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OPPO patents its own rotating camera phone

Is OPPO copying the ASUS ZenFone 6?

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Image source: LetsGoDigital

Yesterday, ASUS unveiled one of the more innovative solutions for bezel-less beauty. In the latest ZenFone 6, the brand is cashing in on a rotating Flip Camera. The unique solution uses a 180-degree hinge, transforming the dual rear camera into a front-facing workhorse.

Of course, innovation will always breed imitation. Filed only yesterday, OPPO is working on an almost-identical rotating camera themselves. Spotted by the Dutch LetsGoDigital, the Chinese smartphone maker filed the patent at the World Intellectual Property Office.

Notably, OPPO’s variant is more complex, using more hinges than ASUS’ original. The patent images depict a pop-up mechanism along with the rotating camera. Additionally, the patent also includes a single camera setup, besides the more advanced dual camera installation. OPPO is likely considering the form factor for both flagship and budget offerings.

Image source: LetsGoDigital

Regardless, OPPO filed the patent only yesterday. The patent’s coincidence with ASUS’ launch is stark. However, OPPO will take a lot more time to develop the phone. Even then, the company might not decide on development altogether.

Is this blatant imitation? The coincidence argues in the affirmative. However, OPPO’s history paints a more accurate picture. Back in the company’s infancy days, OPPO released the world’s first rotating camera phones. The OPPO N1 — and its successor, the N3 — featured a similar rotating hinge. Back then, smartphone manufacturers didn’t have bezel-less screens as a goal. The rotating camera was just a quirky feature, improving selfie capabilities. Technically, the OPPO N1 is the brand’s first “selfie expert.”

That said, ASUS’ newer flagship is still a tremendous innovation on the old form factor. Regardless of who copied whom, the rotating camera creatively takes on the ever-present problem of bezels and notches.

SEE ALSO: OPPO releases a new F11 model that’s cheaper and exclusive online

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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