Smartphone Race: Who is leading in 20Q4?

According to Gartner, global sales of smartphones to end users declined 5.4% in 4Q20. Smartphone sales declined 12.5% in full year 2020. The launch of the 5G iPhone 12 series helped Apple record double-digit growth in 4Q20. Apple surpassed Samsung to retake the №1 global smartphone vendor spot. ( Gartner, Gizmo China)

Samsung has committed to delivering Samsung Knox security updates to a wide range of its Galaxy devices for at least 4 years after their release. Samsung offers Samsung Knox, which is its defense-grade security platform and cutting-edge technologies such as the industry’s strongest security chip, the embedded Secure Element (eSE), a Secure Processor to protect against physical attacks; and, Knox Vault, which adds another layer of security. ( Digital Trends, Samsung, Neowin)

Starting from Apr 2021, Huawei flagship devices will start getting the HarmonyOS upgrade. This finally will transition the company’s smartphones into an ecosystem of its own. Huawei Mate X2 will be in the first batch of Huawei smartphones that update to HarmonyOS. ( Pocket-Lint, Gizmo China)

Huawei wants to provide technology to pig farms and coal mines to create a new revenue stream. Huawei wants to sell facial recognition technologies to pig farms. Using technology in pig farms can increase production efficiency and help the owners to detect diseases and track pigs. Huawei founder and chief executive Ren Zhengfei has announced a mining innovation lab in northern China’s Shanxi Province. He wants to develop technology for coal mines that will lead to “fewer workers, greater safety, and higher efficiency” and enable coal miners to “wear suits and ties” at work. ( Android Headlines, BBC, KJKxun, Sina, Sohu)

LG Electronics’ recent attempt to sell its mobile phone factories to Vingroup has allegedly fallen through as the Vietnamese conglomerate’s offer was lower than that wanted by the Korean tech company. However, LG Electronics has not abandoned its plan to sell off the plants while keeping hold of its intellectual property in mobile technology and product design. ( Android Central, Korea Times, CN Beta)

Samsung has launched a “Buy and Try” program in the U.S. for the Galaxy Z Flip 5G and Galaxy Z Fold 2 5G, which gives consumers 100 days instead of just 15 to decide whether they want to keep or return the devices. (Engadget, Phone Arena, Sohu, CN Beta)

Google has announced it is rolling out updates to 6 different Android apps, from the TalkBack screen reader to Android Auto. The updates add useful new features, like the ability to schedule when a text message will be sent in the Messages app. Google Maps is also receiving an update of its own that adds a true dark mode throughout the entire app. There is also an update to Google’s password autofill tool that will tell notify if passwords have been leaked. ( GizChina, Gizmo China, CNET, Digital Trends, Google, ZOL, IT Home)

Huawei Mate X2 is announced — 8" 2200×2480 Foldable OLED 90Hz + 6.45" 1160×2700 OLED 90Hz cover display, Kirin 9000 5G, rear quad 50M OIS-12MP telephoto 3x optical zoom OIS-8MP periscope telephoto 10x optical zoom OIS-16MP ultrawide +front 16MP, side fingerprint scanner, 4500mAh 55W, 8+256 / 8+512GB, CNY17,999 (USD2,785) / CNY18,999 (USD2,940). ( Android Headlines, GizChina, GSM Arena, Engadget, Apple Insider)

LG W41 series is announced in India featuring 6.55" 720×1600 HD+ HiD, MediaTek Helio G35, rear quad 48MP-8MP ultrawide-5MP macro-2MP depth + front 8MP, Android 10.0, rear fingerprint, 5000mAh: W41–4+64GB, INR13,490 (USD186). W41+ — 4+128GB, INR14,490 (USD200). W41 Pro — 6+128GB, INR15,490 (USD214). ( Gizmo China, GSM Arena, MySmartPrice)

realme Narz0 30 series is announced in India: Narzo 30 Pro — 6.5" 1080×2400 FHD+ HiD IPS 120Hz, MediaTek Dimensity 800U 5G, rear tri 48MP-8MP ultrawide-2MP macro + front 16MP, 6+64 / 8+128GB, Android 10.0, side fingerprint, 5000mAh 30W, power delivery 15W, INR16,999 (USD235) / INR19,999 (USD276). Narzo 30A — 6.5" 720×1600 HD+ v-notch, MediaTek Helio G85, rear dual 13MP-2MP mono + front 8MP, 3+32 / 4+64GB, Android 10.0, rear fingerprint, 6000mAh 18W, reverse charging, INR8,999 (USD124) / INR9,999 (USD138). ( GSM Arena, Android Authority, Gizmo China)

Originally published at on February 24, 2021.