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Apple, OPPO most popular brands in Singapore, Philippines – study

Huawei hovers in the top 3 for both countries

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A recent study by online shopping aggregator site iPrice reveals that OPPO is the most searched brand in the Philippines while Apple leads the way in Singapore making the two the most popular brands in the mentioned countries. The study used two factors that determine a brand’s popularity — the retail price of a smartphone and the annual household income.

OPPO leads the way in the Philippines

OPPO, which is currently launched the Find X2 Pro and has been marketing its Reno series, leads the way as the most popular brand in the Philippines. Its most expensive smartphone — OPPO Find X2 Pro —  retails for PhP 65,990. Meanwhile, its cheapest is OPPO A5s which retails for PhP 6,990. The brand had been known to cater to the budget and midrange segment more but has recently been trying to make waves in the more premium pricing segment.

In a country with an annual income of PhP 460,000, brands that offer plenty of midrange smartphones appear to be really popular. This is the case for Vivo which ranks third in popularity.

Photo by iPrice

Apple dominates Singapore

This one’s not so surprising. Singapore has a much higher annual household income than the Philippines. Thus, Singaporeans are much inclined to search for expensive brands like Apple and Samsung. Apple came out on top, followed closely by Samsung. These brands offer expensive flagships that anyone with a higher income can afford.

Interestingly, a Google Trends search on the terms Apple, iPhone, and OPPO both in Singapore and the Philippines over the last 12 months reveal that the iPhone dominates the search by a wide margin. This could mean that while people consider the price when it comes to actual purchase, they still religiously follow news about Apple’s iPhone.

Huawei ranks consistently among the top 3

Huawei fared consistently on both countries’ most popular smartphone brands. It ranked second in the Philippines, while it ranked third in Singapore. There are many factors to Huawei ranking among the top 3 for both countries. Huawei has offerings across all price ranges and has been a consistent force in the premium segment in recent years.

Huawei offers flagship with prices comparable to Apple and Samsung. However, it remains competitive in the budget segment by offering budget-friendly and reliable smartphones. The Huawei Y5 Lite sells for PhP 3,990 in the Philippines, while Y6s retails for SG$ 178 in Singapore.

Huawei also churns out many midrange smartphones that can compete with offerings from midrange brands too. Combined with an established presence in both countries, it’s no wonder the company is popular in both the Philippines and Singapore.

Photo by iPrice

Xiaomi makes significant progress

Xiaomi’s push in the Southeast Asian market is paying off, and the study supports that. In Singapore, where Xiaomi has long established its presence, the company snagged the fourth place, edging out the likes of OPPO and Vivo. The company has been aggressive in pushing out smartphones at an affordable and competitive price, and it shows.

In the Philippines, however, Xiaomi lands at the fifth spot still behind Apple. The company continues to gain popularity as it expands its stores beyond major urban areas in the country.

The study shows how brands with compelling midrange phones have become successful by offering near flagship smartphones at an affordable price. However, flagship smartphones still occupy a place in society. People with deep pockets will sway towards buying a flagship. After all, they just want the best smartphone their money can buy.

Apps

TikTok, Tencent linked to sexually violent ads on Facebook

Ads continue to run on platform

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Facebook has an ad problem. After spending years on the platform, you might have noticed a plethora of misplaced ads occasionally peppered on your feed. Though most users cringe at how the algorithm can uncannily show appropriate ads right after talking about a certain topic, a series of more off-putting, offensive, and disturbing ads is making the rounds on the social media platform. Now, following a deep dive, a report has found that ByteDance and Tencent are affiliated with the phenomenon.

What are these Facebook ads? In a report from Forbes’s Emily Baker-White, several web novel companies are advertising erotic content on the platform. However, more than just erotica, these ads promote sexual, violence, rape, and self-harm. Some are even using images of popular personalities without their permission.

A particularly egregious example involves a photo of a crying woman in the shower with the caption: “his personal cum bucket.” A few others are more up front about harming women to get sex.

Others depict scenes from Twilight and Star Wars, despite not being affiliated at all with the titles. Several companies and personalities contacted by Forbes confirmed that they did not give these novel apps any permission to use their likeness.

As for the deep dive, a good number of these companies were previously backed by either ByteDance, TikTok’s parent company, or Tencent, one of the biggest Chinese companies in the world. While ByteDance has claimed that the apps don’t reflect their values, these ads continue to proliferate around the platform. Tencent has likewise denied any involvement with the campaigns.

It’s also worth nothing that the apps aren’t limited to just China. One app, called Pinky Novel, operates from the Philippines and is spreading similarly troubling ads everywhere, including one that says, “Raped by Mr. CEO.”

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Enterprise

Apple has been raided in South Korea

For alleged anti-market practices

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The troubles for Apple will continue. After spending a length of time fighting investigations all over the world for alleged anti-competition practices, the company’s offices in South Korea have been raided by authorities to further the investigation in the country.

Covered by Foss Patents (via MacRumors), the Korea Fair Trade Commission conducted a raid on the offices at the break of dawn. Authorities reportedly staged the raid after a developer complained of an unfair commission rate. According to the complaint, developers are paying more than 30 percent commission for having their apps on the App Store.

For a rougher breakdown, Apple still charges 30 percent. However, the commission includes VAT, which spikes the total fees paid above 30 percent. In contrast, Google’s 30 percent commission policy does not include VAT, which makes for a lower fee for developers.

With the number of apps on the App Store, Apple is making significant bank by skimming a bit more on commissions. That is, if the allegations prove true, of course. Right now, the company is still under investigation. But, if anything, a dawn raid isn’t a good sign for the iPhone maker.

Apple isn’t the only one in hot water, though. Google is also facing a similar controversy in South Korea. However, instead of the Korea Fair Trade Commission, the Kora Communications Commission is pushing for more parity between Google and Apple.

SEE ALSO: South Korea investigating Apple and Google for app payments

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Android users can react to SMS messages from iPhones soon

While simultaneously annoying iPhone users

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One of the most unexpected small developments this year is the war of the green bubble. For a while now, Apple has kept Android users inside a green text bubble. If an Android user texts an iOS user, an iPhone conveniently lets its user know that someone is texting them from — gasp — an Android phone. Now, Google, in the next step of its crusade against the green bubble, is running a similar experiment of its own.

Recently, as spotted by Reddit user u/Jabjab345 (via GSMArena), Google is testing a new feature for Android users. In a beta version, users can start reacting to SMS messages from an iPhone. Of course, much like how it is from the other way around, there is a little hiccup.

In most web-based messaging services, reactions are often tiny bubbles attached to one corner of the message. However, since iOS and Android use different systems, it doesn’t work that way between the two platforms. Instead, if an iOS user reacts to an Android user’s message, users get a separate message with the emoji reaction. Now (or after the beta, at least), Android will treat iOS in the same way, sending iOS users a separate message for reactions.

Right now, the feature is still in beta. However, an implementation is par for the course. Previously, Google threw some shade at Apple for not adopting the system that the former uses. In retaliation, Tim Cook recently told a user to just buy their mom an iPhone if texting was such an issue.

SEE ALSO: Apple on adopting Android’s features: Just ‘buy your mom an iPhone’

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