Global smartphone shipment slides 6% in Q3

Smartphone vendors shipped 355.2 million units in Q3, down six percent from the corresponding quarter last year, according to preliminary estimates by IDC. This is the fourth straight quarter of year-on-year decline.

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OnePlus 6T launches with world’s fastest fingerprint display sensor

OnePlus announced OnePlus 6T, its latest smartphone to a hall packed with enthusiasts in New York City on October 29 — one day ahead of schedule to avoid conflicting with an Apple event the next day.

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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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VLC blacklists recent Huawei smartphones

On the list: The Huawei P10.

VLC has taken the drastic measure of blacklisting recent Huawei smartphones, specifically the Huawei P8, P10, and P20, from installing its media player app. The move is in response to negative customer reviews for VLC as a result of Huawei blocking the installation of the media player.

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Samsung and Xiaomi neck-to-neck in India in Q2

The Redmi 5A was Xiaomi's bestselling phone in India in Q2.
The Redmi 5A was Xiaomi’s bestselling phone in India in Q2.

Xiaomi and Samsung shipped 9.9 million smartphones each to India in Q2. Together they account for 60 percent of the total shipment that quarter, according to Canalys.

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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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India smartphone market posts strongest Q1 shipment

The popular Redmi 5A has helped Xiaomi retain its pole position in India.
The popular Redmi 5A has helped Xiaomi retain its pole position in India.

The India smartphone market shipped 30 million units in Q1, the strongest Q1 performance ever and an 11-percent growth year on year, according to IDC.

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Xiaomi bucks trend as China smartphone market dips in Q1

In a quarter when the China smartphone market experienced it biggest ever decline, Xiaomi bucked the trend and grew 37 percent to 12 million units, according to Canalys.

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Xiaomi tops India smartphone market in Q1

Xiaomi shipped 3.5 million Redmi Note 5A smartphones in Q1.
Xiaomi shipped 3.5 million Redmi Note 5A smartphones in Q1.

Building on a momentum of 155 percent annual shipment growth in India last year, Xiaomi started Q1 at the top with a whopping nine million plus units to snag 31 percent market share, according to Canalys.

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5 things to do when your social media platform is down

When WhatsApp was down for a few hours last Friday (November 3), Facebook timelines were filled with panic posts by people unable to communicate on WhatsApp. Snapchat is reported to be down at the point of writing and again, there is frenzy over the outage. Continue reading “5 things to do when your social media platform is down”

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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30 months on the Edge

By Edward Lim

It’s official. The Samsung Galaxy Note Edge is my longest lasting phone. After 30 months, I’ve finally moved on to another smartphone — the Google Pixel (I’ll share more about this in another post).

Why have I decided to keep the Edge for so long? Well, there are several reasons:

  1. My daughter bought it for me in December 2014.
  2. My phone was working perfectly fine. Slower yes but fine.
  3. There was no compelling reason to upgrade to any phone throughout this period, the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 issue notwithstanding.

Just like I shared “5 reasons why I like the Samsung Galaxy Note Edge” three months after I had it, let me share my 30 months’ experience with what I think is a wonderful device.

  1. It makes a marvellous talking point. Even when newer smartphones with curved edges came out, people were still asking me about the Edge and its unique one-sided curve. Talk about longevity!
  2. It has replaceable battery, something some of the competing top-of-the-line range lack.
  3. Simple adding of storage when needed. Despite been a fairly heavy user, particularly of photos, I never found storage space a problem. When I needed more space, I just swapped to a higher capacity micro SD card.

The downside of prolonged usage is the same as other  devices. The Note Edge did slow down considerably with each software upgrade. The most noticeable was the activation of the camera function. It takes a while to load, resulting in many missed photo opportunities.

Other challenges with owning a Note Edge is the lack of good screen protectors. I paid for a supposedly good one but the protector just couldn’t stick well onto the curved portion. There is also the lack of choices of phone covers/cases.

Overall, I was very pleased with the smartphone. It’s been a great companion throughout the past 30 months. Best of all, it survived numerous trips around the world without a single scratch on the screen — and without a screen protector in place!

 

Worldwide semiconductor market to grow 7.2% this year

GartnerA slew of demand for semiconductors is helping the industry to hit a targeted 7.2 percent growth to hit US$338 billion this year.

Apple and Samsung are among the many IT vendors that have unleashed new products in recent months, spurring the growth in the semiconductor market.

“Semiconductor revenue set an all-time record in the third quarter of 2014, fueled by a strong electronics build for the holiday season. Get ready for a flood of new product introductions, ranging from simple low-cost tablets to high-end ultramobiles and smartphones. Demand for the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus has been robust, but there is concern for other types of devices planned for the holidays,” said Jon Erensen, Research Director of Gartner.

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Android is dominant smartphone OS in high-growth markets in Q1

abi researchAndroid once again dominated Q1 shipment for smartphone advanced operating systems with 80 percent market share (including AOSP) of just under 300 million smartphones shipped, according to ABI Research.

“Interestingly, basic mobile phones lost five percent market share and Android picked up almost all of these users, suggesting Android is set to gain almost all of the billions of mobile subscribers still upgrading to smartphones. Certainly, Android looks set to completely dominate the high growth developing markets and increase its market share still further,” said Nick Spencer, Senior Practice Director of Mobile Devices at ABI Research.

Microsoft’s Windows Phone continued its steady progress with 16 percent sequential growth and an increase of one percent in market share. “Microsoft Windows Phone is currently the only viable third ecosystem. BlackBerry has faded on all fronts (BlackBerry 10 and OS) and while Firefox remains a potential low-cost challenger, it has yet to make any significant impact,” added Spencer.

Smart mobile devices boost audio accessories sales in HK

gfk_logoHigh ownership of smartphones, tablets and phablets in Hong Kong have been positively impacting sales of complementary products such as headphones and headsets, as well as mini-speakers, according to GfK.

The surge in audio accessories sales come at the back of consumers’ fixation with smart mobile devices, having spent more than US$4.2 billion on nearly 8.4 million units of such devices in the past 12 months.

The combined market of headphones, headsets and mini-speakers generated nearly US$77 million in the last one year, reflecting a 10 percent surge over a year ago. While sales revenue for headphones and headsets expanded by nine percent, mini-speakers sold 83 percent more in volume and raked in additional 32 percent in sales dollar.

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6 days later and Redmi is sold out again – in 6 minutes!

Redmi sold outLooks like interest in the Xiaomi Redmi smartphone is very high. Just six days after its debut sold out in Singapore, another batch of the smartphones was wiped out in just six minutes.

While irate netizens are upset that they missed out on the S$169 phone, those who successfully ordered last week received their new devices and the response has been good. Besides the good value (without contract too!), the China-made smartphone looks and feels great, and is packed with what most would expect, plus dual-SIM capability.

Xiaomi Redmi: Gone in 8 minutes!

xiaomi redmiXiaomi has done it again! In its initial foray into Singapore, all its Redmi phones were sold out online in eight minutes — after it went on sale at noon today.

At S$169, and without contract too, the phone is reasonably priced and a major draw. Needless to say, Facebook was filled with postings of those who were left disappointed. Some even questioned whether this was a marketing gimmick.

Let’s wait for the company for the official figures.

ZTE introduces two new handsets at MWC

ZTEWith a focus on delivering a superior user experience, ZTE will launch the ultra slim Grand Memo II LTE with six-inch screen, one of the first Firefox OS 1.3 devices, the ZTE Open C and its brand new user interface MiFavor 2.3 at Mobile World Congress.

“This year, we are looking to work even more closely with our customers worldwide to develop the products they want and deliver a superior customer experience. They have told us that they want ever more innovative and high-performance products, so at MWC 2014 we are delivering this with the launch of two new high-profile devices, the ultra slim Grand Memo II LTE with six- inch screen and the ZTE Open C in partnership with Mozilla and Telefonica,” said Adam Zeng, CEO of ZTE Mobile Devices and Executive Vice President of ZTE.

ZTE will also be showcasing its award-winning range of mobile devices throughout the show including the Grand S II flagship smartphone, the popular ZTE Blade series, and the Nubia series including the brand new Nubia 5S and Nubia 5S mini which in December outsold all other phones including those from Apple, Samsung and Nokia at trusted online store Jingdong.com.

More than just smartphones, it will also exhibit the award-winning ZTE Projector Hotspot (a mini projector and Wi-Fi hotspot in one) and the ZTE Grand Watch Smart Watch at Mobile World Congress. Alongside the new products, ZTE will also launch its brand new UI MiFavor 2.3 which will provide a superior experience for ZTE mobile users.

 

Worldwide PC, tablet, ultramobile, and mobile phone shipment to grow 7.6% this year

GartnerGlobal shipment of devices (PCs, tablets, ultramobiles, and mobile phones) are projected to reach 2.5 billion units in 2014, a 7.6 percent increase from 2013, according to Gartner.

Among the operating system (OS) market, Android is on pace to surpass one billion users across all devices in 2014. By 2017, more than 75 percent of Android’s volumes will come from emerging markets.

“The device market continues to evolve, with buyers deciding which combination of devices is required to meet their wants and needs. Mobile phones are a must have and will continue to grow but at a slower pace, with opportunities moving away from the top-end premium devices to mid-end basic products,” said Ranjit Atwal, Research Director at Gartner. “Meanwhile users continue to move away from the traditional PC (notebooks and desk-based) as it becomes more of a shared content creation tool, while the greater flexibility of tablets, hybrids and lighter notebooks address users’ increasingly different demands.”

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nubia nabs 2.5m orders for Z5S and Z5s mini smartphones

Nubia Z5SZTE’s boutique smartphone brand nubia has received 2.5 million orders for the Z5S and Z5S mini on JD.com as consumers in China.

The response to Z5S, priced at RMB1,999, and Z5S mini, priced at RMB1,499, surpassed a sales record previously set by Xiaomi. The two new smartphones were designed using consumer feedback garnered by nubia and JD.com in a C2B (consumer to business) approach to deliver a customer-defined user experience. Z5S and Z5S mini take nubia’s strengths in smartphone photography to a new level, becoming the first phones in China to offer the optical image stabiliser feature.

The new NEOVISION 3.0 system on Z5S and Z5S mini bring the feature of independent white-balance to smartphone users in China for the first time, after nubia pioneered independent focus and independent light-metering. The advanced imaging technology offered on Z5S and Z5S mini have earned the new handsets the moniker of “Single-Lens Reflex (SLR) Smartphones.” In addition, nubia’s industry-leading photography technology is now available for beta downloads (nubia Camera) by users of other handset manufacturers.

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SEA smartphone sales up 61% in first three quarters

gfk_logoSoutheast Asia consumers bought 41.5 million smartphones, spending US$10.8 billion in the first three quarters of this year, according to GfK Asia.

Indonesia led the way with sale of 14.8 million smartphones worth more than USS3.33 billion. Thailand and Malaysia were next with 7.2 million and 6.4 million units sold respectively. However, in terms of smartphone sales revenue, the ranking of these two countries are switched with Malaysia garnering US$2.25 billion while Thailand raked in US$1.96 billion in January to September.

“The increasing affordability of smartphones, particularly in the developing markets is helping many consumers in these countries make the switch from their basic feature phones to own their very first smartphone,” said Gerard Tan, Account Director for Digital Technology of GfK Asia. “It is worth highlighting the significant milestone of September being the month whereby sales penetration reached the halfway mark; where one in every two mobile handsets purchased in the region is now a smartphone.”

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Smartphone shipment up 40% while average price drops 12%

IDCWorldwide smartphone shipments are expected to surpass one billion units in 2013, representing 39.3 percent growth over 2012, according to a recently published mobile phone forecast from IDC Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker.

Despite a number of mature markets nearing smartphone saturation, the demand for low-cost computing in emerging markets continues to drive the smartphone market forward. By 2017, total smartphone shipments are expected to approach 1.7 billion units, resulting in a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 18.4 percent from 2013 to 2017.

While shipment has gone up, the average selling price (ASP) has seen a steady decline. Android has enabled a number of new manufacturers to enter the smartphone market supported by a variety of turnkey processing solutions. Many of these handset vendors have focused on low-cost devices as a way to build brand awareness.

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Your smartphone will be smarter than you by 2017

GartnerIn four years’ time, your smartphone may be smarter than you. It will be able to predict your next move, next purchase or interpret actions based on what it knows, according to Gartner. This insight will be performed based on an individual’s data gathered using cognizant computing — the next step in personal cloud computing.

“Mobile phones have turned into smartphones thanks to two things: technology and apps,” Carolina Milanesi, Research Vice President of Gartner. “Technology has added features such as cameras, locations and sensors, while apps have connected those to an array of functions that, for the most part, add and improve our day to day life from a social, knowledge, entertainment and productivity point of view.” 

What smartphones can do through apps has improved and broadened thanks to the personal cloud. “We assume that apps will acquire knowledge over time and get better with improved predictions of what users need and want, with data collection and response happening in real-time,” she added.

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