Samsung’s market share in the Chinese market is three times larger than Apple’s and still growing, Bloomberg reported on Sunday. The Cupertino-based company recently began to sell its flagship smartphone on the nation’s third largest carrier, China Telecom, in addition China Unicom, which up until recently was the exclusive carrier of the iPhone in China. The new partnership, however, may be too little, too late. “I don’t expect Apple to replace Samsung any time soon,” Gartner analyst Sandy Shen said. “China Telecom is the nation’s smallest carrier, so the extent to which they can help Apple is quite limited.” Read on for more. More →
Microsoft plans to roll out its Windows Phone “Tango” update for its mobile platform in China some time this year. While the new version of Microsoft’s OS will allow Windows Phones to hit lower price points, Chinese manufacturers are pessimistic about the plan and believe the operating system may not achieve enough success, according to DigiTimes. Android-based smartphones are believed to continue to dominate the Chinese market due to the aggressive marketing of low-end devices from local vendors such as ZTE, Huawei, Coolpad and Xiaomi Technology, and the ease of developing applications through the open-source operating system. Despite unfavorable market conditions, Nokia will lead the charge into China with devices set to launch in the first half of 2012. The publication’s sources also believe Huawei will release several Windows Phones din the second quarter, with Microsoft also looking to partner with Lenovo and ZTE to launch devices in the Chinese market. More →
Huawei is making quite a splash at this year’s Mobile World Congress. The company announced one quad-core handset — the Ascend D quad, which is built on the company’s proprietary in-house processor platform — in addition to a dual-core TI OMAP-based device, the Ascend D1. We got a chance to play with both models and, especially in the case of the D quad, we left quite impressed. These things move fast. Really fast. What’s more, these handsets mark Huawei’s entry into the chip making game, and place the company in direct competition with other smartphone vendors that moonlight as chip makers, like Samsung and Apple. It will be interesting to see how this plays out over the coming year. That said, the handsets themselves will be the stars of Huawei’s lineup for at least the first half of 2012. The D quad sports 8GB of on-board storage, 1 GB of RAM, Android 4.0, Huawei’s 1.2Ghz quad-core chip, a 4.5-inch display and Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. The Ascend D1 is externally identical to the D quad, but it will hit a much lower price point thanks largely to its 1.2Ghz dual-core chip, which replaces the D quad’s quad-core processor. Check out our hands-on shots in the gallery below.
Huawei on Sunday announced the new Ascend D quad smartphone at Mobile World Congress. The company bills the handset as “the world’s fastest quad-core smartphone,” with its 4.5-inch 720p HD display and Huawei’s own K3V2 quad-core 1.5GHz processor. The smartphone features an 8-megapixel rear-camera, 1.3-megapixel front-facing camera and runs Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. Huawei also introduced the Ascend D quad XL and the Ascend D1 smartphones. The Ascend D quad XL boasts a massive 2,500 mAh battery, but otherwise it’s the sames exact smartphone as the Ascend D quad. The Ascend D1 runs a 1.5 GHz dual-core CPU and has a 1,670 mAh battery. The Ascend D quad series will be available in China, Australia, Europe, Asia-Pacific, North and South America, and the Middle East in the second quarter of 2012, with the Ascend D1 to be made available in April. Pricing and more specific information surrounding launches aren’t yet available. Read on for Huawei’s press release. More →
According to a leaked accessory sheet, the HTC Ville and Huawei Prism are headed to T-Mobile in the U.S. The sheet, a screenshot of which was obtained by TmoNews, provides little information outside of device names and “warehouse arrival” dates for various accessories. Accessories, which sometimes arrive weeks before a handset launches, are set to arrive for both devices in early April. BGR exclusively reported this past November that HTC will unveil the Ville at next week’s Mobile World Congress trade show. The device is rumored to be thinner than Apple’s iPhone 4S and will feature Android 4.0, Sense 4.0, a 4.3-inch qHD Super AMOLED display, a 1.5GHz dual-core Snapdragon Series 4 processor, an 8-megapixel camera, HSPA+ and a 1,650 mAh battery. More →
Global smartphone sales increased 47.3% to 149 million units in the fourth quarter of 2011, according to market research firm Gartner. Total smartphone sales for the full year increased 58% to 472 million units and accounted for 31% of all mobile devices sold. The record sales were led by Apple’s iPhone, which sold 37 million units and helped the company capture a 23.8% market share in the fourth quarter. Apple was also the top smartphone vendor in 2011, with a 19% market share. “Western Europe and North America led most of the smartphone growth for Apple during the fourth quarter of 2011,” said Roberta Cozza, principal research analyst at Gartner. “In Western Europe the spike in iPhone sales in the fourth quarter saved the overall smartphone market after two consecutive quarters of slow sales.” Samsung continued its success with LG, Sony Ericsson, Motorola and Research In Motion recording disappointing results. Both ZTE and Huawei dominated the low-end to mid-range market and became — along with Apple — the fastest-growing vendors in the fourth quarter of 2011. “These vendors expanded their market reach and kept on improving the user experience of their Android devices,” said Cozza. Read on for Gartner’s press release. More →
Last summer, Huawei’s MediaPad was one of the first manufactures to ship a device pre-loaded with Android 3.2 Honeycomb. The Chinese company is now attempting a similar strategy with the release of Ice Cream Sandwich. Existing models of the MediaPad will receive an Android 4.0 update by the end of the first quarter, and new MediaPads will come pre-loaded with the software beginning some time the first quarter. Additionally, the tablet will be offered in the current color scheme, and will add shadow black, classic brown, and passion pink to the mix. The MediaPad features a 7-inch 1280 x 800-pixel display that supports 1080p full HD video playback, a 1.2GHz dual-core Qualcomm processor and six hours of battery life. Read on for the company’s full press release. More →
Huawei unveiled the company’s latest Android-powered smartphone, the Ascend P1 S. The device features an incredibly slim design, measuring a mere 6.68mm — even slimmer than Motorola’s 7.1mm DROID RAZR. The device sports a 4.3-inch qHD Super AMOLED display with a 1.5GHz TI OMAP 4460 dual-core processor and 1GB of RAM. On the backside, the Ascend has an 8-megapixel camera with a dual-LED flash and a 1.3-megapixel front facing camera. Huawei also announced the Ascend P1, which packs similar features in a thicker 7.69mm profile. Both devices feature Corning’s Gorilla Glass and will run a clean version of Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. Pricing has not been announced, however we can expect to see both of these devices within the second quarter of 2012. Read on for Huawei’s full press release. More →
Handset makers in China have formed an alliance to prepare for possible patent battles with Apple, Microsoft and Nokia. Coolpad, Konka, TCL, ZTE and Lenovo were among the companies named in a report by DigiTimes on Friday. The number of lawsuits filed in China is expected to increase as Microsoft, Nokia and Apple try to increase market share there, the report says. Nokia has already filed patent infringement suits against several Chinese phone makers and Microsoft has gone after Huawei to try to secure a patent licensing deal. Huawei responded to Microsoft’s threats in early November and explained that it has 65,000 patents worldwide. “We have enough to protect our interests,” Huawei Devices chief marketing officer Victor Xu said. “We are a very important stakeholder in Android.” Each of the Chinese companies reportedly has a large patent portfolio and, combined, they could create enough of a force to stave off at least some of the patent-related lawsuits that have plagued other companies. More →
Sprint quietly launched the Express on Friday, a new $20 Android smartphone manufactured by Huawei. The device runs Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) and features a 2.6-inch display with a 320 x 240-pixel resolution, a full QWERTY keyboard, 512MB of RAM, a 1,600 mAh battery, a microSD slow for up to 32GB of storage, a 3.2-megapixel camera and the ability to share its 3G connection via a mobile hotspot feature. The Express is available now for $20 with a new two-year Sprint contract. More →
Huawei announced on Monday its intentions to purchase Symantec’s 49% stake in Huawei Symantec, a joint venture between the two companies that was originally formed in 2008, giving Huawei full control of the company. “The integration of Huawei Symantec’s innovative security and storage technology with Huawei’s enterprise products will reinforce Huawei’s leading position in cloud computing,” said Guo Ping, deputy chairman of Huawei.” The $530 million purchase is still pending regulatory approval, but Huawei expects the deal to close during the first quarter of 2012. Read on for the full press release.
Microsoft is chasing down Huawei in search of a patent licensing agreement, The Guardian reported on Tuesday. “Yes, Microsoft has come to us,” Huawei Devices chief marketing officer Victor Xu told The Guardian. ”We always respect the intellectual property of companies. But we have 65,000 patents worldwide too. We have enough to protect our interests. We are a very important stakeholder in Android.” Xu also said that “negotiations are in progress” with Microsoft, which takes home an estimated $444 million annually from Android royalties. Microsoft has a cross-licensing agreement with Samsung and has similar deals with HTC, ViewSonic and other Android device vendors. It is expected that Microsoft may soon hunt down Amazon for an agreement related to its new Android-powered Kindle Fire tablet, too. More →
T-Mobile recently published product pages with launch dates for the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 and the T-Mobile SpringBoard. The Galaxy Tab 10.1 will be available on November 2nd and the SpringBoard will be available on November 9th. The Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 is equipped with a 10.1-inch display, Android Honeycomb, a dual-core NVIDIA Tegra 2 processor, a 3.2-megapixel camera and a secondary 1.3-megapixel front-facing camera for video chats. For more information on the Galaxy Tab 10.1, be sure to check out our full review. The T-Mobile SpringBoard, which we had a chance to get up-close with during CTIA in San Diego, is built by Huawei and offers a smaller 7-inch display. It is equipped with a dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon processor clocked at 1.2GHz, a 5-megapixel camera capable of recording 720p HD video, a 1.3-megapixel camera for video chats and also runs Android Honeycomb. T-Mobile has not yet announced pricing for either tablet. Read on for a link to each tablet’s product page to sign-up for more information. More →