(New York Times) T-Mobile has filed a lawsuit against the Chinese smartphone maker Huawei Technologies, accusing the manufacturer of stealing technology, including part of a robot’s arm, from T-Mobile’s Bellevue, Wash., headquarters.
In a lawsuit filed Tuesday in Seattle, T-Mobile said that employees of Huawei, previously a T-Mobile supplier, gained illicit access to a T-Mobile lab in Bellevue, stole parts of a smartphone testing robot called Tappy, and copied operating software and design details, all in violation of confidentiality agreements signed by the two companies.
In one instance, in May 2013, a Huawei employee removed an end section of Tappy’s arm and “slipped the hidden part into his laptop bag when leaving,” according to the lawsuit. The employee’s actions were caught on camera, the lawsuit said.
T-Mobile did not specify the amount of damages it was seeking for the espionage, which it claims took place in 2012 and 2013. But it said that the cost of switching away from its former supplier’s handsets would “likely reach at least tens of millions of dollars.” . . . (read the rest)
Inside T-Mobile | Company opens the doors of its testing lab, rolls out new features for 10-year anniversary (Belvue Reporter, Sept 2012)
A robot named Mr. Hats listens as noise is piped in from every angle. Meanwhile, Tappy, another robo-tester, mashes buttons and commands for 24 hours straight. At the same time, a model of a head is scanned in different positions in a room adorned with bright blue and yellow foamed cones.
This is the scene inside T-Mobile’s Factoria Device Lab, the place where all phones go for testing before they hit the market. They are tested for everything from call clarity, to water resistance, to resilience when dropped by the customer.
The company gave a rare glimpse into how it checks the quality of devices as part of its 10th anniversary celebration this week. The company also rolled out a series of new features that officials hope will propel it into closer competition with the top two wireless carriers, AT&T and Verizon. . . . (read more)