We’ve heard very little about the much-anticipated OnePlus 2 since September of last year when OnePlus confirmed it was working on the device and targeting a Q2 or Q3 2015 launch. We expected the company to unveil it late last month when they tweeted a plan to “shake up the industry” on June 1st, but that turned out to be teasing flash sales and a consequential permanent price drop of the OnePlus One. Today, however, OnePlus is actually teasing the OnePlus 2 in the form of two contests. expand full story
Hong Kong Stories June 9, 2015
Hong Kong Stories May 17, 2015
In a pretty ambiguous press release, LG has come out this afternoon (or this morning for those in Seoul) to announce that its recently-announced G4 flagship will begin shipping this week to consumers in “key markets around the world.” The rollout will supposedly begin in Hong Kong, followed by introductions in Turkey, Russia, and Singapore… expand full story
Hong Kong Stories April 8, 2015
LG giving out 4000 G4 Smartphones to consumers in 15 countries in social media push
LG would like you to get social with its upcoming G4 smartphone launch.
SEOUL, April 8, 2015 — As part of its most ambitious smartphone introduction yet, LG Electronics (LG) will select 4,000 consumers in 15 countries who will “test drive” the all new LG G4 smartphone weeks before its official launch. Kicking off today in Korea, the program will target consumers in the following 14 other markets in the days ahead: Turkey, Indonesia, Singapore, United States, China, India, Brazil, Canada, United Kingdom, France, Germany, Mexico, Japan and Hong Kong.
Participants will be selected from applicants based on their entry responses (selection criteria may vary in each market). Individuals can increase their chances of being selected by sharing their application experience on social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Weibo. Once selected, participants in each country will be given an LG G4 for up to 30 days to experience its unique design and features, including its personalized UX, high performance camera and impressive display for sharing online. Participants will be given various assignments to carry out over the course of their experience with prizes awarded.
“Customers are our best fans and we think this would be an exciting and unique way to get our most important mobile product of the year close to the public,” said Juno Cho, president and CEO of LG Electronics Mobile Communications Company. “We’re putting the success of LG G4 in the hands of consumers before the launch because we believe they are the best judge of a great user experience, beyond just benchmarks and speed tests.”
Interested consumers in participating markets are encouraged to check the local LG web page and social media sites in the coming days for more details on how to participate.
“Customers are our best fans” indeed.
Hong Kong Stories August 6, 2014
Things are getting interesting for Google on the legal front. Not long after the ‘right to be forgotten‘ ruling and the messy fallout from that, a Hong Kong court has ruled that the company is responsible for auto-complete suggestions where they could be said to defame.
A Hong Kong court has ruled that a local tycoon can sue Google Inc for defamation because searches for his name on Google suggest adding the word ‘triad’, Hong Kong’s notorious organized crime groups.
Searches in both English and Chinese for Albert Yeung Sau-shing, the founder and chairman of Hong Kong-based conglomerate Emperor Group, will automatically suggest phrases related to organized crime using Google’s ‘autocomplete’ function.
On Tuesday, the High Court of Hong Kong dismissed Google’s argument that it was not responsible for the autocomplete suggestions related to Yeung and that the court did not have personal jurisdiction over the U.S. search giant …
Hong Kong Stories July 24, 2014
ZTE’s latest low-cost handset drops MiFlavor overlay in favor of pure Google goodness
While those buying high-end handsets often get the option of Google Play editions that are free from manufacturer overlays, the same isn’t generally true of low-end ones, where manufacturer overlays rule. ZTE’s new Blade Vec 4G handset, though, is being supplied with the Google Now Launcher as the default interface, reports the WSJ.
“Some consumers may prefer Google Now Launcher,” said Zeng Xuezhong, ZTE’s head of mobile device business, in an interview Thursday. “We are trying to give users more options.”
The Chinese manufacturer says that it expects to sell around 20M smartphones in its home market this year, with a similar number in the US.
ZTE says that it plans to launch further Google edition handsets in future, but that it will continue to use the MiFlavor overlay on others. Its high-end Nubia Z7 was announced earlier this month, but it’s not yet clear whether it will make it to the USA.
Hong Kong Stories December 10, 2013
Google’s proposed data center (red icon) location in the Tseung Kwan O Industrial Estate in Kowloon, next to a golf course.
News that Google was building new data centers in Hong Kong have circulated since the beginning of the year. Google has, however, now decided to cancel the project in Hong Kong. The company blames real estate acquisition issues as the reason for the decision. It isn’t immediately apparent if Google’s contentious relationship with the Chinese Government is to blame or if Honk Kong’s operation costs were at issue. It was reported in September 2011 that Google had already acquired 2.7 hectares of land n the Tseung Kwan O Industrial Estate in Kowloon which was expected to employ 25 full-time Googlers by this year…
Hong Kong Stories November 26, 2013
Shortly after a Street View tour of London’s Gatwick Airport, Google has expanded its transit program to encompass 15 other airports, more than 50 train & metro stations – and even allows your virtual trips to take you right onto an airliner at Dubhai.
Google’s blog shows off a small selection of the new locations, including check-in at Madrid airport, arrivals at Tokyo airport, a walk though London’s Waterloo train station and locating your seat on board an Emirates A380 airliner.
The split view, showing both terminal map and Street View walk-thru, is particularly helpful for familiarising yourself with a transit airport in advance of a tight connection … expand full story
Hong Kong Stories November 4, 2013
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Google executive chairman Eric Schmidt expressed his shock at reports that the NSA tapped into the internal communications links between Google servers, describing it as “outrageous” in an interview with the Wall Street Journal. The claim was made as part of the ongoing PRISM revelations.
It’s really outrageous that the National Security Agency was looking between the Google data centers, if that’s true. The steps that the organization was willing to do without good judgment to pursue its mission and potentially violate people’s privacy, it’s not OK … expand full story
Hong Kong Stories January 21, 2013
Report: LG takes 2nd place from Apple in US handset market during December
The iPhone may have recently captured a record 53 percent of the U.S. smartphone market. However, when it comes to its steady second place position in the U.S. handset market (smartphones and feature phones combined), a new report claimed LG bumped Apple to third position during December on strong sales of its Optimus G.
Yonhap News covered the report from Hong Kong-based Counterpoint Research, which said on Sunday that LG captured 13 percent of the U.S. market last month, bumping Apple to third place for the first time since the launch of the iPhone 4S. Apple recorded 12 percent of the market, which puts both Apple and LG well behind leader Samsung at 33 percent. LG recently announced sales of 1 million units for the Optimus G worldwide, but it’s unclear if the LG-made Nexus 4 from Google was a significant contributor to the company’s rise during December.
LG Electronics had maintained the runner-up position until the third-quarter of 2011 but fell to third place after Apple’s iPhone 4S hit the market… Market insiders attributed LG Electronics’ sales growth to the popularity of its latest Optimus G handset, with over 1 million units sold across North America.
Hong Kong Stories January 2, 2013
According to a report from the Economic Times, new data centers in Singapore, Taiwan, and Hong Kong are set to bring more speed to Google’s services for many areas. Construction on these data center sites began in 2011 at the sum of $300 million, and, according to today’s report, they are pegged to bring a 30 percent speed increase to Google services for neighboring regions. The Singapore facility is expected to go up in the next few months, while the Taiwan is pegged for the second half. No timetable has been given on the Hong Kong facility.
As an Internet-relying company, one big focus area for Google is speed. The new data centers are going to hopefully bring more speed to areas that normally aren’t as fast. Lalitesh Katragadda, head of product at Google India, explained: “Internet connectivity speed in India is not very high. These data centres will be crucial to this market due to its proximity.” Outside of Asia, Google has seven other data centers across the world. Several are in the U.S., with one each in Finland, Belgium, and Ireland as well. [Economic Times via TNW]
Hong Kong Stories October 11, 2012
Vision Objects, a company that provides handwriting recognition and digital ink technologies for various platforms, today announced a deal with Samsung to develop apps for the Galaxy Note line of devices. According to the company’s press release (below), Samsung has already integrated the technology into the input panel and S Note personal note-taker app in the Galaxy Note, Note II, and Note 10.1.
“Our partnership with Samsung is a great step forward in showing the industry that smartphones and tablets can be used for content creation and not solely for media consumption,” said Stefan Knerr, Founder and CEO of Vision Objects. “The tablet market is driven by mobility needs – but until now tablets have been used to access information, not create it. With our handwriting recognition and the S Pen, people can now expect a lot more from their device for uses such as note taking in meetings and lectures, writing messages, ideation and brainstorming, data capture in enterprises, document annotation, easily entering mathematical expressions, educational games and more.”
The company makes a number of apps for the desktop, Android, and iOS, but today it is updating its MyScript Notes Mobile iOS app with functionality similar to the smart note taking on Galaxy Note. The full press release from Vision Objects is below:
Hong Kong Stories May 16, 2012
Samsung & Apple take half of global smartphone market, Android & iOS hit 80 percent
Research firm Gartner released its numbers today for “Worldwide Mobile Device Sales” during Q1 2012. There are not many surprises in the report when it comes to Apple, but Gartner estimated Samsung sold 38 smartphones during the quarter, which is less than the 42.2 million estimated by IDC earlier this month and more than the 32 million by IHS iSuppli. With Apple confirming 35.1 million iPhones sold during the quarter, Gartner’s numbers put Samsung as the both the No. 1 smartphone and overall mobile device vendor. The report also noted Samsung and Apple together accounted for 49.3-percent of the global smartphone sales, which is up from just 29.3 percent in Q1 of last year:
“The continued roll-out of third generation (3G)-based smartphones by local and regional manufacturers such as Huawei, ZTE, Lenovo, Yulong and TCL Communication should help spur demand in China. In addition, the arrival of new products in mature markets based on new versions of the Android and Windows Phone operating systems (OSs), and the launch of the Apple iPhone 5 will help drive a stronger second half in Western Europe and North America. However, as we are starting to update our market forecast we feel a downward adjustment to our 2012 figures, in the range of 20 million units, is unavoidable.”
On the platform side, Gartner’s report estimated both Android and iOS accounted for 79 percent of global smartphone sales—up from just 53.3-percent in Q1 2011. Of that 80 percent, Android grabbed 56.1-percent, which is slightly higher than the 51 percent of the United States market, according to estimates from comScore earlier this month. Apple took in the remaining 22.9-percent, which is less than the 30.7-percent comScore estimated for the U.S. market:
Gartner analysts said the smartphone market has become highly commoditized and differentiation is becoming a challenge for manufacturers. “At the high end, hardware features coupled with applications and services are helping differentiation, but this is restricted to major players with intellectual property assets. However, in the mid to low-end segment, price is increasingly becoming the sole differentiator. This will only worsen with the entry of new players and the dominance of Chinese manufacturers, leading to increased competition, low profitability and scattered market share.”
- Samsung remains top OEM in March, as Android and iOS capture 80% of U.S. market (9to5google.com)
- Apple posts growth among OEMs in March, as iOS and Android capture 80% of U.S. market (9to5mac.com)
- comScore: Android and iOS grab 80 percent US marketshare, Apple passes Motorola (9to5google.com)
- NPD: iOS plummets to 29 percent of total US smartphone sales in Q1 (9to5mac.com)
Hong Kong Stories December 22, 2011
We sat down with Google Enterprise Vice President Amit Singh in his Mountain View office this week to discuss the direction and plans of the Google Enterprise team. While he did not share the all-important revenue numbers with us, he did shine a light on Google Apps’ impressive growth across all of its markets.
Singh was a two-decade alumnus of Oracle when he came with many, many others to the GooglePlex last March to help Dave Girouard and the Enterprise Team sell to big business. Oracle announced this week very disappointing earnings that has thrown the stock price off almost 15 percent. Meanwhile, Google Apps is growing like gangbusters; Perhaps Singh’s timing is good.
9to5Google: Hi, Amit. I assume we’re here to talk about your big GM announcement.
Singh: We have no big announcements today but look forward to a whole assortment of announcements in mid-January. We tend to announce new customers after implementation rather than after sign up. Here’s a hint: we’re growing very big in South America…and Asia, where we’re building three monster data centers in Hong Kong, Taiwan and Singapore that should all be online in the next 12-18 months.
9to5Google: Speaking on that, Apps has had a pretty solid year. It seems like you have a big announcement almost every week and new features added to Google Docs every day.
Singh: It has been incredible across the board. We are seeing double the daily signups and about 5,000 organizations per day vs. 3,000 per day at the beginning of the year [those numbers also seems to point to bigger signups] and a lot of those are paying users.
9to5Google: You mentioned the new Hong Kong data center and it appears that Google’s plan for China is to deal with Hong Kong’s system. But what about users in China? Certainly international organizations have to be wary of Google’s relationship with greater China.
Hong Kong Stories October 21, 2011
When Asus chairman Jonney Shih sat opposite the Wall Street Journal columnist Walt Mossberg at the AsiaD conference saying his company was taking Android seriously, he wasn’t kidding. The Eee Pad Transformer Prime, the successor to his company’s Eee Pad Transformer tablet, will run Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich.
However, the device will have Android 3.2 pre-installed when it ships shortly and will be upgradeable to Ice Cream Sandwich via a software update, which will be arriving by the year’s end, DigiTimes reports:
The first batch of Transformer Prime tablets will run on Android 3.2 before migrating to Android 4.0 by the end of 2011, said Shih, who unveiled the new tablet at the All Things Digital (AsiaD) technology forum being held in Hong Kong from October 19-21.
Like its predecessor, the 10-inch Eee Pad Transformer Prime functions as a tablet which can be docked to a keyboard attachment that turns it into a full-fledged notebook replacement. It is powered by Nvidia’s latest quad-core chip dubbed Kal-El and the company recently released a nice-looking teaser announcing its imminent arrival. They used advanced material processing so the device features high-quality chassis crafted from aluminum. The keyboard dock is understood to include a touch panel and expansion slots. expand full story
Hong Kong Stories October 18, 2011
Today, we have found a few pictures taken by the upcoming Galaxy Nexus on Picasa. We’ve matched the EXIF data of both images with each other, and then with past leaks which seem to indicate that this is the Galaxy Nexus. The Galaxy Nexus’ camera has a resolution of 1944×2592 pixels, and matches the photos leaked a couple weeks ago of an Apple Store. Note, that the EXIF data of both images called this device the Galaxy Nexus, not the Nexus Prime.
The first image, as seen after the break, was posted by Picasa user Sammy Fte (Samsung FTE?). The EXIF data of the image matched perfectly and actually looks like a nice picture if you ask us. The resolution was only 1944×2595, only sizing in at about 5MP, a low megapixel camera in comparison to the 8MP camera seen in Samsung’s Galaxy S II and there may be a reason for this. A previous photo found with Galaxy Nexus EXIF data on Picasa had the same 5MP quality and it led us to believe that the camera is the same. We believe that this certain Picasa user is an employee of Samsung thanks to the name and other photos posted on the account.
As you can see after the break.. expand full story
We’re but a day away from Google’s and Samsung’s major Hong Kong event meant to serve as a launchpad for the Nexus Prime, the first handset to feature Android 4.0 nicknamed Ice Cream Sandwich. Guardian reports that the handset is “expected to be released in the UK within the next four weeks, in time for Christmas”, without naming a source for their claim. Meanwhile, Japanese carrier NTT DoCoMo wrote on Twitter that the Nexus Prime will land in Japan around November, boasting about it being “among the fastest” devices on the market.
An unlocked version of the phone is already showing up at third-party resellers, priced at about $750. The features allegedly include a powerful 1.2GHz dual-core processor, native 720p display, eight-megapixel camera on the back with 1080p video capture, support for NFC and more.
Google pushed back the Nexus Prime launch originally scheduled for Monday last week out of respect for Steve Jobs. Coincidentally, the new October 19 date collides with a celebration of Steve Jobs’ life due tomorrow in the outdoor amphitheater of Apple’s Infinite Loop campus in Cupertino. Apple will even close its brick-and-mortar stores for an hour so employees can watch the ceremony.
Hong Kong Stories October 13, 2011
The NYTimes thinks so.
According to numerous music executives, Google is eager to open the store in the next several weeks. It would most likely be connected to Google’s existing cloud service, Music Beta, which lets people back up their songs on remote servers and stream them to mobile phones and other devices, said these executives, who all spoke on condition of anonymity because the talks were private and continuing.
Being able to buy MP3s would be a big hole for Google to fill, but it is having a hard time convincing the music industry that it is genuine about stopping piracy. It will be interesting to see what concessions Google gives up to get MP3s and how their system will compare to Apple, Amazon and the other vendors.
Maybe they’ll be able to remove that pesky ‘beta’ tag as well.