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9 Charged With Selling Samsung’s Bendable Screen Technology

After years of working on its foldable display prototypes, Samsung is now stuck facing an ugly fact — the technology behind those screens may have already been sold to a Chinese competitor by one of Samsung’s own suppliers. That’s the claim made by South Korean prosecutors today in charges levied against 9 unnamed individuals and two companies.

A CEO of one of Samsung’s suppliers and eight of his employees received $13.8M in payments after conspiring with an unnamed Chinese company to transfer information related to OLED production to the latter in direct violation of the company’s agreements with Samsung, according to Bloomberg. While the Bloomberg piece doesn’t dive into enormous detail, it suggests the supplier and his co-conspirators were literally caught red-handed with components critical to the manufacturing of what Samsung calls its Infinity Flex display.

The South Korean supplier transferred “3D lamination” technology and other equipment to the Chinese screen maker between May and August, violating a non-disclosure agreement with Samsung, according to the prosecutors. They were caught while loading additional pieces onto a ship headed for the mainland, they said.

This type of IP theft has been a major concern for decades, but the nature of what’s being stolen has changed. More recently, companies have expressed concern over mandated technology transfers that China has required of Western companies looking to do business with the nation. In the past year, we’ve seen a major case unfold between Fujian Jinhua Integrated and Micron, with Micron alleging that Fujian Jinhua attempted to steal its trade secrets in partnership with UMC. At the same time, China has begun its own investigation into alleged antitrust activity between Micron, Samsung, and SK Hynix in the DRAM market.

It’s entirely possible for Micron to have been the victim of IP theft and to have engaged in illegal collusion with other companies to manipulate the price of DRAM. But the fact that China is flexing its own muscle on regulatory matters could well be intended as a warning to other companies. China has also launched its “Made in China 2025” program, which seeks to increase the Chinese domestic content of core manufacturing to 70 percent by that year, in a direct bid to become a major manufacturing competitor of the United States. In order to achieve those kinds of figures, China needs increased access to more advanced R&D and has instituted the aforementioned forced transfer agreements to require companies to share it.

One of the many sketchy foldable phones we’ve seen.

While it may be appealingly simple to draw a straight line between the current US-China trade war and China’s IP wardriving tactics, research suggests experts are divided on how they characterize the type of IP being stolen and the degree to which the current trade war is likely to address it. The conservative American Enterprise Institute notes that there’s little agreement on exactly how much IP theft China is responsible for ($250B – $600B annually is the estimated range). Chinese IP theft from the US is believed to have decreased following an agreement by Chinese President Xi Jinping and then-President Obama but is thought to have ticked upwards again more recently. The current round of tariffs on Chinese goods is not thought to have reduced overall incidents of IP theft, at least not yet. The Council on Foreign Relations has published a primer on the Made in China 2025 initiative that gives more details on what the project entails and what the criticisms of it are (as well as the Chinese response to those criticisms).

There has been a widespread bipartisan condemnation of China’s behavior, but less agreement over what the United States’ response should look like. The theft of OLED technology from Samsung could be a particularly nasty blow to the company given just how slow the road to OLED commercialization has been in the first place. OLEDs first began to tip up as a topic of conversation in the early 2000s, but it took years to bring them to market in phones and TVs. Foldable devices have taken even longer. These technology advances have been years in the making — Bloomberg reports that Samsung spent six years and $134M on developing flexible OLEDs, but that figure doesn’t represent the full cost of the R&D on OLEDs (a functional prerequisite to building foldable/flexible displays)

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Best Mid Range Smartphone

The best mid range Smartphone phone of 2018 reviewed and rated

What constitutes as the best ‘mid-range’ phone has changed rather dramatically in recent years. With flagship phones like the iPhone XS Max and Samsung Galaxy Note 9 comfortably pushing passed the £1000 mark, from a price perspective the goalposts have undoubtedly shifted in the same direction. So here are a comprehensive list of Best Mid Range Smartphone , click on the associated link to purchase or view Moree information too.  All us content creators ensure we bring you the very latest news and information in the world of tech and its new. So want to see what other have to offer after this post. Well head over to the following site, which I personally use too.

At the same time, there are new handsets taking a fresh approach – offering the best possible hardware at the lowest possible price – that also fit within what we would consider mid-range in 2018; handsets like the Pocophone F1, which offer flagship specs without the price-tag.

With these factors in mind, here you’ll find a rundown of phones that we think offer the best bang for your buck while costing around half as much as you would expect to pay for a 2018 flagship.

How we select the best budget smartphones

Just as with any of our other ‘best smartphone’ roundups, this list is designed to reflect the best that the current smartphone market has to offer based on constraints like price and feature-set. We review every phone we consider before it can be placed in a line-up such as this, slipping our SIM cards in and using each phone as our main device solidly for a week at the very minimum.

We test claims on performance and battery life with both real-world and artificial benchmarks, we trial new features and cast a scrutinous eye over every facet and flaw that these phones might possess, all in the pursuit of providing a clear, concise review of the latest smartphone to make your buying decision as easy as possible.

OnePlus 6T Best Mid Range Smartphone

Best Mid Range Smartphone
£409.95 View at eBay
£439.00 View at Amazon
£469.00 View at OnePlus


  • A huge leap in OnePlus design
  • Seriously fast
  • Fast Charge is still great
  • A well thought-out version of Android with great extras


  • Camera still needs improvement
  • Missing a few ‘flagship’ features

The OnePlus 6T is arguably the phone that demonstrates just how much OnePlus as a company has grown up in its short lifespan. While at the upper end in this mid-range roundup, starting at £499, the OnePlus 6T feels practically as much of a flagship as any iPhone or top-tier Samsung does.

Not only does it adopt a beautiful metal and glass design, and a notch-laden extended display, just like the rest of 2018’s flagships, it also offers some of the best smartphone performance on the market. There’s a cleanly-skinned Android 9.0 Pie experience with some meaningful tweaks and the company’s excellent Fast Charge technology. Making out one of the Best Mid Range Smartphone

The primary cameras are also a massive improvement on their predecessors, even if they still lag slightly behind the best in the business. There’s no headphone jack, however OnePlus has added a slick in-display fingerprint scanner that’s the final futuristic feature.

Pocophone F1

Best Mid Range Smartphone
£275.00 View at eBay
£310.00 View at Amazon Marketplace
£320.00 View at Amazon


  • Excellent value for money
  • Superb performance
  • Fantastic battery life
  • Decent cameras


  • MIUI for Poco will take some getting used to
  • Thick bezels
  • Plastic build
  • No NFC

Being supported by Chinese tech giant Xiaomi’s manufacturing infrastructure has allowed new player Pocophone to make a serious splash with its first handset, the Pocophone F1. For around $/£300 you get a liquid-cooled Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor with at least 6GB of RAM, a huge 4000mAh battery, a decent notched Full HD+ display and a surprisingly good pair of AI-enhanced main cameras making this also one of the Best Mid Range Smartphone

The MIUI for Poco skinned Android experience will take a little getting used for anyone who hasn’t used a Xiaomi phone before, but the price/performance balance this handset strikes borders on astonishing.

It comes in three polycarbonate finishes (red, blue or black) or, if you’re willing to fork out a little more cash, the Kevlar-backed ‘Armored Edition’ seen above.

Samsung Galaxy A7 (2018)


  • Great OLED screen
  • Solid value
  • Ultra-wide camera is fun


  • Weak GPU
  • Slow charging and no USB-C

The Samsung Galaxy A7  is a lower-cost alternative to the Samsung Galaxy S9 and Samsung Galaxy Note 9. It’s a compelling choice with some neat extras including an extra ultra-wide camera and a strong OLED screen; two things you’d rarely normally find at this price.

This is far from a gaming phone, though. The Galaxy A7 has a solid CPU, but its graphics chipset is among the weakest in this class and we’d recommend something else if you love mobile gaming.

The ultra-wide secondary camera is a great feature too, giving some variety to the shots you take. The main camera is perfectly adequate, especially at the £309 price.

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Honor 10

£324.99 View at eBay
£289.00 View at Appliances Direct
£289.00 View at Laptopsdirect


  • Sleek design
  • Powerful hardware
  • Good value


  • EMUI Android skin is bloated
  • Some performance bugs

Honor has released a lot of great value-for-money smartphones in 2018 but its latest flagship, the Honor 10, is the best. It’s a stylish and capable smartphone that gives you most of what the pricier Huawei P20 does for under £400.

You get dual AI-enhanced cameras set within the phone’s eye-catching ‘Aurora’ reflective glass back, fast charging and the same Kirin 970 processor that powers Huawei’s current top smartphones, complete with NPU (neural processing unit) for AI-based tasks.

The company’s EMUI software experience is highly customisable but might be the biggest issue as it also brings with it a few bugs and a little slow-down from time to time. Nothing some focussed software updates can’t fix, though.

Nokia 7 Plus

£246.25 View at eBay
£279.95 View at John Lewis


  • Big, bright screen
  • Impressive battery life
  • Android One has potential


  • Lots of app crashes and software bugs
  • Could do with some design tweaks

A big display, a big battery, lossless optical zoom on its primary dual camera and a clean and up-to-date Android One experience make the Nokia 7 Plus an easy recommendation.

One of HMD Global’s best phones since licensing the Nokia brand, the Nokia 7 Plus left us pleasantly surprised by what it brought to the table, considering it can be had for under £350. The polycarbonate body of the Plus comes with the Nokia line’s signature copper accents, helping it stand out from the crowd. There’s a rear-mounted fingerprint sensor too.

The Snapdragon 660 processor is more conservative than what the majority of phones in this lineup come packing, but paired with clean Android One software onboard, this phone feels just as fast and fluid as any more premium handset. Don’t forget to share this post if you found it useful. Best Mid Range Smartphone

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