Chinese phone maker Huawei is planning a campaign to win over US consumers, rolling out new mobile phones and wearable devices backed by a marketing effort.
It is a brave move considering that it was only two years ago that the company was branded a spy by US senators who knew at the time that there stance was a case of the kettle calling the pot black.
China’s second-largest smartphone maker, already with more than $40 billion in annual revenue from a wide range of telecom gear and products, is preparing to introduce Americans to several of its smartphones and wearable devices this year, including its youth-oriented “Honor” phone.
Huawei’s US spokesman Bill Plummer said the company’s 2015 US plans will include traditional advertising, online promotion and sports team sponsorships.
He said the company wanted to change its marketing approach to shed its image as a purveyor of cheap technology products.
In December, it touted its new Honor 6 Plus phone on a billboard in New York’s Times Square. Plummer said that was “a sign of things to come”.
He declined to say how much Huawei will spend on its new marketing campaign or what sports team, or teams, it had in mind. In the UK it already sponsors Arsenal, cricket teams in India and rugby clubs in Australia.
At the Mobile World Congress over the weekend in Barcelona, Huawei took the wraps off a smartwatch that will be sold in over 20 countries including the US.
Huawei now intends to appeal directly to consumers with several new phone models, both low end and high end. It hopes to secure deals with carriers, selling online through marketplaces, such as the one operated by Amazon.com, and on its own fledgling gethuawei.com US direct-sales website.
US senators are mostly concerned with Huawei’s networking equipment, but in consumer land, Huawei has a huge problem with brand recognition.
Google is under attack again by government agencies, but this time its Russia that’s being accused of anti-monopolistic practices.
Search site Yandev asked the anti-competition watchdog to investigate claims whether it was taking advantage of Google’s Android operating system and shutting out competing apps.
Google is denying it behaves in a monopolistic manner and according to Reuters said people have complete control over apps on devices.
The same wire says that the European Commission is also pursuing Google to answer questions about whether its dominance in the mobile operating systems marketplace precludes competition.
And that’s not the end of it – the USA is also putting Google under the magnifying glass, even though Google said it will keep Android as an open system.
A motion in the European Parliament to be debated tomorrow and voted on on Thursday has raised the ire of the United States.
Two MEPs are proposing that Google should be dismembered because its power is excessive.
And even though the European Parliament has no powers to enforce such a move, it’s attracted ire from the US mission to the EU, according to Reuters.
In an email to the the EU the mission said it was concerned about the call to dismember Google.
It added that looking at competitive problems and remedies should be based on objective and impartial information and “not be politicised”.
If the European Parliament votes for the motion on Thursday, that’s likely to put pressure on the European Commission to step up its investigations.
Google has been under scrutiny by the EC – a separate entity from the parliament for four years following complaints by all and sundry that it is behaving in an antitrust manner.
The head of the NSA told politicians at the House of Representatives Intelligence Committee on cyber threats that China could invade and close down vital American computer systems.
Admiral Michael Rogers,who runs the NSA, told the committee that China and one or two other countries could attack power utilities, aviation and financial firms.
China and other countries have the ability to enter these kind of systems and to shut down the networks.
This isn’t the first time the USA has accused China of mounting cyber attacks, but it’s something that the Chinese government resolutely denies.
According to Reuters, a foreign ministry representative said that China absolutely banned cyber hacking and accused the USA of making cyber attacks on it and other nations.
The NSA still harvests phone records in the USA but earlier this week a bill to regulate surveillance failed and the agency will wait until a law is passed before making any major changes in its strategies and tactics.
Adoption of cloud technology in the healthcare section in Europe will be worth $1,275.6 million by the end of the decade according to a report from Frost & Sullivan.
Last year, the European market was worth $390.5 million and is expected to steadily grow between 10 to 30 percent in the next five years.
The cloud is good for cost efficient services for documentation, storage and sharing patient information, the report said. Government moves to create healthcare information exchanges have given the cloud market in Europe and the USA a boost. In addition, quick deployment and easier management of IT staff are other perceived advantages of using the cloud.
But the move to the cloud is being hampered by a lack of standardisation in legacy systems, meaning that data migration is both expensive and cumbersome.
And there are also concerns about data preservation, security and portability, meaning that when healthcare IT buyers sign up with cloud service providers there must be service level agreements to guarantee reliability and data portability.
The Washington Post claimed that hackers, backed by the Russian government, have penetrated some White House computer nets.
Unnamed sources insisting on anonymity told the Post that the hacks were into “unclassified” networks and that there’s no evidence that classified computers had been compromised.
A White Office official said that admins noted the activities straight away meaning there was some disruption to web services.
The National Security Agency (NSA), the FBI and the Secret Service have been invoked to assist with inquiries into the hackers.
The Russian government has not, so far, commented on the alleged intrusion. But it’s thought that hackers have targeted computers at NATO, official Ukraine sites, and companies supplying the US defence with kit.
The White House said that people try to hack US computers on a regular basis but the country has a military wing called US Cyber Command which can defend – or attack – intruders.
A study has revealed that while 85 percent of Americans use the internet, a third of the nation were hopeless at it.
The study was conducted by John Horrigan, an independent researcher suggests that the digital divide has been replaced by a gap in digital readiness.
More than a third of Americans were not digitally literate or don’t trust the internet. That subgroup tended to be less educated, poorer, and older than the average American. It’s the unternet, then.
It appears that those with essential Web skills “tend to be the more privileged” and it is only these who are getting any mileage from the digital revolution.
The study of 1,600 adults measured their grasp of terms like “cookie” and “Wi-Fi.” It asked them to rate how confident they were about using a desktop or laptop or a smart phone to find information, as well as how comfortable they felt about using a computer. Of those who scored low in these areas, about half were not internet users.
Horrigan said that politicians have ignored the problem of digital readiness while concentrating on providing people with access to the internet.
There has been little effort paid to teaching people the necessary skills to take advantage of online classes and job searches.
The tech industry has also been bad at working out that not all users possess the same digital skill levels and that they need to make accommodations for those with less knowledge.
The worth of digital content in 2013 amounted to $57 billion, and that’s just for seven countries surveyed.
According to market research company IHS, global spending on digital games, apps and online movies was up by 30 percent from the 2012 figure of $44 billion. It looked at markets in the UK, USA, Germany, Japan, South Korea, Russia and France.
Online movies saw growth of 21 percent in 2013, with a worth of $8 billion. The US is the clear leader in digital content spend, but there were large gains in game app spend in Japan and South Korea.
The UK has one of the strongest online music markets, said IHS. And it’s also the leading European country for total digital content spend and spend per capita. While there was a strong growth in game apps in 2013 in the UK, that sector didn’t exceed the spend on online music.
The USA has the widest spread of content spend and the most devices per capita across the broadest range of devices, said IHS.