One year ago, the first views of Huawei's Ascend Mate appeared in the wild. The phablet debuted a week later at CES 2013. Today images for the Ascend Mate 2 appeared, and the official unveil for the device could be set for CES 2014 next week. All but one of the rumored specs were confirmed with this leak.
Chinese telecommunications firm Huawei has had a hard go in the US of late. The trouble for the company in the US was fueled by accusations from a former US CIA head that Huawei was spying for China. More recently, Huawei told press in France that it would be exiting the US market. Despite those issues, Huawei has unveiled a new 4G LTE modem aimed at use in automobiles.
Huawei CEO Ren Zhengfei has some words for the US government and US tech companies. In light of a push in recent years by some officials and tech execs to shun Huawei and ZTE based on their alleged collusion with the Chinese government to spy on the US, Zhengfei said Huawei is "exiting the US market." However, the statement should be seen as a stern statement of things to come rather than an immediate game plan if international suspicions don't cool off.
We've been covering the NSA and other spy agencies pretty faithfully here at SlashGear, and while all that cloak-and-dagger, hack-and-spy, Big-Brother-Is-Watching-You drama can be provocative, that's not why we cover it. We cover it because it affects the tech industry and, by extension, the gadgets we obsess over. The reverberations of mass data surveillance by governments do eventually make their way down to consumer tech. Today we're seeing one way spying has chilled the industry that underpins our toys. Take the recent decline in US tech sales in China and yesterday's statements by executives from Qualcomm and Cisco, for example.
It would appear that we've got a bit of a rarity going on this quarter for phone and smartphone shipments across the world according to the IDC. This device tracker seeks out shipment numbers, you should keep in mind, not smartphone and non-smartphone sales, so you're not seeing the end result, just the part of the equation that's out before the devices are sold to end consumers. The rarity we're seeing this quarter is the drop in only one device vendor out of the whole tracked bunch - that's Nokia - though it would appear that this brand does remain in close contention with the rest of the top brands worldwide for smartphone and non-smartphones (the one total category) combined.
Huawei, alongside with ZTE, has been the subject of concerns and scrutiny by the United States government and others, with fears revolving around possible spying that could be taking place on behalf of the Chinese government. The maker has previously been banned from use on Australia's National Broadband Network, something that was recently reviewed with the anticipation that the block would be ended. Such was not the case, however.
Huawei has admitted that it may take up to a decade to convince the US that it is not a potential security risk, though the Chinese firm argues that it is held to a "higher bar" than rivals. Describing the reticence to allow Huawei hardware and software into sensitive installations as "genuine concerns", Huawei global cybersecurity chief John Suffolk revealed a new security white paper, the second from the company, detailing exactly what policies are in place in the hope that the extra transparency will persuade partners that it's not a trojan horse.
It would appear that the engineers at Huawei have decided that you need your USB ports open more than you need that SD card reader free as they've created a 3G-capable SD card for the masses. This device is able to connect to your laptop the same way you'd plug in a USB "MiFi dongle", but it does so through a standard full-sized SD card slot. No more worrying about every passerby cracking your web with a simple karate chop - this web fits all the way in.
Benchmarks are something that we talked about a lot around here when it comes time to review smartphones and other electronic products. Benchmarks aren't only for the spec hounds out there looking for the highest performing device they can spend their hard-earned dollars on. Benchmarks also help device makers fine-tune smartphones and other electronic devices for optimal performance.
For a while Chinese smartphone manufacturer Huawei was in contention to purchase Nokia's hardware business. That's the same hardware business that Microsoft itself ended up purchasing in a bid to get its own smartphone hardware manufacturing operation. In the past, Microsoft hardware partners have taken issue with Microsoft stepping into the hardware realm.