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Chinese Smartphone Invasion Begins

Soulskill posted about 2 years ago | from the do-we-call-swayze-or-hemsworth dept.

Cellphones 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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Nope (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42562657)

No one wants crappy, low-end phones that will break within 2 hours.

Re:Nope (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#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.

Re:Nope (3, Interesting)

NatasRevol (731260) | about 2 years ago | (#42562881)

This would be great, if only the price of the phone was a significant part of the cost of owning a phone.

Unfortunately, it's almost a rounding error.

Re:Nope (3, Interesting)

cduffy (652) | about 2 years ago | (#42562925)

Some of us buy our hardware and our plans separately.

If you do differently, well, that's your own problem.

Re:Nope (4, Insightful)

NatasRevol (731260) | about 2 years ago | (#42562949)

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.

Re:Nope (3, Informative)

mspohr (589790) | about 2 years ago | (#42563025)

Not sure about your denominator, there, but you can buy voice and data plans for about $30 a month. This is $720 over 2 years.
It you buy a "top of the line" phone, it will cost you about the same as the service for 2 years (i.e. 50% of ownership cost). If you can get a cheap smartphone, it lowers your costs substantially.
Just about all Android and Apple smart phones have roughly the same functionality.

Re:Nope (1)

NatasRevol (731260) | about 2 years ago | (#42563057)

You can get a voice/data plan for about $30 a month.

But you're not going to want to use it with a smart phone.

Re:Nope (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42563073)

I have a plan with 50 minutes talk and 2 GB data for 10 euros. More than enough for my smartphone needs (it's actually unlimited data, reduced speed after the 2 GB).

Re:Nope (2)

NatasRevol (731260) | about 2 years ago | (#42563089)

But you can't leave your country (that's the size of the average US state) without roaming charges.

Also, US carriers suck. A lot.

But because of that, they're a good stock to own - 5-6% dividends.

Re:Nope (1)

fredprado (2569351) | about 2 years ago | (#42563369)

Most people don't leave their countries frequently, that is true for America, Europe, Asia and basically everywhere else.

Re:Nope (2)

horza (87255) | about 2 years ago | (#42564467)

We pay 19.99 here for unlimited calls to fixed and mobiles, fixed lines all over Europe plus USA and Canada, unlimited SMS and MMS, unlimited Internet for the first 3GB and reduced speeds after. As my smartphone has wifi, I can watch video all day long at home and work and not even touch my uncapped data.

Phillip.

Re:Nope (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42563871)

I get 5GB data for £8.27 a month, I have pay-as-you-go sim for voice and text which I spend maybe £30-40 a year on. Works nicely with a dual-sim smartphone.

I spent £110 on a cheap dual-sim smartphone, [amazon.co.uk] if I keep the phone for 18 months that works out to 35% of the total cost, if I only keep it 12 months it will be 45% of the cost.

Phablet (1)

aNonnyMouseCowered (2693969) | about 2 years ago | (#42564377)

"You can get a voice/data plan for about $30 a month. But you're not going to want to use it with a smart phone."

And why not? I've seen "smart" people use their smartphones as a combo dumbphone/tablet, effectively turning them into small "phablets" (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phablet). Basically you use the expensive data plan for the dumbphone stuff like old-fashioned text-messaging and voice calls, or for quickly checking your social stats. Then you report to the nearest wi-fi hotspot if you want to watch YouTube or stare at your FB profile. This isn't as much as a hassle as you think, if you happen to live in a big city. Incidentally the Chinaphones I've seen happen to have 5" screen, which puts them at the lower end of the phablet category.

Re:Nope (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42563133)

Dunno about the US, but 6 months ago in the UK:

Huawei Ascend G300 - £100 + £5 unlocking
Unlimited (though now sadly 1GB/month) data, text and a few hundred minutes: £10/month

So a couple hundred quid for 2 years at which point I'll buy a new phone that's better hardware.

I can't see the point of spending hundreds or being locked in to an extortionate contract for years for a "premium"/Apple handset.

Re:Nope (1)

NatasRevol (731260) | about 2 years ago | (#42563179)

Can you go all across Europe, ie to Spain & Slovenia, without incurring roaming charges?
Then it's not the same as the US.

1GB/month - better not watch Netflix on the road, or get a few emails with large attachments. Also, that's not what I want for a smartphone plan. What's the point of having a smartphone?

Re:Nope (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#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.

Re:Nope (2)

Kjella (173770) | about 2 years ago | (#42563307)

Can you go all across Europe, ie to Spain & Slovenia, without incurring roaming charges? Then it's not the same as the US. 1GB/month - better not watch Netflix on the road, or get a few emails with large attachments. Also, that's not what I want for a smartphone plan. What's the point of having a smartphone?

Well I can't speak for everyone else but I mainly live in my country, sure if I went a lot abroad that might be an issue but my foreign access costs is a rounding error to my vacation costs. I care about the broadband I can get in my daily life, going on vacation is a good time to unwind from that always connected stress too. And if I did it because of work then I'd insist they pay, not me. Oh and the EU has brought the charges down to moderately unreasonable, you're not fleeced quite as bad as you used to be.

Yes, if you must stream Netflix you have a problem. But if your smart phone is topped off with apps and games and music and movies and whatever else you want from your wifi at home, then meh... I don't come close to 1 GB/month I think, and yet it's incredibly useful to me. YMMV.

Re:Nope (1)

horza (87255) | about 2 years ago | (#42564533)

In my business I live on on my phone. In Europe it's not so bad but outside the roaming charges are exorbitant. I spent $100 on one relatively short phone call when last in Ukraine. Fortunately most places have free wifi in nearly every bar and restaurant. If somebody calls just hit reject and dial them straight back for free on Viber (or whatever voip you use). If you see you have a large attachment just wait until you get until the hotel until you download it.

I should point out that Spain and Slovenia are different countries. I'm not sure why a phone bought in one should be used for free in the other?

Phillip.

Re:Nope (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42563483)

No, no I can't. Can you?

Do you incur roaming charges in the states by going from one state to another? I dunno. That's why I said "Dunno about the US".

Anyway it was unlimited but it's not not now, sadly. But I don't go anywhere near it anyway. It's more than enough to read/post crap on slashdot, get mail, antisocial networking, make IAX calls, read PDFs, use maps, etc.

Why would I want to watch netflix on the road? I mostly use the tube - there's no reception and videos I have put on the SD card play fine.

Horses for courses.

Re:Nope (1)

PopeRatzo (965947) | about 2 years ago | (#42563333)

By the way, 15% is not, as you say, a "rounding error".

Re:Nope (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42563509)

You guys seem to be screwed big time there. Am paying 10$ a month for infinite calls/sms BS 500MB of internet a month in southern Europe :)

Re:Nope (1)

cduffy (652) | about 2 years ago | (#42563589)

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

The cost of service is part of the cost of owning a phone, but it's not part of the cost of the phone!

If we're talking about new phone manufacturers trying to get into the market, it's the cost of phones that matters for purposes of determining if they're competitive with other makers of phones. Discussing cost-of-service is an irrelevant distraction.

Re:Nope (1)

turbidostato (878842) | about 2 years ago | (#42563751)

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

I claim bullshit on that.

My last but one phone, a Samsung Galaxy S, costed me 450 EUR and lasted me in good use about 2 years.

My voice/data plan (500MB/month, enough for my light usage) was 25EUR/month, which means 600EUR on those two years.

So, 450 versus 600, hardly neglegible cost.

Now I own a Chinese smarphone that costed me 120EUR and doesn't look it's going to have a shorter live than my older Samsung (and, as I already told in a previous message, I didn't even buy it because of the price but because of its feature set) so that means about 30% less for what I consider a better product.

Now, go figure.

Re:Nope (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42564471)

For me it's about 60/40 in favour of the phone. My Galaxy Nexus was £300 SIM free. My contract is £10 a month for 12 months which gets me 300 minutes, 1.5GB data and unlimited texts. I surf constantly, check emails constantly and I struggle to break 500MB a month usually. Lots of pictures consumed, but not much 'big' media like videos. So my contract is about a third of the price of the phone for one year.

For me the price of the phone is very much a big factor. It's bizarre, you're offered a £20 a month contract and then charged £150 for the phone on top and it doesn't even really belong to you. I'd much rather sever the links between service and hardware.

Hardware and plans, separate? (1)

DavidClarkeHR (2769805) | about 2 years ago | (#42564391)

Some of us buy our hardware and our plans separately.

If you do differently, well, that's your own problem.

The economic feasibility of that suggestion varies greatly depending on your particular geography, sir.

Re:Nope (1)

silviuc (676999) | about 2 years ago | (#42563005)

Their phones are not actually that cheap if we're talking smartphones. I'm looking at some unlocked models here in my country and they compete on price and specs with the better known manufacturers.

Re:Nope (3, Interesting)

ozmanjusri (601766) | about 2 years ago | (#42564401)

They're cheap enough.

I have a Star N8000 (AU$130) which I've had for about a year now (Galaxy Note clone), and a JiaYu G3 (AU$230) just bought.

The Star runs Android 4.03 nicely, has been very robust (in a standard supplied cover) and performs well. I bought it for it's dual SIM capability which makes staying connected while travelling much easier and cheaper, but it's become my main phone because it's so versatile (even includes an analogue TV tuner).

The G3 is new, but so far it feels nicely made. It's very fast, has a brilliant display, two SIMs and runs Jelly Bean. I bought it to test, but my GF saw it when it arrived, so I haven't been able to do much testing... It's easily the slickest phone I have (limited) access to.

I have no doubt that the Galaxy SIII and iPhone are well made, but in Australia they're triple the price of my phones and less versatile.

Re:I own a ZTE v875 (4, Informative)

miknix (1047580) | about 2 years ago | (#42563063)

I own a ZTE v875, which I got for around 80 euros as a carrier exclusive (TMN Smart A7). The phone is really really good for the value, in fact, I would get it again if something happens to it. It has everything what you would expect from a good Android phone. The GPS is even better, I often get more precision from the location services than my friends with higher end phones. The qwerty keyboard is awesome and the main reason why I bought this phone. There is a minor problem though, you need to use a plastic plug in the headphones jack, otherwise sand and dust comes in and stays between the touchscreen and the LCD - annoying. Other than that, the phone is very serviceable, I already opened it a couple of times to clean the sand / dust. In fact, I even managed to accidentally cut 5 of the LCD flex cable vias while trying to unplug it. Fortunately I have steady hands and a good soldering iron :)
Other than that, I'm stuck with gingerbread. The internal storage is quite small, however I have root access which allows me to move apps around to circumvent the small internal (permanent) memory. The battery autonomy is ok, with 3G on at all times I always have more than 1 day of battery.... if I dont abuse google maps.

Re:Nope (1)

evilviper (135110) | about 2 years ago | (#42563355)

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).

The Alcatel Venture costs $40, and will probably last for a year. If nothing else, you can buy it some place that'll give you a 3-year extended warranty for $15 more....

Re:Nope (1)

chargersfan420 (1487195) | about 2 years ago | (#42563629)

Sure, you say that now, but having to deal with getting a replacement every 6 months, not to mention the week or so that you're hobbling along because the phone is clearly on its last legs, would probably make you change your tune after a cheap phone or two.

Re:Nope (4, Funny)

ickleberry (864871) | about 2 years ago | (#42562785)

If that was the case Apple would never have sold a single iPhone

I'll get my coat..

Re:Nope (0)

RearNakedChoke (1102093) | about 2 years ago | (#42562821)

Forget cheap. Given chinese tendency to install malware on hardware, I wouldn't use a chinese phone to dial 911, much less a smartphone with all my data.

You can get non-chinese phones? Where? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42562883)

Where are you getting these non-chinese phones? I haven't seen one in twenty years.

Oh, wait, you were just being an ignorant racist, you don't actually know of any phones that aren't made in China. My bad.

Re:You can get non-chinese phones? Where? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42563029)

Gotta love it when some asshole comes out of the woodwork to call people racist for no reason.

When you buy an iPhone, Apple is behind that device, even if it's made in China.

Re:You can get non-chinese phones? Where? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42563287)

And I'm sure apple employs only american expats in its Chinese factories.

Re:You can get non-chinese phones? Where? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42563345)

Well then instead of abusing him you could just prove you are not a racist prick by just providing citations that show all these hardware devices and phones from china that ship with malware.

Re:You can get non-chinese phones? Where? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42563449)

That didn't make any sense.

Re:You can get non-chinese phones? Where? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42564383)

My Nokia N8 was made in Mexico.

Hey, at least it's Made in North America!

Unfortunately, it runs Symbian.

Re:Nope (1)

gmuslera (3436) | about 2 years ago | (#42563013)

I suppose that what you don't know that apple, microsoft, or blackberry installs in your phones would never be malware. I would go to a phone (american, chinese, finnish or from anywhere) that not just runs an open source (so auditable) OS, but also enables you to put in your own version. And so far, the ones willing to go that route are more the chinese than the western ones.

Now, if you concern is about bad real world performance, or bad battery life, well, i would understand, but is just about picking the right chinese manufacturers.

Re: Nope (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42562989)

Where I work we used ZTE Blade for one year. I did not heat about any of around 40 phones breaking.

Re:Nope (2)

turbidostato (878842) | about 2 years ago | (#42563685)

"No one wants crappy, low-end phones that will break within 2 hours."

Certainly not.

On the other hand, I wanted an smartphone capable of managing two SIM cards, 4" screen (I don't want bigger), with Android and a big fat battery. No way finding something like that from any of the "big brands".

I'm a consumer and I vote with my wallet. Would you think all these capitalist-grown companies knows that?

Well, I ended buying a Chinese Jiayu G2 http://www.pandawill.com/jiayu-g2-smart-phone-40-inch-ips-screen-android-40-mtk6577-10ghz-3g-gps-black-p70479.html [pandawill.com]
which costed me 120â including air transport with a charger and an extra battery and, after about three months of heavy usage, I'd say it is a best buy.

Did I buy it because it was cheap? No -but it certainly costed me about 1/5 of a big brand -if they had something like that in catalogue, I mean. I bought it because that was what I wanted to buy.

I suppose that's capitalism in action, it's only I find funny it has to be somebody from the only big known comunist country in the world the one to teach that lesson.

I've got a Chinese smartphone (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42562663)

It's sold under the Apple brand.

Re:I've got a Chinese smartphone (0)

Lawrence61 (868933) | about 2 years ago | (#42562723)

You must have meant to say SamDung brand. Thats the only maker of crappy phones that knock off Apple products.

Re:I've got a Chinese smartphone (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42562955)

You must have meant to say SamDung brand. Thats the only maker of crappy phones that knock off Apple products.

I've never heard of "SamDung", but going by the name, that sounds more likely to be a low-rent knock-off of "Samsung", a Korean company well-known for their high-quality smartphones. Hope this explains things for you! ;-)

Re:I've got a Chinese smartphone (0)

BasilBrush (643681) | about 2 years ago | (#42564033)

Samsung is not successful because they have high quality phones. They are successful because they spend so much on marketing.

Re:I've got a Chinese smartphone (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42563905)

Ok you had your say now go back to sucking steves cold dead cock

Re:I've got a Chinese smartphone (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42562729)

Is there a smartphone that is not mainly produced in China?

Re:I've got a Chinese smartphone (2)

Trepidity (597) | about 2 years ago | (#42562815)

There was an earlier discussion [slashdot.org] about that. Afaict, the answer is "not really", but some of the Japanese and Korean brands may have a bigger proportion of their production done in, respectively, Japan and Korea.

Re:I've got a Chinese smartphone (0)

NatasRevol (731260) | about 2 years ago | (#42562905)

Well, Samsung's Austin plant is planning on making the A5 in the iPhone.

And Apple is shifting silicon production to TSM, based mostly in New York.

It's just the CPU, but it's a step in that direction. For better or/and worse.

Re:I've got a Chinese smartphone (1)

iserlohn (49556) | about 2 years ago | (#42564597)

I have a Nexus One, Nexus Galaxy and Nexus 4 and they were made in Taiwan, S.Korea and S.Korea respectively.

From first-hand experience and information collected around the net -

Samsung makes its flagship phones mostly in South Korea
LG makes its flagship phones in South Korea
HTC makes its phones mostly in Taiwan

I'm sure a lot of Japanese phones (e.g. Sharp) is produced in Japan as well

Re:I've got a Chinese smartphone (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42563899)

how was this marked insightful? practically EVERY tech product is made in china. apple is an american company, however. they design the phone, market it, sell it, and reap all the profits.

just like every other american tech company.

And they will not establish a foothold. (3, Insightful)

Lumpy (12016) | about 2 years ago | (#42562759)

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.

Re:And they will not establish a foothold. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42562933)

Not now, but maybe later. As the summary states Samsung wasn't that great either and it took a long time for it to get in that position.

But I don't think they'll ever gain a foothold as long as the best Chinese engineers move elsewhere to live. It's why the only Chinese fabs that are relevant are in Singapore or Taiwan. Nobody likes to live in a polluted poor shithole. Samsung is in Korea which is relatively developed.

Re:And they will not establish a foothold. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42563457)

as long as the best Chinese engineers move elsewhere to live. It's why the only Chinese fabs that are relevant are in Singapore or Taiwan

Just imagine what those Mainlanders could do with stealth fighters, interplanetary satellites, manned space program, etc if they actually had some top scientists left in the country.

Nobody likes to live in a polluted poor shithole

There are reportedly some 100k westerners in Shanghai alone. Guess there are differences in sanitation standards among the populace.

Re:And they will not establish a foothold. (3, Insightful)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about 2 years ago | (#42562985)

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.

Re:And they will not establish a foothold. (1)

BasilBrush (643681) | about 2 years ago | (#42564063)

vanilla Android

That must be Ice Cream Sandwich. Typical Android phone, ships with an old OS version.

Re:And they will not establish a foothold. (4, Informative)

Alex Zepeda (10955) | about 2 years ago | (#42563115)

Yeah, we use ZTE modems (embedded stuff) at work. It's a tossup between the support and the product as to which is actually worse. None of our vendors enjoy selling ZTE products. Our standard policy is to ship the modems from the vendor to ZTE to ensure proper configuration. We've had one batch that was provisioned for a Chinese telecom, so we ended up "roaming" on our carrier and were assigned IP addresses owned by a Chinese company. All of the ZTE documentation for this particular modem is for the latest version of the firmware (which is not backwards compatible with the previous version of the firmware). Well, despite sending all of these things back to ZTE, only a handful of the modems have the current, documented version of the firmware. Despite asking for documentation for the older version of the firmware, ZTE has refused to provide any. Their solution is to recall hundreds of modems, ship them to ZTE and hope for the best. The firmware is not user updatable.

No. Thanks.

I feel for any carrier that things hawking ZTE phones will be a reasonable experience.

Re:And they will not establish a foothold. (1)

turbidostato (878842) | about 2 years ago | (#42563797)

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

No, but you have a lot for 129$ still a very good bang for the buck.

Re:And they will not establish a foothold. (1)

DavidClarkeHR (2769805) | about 2 years ago | (#42564403)

No, but you have a lot for 129$ still a very good bang for the buck.

Compared to 2002, most modern smart phones are great bang-for-buck.

Re:And they will not establish a foothold. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42564461)

iFon was a good alternative smartphone before Android arrived.

The big names were a no-show... (4, Informative)

PantherSE (588973) | about 2 years ago | (#42562799)

because they're big enough brands to have a show of their own. Why spend the money on an event where you have to fight for attention when you've established your brand enough that the media clamors to be invited to your event?

Re:The big names were a no-show... (1)

DrEldarion (114072) | about 2 years ago | (#42564187)

They weren't really no-shows, either. Who do you think is providing the software that runs on those phones? The same big name companies that were supposedly "absent".

Well Huawei need a better consumer brand name (1)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | about 2 years ago | (#42562813)

Branding does matter, and Huawei is rather odd to American ears.

Other than that it'll be all about what they can offer in terms of price, features, and quality. Quality seems to be a big issue for many Chinese brands. They focus on low price above all else, and drive quality down too far. This could be a particular issue in the smartphone market where carries want to lock people in to 2 year contracts. That means that equipment needs to survive for 2 years, or you'll have angry customers.

Re:Well Huawei need a better consumer brand name (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42562887)

As compared to the strange sounding Hyundai, Volkswagen, Nokia, Nissan, Lenovo, etc... They do OK in US market.

Re:Well Huawei need a better consumer brand name (1)

Anne Thwacks (531696) | about 2 years ago | (#42562963)

Rename Huawei to Chuck Norris - then it will really kick ass!

Re:Well Huawei need a better consumer brand name (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42562971)

Huawei isn't just "odd to American ears", they're also involved in espionage ... so there's that.

Re:Well Huawei need a better consumer brand name (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42563137)

Hrm, so how about something like Spyware? That sounds like a good name for a company, right?

Product availability (1)

Animats (122034) | about 2 years ago | (#42562893)

"Still, Hisense products are tough to find in the U.S. outside of Walmart, Amazon.com and Costco.com."

Other than Target, that's everybody that matters in electronics and appliances.

Re:Product availability (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42562987)

If I've learned anything at RadioShack it's that they really really REALLY matter when it comes to phones.

Sure, why not? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42563041)

Every other position has gone overseas, I want to see some big CEOs here lose their jobs to the overseas companies they helped fund.
Mmm...sweet irony.

OS (1)

gmuslera (3436) | about 2 years ago | (#42563085)

More manufacturers wanting to differenciate themselves from the rest means also more diversity on the software front. Thats from where Sailfish, Tizen, Firefox OS, and even Open Web OS phones will come.

The "We have the virtual monopoly so no need to innovate" mentality is about to get a hit (unless they use other tactics counterattack, like claiming that they will attack your privacy (even more than the US government is doing with everything US based), or with patents (after all the Apple fight to ban Samsung phones from US or Europe, this could happen too ).

Re:OS (1)

BasilBrush (643681) | about 2 years ago | (#42564087)

More manufacturers wanting to differenciate themselves from the rest means also more diversity on the software front. Thats from where Sailfish, Tizen, Firefox OS, and even Open Web OS phones will come.

So far it just seems to mean an ever more fragmented Android.

Samsung wasn't the only one... (5, Insightful)

bmo (77928) | about 2 years ago | (#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.

--
BMO

Enjoying arguing with your straw-man? (3, Insightful)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | about 2 years ago | (#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.

Re:Samsung wasn't the only one... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42563877)

Show me some good Chinese products and I'll change my tune...

Re:Samsung wasn't the only one... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42564463)

Show me some good Chinese products and I'll change my tune...

It's reached a point now that I can say this without reservation:

We have here the utterance of a bitter man with a house full of Chinese products.
Seems like you've seen a lot of good Chinese products judging from your personal collection.

Sorry to out you like this.

Re:Samsung wasn't the only one... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42563891)

as good as Acura or Infiniti? Not the incumbent for quality, Lexus?

Re:Samsung wasn't the only one... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42563961)

same goes for educatiom here at home. We have a system built around 20% of the people are "smart". They take the honors classes and go to college. This is totally fabricated. "Smart" is mostly based on the number of utterances directed towards one as a child. But even early advantages can be easily be made up for by 90% of the population if effort is made before the sixth grade.

Re:Samsung wasn't the only one... (1)

Dan East (318230) | about 2 years ago | (#42564073)

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.

Ford stayed strong throughout the economic recession, did not require any bailout, posted record profits, and produces the best selling car in the world. Two specific automakers were poorly managed and operated, and when the economy tanked, they couldn't survive. Perhaps they should have been allowed to fail so the stronger, better operated companies could have taken over their share. Regardless, the USA did not almost lose the entire automobile industry, as Ford is still a world leader.

We lost consumer electronics manufacturing entirely in the US.

No, we sent it away on purpose. It was cheaper to have other countries manufacture those products, so Americans can buy them cheaper. One thing people tend to overlook - a lot of the jobs people lament us having lost are jobs that most Americans would never want to have. What will happen next is that robotics will become even cheaper than Asian labor, and as the jobs were not in the USA to begin with, we won't see unions fighting robotic factories, as they will not cause Americans to lose their jobs. Thus I predict a great deal of manufacturing will return to the USA in the form of robotic assembly lines soon, especially when artificially maintained bubbles, like the Chinese currency, the Chinese production of cheap rare earths, and the Chinese people's willingness to produce products they could never afford to buy, all begin to burst.

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.

And you are being a Bigot in assuming that the Japanese and Chinese are exactly the same and capable of the same accomplishments because they all look Asian. However, that's entirely beside the point. The Japanese flourished for a number of reasons, one of which is because of their style of government and economy. It fostered creativity, engineering, and improving on others' designs. It is yet to be seen if China's Communist government can achieve the same level accomplishment just because the party dictated that the workers should do it. There is a tremendous amount of corruption in that government which leads to inefficiencies and a constant skimming-off-the-top at every level. So no, it is not a given that the Chinese can become the next Japan or South Korea. Take a close look at the governments of Japan, South Korea, the USA and China, and see if you can find any pattern there associated with the country's technical innovations and breakthroughs.

Re:Samsung wasn't the only one... (4, Interesting)

bmo (77928) | about 2 years ago | (#42564331)

And you are being a Bigot in assuming that the Japanese and Chinese are exactly the same and capable of the same accomplishments because they all look Asian.

No, I am saying that they are exactly the same and capable of the same because they are *human beings*.

Meet your new status, fuckhead.

--
BMO

Re:Samsung wasn't the only one... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42564563)

Saying everyone is the same is to ignore the impact of culture. Culture has a profound impact on economic ability. China's culture is vastly different from Japan's and Korea's. China has deeply ingrained cultural problems that diminish the quality of their companies' products.

If a Japanese worker tells his boss there's a problem that should be fixed he wins kudos. A Chinese worker in the same situation loses kudos for making the boss lose face. The issues are myriad.

Many still consider LG a junk brand (1)

electrosoccertux (874415) | about 2 years ago | (#42564525)

Particularly their software has been half baked for android.

The only reason we don't notice it this round is their Nexus 4 had a Quad Core A15 and 2GB RAM. Nothing can slow IT down...just drain the battery.

Common phenomenon (2)

GODISNOWHERE (2741453) | about 2 years ago | (#42563145)

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

Change "United States" to "China", and you've just described Google's problems when they attempted to expand several years ago. Baidu is still the number one search provider in China. There are plenty more examples of this. It's not easy to predict when a product will find traction in a foreign market.

Re:Common phenomenon (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42564441)

So you're saying US cellular networks should downgrade connections from Chinese phones, make them lose connection from time to time, hack into the cellphone accounts of social critics who happen to use Chinese phones, maybe even accuse Chinese phones of allowing children to find porn, and iPhones will grow to be the number one phone in America?

Chinese Firms Face Hurdle Japanese & Koreans D (2)

Koreantoast (527520) | about 2 years ago | (#42563235)

Chinese firms like Huawei face an additional, very complicated hurdle that Japanese and Koreans firms didn't face when they worked their way into the American market, the "taint" that's left on their brands by the Chinese government. When Japanese and Korean firms first came into the US, they "only" had to deal with name brand recognition, quality, etc. While there was some hysteria around Japan Inc. and whatnot buying the US, I would suggest that Chinese concerns are probably even greater, magnified by concerns of military espionage and a messy history between the two nations from 1949 to today. It's not fair, but it's unfortunately a real thing they have to deal with. Thus, they have just that one extra headache they have to deal with, not just convincing that their products are competitive but that they're not out to steal your data and wage war with the United States as well.

I would also add that unlike Japan, they face much stiffer competition entering into the US market with a larger number of well established, well funded players who unlike blindsided American firms, much better understand how the electronics-export game works.

Re:Chinese Firms Face Hurdle Japanese & Korean (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42563445)

WW2 and the Korean Wars created an indelible prejudice against Japanese and Korean manufactured goods across an entire generation of Americans.

You are just too young to have had a meaningful conversation with anyone from that generation.

Invasion Begins? (1)

kelemvor4 (1980226) | about 2 years ago | (#42563261)

I bought my kids Huwaei Ascend [wikipedia.org] android smartphones several years ago (2010). This so called "invasion" started years ago. If you can even call it that, since I'm pretty sure all smartphones are made in China, aren't they?

Lenovo ThinkPhones, anyone . . . ? (2)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | about 2 years ago | (#42563439)

Straight from this week's The Economist, http://www.economist.com/news/business/21569398-how-did-lenovo-become-worlds-biggest-computer-company-guard-shack-global-giant [economist.com]

Lenovo is on a roll. It is number one in five of the seven biggest PC markets, including Japan and Germany. Its mobile division is poised to leapfrog Samsung to grab the top spot in China, the world’s biggest smartphone market. This week it made a splash at the International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas with what PC World called “bullish bravado and a seemingly bottomless trunk” of enticing new products.

To focus on PCs, Mr Yang’s [CEO] predecessor sold Lenovo’s smartphone arm for $100m in 2008. Mr Yang bought it back for twice as much the next year. He believes that PCs and other devices will converge, so knowledge of one area will breed expertise in the other. He may be right. Smartphone sales are red hot in China, and Lenovo is now selling mobiles and tablets in several emerging markets

He also thinks Lenovo has a secret weapon. It has kept a lot of manufacturing in-house (why outsource to Foxconn when you already pay Chinese wages?). Mr Yang believes this in-house expertise gives his firm an edge in product development. But Lenovo must exploit that edge better than it has done so far if it is to compete with a technology powerhouse like Samsung and build a global brand anything like Apple’s.

Has anyone seen one of these Lenovo phone critters yet . . . ?

Back door man! (0)

CHIT2ME (2667601) | about 2 years ago | (#42563901)

With all the back doors the Chinese install in the electronics sold in the U.S., would you really want those naked pics of your girlfriend being oogled by some middle-aged Chinese security agent pervert?

Re:Back door man! (1)

Kplx138 (2523712) | about 2 years ago | (#42564015)

as opposed to all the backdoors every other government installs in their electronics.
I remember a while back there was scare-mongering over huawei telecom components because huawei had close ties
to the chinese goverment and therefore comprised, I also realized that they
(huawei) were probably in bed with the chinese government beause the chinese govt. wanted telecom infrastructure that they
knew weren't riddled with american govt. backdoors.

ZTE Nubia-Z5 (3, Informative)

gitano_dbs (1490853) | about 2 years ago | (#42563923)

They are not only cheap models, ZTE its releasing this http://www.phonearena.com/phones/ZTE-Nubia-Z5_id7609 [phonearena.com] this month. Quadcore processor at 1500 MHz, 5 inches display on 1920 x 1080 pixels and 441 ppi.

The article quotes Jeff Lotman (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42563999)

I used to work for Lotman. He's a prick.

I got a cheap modern samsung phone (1)

Nyder (754090) | about 2 years ago | (#42564169)

the phone is so cheap, I can NOT change the ringtone.

I see it used on TV as a "throw away" phone quite often.

Samsung is still making cheap shit that no one wants, they just raised the price on their stuff so you think it's not a cheap piece of shit.

They are using stolen tech (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42564185)

I have a couple of connections at a major cell manufacturer. They have been having issues with attacks coming in and stealing all their IP. From which country? You've got it, China.

My sources say that Huawei released a phone last year that contained a firmware bug identical to a phone released slightly later.

Anyone that's in security will tell you how many attacks originate not just in China, but from Chinese government/educational/military institutions. Some will also tell you the relationship that ZTE and Huawei have with the Chinese government.

This should come as no surprise since these attacks from China ramped up after manufacturers refused to turn over trade secrets some years back to the government in exchange for manufacturing stuff there on the cheap.

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