Alibaba working on Netflix video streaming competitor in China

alibaba logoAliababa, the extremely large Chinese commerce company, is reportedly working on a video streaming service to rival Netflix in China. The service will be called TBO, or Tmall Box Office, and will operate on a mostly paid-content model. The company plans to keep around 90% of the content behind a paywall, either by subscription or a one-time fee for shows or episodes. The other 10% will be free.

The Chinese online video streaming market is very competitive, although a huge company like Alibaba stands a better chance at getting a foothold than some other contenders. Netflix still doesn’t officially have a presence in China, which likely has something to do with the poor track record of foreign companies attempting to succeed in China. Read more

Huawei delays launch of its SmartWatch to September-October in China

Huawei Smartwatch

Huawei’s Watch was first unveiled at MWC back in March, and it is still one of the better-looking Android Wear devices around. There is no set shipping date for the Huawei Watch just yet, although it is available to pre-order in most countries. Not in China though, availability of the Huawei Watch has been delayed until at least September, although October hasn’t been ruled out if things don’t go to plan.

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Smartphone sales up 19% in first quarter of 2015 thanks to emerging markets

smartphonesSmartphone sales saw a sizable growth during the first quarter of 2015, which Gartner says is due to an increase of smartphone sales in emerging markets. This makes sense, since smartphone sales have somewhat slowed down in the bigger markets, so many companies are attacking the smaller areas where not everyone has a smartphone already.

Emerging markets saw a roughly 40% increase during Q1, helping smartphones reach sales of 336 million units. Key regions included Eastern Europe, the Middle East, North Africa, and the Asian/Pacific market. Read more

HTC announces yet another 2015 flagship, the One ME

HTC One MEHTC almost seems like it’s satirizing itself at this point. The company has announced another variant of the HTC One that’s slated for China later this year, adding to the flooded flagship market that the company is trying to tackle this year.

Originally we got the One M9, which was a little boring, but stuck to HTC’s simple, yet sophisticated standards. Then, the One M9+ was announced. It featured an actual upgrade to last year’s M8, with a higher resolution screen, fingerprint scanner, etc. It probably wasn’t great that HTC announced it right on the heels of the regular M9, and it definitely didn’t help that the M9+ isn’t available globally. Read more

HTC’s WF5w smartphone looks to be their thinnest device yet

htc WF5wA new HTC device was certified in China with the model number WF5w. This phone obviously isn’t official, but the Chinese certification page lists the physical dimensions at just 152 grams and 7.49 mm thin. That bests HTC’s current thinnest smartphone, the E9+, by a small margin.

The phone reportedly runs Android 5.0.2 with a 5.5-inch, 720p display. There’s an octa-core processor on board, 2 GB of RAM, 13 megapixel front and rear cameras, and 16 GB of internal storage with an SD card slot. The phone isn’t bad by any stretch, but it’s clear the thinness will be the most unique feature here. Read more

Gionee Elife E8 will pack a 23MP camera that can take photos in 100MP resolution

gionee_elife_e8_tenaa

Gionee’s Elife E8 smartphone has been making the rounds of late. The device has now been certified by Chinese certification database TENAA, giving us a brief glimpse of its hardware as well. Although the specifications were revealed by a previous leak, we’re getting word on the camera now, which has taken us a bit by surprise. Read more