Smartphones make for an excellent distribution channel for services — another source of monetization for companies. Hence, it wasn't surprising when OnePlus announced its own mobile payment system in China last year. It seems like the company is now ready to expand its offering and introduce it to other markets, including India.
You might know that OnePlus is an Oppo subdivision, with many of its devices sharing the same design and internals as Oppo products. While OnePlus tried to deny its close ties to Oppo in the early years, the business is increasingly more open about its relationship with its parent company. That becomes even more apparent now that OnePlus has announced that it will use a custom version of Oppo's ColorOS in China in favor of its own China-only HydrogenOS.
The blocking of popular Western social media platforms in China is nothing new, and regulators appear to have gone after the increasingly fashionable chat app Signal. Users in the country report that the service has been down since yesterday.
In the final days of Donald Trump's presidency, the government tried to leave another mark by following up the Huawei and ZTE bans with another one, this time aimed at Xiaomi. However, the company was able to get a preliminary injunction from the US District Court for the District of Columbia, removing the restrictions on the business a week before they were scheduled to go into effect.
When it comes to smartphone design, the ultimate goal of minimalists seems to lie with a slab containing no protrusions, no ports, just a constant surface with a large, fascia-filling display. ZTE has done some grunt work in bringing a few user-facing features beneath the surface and is showing off some of it at the in-person MWC in Shanghai.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's call for aatmanirbharta (Hindi for self-sufficiency) in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic seems to have permeated through a substantial chunk of his audience. The call for self-sufficiency even extended to smartphones and apps, and Indian developers didn't fail to show up when the country banned several Chinese apps over unspecified privacy and security issues. While some have been honest attempts, others are just copy-my-homework-but-just-change-it-up-a-little-so-that-it-isn't-obvious. Koo, an alternative to Twitter, falls in the latter category.
The Snapdragon 888 from Qualcomm is the SoC we'll be seeing in a lot of Android flagships in 2021, and Xiaomi's already announced a phone powered by it — the Xiaomi Mi 11. The company's budget sub-brand Redmi is due to launch a model with the same chip next month, and it looks like it will be among the cheapest Snapdragon-888 powered phones to come out in 2021.
Historically, Xiaomi has been a consistent contender to launch the first phones with next-generation Qualcomm silicon. It took the lead again by announcing its Mi 11 series of phones complete with the Snapdragon 888 in China last year. With that new engine comes a cavalry of other upgrades, and now, the phone is also available in international markets.
Huawei was one of the world's top smartphone manufacturers only a few short years ago, but ever-increasing trade sanctions by the United States took a toll on the company. Huawei sold off its Honor sub-division late last year to save the budget brand from the same sanctions, and according to a recent interview with Honor's CEO, the move seems to be working.
OnePlus and Oppo historically haven't been too explicit about their common parentage in tech conglomerate BBK Electronics. But now, after years of quietly sharingresources, the companies are officially integrating their research and development efforts.