A year after buying 1,500 patents from Microsoft, Xiaomi is digging into the global intellectual property pool once again. Nokia has announced that it has entered into a wide-ranging patent licensing and purchase deal with Xiaomi, the Chinese maker of smartphones, wearables and other hardware, which will also become a customer of Nokia’s for networking equipment.
The deal covers three main areas: Nokia and Xiaomi have inked a cross licensing deal covering cellular standard essential patents; Xiaomi has acquired unspecified patents from Nokia; and Nokia will provide network equipment to Xiaomi and will collaborate on building IP transport solutions. The pair will also consider “further cooperation” in other areas Internet of Things, augmented and virtual reality and artificial intelligence.
“As a company seeking to deliver more exciting technological innovations to the world, we are excited at the opportunity to work more closely with Nokia in future,” said Lei Jun, chairman and CEO of Xiaomi, in a statement. “Xiaomi is committed to building sustainable, long-term partnerships with global technology leaders. Our collaboration with Nokia will enable us to tap on its leadership in building large, high performance networks and formidable strength in software and services, as we seek to create even more remarkable products and services that deliver the best user experience to our Mi fans worldwide.”
We’ve asked, and both Nokia and Xiaomi have declined to provide further detail on which patents Xiaomi has acquired, or any of the financial terms of the deal.
It’s also not clear how and if the Nokia patents are related to those Xiaomi purchased from Microsoft: if you recall, Microsoft and Nokia were once close partners, and then Microsoft acquired Nokia’s handset business, before eventually winding that disastrous venture down.
The news points to a couple of ongoing stories in the technology world. For starters, it’s a mark of how patents and the wielding of them continues to sway larger business movements in the industry.
In May, Nokia and Apple settled a long-running patent dispute that threatened to disrupt Nokia’s wearables business and more. The value of these deals is often not made public, but it is not negligible: documents once revealed that licensing deals between Samsung and Microsoft are worth $1 billion a year.
Another interesting theme in patent disputes lies in how they are used as leverage for bigger business deals.
In the case of Xiaomi and Nokia, Xiaomi will become a customer of Nokia’s for network equipment — specifically “network infrastructure equipment designed to deliver the high capacity, low power requirements expected by large web providers and datacenter operators” and “optical transport solutions for datacenter interconnect, IP Routing based on Nokia’s newly announced FP4 network processor, and a data center fabric solution.”
Longer term, it also opens the door to further collaboration in other areas.
“Xiaomi is one of the world’s leading smartphone manufacturers and we are delighted to have reached an agreement with them,” said Rajeev Suri, President & CEO of Nokia, in a statement. “In addition to welcoming such a prominent global technology company to our family of patent licensees, we look forward to working together on a wide range of strategic projects.”
IoT, notably, has been a focus for both companies. Xiaomi says that its Mi IoT platform now has more than 60 million connected devices on it, with over 8 million daily active connected devices.
Xiaomi was once a much-watched juggernaut in the world of mobile phones, with many wondering if it had what it takes to unseat those who have been at the top of the smartphone game for years now, namely Samsung and Apple.
The fact that Xiaomi is in 30 countries but has never launched direct sales of handsets in the U.S. — focusing instead on accessories and so on, and selling actual devices in China, India and select other markets — has been a hindrance to that bigger potential. So it’s natural to wonder if deals like this could help pave the way for that kind of expansion.
“This is a really significant milestone that will take us further,” a spokesperson. “Sustainable and long term agreements with partners like Nokia lay the ground for global expansion.”
2019 Google Play Award winners highlight top Android apps and games
Google on the eve of I/O 2019 announced the Play Award winners to celebrate the top Android apps and games. The nominees in nine categories were unveiled late last month, with the ceremony this evening in Mountain View, California.
There are nine categories with criteria factoring overall quality, strong design, technical performance, and innovation. The nominees were first selected by various teams across Google. Winners during the May 6th event also received a silver Play trophy, and are featured on the Play Store.
We’re sharing the winners that rose to the top for providing the best experiences for fans, making an impact on their communities and raising the bar for quality content on Google Play.
Standout Well-Being App
Apps empowering people to live the best version of their lives, while demonstrating responsible design and engagement strategies.
- Woebot by Woebot Labs
Best Accessibility Experience
Apps and games enabling device interaction in an innovative way that serve people with disabilities or special needs.
- Envision AI by Envision Technologies BV
Best Social Impact
Apps and games that create a positive impact in communities around the world (focusing on health, education, crisis response, refugees, and literacy).
- Wisdo by Wisdo LTD.
Most Beautiful Game
Games that exemplify artistry or unique visual effects either through creative imagery, and/or utilizing advanced graphics API features.
- Shadowgun Legends by MADFINGER Games
Best Living Room Experience
Apps that create, enhance, or enable a great living room experience that brings people together.
- Neverthink by Neverthink
Apps and games that display a groundbreaking new use case, like utilize new technologies, cater to a unique audience, or demonstrate an innovative application of mobile technology for users.
- Tick Tock by Other Tales Interactive
Standout Build for Billions Experience
Apps and games with optimized performance, localization and culturalization for emerging markets.
- Canva by Canva
Best Breakthrough App
New apps with excellent overall design, user experience, engagement and retention, and strong growth.
- Slowly by Slowly Communications Ltd.
Best Breakthrough Game
New games with excellent overall design, user experience, engagement and retention, and strong growth.
- MARVEL Strike Force by FoxNext Games
My Samsung Galaxy Fold screen broke after just a day
Look closely at the picture above, and you can see a small bulge right on the crease of my Galaxy Fold review unit. It’s just enough to slightly distort the screen, and I can feel it under my finger. There’s something pressing up against the screen at the hinge, right there in the crease. My best guess is that it’s a piece of debris, something harder than lint for sure. It’s possible that it’s something else, though, like the hinge itself on a defective unit pressing up on the screen.
It’s a distressing thing to discover just two days after receiving my review unit. More distressing is that the bulge eventually pressed sharply enough into the screen to break it. You can see the telltale lines of a broken OLED converging on the spot where the bulge is.
Whatever happened, it certainly wasn’t because I have treated this phone badly. I’ve done normal phone stuff, like opening and closing the hinge and putting it in my pocket. We did stick a tiny piece of molding clay on the back of the phone yesterday to prop it up for a video shoot, which is something we do in every phone video shoot. So perhaps a tiny piece of that snuck into a gap on the back of the hinge and then around or through its cogs until it lodged in between the screen and the hinge. It’d be sort of like Charlie Chaplin getting caught in the gears in Modern Times.
Or maybe something got in another one of the little gaps somewhere else. Or maybe it was pieces from the hinge itself breaking loose and working their way up into the screen. I don’t know. I just know that the screen is broken, and there was no obvious proximate cause for the bulge that broke it. I certainly haven’t used it on a beach or shook it in a bag of chips or anything wild. Just normal use.I DON’T KNOW WHAT HAPPENED; I JUST KNOW THE SCREEN IS BROKEN
We’ve seen worries about scratches on expensive phones and debris breaking the keyboard on expensive MacBooks, but a piece of debris distorting the screen on a $1,980 phone after one day of use feels like it’s on an entirely different level.
I reached out to Samsung right away to get a statement, but it took about 24 hours for the company to put one together. Here it is, and the gist is that Samsung is looking into our unit and also warning users not to try to peel off the protective layer on the top of the screen.
Also, I have, however, received a replacement review unit from Samsung. I think the first one is on a jet to South Korea for Samsung’s engineers to take apart and diagnose.
By the way, it appears I’m not the only reviewing the phone who has had a problem with the screen. Here’s Steve Kovach:
Mark Gurman of Bloomberg also broke his, but that’s perhaps because he removed a protective layer that looks like a screen protector, but definitely isn’t meant to be removed.
And here’s Marques “MKBHD” Brownlee confirming he, too, had to get a replacement unit after peeling off the outer layer (which, again, wasn’t our issue):
It looks like retail units of the Galaxy Fold will include a warning about not removing the protective layer, but review units don’t seem to have included this one:
Like everybody else, I said in my original hands-on with the Galaxy Fold that I absolutely am able to see the crease between the two sides of the screen. But when I’m using the phone, I don’t actually notice it much. It’s easy to talk about it as a small first-generation compromise you have to make for what is otherwise a wonder of engineering: a tablet that folds in half.
I took a photo in my hotel room when the bulge first appeared. The next morning, that same bulge finally broke the screen.
Another thing people are worried about is the plastic screen scratching or picking up nicks easily. There are already a couple of minor dings on my unit, but they’re minor enough that I didn’t see them until our photographer zoomed way in to show them to me. If you look closely at the edges of the screen, there’s a sort of built-in screen protector on the front of the device. Samsung calls it a “polymer layer.” It is not designed to be removed. (Please don’t try it if you get your hands on a Fold.)
But while the crease and the nicks feel like compromises you could live with, a mysterious bulge that breaks the screen is something else entirely — especially one that appears just a day after pretty normal use. It’s a problem that is unacceptable on a phone that costs this much.
Every phone with movable parts is going to have more points of failure than a fully sealed, static phone. So it’s natural to say that you need to treat it with more care than usual. Before I saw this bulge, my impression was that this phone was much more durable than I expected. The hinge always felt solid and well-built. That impression of (relative) durability is obviously as broken as the flexing screen now.
If I’m right and it’s debris, it means that not only do you need to treat your phone with care, but you also have to worry about stuff getting in underneath the screen. If I’m wrong and it’s some kind of defect in the hardware, well… then we’re in entirely different territory. Either way: yikes.
Hopefully Samsung lets us know the results after it takes my original review unit apart to see what happened.
This is the best time to purchase an iPhone XR in India
Apple is discounting the iPhone XR by a massive 22% from Friday.
Apple is kicking off a massive discount on the iPhone XR in India that will bring the device down to just ₹59,900 ($870). That’s a staggering ₹17,000 ($250) discount from the phone’s retail price of ₹76,900 ($1,120). What makes this particular deal even better is that HDFC is getting in on the action, offering an additional 10% cashback on top of the discounted price.
That effectively brings the price of the 64GB iPhone XR down to just ₹53,900 ($780), which is a fabulous deal. The promotional price extends to all three variants of the iPhone XR, and you’ll similarly be able to avail the HDFC cashback on all three models. The deal will go live from Friday, April 5, and will be valid until stocks last.
Here’s the breakdown of the new pricing:
|Category||MRP||New price||For HDFC customers|
|iPhone XR (64GB)||₹76,900||₹59,900||₹53,900|
|iPhone XR (128GB)||₹81,900||₹64,900||₹58,400|
|iPhone XR (256GB)||₹91,900||₹74,900||₹67,400|
The HDFC cashback is valid for both debit and credit card holders, and if you don’t have an eligible card yet, you can pick one up to avail the discount on the iPhone XR. I’m partial to the Regalia for the airline benefits and low markup on international spends.
This is Apple’s most aggressive move yet in the Indian market, and it’s clear that the company is positioning the iPhone XR against Samsung’s Galaxy S10e, which retails for ₹55,900 ($810). The discount will be a huge driver for iPhone XR sales in the country, and should give Apple some much-needed momentum in the premium segment.
Tech News4 days ago
Microsoft Teams will stop working for millions tomorrow
The Future4 days ago
Coding the future: the tech kids solving life’s problems
The Motivator1 day ago
Google launches People Cards to help Africans who want to be found on Google Search
Systems4 days ago
NEW NOKIA LAPTOP SERIES REVEALS BIS CERTIFICATION
Entertainment2 days ago
Here’s How to See What You Listened to Most on Spotify This Year
Internet4 days ago
How can I look at others’ WhatsApp status without them knowing it?
Security1 day ago
Warning Issued For Millions Of New iPhone Users
The Motivator2 days ago
The Ultimate Guide to Protecting Your Child Online in 2020