Enterprise

Essential shuts down, ending the Essential Phone

Rest in peace

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Years ago, the Essential Phone earned its bit of the limelight. Going up against a downpour of identical phones, Andy Rubin’s smartphone promised a refreshing change for a disenchanted market. On launch, it delivered on its grand promise, outing a powerful, edge-to-edge display for a workable price.

Unfortunately, Essential, the company, never developed a promising follow-up for the Essential Phone. In fact, Essential’s history has been tumultuous since the Essential Phone’s launch. Since then, Essential has downsized the company, repeatedly reduced the original phone’s price, and failed to deliver on promised devices. Most recently, the company stopped further production of the Essential Phone.

Now, the inevitable has finally happened. In an official blog post, Essential is closing shop, ending operations as a company.

In its final exit, Essential is leaving behind an unfinished Project GEM. After shutting the Essential Phone 2 down, the company hinted at an extra-long smartphone, a new mobile experience unlike any other. Because of today’s announcement, Project GEM will never see the light of day. “Despite our best efforts, we’ve now taken Gem as far as we can and regrettably have no clear path to deliver it to customers,” Essential said.

Further, Essential has also released its final update for the Essential Phone, rolled out on February 3. Though still functional indefinitely, Essential Phone users will not receive any support from the company anymore. When it was still operation, the company outed consistent updates for its fans, including one of the earliest accesses to Android Pie. If anything, Essential will provide development resources to the public, ensuring crowd-sourced support, at the very least.

Regardless, Essential is officially dead. For real this time.

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Enterprise

Xiaomi’s 2019 revenue exceeds CNY 200 Billion

A good year for Xiaomi!

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Xiaomi Corporation is an internet, smartphone, and smart hardware company. Their products are fundamentally connected by their Internet of Things(“IoT”) platform. And, they’ve just hit the jackpot with their audited consolidated results for the year 2019.

Their Founder, Chairman, and CEO, Mr. Lei Jun says: “Despite headwinds from the Sino-US trade war and global economic downturn, Xiaomi stood out in 2019 with a commendable set of results as our revenue exceeded RMB200 billion for the first time.”

2019 was a good year for Xiaomi. They’ve managed to achieve significant growth across all of their business segments. They’ve earned themselves a total revenue of over CNY 200 billion for the first time (reaching CNY 205.8 billion).

Xiaomi managed to celebrate several key milestones. From successfully launching their independently operated dual-brand, Xiaomi and Redmi, focusing on ‘5G+AIoT’ as a strategic roadmap, to their inaugural entries into the prestigious ranks of not just the Fortune Global 500 but also, BrandZ’s Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands.

Mr. Lei Jun says, “while the entire world is still under the dark shadows of COVID-19, we have maintained our keen focus on efficiency to tide over this economic ‘black swan’ with everyone. At Xiaomi, we firmly believe that our long-term business success is underpinned by technological innovations… Overall, we remain committed to using technology to connect and improve lives everywhere in future.”

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Enterprise

Huawei acknowledges the US ban is hindering its sales

But the US government isn’t ready to negotiate

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For the first time since the U.S. imposed trade sanctions on Huawei, the company has acknowledged that its sales have been affected. Even though the company’s revenue grew by almost 20 percent to nearly US$ 121 billion, it says the numbers could’ve been higher had the sanctions not been imposed.

Last year, Huawei was added on a U.S. blacklist known as the Entity List. It restricted American firms from doing business with the Chinese telecom giant. For the end-user, it meant that Huawei phones won’t have Google apps pre-installed out-of-the-box. Two of its most recent flagships — the Mate 30 and the P40, were released without licensed Google apps.

Eric Xu, Huawei’s rotating chairman, told CNBC that they’re projecting a revenue loss of US$ 10 billion due to the ban. The ban hasn’t come to full effect yet, but it’ll be extremely damaging for their international expansion plans in the future. The company wants to transact with Google, but the U.S. administration has left no choice for either of them.

The ban has not only sealed off the American market for the company, but it also can’t source components and other software technologies from American counterparts. Google is just one of these examples. Huawei can’t even acquire Intel processors for its laptops.

Huawei never had a considerable smartphone market presence in the North American country. This is not a big deal for the company in its home market China because Google apps have been banned there for years now.

As a mitigation plan, the company accelerated the development of its own operating system called Harmony OS, but it’s restricted to TVs for now. To bridge the gap of missing Google apps, the company has also been actively pushing its own suite of apps via Huawei Mobile Services.

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Enterprise

Google will contribute $800 million via ads to fight Coronavirus

Here’s why it’s a notable contribution

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Google has committed to donating more than US$ 800 million to support businesses, organizations, and healthcare workers as part of its fight against the Coronavirus pandemic. Breaking it down, it says it’ll give the World Health Organization (WHO) and global government agencies a total of US$ 250 million in ad allowances.

Google CEO, Sundar Pichai, confirmed that another US$ 340 million in ad credits will be provided to small and mediumsized businesses who’ve actively advertised via them over the last year.

Furthermore, the company is establishing a US$ 200 million investment fund to help small businesses get access to capital. Lastly, it’ll be offering US$ 20 million in Google Cloud credits to researchers and academicians to unleash the power of computing on the virus. Research requires an exorbitant amount of computing power since formulas, calculations, and simulation models are supremely complex.

Google may seem like a technology company, but business-wise, it’s the world’s largest advertising company. Everyone who has access to the internet has at some point, used a Google service. This is how the company attracts users via its suite of services and serves them ads. For a behemoth like Google, it’s easy to reach out because of its robust advertising network.

The company not only serves ads on its own services but also exports out ads to other websites via services like AdSense. While it may seem Google isn’t actually giving away money from its profits but from its revenues, it doesn’t matter. The end contribution to the cause is what matters. And the company is leveraging its power to reach out.

These ads can help local authorities across the world fight misinformation about the virus. Moreover, also spread awareness passively while people are indoors in isolation and constantly connected via the internet.

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