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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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Qualcomm officially launches Snapdragon 8 Gen 1

Coming first late 2021

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A few days ago, Qualcomm officially confirmed a coming name change for its ubiquitous Snapdragon chipset series. Of course, though Qualcomm already announced the change, the company did not reveal the new naming scheme. Now, the mystery is gone. Welcome, the new Snapdragon 8 Gen 1.

Sporting a new coat of paint, the chipset touts an improved 5G modem, the X65 5G. According to the company, the modem can reportedly reach 10Gbps in download speeds. It can also connect to the emerging Wi-Fi 6 standard, allowing up to 3.6Gbps in download speeds. The upper limit won’t mean much in today’s still-young 5G global network. However, it does mean much for the chipset’s longevity.

In the camera department, the chipset sports an 18-bit processor which can supposedly process 4,000 times more data than its predecessor. It can support up to three 36-megapixel cameras simultaneously. It can shoot up to 8K HDR footage at 30 frames per second, UHD footage at 120 frames per second, or slow-mo 720p videos at 960 frames per second.

Qualcomm didn’t specifically indicate how much the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 differs from the Snapdragon 888 in the performance department. However, it will once again focus on the future of AI. Features that use AI will reportedly get a boost going forward.

According to the company, the first smartphones with the chipset will launch sometime by the end of the year. As expected, more smartphones will come out next year in 2022.

SEE ALSO: Upcoming Snapdragon chipset scores 1000000 on AnTuTu

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Jack Dorsey steps down as Twitter CEO

Successors named

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Twitter’s Jack Dorsey has been as much of a staple for the social media network as Mark Zuckerberg has for Facebook. However, as followers of Apple and Microsoft can attest to, long-standing figureheads of tech can change in an instant. Twitter is suddenly undergoing just that sort of shakeup. In a surprise announcement, Dorsey has announced that he is stepping down as Twitter CEO.

On-brand for his eccentric personality, Dorsey tweeted out the internal email detailing his resignation from his post. According to the email, Dorsey now feels that it is time to transition the company from a “founder-led” system to something potentially greater. He, along with other members of the board, has already appointed successors for his position.

First, now-former Twitter CTO Parag Agrawal will serve as the company’s CEO effective immediately. Agarwal was formerly an engineer with Twitter but has since led the company through several key decisions beside Dorsey.

Secondly, Bret Taylor, a member of Twitter’s board, will eventually serve as the new chairman. Dorsey will still serve the rest of this term until around May. Between now and the end of his term, Dorsey will help both new leaders transition into their new positions.

Though Dorsey’s announcement has a sense of intensity, this isn’t the first time that the Twitter founder exited his position. Back in 2008, he left his post for a time before returning to helm the company again in 2015. Only time will tell whether this current resignation will stick and what role he will transition into now. Regardless, it’s a new era for Twitter.

SEE ALSO: Twitter rolls out soft block feature for everyone

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Dimensity 9000 will reportedly cost double its predecessor

Same with Snapdragon, reportedly

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The end of the year often means the latest generation of smartphone chipsets. Qualcomm and MediaTek, two of the world’s top chipset makers, launch the latest flagship series that will power the following year’s slate of smartphones. Qualcomm already teased a rebranding with their upcoming launch. Now, we have a few more details about MediaTek’s recently launched Dimensity 9000.

Recently, MediaTek launched its next flagship chipset series. The Dimensity 9000 promises impressive performance that can allegedly topple its predecessor’s performance, the Dimensity 1200. However, a promise like that can come with its drawbacks.

Via GizChina, the Dimensity 9000 will reportedly cost double of its predecessor. Though the report does not give actual specifics, it is likely that a more expensive price tag for the processor also comes with an increase in price for the flagship smartphones that it will come with. Next year’s smartphones might come a lot costlier because of the chipset.

If anything, the report also states that the upcoming Snapdragon flagship chipset will also have a higher price tag when it launches soon. As such, most flagships might indeed have higher price tags next year.

Both chipsets have not made their ways to an actual smartphone yet. However, the Snapdragon and Dimensity series do have the most ubiquitous brands for a chipset. If the report does come to pass, we might have to bid our wallets adieu next year.

SEE ALSO: MediaTek announces new Dimensity 9000 chipset

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