A mobile phone with an all-glass frame?

Sina.com has a picture that may be a future Huawei phone with no metal in the frame.

Huawei was the innovator with two and then three cameras, with software combining them for great pictures. Apple and everyone else are still catching up.

With a $15B research budget there will be a lot more coming.

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Huawei building a map like Apple & Google

High precision maps are a huge strategic advantage, consulted every day by hundreds of millions. Caixin speculates this is the first step into producing an autonomous car. There’s a more obvious path to profit using the data on the web and selling map data. Uber paid Google US$68 million for map data.

The quality of the information in Google’s Waze astounds me. It warns us of an obstacle coming up on the highway and offers alternate routes when it detects congestion. We almost never get lost anymore. Building a map of that quality costs hundreds of millions.

Huawei is now facing the Law of Large Numbers. It’s so big in telecom network gear there’s almost no way to grow. It looks to become #1 in mobile phones. It needs to find new lines of business to grow.

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$300-$420 Mate 20 Pro a great buy

“It’s pretty badass,” Andrew Hoyle says in his CNET review. “The Huawei Mate 20 Pro’s impressive list of features puts it unquestionably among the top phones of the year.”  (emphasis added.) In particular, the triple camera is excellent.

It recently sold at prices from $700-$1,000. Telefonica/O2 in the U.K. is now selling the phone for an implicit price of well under $400. For £20.00, you get unlimited voice and messages – and the phone.

The total, including an upfront £99.00, is £579. (US$721.) When you put in any sensible valuation for the service, the effective price of the phone is half what it has recently cost.

The Mate 30 Pro is due soon, possibly October or November. Price drops on older models are common. Huawei presumably has a large inventory of Mate 20’s given the recent problems. Rumours have the Mate 30 with a quad camera, a more advanced processor built on TSMC’s 7 nm EUV, and possibly the new Ark/Hongmeng OS, a fast alternative to Android.

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Ren: Adding 25,000 jobs and remaining profitable

Huawei is aggressively recruiting engineers around the world, matching and bettering other company’s salary offers in networks, AI, machine learning, and even some basic research. It is adding 10,000 new recruits in China.

Overall, it is increasing employment from 180,000 to 204,000. It hasn’t cut and may be increasing the research budget of US$15 billion. It continues to distribute US$100’s of millions to universities.

Chinese press reports about Ren’s comments on Huawei sales and profits are unclear. C114 reports an estimate of profits similar to the eight billion in 2018.

If the drop in phone sales in Europe is reduced, the profits may be significantly higher.

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100M phones in 5 months as Huawei chases Samsung

Huawei sold 100 million phones in the first 149 days of 2019, despite the U.S. issues. Growth at that rate would easily take sales past 250 million.

In Q1 2018, Samsung had 23.5% of the phone market and Huawei 11.8%. In the first quarter of 2019, Samsung had 23.0% of the market and Huawei 18.9%.

Xiaomi, Vivo, and Oppo also increased sales. The share of “other” fell from 27.6% down to 22.7%. That corresponds to disappointing financial results at Sony & Lenovo.

Apple’s Q4 was 18.3% as it released new iPhones. But Q1 2019 was only 11.8%, down from 15.7% in Q1, 2018.

If Apple doesn’t find a way to bring 5G to the 2019 iPhone, it will be a very disappointing year.

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Jury say no to Huawei’s trade secret claims

Yiren Huang worked for Huawei designing NVMe storage controllers from 2011 to 2013. He left and co-founded CNEX, a company that specializes in similar chips.

Huawei contended Huang appropriated Plaintiffs’ trade secrets and poached fourteen Huawei employees. Huawei sued, but after a six-week trial a Texas jury refused to accept Huawei’s claims. It did decide “that Huang violated his Patent Agreement by not disclosing the patents he filed on behalf of CNEX.”

However, it refused to award damages to Huawei because the “violation did not harm Plaintiffs.” The jury also did not award any damages for CNEX’s counterclaims. No money or patents changed hands.

CNEX has since raised US$23 million from Microsoft, Dell, and others.

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To conquer: TV, glasses, car

TV & Smart glasses in red

Huawei is soon to announce an 8K TV with a 5G connection, the first is what will be a strategic family of TV products. He Gang, President of the Consumer Products Division, included TV as one of the 8 primary products in Huawei’s “1 + 8 + N” future plans.

While the TVs have longed been rumored, the surprise was that He listed “smart” glasses as a second primary product. Perhaps in a few years, many of us will be walking around with augmented reality glasses. If so, Huawei wants to supply them.

Google Glasses failed because the technology was too early. Google is now bringing then back for business uses. Huawei hopes to catch a wave in a few years.

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Yoshida: “The race to 5G technology has been already won by Huawei.”

Junko Yoshida at EE Times is one of the half-dozen best tech reporters in the world, not given to careless comments. I do think she is a little ahead of herself because it is still early, but I respect her point of view.

Huawei is generally at the top of the heap, but Ericsson is actually ahead in some aspects. Ericsson has also made the decision to match Huawei’s prices on major bids.

Total worldwide sales this year should be between 200,000 & 350,000 radios. Next year, over a million radios are likely to be sold. Much is still to happen. That said, it is hard to see how anyone can catch up to Huawei and its US$15 billion research budget.

Between 35% and 50% of 5G cells in the next two years will be installed in China. Huawei will get at least 40% of the volume, Ericsson 10% or less.

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BBC uses unproven claims by U.S. gov agents

Nokia is scrambling not to lose US$2 billion a year of sales in China. CTO Marcus Weldon stuck his foot in his mouth at the BBC, making much of an obviously biased report about Huawei security.

The claim, “In virtually all categories we studied, we found Huawei devices to be less secure than comparable devices from other vendors,” was made by an outfit called Finite State. They are contractors to the U.S. security forces and some are former employees.

Marcus piled on thoroughly unproven claims of Huawei security problems. Huawei’s software has some problems. So does all software, including that of the U.S. National Security Agency.

Once the U.S. decided to go to war against Huawei, of course a massive propaganda and disinformation campaign began. Truth is always the first casualty of any war, and the CIA has specialized since 1947 in “presenting the U.S. position in a form that is most convincing.”

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Google Pixel 4 copies Huawei Mate 20 – from last year

“Huawei pretty much had an extremely similar design for its Mate 20 series last year,” writes Tegan Jones at Gizmodo.

Huawei Mate-20 2018

Huawei Mate-20 2018

“I was again reminded of a Huawei product, this time the Mate 20 Pro of last year, which had the same square camera module filled with lenses.” Vlad Savov confirmed, adding, “When Google announced its new interface gestures in Android Q, I got a sense of déjà vu, because I’d already seen them in Huawei’s EMUI”

Google is ahead in many things, Huawei in others.

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