Taiwan Stories June 26, 2017

Samsung’s ‘Rose Pink’ Galaxy S8+ goes official in Taiwan

Following a brief leak at the beginning of this month, Samsung has today made a new ‘Rose Pink’ variant of the Samsung Galaxy S8+ official in Taiwan (via SamMobile).

Taiwan Stories May 5, 2016

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And it seems as if HTC’s downward spiral continues. The latest in its seemingly never-ending doomsday news cycle comes today in the form of a pair of reports from Focus Taiwan, with the former suggesting that the lower-specced HTC 10 has been an absolute flop in China and the latter saying that the company has formed a completely separate company for its VR ambitions

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Taiwan Stories April 7, 2016

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In a blog post this morning, Google has announced that it plans to provide seed funding to the Center for Resource Solutions (CRS), with the aim to begin rollout of effective energy certification programs across Asia, starting in Taiwan.

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Taiwan Stories October 30, 2015

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Discussing Q3 net losses equivalent to $139M – amounting to a painful 23.1% of revenues – HTC has given up on trying to predict its financial future. According to a tweet by the WSJ‘s Eva Dou, the company refused to give any Q4 guidance during today’s earnings call, and said that it will not be doing so for future quarters.

While the loss isn’t as bad as the $265M it made in the previous quarter thanks to ruthless cost-cutting measures, revenues are down and the loss as a percentage of revenue is up – leading some to question whether the company has a future …  expand full story

Taiwan Stories June 16, 2015

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Well, the rumors are true: HTC has just announced that it has begun testing the “displaying of a limited number of promotions” to users of the BlinkFeed app in the U.S., U.K., Germany, Taiwan, and China. If results are good, the pilot will roll-out to more countries over time.

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Taiwan Stories May 19, 2015

HTC One ME9 leaked in new render, looks a lot like a plastic M9+

Upleaks is at it again, today posting press renders of what is likely to be the company’s forthcoming HTC One ME9. The phone isn’t planned to be coming to North American, European, or Middle Eastern markets, but it’s interesting nonetheless to take a look at what HTC’s international smartphone strategy looks like.

The device sounds a lot like the Chinese-only HTC One M9+ in terms of specifications (including a fingerprint scanner), but it notably does without to Duo Camera set up and goes with a polycarbonate back rather than aluminum. The device has an octo-core MediaTek processor, 3 GB of RAM, a 5.2-inch display, and a 2,900 mAh battery.

Upleaks says that the device is going to ship in three colors: rose gold, gold sepia, and meteor gray. Three launch markets, India, Hong Kong SAR, and Taiwan are confirmed to be getting the device at some point. It’s expected to launch at around $550 dollars, and will purportedly hit the market sometime in July.

Taiwan Stories May 18, 2015

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According to a recent report from the Taiwanese media, HTC is said to be leaving behind the “mini” variant of its HTC One lineup this time around, due to a market shift toward larger-screened devices. A”mini” version of the HTC One M9 was naturally expected due to the existence of the HTC One mini and its successor, the HTC One mini 2 (which were miniature variants of the HTC One M7 and One M8, respectively)…

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Taiwan Stories May 15, 2015

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Google has added Taiwan to the list of countries where its Nexus 6 smartphone is available to purchase through the Google Store. It’s also now selling the new LG Watch Urbane Android Wear smartwatch in Japan. expand full story

Taiwan Stories April 8, 2015

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We got our first look at HTC’s One M9+ handset weeks ago, but now the Taiwanese company has come out to confirm the phone is indeed the real deal. Don’t get too excited yet, though—as we expected, the smartphone will only be available in China. Most people probably won’t be too disappointed to hear this once they read more details about the phone, though, as it’s actually a pretty underwhelming entry… expand full story

Taiwan Stories March 24, 2015

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Some images of the HTC One E9 appeared earlier this month thanks to a leak via Chinese regulators, showing a phone that sports a super-big camera on its rear and a 5.5-inch screen on its front. Hardware wise, Upleaks said earlier this month that the device will likely pack a 64-bit MediaTek processor, 32 GB of flash storage, 3 GB of RAM, a 20-megapixel main camera, and a couple different front shooter variants (either 13-megapixel or 4-megapixel “UltraPixel”). On the software side, it’s almost surely going to ship with Sense 7.0 (which launched alongside the HTC One M9).

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Taiwan Stories January 20, 2015

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Following yesterday’s report from Bloomberg that HTC is indeed launching its next flagship smartphone in March, new photos have leaked today showing a handset that doesn’t look all too different from what the Taiwanese company currently offers. There’s not too much new information to be learned from these photos (via Nowhereelse.fr), and you should probably take them with a heaping pile of salt, but there’s always a chance that this could be a quick peek the next HTC flagship in the flesh.

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Taiwan Stories December 9, 2014

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We’ve known about the Desire 620 for a while now, but now HTC has announced that the budget handset—previously only officially available in Taiwan—will be available in the European market as early as January of next year (via Pocket-Lint).

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Taiwan Stories September 3, 2014

Google Maps rolls out Map Maker & Report a Problem features to Taiwan, Russia and Malaysia

In a blog post today detailing its Ground Truth data collection program for Google Maps, Google announced some new features rolling out to users in Taiwan, Russia and Malaysia. As part of the Ground Truth program rolling out to 5 new countries today, Google is also making its Google Map Maker and Report a Problem features available for users in Taiwan, Russia, and Malaysia to contribute:

Today, we’ve reached our 50th Ground Truth country with the addition of five new countries: Taiwan, Malaysia, Poland, Romania, and the last regions of Russia. We’re also rolling out Google Map Maker and Report a Problem—our crowdsourcing map tools—to Taiwan, Russia and Malaysia, giving anyone in those locations the ability to share and contribute their local knowledge directly to Google Maps.

Google also notes that it will be publishing more articles over the next week sharing more details of how its Ground Truth program and Map Maker work to let others contribute to improving Google Maps.

Taiwan Stories March 20, 2014

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Photo: thestar.com.my

Samsung has finally confirmed pricing for the Tizen-based Galaxy Gear 2 and Gear Fit smartwatches, though still no word on pricing for the camera-less Gear 2 Neo. The Gear 2 comes in at almost the same price as the original (and widely panned) Gear at $295, while the Gear Fit can be yours for $197 when both devices go on sale next month.

Samsung made SDKs available for the Gear 2 watches a few days ago in the hope that third-party apps will be available by the time the devices go on sale …  expand full story

Taiwan Stories December 11, 2013

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The ASUS PadFone may be a relatively unknown name in the US outside of the tech-savvy circles but the company hopes to change that next year. With big ambitions for its phone-to-tablet convertible device, the company looks set to finally enter the ever-important US market next year.

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Taiwan 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…

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Taiwan Stories December 7, 2013

Samsung’s new YouTube video courtesy of their Taiwan channel is teasing something elegant, fast, simple and something just for us. There’s plenty of rumors we could fan with this one as the boys from Android Central point out upon their discovery of the video.

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Taiwan Stories September 24, 2013

As Apple launches plastic phone, Samsung plans metal one?

Just as Apple launched a plastic iPhone, Samsung is reputedly planning a switch to a metal case for the Samsung S5 due to replace the S4 next year.

Taiwan’s Taipei Times cites supply-chain sources as saying that Samsung has been making enquiries about an order for up to 30 million metal cases for the 2014 version of its flagship handset. To add to the irony, Barclays analysts suggested that one of the manufacturers which may be in line for the contract is the same one that makes metal cases for both iPad and MacBook Pro.

Our checks suggest Catcher has been qualified as one of the major sources on the total metal casing smartphone volumes at 10 [million to] 30 million next year from Samsung. The final order allocation is to be confirmed in early first quarter 2014, subject to price bids by approved vendors.

Interestingly, a metal case would seem to rule out any plans by Samsung to take full advantage of its flexible display.

Via Gizmodo

Taiwan Stories June 19, 2013

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HTC this morning announced the Butterfly S, the successor the the Butterfly flagship that launched in the fall of 2012. The device carries many of the same traits as the HTC One, however. It is packing the same 4MP UltraPixel sensor as the One, but has a slightly larger Super LCD 3 5-inch display with a 1080p resolution. It’s using the same front-facing Boom Sound speakers as the One that were praised so highly. The device is powered by a 1.9GHz Snapdragon 600 processor with 2GB of RAM, 16GB of storage, a microSD card, and a rather large 3200mAh battery.

The Butterfly S was announced at a localized event in Taiwan (via Engadget), so U.S. availability still remains up in the air. In the local market, the device will sell for NT $22,900, which is about $765 USD, and be available sometime in July. Assuming Verizon at some point releases its One variant, we wouldn’t be surprised to see the Butterfly S come to Big Red as a successor to the DROID DNA.  expand full story

Taiwan Stories January 2, 2013

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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]

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Taiwan Stories October 26, 2011

Ice Cream Sandwich, the latest version of Google’s mobile operating system meant for both smartphones and tablets, will support the previous-generation Nexus S smartphone in addition to the forthcoming Galaxy Nexus device manufactured by Samsung for Google, the search giant confirmed. However, owners of the original Nexus One smartphone, which had been manufactured by Taiwan’s HTC Corporation as Google’s showcase Android phone in January 2010, will be left out in the cold because that device is not powerful enough to run the latest Android software, The Telegraph reported today.

Google’s Hugo Barra told the paper that Ice Cream Sandwich will drop as a free software update for the existing Nexus S handset “within weeks”, shortly after the latest Galaxy Nexus device lands on store shelves in November. Realistically, there are some limits as to which software can perform well in a satisfactory manner on older devices. MG Siegler pointed out that the iPhone 3GS is seven months older than the Nexus One and yet it runs the iOS 5 software. However, it should be points out that Apple is routinely leaving out older-generation devices with its mobile operating system revisions.

iOS 5, the latest version Apple released for public consumption earlier this month, does not run at all on the original iPhone or iPhone 3G. Even though it does run on iOS 5, it should be noted that some high-end features are not supported on that handset because the hardware is just not up to the task. Apple also intentionally limits some software features to the latest hardware for marketing purposes. Search assistant Siri, for example, is an iPhone 4S exclusive.

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Taiwan Stories October 7, 2011

Quite an accomplishment, but not unexpected given HTC’s popularity on its home turf. According to Taiwan Economic News, Taiwan’s External Trade Development Council (TAITRA) and the Bureau of Foreign Trade named handset maker HTC the country’s leading technology brand, surpassing even computer maker Acer.

In just twelve months, the HTC brand gained $2.23 billion in value and is now worth an estimated $3.6 billion. Acer and Asus trail behind HTC with their respective brands valued at $1.94 billion and $1.36 billion. Here’s how their CEO  Peter Chou commented the accolade:

You have to make an investment, spend time, and stay patient. Even if we failed, the process would help to produce positive results for Taiwan. We are not content with our current achievements, but will work harder to better compete globally, especially at this time of increasingly intense global competition.

HTC yesterday issued unaudited quarterly earnings, with revenues and net income up in the third quarter 80 and 68 percent, respectively. The company is shooting for shipments of 13.5 million smartphone units during the second half of this year. HTC is ranked the fourth smartphone maker globally. In the June quarter, they were the leading Android vendor and the second-best smartphone maker in the United States.

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Taiwan Stories September 15, 2011

Android is the dominant smartphone platform pretty much everywhere, but nowhere is Google’s lead more evident than in Taiwan, the country traditionally on the bleeding edge of technology. According to the Asian trade publication DigiTimes which cited the latest data from IDC, the 990,00 smartphones accounted for half the 1.97 million cell phones shipped in Taiwan during the second quarter of this year.

Taiwan will probably become the first country where all phones will eventually become smartphones as shipments of feature phones dropped 17 percent sequentially and 32 percent annually: As for Android:

Android-based smartphones accounted for over 70% of all smartphones sold in Taiwan in the second quarter, followed by iOS and Symbian models, the data showed.

Mind you, this isn’t the Android-iOS monopoly any more, this is a Windows-type monopoly and it’s unfolding in Taiwan before our very eyes. Makes you wonder if that’s a sign of things to come elsewhere in the world. The gap between Android and iOS in Taiwan is unheard-of. And with just 30 percent of smartphones divided between iOS and Symbian, Apple’s platform is likely far behind Android in Taiwan. Of course…

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