Meizu MX4 is like a budget iPhone 6 Plus with big ambitions (REVIEW)

The most fierce and fascinating tech battle going on in China right now is for US$300 smartphones. Despite the low price tag, these phones have grand ambitions and big muscles – enough for them to steal sales away from Samsung, HTC, and even the iPhone. While that’s good news for consumers, it’s a tall order for phone-makers to make a phone for that little money which still feels ‘premium’. US$300 is the new high-end for many in China; shoppers have big demands of these phones.

LG launches smartphone ‘G3 Beat’ for Rs 25,000 in India

NEW DELHI: Korean electronics major LG today expanded its smartphone portfolio with the launch of its new ‘G3 Beat’, priced at Rs 25,000 in India. “The consumer today wants the best of the features at an affordable price and with G3 beat, LG is offering one of the best device with premium features in this price range. After the successful launch of LG G3, we are now offering its sibling to our customers,” LG Mobiles India Marketing Head Amit Gujral said.

Spice launches two new services

CALCUTTA: In an effort to increase the popularity of WAP services among its customers, Spice Telecom has introduced two new services. The first service – Planet Spice – allows Spice customers access information from the Internet. This service, a wireless Internet Portal developed by its in-house R&D team, is based on wireless Internet technology. The other service, Post Me, enables customers to receive and send messages of up to 164 characters to any other Spice customers irrespective of the hand-set type. This person to person (P2P) service is based on an SMS (Small Mail Service) platform acquired from Nokia that enables the passage of messages within seconds.

India shows record growth in mobile advertising

Asia Pacific is the fastest growing region in mobile advertising, with India as the most powerful driver in the market. Its mobile-ad impression volume has grown 260 percent since July 2013. This is primarily due to the rapid, nation-wide shift from feature phones to smart devices, which is dominated almost entirely by the Android platform (41.7 percent share, as compared to iOS’ 0.4 percent share).

China Mobile chairman visits HTC

TAIPEI, Taiwan — China Mobile Ltd. Chairman Xi Guohua (奚國華) visited the headquarters of Taiwanese smartphone maker HTC Corp. (宏達電) Thursday as part of a business trip to seek further cooperation in fourth-generation (4G) and more advanced wireless technology. Xi arrived at HTC’s headquarters in New Taipei City’s Xindian District and was welcomed by HTC Chairwoman Cher Wang (王雪紅) and HTC Chief Executive Officer Peter Chou (周永明).

Vietnamese firms compete with tech giants in smartphone market

Mobiistar earlier this month unexpectedly marketed a smartphone model with 8-core, an impressive design and a manufacturer’s suggested retail price under VND5 million, far lower than prices of similar products from other brands. Meanwhile, sources said Q-mobile has joined hands with the US technology giant Microsoft in a plan to make low-cost smartphones running on the Windows Phone operating system for the domestic market.

Sony predicts US$2 bil. loss as smartphones lag

TOKYO — Sony expects its annual loss to swell to US$2 billion and has canceled dividends for the first time in more than half a century after writing down the value of its troubled smartphone business. Citing intense competition, especially from Chinese rivals, Sony said Wednesday it anticipates a net loss of 230 billion yen (US$2.15 billion) for the fiscal year that ends March 31, 2015. Its previous forecast was for a 50 billion yen (US$466 million) net loss.

MediaTek plans to use India as a springboard to scale up in US and Europe

NEW DELHI: Smartphone chipmaker MediaTek will leverage its Android One partnership with Google and use India as a springboard to scale up its presence in the developed markets of US and Europe, where rival Qualcomm has a dominant position. As part of a broader plan with Google, an array of smartphones, including those supporting LTE, a standard for highspeed mobile data, will be launched in India as the associated network develops towards the beginning of next year, Mohit Bhushan, vice president and general manager, US corporate marketing for MediaTek, told ET.

Expect 2 million Android One handsets to be sold in 2014: MediaTek

NEW DELHI: Buoyed by the initial response to Android One smartphones, chip maker MediaTek today said it expects as many as two million handsets to be sold this year in India, the world’s second largest market for mobile phones.  The Taiwan-headquartered company has partnered with US-based tech giant Google on Android One, an initiative to provide a family of high-quality, yet affordable Android devices for consumers in emerging markets like India.

BSNL, Micromax partner to drive data usage in India

NEW DELHI: Micromax, India’s second largest samrtphone player, Tuesday partnered with state-run Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) to drive data growth in the country.  Under this partnership, Micromax and BSNL will extend unique reverse bundling handset offers of free data usage of up to 2GB per quarter to the Indian consumers.

4G smartphone prices expected to fall to below US$100 in 1H15, say Taiwan makers

Mainly because Qualcomm has offered an inexpensive 4G chip solution to compete with Taiwan-based MediaTek and market competition for 4G smartphones among China-based vendors has been heating up, prices for a 4G smartphone have dropped to below US$200 and are expected to further slip to below US$100 in the first half of 2015, according to Taiwan-based supply chain makers.

36 percent of Vietnam’s population owns a smartphone

Vietnam’s total population is over 93 million people now. 36 percent of that amounts to over 33 million people. At 50 percent, that number will be well over 45 million.  That indicates Vietnam is the second most populated smartphone market in Southeast Asia just after Indonesia, whose population dwarfs it by over 150 million people. Thailand is especially bullish despite a smaller population, but it’s likely that Thailand’s smartphone numbers will slow as it hits a threshold while the Philippines and Vietnam will continue to increase as smartphones make it into rural areas thanks to ever decreasing prices.

Google Unveils 3 Budget Smartphones for Android One

Google announced the first three smartphones that will be part of Android One, the company’s initiative to bring affordable Android smartphones to developing markets. Each of the three devices, manufactured by Micromax, Spice and Karbonn, has a 4.5-inch display and will first ship in India. The phones will also come to Indonesia, the Philippines, Bangladesh, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka by the end of the year; Google said it would make Android One available in more countries next year.

Asus aims to be among top 5 smartphone players next year

NEW DELHI: Betting on the success of its Zenfone series of smartphones, Taiwanese tech major Asus is targeting to be among the top five players in the smartphone space in India by the end of 2015.  “By the end of next year, our target is to be among the top 5. The response for the Zenfone series have been very good. We have sold over 1 lakh units so far,” Asus India Regional Head (South Asia and Country Manager) Peter Chang told PTI.

HTC knocks Samsung from top of local smartphone market in Q2

TAIPEI — Taiwan-based HTC Corp. edged out Samsung Electronics Co. of South Korea to return to being Taiwan’s largest smartphone manufacturer based upon units in the second quarter of this year, according to data released by research house IDC. HTC took first place because of sales of its flagship One M8 and mid-tier Desire 816, while Samsung continued to benefit from the popularity of its high-end Note series, IDC said in a Sept. 12 report.

Xiaomi Mi4 vs. Sony Xperia Z3: Specs, Features and Price Showdown

The Xiaomi Mi4 was released in August while the Sony Xperia Z3 was launched at the IFA 2014 and will be released in September. Those who are choosing between the Xiaomi Mi4 and the Sony Xperia Z3 may want to check out the comparison on specs, features and price below. Both the Xiaomi Mi4 and the Sony Xperia Z3 are powered by the quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 Krait 400 processor at 2.5 GHz with 3 GB of RAM.

Qualcomm targets sub-$100 smartphones with new chip

HONG KONG: Qualcomm’s latest 210 Snapdragon processor will power sub-$100 4G-enabled smartphones by the middle of next year as the US chipmaker gets into a segment that is expected to see strong growth. Larry Paulson, vice president, product management, told ET that his company was working with several Indian handset manufacturers to develop reference designs to bring out the entry-level 4G devices next year.

15 new Asian smartphone makers hoping to crush Samsung and Apple

Samsung is the world’s – and Asia’s – top smartphone maker. But there are a lot of rival phone-makers out there aiming to dethrone the likes of Samsung and Apple. That competition is especially strong across Asia, where a number of relatively new phone-makers are playing to their strengths in home markets, aiming to get consumers hooked on their own keenly-priced but strongly-specced devices. Let’s look at 15 of the strongest new contenders across Asia. They’re all – individually and collectively – keen to steal sales from more established phone-makers. To quote a Bob Marley song: If you are a big tree, we are a small axe, sharp and ready, ready to cut you down.

iPhone 6 and 6 Plus hit Australia, Hong Kong, Japan, and Singapore on September 19

As expected, the new iPhone 6 is larger – and it comes in two variants, the 4.7-inch iPhone 6 and the 5.5-inch iPhone 6 Plus. They both launch in selected countries on September 19. But in Asia-Pacific, only Australia, Hong Kong, Japan, and Singapore get the two new devices during the first wave of launches, Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) confirmed this morning. In all those eligible countries, iPhone 6 and 6 Plus pre-orders commence on September 12.

No letup in Indian craze for ‘Apple of China': Xiaomi’s Redmi 1S sells out in 4.5s

On a day when the world waits with bated breath for Apple to launch the iPhone 6, there was no letup in the craze for Xiaomi in India. This afternoon the second lot of 40,000 Redmi 1s went up for sale online on Flipkart, and it lasted just 4.5 seconds . That’s just a fraction of a second more than it took to sell the first lot of 40,000 units on September 2.