Some tech companies have been expanding production to outside of China (at least partially), mostly due to rising labor costs and the country's growing trade war with the United States. For example, Google moved Pixel manufacturing to Vietnam, and Apple reportedly wants to diversify its production. Samsung has now shut down its last remaining factory in China, but mostly because it's having trouble selling phones in the country. Read More
According to a report earlier today published by Nikkei Asian Review, Google is planning to move some of its Pixel production to Vietnam, escaping both rising Chinese production costs and US government's escalating trade war with the country. Google has already started renovating a former Nokia factory for the purpose, and currently plans to shift some Pixel 3a production there by the end of the year. Read More
Who would have thought that glass would become so important to smartphone manufacturing that device makers would start putting it on both the front and the back of $700 devices? And the company that's making out like a bandit is Corning, the maker of the super-scratch-resistant "Gorilla" tempered glass that's now in a majority of premium phones. While Corning could probably rest on its laurels for a decade or two (at least until synthetic sapphire becomes a lot cheaper), its engineers are cranking out some new novelties for manufacturers to try. Read More
Lenovo, one of the world's largest electronics manufacturers and the proud owner of the Motorola brand, is expanding once again. The company announced that it would begin manufacturing both Lenovo and Motorola phones in a new factory in Chennai, India, starting with the low-price Moto E and Lenovo K3 Note models. According to the press release, 1500 employees have been hired across manufacturing, quality assurance, testing, and other departments.
The change is notable because in the last decade or so most smartphones have been manufactured almost exclusively in China, with a few exceptions for nearby regional companies (like Samsung in South Korea and Asus in Taiwan... Read More
It's not all that uncommon for software companies to roll out updates on a monthly, even weekly basis, but manufacturers are typically content to improve their products much more slowly. This isn't the case with Xiaomi, the successful Chinese smartphone maker Hugo Barra, former Vice President of Product Management for Android, left Google to join a few months ago. The company ships a new batch of phones every week, partially relying on user feedback to determine what changes they should make for each group - new shipments come out every Tuesday at noon Beijing time, containing new software builds and possible minor hardware tweaks. Read More
In a lengthy, somewhat intimate retrospective piece posted today to Samsung Tomorrow, the electronics giant revisits the launch of the Galaxy SIII. Readers likely remember a launch that almost came off without a hitch, but which was tarnished by a "shortage" of Pebble Blue colored units. Following the international delay, Samsung said there'd be no delay for the Pebble Blue SIII's in the States, and all seemed to be well. Still, the manufacturer was awfully quiet about the real reason behind the initial delay.
For customers and techies interested in the real story, Samsung's post tells all. According to Samsung, the pebble blue SIII's were packed and ready to go, but a "tough decision" was made to stop shipment, because "the SIII's fundamental design concept had not been perfectly reproduced on the battery cover, creating an aesthetic that was inconsistent with the planned product." In other words, something in manufacturing the blue SIII had caused uneven, unreliable finish. Read More