Robert Pogson

One man, closing all the windows.

Posts Tagged / China

  • Feb 05 / 2014
  • 3

China Picks Sides In The OS Wars

China has really warped web-stats. Despite being a hive of technological activity it is still an emerging market and for whatever reasons clung to the use of illegal copies of XP for far too long. That’s changing slowly but surely.

  • 7.59% went to “7″
  • 1.33% went to iOS
  • 1.74% went to “8″, and
  • 0.8% went to “8.1″

According to StatCounter, in February, 2013, XP had 57.53% share of page-views in China. In January, 2014, the share had dropped to 44.39%. That’s not wonderful but it surely beats staying flat or rising… The question in my mind is where that 13.14% share went.

Month Android/Linux GNU/Linux TOOS
2013-Feb 4.78% 0.18% 89.33%
2014-Jan 6.77% 0.82% 86.19%
Change (PP) 1.99% +0.64% -3.14%
Annual Growth Rate 41.6% 355% -3.5%

That accounts for 11.46%. Most of the rest went to Android/Linux, 1.99%, and GNU/Linux, 0.64%. The rest is mostly noise, like ME actually gaining a bit… The share of Android/Linux for January was 6.77% and GNU/Linux, 0.82%. That’s a big improvement.

I’ll take that. ;-) If this continues a while, the Wintel monopoly will be just a memory very soon.

What does this mean? Well, because that other OS is usually bundled with a PC, it means ~10% of legacy PCs in China were retired. The interesting bit is that ~2.5% were replaced with */Linux devices. That’s consistent with that other OS having no traction with small cheap computers and Android/Linux thriving there. I assume a good share of the XP machines are being converted to GNU/Linux and some GNU/Linux machines are being bought retail. It’s all good.

See StatCounter, Top 8 Desktop, Mobile and Tablet OS

  • Oct 15 / 2013
  • 11

Preloaded GNU/Linux systems

Serdar Yegulalp of Computerworld has a nice article that surveys available suppliers of GNU/Linux PCs but then, mysteriously, fails to find the gold-mines:
“Buying a preload is the costliest option, and cost-effective only in that in some cases you’re purchasing support for a custom-built kernel for the system. But it also goes a long way towards guaranteeing that the entire system — Linux distribution, drivers, hardware and all — works well as one complete system.”

Preloaded Linux systems: Weighing the options.

e.g. If you are in South America, Positivo and several other OEMs will sell you GNU/Linux preloaded with no premium at all as will Dell in China…
e.g. Philco brand has two GNU/Linux machines that are cheaper than “8″ and altogether they sell 13 notebook models with that other OS and 18 with GNU/Linux.
e.g. SpaceBr sell the majority of their Desktops with GNU/Linux and good prices. In the best-sellers list, there are 8 GNU/Linux desktops before the first “8″ shows up and the machine with “8″ sells for a much higher price.

e.g shows Dell’s latest product, a 14″ Inspiron for ¥ 4999 (US $819.33). A similarly equipped and discounted XPS notebook on is $850

So, while Dell and others mess with USAian consumers, the rest of the world is enjoying reasonably priced GNU/Linux machines.

  • Sep 06 / 2013
  • 4

Ascent of Ubuntu GNU/Linux

It does pay to have salesmen, especially those who sell software cheaply to OEMs…“Dell are to more than double the number of its Chinese retail stores stocking Ubuntu-loaded laptops, Canonical has announced. “

see Dell To Expand Ubuntu Retail Presence in China.

Dell and Ubuntu GNU/Linux are a marriage made on Earth where Wintel is struggling to stay out from under dust on retail shelves. There are buyers, but only at very low prices. OEMs who pay M$ a huge licensing fee are squeezed. With GNU/Linux costing ~$0, Dell can ship it for peanuts and increase its margin. China has no qualms about GNU/Linux so that is where Dell is pumping them out.

It’s all good. It used to be that RedHat and IBM were pushing GNU/Linux on the desktop but now they mostly roll for businesses. Dell putting Ubuntu GNU/Linux on retail shelves in China could mean huge growth for GNU/Linux. Thanks Canonical and Dell. You are doing good business while making the world a better place.

  • Jul 01 / 2013
  • 11
Linux in Education, Teaching, technology

Thailand Orders 1.2 Million Android/Linux Tablet Computers

“China’s Shenzhen Yitoa Intelligent Control and Thai firm Supreme Distribution will provide the tablets, the Education Ministry said in a statement, as the government rolls out its plan to equip 13 million pupils with the handheld devices by the end of next year."Each tablet costs between US$63 and US$93," it said adding the Chinese firm will supply 800,000 tablets to grade 1 (seven to eight-years-old), while the local company will provide more than 425,000 of the devices to seventh graders (13-years-olds).About 850,000 Chinese-made devices have already been distributed, in what the government describes as the world’s largest handout of the devices for education.”

see Thailand orders 1.2 million tablet computers for pupils

Android/Linux customized with local language and a simple layout of the GUI for young children has been working well to bridge the digital divide in Thailand. Since the goal is to equip as many students as possible with small cheap computers to aid education, that other OS need not apply.

  • May 17 / 2013
  • 2

China Smartphone Market Going Flat Out

“the pace of inventory build-ups have been unable to catch up with the growth in demand for smartphones in China and other emerging markets, said the sources, noting that overall shipments of smartphones by China-based makers for domestic and overseas sales have skyrocketed to 30 million units a month recently compared to 20 million units in the first quarter of 2013.”
see China market: Several smartphone components in short supply

Eat your heart out, Wintel… While you have negative growth in shipments, stuff with Android/Linux on ARM is maxed out, limited by supplies of components to growth over 100% per quarter.

  • Apr 30 / 2013
  • 4

China Is Its Own PC Market

Not only does China make most of the PCs on Earth, it also consumes more than any other nation, 69 million in 2012, and in unique ways:

  • each pair of segments commerce/consumer and desktop/notebook are 50:50,
  • the preferred size of notebook is 14 inches (70%) while most of the world chooses 14 inch less than 30% of the time, and
  • more than 50% of PCs ship with no OS, even less for desktops, while most of the world consumes 90% of PCs with an OS bundled.

China Becomes World’s Leading PC Market in 2012

Some of these characteristics are no doubt because China is still a rapidly growing market for IT but some derive from frugality and energy of the society. No one in China assumes a free lunch. No one assumes it is OK to waste resources.

Whatever the causes, China is in a special situation as far as migrating to GNU/Linux. They use a high proportion of M$’s OS but can easily migrate to GNU/Linux because of the low rate of attachment. It’s just a matter of choosing GNU/Linux to install. That’s in the hands of the consumer or business, not M$ and its “partners”. They also know more than other nations the cost of M$’s OS.

  • Mar 28 / 2013
  • 0

US Congress Shoots Self In Foot, Again

“The funding law signed this week by President Barack Obama is part of growing US paranoia over Chinese cyber attacks.
It stops NASA, and the Justice and Commerce Departments from buying information technology systems unless the FBI give the thumbs up. Currently FBI policy is that if the gear comes from a Chinese company there must be something wrong with it.”

see US Congress bans buying Chinese IT

Chuckle. We are entering a new Dark Age for IT in USA. While USA squats in the dirt contemplating its navel, the world moves on with more and better IT in a competitive market where price/performance matters. Remember previous incarnations: GPS crippling, prohibition on exporting encryption, etc.? Those all damaged the USA’s competitiveness while the world got on with creating new markets in spite of the USA. At the same time USA lost huge numbers of jobs in manufacturing and lost pre-eminence in one field after another and ran up huge debts.

Expect more of the same. While the government of the USA (all branches) take themselves seriously while chasing their tails, the world is taking the shortest path to a bright future free from monopoly in IT and everything else. No doubt there will be wailing and gnashing of teeth as USA subsides but it seems to be the way of all things that the legacy of the forefathers gets squandered by the kids.

  • Mar 25 / 2013
  • 2

Linux Pre-installed on Laptops in Chinese Supermarket

Found on YouTube, proof that GNU/Linux is sold on retail shelves in China. Enjoy. Too bad it’s a bit fuzzy and shaky. The scene clearly shows a normal retail environment except it’s not locked in to Wintel. There is hope for humanity.

“This video was sent to me by my brother who is teaching in Xuzhou, Jiangsu province, China. He was very pleased, not to mention surprised, to see the majority of computers for sale in his local supermarket were running Linux..”
see Linux Pre-installed on Laptops in Chinese Supermarket.

  • Feb 11 / 2013
  • 0

Ach! DIGITIMES Is Off The Air

“During the Lunar New Year holidays (Feb 9 – Feb 17), DIGITIMES will not post any news updates or send out its daily newsletter. Happy New Year!”
see DIGITIMES daily IT news.

I love Digitimes. They have breakfast when I am winding down my day for the evening and often have news about global and Asian IT. I will miss them as they get serious about Lunar New Year… It’s amazing. Many of the workers in the big cities have family in the remote rural regions and commute hundreds of miles. This just about shuts down manufacturing industries in China for a whole week. It actually dents the GDP.

  • Jan 24 / 2013
  • 3

Emergence, Chinese-Style

China plans to grow several industrial ecosystems to support global reach including… “the electronic information industry. 2015 form 5-8 large backbone enterprises with sales of over 100 billion yuan, and strive to cultivate large enterprises with sales of over 500 billion yuan.”

see Guidance on corporate mergers and acquisitions to accelerate key industries release.

The strategy appears to be to skip growing individual businesses by merging already growing businesses to suddenly reach global scale. This could increase efficiency and maximize profits for China. Shaky global corporations like PC-OEMs and M$ could be in for a rough ride if China goes with GNU/Linux on PCs in a big way. Could Linpus Linux be one of the businesses involved in mergers? They already have Lenovo. Perhaps they will merge all the small players into a competitor to Lenovo or have Lenovo be the root of the tree. We shall see … soon.

see also The Register’s take on this news.

  • Dec 01 / 2012
  • 0

OS Of The Week

We have long been familiar with NetApplications’ web stats. Sorting out all the bias is tough. Today I tried a new tack. For the users who know they have choice, how many use GNU/Linux?

See? Folks who know they have a choice of browser also know they have a choice of OS and more often choose GNU/Linux. How many consumers know they have a choice of browser? About half… If GNU/Linux were on retail shelves, it would sell.

  • Nov 12 / 2012
  • 13

Ubuntu GNU/Linux PC Sales

Like it or not, Canonical has salesmen and they are getting the job done:

  • Dell now has 400 stores in China pushing Ubuntu GNU/Linux on PCs,
  • Ubuntu GNU/Linux has shipped on $7.5 billion worth of hardware in the last 2 years,
  • Dell, Lenovo, Asus and HP are all shipping Ubuntu GNU/Linux PCs,
  • In 2011, Ubuntu GNU/Linux shipped on more PCs than MacOS did in 2007 (7.05million in AAPL FY 2007), and
  • “Kenyon cited the German insurance company LVM Insurance, who have Ubuntu deployed on over 10,000 desktops; Consultancy firm CapGemini who are rolling Ubuntu out on 10,000 desktop in the next 2 years; Google, who have 10,000 Ubuntu-based desktops and laptops in use; and the Ministry of Defence in The Netherlands, who are using an Ubuntu-based client across a staggering 40,000 desktops.”

It pays to advertise and it pays to employ salesmen. Assuming Canonical continues on its upwards trend, they have long ago surpassed the mythical ~1% all by themselves and we should expect their market share to have reached critical mass by now. That is, they could well ship on 9% of PCs in 2014. Competition on price/performance is coming to many retail shelves these days. The world no longer assumes the most expensive PC is the best PC or, at least, the most relevant PC for many.

see Ubuntu PC Sales Skyrocket in 2011.