Xiaomi, Youku, and more get virtual telecom operator licenses, but can they right the ship?

According to Techweb, China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) has issued its fourth round of virtual telecom operator licenses. The licenses grant companies the right to operate a “virtual” telecom company, charging their own fees and offering their own plans but leasing their network from one of China’s three state-owned telecom companies (China Telecom, China Mobile, and China Unicom). The latest list of companies issued licenses includes Xiaomi, Youku-Tudou, and Haier.


NZ on edge of phone revolution

New Zealand is on the edge of a smartphone revolution being led from an epicentre in Asia. Kiwis are traditionally early adopters for technology and this country holds its own in smartphone penetration. About 70 per cent of mobile users have a smartphone that enables them to access the internet, which is broadly similar to comparable markets. The question is whether a small country such as New Zealand can take advantage of the shift to a world where internet communications are mostly on cellphones – a mobile-first world.


South Korean government launches ‘heavy crackdown’ on… selfie sticks?

Apparently nothing gets away from the South Korean government’s eagle eye supervision – including selfie sticks. Specifically, those with built-in bluetooth functionality. You know the one – these models usually have a button at the grip of the stick that act as the “shutter release” for your smartphone’s camera.


Taiwan set for record 2014 export orders on smartphone demand

TAIPEI: Taiwan’s export orders are set to reach new heights this year, after October orders doubled market expectations as global retailers rushed to meet year-end sales for smartphones. The strong figures come on vibrant demand for Apple Inc’s newest iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, which include dozens of parts made by many Taiwanese technology manufacturers. The strength in demand underpinning export orders should propel the value of the island’s orders to a record high of around US$480bil (RM1.61tril) this year, the government said.


Apple and Xiaomi trade smartphone barbs in China

WUZHEN, CHINA: Top executives from US technology giant Apple and Chinese smartphone upstart Xiaomi traded light-hearted barbs on Thursday at a Chinese Internet conference, acknowledging the fierce competition between the rivals.  Apple’s iPhones and iPads are wildly popular in China, encouraging smuggling and crowds at the company’s stores as consumers try to lay their hands on the latest products.


Google Expands Play Store Support to Chinese Developers

Google’s Play Store is still banned in mainland China, along with most of the U.S. company’s services. Even with the ban, Google is allowing Chinese developers to upload apps to Google Play, which can be sold in other countries. It is not clear how developers will get past China’s firewall barrier – Google’s back-end is not banned – it just means the developer will have a hard time tracking the progress of their app and reaping the rewards.


Hong Kong Government looks to personalised mobile apps

Hong Kong’s Government intends to create apps that use smartphone functions to personalise public service delivery, it has been announced. In a public speech, Joey Lam, Deputy Government Chief Information Officer, said that “with the instantaneous and location-sensitive nature of mobile technology, we can provide timely alerts and reminders to citizens.” “We can also interact with them much more intelligently through more precise understanding of the issues they are facing as communicated through GPS or images.”


Exclusive: Malaysia to pilot new mobile device policy

The Malaysian government is drafting a new policy to better protect information being accessed by officials through their mobile devices, the Government Chief Information Officer has told FutureGov. “The new policy will be about protecting information, regardless of what channel or endpoint device is accessing the information,” said Dr. Suhazimah Dzazali. It will tier access to information, acknowledging that access from both government and personal devices are likely.


Acer Malaysia unveils new smartphones

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 19 — Acer Malaysia has unveiled three new smartphones – the Acer Liquid X1, Liquid Jade and Liquid Z500. In a statement, Acer said the smartphones come with their own unique features. The Acer Liquid X1 sports a powerful performance, smoother transitions and interface with the octa-core 1.7GHz and quad-core graphics processors.


ASUS Zenfone 5 awarded as the Budget Smart Phone Of The Year – 2014 at Exhibit Tech Awards 2014

Bangalore, India, November 19, 2014: ASUS, a leading brand, driven by the strength of mastering technological innovation and design perfection for the ultimate life-enhancing and computing experience earned the acclaimed “Budget Smart Phone Of The Year – 2014” at Exhibit Tech Awards 2014 for ASUS Zenfone 5. The Zenfone Series, launched this year in July received prodigious response wherein the Zenfone 5 variant was the most celebrated variant. The ASUS Zenbook UX302 also won the Best Laptop of the Year Award. The Award was received from Bollywood Diva Chitrangada Singh.


Samsung Reducing Smartphone Range By 30% In 2015

Samsung is the only top-five cellphone handset manufacturer to lose sales in 2014, with Apple, Xiaomi, Lenovo and LG all increasing sales worldwide. As a result, the company will reportedly cut its phone production by as much as 30 percent in 2015, to lower the cost of inventory and make fewer smartphones that fail to sell on the market. The move comes after the Galaxy S and Galaxy Note were outclassed by competitors – the Galaxy S outclassed by the HTC One, Xiaomi Mi3, Moto X and LG G3 – the Galaxy Note 4 by the iPhone 6 Plus.


Asustek said to be adopting Qualcomm solution for new ZenFone; looking for price cut from Intel

In addition to CPUs from Intel, Asustek Computer is said to be planning to develop second-generation ZenFone smartphones using Qualcomm’s solutions for 2015, according to sources from smartphone component makers, which added that Asustek is possibility looking to push Intel to cut prices on its third-generation platform. Asustek declined to comment about the news, while Intel pointed out that it will continue to provide subsidies to partners to help them cut costs.


Samsung Display asking supply chains to cut pricing by 30%

Samsung Display is asking supply chains including backlighting makers to reduce pricing for components by as much as 30% during the fourth quarter of 2014 as the company aims to drop overall pricing for small- to medium-size applications. The company is making new efforts to panel pricing in order to spur growth in its small- to medium-size panel segment as well as to provide Samsung Electronics with lower-priced solutions.


Little-known Taiwanese chip designer spawns low-priced smartphone boom

TAIPEI: Chips from Taiwan’s MediaTek Inc were mostly passed over by the big phone brands a decade ago, with the likes of Nokia and Motorola commanding legions of in-house engineers who could advise on electronics and circuitry.  Fast-forward to the age of the smartphone. The market is heaving with Chinese smartphone makers out to grab share from Apple Inc and Samsung Electronics Co Ltd with low-priced handsets.


Connaught Place gets public Wi-Fi, from India

NEW DELHI: Visitors to Connaught Place can now enjoy free Wi-Fi connectivity.  Telecom company Tata Docomo has joined hands with the NDMC for providing the service in the commercial hub in the heart of the national capital.  “NDMC has partnered with Tata Teleservices to provide Wi-Fi service, which will cover the inner and outer circles of one of the most significant business and leisure centres in the city,” Tata Docomo said in a statement.


Xiaomi Mi5: Spy Images Show Zero-Bezel Design

Earlier, it was reported that Xiaomi might have started working on the successor (Mi5) of the latest available flagship smartphone, Mi4. And on Saturday, a set of new images has been leaked on the Chinese social networking website, Weibo. The photo purportedly shows the front side of the phone from a very close angle. The images show the device with a bezel less display. The Mi5 left a niche space on the top and bottom, while the rest of the front has been occupied by the display.


OnePlus One Pre-order Round 2 Set to Kick-off on 17 November; Company Promises Smoother Service

The second round of OnePlus One sale is all set to kick off on Monday, 17 November. The company has confirmed that the pre-order service will go live on Monday late afternoon at 4pm GMT (8am PST; 11am EST; 9:30pm IST). Only discontent among the fans is the one hour window; many wonder if this limited time will be enough for thousands who log-in to the page at the same time and cause server to crash, which happened in the last month.


Opera Mini becomes the third largest mobile app used in India

NEW DELHI, INDIA: Over 50 million people are now using Opera Mini browser to go online in India, according to the latest statistics released by Opera Software. With this, Opera Mini is now the third largest mobile app used in India after Facebook and WhatsApp. Opera’s CEO Lars Boilesen announced this at a flash mob in the National Capital Region. “The internet has the power to transform lives and we want everyone to have access to it. That’s why our browsers are designed to work on almost any internet-enabled device and in the toughest network conditions,” says Lars Boilesen, CEO of Opera Software.


Huawei partners AIS to build mobile broadband network in Thailand

Chinese telecom solutions provider Huawei, together with AIS, a Thailand-based mobile operator, has announced the deployment of the Huawei Active Antenna Unit (AAU)-based Easy MacroTM solution in Thailand. The solution will be deployed across the AIS network, with an aim to build the best Mobile Broadband (MBB) network in Thailand and enhance user experiences. Over the last few years, MBB has developed rapidly in Thailand, mainly driven by the high penetration of smartphones and tablets.


Malaysia’s ICT outlook: Cloud disappointment, 4G lag

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 14 ― Malaysia’s information and communications technology (ICT) industry can be best described as a silver cloud with some grey linings, registering a healthy growth overall but marked by dismal showings in key technologies such as cloud computing adoption and Fourth-Generation (4G) mobile take-up.  These apparent inconsistencies also comes from the fact that Malaysia is a hard economy to categorise ― advanced in  some areas, but very much a developing market in others, said Andrew Milroy, senior vice president of the ICT Practice at research and analyst firm Frost & Sullivan.