Headline Nov 15, 2014/



COUNTRIES that don't innovate  -quickly fall by the wayside in the global success stakes................ 

It feels more like rock concert than a press conference as the casually dressed chief executive takes to a darkened stage to unveil:

His firm's sleek new  smartphone  to an adoring crowd, yet this was not the launch of the  new  iPhone  by Apple on September 10th, 2013,  but-

Of the Mi-3 handset by Xiaomi, a Chinese firm, in Beijing, on September 5th.

With its emphasis on snazzy design, glitzy launches and the  cult-like  fervour it inspires in its users,-

No wonder Xiaomi is often compared to its giant American rival, both by admirers and by critics who call it a   ''copycat''.

Xiaomi's boss,  Lei Jun,  even wears jeans and a black shirt,  Steve Jobs-style.

Is Xiaomi really China's answer to Apple?

The same year in question, 2013,  Apple's launch of the iPhone 5C. a colorful, slightly cheaper version of the  iPhone aimed at consumers in China and other developing countries:

Marks a shift in its strategy as if faces competition from Xiaomi and many, many other Chinese firms.

Apple's handsets have sold well in developed countries, but those markets are maturing. 

Global sales of smartphones are growing by 50% a year, notes Canalys, but by 108% a year in China,  which now accounts for over one-third of the global sales.

For the first time,  Apple held an official launch event in Beijing that same year and week, indicating its growing interest in this market.

Yet there was a widespread surprise at the high price of the 5C, which was to cost $733 in China, limiting its appeal amongst less wealthy buyers.

A rumoured deal with  China Mobile  to distribute the  iPhone 5C and subsidise its cost has so far failed to materialise.  At the time, Apple also unveiled the iPhone 5S, its new high-end smartphone, which featured : 

A fingerprint reader for improved security 

As Apple looks to tap the rapid growth of the Chinese market, Xiaomi is heading the other way.

It recently hired  Hugo Baara a Google executive responsible for product development for  Android,  to develop new products for the international markets.

Yet Xiaomi and other Chinese firms sell so many games,  apps and adds-ons in large part because the Chinese government requires handsets to run a neutered version of the Android operating system:

Without Google's app store,  mail service,  maps and other features.

That helps Xiaomi sell its own replacement services, an advantage it will lose once it steps outside China.

How scared should  Apple  be really,  of a rival that has yet to prove that its business model  will work at home,  let alone abroad?

But to all this great work of thinking and innovation, let me just add the state of affairs at my end:

One of the metrics that global innovation surveys use to measure innovation and creativity is the number of uploads on  YouTube per capita.

But the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority and the Information Technology Ministry are unable to answer this simple question:

Why must me continue to block YouTube?

The issue of Internet censorship is a tricky and complex one, but an effective government and an empowered regulator should have anticipated it in a less heavy manner.

Effective regulation can ensure that markets generate the right mix of competition, profitability and innovation.

Poor regulations means that many, many  industries in Pakistan and the developing world have it wrong.

Innovative countries don't necessarily need national innovation policies, although these can can be a good signals of intent. What they do need are:

Sensible forward looking and light touch policies in a host of economic and social areas.  

It is time that the Pakistani government and the other governments in the developing world recognize this

With respectful dedication to the Students, Professors and  Teachers  -learning and teaching Technology,  Marketing and Strategy. See Ya all on !WOW!  -the World Students Society Computers-Internet-Wireless:

''' !WOW!'s A Fan '''

'''Good Night and God Bless

SAM Daily Times - the Voice of the Voiceless


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