US temporarily lifts ZTE sanctions for security updates, bans China Mobile

China vs US is still heating up



Trade tensions between China and the US continuously escalate. Despite rescue efforts by the Trump administration, the US still doesn’t trust the intentions of Chinese telcos and phone makers.

Previously, the US government had imposed heavy sanctions on Huawei and ZTE over national cybersecurity concerns. Among others, the sanctions prevent both companies from selling their devices freely on American soil.

Between the two, ZTE is suffering the harsher end of punishments. Following a breach of trade agreements, the company is banned from engaging any American company on business. The ban has ceased production of ZTE phones, which rely heavily on American components.

For reasons of his own, President Trump attempted to save the company from extinction, but to no avail. Since then, the issue has seesawed between the two conflicting parties.

Now, the US is temporarily lifting the sanctions to allow the continuation of ZTE’s service. The gesture of goodwill, however, isn’t a rescue mission. The move intends to support the plethora of companies that ZTE has agreements with, prior to the April ban.

Additionally, the temporary reprieve allows ZTE to release vital security updates to their current stock of phones. Put simply, the move supports ZTE’s existing phones, but doesn’t allow the company from making new ones.

The reprieve will expire on August 1. Afterwards, ZTE’s future is at the mercy of US lawmakers.

Meanwhile, the US is making regulatory headway on another front. Similar to ZTE’s case, the government has banned the world’s third biggest telco, China Mobile, from operating on American soil.

According to the US, China Mobile poses significant threats to national security over China’s stakes on the company. Lawmakers decree that companies with more than a 10 percent stake from a foreign country are unnecessary risks for the US. Supposedly, these companies are highly suggestible from their respective country’s influence.

Regardless, the bans underlie the political unrest between the two countries. If you plan on buying Chinese phones, purchase them away from US soil.

SEE ALSO: Samsung is in talks to lend Exynos chips to ZTE, other phone makers


China Telecom team-up becomes third telco in the Philippines

It’s finally happening!



Earlier reports have turned out true: The Philippines now has its third telco player to compete against long-time providers Globe and PLDT-Smart.

Under the Mislatel Consortium, Udenna Corporation and China Telecom ultimately won the bid yesterday. The group also includes Chelsea Logistics Holdings and the Mindanao Islamic Telephone Company.

However, the coast isn’t clear yet. According to the Department of Information and Communications Technology, Mislatel must still get through the document verification phase within the next three calendar days before becoming official.

Once that phase is done, it’ll be up to China Telecom to implement its proven system on Philippine shores. They’re already one of the biggest providers in Asia, with a base of around 250 million subscribers.

Based on filed documents, the group promises to deliver speeds of up to 55Mbps with a up to a 50 percent coverage of the Philippines in the next five years.

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Apple blames emerging markets for missed sales targets

Despite revenue, Apple doesn’t meet expectations



When it comes to smartphone success, Apple has constantly bagged “Most Likely to Succeed” awards year after year. Since the iPhone’s debut more than a decade ago, the company has always met success on the sales column. As such, no one really expects Apple to crash and burn in just a single year.

Case in point, this year’s iPhones are performing well on the market. The iPhone XS Max has reportedly broken sales expectations. The premium model has also outsold the regular iPhone XS. With the iPhone XR already running out of supplies, Apple is in for another great year.

However, the blockbusting brand expects to meet some resistance as the holiday season nears. Although individual models are outselling others, the collective lineup still failed to meet Apple’s expectations. The lineup sold 46.9 million units, up by only 0.2 million from last year. Apple has not grown.

In light of this, Apple’s CFO Luca Maestri is waggling the finger at emerging markets. According to Maestri, international markets are suffering from currency depreciation against the dollar. More importantly, emerging markets carry a modicum of uncertainty and instability. The tempestuous nature of the market supposedly affects consumers’ confidence in Apple.

Of course, “emerging markets” is an umbrella term today. However, the term traditionally includes markets in Southeast Asia including the Philippines, Indonesia, and Malaysia.

Sadly, Apple’s finger pointing does not mention their exorbitant prices or their loss of trust. Even now, the company occupies the upper echelons of the smartphone market. Secondly, Apple’s recent brouhaha with planned obsolescence definitely plays a huge part in the loss of market trust.

If anything, what can we take away from this? That Apple is finally seeing some dents in its armor. For whatever reason, Apple has some cause to believe the market’s plateau and eventual decline.

SEE ALSO: Apple iPad Pro Hands-on: Can this replace your laptop?

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LG commits to more midrange phones despite third quarter losses

Should LG just quit?



In a similar article three months ago, we asked if LG should quit the smartphone market. At the time, LG posted operating losses for the fifth consecutive quarter. Even without the financial results, LG’s mobile lineup has delivered lackluster offerings for quite some time. Without a doubt, one must ask if LG still has a place in the mobile market.

Today, another financial quarter has passed for the Korean tech company. Unfortunately, the question still stands. Revealing their results for the quarter, LG once again posted a huge operating loss after three months.

Despite a KRW 2.04 trillion in overall sales, the company’s mobile division still suffered an operating loss of KRW 146.3 billion (or US$ 130.5 million). Strangely, that wasn’t even a bad performance. Last quarter, the division lost a larger US$ 165 million. Though small, the decreased loss is still a victory for the petering division.

According to the company, the decrease comes from the division’s stronger “focus on midrange products.” This stems from the company’s renewed promise last year for better midrange phones. This year, LG launched a beefier midrange lineup. Among others, this includes the expansive LG Q7 series.

Regardless of the success in the midrange market, LG still hopes for similar results in the premium smartphone category. According to the financial report, the new LG V40 ThinQ “is expected to boost sales in the fourth quarter.”

Right now, LG has more than two months left to get through this quarter. The company’s future in the mobile market is still a quandary. Thankfully, LG’s other divisions are all enjoying operating profits. Amid questions of LG’s mobile future, the company still has a lot of traction in other ventures. As long as they still have money, LG still has a place in today’s market.

SEE ALSO: LG Watch W7 is a smartwatch with mechanical hands and 100-day battery life

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