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Apple iPhone X was most shipped smartphone of Q4 2017

Not even low demand can stop Apple

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Despite rumors about the uncertainty of its future, Apple’s iPhone X was the most shipped smartphone globally during the fourth quarter of 2017. 

The report comes from Singapore-based research firm Canalys based on unit shipments of smartphones to global retailers from October to December of last year. The survey details the volume for each smartphone, their markets, and the kind of retailer (e.g., brick and mortar or online).

The survey enjoys high participation rates and can therefore be a guidance of the performance of the overall industry segment. While the numbers provide shipment information, they don’t reflect the number of actual units sold to end consumers.

According to Canalys’ most recent survey, the iPhone X had the most number of units shipped during 2017’s final quarter with 29 million. Considering the high premium price starting at just under US$ 1,000 and the many struggles Apple faced late last year with suppliers and quality, this number is impressive but still below expectations. Just one quarter earlier, the most shipped smartphone was still the iPhone 7 with 13 million units due to the price cut back in September of 2017.

That being said, Apple’s iPhone SE, 6s, 7, and 8 models also shipped well during the fourth quarter. Thanks to these more affordable offerings from Apple, the fourth quarter of last year marked the best performance for Apple to date and manifested the company’s leadership in the premium segment.

Even more astonishing is that 24 percent of the total iPhone X units (about 7 million) were shipped to China, even though the nation saw a decline of the overall smartphone market by 4 percent during the same period.

Canalys reported that China saw a decline in year-over-year unit shipments for smartphones for the first time ever — down to just 459 million. This was mainly because of a steep decline by 14 percent or 113 million smartphones in the fourth quarter of 2017.

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Samsung patents the world’s first all-screen fingerprint sensor

Features a waterdrop-notched phone

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Within the past year, the tech industry has successfully developed a working in-screen fingerprint sensor. However, like conventional fingerprint readers, the technology works only in select areas. For example, Vivo’s fingerprint sensor lies cozily on the bottom-center portion of the screen.

Despite all the hype, the current technology is still a far cry from 100 percent screen integration. This can drastically change within the near future.

Following supporting rumors, Samsung has confirmed progressive steps towards the technology’s development. Last week, the Korean company patented two versions of the in-screen fingerprint sensor.

Image source: LetsGoDigital

In the first one, the sensor remains largely similar to today’s current sensors. It works only on one portion of the screen. In this case, it lies front and center, a bit above the usual. As far as differences go, the technology uses Samsung’s old smartphone design — thick bezels like the Galaxy S4. Potentially, this conventional form will be an exclusive for the company’s midrange phones.

On the other hand, the second patent includes a more advanced version of the feature. Unlike the previous one, this version uses the entire screen. Further, it utilizes a separate processor to increase accuracy and convenience. The patented sensor scans fingerprints thrice and increases screen brightness after access.

Another surprising aspect of the second patent lies in the portrayed device. Instead of a traditional Galaxy smartphone, the patent uses a bezel-less smartphone with a small waterdrop notch. At the least, this points to a future release within the next few years.

Curiously, the second patent runs slightly counter to Samsung’s latest plans. Recently, the company revealed full-screen sensor integration for the future. Among other things, they promised to eliminate the notch going forward. The new patent, instead, points to a notched phone.

If anything, both reports indicate a new form factor coming in the next few months. We’ll just have to wait and see.

SEE ALSO: Samsung Galaxy A7 hands-on review: Beyond the cameras

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Vivo Y81i arrives in Philippines with price

One of Vivo’s budget-friendly offers

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After a quiet debut in Malaysia, the Vivo Y81i has made its way — in a subtle fashion, too — to the Philippines with an affordable price.

Retailing for PhP 7,999, Y81i enters the market as one of Vivo’s more budget-friendly smartphones. For comparison, the older Y81 is priced at PhP 9,999.

This is close to the Malaysian pricing, making it competitive in both Southeast Asian countries.

Again, it’s similar to the Y81, but is equipped with less-desirable specifications to keep the price down, such as the MediaTek MT6761 processor, 2GB of memory, and 16GB of storage for the Y81i.

On the bright side, it still comes with a notched 6.22-inch 720p display, 13- and 5-megapixel rear and front cameras, and 3260mAh battery.

The only serious exclusion is the fingerprint scanner, but there’s facial recognition to make up for it.

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Does the Google Pixel 3 XL scratch too easily?

Here’s how to remove them

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Within the past month, Google has consistently made headlines. Everyone is talking about Google’s new smartphones — the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL. At the time, the media’s speculative talk painted an optimistic picture of the eventual launch. True to the hype, the Pixel 3 duo opened to much fanfare.

Now, with the launch in the rear-view mirror, the Pixel 3 is finally getting its fair share of criticism. Naturally, critics are putting the smartphone through all sorts of stress tests. Besides performance benchmarks, these include hardware durability tests. More famously, YouTube channel JerryRigEverything specializes in destroying smartphones.

As per his usual regimen, the YouTuber tried to damage the Pixel 3 XL’s front and rear panels. The results are both surprising and disappointing.

On a positive note, the smartphone’s Gorilla Glass 5 withstood all damage. The scratch test proved Corning’s ironclad claims in the past. At the very least, the Pixel 3 XL is safe from substantial damage.

However, JerryRigEverything discovered a more surprising revelation. The Pixel 3 XL’s back is remarkably prone to scratches. Upon scratching the surface, a sturdy key left clearly visible marks on the smooth exterior. Unlike the Gorilla Glass front, the rear is partially made with just frosted glass. Sadly, the video concluded without offering any solutions. Seemingly, the scars came with permanence.

Fortunately, another YouTuber, Erica Griffin, debunked JerryRigEverything’s claims. After confirming the aesthetic flaw, Griffin showed what the scratches really are and how to remove them. Instead of deep scratches, the scarring is actually just residue of the key. Afterwards, Griffin washed the blemishes with water, soap, and a toothbrush. The method completely erased all traces of the scars.

Indeed, the rear is more prone to scratches. However, if you find yourself with a horridly scratched rear, there is an easy way to clean your phone without taking it in for repairs. Just don’t try scratching your phone deliberately.

SEE ALSO: Google Pixel 3 XL Unboxing

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