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Cherry Mobile maintains its lead in the Philippines

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International Data Corporation (IDC) has finally released its Asia/Pacific Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker report for the Philippines. According to it, four million smartphones were shipped to the country during the second quarter of 2017, but with a year-on-year decline of 10 percent.

The decline is due weakening presence of local brands, except for the two major vendors that were able to stand up against the competition from Chinese makers. However, the standing of local brands is still influential compared to neighboring countries.

Still on top, Cherry Mobile continued to make waves with their affordable devices. Even with strong marketing competition against Chinese brands, the Filipino phone maker was still able to maintain its lead with the help of airtime on popular local shows.

Samsung came in second in the Philippines, unlike in other countries where they always lead. The majority of shipments for Samsung is their budget Galaxy J series. According to the report, Samsung laid its focus on marketing and incentives for promoters to compete with the rise of Chinese brands.

OPPO took the third spot, and if you haven’t been to malls, you’re missing out on their aggressive approach in marketing. Their partnership with Home Credit allowed Filipinos to afford devices with zero percent interest installment.

Cloudfone landed in fourth place in the Philippine smartphone scene. Like OPPO, Cloudfone has partnered with sports events like the NBA to promote their devices to the masses and fans. Cheap phones were their selling points for the quarter.

And in fifth place was Vivo with their 66 percent quarter-to-quarter growth. The Chinese sister of OPPO has focused its efforts in marketing with NBA superstar Stephen Curry as its endorser, plenty of roadshows, and overwhelming ads in major malls.

The forecast for the third quarter is restrained due to a number of factors including component prices, Peso exchange rates, and imminent exits of some smartphone brands in the local market. But, as the Christmas season comes, numbers will surely rise up as Filipinos spend more during this quarter.

SEE ALSO: Samsung, Xiaomi remain on top of smartphone race in India

Automotive

Nissan reveals Xmotion concept SUV at NAIAS 2018

The steering wheel could be used for the USS Callister

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Old and new coexist.

Nissan’s new Xmotion (pronounced “cross-motion”) concept is a fusion of tradition and advanced technology. The Japanese company has incorporated loads of futuristic-looking tech into the SUV but also relied on the design and function of traditional materials.

From the outside, it looks very sleek with its curves and corners. The vehicle flaunts bodyside highlights and retains the company’s V-motion grille — albeit tweaked a little. We also get a glimpse of the familiar boomerang-shaped headlamps seen on today’s models.

In their promotional video, Nissan tells us that the interior was carefully planned to represent the Japanese landscape. The center console symbolizes a wooden bridge, the floor is a river, the seats are boats floating on the river, and so on. It’s quite impressive as it shows the company’s attention to detail.

What’s prominently seen here, though, are the five-piece digital touch displays lined up as they replace the instrumentation and physical knobs we’re used to seeing. Apart from those, there are two more displays for the rear passengers so there’s a total of seven touchscreen monitors in this SUV.

Additionally, it has a futuristic-looking steering wheel that looks like it came straight from a sci-fi movie.

The wooden central console panel has an embedded fingerprint reader and comes with its very own personal assistant in the form of a Japanese koi. This koi “swims” from the panel to the main displays and gives that feel of a seamless user interface.

Nissan said that the Xmotion will be equipped with semi-autonomous driving using the ProPilot driver assist system, but hasn’t announced any plans on when this SUV will come to fruition.

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Gaming

Nintendo Labo transforms Switch using cardboard and creativity

Fun for kids and adults alike!

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You really have to hand it to Nintendo for truly maximizing the capabilities of their consoles. The latest creation comes in the form of Labo, which can make your Switch even more fun to play with using just cardboard.

Set to become available by April 20, Nintendo Labo is a DIY set that lets you build everyday tools that are fully compatible with the Switch’s main body and Joy-Con controllers. There are two sets to choose from: a Variety Kit that’ll retail for US$ 70 and a Robot Kit that’ll cost US$ 80.

Those may seem a little pricey and too close to the cost of an actual Switch when combined, but wait till you see Nintendo’s first trailer for Labo:

It’s a dream come true for fans of the Switch and DIY enthusiasts! The video shows off some of the creations you can make, including a functional 13-key piano, fishing rod, and motorbike. Those and more are part of the Variety Kit.

For those who want to unleash their inner mecha, the Robot Kit looks even more appealing. If the trailer turns out to be accurate, you can place yourself right into the action with a backpack mount, visor, and straps for your hands and feet. Again, these are mostly made of cardboard, making it all the more appealing and fun to play with.

Of course, paper alone isn’t enough to get these new games to run. Software will be bundled to complete the experience, as well as step-by-step instructions that are child-friendly and allow kids to learn how to build on their own.

Those lucky enough to reside in New York City or San Francisco can attend a three-hour Nintendo Labo Studio hands-on event on February 2 to 3 or March 2 to 4, respectively. You’re gonna have to bring a kid aged six to 12 to participate, however, according to the website’s rules.

For an additional US$ 20, you can also purchase a customization set loaded with sticker sheets, stencil sheets, and cutesy tape to modify your designs. All these seem like only the start of what Nintendo has planned for the future of the Switch, and we can’t wait to see more!

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Apple CEO Tim Cook on iPhone battery issue: ‘Maybe we weren’t clear’

iOS update can prevent intentional slowdown

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Apple ended last year on a sour note, admitting that they intentionally slowed down their iPhones in order to compensate for aging batteries. While this seems practical from a technical standpoint, consumers were enraged by Apple’s lack of transparency with the matter.

iPhone users felt like they were being forced into purchasing a newer model or going for an expensive battery replacement simply to continue having a fluid iOS experience.

Apple CEO Tim Cook’s interview with ABC News was able to shed more light on the topic. Cook admits that his company wasn’t clear with the performance throttling and they’re now taking the proper steps in order to regain the public trust.

The company began by offering discounts on replacement batteries, although this will only last until the end of 2018. The more permanent solution comes in the form of a software update that’ll allow users to monitor their iPhone battery’s health.

What’s more interesting is the ability to disable the performance throttling altogether once the update arrives. Apple advises against this, however, saying that the feature is in place to prevent “the device unexpectedly shutting down” and protect its electronic components.

Still, it’s nice to have access to such an option. This will let users maximize the full capacity of their iPhone until the handset’s battery is on its dying legs.

Unfortunately, the apologies and fixes haven’t stopped people from suing Apple through class action lawsuits. Chances are the Cupertino company will succeed in the end (they always have), but we can at least sleep better knowing that we aren’t imagining iPhones slowing down through time.

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