The CTIA Wireless Association today said a number of handset makers and wireless network operators have agreed to a basic framework that will eventually provide consumers with better anti-theft tools for their smartphones. The Smartphone Anti-Theft Voluntary Commitment is meant to deter theft while also giving phone makers and carriers room to innovate. All the companies agreed to implement a baseline anti-theft tool preloaded on (or downloadable to) all wireless smartphones manufactured after July 2015. This tool will let consumers: remotely wipe their data; render the smartphone inoperable to unauthorized users; prevent reactivation without owner's consent; and reverse the inoperability of the device as well as restore the data to the device in the event it is found by the owner. Consumers will also be free to use whatever third-party anti-theft tools they wish in addition to those provided by the phone maker. All signatories will make the baseline anti-theft tool available with all its core features. The initial batch of companies signing the commitment include: Apple; Asurion; AT&T; Google; HTC America; Huawei; Motorola; Microsoft; Nokia; Samsung; Sprint; T-Mobile; U.S. Cellular; and Verizon Wireless. Some of those who haven't signed include Kyocera, LG, Sony, ZTE. A number of lawmakers lauded the commitment, which arrives several months after Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler mandated that wireless companies come up with such a solution or face regulatory intervention.
Huawei today revealed a teaser for a sales web site that will offer the company's Ascend Mate 2 phablet direct to U.S. consumers. The Ascend Mate 2 is a phablet with a 6.1-inch display that was first revealed at CES in January. It competes with Samsung's Galaxy Mega. It sports impressive camera and battery specs, paired with a mid-range display and processor to achieve a lower price point. Huawei is not yet announcing the release date and pricing.
Huawei today indicated it has changed its plans and will no longer bring a dual-boot smartphone with Android and Windows Phone to market. "Huawei adopts an open approach towards mobile operating systems to provide a range of choices for consumers," said the company in a statement provided to FierceWireless. "However, most of our products are based on Android OS, [and] at this stage there are no plans to launch a dual-OS smartphone in the near future." A Huawei executive had earlier said the company would make a smartphone with both Android and Windows Phone on board. The company has effectively cancelled those plans. Huawei noted, however, that it considers Microsoft to be an important business partner and it will continue to support Windows Phone. "As long as the consumers continue to demand Windows, we will continue to supply them."
The U.S. International Trade Commission ruled that HTC, Huawei, and ZTE did not infringe on camera-related patents owned by FlashPoint. The ruling was a review of an initial decision made by an administrative law judge last year. The full panel changed the initial ruling (which had found HTC guilty), exonerated all three companies, and dismissed the case. Companies often use the ITC to try patent cases as the agency has the power to ban sales of products found guilty of violating intellectual property.
Huawei envisions the Ascend G6 as the phone that will make its brand more globally recognized. We take a look.
Huawei today announced the TalkBand B1, a smartphone accessory that doubles as a fitness tracker and a Bluetooth headset. The device has a 1.4-inch flexible OLED screen and relies on NFC and Bluetooth 4.0 Low Energy to connect to smart devices. It is compatible with Android 2.3 and up, and iOS 5.0 and up. It includes a removable earpiece that's good for up to seven hours of talk time. The TalkBand wirelessly tracks the wearer's activity time, such as steps taken, miles covered, and calories burned. It also records sleep duration and quality, and it has its own alarm. The TablkBand B1 has a 90mAh battery that lasts about six days for tracking activity and sleep. Huawei didn't say when the TablkBand B1 will be available, nor how much it will cost.
Huawei today announced the Ascend G6, a premium Android smartphone that will be sold at a low price. It features a high-quality design that will be offered in metallic and pastel colors. The device runs Android, but Huawei is offering two separate user interfaces: plain Android and its own home-designed UI. The G6 has a 4.5-inch qHD screen and is powered by a quad-core 1.26GHz processor. It boasts NFC, Bluetooth Low Energy, dual-band Wi-Fi, and LTE. The G6 includes an 8-megapixel main camera and a 5-megapixel, wide-angle, user-facing camera that offers a selfie preview panel. The G6 also packs a 2,000mAh battery. Huawei said the device will be available in April, though it didn't share plans to launch the device in the U.S. It will cost about $300.
Rockstar, a patent consortium jointly owned by Apple, Microsoft, Blackberry, Ericsson, and Sony, has dropped its patent infringement lawsuit against Huawei. The suit was originally filed last year, and included co-defendents Google, Samsung, and HTC. Rockstar believes the companies are violating its patents. Neither Rockstar nor Huawei indicated why the suit was dropped, nor whether or not Huawei signed a licensing agreement with Rocktar. The lawsuit still stands against the other companies. Google, in particular, is accused of infringing on seven different patents that pertain to internet search terms and advertising. Rockstar is seeking damages from Google, which it says is violating the patents willfully. Rockstar is a group of companies that together purchased thousands of patents from bankrupt Nortel. The firms spent a total of $4.5 billion on the patents.
Huawei's phablet for 2014 is the Ascend Mate2 4G. It's a 6.1-incher with a lot of features, but trims a few things to make it more affordable than the competition. Check out our hands-on impressions.
Huawei today announced the Ascend Mate2 4G, the follow-up to its Ascend Mate phablet. The Mate2 will have 4G LTE compatible with both AT&T and T-Mobile networks in the U.S. Like the original, it sports a 6.1-inch display, although the Mate2 has a much smaller bezel, giving it the best screen-to-body ratio in the industry, according to Huawei. The Mate2 is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 quad-core processor at 1.6 GHz. It has a large 4050 mAh battery and can even be used to charge other phones. The main camera is 13-megapixel and the front camera is an unusual 5-megapixels with a wide-angle lens, for high-quality selfies. The screen is super-sensitive, supporting use through standard gloves. It runs Huawei's Emotion UI 2.0, which supports mini-apps that float above other apps, and a driving mode with a simplified interface. Pricing and release timing were not immediately available.
The U.S. International Trade Commission has determined that Huawei, Nokia, and ZTE did not infringe on six InterDigital patents, and it invalidated a seventh patent, clearing the companies of any wrongdoing. The ITC upheld the preliminary ruling made earlier this year. ZTE said it was pleased with the ITC's decision, while Nokia and Huawei have yet to file public responses. InterDigital's attempt to ban the import of certain ZTE, Huawei, and Nokia devices has been nixed. InterDigital, which is a patent-holding firm, filed similar complaints against Samsung.
Rockstar, a patent consortium jointly owned by Apple, Microsoft, Blackberry, Ericsson, and Sony, has filed patent infringement lawsuits against Google, Samsung, Huawei, and HTC. Rockstar alleges that the companies are violating its patents. Google, in particular, stands accused of infringing on seven different patents that pertain to internet search terms and advertising. Specific details about Samsung, HTC, and Huawei's infringements weren't immediately specified. Rockstar is seeking damages from Google, which it says is violating the patents willfully. Rockstar is a group of companies that together purchased thousands of patents from bankrupt Nortel. The firms spent a total of $4.5 billion on the patents. Google and others attempted to buy the same patents won by Rockstar. "Despite losing in its attempt to acquire the patents-in-suit at auction, Google has infringed and continues to infringe," read a portion of the lawsuit.
Huawei today announced the Ascend W2, a new Windows Phone that takes a page from Nokia with vividly colored shells. The Ascend W2 is being offered in black, yellow, red, and blue, and has 20 colored homescreen themes to mix and match with the handset's exterior. Huawei says that matching color choices are offered across the phone's keyboard backlights and user interface themes, as well. The phone has a 4.3-inch WVGA LCD screen with what Huawei calls "Magic Touch" technology. The screen is sensitive enough so that it will work when the user is wearing gloves. The W2 is powered by a 1.4GHz dual-core Snapdragon processor from Qualcomm. The device runs Windows Phone 8 and includes 7GB of free SkyDrive cloud storage. It can shoot 720p HD video. The Huawei Ascend W2 is already available in Huawei's home market of China, and will reach Russia and The Netherlands in November, with other markets to follow. Huawei didn't reveal any specific plans to sell the device in the U.S.
A handful of mobile technology companies today announced the formation and launch of MobileBench, a consortium meant to help developers better benchmark their apps and services across today's mobile devices. The founding members include Broadcom, Huawei, OPPO, Samsung, and Spreadtrum, all of which met for the first time this week and demonstrated the first MobileBench benchmarking tool. The consortium has two major areas of focus: benchmarking mobile hardware, and how the hardware affects the user experience within applications. Developers and engineers have full control over the tools, and can alter parameters throughout the testing process, which delivers results immediately. The MobileBench Consortium is actively seeking new members and hopes to provide "objective ways to evaluate a mobile device's performance in the real world."
Consumer Cellular today announced the availability of the Huawei Vision. The Vision is an Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich smartphone and it has a 3.5-inch HVGA display, 1GHz processor, MP3 player, and support for microSD cards up to 32GB. It also includes Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, GPS, and a 3.2-megapixel camera. The Huawei vision costs $99. Consumer Cellular also announced that the Vision and the Envoy, an inexpensive flip phone, will be available at Sears stores throughout the country.
MetroPCS recently added the Huawei Valiant to its roster of Android smartphones. This bar-style device, which is available from the MetroPCS web site for $79 without a contract, features a 4.0-inch display with Gorilla Glass and a 1GHz dual-core Qualcomm processor. The Valiant also has a 3-megapixel camera that also captures video, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, 2GB of internal memory, and support for microSD cards up to 32GB. The Huawei Valiant is powered by a 1750mAh battery and runs Android 4.1 Jelly Bean.
MetroPCS stores recently added the Huawei Pal to their lineup of simple feature phones. The Pal, also referred to as the U2800, is a bar-style phone that features a 1.8-inch screen with 160 x 128 pixels and a 900mAh battery. The Pal runs Brew and includes basic messaging and web apps.
The U.S International Trade Commission today found that Huawei, Nokia, and ZTE did not violate a patent owned by InterDigital. This was the preliminary decision reached by an administrative law judge. The full ITC will make a final decision on the matter in October. InterDigital is a patent-licensing firm and had sued the companies over intellectual property pertaining to power conservation and messaging in mobile devices. LG was also named in the original suit, but settled with InterDigital. InterDigital was hoping the ITC would block the offending devices from entering the U.S.
T-Mobile USA recently added the Huawei Prism II to its web site. The Prism II is an Android smartphone that ships with 4.1 Jelly Bean. Features include a 3.2-megapixel camera, 1GHz processor, Wi-Fi, GPS, Bluetooth, and support for T-Mobile's HSPA+ network. The Prism II also supports microSD memory cards and Wi-Fi calling, but not T-Mobile's forthcoming LTE network. The Huawei Prism II has been available in select markets since June 19, but will see national retail and online availability beginning June 26. It requires a down payment of $19.99 and 24 monthly payments of $4.
Huawei is looking at ways to grow its business, and acquisitions are one possible avenue it might explore. One company that has made its short list of targets is Nokia. "We are considering these sorts of acquisitions; maybe the combination has some synergies but depends on the willingness of Nokia. We are open-minded," said Richard Yu, head of consumer products for Huawei in an interview with the Financial Times. Huawei has faced difficulty finding traction in the U.S. with its telecommunications networking gear business, though its handsets have found space on the shelves of U.S. wireless network operators. Yu did not indicate that Huawei and Nokia are holding formal talks, nor did Nokia comment on Yu's remarks.
Huawei today announced the Ascend P6, an Android smartphone that measures just 6.18mm thick. The P6 features a metallic body that houses a 4.7-inch HD in-cell display that can be used with when wearing gloves. The P6 includes a 1.5GHz quad-core processor and an 8-megapixel main camera with backside illumination and an aperture of f/2. The P6 also has a 5-megapixel front-facing camera for higher-quality self portraits. It comes with a 2,000mAh battery and Huawei's Automated Discontinuous Reception (ADRX) and Quick Power Control (QPC) battery optimization tools that Huawei claims results in power efficiency gains of 30%. Other Huawei software elements include its Emotion user interface, which offers customized widgets and apps. The Ascend P6 runs Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean. The P6 will first ship across China and European markets beginning in July, with other markets to follow. Huawei did not say if the P6 or a version thereof would be sold in the U.S.
Odin Mobile today announced that it will launch new cellular service in July for those with visual impairments. Odin Mobile is an MVNO that operates on T-Mobile USA's network. The company will offer several handsets, including the Huawei-made Ray (pictured). The Ray is a touch phone that was designed with eye-free operation in mind. It can be used to make and receive voice calls, manage contacts, and lets the visually impaired access their call history and use caller ID. It uses text-to-speech technology to read text messages aloud, and includes a calendar, and the ability to recognize colors and money. The Ray can be used with audiobooks and audio magazines, as well. The Ray costs $299.99. Odin Mobile is offering two other handsets made by Emporia, the Click and the Essence, The Click is a flip phone and the Essence is a bar-style phone. They offer similar features, such as adjustable fonts, high-contrast displays, large buttons, and loud speakers. They also include basics such as SMS, Bluetooth, flashlights, GPS, and emergency call buttons. The Click costs $73.00 and the Essence costs $49.00. Service plans start at $10 per month for 150 minutes and 150 texts and range up to $45 per month for 4000 minutes/texts. Odin did not say exactly when in July its service will launch.
Mozilla and Hon Hai Precision Industry, better known as Foxconn, confirmed that the two companies will soon launch a mobile device. Mozilla distributed invitations to a press event scheduled for June 3, which is when the two companies are expected to more formally announce their partnership alongside the new device. The device will run Mozilla's Firefox OS, which Mozilla has been developing as an alternative for hardware makers looking to offer something other than Android gear. Mozilla has already scored other hardware partnerships with LG, Huawei, and ZTE. Foxconn is most well known for being the manufacturer of Apple's products.
Powermat today announced that it has merged with PowerKiss. Powermat, based in the U.S., makes and markets wireless charging accessories. It backs the standard supported by the Power Matters Alliance. Before today, PowerKiss, which is based in Finland, backed a competing standard. Now that the two companies are one, they are together throwing their weight behind the PMA wireless charging standard. The PMA is mounting a challenge to competing standards Qi and the Alliance for Wireless Power. Earlier this year, the PMA won support from AT&T, BlackBerry, Google, HTC, Huawei, Kyocera, LG, Samsung, Starbucks, and ZTE. Further, AT&T mandated that its handset partners incorporate the PMA wireless charging standard into their devices by 2014. Verizon Wireless supports the Qi standard. The consumer electronics industry has yet to settle on a single standard.
Huawei today announced that the W1, its first Windows Phone 8 smartphone, will be available at Walmart stores in the U.S. beginning later this month. The W1 is known as the Ascend W1 in other markets. It features a 4-inch LCD screen with 800 x 480 pixels, a dual-core 1.2GHz Snapdragon processor, a 5-megapixel camera with 720p video capture, 1.7GB of internal storage, and support for microSD cards up to 32GB. Huawei did not say which carrier will provide service for the W1, but Walmart sells TracFone devices, and the W1 is compatible with TracFone's network. Pricing was not provided, nor was the exact release date.
Huawei has revised sales estimates for its wireless networking business downward after reassessing its chances in the U.S. market. Huawei had hoped U.S. network operators, such as Sprint, would purchase its networking equipment and boost its presence here. The company met with resistance from members of the U.S. government, which cast suspicion on the company's ties to the Chinese government. Huawei has steadfastly denied such claims. However, it has not been able to gain the traction it wanted with U.S. companies. "We are not interested in the U.S. market anymore. Generally speaking, it's not a market that we pay much attention to," said executive VP Eric Xu. Huawei still sells cell phones though U.S. network operators.
The Power Matters Alliance, a group pitching a wireless charging standard that competes with the Qi and the Alliance for Wireless Power standards, has recently won new support from handset makers and carriers. The group announced this week that HTC, Huawei, LG, and Samsung have all joined the PMA, which already includes members such as AT&T, BlackBerry, Google, Kyocera, PowerMat, Starbucks, and ZTE. Further, existing PMA member AT&T is asking its handset partners to integrate PMA-compatible wireless charging technology into their handsets by 2014. According to the PMA, there are already some 1,500 PMA-certified wireless charging stations at Starbucks coffee shops, airports, and other locations around the country. The Power Matters Alliance uses a wireless charging technology that is slightly different from those offered by Qi and A4WP. Each of the three standards allows devices to charge wirelessly when placed on a compatible charging pad. Verizon's handsets have incorporated Qi for years, which already has wide support from other carriers and handset makers. The electronics industry as a whole has yet to settle on one of the standards for all devices moving forward.
Sprint and Softbank have agreed to unofficial terms requested by the U.S. government with respect to purchasing telecommunications and wireless networking equipment from Chinese vendors such as Huawei and ZTE. Softbank is in the process of acquiring a 70% stake in Sprint, and the agreement is meant to help ease the transaction though the approval process. Government regulators cannot mandate that Sprint and Softbank avoid equipment made by Chinese companies, but lawmakers wanted to make sure they had an ear to the ground when Sprint is purchasing gear. "I have met with SoftBank and Sprint regarding this merger and was assured they would not integrate Huawei in to the Sprint network and would take mitigation efforts to replace Huawei equipment in the Clearwire network," said Rep. Mike Rogers, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee. The U.S. government is concerned that equipment made by Huawei and ZTE could be used by the Chinese government to spy on the U.S. Huawei flatly denies that its products pose any sort of security risk.
In order to win U.S. government approval of its equity sale to Softbank, Sprint may have to allow government officials to unofficially greenlight networking equipment purchases. According to sources cited by The Wall Street Journal, the intent of the provision would be to keep Chinese suppliers Huawei and ZTE from selling their gear to U.S. companies. The U.S. government has long been wary of allowing Huawei and ZTE to provide telecommunications infrastructure due to fears about espionage. Sprint is selling 70% of itself to Japanese network operator Softbank for $20 billion. The Journal notes that any such provisions could not be spelled out explicitly, as that would violate international trade law, and would instead only require Sprint to let the government know when it is making telecommunications gear purchases. A law signed by President Barack Obama last week included a new cyber-espionage review process for U.S. government technology purchases. This law more explicitly states that the U.S. government needs to approve of IT purchases made by NASA, the U.S. Department of Justice, and the U.S. Department of Commerce. The intent behind this new law is the same as that being applied to the Sprint deal: the government wants to be able to restrict the sale of Chinese networking equipment to U.S. agencies. Huawei spokesperson Bill Plummer said to the Journal, "The adoption of such a policy would seem little more than a market-distorting political or protectionist exercise."
MetroPCS today announced the Huawei Premia 4G, a new Android smartphone that costs just $149. The Premia boasts a 4-inch 800 x 480 pixel display and a dual-core 1.5GHz processor with 1GB of RAM. The Premia features a 5-megapixel main camera with LED flash and 720p HD video capture, as well as a 1.3-megapixel user-facing camera. It is compatible with MetroPCS' joyn messaging service, and ships with Rhapsody preinstalled. Other features include Wi-Fi, GPS, Bluetooth, and support for MetroPCS' LTE 4G network. The Huawei Premia 4G runs Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich and is available online and in stores beginning today.
Here is a quick look at the Huawei Ascend P2, the company's flagship smartphone for 2013. It is incredibly thin and light, and still manages to include an impressive array of features. Here are our initial thoughts.
The U.S. International Trade Commission indicated that it will review InterDigital's patent-related complaints against Samsung, Nokia, Huawei, and ZTE. The complaint was filed in January and alleges that the companies are violating its 3G and 4G technology patents. InterDigital is asking the ITC to block the offending products. In particular, the patents cover WCDMA, cdma2000, LTE, and Wi-Fi technology as used in the infringing companies' phones, laptop dongles, hotspots, laptops, and tablets. The complaint will be given to an administrative law judge, who will hold a hearing and issue a preliminary ruling. The ruling will then be reviewed by the full committee. InterDigital is a patent-holding company.
Consumer Cellular today announced that more of its devices will be available at Sears retail stores beginning later this month. The Huawei 8800, an Android smartphone, and the Doro PhoneEasy 618 feature phone are among the new handsets being made available for $149.99 and $59.99, respectively. The Motorola WX416 will continue to be available for $34.99, but now in red and black colors. Consumer Cellular's plans start as low as $10 per month.
The court overseeing Eastman Kodak's bankruptcy proceedings has approved the company's $525 million patent sale to a consortium of companies. The consortium, which is led by Intellectual Ventures and RPX Corp., includes Adobe, Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Fujifilm, Google, HTC, Huawei, Microsoft, Research In Motion, Samsung, and Shutterfly. Under the terms of the agreement, Intellectual Ventures (which is itself a patent-licensing firm) and RPX gain ownership of the patents, while the other firms are all contributing licensing fees for access to the patents. The patent sale allows Kodak to move forward with its restructuring plans.
Huawei's first Windows Phone, the Ascend W1, was on display at CES and we spent a few moments with it. Here are our first impressions.
Huawei today officially announced the Ascend W1, its first foray into the Windows Phone business. The W1 runs Windows Phone 8 and features a 4-inch IPS LCD 480 x 800 pixel display. The W1 is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 dual-core 1.2 GHz processor, which is paired with 512MB of RAM and an Adreno 305 GPU for graphics performance. The W1 measures 10.15mm thick and has a 1,950mAh battery. Huawei claims its 470 hours of standby time is longer than any other Windows Phone. The W1 also includes a 5-megapixel main camera with a flash and a VGA user-facing camera. It inclues 4GB of on-board storage and supports microSD cards up to 32GB. It will be available in multiple colors. The Ascend W1 goes on sale in Russia and other countries later this month, and should reach the U.S. later this year. Pricing and carrier details were not provided.
Huawei has a new entry in the phablet market with the Ascend Mate. This large phone (or small tablet) has a massive 6.1-inch screen and a 4,000-mAh battery to power it. Read on for our first impressions.
Huawei today announced the Ascend Mate, a phone/tablet with a 6.1-inch display. The features and appearance are similar to the Ascend D2 - also announced today - with a few differences. The Ascend Mate has an 8-megapixel camera and 4,000 mAh battery, but the same quad-core processor. The Mate has a few extra software features for the larger screen, such as a set of pop-up windows that float over regular apps, for limited real-time multi-tasking. Available pop-ups include a calculator, calendar, notepad and video player. The Ascend Mate also sports a modified keyboard that shifts all of the keys toward one side, making it easier to type one-handed. Pricing and U.S. availability was not announced.
We spent a few moments with Huawei's new flagship phone to take on the iPhone. This 5-inch phone has a solid metal frame with exposed sides, like the iPhone. Huawei is proud of the hundreds of manufacturing steps to make the phone. Is it worth the effort. Read on for our impressions.
Huawei today showed off its newest flagship phone, the Ascend D2, with a 5-inch 1080 x 1920 pixel "Super Retina" 443 ppi display. The phone also sports a touch-screen sensor that works through gloves, a 13-megapixel camera with BSI sensor, and a 1.5 GHz quad-core processor. The dust- and water-resistant body body sports a flat glass front with on-screen Android controls, curved sides formed from machined solid metal frame, and a curved glossy plastic back. Thd 3,000-mAh battery is sealed inside. The phone sports 32 GB of internal storage plus 2 GB of RAM. It runs Android 4.1 with Huawei's Emotion UI 1.5.