The coronavirus has led to lockdowns all over the world and left many people with less to no income or in fear of a recession. Combine that with closed factories, and you have a recipe for economic impacts rippling through all industries. The smartphone market is not immune to these effects, either, and worldwide shipments have fallen by 13% year-over-year (YOY) due to coronavirus. Companies moved only 272 million units in Q1 2020, which is the lowest level since 2013.
There are a lot of fun 3D objects like skeletons, cars, planets, and animals you can view in Google Search, which might be perfect to pass the time while you and your kids are stuck at home. The underlying technology enabling this is called Google Play Services for AR, formerly known as ARCore. It's an engine that powers most games and applications on Android that use augmented reality effects. However, since the framework has to be tuned for each device, Google has to periodically update Play Services to support new phones and tablets.
Vivo has built a habit of announcing concepts with the most outlandish hardware that it wants to add to its regular lineup in the future. Its 2018 phone was one of the first in the industry to have a pop-up front lens and virtually no screen bezels while the 2019 release fully did away with regular ports and a selfie camera to eliminate points of failure and maximize the screen size even further. The Vivo APEX 2020 continues this trend, but it has received a front camera again in the form of an in-display solution and has stepped up the wireless charging game to 60W.
Vivo sub-brand IQOO has just announced its latest phone in India and it's got a relatively impressive set of specs. Among the headline features are pressure-sensitive "Monster Touch" shoulder buttons and 4D vibration engine intended to woo gamers as well as 55W fast charging.
The coronavirus outbreak is shaking up the tech world, leading to factory and store shutdowns all over China. This could mean we'll see some production shortages, but fears of the virus spread also have more tangible effects. Many companies have decided to withdraw from or limit their availability at MWC 2020, slated to begin February 24. To hinder contamination, the fair organizer GSMA has put a vast number of actions in motion to keep attendees as safe as possible.
Huawei's access to Google's Play Store and its whole world of apps was cut off last year as a result of tensions with the US government. It was rumored that the company was looking for a new app store to call home, and now Reuters is reporting that Huawei is teaming up with Xiaomi, Oppo, and Vivo in a collaboration to make it easier for third-party developers to submit apps to all of the companies' individual app stores, in an effort called the "Global Developer Service Alliance."
Xiaomi, Oppo, and Vivo have announced that they're joining forces to create a new file transfer solution that will work seamlessly across devices made by each of them. The peer-to-peer protocol will be able to transfer files at a speed of up to 20MB/s, likely using Bluetooth for pairing and then WiFi for transfer.
Vivo's new NEX 3 series is now official. While it doesn't come with the crazy 120W charging previously expected, it does go for a buttonless design and "waterfall" curved display with no notch or bezel. What we presume to be the flagship of the series also gets 5G support.
Chinese manufacturer Vivo likes to put out a concept product every so often to push its vision of what a top-of-the-line smartphone should be. Of course, there are costly operational limitations in place as to why its APEX and NEX series aren't being mass-produced, but at least with these little boasts, we get a peek into what our mobile computing future might be. One such future has apparently been leaked out and it tells of a device with screen-to-body ratio of "over 100%" — but don't get too excited about that claim.