Tuesday, December 20, 2011


No spyware in new Meizu smartphone

by Larry Geller

The earliest of early adopters are eagerly watching the Meizu MX smartphone, currently due to be released January 1, 2012. It is already possible to pre-order the phone from Hong Kong, though the price is likely to drop after a short time. And yes, there will be no Connect IQ software or any other spyware in the phone, according to the manufacturer’s rep.

Although the MX is sometimes described as an Apple clone, Meizu actually promises freedom from Apple. The question is, how close will they bring users to that magical iPhone experience? The MX is promised to run Android 4.0 (“Ice Cream Sandwich”), which is tasty news. Other Chinese-made phones have been limited to Android 2.1 through 2.3. They have inferior features as well.

Imagine freedom from iTunes and other Apple controls. Well, it is an Android phone. Unlike other Chinese-made smartphones, it has an 8 megapixel camera, all the sensors one could wish, and looks like it is aimed squarely at the US market. How can we tell? Check the specs. It can connect via

WIFI/WAPI(802.11 b/g/n)
Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR

… and WCDMA means USA. The rest of the world is on GSM.

I’ve written about the spyware found in 150 million US smartphones. An email to the Meizu folks in Hong Kong this afternoon elicited the reply that there would be no spyware in their phone.

The Meizu MX is not available under subsidy from any US carrier, which means paying full price for the phone. I’m not sure of the economics of that, plus, of course, at the moment it has no domestic service network.

Still, watch out. This could be the beginning of something.

What is freedom from Apple worth?

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