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Huawei to launch gaming-focused phone this year, foldable phone by 2019

Keeping up with the latest smartphone trends

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When it comes to smartphone strategy, Huawei’s priorities are AI and photography. But Huawei Consumer Business President Jim Xu confirms in an interview in Shenzhen, China that they’re working on a smartphone focused on gaming to be released by the second half of 2018.

It’s not clear whether it will rival ASUS’ ROG Phone or the Razer Phone, but Huawei’s gaming phone will take advantage of their new GPU Turbo technology.

GPU Turbo launched with the Honor Play and Honor 9i, and is slowly making its way to more smartphones that have already been released. The Huawei Mate 10 and Honor V10 have it in June, while the P20 series, Honor 10, and more are getting it starting July. Even older phones like the P10 and Mate 9 series are on the list.

Of course, that won’t be all Huawei’s gaming smartphone will offer. In order to compete with its rivals, powerful hardware and useful accessories need to be part of the package. Huawei could use this chance to introduce a chipset that’s faster than the Kirin 970 currently being utilized by the P20 series.

Xu also says a smartphone with moving mechanical parts similar to the Vivo NEX and OPPO Find X is out of the question. Instead, a foldable phone is to be expected by 2019.

This could be a preemptive answer to Samsung’s expected foldable phone, which has been in the rumor mill for ages. When Samsung’s model will launch is still up in the air, but Huawei seems bent on one-upping its strongest Android rival.

We’ll learn more as 2018 plays out.

India

Amazon to invest $1 billion in India’s small businesses

Jeff Bezos is convinced it’s time to double down

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Jeff Bezos is visiting India and Amazon has organized a conference to announce their plans and goals for the regional market. Dubbed “Smbhav”, it’s a collaborative event for small and medium businesses and will see the participation of senior industry executives.

Bezos said the global online retailer will invest US$ 1 billion in digitising India’s small and medium businesses. He also said the company is eyeing scaling locally produced products from India — in line with the Make in India program — to be of US$ 10 billion size on Amazon platform by 2025.

“We are doing this now because it is working. And when something works you should double down on it,” Bezos said.

The news comes just after the Competition Commission of India (CCI), started an investigation into anti-competitive practices of Amazon and its Walmart-owned rival Flipkart earlier this week.

An Amazon executive said the company has amassed over 500,000 sellers in India and thousands of merchants in the country who are selling on 12 Amazon marketplaces around the world.

India is a lucrative market for internet companies because of extremely cheap data rates and easy availability of affordable smartphones. With a population of 1.3 billion people, the potential is unmatchable. Especially because China’s markets are closed by an internal firewall and the developed markets are highly saturated.

The country is Amazon’s largest bet outside its home market and currently at the cutting edge of digital payments. In India, Amazon is able to set up a highly scaled operations unit, ensuring lower costs and better reach.

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India

POCO is now officially an independent brand

No longer affiliated with Xiaomi

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Xiaomi has announced it’s spinning off POCO as an independent brand. This means the brand will now operate on its own. POCO started in 2018 as a sub-brand of Xiaomi and the parent company has decided to bring in structural changes.

POCO branding is active in India while all other markets get Pocophone. The brand is famous for its POCO F1, an affordable phone that packs a flagship-grade processor. The phone’s arrival created a completely new category of smartphones that are built to be inexpensive, yet offer unmatchable speed.

However, POCO took the backseat in 2019 while Xiaomi rained the markets with Redmi branded phones. Fans have been asking about POCO F1’s successor ever since and the parent company consistently stayed silent about the sub-brand’s future.

Rival brand Realme was also formed as an independent company but is able to leverage OPPO’s infrastructure as “partners”. Having complete independence, the company can operate on its own and decide its own strategy. This structural divide let Realme form a new identity and within no time, it reckoned with Xiaomi as India’s leading mobile vendor.

There were reports in the second half of 2019 that suggested Xiaomi might ditch the POCO brand completely. It’s safe to say that isn’t happening anymore. POCO’s social media handles have been actively announcing discounts and deals on the POCO F1, suggesting a new product could be on the way soon.

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Hisense partners with NBA icon Dwyane Wade

It’s a multi-year deal

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Image: Dario | GadgetMatch

Hisense has been one of the fast rising brands especially in the television department. The company is now partnering with three-time NBA Champion Dwyane Wade to attract the sports-consuming market.

Wade will serve the as the company’s US Ambassador and will be prominently featured in premium product launches, in-person event appearances, and other upcoming marketing campaigns. He will be joining Hisense’s list of sports partners that include NASCAR, FIFA (2018) and UEFA (2016 and 2020).

The retired NBA star says he sees the company’s dedication to producing quality products and he’s excited for the partnership.

Hisense offers several value-for-money products especially with televisions. In CES 2020, the company launched the L5 laser TV and XD9G — the first dual-cell technology TV on the market. They also offer various other products like home appliances including refrigerators, wine coolers, portable air conditioners, and more

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