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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

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Apple iPhone XR available for pre-order on October 19

Get ready!

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We’re finally on the cusp of getting a more affordable iPhone. All six colors of the iPhone XR will be available for pre-order starting October 19, 12:01 am (GMT+8) on apple.com/sg and the Apple Store app.

The iPhone XR was launched alongside the iPhone XS and XS Max last month, offering the same flagship features as its high-end brothers have but with a few differences here and there.

The same A12 Bionic chip with next-generation Neural Engine — one of the most powerful chipsets found in a smartphone today — powers the iPhone XR. It allows for better gaming and camera performance, a more immersive AR experience, and more efficient processing resulting in longer battery life compared to previous generations.

Instead of OLED, the iPhone XR’s display will be LCD — a 6.1-inch Liquid Retina display — the most advanced of its kind according to Apple. It’s also an all-glass phone that supports wireless charging, and is wrapped with aluminum around the edges instead of stainless steel. The body is water-resistant with a rating of IP67, and is safe from everyday spills including coffee, tea, and beer. Liquid damage is not covered under Apple’s warranty, however.

In the camera department, the iPhone XR sports the same wide-angle lens found on the iPhone XS and XS Max, but doesn’t come with the 2x telephoto zoom lens. You can still achieve that bokeh effect through Portrait Mode, thanks to internal improvements to the ISP, Neural Engine, and software algorithms. In front, the notch that houses the latest TrueDepth camera system also enables Portrait Mode and Portrait Lighting, plus Face ID for security and authentication.

In Singapore, the iPhone XR will be available in 64GB, 128GB, and 256GB storage models in black, white, blue, yellow, coral, and (PRODUCT)RED starting at SG$ 1,229 (US$ 892) beginning Friday, October 26 at 8:00 am.

It will also be available in more than 50 countries and territories on the same date, including Malaysia, India, Thailand, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Hong Kong, and Taiwan. Other countries in Southeast Asia like Cambodia, Myanmar, and Vietnam will get the iPhone XR starting November 2.

Through Apple GiveBack, customers can trade in their eligible device for an Apple Store Gift Card or a refund of up to SG$ 850 on their purchase. Trade-in values will vary based on the condition and model of your smartphone.

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Essential fires 30 percent of workers, announces new mobile device

No, it’s not a smartphone

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Despite enjoying a year in smartphone royalty, Essential just isn’t that essential anymore. Preceding the Essential Phone’s launch, the startup gained substantial hype owing to its ownership. Headed by Android co-founder Andy Rubin, it promised an unrivaled Android experience wrapped inside a beautiful package.

Truly, the first Essential Phone garnered positive reviews across the board. Among others, it was one of the more beautiful phones in 2017. Unfortunately, the phone’s price deterred most users from switching. Naturally, the startup’s first outing failed to meet expectations.

Drawing from this initial disappointment, Essential hinted at an eventual buyout a few months ago. Moreover, Rubin cancelled the Essential Phone 2’s development. However, months later, the startup (and everyone else) clearly exaggerated its demise. The company and its plans for a second phone still exist.

Sadly, its continued existence is still in dire jeopardy. The company has recently announced major layoffs in its workforce. As of today, Essential Products has fired 30 percent of its employees.

Despite the astonishing number, the startup has maintained its silence on possible reasons for the pink slips. One can only assume that this stems from its failed sales targets. Regardless, Essential remains hopeful for the future. “We are confident that our sharpened product focus will help us deliver a truly game-changing consumer product,” according to a spokesperson for the startup.

Reportedly, Essential is already working on a second mobile device for the future. Unfortunately, the planned device will not succeed the Essential Phone. Instead, it will leverage artificial intelligence to deliver an autonomous mobile experience.

Notably, the startup hesitates to use the word “smartphone.” While the device can make calls and send messages, it hopes to do more. For one, it can call, message, and plan events on its own without user input. Essentially, the device will replace humans as the primary digital communicators.

By the end of this year, Essential will out a prototype for this device. By then, the startup will finally reveal a possible roadmap for the future. Presently, the future-less startup’s survival is anything but assured.

SEE ALSO: Essential Phone is now a true Pixel-like flagship Android phone for only $399

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Xiaomi confirms 10GB RAM and 5G connectivity of the Mi Mix 3

Are we ready for these advancements?

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Xiaomi Mi Mix 2S | GadgetMatch

Xiaomi is set to announce their latest flagship phone — the Mi Mix 3. While the phone has been leaked a number of times already (but not as much as the Pixel 3), there are some features we’d like to get early confirmation for. Thankfully, Xiaomi gave us two teasers than confirmed not just one, but two major features of their upcoming smartphone.

When Xiaomi announces the Mi Mix 3, it’ll be the first phone to officially have 10GB of memory. OPPO did try to make a 10GB version of the Find X, but it’s probably sitting in their office at the moment.

To be honest, we’re not sure if it’s logical to have a phone with 10GB of memory, but we’re already at that stage. The Mi Mix 3 will probably have a lot more memory to spare than most standard laptops people currently own.

The second confirmed feature is something we’re already expecting — 5G connectivity. The Mi Mix 3 is one of the world’s first 5G-capable phones. It could even be the first widely available 5G phone if Xiaomi will release the Mi Mix 3 to its key markets immediately.

A lot of users probably won’t be able to take advantage of 5G for now, but this will make the Mi Mix 3 future-proof.

Other than these two, not much has been revealed yet about the Mi Mix 3. Xiaomi is teasing the phone as a device wherein art meets technology. Well, the existing Mi Mix series is already proof of that, but the Mi Mix 3 will surely bring something new to the table.

The Mi Mix 3 will be officially announced on October 25 in Beijing, which signals that the phone will be available in China first. We’re expecting the phone to retail internationally shortly after, just like the Mi Mix 2S.

SEE ALSO: Xiaomi teases Mi Mix 3 in full, reveals pop-up mechanism for cameras

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