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Huawei takes Apple’s crown as second largest smartphone brand

Posts 41 percent growth from last year

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For years, Samsung and Apple have seized the tech industry with an unbreakable vise. Unabated sales have crowned both companies as the rulers of the smartphone world. However, fringe brands have started making a case for their own turns on top of the food chain.

Particularly, Chinese brands like Huawei and Xiaomi have recently made gigantic pushes with their recent launches. On one side, Huawei launched the massive P20 series to widespread acclaim. On the other, Xiaomi pushed a flurry of different lineups like the Mi 8 and Redmi 6.

Now, both Huawei and Xiaomi’s efforts have paid off. Analysts from Counterpoint Research have punched in the numbers for global phone shipments from last quarter.

Surprisingly, Apple has fallen to third place from their long-standing grip on second, despite enjoying a one percent increase in shipments. Taking a comfortable lead for second, Huawei has posted an astonishing 41 percent growth from last year. From 38.5 million units, the company has shipped 54.2 million units this year.

Despite a declining Chinese market, Huawei grew by 21 percent. Meanwhile, the brand exploded internationally, posting a 71 percent growth overseas.

According to Counterpoint Research, Huawei’s massive growth comes from their renewed efforts in the premium segment. Additionally, the company’s sister brand Honor made huge waves in the midrange market.

Lagging shortly behind Apple, Xiaomi has also declared huge growth numbers — up 43 percent from last year’s numbers. From just 23.1 million units, Xiaomi has sold 33 million units this year.

In other news, HMD’s Nokia grew by an unbelievable margin — almost 800 percent due to the rerelease of Nokia’s beloved phone lines.

As the numbers can tell you, Chinese smartphones are slowly gaining on the unbridled supremacy of Samsung and Apple. Without market-defining innovations in the Galaxy S9 and iPhone 8, both Samsung and Apple may very well step back from the limelight if their next releases don’t step up.

SEE ALSO: OnePlus leads India’s premium smartphone market, edges out Apple and Samsung

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WhatsApp delays roll-out of new privacy policy until May

Signal and Telegram are trending instead

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Photo by Dimitri Karastelev on Unsplash

WhatsApp rolled out a new privacy policy that clearly specifies how the instant messaging app will leverage your data for monetization. But the new privacy policy is on hold.

WhatsApp, owned by Facebook, has announced that it will delay enforcing its new privacy terms from February 8 to May 15. In the blog post, the company says that none of its privacy-focused features are changing.

“We’re also going to do a lot more to clear up the misinformation around how privacy and security works on WhatsApp. We’ll then go to people gradually to review the policy at their own pace before new business options are available on May 15,” the statement said.

It faced massive backlash as users are worried about their personal data. When the privacy policy changes went public last week, the response from the public was downright brutal. Alternative apps like Telegram and Signal started trending worldwide as users started joining it in hopes of ditching WhatsApp.

Even though WhatsApp is end-to-end encrypted, Facebook will still fetch some crucial information like your transactions, location, and other behavioral data from linked Instagram profile. And, we all know Facebook has a nasty reputation as far as personal data management is concerned. What makes it even more outrageous is that the policy is leave or take, and there’s no third option.

In the wording used, WhatsApp says the new privacy policy will change how it partners with Facebook to “offer integrations” and that businesses can use Facebook services to manage WhatsApp chats. It said that hat all private messages between friends and family members will remain end-to-end encrypted.

According to a CNBC report, India’s technology ministry also asked WhatsApp to withdraw planned changes to its privacy policy that has drawn widespread backlash.

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Huawei P50 Pro could come with a 120Hz display, 200x digital zoom

What about Harmony OS?

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Huawei may be barred from using Google Mobile Services, but it is far from giving up. The Chinese brand has pivoted to natively developed options and continues to work on its flagship P and Mate series. Going by the usual trend, the Huawei P50 series is expected to launch soon, and we already hear a lot of chatter about it.

According to @RODENT950 on Twitter, Huawei P50 Pro will have a 6.78-inch display with a 120Hz refresh rate. Another user on Weibo claims that the regular version of Huawei P50 will be using a 90Hz refresh rate screen, while the top-end option may come with a 120Hz panel.

Under the P50 Pro and P50 Pro+ hood will be the Kirin 9000 or Kirin 9000E chipset. Designed on a 5nm process, these are Huawei’s best-in-class and offer massive performance improvements. Furthermore, the phone will support 66W wired fast charging and 50W wireless charging.

Most importantly, the cameras are expected to get a major upgrade. The “space zoom” technology could go one step further by incorporating 200x digital zoom. Keep in mind, the recently launched Galaxy S21 Ultra has 100x digital zoom. So, Huawei’s offering makes a lot of difference, at least on paper. The P50 Pro+ will continue the race, as the phone will likely offer a massive 200x zoom from a derived 20x optical zoom setup.

While many reports said Huawei could ship the P50 series with Harmony OS, recent inputs suggest the brand shall continue with Android-based EMUI 11. In other aspects, the Huawei P50 series will come with 4 surround speakers and an upgraded vibration motor for haptics.

The phone is expected to launch in the coming months. The P50 series will consist of multiple options, and the details mentioned above are based on leaks, speculations, and unverifiable information. The end product could differ vastly.

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Honor V40 will bring back Google Mobile Services

According to a leak

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Two weeks ago, Honor was tipped to start working on Qualcomm-powered smartphones. The upcoming smartphone marks the company’s emancipation from former parent company Huawei. Finally, the Chinese company freed itself from the anti-China bans currently plaguing Huawei. As expected, Honor’s freedom isn’t stopping with Qualcomm. According to a leak, the upcoming Honor V40 will bring back Google Mobile Services when it launches.

Based on previous leaks, Honor was slated to unveil the Honor V40 on January 12, which was eventually pushed to January 18. Now, since that date has passed, the next date is on January 22. Apparently, Honor is still polishing some logistics associated with the launch.

However, according to the leak from Lenta RU, Honor delayed the launch to ensure that the smartphone is launching with Google Play Services from the get-go. If the leak is true, Honor is coming back into the Google-sponsored fold.

Though the company is also working on a Qualcomm partnership, the Honor V40 series will reportedly launch with the Dimensity 1000+ chipset from MediaTek. It will come with a 50-megapixel main camera sensor and 66W fast wired charging. As expected, the smartphone will launch exclusively in China first.

Currently, Huawei is still under extensive restrictions, further exacerbated by former president Trump’s eleventh-hour revocation of approved applications. Honor is certainly breathing a sigh of relief from losing its association with Huawei.

SEE ALSO: Honor supposedly unveiling Honor V40 on January 12

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