This Week in Mobile is a weekly podcast available on Apple iTunes or Google Play where I bring you up to speed on the top mobile news stories of the week:
The phone company founded by Android creator Andy Rubin Essential has canceled its second flagship phone (PH-2) and is looking to sell itself. The startup, which is part of Rubin’s incubator Playground Global, has raised about $300 million and reached over $1 billion in valuation. The Palo Alto company sold about 150,000 phones since launching last August.
HMD Global, the maker of Nokia-branded phones, has raised $100 million and became the last smartphone startup to hit Unicorn status, after Xiaomi, OnePlus and Essential. The new funding will allow the Finnish to aggressively expand its lineup of midrange and low-cost phones and its geographical presence. The company said it shipped more than 70 million devices last year.
Last February, at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Vivo unveiled its Apex concept phone with no notch, a full-screen display, an under the display fingerprint reader and a "pop-up" front selfie camera. The Chinese smartphone maker will launch its most innovative device to date (under the Nex name) in China next month, ahead of the FIFA World Cup (mid-June).
The industrial robots and electronic devices manufacturing unit of iPhone maker and world's largest electronics contract manufacturer Foxconn raised over $4 billion in China's biggest IPO in 3 years. Foxconn Industrial Internet plans to deploy the proceeds to develop smart manufacturing, cloud computing, industrial Internet (IoT) and 5G technology.
Apple knew about the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus design flaw before launch. According to new documents, which were revealed as part of a class-action lawsuit filed in 2015, the iPhone 6 and 6 plus were 3.3 times and 7.2 times, respectively, more likely to bend than the iPhone 5s. Despite publicly saying that there were no engineering issues, Apple made design changes to the phone, a year-and-a-half after it was released, to strengthen the iPhone.
App of the Week: Fleksy is a keyboard application (for iOS and Android) designed with privacy in mind. Unlike the more invasive virtual keyboard apps from Google (Gboard), Microsoft (Swiftkey) or Nuance (Swype), Fleksy doesn't send any of your data to its servers in the Cloud and does all of the processing on your phone.
Joining me this week to discuss these top mobile news stories is tech veteran Eric Leandri, the co-founder and CEO of search-engine Qwant, and Olivier Plante, the CEO of Fleksy, our App of the Week.