Many smartphone manufactorers reported strong sales in China this year. And the old giants are still in the lead.
24 million smartphone units were shipped to China in Q3 2011. Nokia has 28% of the sales with its mishmash of operating systems and Samsung 17%. China accounted for 12% of Apples total sales in 2011, up from 2% in 2009. But Apple still doen’t even get it’s own listing here, it’s just in “others”
Like in many other areas outside the US and Western Europe the new wave of cheap androids are making the biggest splashes in the new purchase statistics.
As an entrepreneur this is something I find very interesting. I noticed the same pattern of explosive growth in popularity of cheap android phones in Africa earlier this year. When technology gets cheaper it moves into a new circle of the population, these people will have different circumstances and behaviours compared the people we are building apps for today. This always represents new opportunities for entrepreneurs as the big corporates are often slow to spot this change.
This week China surpassed the US in amount of smartphones distributed. 24 million units were shipped to China in Q3, more than the 23.3 million shipped to the US
This creates opportunities in apps, mobile commerce and mobile distribution models for the fast thinking entrepreneur.
My thinking is that mobile entrepreneurs and businesses should be throwing a lot of energy into understanding the Chinese consumer. What do they like? how are they used to technology working? and what isn’t being done well today?
Certainly for my own company Everplaces China is extremely interesting. The travel industry has doubled on turnover the last ten years and international arrivals are expected to reach 1.6 billion travelers in 2020. The majority of these are Chinese. There is an entire new generation of middle class who can now afford to travel. This is a brand new thing for them, what will they want from this experience? How can we build the tool that helps them the best?
Getting into a new market is a number of small steps in the beginning to start to understand the requirements for the consumers there. So even if you’re not going to be doing business in China tomorrow, perhaps today is the best time to start.
Personally I’m in the social mobile location space - a red ocean market in the US. But not in China. So I will definitely accelerate my learning.
Today we had a nice visit from Facebook here at Founders House. Here’s the best from the talk:
John Ndege is from their New York department. He was at Founders House talking about how to work best with Facebook if you’re a startup or a developer. He also shared some fun anecdotes of how its been being at the company from when they had 8m users to the 800m users they have today. Here are the highlights:
- Be nice to your users. Both because it’s right but also because it actually pays off. We (Facebook) try to do advertising in the least obtrusive way. If we crammed users’ experience with ads we’d make more money in the short run, but lose them in the long run.
- Be relevant to the purpose people are in there for if you want to get the Facebook effect. People are typically there sharing their experiences, not to buy things, therefore brand advertising often works better on FB than getting people to buy things. So, awareness over sales.
- Get into the engine of stories. Perhaps the most powerful part of FB is the stream. So work on getting into this by communicating via stories users will want to pass on, or even better, let them make their own stories which involve you.
It was really nice to get visit from FB, they’ve recently started getting more active in reaching out to the startup and development community. John also confirmed that being a platform is a key mission.
Fact: Foreigners are good for your economy (stats)
As many other liberals and humanists I am sad about the last decade’s growing negativity towards foreigners in my country.
All over Europe right wing parties are voted into parliament, often to fight “foreigners from taking our jobs and benefits”. Here’s some facts which proves exactly the opposite:
Ian Goldwin from Oxford University has researched how much of the American economy is build by migrants. Read it and weep Europe:
- More than half of Silicon Valley Startups are started by migrants.
- Migrants outnumber native-born americans 3 to 1 in Nobel Prize winners and Academy Award winners
- Migrants account for two thirds of the US engineering workforce. And more than 50% of engineering/ science doctorates.
- Inventors of international patent applications from the us are 40% migrant (72% at Qualcomm)
- Google, Intel, PayPal, eBay and Yahoo are started by migrants.
I quote "Short-sighted policies to curtail immigration backfire and lead to slower growth and higher unemployment"
A side note: The state of Denmark:
Totally contrary to this, is how we in treat people here. The principal of Copenhagen University is quoting a survey in a national paper* today saying that 25% of international students in Denmark feel downright ”isolated”
Only 1 in 3 foreign students manage to get a job after graduating from our universities, so we manage to attract the talent, we just show them the door afterwards! So it is the fault of employers not the universities. (come to the startup scene, we hire on merit, not origin)
According to DI** we’re going to be short of 30,000 highly educated workers in 2030.
Quote again, this time from Shakespeare. “There’s something rotten in the state of Denmark”
Sources: * Berlingske ** Danish industry association Wired Magazine
Updated list! Yesterday we started the beta release of Everplaces. We’re drip feeding access to be able to improve continously with all the feedback we get in every round. Every round is about a day and we give 350 people access per day.
Below are some tool that enable us to do this, perhaps they could help your team too?
New: Zendesk. We started testing Zendesk, we love the guys behind this who are young danish entrepreneurs and it looks like we’re also going to love the product too. They give one year’s free use for startups in their excellent We Love Startups programme
Geckoboard: Beautiful, personalized dashboard of all our stats. Can’t say how much I like it.
Testflights App: We’ve been using this to give access to alpha tester prior to the beta. Seems a little hard for testers to figure out (perhaps because people don’t read the instructions) but is the best tool on the market I believe.
Podio: We use Podio as a depository for information. And as a feed of what’s happening within the company
Tweetdeck: To monitor conversations in our field and people we want to connect with. And to post to multiple accounts. Half the time we hate it though, it’s has a lot of bugs but still the best free tool we’ve found.
MailChimp: For nice looking newsletters and emails
NEW: Trello. Forgot to add. We’re using that as a visual dashboard for development tickets.
NEW: Wunderlist. Also forgot to add Wunderlist which I personally use to manage my ever-growing to-do list
NEW: Fractal We’ve been promised early access to Fractal which lets you see how your newsletters look in all brower versions. Hugely helpful
NEW: Ge.tt. We use this for sending huge files, especially videos.
I can also tell you what’s not working. And that is Amazon SES (simple email service) which is amazingly difficult to customize. We’re a really strong technical team and we can barely manage to adjust it to our design as it requires an ancient programming language. We use it because we need an email system connected to the server to generate and track access tokens. (red: a lot of people have mentioned Send Grid as a reply to this post, we do like that but it is expensive)