Invites for April 8 HTC event go out to Chinese media, probably for ‘HTC One M9+’ announcement

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Invites for an HTC event taking place in Beijing on April 8th, 2015 have reportedly been sent out to the Chinese media (via Nowwhereelse.fr). As you can see, the device shown on the image above is a bit different than the HTC One M9—it has a dual-camera set up and a circular main camera, rather than the single, rectangular shooter on the back of the new flagship. The render does look similar to the regular One M9 in some ways though, showing what looks to be the same dual-tone finish. In all likelihood, this is the rumored HTC One M9+.

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HTC One E9 leaks, sports a flatter and thinner body w/ a 5.5-inch screen

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It looks like another HTC smartphone, this time the One E9 (rather than the M9), is on the way to market sometime soon. The images have shown up thanks to Chinese regulators (via Engadget), and as you can see above, they actually don’t look that similar to last year’s HTC One E8 (which came to Sprint in August). This device has a much larger camera on its rear, and sports a larger 5.5-inch screen (which is a half-an-inch bigger than that of its M9 relative)… Read more

Sketchy renders purportedly show an upcoming Android Wear smartwatch from Oppo

Many Android smartphone manufacturers have already entered the Android Wear race, with the latest entry—the aptly-named Huawei Watch—coming from Chinese company Huawei at Mobile World Congress last week. Today, it looks like the first evidence of an Android Wear device coming from another Chinese OEM, Oppo, have surfaced on the web via a couple of different sketchy Chinese sources.

The above smartwatch, sporting a fairly traditional design, might just be Oppo’s upcoming entrant… Read more

Bloomberg supports suggestion of Note Edge style wraparound display on Samsung Galaxy S6

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Bloomberg is reporting that the Samsung Galaxy S6 will be released in two versions, one of them with a wraparound screen similar to the Note Edge but curving around both left and right sides of the display.

Samsung Electronics Co. plans to release two new versions of its top-tier Galaxy smartphone next month, including a model with a display covering three sides, according to people with direct knowledge of the matter […] The second model to be unveiled at the Mobile World Congress in Spain will only have a front-facing display.

Earlier claimed renders had also suggested a curved screen, though with some confusion about whether the wraparound would be on only one side, like the Edge, or both sides as now claimed by Bloomberg …  Read more

Xiaomi to hold a press conference on February 12th in San Francisco

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Xiaomi is known as being the rising star in the smartphone arena, making its way past LG last year to become the third-largest manufacturer of smartphones in the world. The success of the company is to be blamed largely on its Chinese reception, as it hasn’t launched a single device on this side of the Pacific.

That said, Xiaomi is going to hold a press conference in San Francisco, California later this month (via Android Police), but don’t get too excited if you’re hoping to hear about a North American launch, as the company has already confirmed that that’s not happening…

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Huawei has record-breaking year: 75M phones, over $12B revenue

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Chinese manufacturer Huawei has announced record-breaking results for 2014, with smartphone sales up 45% to 75 million and revenue up 30% to $12.2B. The numbers aren’t too great a surprise, as Reuters came pretty close to calling them in a piece posted on New Year’s Eve.

The dramatic growth in sales could see Huawei threatening the rankings of both LG and Xiaomi in the next round of market share estimates after recently being knocked down into fifth place …

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Huawei smartphone sales up 40%, revenues up almost a third, says Reuters

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Reuters has pre-empted Huawei’s financial results, due to be released next month, citing an internal memo showing a 40% year-on-year increase in smartphone sales, with divisional revenue up almost a third to $11.8B.

The division shipped about 75 million smartphones in 2014, according to the year-end memo to employees sent by Richard Yu, the head of Huawei’s consumer business. Although that represented a more than 40 percent year-on-year increase, the figure lagged behind Huawei’s previously stated sales target of 80 million units.

While the company started life making low-end handsets, it later branched out into high-end smartphones, including the recently-announced Honor 6 Plus, closely modelled on Apple’s iPhone 6 Plus …  Read more

Xiaomi valued at $45bn following $1.1bn funding round, new flagship coming in January

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Xiaomi CEO Lei Jun announced this morning (via Weibo) that the company has completed its latest round of funding, securing another $1.1 billion for the startup to now be valued at $45 billion total. And in light of this news, the Chinese company has mentioned that it plans to announce its next flagship device at some point next month.

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China tightens blockade on Google, blocking email app access to Gmail [Update: restored for now]

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Update: The FT reports that access has been restored for now at least, with a slight pickup in Google’s stats appearing to confirm.

China has tightened its firewall blockade of Google services, reports Re/code and the WSJ, with email apps no longer able to access Gmail via IMAP, POP3 or SMTP. While web access to Gmail has been blocked since June – believed related to the 25th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre – users had remained able to access mail using email apps like Apple Mail and Outlook until Friday …  Read more

Report: Chinese smartphone maker Coolpad hides malicious backdoor on millions of Android devices

Coolpad

While most malware is the result of third-party attackers trying to gain access to your device or information, security research firm Palo Alto Networks has discovered that Chinese handset maker Coolpad has deliberately installed a backdoor on two dozen of its Android handset models. The so-called “CoolReaper” backdoor presents several security risks and is believed to impact over 10 million users. Read more

Huawei launches 5.5″ Honor 6 Plus w/ dual rear-facing cameras for shooting in the dark

Huawei 6 Plus

Chinese handset maker Huawei took the stage in Beijing today to introduce its next-generation flagship smartphone, the familiar sounding Honor 6 Plus. The all-new device, which has an unforgivably similar name to the iPhone 6 Plus, has a sleek, metallic design and takes on HTC with dual 8-megapixel rear-facing cameras and another 8-megapixel front-facing camera for added measure. Read more