Xiaomi plans to sell more premium smartphones to meet increased demand
The China-based consumer electronics company, Xiaomi, has announced it plans to sell more premium smartphones in China due to the ever-increasing demand, CNBC reports.
Speaking to CNBC, Xiaomi's Chief Financial Officer, Chew Shou Zi, believes the plan, which was made a year ago, has been a good move.
Mr Chew said: “We believe that for this year, our strategic focus is to strengthen our position in the mid and high-tier market.”
The firm began by manufacturing expensive smartphones at significantly more affordable prices in comparison with its rivals.
However, in recent times, Xiaomi has faced strong competition from rival low-cost companies such as OPPO and vivo and due to a substantial demand, the average selling prices of smartphones has increased by 25%.
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Mr Chew added: “For this quarter, the reflection of the success of our strategy was an increase in our average selling price by 25% of our smartphones in China.”
According to the International Data Corporation (IDC), Xiaomi is the fourth biggest smartphone manufacturer in China, behind Huawei, OPPO and vivo, with approximately 13.8% of the market share.
On Thursday (23 August), it was revealed that Xiaomi’s shares increased 1.36% in Hong Kong.
Preliminary data by the IDC has discovered that China has seen 105mn smartphones shipped during the second quarter of 2018.
Beyond Limits: Cognitive AI in APAC
Courtesy of current estimates, it looks like Asia-Pacific AI will be worth US$136bn by 2025. Its governments and corporations invest more money than the rest of the world in AI tech, the data of its citizens is considered fair game, and its pilots are small-scale and, as a result, ruthlessly effective. This is why, according to Jeff Olson, Cognizant’s Associate Vice President for Projects, AI and Analytics, Digital Business and Technology, the APAC region ‘is right on the edge of an AI explosion’.
Now, startup Beyond Limits is pushing the boundaries of what AI can do, mirroring humans in its ability to find solutions with even limited information. As of this July, it’s partnered up with Mitsui, a global trading and investment company, to expand its impact in APAC.
How Does Beyond Limits Work?
Most AI companies claim that they can help businesses make better decisions. But many need astoundingly large stores of data to feed their information-hungry algorithms. Beyond Limits, in contrast, takes a different tack. Perfect data, after all, is largely a pipe dream kept alive by PhD students. In reality, systems must often make decisions from small, incomplete sets of intel.
But Beyond Limits’ AI is no black box. ‘When little to no data is available, Beyond Limits symbolic technologies rely on deductive, inductive, and abductive reasoning capabilities’, explained Clare Walker, Industry Analyst at Frost & Sullivan. While making these leaps in logic, however, the system also keeps track, ensuring that humans can review the AI’s ‘thought process’.
Why Partner With Mitsui?
Beyond Limits is built for specific applications such as energy, utilities, and healthcare—but lacks the extensive industry network of Mitsui. Partnering allows Beyond Limits to access a portfolio of firms specialising in minerals and metals, energy, infrastructure, and chemicals. ‘We’ve been working on this deal for several years’, said Mitsui’s Deputy General Manager Hiroki Tanabe. ‘Mitsui’s global portfolio and Beyond Limits’ AI technology will...deliver impact’.
In the first test of that dramatic statement, Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) will soon deploy Beyond Limits’ new system. If everything goes according to plan, LNG will optimise how it extracts and refines energy, making money for both itself and investors—including Mitsui. This, in fact, is Mitsui’s strategy: go digital and don’t look back.
Why Does This Matter?
Forty-five percent of Asia-Pacific companies surveyed in Cognizant’s thought leadership ebook consider themselves AI leaders. Positivity bias, that oh-so-common tendency of humans to position themselves as above average as compared to others, strikes again. (Most small companies fail to launch successful AI projects on their own.) And partly, this is because firms fail to integrate AI with industry expertise.
‘A large part of the focus on talent for AI today has been getting the people who are strong in mathematics, AI, and technologies’, said Olson. ‘But where you make your money out of AI projects is when you apply them to your business’. In short: APAC nations looking for ways to bridge the gap might follow Beyond Limits and Mitsui’s playbook—coupling startup AI with a corporate network.