Enterprise

ASUS is banned from using ‘ZenFone’ branding in India

As ruled by a court

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Much like most companies, ASUS identifies itself with one brand — the Zen lineup. Throughout the years, the Taiwanese company has released dozens of ZenFones and ZenBooks. With all the experience, ASUS has made Zen its own identity.

Naturally, if you take Zen away, ASUS is in for a marketing nightmare. Unfortunately, an obscure Indian smartphone maker is doing just that. Recently, the India-based Telecare Network has sued ASUS for using Zen as part of the latter’s branding.

According to the court case, Telecare Network has owned “Zen” and “Zen Mobile” since 2008. On their official website, Zen Mobile sells a good number of smartphones and feature phones. The site even advertises their aftermarket service as “Zen Care,” similar to ASUS’ own service. Regardless, ASUS’ usage came second. In comparison, ASUS started using “Zen” in 2014.

Of course, ASUS grew so much bigger than the Indian smartphone brand. Despite the presence of more competitive brands, ASUS is still a global player. Telecare Network’s move is a strategic one. The Indian company accuses ASUS of malicious intent in adopting the “Zen” branding.

In its defense, ASUS claims the universality of the Zen philosophy. Asustek chairman Jonney Shih drew a lot of inspiration from the Buddhist concept. ASUS’ defense hinges on “Zen” as a usable name in the public domain. The company defends that no one can claim exclusivity on the concept.

To ASUS’ chagrin, Indian courts did not see it that way. According to the courts, while the concept is universal as a Buddhist teaching, “Zen” is still an ownable property in the tech industry. Hence, the brand’s defense holds no ground. Moreover, the court can prove that Zen Mobile used the “Zen” branding way before ASUS.

As such, the court has banned ASUS from “selling, offering, and advertising” any devices carrying the “Zen” branding. The ban will take effect after eight weeks (or around the end of July). Further, both parties will have a second hearing on July 10.

Of course, the ban comes from India. However, India remains one of the world’s richest smartphone markets. This decision will likely have wide-reaching repercussions in the future. At the very least, ASUS needs a name change in India. If ASUS fails to defend itself, expect a whole new branding scheme.

SEE ALSO: ZenFone 6 is the best-rated phone for selfies on DxOMark

Enterprise

Apple: Leaks are causing wrongly sized iPhone cases

Issues cease-and-desist order

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Leaks have always been an important part of the smartphone cycle. Before a huge smartphone launch, leakers have always found a way to release information before the actual company. Premature information normally doesn’t affect the actual release. However, some companies certainly want to clamp down on leaks. Apple, for one, has always despised leaks. However, the company now has a different purpose for doing so: to prevent wrongly sized phone cases.

Reported by Vice, Apple has issued a cease-and-desist order against a Chinese citizen caught leaking info about upcoming iPhones. The leaker supposedly released prototypes for the devices to the public.

According to Apple, leaks ruin the surprise for consumers especially since they spoil the company’s plans. Additionally, the company says that releasing information outside of Apple’s purview will dupe case manufacturers into making cases of the wrong size especially if the actual products are of a different size.

Historically, Apple has been antagonistic against people leaking company secrets. The company has even filed lawsuits against employees caught smuggling out company secrets. Despite how much hype that leaks can generate for the company, Apple really doesn’t like its leaks.

Currently, there have already been a substantial amount of leaks surrounding the upcoming iPhone 13 series. There have also been hints for next year’s iPhone 14 series.

SEE ALSO: iPhone 14 series might use titanium chassis

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Samsung promises to make foldable phones more mainstream

According to new earnings report

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Ahead of its highly anticipated Galaxy Unpacked event this August 11, Samsung has released its earnings report for the previous quarter. Though the reported figures show some impressive progress for the company, Samsung surprised even more by detailing what it’s planning to improve for the future: making foldable phones mainstream.

The recent earnings report tells two sides of a story. On the one hand, the company declined from the previous quarter by making only US$ 2.8 billion in profit, compared to the previous quarter’s US$ 3.83 billion. Though it’s a considerable decline, it’s not that much of a surprise. The smartphone market has certainly gotten over the hype from the Galaxy S21 series’ launch earlier this year. It’s still quite a sharp decline, though.

On the other hand, the quarter’s figures are an impressive improvement from last year’s earnings from the same quarter. The company only made US$ 1.7 billion in profit this time in 2020, marking a 66 percent YoY increase. Samsung’s bounce back from the horrendous pandemic era is apparent.

The company is attributing the success to its several branches including semiconductors and smartphones. However, to bolster its hold in the smartphone industry, Samsung’s goal is to “mainstream the foldable category.”

Given the company’s plans for the near future, this is indeed true. Samsung’s TM Roh has already confirmed that the upcoming Galaxy Unpacked event will launch more foldables in the Galaxy Fold series, rather than a new Galaxy Note series. Samsung is looking for stronger players in the fairly new market segment.

SEE ALSO: Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3: Could these be the specs?

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Huawei plummets from top 5 smartphone brands in China

vivo is now the top dog

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Though 2020 was bad for all smartphone makers, it was especially troublesome for Huawei. For years, the American government issued, back away from, and reissued bans that prevented the Chinese company from doing business on the former’s soil. Naturally, the bans were going to affect Huawei. Now, according to a recent smartphone ranking, Huawei isn’t even on the top 5 list in China anymore.

As released by the International Data Corporation, the Chinese smartphone rankings no longer include the once-proud leader of the pack, Huawei. The company has now dropped below the top 5 and lumped together with the “Others” category listed on the rankings.

vivo currently hold the top spot, capturing 23.8 percent of the market share. OPPO isn’t far behind with 21.1 percent of the market. Xiaomi holds the third spot with 17.2 percent of the market, echoing its rise in other rankings. Finally, Apple and newly emancipated Honor round out the pack with 10.9 percent and 8.9 percent, respectively.

All of the top 4 have increased their sales from the previous year, potentially owing to the vacuum left behind by its competitor Huawei. On a similar note, Honor sold considerably less compared its performance last year. The former Huawei sub-brand is potentially still reeling from its time under Huawei’s bans.

Though the company is still planning to release new smartphones soon, Huawei is definitely feeling the crunch from the American bans, resorting to alternatives and in-house solutions to component shortages.

In the meantime, Huawei’s Chinese rivals have moved to fill up the gap left behind by the former leader of the Chinese smartphone race.

SEE ALSO: Huawei P50 series to debut on July 29

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