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ZTE is in panic mode after US imposes trade ban

MediaTek pledges help but is it enough?

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We’re in the endgame now. After suffering through the turmoil of the past few months, ZTE is now feeling the full force of government intervention.

Since last year, the Chinese-born company has found itself embroiled in a controversy involving US politics. The United States government accused the company of selling its merchandise to Iran, a no-no country for US imports.

Since the accusation, ZTE has pleaded guilty, initially agreeing to fire the erring employees. However, the company has failed to do so. Now, they face a US ban that threatens to eradicate their business for at least seven years, if not forever.

Following up on its warnings, the US has banned ZTE from doing business within the territory, from selling phones to buying parts for them. The company is now in the fallout, enlisting a crisis team to handle the massive issue.

The ban has ensured that ZTE can’t rely on Qualcomm, Dolby, and Google products anymore. They have yet to find adequate replacements. However, the Taiwan-based MediaTek has already secured a permit to supply the company with fresh parts to replace Qualcomm.

For a finnicky industry when it comes to specs, getting new parts isn’t as easy as a 1-2-switch. For example, ZTE’s premium handsets rely on Qualcomm’s more powerful chops. Further, a switch from Qualcomm to MediaTek heavily affects public perception.

Currently, ZTE is in negotiations with the US government to reverse the ban. They have also requested US telcos to retain stock space for them, should the ban be reversed.

However, the future remains bleak for the tech company. Without US sales or parts, the company has halted to a standstill. While they can still sell to other countries, the withdrawal of US parts has taken their toll on ZTE’s sales.

According to some reports, employees are left without things to do, despite still reporting to work. ZTE officials, however, are requesting their employees to maintain a state of calm amid affairs.

ZTE maintains that they have enough cash to remain in business in the meantime. However, if they don’t find resolution to this issue, ZTE might find itself on the chopping block of failed smartphone brands.

SEE ALSO: ZTE’s new concept phone has two notches

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OPPO Reno2 F now available in Nebula Green

More color options for the discerning buyer

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OPPO is investing more and more on its Reno lineup. Last October, it unveiled the Reno2 F in the Philippines, essentially replacing the F series. Now, the phone is available in a new color option: Nebula Green.

Still priced at PhP 19,990 for the 8GB + 128GB configuration, OPPO is offering a PhP 500 discount for its Enco Q1 earphones when you buy this color option. To get the new variant, visit any OPPO stores nationwide or their online stores on Lazada, Shopee, Akulaku, Argomall, Abenson, and MemoXpress.

Pay Day Treats promo

To entice more customers, OPPO is also rolling out their Pay Day Treat promo from November 16 to 17. Buyers of any Reno models or the A9 2020 receive free vouchers from Zomato, Grab, Viu, and iWant.

To know more about the promo, visit their Facebook page or their website.

The OPPO Reno 2F is a more affordable variant of the Reno 2 with a focus on great camera experience. It has a quad-camera setup, a nice 6.5-inch AMOLED display, and a Helio P70 processor. Powering the device is a 4,000 mAh battery with support for VOOC Flash Charge 3.0. Additionally, it has a headphone jack and a MicroSD card slot which are rare finds these days.

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Xiaomi and Realme are Lazada’s best tech brands in 11.11 sale

The competition is getting intense

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The competition between Xiaomi and Realme is heating up. Realme, a relatively new brand in the market, is going toe-to-toe with Xiaomi for value smartphones in the Philippines. And if Lazada’s 11.11 sale is an indicator, the two are competing for the best in the country.

Xiaomi is still king

In the recently held 11.11 sale on Lazada, Xiaomi reigned supreme as the best-selling tech brand in the mobile phone and tablet category. The company’s best-selling products are the Mi Smart Scale and the recently launched Redmi Note 8 and Note 8 Pro.

Both midrange phones are priced competitively while offering quad cameras, decent performance, and huge battery life. In particular, the Redmi Note 8 has a Snapdragon 665 processor, 6.5″ HD display, a 4,500mAh battery, and a quad-camera setup. It is priced at PhP 7,990 for the base 3 + 32GB model.

…but Realme is catching up

However, Xiaomi’s reign might be short-lived if Realme continues its strong, fast growth in the country. It placed no. 2 under the mobile phone and tablet category during its first Lazada 11.11 sale. The company witnessed a 966% growth from its September 9 sale.

Realme 5 took the spot for the best-selling smartphone, with competitive specifications of a Snapdragon 665 Processor, 6.5” HD display, 5,000mAh battery, quad-camera setup, and a price of PhP 7,990.

The Realme 5 makes a good alternative to the Redmi Note 8, which has almost the same specs and pricing. However, Realme 5 takes the edge slightly with bigger battery capacity and higher storage for the base variant at 64GB.

It is no wonder that Xiaomi’s intention behind the Redmi Note 8 and Note 8 Pro is to offer competitive phones that match Realme’s offering. Surely, their rivalry is in full swing in the country. But Realme has a lot to go before beating Xiaomi globally — it’s the “sales volume king” in China’s Singles’ Day sales event.

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Caviar just launched a US$ 67,00 pair of AirPods Pro

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How far are you willing to go for a badass pair of earphones? Ultimately, it all comes down to one decision: are you an audiophile or an Apple user? In days long gone, audiophiles had it worse, sacrificing bigger bucks for better audio. Now, the tables are slowly turning. Apple’s newest AirPods Pro costs as much as a new phone, setting you back by a steely US$ 249.

Caviar, the renowned purveyor of uber-luxury smartphones, has launched its own version of the popular wireless earbuds. As you might expect, Caviar’s AirPods Pro costs a fortune.

Besides the hardcore hardware inside, the premium pair is covered entirely in one piece of solid 18 karat gold. Likewise, the charging case is enveloped in its own piece of solid gold. Of note, the golden AirPods Pro is unsurprisingly heavier than a normal pair of AirPods Pro.

Caviar’s latest device is both a burden on your ears and on your wallet. The golden pair costs US$ 67,290. Surprisingly, the pair costs quite a bit more than Caviar’s meteorite-laden iPhone 11.

If you prefer a cheaper (but still abnormally expensive), Caviar is also selling a leather variant: a colored pair of earbuds and an all-leather case. The leather varies between different types of leather, including python and alligator variants. This subtler variant will cost you only US$ 1,310 to US$ 1,540.

If it’s still too expensive for your tastes, don’t worry; shipping is free. Or wait for the next 11.11 sale. Or, better yet, find a better brand.

SEE ALSO: Samsung is getting a Game of Thrones-themed phone

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