SMARTPHONES

Party pooping Chinese regulator ruins launch of new OnePlus smartphone with leaked pics

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 22 July, 2015, 8:29pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 22 July, 2015, 8:42pm

Chinese telecoms regulator Tenaa poured cold water on the planned launch next Tuesday of the OnePlus 2 smartphone by releasing photos this week of the hot new device from one of China’s smaller market players. 

This seems to confirm the regulator’s reputation as one of the top party poopers in the Chinese smartphone market. 

It also leaked images for the HTC One E9, another Chinese smartphone, in March, showing it to be similar to its predecessor the M9, media reports show.

The latest incident comes as Pete Lau, founder and CEO of Shenzhen-based OnePlus, hopes to reprise the success of his OnePlus One, which proved a hit with Chinese consumers last year as they rallied to its bargain price. 

The not-so-top-secret pictures show that the follow-up phone will have a fingerprint scanner and possibly a low-mounted back camera. 

The company had already revealed details of its basic spec including a Snapdragon 810 CPU, 4GB of RAM and a reversible USB Type-C connector.

A spokeswoman for OnePlus told the South China Morning Post the company had no comment on the leaked images.

In China, only telecoms equipment registered by Tenaa can be manufactured and commercialised. Once approved, the regulator puts the product's information on its online system, usually including the manufacturer's name, the certification number, the model type and associated images.

 

The regulator’s reputation is such that some Chinese companies choose to launch their products before going through the registration process.

Tech companies go to extreme lengths to keep their products under wraps, but even the most clandestine are not bulletproof.

In 2010, 50 days before Apple released its iPhone 4, tech blog Gizmodo got hold of a test model that an Apple engineer allegedly lost in a bar. The blog then took the handset apart and put all the details online.

Earlier this month, leaked images of Apple's upcoming iPhone 6s showed the machine may come with a new NFC chip and 16GB of memory.