In a regular new series, Mobile World Live‘s Asia Editor Joseph Waring provides a regional roundup of news snippets:
Xiaomi remains on top in China
Xiaomi was the top-selling smartphone in China for the fourth consecutive month in July and, according to Kantar Worldpanel Comtech, had a 31.6-per cent market share.
The market research company said Samsung was second and Huawei third. Coolpad, another rising star, increased its share in China to 6.1 per cent from 5.2 per cent from the beginning of the year, while ZTE, Lenovo and Oppo all lost market share.
Samsung was the top smartphone maker in China for two years, with a peak share of 22 per cent.
Xiaomi, which was founded in 2010, shipped 26.11 million units in the first half of the year , up 271 per cent from the previous year. Revenue during the period increased 149 per cent to CNY33 billion ($5.36 billion).
Half of China’s internet users shop online
Almost half of China’s population has internet access (47 per cent) and now more than half of them shop online.
According to stats from the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, 83 per cent of the country’s 632 million internet users have access via mobile devices. It said mobile internet users surpassed the number connecting to the internet from PCs for the first time this year.
Nokia moves down market in Thailand
Nokia, now a unit of Microsoft, is looking to tap into Thailand’s mass consumer market with the launch of the Lumia 530 priced at THB3,690 ($115). The company is focusing on its low-cost Windows Phones while dropping Android-based models. Its lowest-price models previously sold for about THB5,000, said the company’s head of marketing in Thailand.
Smartphones priced at THB3,000-7,000 account for 20 per cent of the country’s total smartphone sales, according to GfK.
Smart expands data roaming offer
Smart in the Philippines has expanded its data roaming services for prepaid and postpaid users to an additional 40 countries. The daily data fee for postpaid users is PHP450 ($10) and PHP500 for prepaid customers.
Destinations and partner operators include Hutchison in Hong Kong and Macau, Indosat in Indonesia, NTT Docomo in Japan, all operators in Malaysia, StarHub in Singapore, KT in South Korea, Far EasTone in Taiwan, True in Thailand and Vinaphone in Vietnam.
SingTel won’t throttle P2P downloads
SingTel has announced it won’t restrict peer-to-peer downloads on its new 1Gb/s fibre plan, which it offers for SGD69.90 ($56). According to the Straits Times, the operator currently throttles BitTorrent downloads during weekday peak hours (7 pm to after midnight).
The company will also allow subscribers to use their own routers since the company-issued routers limit some features, such as the ability to tweak DNS settings.
Australia eases in-flight rules on devices
After fears that electronic devices could interfere with an airplane’s navigation equipment were allayed, Australia’s aviation authority has relaxed its restrictions to allow passengers on Qantas and Virgin Australia to use mobile devices in flight mode for the entire flight. The move means passengers won’t have to go through the inconvenience of turning their gadgets on and off. But they still can’t make voice calls.
Android Opera users top 100M
The number of Android users who access the web via an Opera browser doubled over the past year to 100 million, Opera Software said. India, followed by China, Indonesia, Russia and Mexico have the largest number of Opera users on Android.