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.
Samsung Galaxy Note 9 gets a luxury treatment with 1kg pure gold plate
Turn your phone into jewelry
The Galaxy Note 9 is not a cheap smartphone, especially the 512GB variant that will set you back US$ 1,249. It arrived with a Gorilla Glass 5 body, but what if they covered it in gold instead?
Russia-based luxury smartphone company Caviar decided that the Note 9’s glass body is not flashy enough, so they customized one and added 1 kilogram of pure gold.
Mind you, this is actual gold, and not just a simple paint job. Look at the images below:
The Samsung Galaxy Note 9 Fine Gold Edition is still a typical Galaxy Note 9 inside but with Caviar’s custom gold plate on its back.
It starts at RUB 3,870,000 or almost US$ 60,000! You can buy 60 units of the regular Galaxy Note 9 with this money, and that’s just for the 128GB variant. If you wish to get the one with 512GB of storage and 8GB of memory, you’ll have to add another US$ 1,000.
Check out Caviar’s website if you’re interested.
ASUS ROG Zephyrus S is the slimmest gaming laptop available today
But doesn’t compromise performance
Alongside the 17-inch ROG Scar II, ASUS has announced a new ROG device that they claim to be world’s slimmest gaming laptop. The ROG Zephyrus from last year was already thin by gaming laptop standards, but the new ROG Zephyrus S is 12 percent thinner with updated specs.
The ROG Zephyrus S (GX531) still has the look and feel of the original Zephyrus but it’s now only 14.95 to 15.75mm thick. Those numbers might not sound as sexy as other super-slim notebooks, but the Zephyrus S has desktop-grade gaming performance with either an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q or GTX 1060 GPU inside its chassis.
Powering the Zephyrus S is the six-core Intel Core i7-8750H processor with up to 24GB DDR4 memory. Storage options are from 256GB to 1TB M.2 NVMe SSDs.
The laptop’s display is a 15.6-inch 1080p panel with a 144Hz refresh rate, 3ms response time, and 100 percent sRGB coverage. It’s definitely not the sharpest laptop display, but it’s one of the fastest for smooth gameplay. The display has a thin-bezel design as well, so the footprint of the laptop is just a bit bigger than your typical 14-inch notebook.
ASUS uses their Active Aerodynamic System (same as with other Zephyrus laptops) which opens a vent at the bottom of the laptop when the lid is lifted, and the vent stretches across the entire back of the body. This improves airflow by 22 percent over a conventional design as per ASUS.
Another distinct trait of the Zephyrus S is the keyboard. It’s still on the front of the device, which helps with cooling, but it might not be everybody’s cup of tea. The keys have 1.2mm of travel, N-key rollover, and RGB lighting via Aura Sync over four zones.
As for I/O, it has two USB-C ports (Gen1 and Gen2), two USB 2.0 ports, one USB 3.0 port, HDMI 2.0 at the back, and a headphone jack.
The ASUS ROG Zephyrus S (GX531) will become available starting September in the US and in October for the UK and Asia. Pricing starts at US$ 2,099 for the GTX 1060 model, while the higher-end GTX 1070 is priced at US$ 2,199.
ASUS’ new ROG Strix Scar II is world’s most compact 17-inch gaming laptop
Thanks to its super-slim bezels!
After going hands on with the ROG Strix Scar II and reviewing the Hero II in full, we wondered what else could be done to improve this second-generation lineup. Well, it looks like ASUS just gave us the answer.
Discreetly launched today, the new 17.3-inch ROG Strix Scar II (model name GL704) is the most compact gaming laptop of its kind, according to ASUS. It’s basically a supersized variant of the already-available 15.6-inch version but with an even badder screen.
It may be worth the wait, because the color-accurate 17.3-inch 1080p display is able to fit into a chassis designed for 15.7-inch panels, effectively providing it a width of less than 400mm thanks to the slim bezels.
The wide keyboard and Aura Sync RGB lighting make a return, along with the fast 144Hz refresh rate and 3ms response time of the display.
In terms of specs, it can go up to an Intel Core i7-8750H processor with 16GB of memory and an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 graphics chip. A 256GB SSD plus 1TB SSHD combo maintains the speed and fluidity of the system.
It’ll be available by the end of September in official ROG stores. Pricing begins at US$ 1,699.
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