The Ouya raised $8.6 million on Kickstarter, and to its credit, the promised $99 Android-powered game console was delivered and works as described. The problem is that it just wasn't very good in the grand scheme of things. The outlook on Ouya hasn't been particularly positive, but maybe that's about to change. The Wall Street Journal reports that Chinese retail giant Alibaba has swooped in with a $10 million investment
When Lenovo announced its intention to buy Motorola off of former owner Google, it was assumed that the Chinese manufacturer wanted an easy foothold into potentially lucrative Western markets. But apparently Lenovo is just as interested in getting Motorola's well-received hardware into the largest mobile market on the planet. Today Motorola announced in a keynote that it would begin taking pre-orders for the second-gen Moto G and the 2014 flagship Moto X in China, and showed off the Moto X Pro (basically a de-branded Nexus 6).
All three models are mostly unchanged from their counterparts sold elsewhere, though they'll go without Google services and access to the Play Store, since the company doesn't formally operate in China. Read More
Xiaomi has been stepping up its hardware game in recent years to compete with more established OEMs, and the newly announced Mi Note is the latest example of this commitment. This device is basically a higher-end version of 2014's Redmi Note. Not only is the Mi Note significantly more powerful than the Redmi Note, it's lighter and thinner too.
We've been waiting a long time to see smartphones with screens made from synthetic sapphire, an expensive material that justifies its cost by being nearly impervious to scratches from all but the hardest materials. So far we've seen it on a single Kyocera "tough" phone and not much else, but Chinese manufacturer OPPO is hoping to bring it to a more mainstream device. Say hello to the R1C, a phone that hangs out on the higher portion of the midrange, and is scheduled to hit China later this month. Read More
Motorola is now completely under the Lenovo umbrella, so it's the perfect time for it to head back to China after pulling back some years ago. Motorola will be launching three devices in China—there's the Moto G, Moto X, and something called the Moto X Pro. Judging from the description and photo, it's a Nexus 6 without the Nexus.
Xiaomi doesn't have much of a presence in the US, but it's one of the most prominent smartphone makers in Asia. After plenty of rumors, the company has finally announced the Redmi 2, an affordable smartphone with LTE and a 64-bit Qualcomm chip.
You might not know it to look at retail stores in the US or Europe, but Huawei has quickly become one of the world's largest phone manufacturers, even while it keeps most of its high-end hardware restricted to China. The company is showing off its engineering and manufacturing chops with the Honor 6 Plus, a new 5.5-inch phone slated to hit the market on December 23rd. It, uh, might look a little familiar. Read More
Yota's unconventional hardware design has gained the company a lot of press, but following the Mobile World Congress debut of the YotaPhone 2, we've heard nary a peep for the better part of a year. That changed today in a Moscow presentation: the second-gen phone with a built-in e-ink screen on the rear of the case will go on sale in 20 European countries later in December, presumably including Russia. Read More
In an interesting bit of news this evening, it looks like Google has opened up merchant support to China, allowing developers to distribute free or paid apps, in-app purchases, and subscriptions in over 130 countries.
The news comes in a post to Google's official Android Developers blog, which goes on to explain that Chinese developers distributing paid apps through the Play Store will receive payment via wire transfer to a Chinese bank account in USD. Read More
If you are one of the lucky few who were able to place an order for the Nexus 6 from Google or Motorola early on, you might want to check your email. Buyers are reporting their cards have been charged and shipping emails are going out. Interestingly, the phones are shipping directly from Shenzhen, China where they are being produced. These things are fresh off the assembly line.