Tag Archives: Huawei

Low turnout as Apple’s iPhone 11 hits stores in China

Apple’s latest iPhone 11 range hit stores in China on Friday, with short queues of die-hard fans contrasting with the hundreds who camped out ahead of some previous launches.

The sales performance of the U.S. tech giant’s latest line-up is being closely watched in the world’s largest smartphone market, where Apple has been losing ground to competitors with cheaper and feature-packed handsets in recent years.

The queues at the Shanghai and Beijing stores, which combined added up to few dozen customers, were in sharp contrast to previous years, when hundreds used to wait for hours outside Apple’s shops to be the first to grab its latest offerings.

But much of the fanfare in China has moved online where the pre-sales for iPhone 11, priced between $699 and $1,099, started last week.

Analysts said they had gotten off to a better start than the last cycle a year ago. Chinese e-commerce site JD.com said day one pre-sales for the iPhone 11 series were up 480% versus comparable sales for the iPhone XR last year.

Among customers that took to a store in Beijing on Friday to make a purchase in person was a programmer who only gave his surname as Liu, who said he had a model from every Apple series since the 3G range.

He said he was particularly attracted to the more expensive iPhone 11 Pro, which has three cameras on the back. “When it comes to taking photos, it’s better for night shots and the image is clearer,” he told Reuters.

Other customers, however, said that they were concerned that the range was not enabled for fifth-generation networks, putting them behind 5G models already released by China’s Huawei Technologies and smaller rival Vivo, and expressed hopes that Apple could make it happen for its next line-up.

“I think by the end of next year, especially in big cities like Beijing, 5G will be commonplace,” said civil servant Liu Liu. “If they don’t research this then they’ll lag way behind.”

The in-store launch of the iPhone 11 in China came a day after Chinese smartphone maker Huawei unveiled new smartphones which it said were more compact, with more sensitive cameras and wraparound screens more vivid than those of the latest iPhone, though it played down concerns about the lack of access to Google’s popular apps.

Huawei has experienced a surge in support from Chinese consumers after the brand was caught up in a trade war between the United States and China, which has in turn eaten into Apple’s market share in the country.

Huawei promises smartest 5G phone

Huawei launches what could be the world’s most powerful and feature-packed 5G smartphone on Thursday, but the fate of the device in Europe will hang on whether it can overcome a U.S. ban to give customers the Google software they expect.

The Chinese telecoms giant will showcase its Mate 30 range in Munich, Germany, in its first unveiling of an all-new phone since President Donald Trump hit the Shenzhen-based company with an export ban in May.

“The launch will be the most watched ever,” said telecoms and media analyst Paolo Pescatore.

“Despite all the concerns surrounding Huawei, and the challenges it faces, it remains defiant and prepared to soldier on.”

The No.2 smartphone maker is caught in the fallout of a trade conflict between Washington and Beijing that analysts say is morphing into a technology cold war. It expects the U.S. ban to cost it $10 billion.

Holding the launch in Europe underlines the importance of the region’s 500 million consumers to Huawei. It lost five percentage points in market share here following the U.S. ban, even as buyers rallied to its brand at home.

Huawei has been running an online marketing campaign with the slogan “Rethink Possibilities”, recruiting fans to spread the word about the launch. The same website will live stream the event, which starts at 2 pm (1200 GMT).

UNBOXED DELIGHT

The build-up has been marked by uncertainty over whether buyers of the flagship Android device will be able to use apps supported by Google.

Google, the unit of Silicon Valley tech giant Alphabet says it won’t be possible to sell the Mate 30 with licensed Google apps and services, which include the Play Store or popular tools like Gmail or Maps.

Huawei, for its part, hopes to run the phone on Android 10, the latest version of the operating system, and have access to Google Mobile Services.

Without those, say analysts, consumers won’t want the phone – unless Huawei can find a way to convince them that its features are unmatched and its home-grown Harmony operating system is a good-enough fallback option.

Huawei says the phone’s ‘brain’ – the Kirin 990 chipset unveiled at a recent tech fair in Berlin – outperforms the Qualcomm-powered 5G phones already on the market from market leader Samsung.

In particular, the ‘big core-tiny core’ configuration of the hardware means it can run power-hungry applications like artificial intelligence or support online gaming, while saving battery on routine tasks.

The Mate 30 range’s look and feel will be superior to Apple’s new iPhone 11s, according to analyst Richard Windsor, who said leaked photos showed an attractive circular triple-camera set-up.

“Huawei has Apple soundly beaten when it comes to form factor design but even these beautiful-looking devices are going to struggle to see any volume without the Google ecosystem,” Windsor said in a note.

Analysts are keen to learn when the phone will actually ship and how the pricing of the top-end Mate 30 Pro compares with Samsung’s Galaxy S10 5G, which retails at $1,299, and the iPhone 11 Pro that starts at $999 but lacks 5G connectivity.

Apple reveals triple-camera iPhone, $5 monthly streaming TV undercutting Disney, Netflix

New iPhone 11 from Apple

 

Apple Inc caught up with hardware rivals on Tuesday by revealing a triple-camera iPhone, and it rolled out a streaming TV service priced at $5 a month, undercutting Disney and Netflix.

The announcements came at the company’s biggest marketing event, where it unveils its top products for the year ahead, and showcased an aggressive Apple ready to battle on price.

The long-awaited Apple TV+ streaming television service will be available in over 100 countries, starting in November. The service will not be available in China when it launches, nor will the Apple Arcade video game subscription.

Buyers of an iPhone, iPad or Mac will get a free year of streaming TV, potentially drawing hundreds of millions of viewers to the service. That catapults the new service into a rarified group of companies.

“I think the pricing on the Apple TV service was definitely a positive surprise,” said Michael James, managing director of equity trading at Wedbush Securities in Los Angeles. “That’s why you’re seeing the hammering in some of the other video service-related names like Netflix, Amazon and Roku. Clearly, that was a positive that people were happy to hear.”

There was no bundle with Apple Music or other services as some analysts had expected. But Ben Bajarin, an analyst with Creative Strategies, said the TV service, a $5 a month “Arcade” gaming service and the base model iPhone 11, seem designed to draw in users for the longer term.

“We weren’t expecting Apple Arcade and particularly Apple TV to be priced as aggressively as they were,” Bajarin said. “They know once consumers get into their ecosystem, they don’t leave.”

Apple said its new iPhone 11 will come with two back cameras, including an ultra wide-angle lens and the next generation of microchips, the A13. Prices start at $699, down from last year’s new iPhone that started at $749.

The more expensive iPhone 11 Pro will have three cameras on the back – wide angle, telephoto and ultra-wide. It can create videos with all three back cameras and the front camera at the same time and starts at $999. The iPhone 11 Pro Max with a bigger screen starts at $1,099. The new phones are available to order Friday and will start shipping Sept. 20.

Rivals including Huawei Technologies Co Ltd and Samsung Electronics Co Ltd already sell phones with three cameras on the back. While Apple once tested the upper limits of what consumers would pay for a phone, it is now giving ground on prices, even making older models available at significant discounts to the latest technology.

“Consumers absolutely still care about cameras. That’s why it was surprising over the last couple of years that Samsung and Huawei got the jump on Apple,” said Patrick Moorhead, an analyst with Moor Insights & Strategy.

“Apple was playing a bit of catch up, but Apple did bring their game, particularly on the video side of the camera, where I do think they’ll have the leg up.”

Analysts expect Apple will sell around 200 million iPhones in the next year, in addition to other devices, and while many of those will be in China, it ensures at least tens of millions of potential viewers for the subscription service.

Hal Eddins, chief economist for Apple shareholder Capital Investment Counsel, said Apple’s lower priced iPhones “aren’t exciting on the surface, but the low streaming price may suck in some new subscribers.” Apple shares gained 0.8%.

CROWDED FIELD

With streaming content, Apple is entering a crowded field dominated by Netflix Inc.

Walt Disney Co will launch on Nov. 12 a $7-per-month service that will contain that firm’s iconic children’s content. Apple is also trying to beat HBO Max with its hit shows like “Game of Thrones,” “Friends” and “The Sopranos.”

Apple’s challenge is to persuade consumers that its family of devices, from its set-top box to phones, are the best one-stop place to watch shows.

“The roll-out of new subscription-based services by Apple paves the way for the introduction of new business models akin to the all-you-can-eat bundles like Amazon Prime,” said Paolo Pescatore, analyst with PP Foresight. “In the future we might even see users pay for a service bundle and receive a new iPhone every year.”

Apple also unveiled an updated watch, the Series 5, with an always-on display, starting at $399, while keeping the older Series 3 starting at $199. Moorhead said the older model would drive “tremendous” business.

Apple said the seventh generation of the iPad will start at $329 and be available to order starting Tuesday and in stores on Sept. 30.

Huawei drops lawsuit against U.S. over seized equipment – court filing

Huawei, which has been placed on a U.S. trade blacklist since May, had sued the Commerce Department and other U.S. government agencies for seizing its equipment in Alaska in 2017 en route back to China after a lab test in California.

Huawei said the U.S. government returned the equipment in August after confirming no export license was required and it decided to drop the suit.

It said the company was disappointed the U.S. government refused to provide a full explanation of what Huawei calls “arbitrary and unlawful” detention of the equipment for two years.

The fate of Huawei, the world’s largest telecommunications equipment maker and a national icon in China, has become crucial in an escalating trade war between Beijing and Washington.

Huawei still faces multiple criminal charges in the United States for allegedly breaking U.S. export sanctions to countries including Iran. It is trying to challenge its addition to the U.S. National Defense Authorization Act in an ongoing lawsuit, which it says had restricted its business in the United States “unconstitutionally”.

Washington says the Chinese company’s telecoms gear could be used by Beijing to spy, an allegation Huawei has denied.

The Trump administration added Huawei to the so-called entity list in May, barring it from buying needed U.S. parts and components without U.S. government approval and threatening to disrupt its operations.

REUTERS