Chinese smartphone maker targets United States for 2014
While still the most lucrative in the world, the smartphone market in the United States poses problems for manufacturers. Apple, of course, dominates the landscape, with its monolithic iPhone accounting for more than a fifth of all mobile phones in the nation. Samsung also looms large, responsible for a quarter of the American smartphone market, and no other smartphone manufacturer registers double digit share in the market. The two giants crowding the American market don't intimidate China's Meizu, though. Speaking with Electronista last week, representatives from the company were confident that a combination of simplification, affordability, and high-specs in its devices can make it a force when big push into the American market comes later this year.
MX3 slated for September
Meizu has formally unveiled its latest flagship smartphone, the MX3, which promises to be one of the first to arrive with 128GB of storage. The Android 4.2 device centers around a 5.1-inch IPS display with 1800x1080 resolution, resulting in 415ppi density, along with the same eight-core Exynos Octa processor as Samsung's Galaxy S4 i9500, according to a specs list posted by PhoneArena.
Upgrade will be called 'Flyme 1.0' in China
Meizu-branded MX and M9 smartphones will receive Android 4.0 in the form of the Flyme OS 1.0 upgrade later this year. The upgrade will be available by way of over-the-air push or by a direct firmware update from Meizu's website in June.
Meizu MX Quad-core ups ante
Meizu started its week in China with the MX Quad-core. The design promises to be one of the fastest phones on the market, partly through its using a Samsung chip instead of the NVIDIA Tegra 3. While shy on details, Meizu mentioned it as an Exynos based on a 32-nanometer ARM Cortex-A9 design, likely making it the Exynos 4412 and giving it a 1.5GHz clock speed.
Meizu MX and M9 get tease of new version
Meizu ended early experimentation by posting a public beta of Android 4.0. Both the current MX and the earlier M9 can try 4.0.3 and get many of the benefits, such as Chrome for Android and hints of new interface elements. The M9 version is an update to an earlier build and puts both phones on the same page.
First images of FlyMe skin for Android 4 shared
Meizu founder Jack Wong has posted the first photos and hand-sketched images of the upcoming FlyMe skin that will be paired with the Android 4.0 OS in the company's upcoming smartphones. The Meizu MX that launched in China at the start of this year is expected to run the skin along with the M9. The M9 was recently involved in beta testing of Android 4.0.
Meizu M9 closes in on Android 4 with beta
Meizu signaled on Tuesday that it was getting close to bringing an official upgrade to Android 4.0 to its 2011 smartphone, the M9, by starting up beta testing. Along with its Chinese work, a posting at Meizu Me has opened a very limited number of slots for those who live elsewhere to get test firmware early. The candidacy system at least outside of China is based on subjective merit and more likely to go to experienced fans first.
OPPO Find 3 Android phone coming to China
A new smartphone due for China, the OPPO Find 3, is due to arrive soon with some impressive specs. Made to compete with the Meizu MX, it is made of metal, glass and silicon and sports relatively high-end specs. These include a dual-core, 1.5GHz processor from Qualcomm, 1GB of RAM and a four-inch touchscreen.
Meizu MX gets official debut in China with tweaks
The Meizu MX had its formal launch on New Year's Day both in mainland China and Hong Kong. In a repeat of last year's M9, lines in at least some locations were long at a level normally only seen for Apple launches, with over 900 seen at the Hong Kong store. Allegations in 2011 that Meizu had stacked the lines have faded this year as Meizu still had to control lines by asking most in line to come only when called.
Meizu MX with quad-core CPU due in May?
The quad-core version of the Meizu MX smartphone won't be coming to the Chinese market until May of next year, the company's boss Jack Wong revealed on the Meizu BBS forum board. That's a lot later than originally expected, though that unofficial launch date has come and gone. When it does arrive, however, Android 4.0 should be onboard, along with Meizu's Flyme user interface.
Meizu MX confirmed at last
Meizu after a long run-up confirmed the MX in its latest bid to capture the high end of the Chinese phone market. The version on show jumps from 3.5 inches to a four-inch, 640x960 display and is using a dual-core 1.4GHz Exynos chip from Samsung, not the quad-core promised for later. Only traces of the original iPhone-imitating design remain, although traces of the front and the physical home button remain.
Meizu MX seen for first time
The Meizu MX got its first public outing through a sighting on the company's forums that was caught on MeizuMe before it was pulled. The upcoming Android smartphone is taking a somewhat sleeker back design with a large space for the camera lens. Its front currently has traces of the iPhone's look, although the low-quality shot and its prototype nature make it difficult to say if this will carry through to production.
CEO commits to latest Android update
Meizu is reportedly preparing to bring Android 4.0 to its current M9 handset and the upcoming MX variant. Responding to questions posted on Meizu's forums, CEO Jack Wong noted that the company will try to upgrade to Ice Cream Sandwich as soon as possible. The executive suggests the plans will not affect the release schedule for the MX.
Meizu MX smartphone priced for China
The upcoming quad-core smartphone that is the Meizu MX has just been officially priced and dated for its release in China. The device will be available in 16GB and 32GB capacities, priced at ¥3,999 (about $625) and ¥4,999 (nearly $780), respectively. The base version will get a dual-core ARM Cortex A9 processor while the 32GB model will have a four-core A9.
Meizu tablet drawings show up online
A MeizuMe forum member has just found some technical drawings of an upcoming tablet posted by the China's State Intellectual Property Office. They are accompanied by a patent application for a tablet case, though not many technical details are revealed. A QWERTY keyboard is clearly visible in the drawings, however.
iPhone clone ups hardware specs
Meizu's MX smartphone may be one of the first to arrive on the market with a quad-core processor, according to CEO Jack Wong. The handset was originally expected to be limited to a dual-core processor, however the executive published a post on the company's official forums claiming the 32GB variant will be upgraded to a quad-core chip.
M8 owners qualified for trade-in
Meizu may be set to ship its Android-based MX handset as early as September, ahead of the end-of-the-year estimate cited in earlier reports. Details posted on Meizu Me suggest the company will allow owners of M8 or M9 handsets to trade their devices for the MX. The upcoming release maintains the same 640x960 resolution as its predecessor, but spreads the screen size from 3.5- to 4-inches.
Android 2.3 beta for Meizu M9 officially released
The Meizu M9 smartphone has received the update to Android 2.3 beta, which fixed certain issues with the handset. Namely, international users will no longer have to put up with non-working Google Contacts and Calendar sync, while non-downloadable Market apps have now been fixed. Other detail changes are present as well.
Sharp may make LTPS LCD for iPhone 6 in 2012
Rumors of Sharp's involvement in the long term for iPhone displays were revived again Tuesday with assertions in Japan's Nikkan paper that it would be making displays for the 2012 iPhone. Its design would use low temperature polysilicon (LTPS) LCDs that would use polycrystalline silicon to slim down by mounting the display driver hardware on the glass itself. The lower required temperature also improves the power consumption, AppleInsider noted, and the higher aperture ratio produces a richer image.
Sharp adds smartphone LCDs to TV factory
Sharp said Thursday that it was shifting some of the production at its second TV plant in Kameyama to smartphone and tablet displays. Both medium and small displays would be made side-by-side with TVs later this year. The development was coming along with a world-first use of new "oxide semiconductor material" for thin film transistor (TFT) LCDs that would shrink the transistors to allow much more light from a given pixel, leading to either a brighter mobile device display or lower power use for the same brightness.
Meizu plans office in California
Meizu head Jack Wong said Tuesday that he planned to expand to the US. The company would set up an office in California and planned to sell devices like the M9 and upcoming MX. Wong was shy on timing or exact plans.
Meizu MX shown with four-inch Retina Display
Meizu head Jack Wong chose Sunday forum post to show the successor to the M9 in what could be an indirect clue as to iPhone 5 features. Now called the MX, the device once known as the M9II will keep its 640x940 resolution but on a larger four-inch screen. The design was already expected to use a dual-core chip and would be less than a hundredth of an inch thicker than its Apple inspiration.
Meizu M9II may get 4in screen and dual-core A9
Meizu chief Jack Wong in comments has alluded to first details of a sequel for the M9. The informally named M9II would move up to a four-inch screen that would run at least 640x960 "or better," he said. Comments plucked by Shanzhaiji from the official Meizu boards also had the new phone making a hop to a dual-core ARM Cortex-A9 processor, 1GB each for EAM and ROM, and a camera with a backside-illuminated CMOS sensor.
Chinese official says Meizu paid for long M9 lines
The China Telecom Industry Association's (CTIA) Secretary General Li Yi accused Meizu of staging the very long M9 lines for its New Year's debut. He claimed Meizu chief Jack Wong paid for the hundreds or thousands of customers to line up at key Meizu stores. This was just part of how he regularly conducted business, the official commented in his Weibo update.
Meizu M9 launch queues reach hundreds
Meizu kicked off the new year by launching the M9 on a wider scale in its native China. Reports and photos from Meizu stores in Beijing, Guangzhou, Shanghai and Shenzhen showed lineups that would typically be reserved for Apple launches in Europe and North America, with queues reaching into hundreds or thousands. Some were known to have cued as early as 8PM the night before.
Dissection shows 1GHz ARM processor, 802.11n
Several days after the Meizu's M9 handset arrived on the market in China, the device has already been dissected to reveal its internal components. The teardown shows hardware very similar to the Samsung's Galaxy S-series handsets, which share the same 1GHz ARM Cortex A8 "Hummingbird" processor, despite earlier reports suggesting the M9 utilized a slower 800MHz chip.
Meizu M9 on sale in China
Meizu on Saturday began shipping the M9 to China a few days ahead of its original Christmas deadline. The purported iPhone clone is already in the hands of first buyers and has already received some early tests comparing it to other Android devices. It runs an 800MHz processor, not 1GHz, and as a result scores above the Nexus One with Android 2.1 but trails the Google phone with 2.2 as well as the Samsung Galaxy S and Motorola Droid X.
Meizu M9 gets OK for China
Meizu wrapped up a positive week with word that it was cleared to sell the upcoming M9. A network license from the State Ministry of Industry and Information Technology was considered the last barrier to sale in the country. Major cities in the country should get the Android phone by Christmas.
Sharp building LCD plant with iPhone as focus
Sharp is spending the equivalent of $1.2 billion on an LCD factory that will primarily serve Apple, reports from Japan's Nikkei maintained on Thursday. Similar to a Toshiba plant mentioned by the same business paper, the Sharp plant would focus on small and mid-size LCDs but focus primarily on serving the iPhone. Apple would even take on most of the cost of establishing the factory, the paper claimed.
Meizu M9 site update hints phone due soon
The Meizu website and forum have gone live, with up-to-date photos of the company's upcoming M9 smartphone. Also revealed are the final specs, which confirm the 3.5-inch, 960x640 touchscreen, 1GHz ARM Cortex A8-based CPU and GPS. Also found on the phone are Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 2.1 and support for GSM, EDGE and 7.2Mbps 3G.
Meizu ships M9 on December 25 but not 2.3
Meizu's chief Jack Wong today said his company's M9 smartphone would ship in China on Christmas day. The Android phone widely considered to be an iPhone clone should reach Beijing, Guangzhou, Shanghai and Shenzhen at the same time and will expand to other cities and countries later. Production won't be enough to cover enough people at first, he explained.
M9 now to run Android, but still copying Apple
Meizu CEO Jack Wong, in an online chat, has claimed that Apple sent a vice president to meet with the company over the M8, Meizu's previous attempt to capitalize on Apple's success in China. After Apple successfully halted sales of the M8, the company announced that their latest model, the M9, would move to an Android platform and customize the OS to differentiate itself more from Apple's products, while still borrowing from Apple for the hardware design.
Firm wants Apple's Chinese iPhone patents invalid
A Chinese dispute with Apple's iPhone patents may negate some of the company's legal action against Meizu, the Beijing Times said Saturday. Local firm Herron Network Information has sued Apple arguing that a patent for the iPhone's design was invalid as it wasn't attached to the product name. Chinese law requires that any patent refer to a specific product, and it was only after the Patent Bureau volunteered to associate the patent with the iPhone on its own that the patent went through; relying on someone else was also against the law, Herron said.
Meizu M9 said as fast as iPhone 4
Meizu's M9 smartphone was given a hands-on this weekend as well as testing that signals it's near complete. Developer Archon directly compared the Android phone against the iPhone 4 and claimed that it was slightly better in some areas. He told MeizuMe that it was slightly faster for web browsing and that it was much more comparable in its camera's responsiveness, never taking more than two seconds to be ready to snap a photo.
Apple's Jobs explains Meizu shut down
Apple chief Steve Jobs responded to questions surrounding the freeze of Meizu's M8 sales in an e-mail late last evening. The executive, whose e-mail headers were verified through MeizuMe, offered just a terse response that accused the Chinese company of deliberate theft. It's "because they stole our ideas and intellectual property," Jobs said.
Apple stops Meizu over M8 cloning dispute
Meizu chief Jack Wong today reported that Apple had effectively stopped sales of the similar-looking M8 in China after claims of design copying. The American company initially struck a deal with Meizu to stop just production of new models but allegedly turned on the deal and ordered Meizu to stop selling any models that were already in store. China's Intellectual Property Office wasn't legally enforcing the deal but could shut down factories without a warrant if it felt the move necessary.
Meizu chief complains of Apple legal pressure
Meizu chief Jack Wong today complained that his company was under pressure from Apple in legal talks over its rights to make the M9. The Chinese company's founder was "disgusted" with the process and was convinced Apple was trying to claim ownership of large, touchscreen-only phones. Intellectual property law was working against Meizu as well, he said, as it was favoring a larger company like Apple and had vague wording that could impact a "substantially similar" product.
New images leaked by company head
Meizu appears to be readying another Apple clone, the M9 II, which has appeared in teaser photos posted by company head J. Wong. Interestingly enough, the executive claims Apple's new iPod touch "looks a bit like the M9 II." The Chinese company followed in Apple's footsteps, however, adopting a 960x480 touchscreen, 1GHz processor and similar form for the second M9 revision.
Meizu chief wants Retina Display for M9
Meizu chief Jack Wong has set out plans to match Apple once again in a recent post on his company's forums. He now expects the next phone, the M9, to use a 3.54-inch, 960x640 screen very similar if not identical to the iPhone 4's. It would seem familiar most other areas as well with a 1GHz processor, 512MB of RAM and multi-touch.
Images show new form, Android OS
Meizu CEO Huang Zhang, posting under the forum name J. Wong, has posted several low-quality images teasing the company's upcoming M9 handset. The blurry interface picture does not clearly show the phone facade, however it does appear to confirm the company's switch to Android for its iPhone clones.
Meizu plans switch from WinCE to Android
Meizu chief Jack Wong added to his company's phone plans today by confirming that the M9 should at least use Android 2.1 when it ships. The software will get a custom interface from Meizu and may support Meizu's own Mstore app portal as well as Android Market.
Meizu sets early goals for mBook tablet
Meizu CEO Jack Wong on Sunday posted some of the first details of his company's iPad clone, the mBook. The tablet will be slightly smaller than its Apple counterpart at 8.4 inches but should play 1080p and officially last longer on battery at 12 hours. He promised the same 1024x768 resolution and capacitive touch as the iPad but noted it would have an HDMI output to show HD video at full size.
Meizu wants no trouble in shadowing Apple tablet
Meizu chief Jack Wong as quietly put down speculation that his company might produce a clone of Apple's iPad. Although the M8 was created as a direct response to the iPhone, Wong said he doesn't have the "slightest interest" in making a tablet version. He told fans that he would rather not "lose face" by creating such a design.
Meizu chief gives early M9 details
Meizu chief J. Wong today told fans through a forum post of early details for the M8's sequel, tentatively named the M9. The early Chinese iPhone clone's new model should be slightly thinner and taller but will be more notable for its performance; it should carry a 1GHz ARM processor made by Samsung as well as 512MB of RAM. Previously hinted-at 3G is not only expected but should reach WCDMA networks (via HSPA), CDMA (EVDO) and TD-SCDMA at the same time, covering both China and and the world.
Meizu M8 firmware to allow Windows Mobile apps
Meizu CEO Jack Wong said on the weekend that the new 1.0 firmware for the M8 M8 smartphone, is being developed with the help of Microsoft that will give the device the ability to run Windows Mobile apps. At the same time, Wong revealed that upcoming M8 phones will switch to a new, more durable PET touchscreen, though it is still undergoing testing.
iPhone cloner Meizu to borrow app strategy
Meizu executive Hailiang Hua has M8 initially followed Apple's iPhone design closely, the unnamed shop will initially follow a similar model that gives M8 owners software designed for the originally Windows CE-based Chinese smartphone. It should go so far as to replicate the 70/30 split in revenue as an incentive to developers.
Meizu M8 beta leak shows new UI
Meizu's M8 phone is about to undergo a major overhaul that draws on interface elements from at least three major operating systems, a copy of leaked firmware shows. Version 18.104.22.168 will shift its attention more towards Android with an app launcher much like Google's. However, that launcher will also be available directly from the drag-to-unlock screen and like Windows Mobile 6.5 will let users unlock directly to the phone or e-mail apps instead of visiting a home screen. Android's influence is equally evident in a contextual menu showing in the M8's web browser.
Meizu launches updated iPhone clone
The successor to Meizu's iPhone clone, the M8, has gone on sale on Tuesday in the maker's home market of China. Called just the M8 Second Edition, the device is said to have a stronger radio and support both for the China-specific WAPI wireless standard and more traditional Wi-Fi, either of which was absent on the original. Other specs remain thin, but the dedicated music button on the right side of the device is now gone.
Meizu M8 to get Android?
Chinese handset manufacturer Meizu recently announced its M8 cellphone will soon get a firmware upgrade to its true 1.0 status and there are rumblings on various forums that the handset may eventually rely on a Google Android operating system. Meizu's CEO Jack Wong has himself apparently confirmed there is a dedicated team investigating the Android platform.
Meizu M8 Upgrade Coming
Meizu's planned sequel to the M8, its at times controversial shadow to the iPhone, is now said by company chief J. Wong to be a significant but more evolutionary upgrade. In place of a complete overhaul, the Chinese executive says the phone will support both China-native 3G through the TD-SCDMA standard as well as GPS. A camera upgrade is also due with a 5-megapixel sensor and an LED flash.