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Sony to cut down its smartphone division in half by next year

It was bound to happen

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It’s common knowledge in the tech space that Sony’s Xperia business isn’t doing that well, even in its home turf of Japan. Sadly, it seems like that struggle will turn into a shakeup in their mobile division soon.

Nikkei Asian Review reports that Sony will take off 50 percent of its smartphone workforce by March 2020. This means that 2,000 of the 4,000 employees will either be let go of or transferred to other divisions in Sony’s wide product portfolio.

Sony will reportedly focus the remainder of its smartphone sales on regions where it’s still popular, namely in Europe and China. Southeast Asia will be one of the first to see Xperia phones less often in stores.

Xperia smartphones were once part of an elite group of brands that innovated and sold well around the world. Unfortunately, rising competition from the likes of Samsung, Apple, and Huawei will lead to a possible third-straight year of losses for Sony since 2017.

The strength of rival brands isn’t the only reason for the drastic move, however. Global smartphone shipments in general have been declining each year since 2017, mostly thanks to mobile technology plateauing and consumers upgrading less often.

Despite the recent struggles, Sony managed to launch the flagship Xperia 1 and midrange Xperia 10 series just last month during Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. There haven’t been any reports on the success of these models just yet.

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Apple: Leaks are causing wrongly sized iPhone cases

Issues cease-and-desist order

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Leaks have always been an important part of the smartphone cycle. Before a huge smartphone launch, leakers have always found a way to release information before the actual company. Premature information normally doesn’t affect the actual release. However, some companies certainly want to clamp down on leaks. Apple, for one, has always despised leaks. However, the company now has a different purpose for doing so: to prevent wrongly sized phone cases.

Reported by Vice, Apple has issued a cease-and-desist order against a Chinese citizen caught leaking info about upcoming iPhones. The leaker supposedly released prototypes for the devices to the public.

According to Apple, leaks ruin the surprise for consumers especially since they spoil the company’s plans. Additionally, the company says that releasing information outside of Apple’s purview will dupe case manufacturers into making cases of the wrong size especially if the actual products are of a different size.

Historically, Apple has been antagonistic against people leaking company secrets. The company has even filed lawsuits against employees caught smuggling out company secrets. Despite how much hype that leaks can generate for the company, Apple really doesn’t like its leaks.

Currently, there have already been a substantial amount of leaks surrounding the upcoming iPhone 13 series. There have also been hints for next year’s iPhone 14 series.

SEE ALSO: iPhone 14 series might use titanium chassis

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Huawei P50 series launches in China

Comes with Snapdragon 888, HarmonyOS 2

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P50 Series - Huawei P50 Pro

Huawei has been eerily quiet in the smartphone department this year. It’s due to the US ban that forbids the company from both selling in the US and dealing with companies in the country. It’s the same ban that pulled Google Mobile Services from its phones around two years ago. That said, they’ve now launched the latest in their P-Series smartphones — the Huawei P50 series.

The Huawei P50 series consists of two phones: the Huawei P50 and Huawei P50 Pro. Interestingly, the Huawei P50 is sporting the Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 processor instead of the usual Kirin chip found on Huawei smartphones.

Meanwhile, the Huawei P50 Pro follows the Samsung Galaxy approach where there’s a version that has the Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 chip and another version with the Kirin 9000 processor. Again, this is an effect of the ban imposed on the company.

Both phones will run Harmony OS 2, which shouldn’t turn off any previous Huawei user as it looks and functions pretty much just like the Android-based EMUI OS.

P50 Series - Huawei P50

Here’s a quick rundown of the specs of each phone:

Huawei P50:

  • 6.5″ OLED Display, 90Hz refresh rate
  • 4,100mAh battery, 66W Wired fast charging
  • 8GB RAM, 256GB internal storage

Huawei P50 Pro:

  • 6.6″ OLED Display, 120Hz refresh rate
  • 4,360mAh battery, 66W Wired fast charging, up to 50W fast wireless charging
  • 8GB/12GB RAM, Up to 512GB internal storage

The P-Series cameras

Huawei’s P-Series smartphones are most known for their incredible cameras and the P50 series appears to offer much of the same, at least on paper.

The Huawei P50 has this set of lenses: 50MP main camera, 12MP telephoto lens (up to 5x optical zoom), 13MP ultra-wide lens, 13MP selfie camera.

The Huawei P50 Pro has one extra shooter: 50MP main camera, 64MP telephoto lens (up to 3.5x optical zoom), 40MP monochrome lens, 13MP ultra-wide lens, 13MP selfie camera.

Price and availability

As mentioned earlier, this launch is only in the China. The series’ availability elsewhere in the world has yet to be announced. Pricing are as follows:

Huawei P50

  • 8GB + 128GB — CNY 4488 (around US$ 695)
  • 8GB + 256GB — CNY 4988 (around US$ 772)

Huawei P50 (Snapdragon 888 4G)

  • 8GB + 128GB — CNY 5988 (around US$ 927)
  • 8GB + 256GB — CNY 6488 (around US$ 1004)
  • 8GB + 512 GB — CNY 7488 (around US$ 1159)

Huawei P50 (Kirin 9000)

  • 8GB + 128GB — CNY 6488 (around US$ 1004)
  • 8GB + 256GB — CNY 7488 (around US$ 1159)
  • 12GB + 512 GB — CNY 7988 (around US$ 1236)

Huawei P50 Pro (Special Edition)

  • 12GB + 512 GB — CNY 8488 (around US$ 1314)
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Xiaomi working on Mi Band with 360-degree display

Wraps around your wrist

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Xiaomi is enjoying quite a nice year so far. Recently, the Chinese company became the second largest smartphone maker in the world. Of course, besides its evidently popular smartphones, the company is also blooming with its slate of other devices including the successful Mi Bands. And, if this new leak comes to pass, Xiaomi isn’t done improving its other products. According to a new leak, Xiaomi is developing a new Mi Band with a 360-degree display.

Leaked on Weibo, a recent company presentation supposedly hints that the device — called the Mi Band X — is coming in the future. As the description implies, the wearable will not use the traditional screen + band system used by most wearable bands today.

Instead, the entire band is a flexible display. It won’t clasp with a buckle or notches either. It will reportedly use a magnetic system to fix itself on the user’s wrist. Though the description sounds complex, the leak states that the device will still be light and usable for a fitness band.

This isn’t the first wearable with a larger and more flexible display, though. Years ago, ZTE’s Nubia released the Nubia Alpha touted an elongated screen packed with smartphone-like features. At the time, it claimed to be the largest screen ever for a wearable. A 360-degree screen can easily upend this claim.

The leak does not indicate if or when the Mi Band X is coming. It doesn’t indicate how much the device will sell for either. However, if the Nubia Alpha’s EUR 449 price tag is anything to go by, the Mi Band X won’t be a cheap one, especially compared to other Mi Bands.

SEE ALSO: Redmi Note 10 Pro and Mi Band 6 are now in the Philippines

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