise ^_^


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