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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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Rumor: Huawei selling the Mate and P phone brands

Huawei has denied the reports

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Huawei Mate 40 Pro

With no end in sight for the ban that took effect last 2019, Huawei is taking drastic measures to ensure its own survival. Just this week, the company’s CEO — Ren Zhengfei — outlined the company’s strategy for the future. If the latest report from Reuters is to be believed, we may never see another Huawei-branded Mate and P phones in the future.

Citing two sources familiar on the matter, Reuters claims that Huawei is in early talks to sell its flagship Mate and P phone brands to other manufacturers. The company is specifically eyeing the sale to a consortium of government-backed Shanghai investment firms.

Huawei initially explored the possibility of selling its flagship brands last September. The talks allegedly went back and forth for months, with the company yet to finalize its decision. The timing of these talks coincides with the sale of another Huawei asset — its Honor sub-brand — last November to a government-backed Shenzen firm.

The sale of its flagship brands has been mulled by Huawei since it sees little to no hope with the change in the US administration. The Biden administration has yet to take a stance on the ban imposed by the Trump administration. In the meantime, the company has to weather the ban that saw its phones lose access to the Google Play Store and other critical Android apps.

The shortage of Kirin chips is also behind the decision to go ahead with the talks. Analysts predict that Huawei will run out of supply of its own Kirin chips this 2021. The company outsources the production of its chips to Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Corporation (TSMC) which uses US-made equipment. A ban that took effect last year made it clear that Huawei can never use any US-made equipment, impeding the production of its Kirin chips.

Huawei responds

It didn’t take long for Huawei to respond to the reports that it is selling its flagship brands. A company spokesperson denied these reports, stating that these are “substantiated rumors”. The spokesperson also claimed that the company “has no such plans” for a sale and that they “remain fully committed” to the smartphone market.

The Mate and P series remain major drivers in Huawei’s smartphone business. In fact, the recently launched Mate 40 series sold so well in China and other non-US markets.

Huawei also continues to be a major player in the smartphone segment. Just last year, it toppled Samsung briefly to become the no. 1 smartphone brand in the world. However, that might soon change as reports indicate that the company will slip further on rankings this year. TrendForce, in particular, predicts the company to slip into seventh place behind OPPO, vivo, and Xiaomi.

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realme to launch a new MediaTek Dimensity 1200 flagship smartphone

Specific details are unclear at the moment though

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realme just announced that it will be one of the first manufacturers to release a MediaTek Dimensity 1200 flagship smartphone. This comes days after the launch of the chipset, which touts 5G capabilities and next-gen AI for better performance across the board.

With the chipset, realme is promising improvements in the areas of 5G, AI, photography, videography, and gaming for its next MediaTek-powered flagship. The flagship is also a part of the company’s dual-platform and dual-flagship strategy for 2021. With that said, there’s nothing much to expect at this point besides that it will come with a flagship MediaTek Dimensity 1200.

The chipset that will power the next realme flagship can give us a clue about its performance though. MediaTek fabricated the Dimensity 1200 on a 6nm process, allowing for better performance while consuming lesser power. It has an octa-core CPU comprised of four high-power ARM Cortex-A78, four low-power ARM Cortex-A55, as well as ARM Mali-G77 on the GPU front.

Displays supported by the chipset range from 168Hz FHD+ to 90Hz QHD+. The chipset’s 5G modem — Helio M70 —  supports sub-6Hz networks though it is unclear if there is support for mmWave.

More MediaTek smartphones coming up

Besides launching a flagship, realme is planning to release several MediaTek-powered smartphones for 2021. Last year, the company launched the first smartphone powered by MediaTek Dimensity 800U, the realme 7 5G. The company also partook in the launch of a MediaTek Dimensity 1000-powered smartphone in the form of realme X7 Pro last 2020.

It still is unclear what realme smartphones will get the MediaTek chipsets.  Following last year’s strategy, however, it seems likely that realme will release the 8-series with Qualcomm and MediaTek chipsets. The company may also release a potential X8 later in 2021 touting the latest MediaTek chipset. At the very least though, expect a realme flagship with a Dimensity 1200 inside.

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Entertainment

Disney+ coming to the Philippines soon?

We’re cautiously optimistic

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Finally! The days of using VPN and “other means” to catch up on the latest The Mandalorian or WandaVision episodes could be coming to an end for Filipinos.

An Instagram account with the handle @disneyplusph was just activated and while it’s not verified, it certainly follows the look of other official Disney+ accounts.

Photo by GadgetMatch

Adding fuel to the fire that this is likely happening soon is the announcement that the entertainment giant’s streaming service is also hitting other Southeast Asian markets through Hotstar — a video streaming service most popular in India.

There was even news previously that Disney+ will be streaming in India via Hotstar but that was delayed.

We reached out to Disney’s representatives in the Philippines, but it still hasn’t been confirmed as of writing. There’s not a lot to go on for now but we’ll surely keep our eyes peeled for more updates.

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