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Huawei is spying on you, says US government

Officials express concern over China

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Hate for the “Made in China” label continues. In a recent hearing, heads of American national security testified against China-bred smartphone brand, Huawei.

The US government’s distrust comes from an alleged disparity between American values and those upheld by the Chinese company. Officials argued that such a company shouldn’t hold a favorable position in their national telco industry.

At the hearing, officials also pleaded for American consumers to boycott Huawei phones. The officials claimed that using them will invite data theft and espionage.

Distrust against the Chinese company is already part and parcel of the US telco industry. Just last month, lawmakers filed a bill to prohibit US officials from using Huawei and ZTE phones.

Prior to the bill, Huawei also suffered a huge blow against its market share in the US when a partnership with US telco AT&T suddenly fell apart. Rumors sparked that government pressure urged AT&T to pull away from the deal.

The recent moves against Huawei are just the latest in a saga that dates as early as 2010.

In their defense, Huawei issued a statement assuring users that their phones pose no risk against cybersecurity. The China-made brand hangs out at the top with Samsung and Apple as one of the world’s biggest smartphone makers.

While Huawei has been relatively safe from spyware scandals, Lenovo, another China-made tech maker, has been heavily reprimanded recently for installing malicious software on their phones.

On the other hand, officials praised American companies for preventing Chinese smartphones from dominating the market. The American telco industry is currently led by Korean company, Samsung.

Regardless of the feud, cybersecurity is a concern that rose to the top in light of recent controversies against both tech brands and governments. Regardless of who’s right, both sides share the responsibility in keeping consumers safe.

SEE ALSO: Huawei Nova 2i receives face unlocking feature in latest update

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Canalys: vivo rises to 4th in global smartphone shipments

First time since the company was established

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vivo

Market analyst firm Canalys reports that vivo ranked fourth in global smartphone shipments for the first time in history since the company was established in 2009.

With a market share of 10 percent, the Chinese smartphone brand placed fourth behind Samsung, Apple, and Xiaomi in the third quarter of 2021.

Previous quarterly numbers from Canalys indicated that vivo remained among the top five in global smartphone shipments in the past four quarters.The company also topped China’s smartphone market in the second quarter of 2021, according to IDC Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker, maintaining strong growth momentum.

Championing a “local mindset” and putting value to its understanding of local culture and management, vivo continues to expand to more markets worldwide and accelerate its globalization.

As of now, vivo has branched out its sales network across more than 50 countries and regions, and is loved by more than 400 million users worldwide.

In the Philippines alone, vivo took over as the top smartphone vendor with a 21 percent market share during the second quarter of 2020, an impressive rise of 18 percentage points from the previous year, also per a Canalys report.

It has maintained a strong presence in the country with the introduction of top-of-the-line yet affordable smartphones. As of the second quarter of 2021, vivo holds an 18.2 percent market share.

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OPPO is developing its own chipsets

Following Google’s footsteps

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Are the golden days of Snapdragon ending? A few smartphone makers have dedicated considerable resources to creating their own in-house chips. Doing so will considerably reduce their reliance on the current dominators of the semiconductor industry like Qualcomm and MediaTek. Much like its contemporaries, OPPO is reportedly developing its own flagship processors.

First reported by Nikkei, OPPO is planning to release its first chipsets sometime in 2023 or 2024. The chips will come with the brand’s flagship devices. They will rely on TSMC’s advanced 3nm process.

Naturally, the report doesn’t indicate which smartphones will eventually come with the chipsets. However, a promised flagship does indicate good things to come.

The report coincidentally follows the recent Google Pixel 6 launch. Much like what OPPO is promising, the Pixel 6 sports Google’s first in-house chipset called the Tensor. Apple’s M1 chipset lineup is also an attempt to reduce the brand’s reliance on other component makers.

When Google announced the Tensor, Qualcomm publicly stated that the efforts towards in-house chipsets won’t hamper its dominance in the industry. The company has other clients after all. Then again, with more companies following Google, the top chipset maker might finally feel the crunch. OPPO is still one of the world’s top smartphone brands, especially after the rapid descent of Huawei.

SEE ALSO: OPPO set to launch its first tablet next year

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The Pixel Pass is official, will bundle the Pixel 6 with Google services

As cheap as $45 per month

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A bit before Google officially launched the Pixel 6 series, a leak revealed an upcoming subscription package called the Pixel Pass. The then-unannounced package bundles the new Pixel 6 with a host of Google products. Since the Pixel 6 series is now official, the Pixel Pass is now official, too. Here’s what the subscription plan will offer.

Announced with the Pixel 6 series, the Pixel Pass offers either a Pixel 6 or Pixel 6 Pro and Google’s other paid services like 200GB of Google One storage, Google Play Pass, YouTube Premium, and YouTube Music Premium, and Preferred Care coverage.

The regular Pixel 6 will sell for US$ 45 per month, and the Pixel 6 Pro will sell for US$ 55 per month. Google Fi subscribers can also save an additional US$ 5 from the price tag. Subscribers will pay for their chosen phones over two years. Regardless of which phone, the Pixel 6 will be unlocked. If you do the math, the package can actually save you money, compared to paying for the phone directly.

Additionally, the Pixel Pass will offer users the opportunity to upgrade to another Pixel phone after the initial two-year period. However, if subscribers cancel anytime during the subscription, they have to pay for the phone’s remaining non-discounted value.

The new subscription package introduces a new way to get a Pixel phone, similar to how Apple created the iPhone Upgrade Program. Unfortunately for those outside the country, the package is currently exclusive to the United States for now.

SEE ALSO: Here are new Pixel 6 features you should definitely try

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