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Xiaomi VP Hugo Barra is resigning, going back to Silicon Valley [Updated!]

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Hugo Barra

Xiaomi’s highly popular vice president, Hugo Barra, will soon be leaving the company to return to his roots in Silicon Valley. The fate of the Chinese manufacturer and Mr. Barra himself are shrouded in mystery.

Update: He’s joining the Facebook team in Silicon Valley!

No one but Barra and his close friends saw this coming. His last day will be right after next month’s Chinese New Year, after which he’ll “take some much-needed time off before embarking on a new adventure back in Silicon Valley.”

Barra was pivotal in turning Xiaomi into the international tech giant it is today. What began as a simple startup composed of just a few members nearly seven years ago, is now a multi-billion dollar company with revenues coming mostly out of China and India.

Hugo Barra shows off the Xiaomi Mi 5 at MWC 2016

As the Global VP of Xiaomi for more than three years, Barra took control of their international push using his product management experience during his days as vice president of Google’s Android platform. The work he put into the Chinese company definitely paid off; what was once considered to be just an Apple copycat, now produces smartphones as groundbreaking as the Mi Mix and as well-rounded as the Redmi 4 Prime.

Despite his resignation, he believes Xiaomi is in good hands under the leadership of current CEO Lei Jun. It’s uncertain how this will affect the image of the brand, since Barra’s western background helped the company reach non-Chinese regions. It was only earlier this month when he took the stage at CES to show off Xiaomi’s best new products.

As for Barra, describing his next step as a “new adventure back in Silicon Valley” is terribly vague. Chances are we’ll be seeing him join forces with one of the already established tech leaders in San Francisco, California, or another startup altogether.

With rivals OPPO, Vivo, and Huawei leading smartphone sales in China, Xiaomi will have to regroup soon or else lose even more footing in the world’s largest handset market.

Update: As expected, Hugo Barra really is joining forces with an established tech company. In a post shared by Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg himself, it says Barra will lead all of Facebook’s virtual reality efforts, including its Oculus team. Read the entire post below:

[irp posts=”8704" name=”You can ride on this Xiaomi”]

Image credit: Hugo Barra

MWC 2019

Mate X is Huawei’s upcoming foldable 5G phone

A full announcement is imminent

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Image credit: @gimme2pm (Twitter)

Huawei is set to take the stage by storm tomorrow in Barcelona at MWC 2019. As promised, the Chinese company will unveil their very own foldable phone which will go head-to-head with the Galaxy Fold from Samsung. Although, we don’t have to wait to get a sneak peek of Huawei’s device, because there’s a photo of it already going around.

An advertisement banner that’s being set up for the launch of Huawei was photographed and uploaded on Chinese social media. It was already taken down as of writing, but that doesn’t mean it’s completely off the internet.

Based on the image, the foldable phone will be called Huawei Mate X and it’ll be marketed as the “world’s fastest foldable 5G phone.” Furthermore, the folding design of the Mate X is different from Samsung’s or even Xiaomi’s prototype.

Upon closer inspection, the foldable Huawei phone will have its fingerprint reader on the side, while most of its components, including the cameras, are housed by the elongated module.

The existence of Huawei’s foldable phone was confirmed as early as June of last year. Huawei’s deputy chairman Ken Hu later confirmed that this same product will pioneer the company’s 5G era. It seems like this is the direction Huawei is taking, but nothing is certain until the official launch.

Huawei’s keynote is taking place right before MWC 2019 starts on February 24. We’ll be there to give you the latest news and, of course, a good look at Huawei’s futuristic foldable phone.

Via: 9to5Google

SEE ALSO: Huawei official confirms P30 Pro’s quad camera setup

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Apple, Samsung sold fewer smartphones in 2018 — report

Huawei won the game, though

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2018 wasn’t a great year for smartphones in terms of sales, but not every company took a hit last year. According to the latest report by Gartner, the total number of devices sold in 2018 was 408.358 million, a 0.1 percent growth from 407.845 million. The biggest losers are Apple and Samsung, both in Q4 and the whole year.

Apple sold 11.8 percent fewer units during the holiday season compared to the same quarter in 2017. Samsung also sold fewer phones during the last quarter, but the South Korean company still managed to maintain a big gap from competitors.

According to the report, Apple is mostly affected in Greater China since buyers are now delaying their upgrades as they wait for bigger innovations. Alternatives are gaining popularity due to their cheaper prices as well.

While two of the biggest names in the industry suffered losses, Huawei, on the other hand, increased their sales and is now close in taking Apple’s coveted second spot. The Chinese tech giant managed to sell an additional 52 million phones in 2018.

Xiaomi and OPPO also gained a few extra millions of sales during the last quarter of 2018. Interestingly, Xiaomi was able to overtake OPPO for the whole year with a 7.9 percent market share versus 7.6 percent.

SEE ALSO: Apple users take longer to upgrade than before

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Huawei official confirms P30 Pro’s quad camera setup

Through a leaked photo

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Image source: Weibo

In a month, Huawei will finally launch the successful P20 series’ successor — the Huawei P30 and P30 Pro. Given last year’s success, the P30 series has some huge boots to fill. Thankfully, existing rumors are already painting a colorful portrait for us.

As the launch beckons just around the corner, Huawei has officially confirmed the series’ most highlighted rumor — the quad rear camera. Last year, the P20 Pro flaunted an amazing triple rear camera system. This year, leakers and rumor mills have speculated on one more camera. After much speculation throughout the past few months, a Huawei official has suddenly leaked the information himself.

On Chinese social network Weibo, Richard Yu, CEO of Huawei Consumer Business Group, posted an incredibly close-up shot of the recent full moon. As is standard with most Chinese smartphones, the photo came with an incriminating watermark.

Image source: Weibo

Strangely, Yu still tried to blur out the phone’s model. Despite the blur, the “Leica Quad Camera” label is blatantly clear. Further, the blur still doesn’t completely hide the starting letter, “P.” Obviously, the P20 series does not have the indicated quad camera setup. Also, the blur isn’t big enough to cover “Mate 20 Pro.” The P30 Pro is the only possible option.

Intentional or not, Yu’s leak is the biggest hype maker for the upcoming launch. If the P30 Pro can shoot moon shots like that, it will likely offer an enjoyable shooting experience. Regardless, the Huawei P30 series is only a month away. Huawei has a lot of momentum going into the launch.

SEE ALSO: Huawei is now accepting registrations for the P30 series in Singapore

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