Xiaomi buys tiny share in Blackberry phone maker TCL to spur collaboration

Xiaomi Mi 8 Pro
Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

Chinese smartphone manufacturer Xiaomi has bought a very small slice of TCL, the company that produces Alcatel’s and Blackberry’s smartphones and manufactures a large amount of TVs. According to Hong Kong newspaper The Standard, this small share (a 0.48 percent interest) bought for 167 million Chinese yuan (roughly $24.4 million) is part of a new strategic agreement that will enable the companies to help each other develop smart devices and appliances.

We can expect the two companies to start sharing resources, and Xiaomi’s founder and chairman Lei Jun has stated he expects the partnership to beneficially impact Xiaomi’s home appliance business, thanks to shared research and development and a boosted supply chain. Xiaomi has long depended on the revenue from its smartphone division, but it has expressed more than a small interest in the Internet of Things and inter-connected smart devices. It’s not doing too badly in these areas either — according to Mobile World Live, Xiaomi connected more than 132 million smart devices (not including smartphones and laptops) as of September 30, 2018.

It’s unknown which specific areas TCL is looking to boost with the Xiaomi partnership, but it’s possible we could start to see more Xiaomi-based technology in Blackberry and Alcatel phones going forward. It’s also worth mentioning that TCL is something of a hardware specialist behind the construction of everything from white goods to Amazon’s Echo Dot and the Google Home smart speaker. TCL played it safe at CES this year with some simple soundbars — but it blew us away with a huge 8K TV. With TCL also having invested an extra $25 billion into display panel technology, it’s possible we could see some serious upgrades to Xiaomi’s hardware soon.

This isn’t an unexpected move from Xiaomi. While the company may have previously been in Huawei’s shadow as a company also trying to delivey low-cost, high-quality devices, Xiaomi has really started pushing for a larger market. November 2018 saw it officially launch in the U.K., offering its phones to a larger audience. Outside of smartphones, it’s also seen a lot of success in the wearables market, where it overtook Apple in the third quarter of 2018 to become the top wearables seller in the world.

Home Theater

Amazon’s updated base model Fire TV stick now comes with an Alexa remote

If you're looking to take your older TV into the streaming era, Amazon's most basic Fire TV Stick model just got more compelling than ever: Buyers can now get a free Alexa voice remote with their Fire TV Stick purchase.
Mobile

The Note 8 and S8 range now have access to the Android Pie beta

Android 9.0 Pie has been released. But is your phone getting Android 9.0 Pie, and if so, when? We've done the hard work and asked every device manufacturer to see when their devices would be getting the update.
Home Theater

The seven best TVs you can buy right now, from budget to big screen

Looking for a new television? In an oversaturated market, buying power is at an all-time high, but you'll need to cut through the rough to find a diamond. We're here to help with our picks for the best TVs of 2019.
Mobile

The Mi Mix 3 is coming to the U.K. on January 16 for a bargain price

Xiaomi announced the Mi Mix 3, a smartphone with a massive screen, a cool slide-up camera module, up to 10GB of RAM, and in the future, a 5G connection. Here's everything you need to know about it.
Mobile

Verizon’s deal could get you a free iPhone XR — but there’s some fine print

Verizon launched a new deal for its smartphones aimed at encouraging customers to open a new line. If you're willing and you want two new phones, you could get a free Samsung Galaxy S9, iPhone XR, or Pixel 3.
Photography

From DIY to AAA, here's how to take a passport photo in 6 different ways

If you're applying for a passport or renewing one, you need to submit a photo in your official application. There are strict guidelines, but fortunately, it's something you can do at home. Here's how to take a passport photo.
Mobile

OpenTable points can now be used to whittle down cost of a hotel stay

Have some OpenTable Dining Points built up? Now those points can also be used to make your own hotel discounts. OpenTable is teaming up with Kayak to use points as discounts on participating hotels.
Mobile

Get $100 discount on the Razer Phone 2 for a limited time

The Razer Phone 2 is finally here, and it's got upgraded specs, that super-smooth 120Hz display, and an updated design. Here's absolutely everything you need to know about the Razer Phone 2.
Deals

REI slashes prices on Suunto, Garmin, and Fitbit Versa smartwatches

Though fitness trackers and smartwatches can get pretty pricey, REI is offering some sweet discounts on top brands. Right now, you can get a new smartwatch from Fitbit, Suunto, and Garmin for up to 35 percent off its normal price.
Social Media

Twitter suffers privacy scare as bug reveals tweets of protected accounts

If you set your Twitter account to private and you have an Android device, you'd better check your settings now. Twitter says it's just fixed a four-year-old bug that flipped the privacy switch to make the account public.
Wearables

Check out the four cool Swatch watches you can use for mobile payments

Swatch has announced its Swatchpay technology is now available in Switzerland, enabling mobile payments from your Swatch watch. It works in a similar way to Apple Pay and Google Pay. Here's everything about it.
Mobile

How to jailbreak your iPhone on iOS 12: A beginner’s guide

The latest jailbreaking tools for iOS 12 make freeing your iOS device easier than ever. This guide will teach you how to jailbreak your iPhone or iPad, and explain what jailbreaking will do for you.
Social Media

Spice up your Instagram videos by adding your top tunes to the soundtrack

Have you ever taken a beautiful video, only to have it ruined by some jerk in the background yelling curse words? Here's a list of apps you can use to add your own music to Instagram posts as well as your Story.
Home Theater

Dolby’s secret recording studio app may soon exit stealth mode

In secret testing since June, Dolby's stealth recording and social network app may soon be ready to make an appearance. Dolby 234 blends unique noise-canceling tech with Instagram-like audio filters.