Apple has been taking some heat lately over its lack of innovation for its upcoming products. Each year, models within Apple's product line get face lifts and minor updates, but we haven't seen a huge change in a long time. This is one of the reasons why you might not want to buy the iPhone 7 this fall. Click here for more reasons to wait until the iPhone 8.
Stiff competition for the iPhone is another reason Apple's products are no longer dominating the smartphone market. And now, Microsoft is stepping in to make it easier to get the phone that's been called the "iPhone killer."
A total of 1,500 patents were sold by Microsoft to Xiaomi Corp, a smartphone manufacturer in China. That might not sound like too big of a deal, but when you consider that the iPhone is only the fifth popular smartphone in China, that changes things. Brands such as Huawei, Oppo, Xiaomi and Vivo are the country's top picks.
It's speculated that this move by Microsoft is intended to make it easier for this alternative brand to be sold in the U.S. marketplace. The ideal candidate seems to be the Xiaomi Mi 5, which comes with longer battery life, a more powerful processor and is even lighter. In addition, it has a better camera and is much cheaper, beginning at around $400.
Cross licensing with Microsoft is now opening new doors for Xiaomi Corp. The company can now incorporate many of Microsoft's patents for voice communications and cloud computing into its new phones. Microsoft Office and Skype will also be included in future Xiaomi smartphones.
With these new patents in hand, Xiaomi Corp may now have access to the tech it needs to be successful in U.S. markets, which means Apple may soon have to contend with yet another rival.