Two days prior to Apple’s event, on Tuesday, Huawei announced the availability of the Mate 50 models in China. The brand’s flagship product line, the new Mate models, now support text messaging via satellite using China’s Beidou satellite network. It enables users to stay connected even when there is no cellular signal. However, the function that internet users anticipate the new iPhone to have is only useful for a select few people, such as travellers and outdoor lovers. Global sales of foldable smartphones increased by 571 percent in the first quarter, according to DSCC. All major brands have introduced foldable devices, with the exception of Apple.
Just before of the Thursday launch of Apple’s iPhone, Chinese Android phone manufacturers are showcasing their technological expertise in an effort to gain market share in upscale markets. Companies including Huawei, OPPO, and Samsung demonstrated connectivity via improved 5G and satellite communications, foldable screens, and systems that span a variety of smart devices. There are several features that iPhones do not yet have that seem interesting, but this may change with the arrival of the iPhone 14.
“We need to break the barrier between devices for better collaboration, closer connection, and reallocating resources for improvements,” OPPO vice president Peter Liu said at the 2022 OPPO Developer Conference. OPPO has collaborated with a number of Chinese companies, including Li Auto, Tencent, Alipay, and Xiaohongshu (Red), to facilitate cross-device collaboration. OPPO’s IoT product sales have increased 120 percent in the last three years, with the company now operating in 50 countries and regions around the world.
Apple will release the new iPhone 14 with a 15 percent price increase over the iPhone 13, as well as three Apple Watch models. However, some media reports and supply chain sources claim that the company will not launch foldable models. On the other hand, Android brands have been improving the operating system’s efficiency, fluency, and connectivity with various devices, including automobiles. OPPO, one of China’s top three smartphone manufacturers, has introduced a new ColorOS 13 interface and Pantanal system for IoT (Internet of Things) devices.
OPPO also released Carlink for vehicle connectivity, offering immersive in-car experiences such as in-vehicle video calls and voice control, in collaboration with brands such as Shanghai’s SAIC Motor. Meanwhile, Huawei’s Harmony OS system, which now supports 300 million devices, including the new Mate 50 models, offers a smart cabin for car connections. Samsung China has also partnered with Baidu to provide a similar CarLife service. Apple has CarPlay and HomeKit functions, but their capabilities are limited in China.