HTC 606w has been seen in China getting regulatory approval. The Taiwanese phone maker shows off a nice blue piping around the bezel of an otherwise fairly uninspiring handset. It’s similar to HTC First but minus the Facebook Home launcher. The new HTC 606w sports a 4.3 inch 720p screen with 342ppi pixel density and a dual-core 1.2 GHz processor. The phone have 2GB of RAM and 16GB of internal storage along with the UltraPixel camera on back. There is also a 1.6MP front facing snapper. It is running Android 4.1.2 with the HTC Sense 5.0 overlay. Unfortunately, it’s powered by a 1700mAh battery which may be a bit on the weak side. No word on an official device name nor possible release date. The HTC 606w is a 3G WCDMA handset which is properly aiming to compete at the crowded mid-range segment. We hope the price will be good enough to match with domestic brand like the Xiaomi Phone or Meizu MX. In addition, HTC also need to put in extra effort in marketing to tell Chinese consumer about lower UltraPixels is better than high megapixels.
A remarkable frozen waterfall has been created at a block of flats in Jilin city, north east China. The house owner had left the hot water tap on all winter in fear that the uninsulated water pipes running up the building would freeze, leaving him with no water. In order to keep the temperature of the pipes above freezing he re-directed the flow of running water down the side of the building along the pipes. The reason for doing this was because all the flats below him were empty meaning the pipes would not be used much or heated from the flats below. The housing block is scheduled for demolition and he is the only resident remaining after developers had bought up all the other flats. His unique way in preventing pipes freezing over has drawn media attention with council officials now urging developers to reach a settlement. More pictures after the jump.
Chinese pirates have taken downloading cracked iPhone and iPad apps to the next new level. A new desktop software called “KuaiYong” (literally means “use quickly” in Chinese) will allows pirated iOS apps to be installed on non-jailbroken devices. It has been around on Chinese internet world since June 2012, being only in Chinese seems to have caused the software to go under Apple’s radar for so long. KuaiYong is basically using bulk enterprise licensing to bypass Apple’s safeguards. So the Chinese service is essentially distributing the exact same app – with the same license ID – over and over again. And now the same team has launched a web version of its pirate iOS app store. The online store is full of pirated iOS apps and games available for free. It makes the service more accessible to potential new users who can browse the available apps in their web browser. To download one of the iOS apps or games from the site, it’s actually downloading the “KuaiYong” PC software …
In China these days, Apple’s iPad is the middle class child’s companion of choice. It is becoming commonplace for a family gathering to feature parents playing mahjong, while their children tapping Angry Birds on the tablet device. Chinese parents often encourage this trend. They have considered the iPad a good choice, since it provides interactive visual and audio content to entertain their kids. However, experts have pointed out that the iPad is not a perfect tool for early education and may function negatively on children if used improperly, particularly when it comes to children’s eyesight. A 2-years-old kid in Wuhan city Central China, has got a 500 degrees of nearsightedness, thanks to Apple’s technology and his ignorance parent. The little Chinese kid started to use iPad while he was one and a half years old. His parent has downloaded lots of children apps for their child to learn and play, and they’re happy to have an easy job on taking care their kid …
Foxconn has begun taking on new workers in China as it prepares to begin production of Apple’s next iPhone. The company has added to its numbers at Zhengzhou factory located in eastern China, which is mainly produced iPhone device, ending a freeze on recruitment that was implemented back in February. According to a source from supply chain, the new workers will assemble the upcoming “iPhone 5S,” as well as existing models that Apple has requested to boost capacity. The Zhengzhou plant employs between 250,000 and 300,000 people, and around 10,000 assembly line workers have been added per week since the end of March. Recent reports have claimed that the iPhone 5S will enter production during the second quarter of 2013, ahead of its launch later this year. It could also be joined by a low-cost iPhone which is going to be built by Pegatron, instead of Foxconn. The cheaper version iPhone could help Apple compete in emerging markets, especially in China. Foxconn is said to be feeling the pressure of the increased competition Apple is receiving in the smartphone and tablet markets recently, however, the Taiwanese contractor thought that business will pick up around May when Apple’s new devices enter production. We hope the so-called new iPhone 5S has enough innovative features, minor upgade just won’t cut it.
The return policy for Apple products in China was exploited by scammers who exchanged fake parts for real and using the latter to build and sell new iPhones. Five employees at an electronics store selling Apple goods were arrested in Wenzhou city, located at southeastern Zhejiang province, after they submitted 121 iPhone 4S with fake BAND parts. The word “BAND” is a professional term used by manufacturers, which means the core of the device which exclude battery, back cover, etc. The core of the phone worth about 3,000 yuan (US$476) each. The scammers allegedly exchanged the fake parts for real ones, bought the back cover, battery and other components, then re-build and sell the put-together devices as new iPhone 4S for a profit of 1,000 yuan (US$161.62). It took Apple a few months to spot the scam and carried out the investigation. Apple’s return policy in China has been much discussed recently, after the country’s state-owned TV broadcasting network aired an investigative report claiming Apple was treating local consumers with discrimination with regard to its after-sales service policy. The Cupertino company really needs more effort to improve its supervision on its return policy to prevent more scam happening in China.
Earlier this week, Chinese manufacturer Dakele unveiled its second generation flagship smartphone – Dakele 2. In English, “Da-ke-le” is a transliteration of “Big Cola,” which of course has nothing to do with Coca-cola. The translation can also means “Big Happiness.” For those who failed to pronounce the word Dakele, you can simply call it as Big Cola Phone 2 or Big Cola 2. Last year, the Beijing company released the cheapest 5-inch smartphone on the market with a uncommon screen size of 3:2 ratio at 960 x 640 pixel resolution. The highlights focused on switchable custom Android ROMs and the super low price at 999 yuan (USD$160). About 300,000 units were sold and it received some market attention, but the overall sales was not that strong compare to Xiaomi phone or the Meizu MX. And due to the rebranding of knock-off manufacturers, there are also several similar 5-inch smartphones on the market with advance specification at a good price to compete with Dakele. After 6 months, the company has geared up again and introduced their second-gen model with quad-core chip, HD screen and new custom ROM, to face a new challenge on the new segment of giant-size phone …
Baidu, the Chinese search giant, has set up a research lab dedicated to “deep learning” — an emerging computer science field that seeks to mimic the human brain with hardware and software — in Silicon Valley, not far from Apple headquarters, in addition to a facility back in China. Much like Google and Apple and others, the company is exploring computer systems that can learn in much the same way people do. Apple uses deep learning techniques in the iPhone’s Siri voice recognition system. And Google has worked similar concepts into its own voice recognition system as well as Google Street View. Baidu just released its first voice search service last year based on deep learning, and it claims the tool has reduced errors by about 30 percent. Baidu first opened its Cupertino office about a year ago, bringing in various other employees before its big move into deep learning. The new research lab could be a way for Baidu to attract top talents. The company just hired its first researcher in Cupertino, with plans to bring in several more by the end of the year. Baidu truly understand, if you want to compete with Google, you need to set up shop in Google’s backyard.
Mao Zedong, the founding father of the communist China, once said that the Chinese and North Koreans were as close as “lips and teeth.” The close relationship are seemed to be getting over now. On Chinese social media, China’s netizens express a rather different view on North Korea. Most Chinese people are ditching Kim Jong Un and its country, in stark contrast to the government’s official line with regard to its longtime ally. Chinese scholars and analysts also increasingly express open frustration with the young leader’s behavior. China and North Korea have historically enjoyed close diplomatic relations. During the Korean War, China assisted North Korea, sending as many as 3 million soldiers to support North Korean forces fighting the South Korean. China also provides about half of all North Korean imports, which include mineral fuels and oil, machinery, electronic, vehicles and raw materials. However, in recent years there has been growing concern in China over issues on North Korea’s nuclear weapons. It remains to be seen whether Beijing intends to continue the reluctant of cracking down on its unruly ally.