News

Apple is still the number one smartphone vendor in the US

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While Samsung and Huawei dominate the rest of the world, Apple is still holding its top spot in its home turf based on the latest report for the third quarter of 2017.

According to the estimates of Strategy Analytics, the Cupertino-based company maintained the number one position in the US smartphone market during Q3 2017, although both shipments and market share were down compared to the same quarter last year. Shipments are at 12 million (down from 13 million), while market share was at 30.4 percent (around two percent lower).


Apple releases only a couple of new smartphones a year — sans 2018 with their 10th-anniversary phone, the iPhone X, on hand. This makes their shipments concentrated on just a few devices, unlike other brands.

South Korean companies also dominated the US market with increased numbers. Samsung placed second with 9.9 million units shipped and 25.1 percent market share, while LG is in the third spot with 6.8 million shipments and 17.2 percent market share.

Chinese tech giant ZTE has a stronghold in the US with an impressive 4.6 million shipments and market share of 11.6 percent. The company is benefiting from the strong demand for prepaid units.

Motorola continues to get better with 2.1 million shipments and 5.2 percent market share. While they are in the fifth spot, the company almost doubled its numbers from last year.

From a more general scope, Ken Hyers, Director at Strategy Analytics, said that United States smartphone shipments fell two percent annually from 40.1 million units in Q3 2016 to 39.5 million in Q3 2017. The slowdown is mostly due to the mixed demand for the new iPhones.

SEE ALSO: Samsung Galaxy commercial throws shade at Apple’s iPhone

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India

Vivo V17 Pro with dual pop-up camera launches

It has a total of six cameras

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While Xiaomi and Realme are trying to outbid each other by offering higher resolution cameras, Vivo is busy adding as many sensors as possible. The brand was the first to incorporate a pop-up camera mechanism and is now leveraging the technology in all its products.

The phone will be going up against the OnePlus 7 and instead of focusing on performance, Vivo is eyeing an ideal all-rounder. The phone has been launched in India today and shall be landing in more markets soon.


It sports a 6.4-inch Full HD+ AMOLED display with a screen-to-body ratio of 91.65 percent. The display is surrounded by a 2.5D curved glass and Schott Xensation UP protection. The rear has Gorilla Glass, but it’s always recommended to slap a case on it.

The V17 Pro is powered by a Snapdragon 675 SoC, paired with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of internal storage. It runs on Funtouch OS 9.1, that’s based on Android 9 Pie.

On the rear is a quad-camera setup consisting of a 48-megapixel primary sensor, a 13-megapixel telephoto sensor, an 8-megapixel wide-angle lens, and a 2-megapixel depth sensor. The setup is capable 2x optical zoom and 10x hybrid zoom.

The front gets a dual-camera pop-up selfie module that houses a 32-megapixel camera and an 8-megapixel wide-angle lens. The front camera also supports Super Night Selfie mode for low-light photography. For authentication, an in-display fingerprint scanner has been added along with face unlock.

Backing these internals is a 4100mAh battery that supports 18W Dual-Engine fast charging. Vivo has also added a headphone jack, but the charging is still dependent on a microUSB port.

It’s priced at INR 29,990 for the sole 8GB+128GB offering and will go on sale from September 27 via Vivo eshop, Flipkart, Amazon, Paytm Mall, and Tata CliQ. Color options include Midnight Ocean and Glacier Ice.

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Gaming

You may soon be able to resell games bought on Steam

Valve isn’t giving up though

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Marketplaces like Steam offer much more than just a place to buy games. It’s a community that lets you enjoy multiplayer modes, explore DLCs, and constantly keep in touch with your fellow gamers. This combination has made Steam the most popular destination for gamers as well as game developers.

Steam users from France could soon have a new option though. A new ruling by the French court has the potential to radically alter the way people buy, sell, and play video games. It ruled that European Union law allows Steam users to resell their digital games, similar to any other physical product.


According to French site Numerama, users are free to resell digital games bought on Steam and this precedent could further apply to other digital content as well.

UFC Que Choisir (Federal Union of Consumers) filed a suit against Steam four years ago against a number of clauses in the Steam Subscriber Agreement. Essentially, the agreement says that consumers don’t actually buy products on Steam, instead, get subscriptions to access and use content and services.

The court also took Valve to task for other practices, such as holding onto Steam Wallet funds when players leave the platform and unclear moderation policies.

Though, no changes to Steam will be made until an appeal is settled. On the other hand, UFC Que Choisir has said they plan to directly challenge other digital products and platforms.

The case is crucial for the online distribution industry and could bring about a massive change in France as well as the European Union. For digital companies, that’ll be a nightmare since they’ve never expected their virtual offerings to be resellable.

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News

Samsung’s Android 10 roadmap leaked

Compatible devices include 2018 smartphones onward

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Even from its early days, Samsung has always championed Android. Naturally, you should expect consistent Android updates well into your Samsung phone’s lifecycle. Unfortunately, Samsung’s Android support cycle is getting smaller. The company has recently leaked its upgrade roadmap for the Android 10, thanks to AndroidPure.

As expected, Samsung is upgrading a lot of devices. From the main flagship lines, smartphones released in 2018 and onwards will receive the update. The Galaxy S series includes the Galaxy S9, S9+, 10, 10+, and 10e. Meanwhile the Galaxy Note series will include the Note 9, Note 10, and Note 10+.


Meanwhile, the midrange segments will enjoy a lot more inclusion. The Galaxy M series includes the M10, M20, M30, M30s, and M40. The Galaxy J line includes the J3 2018, J4, J4+, J5 2018, J6, J6+, J7 2018, J7 Duo, and J8. The massive Galaxy A line will include the A6, A6+, A7, A8, A8 Star Lite, A9, A9 Star Lite, A9 Pro 2019, A10, A10s, A10e, A20, A20e, A30, A30s, A40, A50, A60, A70, A80, and A90 5G.

Finally, Samsung’s tablets will also receive the update. The Galaxy Tab A 2018, Tab A 2019, Tab S4, and Tab S5e will all get Android 10.

Notably, the company’s flagship lines are curiously missing a few pieces. Samsung’s 2017 launches are not included — the S8 and the Note 8 series. Strangely, 2017’s Galaxy A7, a lower-tier phone, will still receive the update.

Likewise, Huawei is on the same boat. Their current roadmap includes only smartphones released during 2018 and onwards.

The smaller inclusion pales in comparison to the latest competition, the iOS 13. Apple’s latest OS includes more older models compared to Android.

Unfortunately, Samsung’s roadmap does not include a timeframe. We don’t know when the Android 10 update will drop, only that it will at some point in the future.

SEE ALSO: Samsung might fuse the Galaxy S and the Galaxy Note into one series

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