Three Of The World’s Top Smartphone Brands Are Chinese: Apple And Samsung Struggling To Keep Up! The meteoric rise of Chinese firms is due to the country’s expertise in large-scale manufacturing and huge smartphone subscriber base of almost 800 million users. A total of  295.2 million smartphones was shipped in Q2 2014, an increase of 27% from the 233 million units last year.
Xiaomi is aiming to venture into several international markets later this year, but its main focus continues to remain in China and India, which are already the world’s fastest growing smartphone market.
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Dazeinfo Inc is one of the leading industry intelligence platforms, immensely focused on creating business content that revolve around industry gowth, companies performance, analysis, market research and projection.Our content and service help business executives make fact-based decisions and accelerate their growth. Most major phone companies have committed to adding kill switches to their products, and some have already begun selling phones with the tech included.
The most basic definition of a kill switch is a feature that allows an owner to render a phone useless after it's been lost or stolen. Regardless of government involvement, some companies are already adding soft kill switches to their products.
A few preliminary studies show that kill switches have already caused a drop in smartphone theft. Within the next year, we may see exactly that -- if you trust tech companies to live up to their word. Phone makers and carriers may be getting their gears in motion, but it's not enough for the government.
At first, it sounds like this is a foolproof method of ensuring that all phones will now come with a built-in kill switch, but the text of the bill is incredibly vague.
Last week, California passed a very similar bill after its second run through the state Legislature, and it's awaiting a signature from Governor Jerry Brown. The bill specifies that a soft switch is required; it must be reversible so that the owner can reuse their phone if it's recovered.
Arguably, California's bill is important because it could impact devices all across the country. Enforcing kill switches on a state-by-state basis will almost certainly be messy, so it makes sense that it's also being considered on a federal level. Just because these laws may seem innocent and even helpful doesn't mean they're the best idea for the consumer. Even the CTIA, which (as mentioned earlier) voiced its support for the installation of kill switches in April, opposes SB962 for several reasons.
California and Minnesota may be the first states to pass legislation, but they may not be alone for long.
Sadly, although there are plenty of reasons to oppose legislation, state mandates still hold more weight than the CTIA's commitment. There's no longer any reason a phone shouldn't have kill switches installed, but companies -- not the government -- need to be in charge of making sure the functionality is done properly.
As smartphone shipment size continues to swell in Asian and African countries, the local brands are gaining market share at the expense of global vendors.
As the market matures, these brands will gain an even larger market share due to their low-cost smartphones powered by Android OS. Apple is aiming to sell several million large screen iPhone 6 in China through China mobile network, and regain its market share.
This comes as a direct result of increased smartphone shipments globally, mainly at the lower-end, and Android device shipments are expected to reach 1 billion in 2014.
Your personal information is now in the hands of a dishonest soul, who can decide to either erase and sell the device or -- even worse -- do whatever they want with your contacts, photos and texts.


A handful of state governments, like California and Minnesota, don't believe this is good enough, so they're passing bills that mandate anti-theft measures in every phone sold in those states beginning next year. In theory, it's supposed to deter thieves from being able to sell your phone or access any of the data on board; if every phone can be disabled remotely, why would thieves even bother trying to steal them anymore?
The former would "brick" the phone so it becomes a permanently disabled hunk of circuitry, never to be enjoyed or loved again, while the latter -- the more popular alternative among companies and legislators -- can be reversed as long as you have the authorization to do so.
This clears all of your personal data from your phone and reverts it back to the way it was when you bought it. Apple added Activation Lock to iOS 7 last year, which allows users to turn on Lost Mode (using Find my iPhone) and prevents others from unlocking your device without your Apple ID and password. Police officers in London and San Francisco reported a noticeable drop in iPhone robberies (24 percent and 38 percent, respectively) between the six-month period before the feature came out and the six-month period after.
Google and Microsoft have vowed to incorporate kill switch tech into the next major releases of Android and Windows Phone; and the CTIA, a lobbying group that represents nearly every wireless carrier and manufacturer in the country, teamed up with the US branches of LG, Samsung, HTC, Huawei, Motorola and Nokia, as well as the five largest US networks, to commit to adding "baseline anti-theft tools" to their devices by July 2015. In May, Minnesota passed a bill requiring that any smartphone manufactured (and sold or purchased in the state) on or after July 2015 "must be equipped with preloaded anti-theft functionality or be capable of downloading that functionality." Additionally, it mandates manufacturers and carriers submit a report describing the anti-theft tool they use. It never mentions a kill switch, nor does it even specifically describe what the anti-theft functionality is supposed to do. In this case, the text of the bill, known as SB962, is more clear: It states that any smartphone manufactured on or after July 1, 2015, must have anti-theft functionality included at the time of sale.
It's also opt-out, which implies that manufacturers can enable the kill switch right out of the box as long as they let the user disable it at any time.
Since the state boasts a good chunk of the nation's smartphone buyers, it likely doesn't make sense for manufacturers to push out state-specific firmware. Members of Congress have proposed the Smartphone Theft Prevention Act, which is very similar to California's in that a soft kill switch be made available to all new phones.
If companies are already adopting kill switches, do we really need the government getting in the way?
Mark Wyland, believe that the maximum $2,500 penalty that manufacturers would have to pay per phone is too high -- especially if the wrong devices accidentally get shipped to California instead of some other part of the country. New York and Illinois are also discussing similar measures, and other states -- especially those with high rates of smartphone theft -- could follow along as well. They can't be activated without an internet connection, so the thief can simply activate airplane mode before the victim realizes the phone is missing. Just because a group of companies have agreed to add anti-theft tech to their phones, doesn't mean they're held to a blood oath. State involvement isn't anywhere close to a perfect solution, but without their interference, individual companies won't be held accountable if they sit on their hands and take forever to add this functionality to their phones. According to new data from Strategy Analytics for both global smartphone vendors in Q2 2014 and global smartphone market share by operating systems in Q2 2014, three of the top five smartphone vendors in the world are now Chinese riding high on success with Android OS. The Koran firm shipped a total of 74.5 million smartphones in Q2 2014, a slight decline from 76 million during the same period last year. The next stage of the smartphone race will take place in Asia, with China as the centerpiece.
Meanwhile, Samsung is also rumored to have chosen to promote its Tizen OS instead of Android for the long-term. If it's happened to you, you're not alone; millions of people have gone through the same nightmarish experience.
This seems like a great idea, but let's take a closer look at what exactly these laws mean and if they make sense.
Samsung's added a similar feature called Reactivation Lock to the Galaxy Note 3 and Galaxy S5 that does essentially the same thing.
This is an encouraging report, but it'll be even more telling as a larger chunk of the wireless industry follows Apple's and Samsung's lead.


Curiously, phone insurance provider Asurion was also listed as one of the supporters of the CTIA's pledge; the company makes money by convincing people they need insurance to cover stolen phones, so the fact that it's even voicing support for anti-theft measures is encouraging. Furthermore, it also doesn't have to be installed on the device at launch; at minimum, it needs to be available as a free download for anyone who wants it. As long as the essential features of the phone are rendered inoperable when it's stolen, it doesn't matter if it's a hardware or software solution. And because most companies are already committed to adding kill switches to their products anyway, this is simply more incentive for them to do so on all of their devices -- precisely what the government wants.
It hasn't been brought to the floor yet, and there's no indication of if or when it'll actually be voted on.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), a nonprofit that focuses on defending digital civil liberties, doesn't think so. Additionally, a group of elected officials and law enforcement leaders signed the Secure Our Smartphones Initiative in June 2013, which calls for a hard kill switch in every device. The agreement isn't an enforceable contract, nor will ramifications befall any of them if they fail to get it done in time. States like New York and Illinois aren't going to wait around and see if companies will stay true to their word; if the wireless industry puts it off for too long -- as is sadly often the case -- the government will simply have to take matters into its own hands. The most interesting rise is that of four-year old Chinese smartphone vendor Xiaomi, which recently ventured into the India smartphone market with its highly successful Mi3. The company is facing immense pressure at the higher end of the market from Apple, which sold more iPhones in the same month Samsung launched its flagship Galaxy S5 model globally.
Its Android models  are widely popular in China and other Asian markets, due to its low-cost-high-performance strategy and extensive shipments through online and operator channels.
The technology to deter thieves, known as "kill switches," exists, but it's up to phone makers and carriers to implement it.
An FCC report states these types of theft comprised nearly 30 to 40 percent of robberies in most major cities across the country in 2012. Both options are opt-in, which ensures that your phone doesn't get disabled by pure accident. The group argues that numerous kill switches are already available to the end user, either as built-in features or as third-party approaches (such as Lookout, Avast, Prey and others).
After Apple introduced Activation Lock, a few loopholes were found in the phone's security that allowed knowledgeable thieves to bypass the kill switch; the iPhone has fallen victim to a few of these bugs, and to its credit, Apple is often quick to fix them.
At the lower end a host of local firms in several countries has steadily gained market share at Samsung’s expense, resulting in one of the worst quarterly earnings results for the Korean smartphone giant in recent times. However, the price war in smartphone industry has put iPhone 4S in a mid-range category, while the market is flooded with more powerful, bigger screen smartphones at half of its price. If you activate a kill switch and the thief can't figure out how to bypass your authorization (more on that later), he or she has a useless and unsellable phone. That said, it also means a lot of phones will still be vulnerable if they're stolen, so thieves still have a good shot at success if they snatch your handset. And once the government gets in the way, SB962 could potentially "lock in" options that aren't as effective and could therefore stifle competition and innovation among third-party developers. Besides, the availability of iPhone 4S in few selected countries is another factor behind Apple’s poor performance in low-end smartphone category. The other issue, the EFF claims, is that the bill isn't specific enough in its language regarding who's "authorized" to activate the kill switch. If it's not explicitly defined, the group argues, what's stopping the government or wireless providers from considering themselves authorized to do it as well?



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