• Korean Media Reveals Samsung Galaxy S8 Pre-Orders Available on April 7

    Posted on March 16th, 2017 Yuson Zou | 161 comments

    It is officially confirmed by Samsung that Samsung Galaxy S8 duo will be released on March 29, but the date for people to pre-order Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus is till not decided yet.




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    According to Korean Media, both Galaxy S8 and S8+ are supposed to be available for pre-order in South Korea starting April 7. While the pre-order period will end on April 17, the smartphones will only make their debut on the market on April 21. The Korean media reports Samsung will hold pre-launch events on April 18 at all three major carriers’ stores in the country.

    Between April 18 and 20, Korean carriers will open their gates to subscribers who want to test out the Galaxy S8 flagship. On the next day, April 21, Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+ will hit the shelves in Korea.

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  • How do Chinese Smartphone Brands like Huawei Survive in the European Market

    Posted on March 9th, 2017 Henry | 13,269 comments

    In Europe, a lot of people must’ve heard about Chinese smartphone brands like Huawei or Lenovo. More and more Chinese smartphone manufacturers are participating in some global electronic shows. For instance, in the Mobile World Congress that just past a few weeks ago, more than half of the smartphones announced are made in China or came from China.


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    As a matter of fact, China has been one of the most crucial smartphone markets for a lot of manufacturers, whether they’re Chinese companies or not.


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    And with the rapid development and spread of smartphones in China in the past few years, the demands are bound to decrease when the market comes to a saturated state. When facing pressures from both overseas and local smartphone manufacturers in the Chinese market, seeking development overseas seems inevitable for Chinese manufacturers. To many of those companies, oversea markets have never been so important before. If the company don’t want to subject to the limited increase of market sharing in China, overseas markets would be a good choice for development.

    According to the published data from a Chinese market research company, the growth rate of the Chinese smartphone market would drop from last year’s 20% to 5% this year.

    Marching into the European market is actually way more complicated than it looks. Some manufacturers used to grab attention from the public through launch events and sales promotions and they might not be working out well this year.

    Huawei is one of the few Chinese smartphone manufacturers that entered the European market in an early time. The company’s been applying a dual-brand strategy which turned out to be a success. According to a spokesmen of Honor, during the Black Friday period, the online sales number is inspiring, 35,000 units of Honor 8 sold out within 3 days which tops other smartphone brands selling phones online in West Europe.

    Huawei had set the goal of reaching 5% market share in Europe when it first enter the market and the goal was accomplished two years ago. Since then, the company set the goal to be around 10-12% and achieved it within 2 years.

    Huawei’s oversea sales have grown faster than in the domestic market. Especially in Europe, Huawei has taken more than 20% of the market share in certain countries. And in the overall west European market, it’s about 11%. And in the high-end smartphone market where Huawei has to compete with traditional brands like Samsung and Apple, it still takes up 14.3%.

    The dual-brand strategy plays a key role in Huawei’s success in West Europe. The sales number of Honor brand had registered at a year-on-year growth of 8.6% in 2016. The Honor brand is continuously breaking records in online sales which makes other manufacturers start to pay more attention to this field.

    “We didn’t have much staff in our team like other companies does, but when it comes to holiday promotion, we’d start preparing for it a few month in advance which helped us build up a solid foundation for our success later.” said the spokesman of Huawei Honor.

    The company also cut down products for under €80 and focused on high-end units which later helped them successfully get rid of the tag of “budget phone”.


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    In actuality, in the European market, subsidies from carriers has a great impact on the sales of smartphones and dealing with carriers and subsidies plays a critical role in sales.

    Breakthrough in e-commerce helps Huawei go further in the European market to some extent but it’s never an easy task for Huawei. People in Europe tend to be more rational when making a choice in buying smartphones. A smartphone with a high price-to-performance ratio is not as appealing in China as in Europe, so the company needed a new strategy for the market. Huawei started off by interacting with customers through social media like Facebook and Twitter.

    Huawei believes that the combination of premium products and electronic commence can help the company break the barriers and move forward in a faster pace. The key to success always lies in the quality of the product and an applicable business model.

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  • Apple Re-Launches iPhone 6 Model in Gold 32 GB for Asian Customers

    Posted on March 6th, 2017 Yuson Zou | 17,408 comments

    Apple’s iPhone 6 dates back to 2014. When iPhone 6 debuted, there were three models available: 16/64/128 GB. Apple did not launch the iPhone 6 in a 32 GB SKU before. But now Apple is re-launching the iPhone 6 in a 32 GB gold configuration.

    Although the 32 GB iPhone 6 is released, it is not sold at retail stores or on its website where Apple continues to sell the iPhone SE as its low-end option. Compared with iPhone 6, iPhone SE has better internal components but does not have a larger screen. Instead, the gold 32 GB iPhone 6 is going on sale at select carriers in Asia as a low-end model. The device is going to be launched on Taiwan Mobile on March 10 and has been available in China since late February.

    Unlike Apple’s quietness, Taiwan Mobile is pushing the ‘new’ iPhone as a special limited-edition promotion. It is advertising it as the cheapest iPhone ever to be offered on its network and is already accepting pre-orders. The carrier is selling the device for ‘free’ with a NT$1,399/month contract plan (about $45 USD) that lasts for 30 months.

    It isn’t clear if the 32 GB iPhone 6 will also be available for buying on other carriers in Taiwan or if it really is exclusive to Taiwan Mobile. It appears to be on sale at just one online carrier in China.

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  • Samsung Is to Unveil Galaxy S8 on March 29, 2017

    Posted on February 27th, 2017 Yuson Zou | 195 comments

    Samsung has announced that it is going to reveil its next flagship smartphone Samsung Galaxy S8 on the coming March 29, 2017. It is expected that Galaxy S8 will make its debut at MWC 2017, but the South Korea giant decided to delay the debut because of the disastrous Galaxy Note 7.

    Rumor has it that the Galaxy S8 will be a 5.8-inch handset. It is highly possible that a 6.2-inch S8 Plus will be launched together with Galaxy S8.



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    Both Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus will allegedly feature an “infinity display”, said to cover 83% of their front panel, enabling Samsung to keep them relatively compact. They will also come with an iris-scanner, a 12-megapixel rear camera and 8-megapixel selfie camera, 4GB of RAM and 64GB of onboard storage.

    The S8 and S8 Plus are also expected to be IP68 dust- and water-resistant and support wireless charging, as well as feature a new AI virtual assistant called Bixby capable of speaking up to eight different languages.

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  • Acoustic Imaging Technology Reported to Replace Touch ID in Future iPhone Models

    Posted on February 24th, 2017 Echo Brown | 316 comments

    In its filing for “Acoustic imaging system architecture,” Apple proposes a method by which a conventional capacitive fingerprint sensor like Touch ID might be replaced by an array of acoustic transducers laid out beneath a device display or its protective housing.

    As described in some embodiments, the transducers in a first mode generate acoustic waves, or pulses, capable of propagating through a variety of substrates, including an iPhone’s coverglass. Operation, or driving, of the transducers is managed by a controller.


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    The same transducer hardware then enters a second sensing mode to monitor reflections, attenuations, and diffractions to the acoustic waves caused by a foreign object in contact with the input-responsive substrate. Resulting scan data in the form of electrical signals is read by an onboard image resolver, which creates an approximated two-dimensional map.

    Applied to biometric recognition solutions, Apple’s acoustic imaging system might be configured to read a user’s fingerprint. According to the filing, ridges in a finger pad introduce an acoustic impedance mismatch that causes the mechanical waves generated by a transducer to reflect or diffract in a known manner.

    Like other biometric security solutions, the digital maps obtained by an acoustic imaging system are ultimately compared against a database of known assets to authenticate a user.

    Thanks to its design, the acoustic system can be installed practically anywhere in a device chassis, including directly under a display. Other potential points of integration include a screen’s perimeter or bezel, around buttons and in non-input areas of a housing, like a rear chassis. The latter coupling method would allow an example system to sample a user’s entire handprint.

    Indeed, in some cases the system might be configured to scan for particular body parts like a user’s ear or a skin pattern in order to determine how the device is being held. Depending on the implementation, an acoustic imaging system might also serve as a robust replacement for other legacy components like an iPhone’s proximity sensors.



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    The patent application goes on to cover system details like ideal materials, transducer placement, controllers, drive chips, component layouts and more.

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  • Samsung Will Soon Allow Galaxy Fingerprint Reader to Unlock Any Windows 10 PC

    Posted on February 22nd, 2017 Yuson Zou | 133 comments

    As planned, Samsung is going to make its Flow Android app compatible with any Windows 10 PC. At first, Samsung introduced a Samsung Flow App for Android last year to unlock its Windows 10-powered Galaxy TabPro S, and users can use the fingerprint reader on a compatible Galaxy smartphone to directly unlock the Windows 10 tablet.

    At the moment, Samsung Flow allows Galaxy Tab Pro S users to unlock their tablet with a compatible Galaxy smartphone’s fingerprint scanner. Here are the supported smartphones confirmed by Samsung: Galaxy S7, Galaxy S7 edge, Galaxy S6, Galaxy S6 edge, Galaxy S6 edge+, Galaxy Note 5, Galaxy A5 (2016), and Galaxy A7 (2016).

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    The good news is Samsung plans to add support for all Windows 10 PCs, which will enable users to unlock their devices with any of the compatible Galaxy smartphones listed above.



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    The Korean company is planning to enable the feature With the Windows 10 Creators Update while Microsoft hasn’t officially announced a release date for the Creators Update. However, the Update is expected to arrive in April. Samsung was already using Microsoft’s Windows Hello Companion Device Framework to enable its fingerprint unlock, and it appears the company is simply expanding on that with the latest update to Windows 10.

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  • Apple is Reportedly Adding Wireless Charging to iPhone 8

    Posted on February 12th, 2017 Henry | 294 comments

    There’s been rumors over the past few months that the iPhone 8 would be featuring wireless charging and a recent report further confirms it.

    According to KGI Securities Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, all three models of iPhone 8 will have wireless charging built-in.

    Apple is expected to release 3 different models of iPhone 8. There would be a 4.7-inch model and a 5.5-inch model just like with the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus, but it’s said that Apple’s adding a new 5.8-inch model to the iPhone product line with an OLED display.

    To put wireless charging into iPhone’s body, some engineering changes are needed. Apple is said to said to use a new 3D Touch module with “additional graphite sheet lamination,” which can prevent the device from overheating, as glass casing and wireless charging are” unfavorable to thermal system operation,” Kuo says.


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    Here’s one part of Kuo’s report, via MacRumors:

    “While we don’t expect general users to notice any difference, lamination of an additional graphite sheet is needed for better thermal control and, thus, steady operation; this is because FPCB is replaced with film, which is more sensitive to temperature change of the 3D touch sensor in OLED iPhone.

    Currently we still don’t have much information about how Apple will implement the wireless charging feature. An old report from the beginning of last year claimed that Apple was working with partners in the States and Asia to develop a new wireless charging method that could be deployed on its devices within the upcoming year. If Apple succeeds in that, this year would be a great time point to push it to the market.

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  • YouTube Debuts iPhone Livestreams for Over 10,000 Subscribers

    Posted on February 8th, 2017 Echo Brown | 600 comments

    Google’s YouTube on Tuesday launched live streaming via its iPhone and iPad app, bringing the feature out of beta as it attempts to compete with similar streaming options available from Facebook and Twitter.

    While the general public “will have it soon,” mobile YouTube streaming is currently available only to people with over 10,000 subscribers, the company said. Though it didn’t explain why, this is presumably to manage bandwidth and/or iron out any final issues.

    Streaming is accessible by launching the app and tapping the capture button, which will present the option to record or go live.

    Like regular videos, streams can be searched for, and may pop up in recommendations and playlists. One difference is the presence of live comments, which will appear on top of videos much like Twitter’s Periscope.

    To allow streamers to generate more cash, YouTube is also launching “Super Chat,” which will let people pay to have a comment highlighted in colors, as well as pinned to the top of a chat window for up to five hours, determined by how much someone is willing to pay and how long the stream lasts. Because of the potential for abuse, paid comments are being moderated like regular chat messages.


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    YouTube first began testing live streaming with a handful of producers in June 2016. The company has since made various adjustments, for instance improving streaming quality and slowing down live chat. Early streamers potentially faced as many as 2,000 messages per second.

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