Android’s VP Hugo Barra bids farewell to Google; to join Chinese manufacturer Xiaomi

If you follow Google and its events closely, then you must’ve heard of Hugo Barra. He is Android’s Vice President since last 3.5 years and has been public face for all things Android along with Senior Vice President at Google- Sundar Pichai. In most of the events, he shared the growth statistics of Android and unveiled the new devices such as 2013’s Nexus 7, Samsung Galaxy S4 Play Edition or even latest Android v4.3. Prior to being a VP for Android, he was a Product Manager at Google where he came from Nuance. But, now he’s moving on to relatively new Chinese Manufacturer- Xiaomi and will be heading it’s international business development and Android strategic partnerships. He will be joining the upstart company in October.


The company came into existence in China just 3 years ago when several former employees of Microsoft, Motorola and Google got together to make a mark in emerging mobile markets. The tremendous potential of the company can be gauged from the fact that it has current valuation of $10 billion which is almost double than the valuation of established company like BlackBerry. It’s sales speaks for itself as it holds the leadership position ahead of global leader Samsung in its home country China. The company got into recognition with its damn cheap smartphones which are interestingly sold by a bidding system. It recently unveiled Hongmi smartphone and Red Rice which boasts of being sold out within 90 seconds. The company sells the devices at dirt cheap prices but with excellent configuration a la Amazon Kindle and Google’s Nexus devices. Although, the company is usually compared with Apple because of its marketing prowess and huge interest from consumers, it’s President Lin Bin says it’s wrong comparison. He says that unlike Apple, Xioami wishes to make the profit through content business similar to Amazon’s and Google’s business models. Another interesting thing about the Xioami smartphones is that although they run on Android, but it’s actually a forked version called as MIUI ROM. Thus, similar to majority of smartphones available in China, the company’s smartphones completely offer their own services instead of Google service even for downloading apps. Although, Hugo Barra is being wished the best by folks at Google, his exit will surely strike a huge blow to Android. Early this year, Android’s chief Andy Rubin moved on to another project under Google called as Google X (famous for Google Driverless Cars and Project Loon). Source: Google +
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One of the earliest members of the 91mobiles' editorial team, Nitansh is a walking encyclopaedia of product specs. Name a phone and he’ll tell you the specifics on screen resolution, processor and camera without blinking an eyelid. Ask him if he remembers the launch date of a noteworthy phone, and he'll tell you the dates when the device first leaked, its global unveil, its Indian launch, and when it got a significant update. He’s a lover of all things Android, and loves writing reviews and scouting for new apps. A Wordpress whiz, he’s always ready to help out a fellow writer. While he juggles between many things at 91mobiles, he always manages to find time to write. In his non-tech avatar, Nitansh is a philatelist, which is a fancy word for stamp-collector.