HTC posted its earnings for September on Thursday following the official announcement of Google Pixel smartphones that were assembled by the company. The Taiwanese company reported a 31.3 percent year-on-year rise, and a 42 percent rise in comparison to August, in its consolidated monthly revenue during September to TWD 9.33 billion (roughly Rs. 2,000 crores).
Even though there was no word about the Pixel smartphones in company’s press release regarding monthly earnings, it is hard to ignore that the company’s revenue witnessed the massive jump in the month leading to the announcement of Google’s smartphones.
Interestingly, September is now the first month in the calendar year where HTC has reported a year-on-year growth. The company’s total unaudited consolidated revenue from January to September stood at TWD 55.91 billion (roughly Rs. 11,850 crores).
In the month leading up to the launch of Pixel smartphones, almost all of their features as well as their design were leaked on the Internet.
Google unveiled its Google Pixel and Google Pixel XL smartphones on Tuesday. These are the first Google-branded smartphones and have been manufactured by HTC. India is among the launch markets for the smartphone and Google Pixel’s price in India will start at Rs. 57,000. The pre-orders will begin from October 13.
When Google decided to roll out the Android 7.0 Nougat update in August, the Nexus 6 and Nexus 9 LTE were left out of the mix. A month later, Google apologised for the delay in rolling out the update for the two Nexus devices. Earlier this week, Nexus 6 users started receiving the update along with the October Android security patch. Now, Nexus 9 LTE users have also started to receive the Android 7.0 Nougat update, however this time, only the September Android security patch is bundled with it.
Once the rollout process is complete, it would mean all eligible Nexus devices have now officially received the Android 7.0 Nougat update. Notably, at the Made by Google event earlier this week, Android 7.1 Nougat was unveiled alongside the two Pixel smartphones, and Google claims that Nexus and Pixel C tablet will receive the developer preview before the end of the year. Just which Nexus devices will receive the update however has not been clarified. Google confirmed that even though the Nexus series is dead with the launch of Google Pixel and Google Pixel XL smartphones, it will continue to support Nexus devices.
The update is rolling out over-the-air, but if you can’t wait Google has also uploaded factory and OTA images. As mentioned, the Nexus 6 update earlier came with the October Android security patch, but the Nexus 9 LTE update bundles the old September patch.
Google, at its Made By Google event, killed old practices of launching Nexus devices by partnering with OEMs. Instead, Google now has a new hardware team lead by Rick Osterloh, which will now take care of Google-branded products – though HTC is responsible for “assembling” the current crop of Pixel phones. At the event, Google also launched the new Chromecast Ultra, Google Home speaker, Google Wi-Fi router, and the new Daydream View.
The Pixel and Pixel XL smartphones are coming to India this month, and the pre-sale will start on October 13. The smartphones will be made available in 32GB and 128GB variants, and are priced at starting Rs. 57,000.
Xiaomi has scheduled an event at the China National Convention Centre in Beijing on September 27. Running up to the launch, Xiaomi has released a teaser with a big ‘S’ taking the spotlight, hinting that the much rumoured Xiaomi Mi 5s is finally set for a launch.
The Xiaomi Mi 5s smartphone is expected to be the beefed-up version of the Xiaomi Mi 5 flagship smartphone. It has been leaked on various occasions revealing key features and specification details. The smartphone will feature upgraded specifications over the Mi 5, but the big talking point will be the Snapdragon 821 processor clocked at 2.4GHz. Just to compare, the Xiaomi Mi 5 is powered by a Snapdragon 820 chipset.
Collating past leaks, the Xiaomi Mi 5s is expected to sport a 5.5-inch full-HD (1080×1920 pixels) display with 95 percent NTSC colour gamut, and 650 nits of brightness. As mentioned, it is powered by a 64-bit Snapdragon 821 quad-core processor with Adreno 530 GPU paired with 6GB of RAM. The storage option is expected to be at 256GB (however other RAM/storage bundles are also rumoured). It is pegged to run on Android 6.0 Marshmallow-based MIUI 8, and support dual-SIM (Nano+Nano) slots.
While earlier leaks tipped at a dual-camera setup at the back, latest leaks point at a 16-megapixel rear camera and a 4-megapixel front camera. The Xiaomi 5s may support a fingerprint scanner, and is expected to sport an iPhone 7-like tactile home button. Connectivity options include 4G LTE, Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth 4.2, GPS, USB Type-C and NFC support. The smartphone is said to measure 144.5×69.2×7.2mm and weigh 147 grams.
We recommend you take all the above mentioned details with a grain of salt, and wait till Xiaomi announces official details on September 27.
The US Consumer Product Safety Commission on Thursday announced a recall of around one million Samsung Galaxy Note 7 smartphones plagued by incidents of batteries bursting into flames.
The move by the US safety agency formalizes the recall underway in 10 countries after reports of faulty batteries that caused some handsets to explode during charging.
Samsung meanwhile announced replacements for the faulty phones would be available to US customers next week.
In the United States, there have been 92 reports of batteries overheating, including 26 reports of burns and 55 reports of property damage, including fires in cars and a garage, the commission said in a notice.
The US notice affects around one million of the global total of 2.5 million handsets being recalled, which has cast a cloud over the South Korean electronics giant and world’s largest smartphone vendor.
Samsung has advised consumers in 10 countries to trade their handsets for temporary replacement phones until it releases an updated flagship device.
But many users have snubbed the offer, choosing to wait until the new phones were available, citing the inconvenience of switching devices for an interim period.
And different regulatory practices in different countries – as well as varying reactions from carriers – have caused a degree of customer uncertainty and confusion that is hampering Samsung’s efforts to get the recall behind it as quickly and painlessly as possible.
In a half-page ad carried by major South Korean newspapers on Wednesday, Samsung announced a Note 7 software update that will limit battery recharges to 60 percent of capacity. It would prevent the phones from overheating, and thus exploding, but would effectively mean a downgrade of the high-end device.
Samsung Electronics America announced that replacements for Galaxy Note 7 smartphones will be available at retail locations in the US by September 21.
“Our collaboration with the CPSC to fast-track a voluntary recall in the US addresses safety concerns by ensuring we reach Note 7 owners quickly to exchange their devices,” Samsung America president Tim Baxter said.
“We are asking owners to act now by powering down their Galaxy Note 7 devices and receive a replacement devices or a refund through our exchange program.”
In an effort to steal a march on Apple, the Galaxy Note 7 was given an early launch in the key US market, making that a priority for the recall effort.
US and Japanese aviation authorities have urged passengers not to turn on or charge the large-screen phones on aircraft, while the US Federal Aviation Administration has told passengers not to stow the device in checked baggage.
Samsung’s recall trouble comes as rival Apple seeks to regain momentum with the Friday release of new-generation iPhone 7 models.
The newest versions of the California-based technology giant’s lifestyle-changing iPhone aim to win over users with sophisticated camera technology, water resistance, more power and other improvements.
A new teaser has surfaced online indicating that LeEco is set to release a new smartphone on September 21. The teaser takes a dig at Apple, and hints that the upcoming smartphone will sport a massive battery. The company is anticipated to launch the LeEco Pro 3 smartphone, aka Le 3 Pro.
The teaser, first spotted by PlayfulDroid, takes a hard-hitting dig at Apple and its latest iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus offering. The image shows that a battery fall from the sky, directly onto Apple’s logo, crushing it into a bloody mess.
In this teaser, LeEco took a dig at iPhone’s historic battery woes, claiming that its upcoming smartphone will have no such worry. Leaks also suggest that the LeEco Pro 3 will come in two variants. The first one will sport a 5.5-inch (1080×1920 pixels) 2.5D display. It is powered by a Snapdragon 821 chipset paired with 6GB of RAM and Adreno 530GPU. The smartphone is expected to offer 64GB of inbuilt storage. There is a 16-megapixel rear camera, and an 8-megapixel selfie camera, and a 4070mAh battery.
The larger more premium variant of the LeEco Pro 3 is said to pack a 5000mAh battery, a 5.7-inch (1470×2560 pixels) QHD display, 8GB of RAM, and 256GB of native storage. This premium variant has a 13-megapixel dual camera setup at the back, and a 16-megapixel selfie camera in the front.
The tentative price of the LeEco Pro 3 has also been leaked and it is pegged to be somewhere between $314.16 (roughly Rs. 21,100) and $448.86 (roughly Rs. 30,100) for the 6GB RAM variant. The 8GB RAM variant will be in the range of $463.83 (roughly Rs. 31,100) and $598.53 (roughly Rs. 40,200).
The specs, if true, will make the smartphone quite lucrative to own. The specifications were further testified in an AnTutu benchmark leak with a score of 163,546 for the 6GB RAM variant.
Lenovo has started sending media invites for an event on September 19 where the company will launch its next Moto E-series smartphone. The launch date is in line with what Gadgets 360 had reported earlier from IFA 2016, but at that point it was uncertain which variant of the Moto E3 the company would launch in India – or both . It now appears the company is gearing up to launch just the Moto E3 Power in India, and not the Moto E3, based on the invite and social media posts.
The company in a tweet late on Monday also confirmed that the Moto E3 Power will be exclusive to Flipkart. The e-commerce retailer has now also launched a dedicated page for the launch of the Moto E3 Power. At this point, it is not confirmed that September 19 launch event will only see Moto E3 Power launched, or whether the Moto E3 will make it to Indian stores at a later point. Last month, Moto had dropped some hints on social media that it will bring the Moto E3 Power to India.
The Moto E3 Power was launched last month and is an upgrade to the Moto E3. It was available to buy in Hong Kong at HKD 1,098 (roughly Rs. 9,500). The Moto E3 Power sports a bigger battery, more on-board storage, and more memory than the Moto E3.
For specifications, the Moto E3 Power features a 5-inch HD IPS display, powered by a 1GHz quad-core MediaTek MT6735P processor coupled with 2GB of RAM. It comes with 16GB of inbuilt storage with expandable storage support via microSD (up to 128GB). The Moto E3 Power sports an 8-megapixel rear camera with LED flash and autofocus. It also houses a 5-megapixel selfie camera onboard. It runs Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow, and supports dual-SIM slots (Micro). It packs a 3500mAh battery, and offers connectivity options like 4G LTE, GPS, Buetooth, and Wi-Fi.
Samsung is now expediting the replacement programme for the Galaxy Note 7, urging all users to participate in the exchange program immediately. A Redditor has also shed light on Samsung’s plans to remotely deactivate all old Samsung Galaxy Note 7 devices as a safety measure after September 30.
The Redditor claims that the Samsung customer care has informed him that all the old handsets will be deactivated remotely to ensure that no defected pieces remain active in the market. This will also push all current users who haven’t initiated the exchange process, to do so immediately. Samsung has urged all Galaxy Note 7 holders to contact their local customer service centres as soon as possible. He claims that the company will begin shipping packages to every Samsung Galaxy Note 7 buyer across the globe. The package will contain the new handset, the new Galaxy Gear VR, and a bag for putting the old device and handing it back. This replacement process is all done for free, and Samsung is even bundling $25 gift cards for the inconvenience.
Expediting the process was a needed move, as many cases of explosions were being reported across the globe. A jeep was set on fire in the US after a man left his Galaxy Note 7 on charge in the car, and a house garage also lit up after the handset was left on charge unattended. An Australian man was left with a $1400 hotel damages bill, after his unit exploded in the hotel room charring the bed sheet and the carpet.
Samsung has suspended worldwide sales of the Galaxy Note 7. The company has announced that it is working with all regulatory bodies to ensure that all defective handsets are taken off the market. Meanwhile, airline authorities in many countries, including India, have banned the use of the handset on flights.
Samsung looked to unveil the Galaxy Note 7 earlier than tradition to fend off competition from the iPhone 7. However, this defect in its home-grown SDI batteries caused its strategy to backfire badly, earning the company a bad reputation in the process. Samsung was seeing good sale numbers after a couple of years, and it hoped that the release of the Galaxy Note 7 would help push its growth further. However, the exploding Galaxy Note 7 controversy couldn’t have come at a worst time for Samsung, and it could reportedly cost the company as much as $1 billion.
Xiaomi Mi Note 2 has seen its fair share of leaks in last few weeks. After the rendered images of the alleged smartphone were leaked last month, reports now suggest that the smartphone has been certified by Chinese certification authority 3C. This means that the rumoured launch date of September 14 might indeed be true for the Xiaomi smartphone.
According to a report by Playful Droid, Xiaomi Mi Note 2 has been officially certified by Chinese 3C authority and now only requires Tenaa certification before it can be officially sold in the country.
Past leaks suggest that Xiaomi Mi Note 2 will sport a dual-edge screen (like Samsung Galaxy Note 7) and a dual camera setup at the back. It is expected to come in an all metal body, and pack a 5.5-inch Oled screen.
The smartphone is expected to come in 6GB RAM/ 128GB storage and 6GB RAM/ 64GB storage bundles and is expected to be powered by a Snapdragon 821 chipset. The phone is also suggest to have a USB Type-C port, 3600mAh battery, two speaker grilles, and a fingerprint sensor at the front.
The 64GB variant of the smartphone is expected to be priced around CNY 2,499 (roughly Rs. 25,000) and the 128GB variant is expected to be available for retail at around CNY 2,799 (roughly Rs. 28,000)
Google last month started rolling out the final build of Android 7.0 Nougat for compatible Nexus devices. The Android 7.0 Nougat update was rolled out to the Nexus 5X, Nexus 6P, Nexus 9, Nexus Player, Pixel C tablet, and Android One General Mobile 4G devices gradually. Now, the company has started rolling out the monthly Android security update for September. The company has also released factory images and OTA binaries for Nexus devices.
The September security bulletin is now available to Nexus through an over-the-air (OTA) update. Google has also released the new Nexus firmware images to the Google Developer site. Google says that it notified the partners about the issues described in the bulletin on August 05, 2016 or earlier. The source code patches for the reported issues will be released to the Android Open Source Project (AOSP) repository in the next 48 hours.
The update patches seven vulnerabilities that have been flagged as “critical” by Google, and 23 vulnerabilities that fall on the spectrum of “high” severity. In addition, 17 “moderate” security glitches have also been resolved.
Some of the critical security vulnerabilities that have been fixed include remote code execution vulnerability in LibUtils, which if left untreated will enable an attacker using a specially crafted file to execute arbitrary code in the context of a privileged process; remote code execution vulnerability in Mediaserver, which if not resolved could enable an attacker using a specially crafted file to cause memory corruption during media file and data processing; elevation of privilege vulnerability in kernel security subsystem; elevation of privilege vulnerability in kernel networking subsystem, elevation of privilege vulnerability in kernel netfilter subsystem, and elevation of privilege vulnerability in kernel USB driver, and elevation of privilege vulnerability in kernel shared memory subsystem, which if left untreated could enable a local malicious application to execute arbitrary code within the context of the kernel. These issues are rated as “Critical” due to the possibility of a local permanent device compromise, which may require reflashing the operating system to repair the device.
Apart from September Android security patch, Google is also rolling out Android 7.0 Nougat factory images for Nexus range. New Android 7.0 build for Pixel C is NRD90R; Nexus 5X is NRD90S; Nexus Player is NRD90R; Nexus 9 Wi-Fi is NRD90R, and Nexus 5 is MOB31E. Unfortunately, Google is yet to rollout Android 7.0 factory images for the Nexus 6P, Nexus 6, and Nexus 9 LTE devices.
Lenovo will host a special event in India on September 19 where it will unveil the Moto E3. The phone will go on sale in India later this month, Ken Wong, President, Lenovo APAC, told Gadgets 360 at the sidelines of IFA in Berlin on Friday.
To recall, the Moto E3 is a budget smartphone with basic specifications that was unveiled back in July. It runs Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow and features a 5-inch HD (720×1280 pixel) IPS display. It is powered by a 1.0GHz MediaTek quad-core chipset alongside 1GB of RAM, and comes with 8GB of internal storage, expandable up to 32GB via microSD slot.
The Moto E3 packs an 8-megapixel rear camera and a 5-megapixel front shooter for selfies. Connectivity options include 3G, 4G, Bluetooth, GPS, Wi-Fi 802.11b/g/n. It is backed by a 2800mAh battery.
Another variant of the Moto E3, called the Moto E3 Power has been spotted recently and it was thought that Lenovo will launch this model in India. The Moto E3 Power comes with a 3500mAh battery, 2GB of RAM, and 16GB of storage, with support for microSD cards up to 128GB.
It’s unclear at this point if Lenovo will unveil both Moto E and Moto E3 Power in India on September 19, or just one of the variants. We’ll find out soon enough.