Little green robots have invaded China and conquered its mobile market. The Android operating system has seen substantial growth in the Asian country and is now estimated to have captured 90.1% of the market, a year-over-year increase from 58.2%. The numbers come to us from Analysys International, which in a new report also revealed that Apple’s (AAPL) Chinese market share declined from 6% to 4.2% in the same timeframe. Numbers for both operating systems may be higher than recent estimates, however. The research firm does not include knock-off Android smartphones, nor does it include iPhones that have been smuggled in from Hong Kong. Budget smartphones continue to be a hot seller in the country with the average price of an Android device being roughly $220, compared to the iPhone’s average of $720. While China has more than 1 billion mobile subscribers, Google’s (GOOG) mobile monopoly isn’t as lucrative as it sounds. A number of the Internet giant’s services are blocked or constricted in the country and make it difficult for it to capitalize on Android’s success.
Relations between Google (GOOG) and China haven’t been anything short of ugly since Google discovered Chinese hackers had broken into hundreds of Gmail accounts last year. According to Greatfire.org (via Bloomberg Businessweek), Gmail, Google Maps and Google Drive are now all being blocked in China. Google told Bloomberg that it “checked and there’s nothing wrong on [its] end.” It’s believed that China’s 18th Chinese Communist Party Congress is responsible for the block and is forwarding Google searches “to another site located in Korea, using a tactic known as DNS poisoning,” reports Greatfire.org.
As HTC (2498) continues to lose market share to Apple (AAPL) and Samsung (005930), the troubled Taiwanese manufacturer is looking toward China to help stabilize the its plummeting sales. HTC is expanding both its engineering team and sales channels in China, and hopes to become one of the top two smartphone brands in the country by 2015, Ray Yam, head of HTC’s China operations, told the Wall Street Journal. More →
Despite an on-going legal dispute with Proview Technology over the iPad name, Apple’s latest tablet, the iPad, will reportedly go on sale this Monday, June 4th, according to Patently Apple. The blog’s sources claim the Cupertino-based company was recently granted a network access license for the Chinese mainland and a release is imminent. Apple’s latest tablet is equipped with a model number of A1430 and is compatible with China Unicom’s 3G and 4G networks. More →
Foxconn, the manufacturer of Apple’s iPhones, iPads and Macs, plans to invest $210 million in a new Apple production line in China’s east Jiangsu province in October, according to a report from China Daily. The 40,000 square meter plant will employ as many as 35,800 workers and will be located in Huai’an City. The office of Taiwan Affairs of Huai’an City confirmed that the plant will house a production line for Apple devices and is expected to output between $949 million to $1.1 billion a year. The report did not indicate which Apple products would be assembled at the new plant, however. More →
Last week, Apple and Proview initiated talks in an attempt to resolve an ongoing legal dispute over the iPad trademark, and the Chinese company is confident that it will receive a settlement offer from Apple, the Associated Press reports. “It is likely that we will settle out of court. The Guangdong High Court is helping to arrange it and the court also expects to do so,” said Ma Dongxiao, a lawyer for Proview. “Actually Proview always expected to settle out of court from the beginning. I don’t know if Apple has changed its attitude, but I believe that the key point now is the price.” In a previous statement, Apple claimed it would never “knowingly abuse someone else’s trademarks,” and said that Proview “still owe a lot of people a lot of money, they are now unfairly trying to get more from Apple for a trademark we already paid for.” Fu Shuangjian, the Deputy Director of China’s State Administration for Industry and Commerce, however, has already stated that Proview is still the legitimate owner of the iPad trademark in the country. If the companies cannot reach a settlement, the Guangdong High Court will rule over the matter.
Apple and Proview have initiated talks in an attempt to resolve an ongoing legal dispute over the iPad trademark, IDG News Services reported on Friday. Earlier this week, a Chinese high court recommended the two companies find a way to mediate the ongoing dispute. The mediation talks were voluntary, however both companies agreed to meet. “I think there is some hope the talks will lead to a resolution,” Zhao Zhanling, a legal expert on China’s information technology law, said, adding that if the negotiations were to fail, the higher court will be forced to move ahead and make a ruling. Apple and Proview have been locked in a high-profile legal dispute over whether or not Apple has the right to use the use the iPad name in China and elsewhere. If Apple were to lose the case, the Cupertino-based company could be banned from selling the iPad in China. Apple maintains that it licensed the trademark from Proview in 2009, however the Chinese company claims the transaction in question is invalid. More →
Apple, alongside a Chinese environmental group, will audit one of its supplier’s factories in China for the first time, IDG News Service reported on Monday. The Beijing-based Institute of Public and Environmental Affairs announced that Apple had agreed to the joint audit, which will be carried out at the end of the month. Apple will hire an independent auditing firm that will investigate the pollution created by one of its circuit boards manufacturers. The audit will be a pilot project meant for one factory, but the environmental group hopes Apple will agree to more joint audits in the future. “We think this is a very positive step made by Apple,” said Wang Jing Jing, vice director of IPE. “We hope this won’t simply be a pilot project, but that more open inspections will continue.” The results of the audit will be made available online later this year. More →
Google co-founder Sergey Brin said during an interview published on Sunday that Apple and Facebook pose serious threats to Internet freedom because of their closed approaches to software. While speaking with The Guardian, Brin said there are “very powerful forces that have lined up against the open Internet on all sides and around the world. I am more worried than I have been in the past. It’s scary.” The executive pointed to the “walled-garden” philosophy that sees companies like Apple and Facebook maintain tight control over third-party software on their respective platforms as the cause for his concerns. Read on for more. More →
Google’s Android platform was the most popular mobile operating system in the world’s largest market for mobile phones last year. The platform’s market share grew nearly 35%, capturing 68.4% of the mobile market in China, Reuters reported on Tuesday citing research from Analysys International. Chinese Android manufacturers ZTE and Huawei helped propel the platform to new heights by offering low-cost devices via local wireless carriers. Google’s success came at the expense of Nokia, whose Symbian operating system share was cut in half to 18.7%. Apple’s iOS market share rose from 4.1% in the first quarter of 2011 to 5.7% in the fourth quarter, but the Cupertino-based company is expected to fare far better in 2012 due to high demand and new partnerships. More →
The hacker group “Anonymous operations” plans to launch further attacks on Chinese government-run websites to protest what it believes to be strict and unfair laws. The loosely knit group launched various cyberattacks on China’s goverment last week and warned that further attacks were on the horizon. “First we want to alert the Chinese government that we aren’t afraid, and we are going to show the truth and fight for justice,” Anonymous hacker “f0ws3r” said to Reuters, adding that more serious attacks are coming against Chinese websites. “Yes, we are planning more attacks, a few at a time,” the hacker said. The group is looking to “take down the Great Firewall of China,” which blocks access to Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and many other websites. The Anonymous China team consist of 10 to 12 hackers, most of whom are not based in China, and has “hundreds” of translators who have helped the group hack various Chinese websites, f0ws3r said. The hacker declined to give further details on the next round of attacks, although he did say the group may hit bigger targets this time around. More →
Notorious hacker group “Anonymous” on Thursday claimed responsibility for attacks on several government Web sites in China. The group has launched various Internet attacks on the country over the past week in response to what it believes to be strict and unfair laws. “All these years, the Chinese Communist government has subjected its People to unfair laws and unhealthy processes,” the group wrote on one Chinese website. “Dear Chinese government, you are not infallible, today websites are hacked, tomorrow it will be your vile regime that will fall.” The group goes on to warn that further attacks are on the horizon. “So expect us because we do not forgive, never. What you are doing today to your Great People, tomorrow will be inflicted to you. Nothing will stop us, nor your anger nor your weapons. You do not scare us, because you cannot afraid an idea.” Anonymous also acknowledged the Chinese people directly, telling them to remain optimistic, “Don’t loose hope, the revolution begins in the heart.” More →
Nokia on Wednesday unveiled its first Windows Phone for the Chinese market, the Lumia 800C. The handset is slated to launch in April exclusively on China Telecom. “We’re excited to introduce our first Lumia smartphone, the Nokia 800C, to this important market with our exclusive launch partner, China Telecom. Working closely together, we’ve created a compelling, locally relevant experience on the Nokia 800C especially tailored for people in China,” Nokia CEO Stephen Elop said. The Lumia 800c features a 3.7-inch AMOLED ClearBlack curved display, with a 1.4 GHz single-core processor, hardware acceleration and a separate processor for graphics. The device is also equipped with an 8-megapixel Carl Zeiss camera and 16GB of internal storage, and it will be available in cyan or black. The Lumia 800C will be offered without a contract for 3599 Chinese yuan, equal to roughly $570. Nokia’s press release can be found after the break. More →