News

Huawei loses its dominance in the smartphone market

It’s not even in the top five

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Huawei

In the first half of 2020, Huawei was the world’s largest smartphone maker. It shipped more units than Apple and Samsung. Fast forward one year, the Chinese giant isn’t even in the top five spots, and its future looks grim.

According to Strategy Analytics Q1 2021 quarterly report, smartphone shipments increased by a whopping 24 percent YoY. More than 340 million units were shipped, and the top five vendors captured 76 percent of the market.

Samsung is the numero uno now and holds a 23 percent share, followed by Apple at 17 percent and Xiaomi at 15 percent. OPPO and vivo also made it to the top five due to their well-oiled supply chains and market reach. Three out of five top phone makers in the world are now Chinese.

But we’re missing Huawei. It was added to a blacklist by the US government, barring it from transacting with American counterparts. This meant that it couldn’t use Google Mobile Services (an integral package of Android that makes Play Services possible), ARM-powered processors, and other essential components.

The ban derailed its global expansion plans, and all dealt a massive blow to its 5G investment. Due to the ban, it sold off the Honor brand that looked after the affordable smartphone segment. It’s now an independent company that has no ties with Huawei or its group companies.

Honor played a pivotal role in raking in numbers for Huawei. Being a budget-friendly brand, it had massive distribution channels in the developing markets of India, Indonesia, Thailand, the Philippines, and more. With the sub-brand now gone, Huawei relies completely on its in-house portfolio.

Huawei still makes phones but is severely hit due to the sanctions. The company has kickstarted the development of its own Android alternative, but bridging the semiconductor gap will be difficult in the short term. Although, it’s worth noting that Huawei’s yearly revenue for 2020 still grew by a measly 3.8 percent thanks to local Chinese demand and stop-gap measures like AppGallery.

Read Also: Huawei ban could persist under Biden administration

News

realme 8, realme 8 Pro: Price and availability in the Philippines

Dare to buy

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realme 8 pro

The latest in realme’s number series — the realme 8 and the realme 8 pro — have now arrived in the Philippines and like usual, they come with discounts at launch.

Before we dive into the pricing details, let’s first take a quick look at the two phones.

Both phones have a 6.4-inch AMOLED display with Full HD+ resolution and an in-display fingerprint scanner. The refresh rate is still 60Hz, but there’s support for always-on display. They run on realme UI 2.o based on Android 11 out-of-the-box.

realme 8 pro

The pair has a super slim body and an infinite bold design with the AG-Crystal process. Essentially, the back is made of plastic. The rear of the phone has realme’s slogan “dare to leap” engraved and it’s massive.

The realme 8 Pro is powered by a Snapdragon 720G processor with up to 8GB RAM and 128GB internal storage. On the rear is a quad-camera setup consisting of a 108-megapixel primary camera, an 8-megapixel wide-angle lens, a 2-megapixel macro sensor, and a 2-megapixel portrait lens.

Backing these internals is a 4500mAh battery with 50W fast charging. realme claims it can charge the full battery in 47 minutes.

On the other hand, the realme 8 sports a MediaTek Helio G95 processor with up to 8GB RAM and 128GB internal storage. The rear gets a 64-megapixel primary camera, while the other three sensors are the same as the Pro variant. Both the phones have a 16-megapixel front camera for selfies. Backing these internals is a 5000mAh battery that supports 30W fast charging.

realme 8

Price and availability

The realme 8 Pro retails for PhP 16,990. | Buy from Lazada

Meanwhile, the realme 8 will set you back by PhP 13,990.| Buy from Lazada

There’s a PhP 1,000 worth of discount on Lazada starting May 12 at 12 midnight for both phones.

 

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News

Dozens of attorney generals ask Facebook to ditch Instagram Kids

But Facebook has other plans, obviously

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Facebook confirmed a few weeks ago that it’s working on a new project — Instagram Kids. Experts have warned that it could be a terrible idea, but Facebook has shown no interest in turning back.

Now, attorneys general from 44 states and territories of the US urged Facebook to abandon its plans to create an Instagram service for kids under 13. Citing detrimental health effects of social media on kids and Facebook’s murky past of protecting children on its platform.

The letter also noted that social media sites exploit users’ fear of missing out (FOMO) and can lead to body dissatisfaction and low self-esteem.

“Further, Facebook has historically failed to protect the welfare of children on its platforms. The attorneys general have an interest in protecting our youngest citizens, and Facebook’s plans to create a platform where kids under the age of 13 are encouraged to share content online is contrary to that interest,” the letter said.

The AGs also cited a UK study that found more cases of “sexual grooming on Instagram than any other platform” and noted that in 2020 Facebook and Instagram reported 20 million child sexual abuse images.

Facebook response

A Facebook spokesperson in response to the letter said, “We agree that any experience we develop must prioritize their safety and privacy, and we will consult with experts in child development, child safety, and mental health, and privacy advocates to inform it.”

In a nutshell, Facebook doesn’t get the fundamental fact that kids under the age of 13 don’t need to be on social media. The company defends its move by saying children often lie about their age and make an account on Instagram, where child-friendly features have limited reach. To prevent this, it’s creating Instagram kids to offer a safe and controlled environment exclusive for kids.

The spokesperson also noted that Facebook is a founding sponsor of a new Digital Wellness Lab at Boston Children’s Hospital better to understand the effect of digital technology on kids.

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Accessories

Upcoming Sony WF-1000XM4 earbuds leak, design change confirmed

Comes with improved battery life

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The audiophile community has highly regarded Sony’s WF-1000XM4, and it has a special fan base of its own. The Japanese electronics giant will launch an updated iteration soon, and we’ve already got a sneak peek of it.

According to the Walkman Blog, the new earbuds have a very different design with downsized shapes. It no longer retains a pill shape, looking more like the Galaxy Buds Pro. The site also claims that the new buds could be released on June 8.

While the images shared on the blog are of prototype models, they’re likely to reflect the final design. Obviously, the commercial unit will be far more polished and sharp. It also seems like there’s space for two different microphones, hinting at noise cancellation tech and voice assistant support.

The leak also includes shots of the WF-1000XM4’s charging case, which looks fairly dull except for one potentially important detail. Charging output is listed as 5V = 140mA, a little above the WF-1000XM3’s charging case which is listed as 5V = 120mA.

The TWS earbuds will also feature Bluetooth 5.0 technology and a new noise reduction processor. Lastly, the Sony wireless earbuds will reportedly offer an improved battery life and sound quality. Many details about the upcoming earbuds are still missing, so we’ll just have to wait for Sony to unveil it officially.

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