The stuff of spy movies

Supermicro has become infamous overnight following an expose by Bloomberg quoting unnamed sources. According to the report, “the attack by Chinese spies reached almost 30 US companies, including Amazon and Apple, by compromising America’s technology supply chain.”

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Qualcomm accuses Apple of IP theft

The legal tussle between Qualcomm and Apple has hit another level with the chipmaker accusing the smartphone giant of passing trade secrets to Intel. An earlier court battle, Qualcomm said that Apple breached an agreement for it to audit Apple’s use of Qualcomm’s source code.

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Google Pixel 3 coming on October 9

The Google Pixel 2 is expected to welcome its new sibling soon.

The rumour mills are spinning at top speed as smartphone launch season gets ready to kick off. With Samsung having announced the Note 9, and Apple expected to respond with a new iPhone next month, Google looks to be getting into the act too with the Pixel 3 slated for an October 9 introduction, according to Bloomberg.

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Apple pulls out 25,000 apps from China app store

The ongoing spat between China and the US seem to have claimed another victim. Apple has removed 25,000  gaming-related apps from its China app store. This move follows hard on the heels of the US ban on Huawei and ZTE technology from being used by the US government and government contractors yesterday.

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PC market inches up 2.7% in Q2

HP maintained tops with the likes of the HP ProOne 600 G4  business PC.
HP maintained tops with the likes of the HP ProOne 600 G4 business PC.

Global traditional PC shipment posted the strongest growth in more than six years during the past quarter, according to IDC. Total shipment was 62.3 million units, which translates to a 2.7 percent year-on-year growth.

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HTC to slice 1,500 from workforce

Even the Vive wasn't enough to keep HTC intact.
Even the Vive wasn’t enough to keep HTC intact.

Taiwan smartphone maker HTC is making a cut of the most painful kind — by slicing 20 percent of its workforce. The decision to swallow the bitter pill comes in the wake of heavy losses and strong competition.

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Smartwatch market heading towards steady growth

The Fitbit Versa has been well-received by the market.
The Fitbit Versa has been well-received by the market.

The worldwide wearables market is adjusting as smartwatches continue to come to the forefront. In the coming years, smartwatches will encompass more features and functionalities.

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Huawei and Xiaomi lead smartphone growth in Q1

The Huawei P20 Pro helped spur Huawei's growth in Q1.
The Huawei P20 Pro helped spur Huawei’s growth in Q1.

China smartphone makers Huawei and Xiaomi grew strongest as the market recovered in Q1, according to Gartner.

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Smart speaker adoption to rise in 2018

Google Home Mini is competing against Amazon Echo Dot.
Google Home Mini is competing against Amazon Echo Dot.

Amazon and Google went head to head in the smart speaker market last year and the battle is expected to be more intense in the coming days with more players joining the fray.

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Sweet quarter for Apple in China

iPhone 8
The iPhone 8 helped spur Apple’s growth in Q3.

The launch of the iPhone 8 and drop of prices of older models have helped Apple turn in a sterling quarter in China, with shipment rising 40 percent to 11 million units this Q3.

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New Apple iPhone is real X — for eXpensive!

Even though the X in the newly announced iPhone X is supposed to be pronounced as “10”, it can be interpreted as eXpensive. At S$1,648 for the 64GB version and S$1,888 for the 256GB iteration, the new iPhone X is a costly device, bringing it right into the price range of notebook computers.

Apple seems to be pushing the price ceiling on how much consumers are willing to pay for a high-end smartphone. It may even cause some die-hard fans to consider if it’s really worthwhile upgrading to this new rendition. The iPhone X comes with a six-core A11 Bionic processor, GPU, a bezelless super retina display, wireless charging, dual 12-megapixel rear cameras with optical image stabilisation, and Face ID. Most of these are already available in other high-end smartphones without such a hefty price tag.

Face ID, which lets users unlock and pay with the device, is probably the most unique value proposition but is this enough to justify the high price?

Guess the answer will be known when the iPhone X becomes available in Singapore on November 3.

Australia PC market bucks global trend by inching up 3.3%

Consumer and enterprise PC purchases are driving growth in the Australia PC market, which includes desktop, notebook and workstation.

The consumer segment grew 8.6 percent year over year (YoY) in Q2, according to IDC.

“The retail channel was negatively impacted by Dick Smith’s exit last year. This year however, promotional events such as Modern PC program run by Harvey Norman spiked growth in the consumer space. AMD’s new Ryzen series launch and EOFY sales further fuelled growth in this segment,” said Sagar Raghavendra, Client Devices Analyst of IDC Australia.

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New Android devices boost Australia smartphone market in Q2

New Android mobile phone launches spurred growth in Australia, leading to year-on-year growth of 18.4 percent to 2.16 million units, exceeding expectations in Q2, according to IDC.

Smartphones accounted for nearly all of the shipped phones — totalling 2.06 million.

Android returned to being the most popular smartphone OS in Australia. Recently, iOS had overtaken Android as the most popular smartphone OS in Q4 2016 as it held over 54 percent of the market compared to 47 percent for Android.

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Huawei smartphone strides ahead in China

Huawei has taken top spot again in China’s smartphone market, edging past Oppo after two quarters of trailing in second place. According to Canalys, the Chinese smartphone giant, which launched the P10 and P10 Plus during MWC, shipped close to 21 million units to secure an 18 percent market share in Q1.

Despite strong annual growth of 55 percent, Oppo fell to second place with shipments of just under 20 million units. Third-placed Vivo had the lowest annual growth of the top three, capturing a 15 percent share with its shipment of 17 million units.

“China’s smartphone market continues to grow, with shipments increasing by over nine percent year on year this quarter. But there is a clear indication that the market is consolidating. The top three vendors are pulling away at the head of the market, accounting for more than 50 percent of shipments for the first time this quarter,” said Lucio Chen, Research Analyst of Canalys.

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China smartphone market hits record high

The very popular Huawei Mate 9 helped propel Huawei to the top.
The very popular Huawei Mate 9 helped propel Huawei to the top.

Everybody knows China is big but with nearly half a billion smartphones shipped last year, the market is massive — that’s one smartphone for every three person in the world’s most populous country.

According to Canalys estimates, China reached 476.5 million unit shipment, growing year on year at 11.4 percent, far exceeding the annual growth rate of 1.9 percent in 2015. China shipment reached 131.6 million units in Q4, which is the highest single quarter total in history, accounting for nearly a third of worldwide shipment.

Huawei took the top spot in the market with 76.2 million shipment, a small lead ahead of runner-up Oppo with 73.2 million units, followed by Vivo in third place at 63.2 million units.

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Global devices market continue to shrink for second year

GartnerWorldwide combined shipments for devices (PCs, tablets, ultramobiles and mobile phones) are expected to drop three percent in 2016, according to Gartner.

This will mark the second consecutive year of decline as the global devices market fell by 0.75 percent in 2015. And the immediate future remains bleak for this market.

“The global devices market is not on pace to return to single-digit growth soon,” said Ranjit Atwal, Research Director of Gartner.

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Smartphone market in historic drop

It’s almost unthinkable but the smartphone market has dipped for the first time in its history.

According to Canalys, worldwide smartphone shipment fell from 324 million units in Q1 2015 to 321 million units in Q1 2016. The top two vendors both posted shipment declines, with Apple the worse hit.

Excluding Apple and Samsung, smartphone shipment grew five percent despite some of the big named international vendors outside the top five also faring badly. LG, Lenovo and TCL-Alcatel posted significant declines, while Sony plummeted by around 57 percent.

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China smartphone sale hit record high in Q4

IDCSmartphone sale hit a record 117.3 million in China in Q4. This represents an eight percent growth compared to the same period last year.

The phenomenal increase was partly driven by China’s annual singles day online shopping festival in November and Huawei’s strong shipments in the quarter. China’s Q4 growth boosted the calendar year 2015 growth to three percent.

“Xiaomi, Huawei and Apple are the top smartphone players in 2015. This is a stark contrast to the top players in 2013, which was Samsung, Lenovo and Coolpad – with Samsung clearly dominating other players. With operators reducing smartphone subsidy and given the volatility of consumers’ brand preference in the market, the smartphone scene has changed significantly since then,” said Tay Xiaohan, Senior Market Analyst of IDC Asia/Pacific’s Client Devices team.

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Tablet market to drop 8% in 2015

IDCThe year’s looking bad for tablets as worldwide demand is expected to slide 8.1-percent to just 211.3 million units, according to IDC.

The new forecast follows three consecutive quarters of declining worldwide tablet shipments in 2015. Despite the challenges facing the overall market, IDC expects detachable tablets will continue to represent a growing portion of total shipments.

“We’re witnessing a real market transition as end users shift their demand towards detachables and more broadly towards a productivity-based value proposition. The proliferation of detachable offerings from hardware vendors continues to help drive this switch. We’re starting to see the impact of competition within this space as the major platform vendors – Apple, Google and Microsoft – now have physical product offerings. With attractive price points, including the introduction of sub-US$100 detachables, and platform innovation being driven by competition, IDC is confident that the detachables segment will nearly double in size in the next year, recording more than 75 percent growth compared to 2015,” said Jean Philippe Bouchard , Research Director, Tablets, IDC.

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Tablet sale slides 12.6% in Q3

IDCTablet sale continued its decline for the fourth straight quarter, according to IDC. Q3 shipment of 48.7 million units represented a 12.6 drop year on year, further highlighting the challenges the tablet market is facing.

At the close of 2014, IDC estimated the installed base of tablets to be 581.9 million globally, which was up 36 percent from 2013 but slowing quickly. With mature markets such as North America, Western Europe, and Asia/Pacific well past 100 million active tablets per region, the opportunities for growth are getting fewer.

“We continue to get feedback that tablet users are holding onto devices upwards of four years. We believe the traditional slate tablet has a place in the personal computing world. However, as the smartphone installed base continues to grow and the devices get bigger and more capable, the need for smaller form factor slate tablets becomes less clear. With shipment volumes slowing over four consecutive quarters, the market appears to be in transition,” said Ryan Reith, Program Director of IDC.

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Xiaomi nudges Apple off China smartphone perch

xiaomi logoXiaomi continued its phenomenal growth to regained its crown as the largest smart phone vendor in China with 15.9 percent market share in Q2, according to Canalys.

One in three smartphones shipped were from Xiaomi or Huawei, which grew 48 percent quarter on quarter to snag 15.7 percent of the market. Apple fell to third place, followed by Samsung and Vivo.

“The China smart phone market continues to mature, remaining stagnant quarter on quarter. Competition among major brands has never been so intense. Huawei recorded the highest smart phone shipments in its history without compromising its product margin or profitability. Apple and Samsung have both increased their sales activities in the China market, expanding rapidly in channel coverage through flagship stores and small to medium size phone retailers respectively. Xiaomi is under immense pressure to maintain its top position in the quarters to come,” said Jingwen Wang, Analyst of Canalys.

Australia tablet and 2-in-1 market takes massive hit

IDCThe numbers for the tablet and 2-in-1 market for Q1 in Australia look grim — total shipment was 770,772 units, representing a massive 40 percent quarter-on-quarter decline.

According to IDC, while the seasonal slump is customary, the magnitude of this decline is steeper than expected. Shipment decline of 25 percent year-on-year further reinforced the reality of a slow-down in demand for this product category.

However, drilling down into the segments reveals some positive signs. Whilst consumer shipments declined by 27 percent year-on-year, commercial shipments increased by a modest 1.2 percent.

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Global PC shipment down 7% in Q1

CanalysApple held on to its top spot despite a 16 percent drop in PC shipment in Q1. It shipped 17.2 million units, taking a 15 percent market share while Lenovo and HP came in second and third place respectively. Samsung was next with 9.5 million units shipped with Dell just behind with 9.4 million units.

Overall, the global PC market, including tablets, declined seven percent, according to Canalys.

“The growth drivers that previously helped the market through 2014 will have little effect this year. Vendors are struggling with exchange rate fluctuations which is making financial planning more difficult and forcing price increases. These challenges, combined with a softening of demand as Windows 10 draws nearer along with Microsoft’s free upgrade plans, means PC market declines will be greater in the second quarter than they were in the first,” said Tim Coulling, Senior Analyst of Canalys.

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End of notebook dominance

abi researchCan’t say that we did not see this coming. Tablets are set to overtake notebooks as the largest mobile computing category (includes tablets, MS Windows laptops, Chromebooks, and Ultraportable PCs), according to ABI Research.

Tablets, agreed by many to be in competition with Notebook PCs, will gain 52 percent majority of the mobile computing market by the end of 2015.

ABI Research forecasts the flat growth of notebooks, due to longer replacement cycles and device market competition, causing notebook devices to drop from 51 percent market share in 2013 to 48 percent in 2015, and further to 47 percent by 2016.

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