ZTE’s U.S. government dealings have never been as high-profile as fellow Chinese smartphone maker Huawei, but it has had its fair share of scuffles. Last summer, the company got smacked with a $1 billion fine over sanction violations. All in all, 2018 was not a great year for ZTE here in the States.
It all amounted to a big blow for a manufacturer that was actually doing pretty good business selling mid-range devices in the largest smartphone market. With the Axon 10 Pro, it seems ZTE is finally done licking its wounds and is ready to try again here in the States, even as trade tensions continue to loom large in dealings between the two super powers.
I’ve got to say, it’s looking like a pretty solid device. The company seems to be positioning the product in the same sliver of the market that OnePlus has found a home. At $549, it’s a breath of fresh air in a world of $1,000+ flagships, without skimping on the design language or features. It’s doubly compelling given that OnePlus’s own prices have been creeping up a bit as well, as the company has pushed into more premium territory.
OnePlus redefines premium with the 7 Pro
The device has a 6.47-inch display with a small camera notch up top and an in-screen fingerprint reader. There’s the latest Qualcomm Snapdragon chip on-board (855), paired with a a beefy 4,000 mAh battery. Around back are three cameras, including a 48-megapixel, a telephoto and a wide-angle. The headphone jack, however, is MIA.
With Huawei more or less out of the picture here in the States, maybe there’s some room for ZTE to thrive, after all. Of course, the company still has to contend with a shrinking smartphone market, just like everyone else.
ZTE tries for a US return with an affordable flagship
The Trump administration Huawei ban is sure to have wide-ranging and long lasting effects for all parties. In the meantime, it seems, a number of those involved in the periphery are treading lightly in hope of not burning bridges on either side. Google has taken accidental center stage, in its role providing Android and a variety of apps for the embattled handset maker.
According to a new report from Reuters, the U.S. software giant has taken some steps toward disentangling itself. Word comes from unnamed sources, who say the company has suspended all businesses with Huawei, aside from those covered by open-source licenses. The list appears to include updates to Android and popular apps like Gmail.
From the sound of it, Google is still attempting to wrap its head around how to proceed with the matter. Huawei, too, is assessing its options. Given the complexity of smartphone hardware and software, handsets routinely utilize components source from a variety of different locations. This fact has complicated things as trade tensions have begun to rise, hitting ZTE particularly hard over accusations that the company had violated U.S.-Iran sanctions.
Huawei has called the ban bad for all parties, but has continued to be defiant, noting its plans to become “self-reliant.” The company has no doubt been preparing for the seeming inevitability of heightened trade tensions, but its determination has some industry observers unconvinced that it can carry on with without any input from Google or U.S. chipmakers like Qualcomm.
Google reportedly suspends select business with Huawei over U.S. ban
More dismal news from the smartphone number crunchers. New figures out of Canalys put the North American smartphone market at five-year low for the first quarter of 2019. That’s…bad. But also, pretty inline with what we’ve been seeing globally. The market has stagnated, and while manufacturers aren’t in full-on panic mode, there’s certainly cause for concern.
Shipments dropped from 44.4 million down to 36.4 million, marking an 18% drop year over year for the first quarter. Canalys says it’s the steepest drop it’s recorded for the category, chalking up some of the issues to “a lackluster performance by Apple and the absence of ZTE.”
Apple is still the top of the heap, commanding 40% of the North American market with help from the sale of older discounted units. But Samsung managed to tighten the gap on the back of a successful Galaxy S10 launch. The company grew by 3% for the year, up to 29.3% of the market.
LG, Lenovo and TCL rounded out the top five, with the latter two making pretty solid market-share strides. The remainder of the market took a massive hit, however, with a 65% drop in shipments. Analysts seem confident that 5G’s imminent arrival will help give the market a boost in coming quarters, but it’s going to be hard for manufacturers to maintain that momentum.
Smartphone shipments hit a five-year low in North America
Компания прогнозирует, что за шесть месяцев 2019 года чистая прибыль составит 1,2 – 1,8 млрд юаней
Чистая прибыль ZTE по итогам квартала составила 863 млн юаней
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