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TikTok’s Parent Company Bytedance is working on their own Smartphone brand!

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Every now and then we come across some new companies who are trying to make their own space in the smartphone market. But, sadly most of them fights with the tried and tested smartphone giants and finally gives up. The latest news is coming from the founders of popular video sharing app, TikTok. According to reports, the founding company of TikTok, Bytedance, is building its own smartphone.

The report from financial Times quotes an unnamed source who revealed that Bytedance founder Zhang Yiming has long dreamt of a smartphone with Bytedance’s apps  pre-installed. Earlier this year Bytedance made a deal with phone manufacturer Smartisan and acquired patents and some employees from the company, which indicates that the report is indeed true.

Out of the apps made by Bytedance, most people knows only about TikTok, owing to it’s popularity. Other apps from Bytedance includes Lark, a collaboration tool,an instant messenger called Felilao .While a lot of chinese smartphone companies have their own applications pre-installed in their own smartphones, this is one of the rare cases where an application company makes their own smartphone so that they can endorse their apps in it. It must be noted that the companies who tried to do the same before, Amazon and Facebook, who launched smartphones to endorse their app failed shortly and had to discontinue the products.

If the news is true, capturing the market will be just one of the few worries for Bytedance, because of the ongoing trade war between USA and China. Recently, TikTok was banned in India for a short period of time for promoting “cultural degradation”.

On the other side, TikTok is one of the most popular apps on both the Apple iTunes store where it was downloaded 33 million times and in the Google Playstore, where it was downloaded 88.2 million times.

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Huawei moves to trademark Hongmeng US. Already in testing by Tencent, Xiaomi, Oppo & Tencent!

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The recent US move to blacklist Huawei Technologies Co. could backfire on US firms. Many manufacturers like Google, Qualcomm, and even Facebook has cut ties with the Chinese manufacturer.  After the ban, the company claimed that its own OS has been in the works for years. Huawei is reportedly moving to trademark the name of the operating system “HongMeng” in Peru. Not only that, it is already being tested by major Chinese companies like Tencent, Xiaomi and OPPO.

According to a report from the Chinese newspaper Global Times, Huawei’s upcoming HongMeng OS is being tested by major Chinese companies. The newspaper which cites a source “close to a major Chinese carrier” said that major Chinese manufacturers “are actively working with Huawei to push forward the release of HongMeng OS, which also considered a major blow to the US-led crackdown”.

The US ban targeting a Chinese manufacturer may have created an opportunity for the manufacturers in the east to come together and make a common OS platform. This could largely affect the revenues of Android, which is owned by Google. Earlier this week, Huawei reportedly began inviting Google Play Store developers to publish their own apps on its own AppGalley app store. Now a trademark application for HongMeng was filed with Peru’s National Institute for the Defence of Free Competition and the Protection of Intellectual Property (Indecopi) on May 27, as reported by Reuters.

As for HongMeng OS, the previous report claims that the new operating system is 60% faster than Android, which falls in the line with the previous claim by Huawei’s head of the smartphone’s business Richard Yu. There is no official report about HongMeng OS being tested by other manufacturers, and could simply be a PR battle between the US and China. But there is no doubt Huawei is moving ahead with its own smartphone OS, which doesn’t look good for Google from a business standpoint.
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Asus cannot use Zenfone or Zen brand names in India!

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ASUS announced the refreshed Zenfone Max series last year that aims to provide premium features along with a bigger battery while keeping the price at bay. Other ASUS Zenfone branded smartphones like the Zenfone Max Pro M2, Zenfone Max M2 and the older Zenfone Max Pro M1 feared really well in the Indian market. However, the future seems to be bleak for the series with a ruling against ASUS prohibiting them from selling smartphones or accessories under the Zenfone branding in India.

Telecare Network India Pvt Limited filed a plaintiff against ASUS claiming the Zen and Zen Mobiles are their own. The company sells both feature phones and entry-level phones and previously sold tablets also. It claims that the uses of a similar branding by a competitor is damaging and can create confusion among customers. Delhi High court found the argument reasonable and banned ASUS from selling any smartphone, tablet or accessory under the Zenfone branding starting eight weeks after May 28 i.e from July 23.

The High Court took the fact that Zen has been selling mobile phones since 2008 and even has a partnership with Bollywood superstar Amitabh Bachchan in 2010 as the company’s brand ambassador. ASUS had no counter argument for this fact as it started selling smartphones under the Zenfone branding from 2014.

ASUS in its defence said that Zen is a generic term in Buddhist philosophy but the court overruled this fact by saying even though Zen is a common term, it cannot be easily associated with smartphone technology and therefore cannot be treated as generic in this case. And thus, Telecare Network is “entitiled” to protect the trademark, the judgement says.

The next hearing for this case is on July 10. If the lawyers representing ASUS fails to provide compelling evidence that its decision to choose a conflicting name is not an act of trademark infringement and passing off, the company may have no option other than to comply with the court ruling and stop selling the devices in India. ASUS also has its ZenBook line of laptop which will likely to be affected by the decision.

For now, ASUS can bypass the this prohibition by selling devices under a different brand name or proceed with the appealing in the Supreme Court of India which may take very long before a resolution is passed.

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Sony Mobile to Pull out from India, Australia, Canada, South America, Mexico, Africa, and the Middle East!

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When it comes to innovations, Sony Mobile has been in the forefront of the news for quiet a long time. In fact, we must thank the Japanese technology giant for helping to shape several devices into what it is today. However, despite the success in technology, Sony Mobile has been falling back in one crucial region, Sales.

Despite having success in the mobile business a few years ago, Sony has fell back terribly in terms of sales recently. Now Sony corporation has decided to stop their mobile business in countries like India, Australia, Canada, South America, Mexico, Africa, and the Middle East.

The new move comes as a step to prevent further loss to the company in their mobile business. Sony will be concentrating their mobile business on Japan, Europe, Taiwan, and Hong Kong markets where they still have a name of their own. Recently, the Xperia mobile division of Sony corporation, which was a separate entity, has been collapsed into new division called Electronics Products and Solutions, alongside TV, audio, and camera product lines.

While they were the first to introduce several features when the android boom took place, the slow adoption of industry trends and the lack of innovations after the successful beginning made them to lose the majority of their market share. Precisely speaking, their market share was reduced to less than 1% by 2018, according to Counterpoint Research.

Sony has said that their aim is to cut operational costs by 50% through this strategic move and thereby concentrate on smaller markets. Through this move Sony is planning to drive it’s mobile division to profits by the first financial year of 2020. But it is unclear why Sony has decided to pull out of these countries, where Sony has made a reputation for their quality, instead of releasing new smartphones at better prices.

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