When It’s Time to Pick Sides You Better Pick the Right One: China

I was working away in my study today. As usual I had some music on. But out the corner of my ear I heard something. I think it was my wife calling for something.

I muted the music. I waited. Then I heard my wife with a little more clarity. She was trying to ask me a question from the living room. My initial assumption was the dog was on her lap. That usually prevents her from coming in to the study for a question.

I got up and headed out to the living room.

Me: ‘What’s up?

Mrs V: ‘Can you buy me another screen protector?

Me: ‘Take it you dropped your phone?

Mrs V: ‘Yep

Me: ‘Okay

At last count I was on my second screen protector. I think Mrs V is on her fourth or fifth.

We’ve both got reasonably expensive smartphones. Well, to be fair they’re ‘normal’ priced smartphones. It’s just that most new smartphones are damn expensive.

When you’re spending near on $1,000 for a smartphone that means you want it to last. No good spending that kind of money to only drop it a week later. That usually results in one of two pathways. Pathway 1: throw more money against the wall. Pathway 2: just live with a cheap (read: rubbish) phone for the next year or two.

That’s why when it’s time for a phone upgrade I’m now insistent on making sure we both get cases and screen covers for our phones. The case usually is some kind of shockproof set up — protecting the body of the phone. The screen protector is usually a tempered glass, protecting the screen.

Most smartphone screens these days are made from pretty tough glass as it is. Corning Inc [NYSE:GLW] and their ‘Gorilla Glass’ is one of the most common types of strengthened glass you’ll find in smart devices.

But as strong as it might be, it’s still not strong enough. Take a brand new Apple, Samsung, Sony, Huawei, LG…whatever…and drop it on a few bricks, some concrete or a road and you’ll find out pretty quick just how ‘strong’ phones are these days.

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The phone that doesn’t exist, yet

We’re about to see a whole raft of new phones coming from all those aforementioned phone makers. We’ll soon be inundated with bendy phones, flip phones (again) and foldable phones. But will any of them provide us with an unbreakable phone?

Nope. Not one of them.

The unbreakable phone does not exist. Sure there are tough phones on the market. Ones that have the rubberised cases and all the protective stuff you get from an aftermarket case and screen protector. But they’re ugly lumps of things.

As it stands today with all the wonderful tech in smartphones, there simply isn’t an indestructible smartphone…that looks good and is high-spec.

The day will come though when we won’t need cases or screen protectors. When you’ll be able to baseball pitch your phone at a wall and it will survive.

We know this because we know of companies working on the tech. And we also know of companies that are allegedly trying to steal that tech. You see the first smartphone market to deliver a phone as capable as the upcoming Samsung Galaxy 10 or the Apple X, and make it indestructible, will dominate the market like no one has before.

That makes it pretty big business for whoever has all the necessary tech to make that happen. And according to Bloomberg, Chinese phone maker Huawei was preparing to steal all the secrets to make that leap to the future.

A lengthy investigative piece by Erik Schatzker reports that Akhan Semiconductor Inc had developed glass…

as a nearly indestructible smartphone screen. Khan’s innovation was figuring out how to coat one side of the glass with a microthin layer of artificial diamond. He hoped to license this technology to phone manufacturers, which could use it to develop an entirely new, superdurable generation of electronics.

Schatzker goes on to explain the company’s involvement with Huawei, sending them prototypes of this ‘Miraj’ glass and the troubles that followed.

Notably was the FBI’s involvement and contact with Akhan and its founder Adam Khan and subsequent raids on Huawei.

The indication is that Huawei was attempting to steal the IP behind the development of the new super-strong glass. This also is during a period when the US government is targeting Huawei specifically as one of China’s most prominent global corporations. So it’s always hard to know what’s really happening in these situations.

Why China is the better choice

But what it also does indicate is that the whole China versus US diatribe that you read about most days is far more serious than people give it credit for.

These are two super powers that are trying to economically cripple the other. To be the world’s largest, strongest and most influential economy is the primary goal of both regimes.

And there’s not much they’re both not willing to do to stop it. The question that most people in Australia struggle with however is who would you side with if (when) you have to choose?

Our take on it is that in the very near future Australia is going to have to make some firm decisions on choosing a preferred side. The obvious option that most people fall to is the US. They are stronger from a defence point of view. They’re also predominately white, rich and speak the same language.

But the smart answer would be China. If you’ve got one fibre of vision in your body, one ounce of economic sense, you’d know that the US is highly unlikely to stop China’s economic dominance.

You also quickly realise that in terms of trading partners and economically beneficial relationships, China makes far more sense to Australia than the US.

There’s more to the Chinese opportunity than just trade however. There’s a real potential to open up new avenues for research and development, social and economic advances and even potential free movement of immigration.

These are all factors that could help Australia long-term be a far more substantial player on the global scene. If we want to get better, richer, and more powerful amongst the world’s larger nations, then there’s only one route to it, in my view.

It’s not the US. It’s China.


Sam Volkering,
Editor, Secret Crypto Network

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Sam Volkering is an Editor for Money Morning and is small-cap, cryptocurrency and technology expert.

He’s not interested in boring blue chip stocks. He’s after explosive investments; companies whose shares trade for cents on the dollar, cryptocurrencies that can deliver life-changing returns. He looks for the ‘edge of the bell curve’ opportunities that are often shunned by those in the financial services industry.

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But that’s not where Sam’s talents end. Sam specialises in finding new, cutting edge tech and translating that research into how the future will look — and where the opportunities lie. It’s his job to trawl the world to find, analyse, research and recommend investments in the world’s most revolutionary companies.

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