China’s Huawei see Europe as stepping stone in Samsung/Apple rivalry

Huawei the world’s No.3 smartphone maker, will use the launch of a new flagship phone in Paris on Tuesday to make fresh gains in Europe. (REUTERS)
Updated 27 March 2018
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China’s Huawei see Europe as stepping stone in Samsung/Apple rivalry

PARIS/LONDON: Huawei the world’s No.3 smartphone maker, will use the launch of a new flagship phone in Paris on Tuesday to make fresh gains in Europe, a region where it has made strides against rivals Samsung Electronics and Apple.
With camera-rich features and starting prices that analysts expect to be aggressive, the P20 series represent Huawei’s fresh attempt to compete head-to-head with Samsung’s Galaxy S9 and the iPhone X in the increasingly look-alike market for smartphones.
The P20 premium version, P20 Pro, comes with a triple camera and sensors that offer top-notch image definition among existing smartphones, Huawei said, in a clear response to camera upgrades for the Galaxy S9 unveiled in Barcelona last month.
The region is a lynchpin of the Chinese company’s ambition eventually to become the world’s No.2 phone supplier. Europe has been insulated from some of the intense competitive pressures Huawei faces from domestic rivals in its home market.
“The challenge for Huawei is to strengthen its brand personality and to steal more market share in Europe, given its absence from the US market,” said Thomas Husson, a consumer devices analyst at research firm Forrester.
“In this regard, the choice of Paris to launch a new flagship smartphone is quite new and interesting.”
Shipments to Europe grew more than 50 percent in the first half of 2017, Huawei has said. In two big smartphone markets – Italy and Spain – Huawei now ships more phones than Samsung or Apple, according to market research firm Counterpoint.
Huawei commanded 23 percent of the Italian market in the fourth quarter, for example.
Across Western Europe Huawei’s market share has risen in recent years to 12 percent, Counterpoint Research estimates.
Huawei’s weakest European markets are Britain, with 5 percent share and France, where it ships 6 percent of the smartphones sold here, but it is seeking to build its presence.
Still, it has begun to face more competition in Europe from a resurgent Nokia phones, run by HMD Global, and Chinese rival Xiaomi (IPO-XMGP.HK), Counterpoint analyst Peter Richardson said.
The market share gains on the continent have helped Huawei offset the company’s exclusion from the world’s most profitable market for phone sellers, the United States.
Targeting Huawei, the chairman of the US Federal Communications Commission said last week it planned to take “proactive steps” to ensure the integrity of the country’s communications supply chain.


Japan to trial ‘world’s first urine test’ to spot cancer

Updated 17 April 2018
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Japan to trial ‘world’s first urine test’ to spot cancer

  • Previous research has shown a new blood test has potential to detect eight different kinds of tumors before they spread
  • The research starts in April and will run until September

TOKYO: A Japanese firm is poised to carry out what it hailed as the world’s first experiment to test for cancer using urine samples, which would greatly facilitate screening for the deadly disease.
Engineering and IT conglomerate Hitachi developed the basic technology to detect breast or colon cancer from urine samples two years ago.
It will now begin testing the method using some 250 urine samples, to see if samples at room temperature are suitable for analysis, Hitachi spokesman Chiharu Odaira told AFP.
“If this method is put to practical use, it will be a lot easier for people to get a cancer test, as there will be no need to go to a medical organization for a blood test,” he said.
It is also intended to be used to detect paediatric cancers.
“That will be especially beneficial in testing for small children” who are often afraid of needles, added Odaira.
Research published earlier this year demonstrated that a new blood test has shown promise toward detecting eight different kinds of tumors before they spread elsewhere in the body.
Usual diagnostic methods for breast cancer consist of a mammogram followed by a biopsy if a risk is detected.
For colon cancer, screening is generally conducted via a stool test and a colonoscopy for patients at high risk.
The Hitachi technology centers around detecting waste materials inside urine samples that act as a “biomarker” — a naturally occurring substance by which a particular disease can be identified, the company said in a statement.
The procedure aims to improve the early detection of cancer, saving lives and reducing the medical and social cost to the country, Odaira explained.
The experiment will start this month until through September in cooperation with Nagoya University in central Japan.
“We aim to put the technology in use in the 2020s, although this depends on various things such as getting approval from the authorities,” Odaira said.