Uber, Xiaomi team up for phones

24 Jul 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Not Your Average Sale: Uber Will Deliver Phones in Asia.

“Ordering a Mi Note follows the exact same process as calling for an Uber — you simply open the Uber app, use the slider at the bottom to select ‘Xiaomi’ (which shows Xiaomi-orange coloured Uber cars on the map equipped to deliver the new smartphone), and hit request,” Barra explained. “Payment will be charged directly to the credit card tied to your Uber account and a Mi Note will be delivered to you within a few minutes. Xiaomi, a Chinese phone giant looking to boost its profile in global markets, is attempting the mother of all publicity stunts: delivering phones to customers by Uber.

In another piece of evidence for the overwhelming argument for me to never leave my couch, Xiaomi announced that it’s going to partner up with Uber to hand-deliver smartphones.SINGAPORE — Chinese phone maker Xiaomi, popular for its value-for-money smartphones, is going upmarket with the launch of its most expensive phone, the Mi Note, which is more than two times costlier than the company’s next priciest offering.Picture the following situation: You’re living in Singapore or Malaysia, and you really want a Xiaomi phone, but walking into a store and buying one is just too plebeian for you?

Uber Technologies Inc. will deliver Xiaomi Corp. smartphones in Singapore and Kuala Lumpur in the first partnership between the world’s most valuable technology startups. Right now the partnership is limited to Southeast Asia, where Xiaomi reigns supreme, but it’s undeniable we see a glimmer of our future in this marketing stunt. After outselling Apple Inc. and Samsung Electronics Co. in China, Xiaomi is expanding overseas and selling devices such as air filters and headphones after a funding round in December valued the five-year-old company at $45 billion. In March last year, it launched the Mi3 for S$419, but it is no longer on sale. “At half the price of the iPhone 6 Plus, it is still value for money,” Mr Steve Vickers, general manager for South-east Asia at Xiaomi, said at the launch event today (July 24). “As the industry moves, and there are different niches within the market.

Ride-hailing service Uber has been valued at $50 billion, even as it deals with losses that outstrip revenue and battles regulators and politicians around the world. If you’re not familiar with Xiaomi’s Mi Note, it’s one of the best smartphones we’ve ever tried, with impressive specs, premium looks and a pretty affordable price of 569 Singapore dollars (about $416). This is hardly the first time Uber has offered novelty deliveries (Christmas trees, on-demand kittens), but it’s an interesting collaboration nevertheless as the red-hot market for rides becomes increasingly competitive in China, Xiaomi’s home country.

Xiaomi, an industry leader in China, has struggled to penetrate foreign markets; the company poached Barra from Google’s product management team to oversee its international expansion. Its specifications include a 5.7-inch full HD screen, a quad-core Snapdragon 801 processor, 3GB of RAM, a 13-megapixel rear camera (as well as 4-megapixel selfie cam) and 64GB of storage. It’s unclear whether this marketing move benefits Xiaomi or Uber more: Both are publicity-hungry companies eager for expansion in the very profitable markets of Singapore and Malaysia.

The promo comes amid turbulent times for the ride-sharing service, as more and more cities are protesting its services — making it even a topic of discussion in the 2016 Presidential Race. E-commerce has this lag between purchase and delivery, so we were trying to see if we could come up with ways to reduce this lag.” Most customers order Xiaomi phones from its online store.

It’s unclear how many users Uber has in those regions but it’s striking that all local Uber users who open the app on July 27 will be exposed to the orange Mi icon inviting them to place an order. A number of fashion retailers including Hugo Boss and Neiman Marcus have been in talks with Uber about same-day delivery, according to a TechCrunch report in April. But unlike Apple—the company to which it’s most often compared—Xiaomi doesn’t make its money from its primary product, its phones, which are strategically aimed at budget-conscious consumers. Rather, the heart of its offering as an Internet company is a layer of software services that Xiaomi integrated into its Android OS in order to get users spending.

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BMW and Nissan roll out dual-plug EV chargers across the US

24 Dec 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

BMW and Nissan partner to create joint fast-charger network in the US.

BMW and Nissan announced Monday that they have teamed up to launch a public network of fast-charging stations across the country, challenging Tesla’s Supercharger network.CNN Money calls the Tesla Model X “the new king of crossover SUVs.” In its round-up of its favorite luxury SUVs of 2015, CNN places the electric ute on the top of its list.

The Model X’s EV powertrain, excellent acceleration and handling and cool design and technology features (including much attention paid to its slick Falcon Wing doors) earn it high praise. With dual 50 kW DC Fast-charging station with both CHAdeMO and CCS (Combo) connectors incorporated into each station, Nissan LEAF and BMW i3 drivers will be able to travel virtually range-anxiety-free. The breadth of Nissan and BMW’s fast-charger buildout is expansive, with fast chargers now available in California, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Minnesota, Missouri, New Mexico, Nevada, New York, North and South Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia and Wisconsin.

These 50 kW stations can charge EVs from Nissan and BMW up to 80 percent in about 20-30 minutes, as compared to the longer time required to recharge at a Level 2 (240V) charger, currently the most commonly available public charging station. When the network will be completed, however, is not yet known. “Drivers can easily locate the chargers with ConnectedDrive in the BMW i3 — either using the in-vehicle Navigation or by using the BMW i Remote App — or via the Nissan EZ-Charge smartphone app,” read the joint press release. “Additionally, these chargers are compatible with the Nissan EZ-Charge cards.” This is a significant move. Since the launch of Nissan LEAF – the world’s best-selling electric car – Nissan has reinforced its commitment to zero-emission mobility with investments in EV charging infrastructure to serve the needs of LEAF drivers in markets across the U.S.

Nissan also recently introduced the new 2016 LEAF, which has available best-in-class range of 107 miles, making it the first affordable EV to get more than 100 miles on a single charge. All LEAF models feature an 80kW AC synchronous motor that generates 107 horsepower and 187 lb-ft of torque, providing a highly responsive, fun-to-drive experience. BMW i is focused on the development of visionary vehicles and mobility services, inspiring design, and a new understanding of premium that is strongly defined by sustainability.

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