Meizu Technology unveils new Pro 6 Plus handset in push for affordable smartphone segment

New handset features same microprocessor used in Samsung’s Galaxy 7

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 30 November, 2016, 11:24pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 30 November, 2016, 11:58pm

Smartphone maker Meizu Technology on Wednesday unveiled its new flagship model in Beijing, which features a large screen handset with enhanced fingerprint detection, joining its Chinese counterparts in attempting to take market share from foreign brands including Apple and Samsung.

The new handset, Pro 6 Plus, runs on a Samsung Exynos 8890 processor, which is also used in the Galaxy 7 model.

The new flagship phone offers a high definition panel with 5.7-inch screen, and it packs in 4GB RAM.

Applying a similar strategy used by other Chinese smartphone makers, the high-spec handset is launched at a low price. Bai Yongxiang, Meizu’s chief executive said a Pro 6 Plus with 4GB RAM and 64GB of storage is priced at 2,999 yuan (HK$3,378), and the price for a 128GB version is set at 3,299 yuan.

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A new fingerprint detection feature is added to the new flagship that can recognise a user’s fingerprint by detecting blood flow, Bai said.

“Today, it’s very common for users to link smartphones with mobile payment services such as Alipay and WeChat. The live fingerprint detection feature is able to distinguish from fake fingerprints so as to enhance security,” he said.

Pre-sales of the new handset will begin on December 8. The smartphone maker also launched another model, Meizu M3X, a 5.5-inch handset priced from 1,699 yuan.

It has been about seven months since Meizu launched its last flagship handset, the Pro 6, in April.

“2016 is a different year for Meizu because of the slow pace in launching new products and the legal issue with Qualcomm,” Bai said.

E-commerce giant Alibaba, which owns the South China Morning Post, bought an undisclosed stake in privately held Meizu for US$590 million early last year.

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Qualcomm, the US semiconductor company that supplied chips to Meizu, said in October that it had filed copyright infringement complaints against Meizu in the US, Germany and France.

Bai did not further elaboration on the infringement complaints, saying only that the company will be able to make a profit this year.

Meizu plans to debut another handset on December 6. The release comes as its counterparts, including Xiaomi, Oppo and Vivo, have launched a number of new models since October as foreign competitors lose market share in the mainland.

According to market research firm Counterpoint Technology, Oppo had a 16.6 per cent share of smartphone shipments on the mainland in the July to September quarter, becoming the largest smartphone brand in the country. Vivo, which had a 16.2 per cent of market share, took the No 2 spot.

Apple, however, saw its market share contract during the quarter to 8.4 per cent from 12.4 per cent a year earlier. Meantime, analysts expect Samsung to lose market share in China following the recall of its Galaxy Note 7 owing to a battery problem.