My Thoughts on Technology and Jamaica: February 2014

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Thursday, February 27, 2014

Samsung Galaxy Gear is king of the 61% Strong Android hold on Smartwatches

I totally expected this, but not in such dramatic fashion. Stats out from Strategy Analytics, albeit a bit premature, have already handed victory to the Samsung Galaxy Gear with 61% dominance of the Smartwatch Market in 2013 as stated in Android nabs 61 percent of smartwatch market in 2013”, published February 13, 2014 8:58 AM PST by Don Reisinger, CNET News.

This flies directly in the face of the Samsung Galaxy Gear smartwatch that’s trying to be all things in one device that’s barely got enough charge to last longer than a smartwatch or even like a regular watch as I’d opined in my Geezam Blog article entitled “Samsung Gear Smartwatch is too Dick Tracey and not Simple enough to want you to Rock the Future on your Wrist”.

To put this in better perspective, only 1.9 million smartwatches were shipped worldwide in 2013. According to Strategy Analytics, of that number, only 1.2 million devices were running Android. And of that number, 61% were Samsung Galaxy Gear smartwatches

The remaining 39% of the smartwatch arena is taken up by such competitors as the Pebble and the Nike Fuelband as described in my Geezam Blog article entitled “Caribbean rides the Fitness Craze as Nike Fuelband SE making Apple iPhone users healthier”, which tell time and are synched to a smartphone, basic par for course for a watch to be considered “smart” these days! Android fanboys, you do love your tech to death!

Early days Yet as Apple is yet to step into the Smartwatch Battle

However, note that I said “Premature”; Apple hasn’t stepped into the fray as yet, as it’s alledged by a New York Times Report in early February 2014 that they are working on a smartwatch.

Apparently this mystery product is possibly covered with sapphire glass, powered by Solar and Kinetic Motion and recharged Inductively as stated in my blog article entitledApple considering Inductive, Solar and Kinetic Charging for Apple iWatch - Apple iWatch will start the Post-Power Adapter Era and kill the power Brick, the last vestage of the Analog Era”.

This is roughly the same thing I’d predicted prematurely in my Geezam Blog article entitled “Apple to debut Apple iWatch in March 2013 – iWant one and iCant Wait”. Smartwatches are set to be big sellers due to their lower possible pricing point, fashion forward statement as wearable tech and hoped-for synchability with pre-existing technology such as smartphones and Tablets.

But the main reason driving the smartwatch adoption is their utilitarian vibe as Fitness Trackers. According to a 1,500 strong Survey done by On Device Research back in September 2013 as reported in Wearable technology far from tipping point”, published Wednesday September 4, 2013 @ 8:22, On Device, the following interesting stats as it relates to interest in smartwatches came to light:

1.      40% of those early adopters eventually stopped wearing their smartwatch because it got dated
2.      50% knew about wearable fitness trackers
3.      50% of US smartphone users surveyed had heard about Google Glass
4.      65% knew of smartwatches

Some graphics offers a better picture of the level of waning interest among smartwatch wearers, who often wear these gadgets, then put them aside as they get bored of them easily as stated in my blog article entitled “On Device Research Survey indicates Smartwatches are set to be the next must-have Gadget - Improved Design and battery Life needed to make them less Frozen in the past”.


Smartwatches need to go mainstream - Real bling-bling pret-a-porter that Jamaicans can rock

So albeit the Samsung Galaxy Gear rules the roost, they’re victors in numbers only; they have to also win the minds and soul of wearers and sustain interest in wearing these maintenance-prone smartwatches by making them have the following qualities I’ve argued for in my Geezam Blog article entitled “Samsung Gear Smartwatch is too Dick Tracey and not Simple enough to want you to Rock the Future on your Wrist”.

1.      Smartwatches that are fitness Trackers
2.      Smartwatches with Battery life comparable to regular watches
3.      Smartwatches that are synchable and multi-purpose with any device, including Cars and Home Appliances
4.      Smartwatches that are pret-a-porter and look like regular wristwatches wearable with whatever you have to wear

Samsung seems to have achieved that with the Samsung Galaxy Gear 2 and Samsung Galaxy Gear 2 Neo that have both made their at the MWC (Mobile World Conference) in Barcelona Spain on Monday February 24th 2014 as stated in my blog article entitled “Samsung launches improved Samsung Galaxy Gear 2 and Samsung Galaxy Gear 2 Neo at MWC - Launch pad for Tizen OS and the Samsung Galaxy Glass coming at IFA 2014”.

Until another significantly big player enters the market, such as Apple, I’m not throwing in the towel as yet. Mass Market adoption depends on a smartwatch for everyone. These stats are an indication of interest; now for some real bling-bling pret-a-porter that even we Jamaicans can rock on our wrist!

Nokia Treasure Tag to launch in April 2014 - Pirates on the Caribbean on Stranger Tides will find locating lost keys that much easier

For someone like me who’s very forgetful, this product would be a godsend, as soon as versions of it that work with the Apple iOS or even Google Android start coming out by April 2014!

I’m of course referring to the US$30 Nokia Treasure Tag as stated in “NOKI-ARRR LAUNCHES THE TREASURE TAG, A LOCATION TRACKER FOR FORGETFUL PIRATES”, published February 19, 2014 by Andy Boxall, DigitalTrends and “Nokia Treasure Tag tries to keep your valuables safe”, published February 19, 2014 8:56 AM PST by Don Reisinger, CNET News.

This is possibly the first Nokia Accessory that has drawn my attention to the point that I’ve decided to do an article about it as it solves a problem I have: forgetfulness. Very compelling reason to have a Nokia Lumia smartphone, I must say!

What’s so interesting about a 30 x 30 x 10mm plastic square that comes in colours of Yellow, White, Cyan, and Black?? Because of what it can do! The Nokia Treasure Tag can be used to locate lost or stolen items via Bluetooth.

How the Nokia Treasure Tag Works – Tethering Bluetooth is like a string tied on your finger

It works, surprisingly, in the same manner as the Project Embrace+Bracelet that light up in different colours when you receive an IM (Instant Message), Email or SMS (Short Messaging Service) as explained in my blog article entitled “Kickstarter Project Embrace+Bracelet lights up for your smartphone notifications - Inspiration for our local Innovators to Shine Like a Diamond Rihanna Style”.


No, the Nokia Treasure Tag doesn’t light up. Rather, it sounds an alarm via the Nokia Treasure Tag App on your Windows 8 OS powered Nokia smartphone when you drift too far from the item to which you’ve attached or you leave with an item tagged with the Treasure Tag but leave your Nokia Lumia smartphone behind. As I said, very similar to the function of the Project Embrace+Bracelet!

It then basically tags the exact location of your item on a map using the smartphones GPS based on the angular orientation and the signal strength the Bluetooth Signal. Thus, even if you’ve drifted out of the 100 m range of Bluetooth, you can still look on your Nokia Treasure Tag App and locate your lost item.

More interestingly too, as that you lost item can be located by someone else with the Treasure Tag App! If you item is lost or stolen for some time and the owner hasn’t recovered it and someone who has the Nokia Treasure Tag App active passes nearby, the Treasure tag makes contact with the app on that smartphone.

The smartphone then reads the signature from the Treasure Tag and ascertains the owner. It then sends an alert to the owner via that person’s smartphone connections i.e. Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, 3G/4G LTE (Long Term Evolution) to the owner of the lost item, updating the Treasure Tag App on the new Location of the item on a Map with GPS Coordinates if it has changed and the phone number of the person who last made contact with the lost item. Lost Item and owner reunited!

Nokia Lumia owners must be thrilled with this product. Each of the maximum four (4) tags that you can attach to your Nokia Lumia is given its own live tile which keeps track of your items and even where your items have been. The US$30 Nokia Treasure Tag is powered by a Coin-sized CMOS Battery and thus isn’t GPS capable; that heavy lifting is done by the smartphone, which keeps tabs on the lost item even after the battery runs down after six months of being lost.

I just wish that another version of the Treasure Tag existed that could be placed invisibly inside of items, as this could serve as an excellent way to track people for Surveillance purposes. Also, it should also have the capability to contact ANY smartphone even if it doesn’t have the Treasure Tag App and just simply use that smartphone to relay the message via Bluetooth from phone to phone until the owner of the lost item receives the message and the stole item is recovered.

The ability to recharge itself via Inductive, Solar or even Kinetic Charging would make this Treasure Tag last even longer, making it a must-have indispensable tracking tool to have.

So the next time you decided to play Treasure hunt, you just might run into this product, which by April 2013 should be available on Apple iOS or Google Android. Great for hours of Fun playing Pirates of the Caribbean with your kids and a great way to track you beloved items and loved ones secretly! 

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Microsoft cuts cost of Windows 8 Licensing by 70% - Low cost Windows 8 Tablets coming as Microsoft is now Walking with the Enemy, Google Chrome OS

Microsoft seems to have a serious problem with Google Chromebooks; it’s eating into their marketshare. This as they’ve decided to go on the offensive by slashing the cost of Licensing fees by 70% as stated in “MICROSOFT SLASHES WINDOWS 8 LICENSES BY 70% TO COMBAT CHROMEBOOKS”, published February 22, 2014 by Mike Flacy, DigitalTrends.

It used to be US$50 (JA$ 5,394.88); now it’s basically down to US$15 (JA$ 1,618.47) for devices that retail for less than US$250 (JA$26,974.42) as stated in “Microsoft said to slash Windows 8.1 price on low-cost devices”, published February 22, 2014 9:25 AM PST by Brooke Crothers, CNET News; that’s any device, not just Laptops and Tablets.

Effectively, Microsoft is going on the offensive against Google Android Tablets and Google Chromebooks as opined in “Microsoft to drop price of Windows 8 licenses 70% for low-end devices, report says”, published Feb 22, 2014 6:48 AM by Jon Phillips, PCWorld, which falls into this price range and are hot-sellers on Amazon as sales of PC’s go south.

Therefore in short order, look out for lower priced 7” Tablets running Microsoft Windows 8.1 and Laptops as well, fulfilling the observed shift to windows 8.1 by Netmarketshare Stats as stated in my blog article entitled “NetMarketShare Stats shows Windows 8.1 and Internet Explorer poised for Growth - Rising Tide of the Microsoft Surface and Windows 8.1 Tablets in Real-Time”.

Windows 8 in the Wild – Microsoft losing the Pricing and confidence game against Chrome OS

I’ve already begun to encounter Windows 8.1 Laptops in Jamaica and I’m looking out for more.

I’ve placed advertisements and I’ve been getting calls from Mico Teachers College University and St. Josephs Teacher’s College to repair Laptops and even Tablets running Windows 8 as stated in my blog article entitled “How to unlock your Windows 8 Laptop or PC's Password if you accidentally lost your Windows Password - Windows 8 Takes a little practice but keep this software handy”.

Now that Toshiba has declared their allegiance to the Chrome OS with the debut of their US$280 Chromebook CB35-A3120 as described in my blog article entitled “Toshiba launches the US$280 Chromebook CB35-A3120 - Chrome OS’s cheaper and a sure bet against Windows 8.1 Rising Tide as Apple prepare to go to Hybrid School”, Microosft’s really stoked.

Ditto too news now wafting around on the Internet that suggests that automaker Ford is ditching problem prone Microsoft for Blackberry OS QNX, the uber-secure smartphone Operating System as stated in “BlackBerry said to be replacing Micosoft in Ford's new carrs”, published February 24, 2014 2:51 PM PST by Dara Kerr, CNET News.

After all, nobody wants to have an Operating System in their Car associated with the Blue Screen of Death! Imagine that happening to you while driving! Or worse you car gets hacked as explained in my blog article entitled “Proofpoint says Refridgerator hacked and used to send Spam email - Internet of Things Terminator 3 Rise of the Machines for hacker's DDOS and Spambots”.

Folks, get ready for a barrage of cheap, low end Windows 8 Tablets in the next few months as Microsoft is now Walking with the Enemy (2013).

Samsung launches improved Samsung Galaxy Gear 2 and Samsung Galaxy Gear 2 Neo at MWC - Launch pad for Tizen OS and the Samsung Galaxy Glass coming at IFA 2014

Samsung has launched the revamped Samsung Galaxy Gear Smartwatchs at the MWC (Mobile World Congress) in Barcelona, Spain as stated in “WATCH OUT, SAMSUNG HAS ANNOUNCED THE GEAR 2”, published February 23, 2014 By Andy Boxall, DigitalTrends.

It’s clearly huge news, as I actually saw this first in the Jamaica Observer article entitled “Samsung's new smartwatches have fitness features”, published Monday, February 24, 2014, The Jamaica Observer.

Only this time instead of one smartwatch, it’s two of them, the Samsung Galaxy Gear 2 and the Samsung Galaxy Gear 2 Neo as reported in “Samsung’s New Galaxy Gear Watches: Goodbye Android, Hello Tizen”, published Feb. 22, 2014 by Harry McCracken, CNN Techland and “Samsung Gear 2 Neo is slightly lighter than the Gear 2, with no camera”, published February 22, 2014 6:00 PM PST, CNET Editors .

Samsung Galaxy Gear 2 and Samsung Galaxy Gear 2 Neo – Tizen OS and Longer Battery Life

They’re both a tad thinner but possess similar dimensions to the original Samsung Galaxy Gear. The specs are also the same for BOTH smartwatches:

1.      Processor: 1.0GHz dual-core SoC
2.      OS: Tizen
3.      Screen: 1.63-inch 320×320 AMOLED displays
4.      Internal Memory: 4GB of internal storage,
5.      RAM: 512MB 
6.      Wireless Connectivity: Bluetooth 4.0, IR blaster
7.      Battery Life: 2-3 days
8.      Features:
a)      Heart-rate monitors
b)      Pedometer
c)      Health Monitors
d)     Music Player
e)      Apps

But differences between the hardware of the Samsung Galaxy Gear 2 and the Samsung Galaxy Gear 2 Neo abound. The Samsung Galaxy Gear 2 has a camera place directly on the watch itself, not on the wrist strap like the last model, a feature that the Samsung Galaxy Gear 2 Neo doesn't possess. Fitness Tracking features is a nice touch both of them possess and so too their support for an improved suite of apps most notably:

1.      BMW
2.      CNN
3.      Evernote
4.      Expedia
5.      Feedly
6.      GM
7.      PayPal
8.      Runtastic
9.      Volkswagen cars

Samsung Galaxy Gear has improved – Better design albeit not digging the Geek Styling

There are notable difference from the original Samsung Galaxy Gear, most notable is the fact that they are running Tizen OS as noted in Samsung replaces Galaxy Gear with a pair of Tizen-powered smartwatches, published Feb 22 2014, 11:30pm EST by Andrew Cunningham, Ars Technica and “Samsung drops Android for Tizen in new Gear 2 smartwatches”, published February 22, 2014 09:00 pm By Vlad Savov, The Verge.

Also instead of being all about looking like Dick Tracey and having poor battery life that barely last a day as I’d pointed out in my Geezam blog article entitled “Samsung Gear Smartwatch is too Dick Tracey and not Simple enough to want you to Rock the Future on your Wrist”, the new pair of Samsung Galaxy Gear smartwatches promise at least 3 days of activity.

And this time , they boast an improved suite of apps, including fitness apps, putting them toe-to-toe with the Fitness Trackers such as the Pebble Steel launcher earlier in January 2014 as stated in “Pebble Steel review: The first smartwatch worth wearing”, published 1/28/14, CNET Reviews. Thus albeit they have poor battery life, they’ve created a reason to want to have a smartwatch: Fitness Tracking.

This is exactly the same thing I had recommended in my blog article entitled “Samsung Galaxy Gear was not all that it promised - Wearable Computing Renaissance and smartphone and Tablet Extinction once improved”, as it’s the best way to introduce Tizen OS to users. It also guarantees success and its eventual sales will be an indicator of how popular Tizen OS would be on a smartphone.

This would boost their confidence after the disappointment of the rejection of their first Tizen OS Smartphone, the Samsung Z9000 ZEQ by Japanese Telecom Provider NTT DoCoMo, who’s afraid of trying new things as stated in my blog article entitled “Samsung's Z9000 ZEQ smartphone running Tizen OS to debut at MWC 2014 - Kickstarter Splash of Gold in the Chinese Year of the Horse makes The Pretty One Gallop”.

The Samsung Galaxy Gear 2 and the Samsung Galaxy Gear 2 Neo STILL have that problem of syncing with only Samsung Galaxy smartphones instead of with other smartphones. Bummer!

Still the previous Android powered Samsung Galaxy Gear smartwatch was king of the smartwatch arena, nabbing a whopping 61% of the smartwatch market as stated in Android nabs 61 percent of smartwatch market in 2013”, published February 13, 2014 8:58 AM PST by Don Reisinger, CNET News.

Samsung Galaxy Gear 2 a launch pad for Tizen OS – Samsung Galaxy Glass coming at IFA 2014

Samsung is reportedly still evaluating a Tizen OS smartphone for 2014 as stated in “Samsung still 'evaluating' a Tizen phone for this year”, published February 24, 2014 11:00 AM PST by Shara Tibken, CNET News. Once Samsung follows my advice as laid out in my blog article entitled “Samsung Galaxy Gear was not all that it promised - Wearable Computing Renaissance and smartphone and Tablet Extinction once improved”, they’ll create more reason for persons to want to wear a smartwatch.

Let’s see how well these pair of Tizen OS smartwatches, the Samsung Galaxy Gear 2 and the Samsung Galaxy Gear 2 Neo will do. Especially as the possibility exists that the Samsung Galaxy Gear smartwatches may eventually paired with a Samsung Galaxy Glass product, making it a perfect replacement for smartphones as argued in my blog article entitled “Samsung Galaxy Glass going public in September at IFA 2014 - Google Glass way ahead having partnered with Optometrists to offer Glass with Glasses”.

Xiaomi launches US$134.07 Xiaomi Redmi smartphone in Singapore - Perfect Storm for Apple and Samsung as the Xiaomi Redmi is Katy Perry's Dark Horse

“Singapore is a new market [for Xiaomi], beyond Greater China [which includes mainland China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan]. We don't have a [target] number to sell as a KPI (key performance indicator), but what we'll be working hard on is to make sure we're here to learn, and want to hear how Singapore consumers use the products, and how to service the products. This is what we'll be focusing on at least for the next six months.”

Xiaomi Co-Founder Lin Bin commenting on February 19, 2014 at the Singapore Launch on their push into the Singaporean Market

Xiaomi is taking on the world and their smartphones may eventually wind up in the West, even Jamaica. That’s the takeaway I’ve gotten from the article “Xiaomi kicks off global expansion with Singapore launch”, published February 19, 2014 -- 12:22 GMT (04:22 PST) By Eileen Yu, ZDNet.

The launch of Xiaomi, one of the largest smartphone makers means they are going global with a launch of its budget Android smartphones in Singapore or at least South East Asia as noted in “Xiaomi goes global, a bit, with impending Singapore launch”, published February 19, 2014 9:05 AM PST by Don Reisinger, CNET News.

Xiaomi is launching with two (2) smartphones:

1.      S$169 (US$134.07) Xiaomi Redmi
2.      S$419 (US$332.41) Xiaomi Mi-3 

This is first time that Xiaomi is launching outside of China and it’s significant as it may portend a global launch, even reaching as far as North America in the future. Right now their launch plans are aimed at Southeast Asia, including Thailand, Indonesia, and Malaysia as stated in “Xiaomi Steps Out of China, Brings Cheap Smartphones to Singapore”, published February 19, 2014 By Christina Larson, Businessweek.

Already since Friday February 21st 2014, the dual-SIM (Subscriber Identification Module) S$169 (US$134.07) Xiaomi Redmi, are sold online at their Xiaomi Website, have already sold out and are already on Ebay as stated in the article “Xiaomi Redmi sold out in SG within 8 min; units already listed on eBay”, published 21 February 2014 5:12pm SGT by John Chan, CNET Asia.

The Xiaomi Redmi, which means “Small Rice”, is known in mainland China as the Xiaomi Hogmi, which means “Red Rice”, Rice of course being a symbol of fertility and prosperity in China! Good choice of name, as Xiaomi, which is in 6th place in the huge Chinese market, is selling more smartphones than Apple, which is holding for dear life at 7th place as reported in “Apple, Watch Out: Xiaomi Has Overtaken You In China”, published 8/11/2013 @ 4:35PM by Gordon G. Chang, Contributor, Forbes.

Fret not though; the higher-end S$419 (US$332.41) Xiaomi Mi-3 hasn’t launched yet and will be available by Friday March 7th 2014 as stated in “Xiaomi Mi-3 launches in Singapore on March 7”, published 19 February 2014 2:01pm SGT by John Chan, CNET Asia. So get ready to wait up until midnight and start clicking like crazy to purchase this amazing new smartphone!

Xiaomi Redmi and Xiaomi Mi-3 – No LTE but build Quality and UI are a Customer’s Dream

So what the attraction to the Xiaomi line of smartphones? Aside from the Google Android OS, their specs are very impressive for low-cost smartphones, even besting Google's US$179 unlocked Moto X smartphone BOTH in price and Quality as I'd described in my blog article entitled “US$179 Moto G debut on Wednesday November 11 2013 from Motorola - Google's Quad-Core Budget smartphone is Free Birds for the Lost 500 million sheep”.

The specs tell the tale of the tape:

Xiaomi Mi-3

1.      Processor: Quad-core 2.3 GHz Krait 400 with Qualcomm MSM8274AB Snapdragon 800 chipset
2.      GPU: Adreno 330
3.      OS: Android OS, v4.2.1 (Jelly Bean)
4.      Dimensions: 144 x 73.6 x 8.1 mm (5.67 x 2.90 x 0.32 in)           
5.      Weight: 145 g (5.11 oz)
6.      Screen: IPS LCD capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors
7.      Resolution: 1080 x 1920 pixels, 5.0 inches (~441 ppi pixel density)
8.      Internal Memory: 16/64 GB
9.      RAM: 2 GB RAM
10.  SIM: Dual
11.  Sensors: Accelerometer, gyro, proximity, compass, barometer, GPS
12.  Network:
a)      2G Network - GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900
b)      3G Network - HSDPA 850 / 900 / 1900 / 2100
13.  Wireless Connectivity:
a)      EDGE
b)      GPRS
c)      Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, dual-band, Wi-Fi Direct, Wi-Fi hotspot
d)     Bluetooth v4.0 with A2DP
14.  Rear Facing Camera: 13 MP, 4128 x 3096 pixels, autofocus, dual-LED flash
15.  Front Facing Camera: 2 MP, 1080p@30fps
16.  Ports: microUSB v2.0 (MHL) 
17.  Battery: Li-Ion 3050 mAh battery (non-removable)

Features:
1.      Active noise cancellation with dedicated mic
2.      HTML5 Browser
3.      Document viewer (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, PDF)
4.      FM radio
5.      Geo-tagging
6.      Google Search, Maps, Gmail,
7.      Image/video editor
8.      MP3/WAV/eAAC+/AC3/FLAC player
9.      MP4/DivX/XviD/WMV/H.264/H.263 player
10.  Multitouch
11.  Organizer
12.  Predictive text input (Swype)
13.  SMS(threaded view), MMS, Email, Push Mail, IM, RSS
14.  SNS integration
15.  TV-out (via MHL A/V link)
16.  Voice memo/dial/commands
17.  YouTube, Calendar, Google Talk, Picasa

Xiaomi Redmi
1.      Processor: Quad-core 1.5 GHz Cortex-A7 with Mediatek MT6589T
2.      GPU: PowerVR SGX544
3.      OS: Android OS, v4.2.1 (Jelly Bean)
4.      Dimensions: 144 x 73.6 x 8.1 mm (5.67 x 2.90 x 0.32 in)           
5.      Weight:     145 g (5.11 oz)
6.      Screen: IPS LCD capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors
7.      Resolution: 720 x 1280 pixels, 4.7 inches (~312 ppi pixel density)
8.      External Memory: microSD, up to 32 GB
9.      Internal Memory: 4 GB
10.  RAM: 1 GB RAM
11.  SIM: Dual
12.  Sensors: Accelerometer, gyro, proximity, compass, barometer, GPS
13.  Network:
a)      2G Network - GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900
b)      3G Network - HSDPA 850 / 900 / 1900 / 2100
14.  Wireless Connectivity:
a)      EDGE
b)      GPRS
c)      Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, dual-band, Wi-Fi Direct, Wi-Fi hotspot
d)     Bluetooth v4.0 with A2DP
15.  Rear Facing Camera: 8 MP, 3264 x 2448 pixels, autofocus, LED flash
16.  Front Facing Camera: 1.3 MP, 720p@30fps
17.  Ports: microUSB v2.0 (MHL) 
18.  Battery: Li-Po 2000 mAh battery

Features:
1.      Active noise cancellation with dedicated mic
2.      HTML5 Browser
3.      Document viewer (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, PDF)
4.      FM radio
5.      Geo-tagging
6.      Google Search, Maps, Gmail,
7.      Image/video editor
8.      MP3/WAV/eAAC+/AC3/FLAC player
9.      MP4/DivX/XviD/WMV/H.264/H.263 player
10.  Multitouch
11.  Organizer
12.  Predictive text input (Swype)
13.  SMS(threaded view), MMS, Email, Push Mail, IM, RSS
14.  SNS integration
15.  TV-out (via MHL A/V link)
16.  Voice memo/dial/commands
17.  YouTube, Calendar, Google Talk, Picasa

The Xiaomi Redmi comes in the following colours:

1.      Black
2.      Chinese Red
3.      Metallic Gray/ blue
4.      Green
5.      Yellow

Interesting too is the marketing culture of Xiaomi. Each Batch of smartphones is adjusted as per the comments of uses in Forums, making this a first for a company; suggestions made are take up by managers and then implemented by Engineers. Added to the fact that their MiUI (User Interface) is so easily customizable, it’s really clever name is quite fitting, as they’re as versatile as Rice.

Xiaomi attacks SouthEast Asia – Apple needs to buy this company as part of their Asia Strategy

The three (3) year old company has no plans to attack the North American and European market just yet, oweing to the distance and the logistical challenges. But they’ve been doing well in China.

Xiaomi, having sold some 18.7 million handsets in 2013, has set their sights on selling four times that much, roughly 40 million smartphones in 2014 as stated in “Xiaomi aims to double smartphone production to 40M”, published January 3, 2014 -- 02:40 GMT (18:40 PST), by Cyrus Lee, ZDNet and “Xiaomi: We'll double our smartphone sales in 2014”, published January 2, 2014 6:18 AM PST by Don Reisinger, CNET News.

No surprise then that the company’s Vice President is a former Google Executive, Hugo Barra; as the man behind this ambitious push, his outlook is optimistic but cautious, quote: “The initial rollout efforts in these countries will be slow and small only because we want to make sure we are doing the right things. There are all sorts of carrier-related issues that we sometimes can't really get right first time around. So we're going to start small then ramp up as quickly as the market wants us to ramp up, in Malaysia and beyond”.

Right now they appear to be in a ramp-up stage, taking on a many staff as they can to fill the various positions within the company. Their strategy is also unique; sell smartphones for near cost price and make money solely from Apps, a strategy that’s a combination of Apple as well as Google.

More reason for Apple to acquire this company, as they’ve got the keys to access the thus far restricted Chinese market, where they are No. 6 in that market and Apple lags behind as No. 7 as noted in “Why Apple Should Buy China's Xiaomi”, published 12/29/2013 @ 11:26AM by Panos Mourdoukoutas, Forbes.


For Apple, this is the Perfect Storm. If you want to play with Google Android Magic, then it’s best to know that the Xiaomi Redmi is a Dark Horse, Katy Perry Style!