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iPhone XR is the top-selling phone around the world

It single-handedly defeated Xiaomi and Samsung

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Over the last few years, the smartphone has rapidly evolved and we’ve seen veteran brands like LG and HTC become ruins in no time. All this while new entrants like OnePlus, Xiaomi, and Realme have made huge strides.

However, there’s one brand that still hasn’t changed anything in the last decade. Apple continues to follow a year-long refresh cycle and all new iPhones are unveiled in September. On the other hand, the affordable and midrange segment are seeing new launches every couple of weeks.

And yet, the best-selling phone in the first half of 2019 is iPhone XR. According to analyst firm IH Markit Technology, that iPhone model has defeated even Samsung’s much cheaper Galaxy A10 offering.

Apple shipped 13.6 million units worldwide during the first quarter of this year. It then shipped another 13.3 million in the second quarter. That total of 26.9 million is more than double the 13.4 million units shipped by the budget Samsung Galaxy A10.

This is in-line with Apple’s strategy. The iPhone XR starts at US$ 749, a price significantly lower than the iPhone XS and XS Max. Recent price cuts in a few markets like India have also contributed massively to rising sales.

Apple’s iPhone 8, released in 2017, and iPhone XS Max were also among the top smartphones for the first half of the year.

“Compared to the Android-based smartphone makers, Apple maintains a relatively small model lineup,” said Jusy Hong, research and analysis director. “This means that Apple’s total sales volume is divided among fewer models. As a result, each of Apple’s iPhone models tends to generate higher shipment numbers than comparable Android smartphones, such as those sold by Samsung.”

Considering these sales figures, we expect Apple to unveil an iPhone XR successor this week.

News

Facebook’s iOS app is accessing your iPhone camera without permission

Just a glitch?

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Facebook’s persistent misuse of user data is no surprise to people already. The social media giant has found itself on the forefront of numerous privacy cases as of late. Naturally, every subsequent article digs an inch further down into Facebook’s grave. Surprisingly enough, Facebook is back at it again.

Corroborated by several users, Facebook’s iOS app is reportedly accessing your iPhone’s camera behind your back. For example, one user reports the sudden launch of the app’s Story feature. Like Instagram’s own Stories, Facebook’s Story feature accesses the camera to shoot photos. On its own, the error is just a nasty bug, easily fixable with a patch.

However, another user has spotted a more alarming error. Caught on tape, the iOS app accesses your camera literally behind your News Feed. This glitch is a lot less obvious than the previous one. Most people won’t spot the bug immediately. According to the same user, the bug is present only on iOS 13.2.2.

In Facebook’s defense, both instances are apparently just bugs introduced by a recent update. Facebook is already working on a decisive patch to address these issues. The patch should roll out soon.

Regardless, Facebook’s latest blunder is a bottomless pit of controversial speculation. Is it really a glitch? Is it Facebook’s exploitation accidentally revealing itself? No one knows. Still, it’s not a good look. Bad luck, Facebook.

SEE ALSO: Facebook reveals its new company logo amidst controversy

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Deals

OPPO Philippines offers 40% discount on service parts

Save more on your next repair

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It’s a fact that our devices have limited lifespans. When our devices start to break down, the only way to go is to dispose it or repair it. Those who choose the latter may find it hard since after-sales support is often tricky and lacking for most manufacturers; but not OPPO.

OPPO Philippines is offering up to 40% discount on service parts for device repairs. All service parts are covered by the discount — from motherboards to the top cover of the device.

The discount is eligible for the Neo 7, F1s, A37, F1 Plus, F1s 64GB, A39, A57, A71, F3, F3 Plus, F5, F5 Pro, F5 Youth, A7, A71 2018, A83, F7, F7 Youth, A3S and F9. The discount for service parts is available from November 4 onwards at all OPPO Service Centers nationwide. To know more, visit their website.

OPPO also has several initiatives that provide technical support to its consumers. It has a 1-hour flash fix program, a phone loan program, and a service app to help users when their devices suddenly break down. Plus, all OPPO devices come with an international warranty.

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Apps

Instagram has started borrowing features from TikTok

Instagram is looking out for inspiration

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A couple of years back, Instagram and Snapchat were involved in a brutal face-off, each wanting supremacy over the other. Thanks to Snapchat, Stories are now an integral part of not only Instagram but also Facebook and WhatsApp.

In 2019, Snapchat is no longer viewed as a threat to Instagram. A new kid on the block is challenging the status quo — TikTok. Instagram launched a new video editing tool in Brazil that copies some of the best-known features of TikTok.

Dubbed Reels, it lets you create “15-second video clips set to music and share them as Stories,” which can be shared wider via a new “Top Reels” section on the Explore page.

Per a recent tweet from engineer Jane Manchun Wong, this new tool will also let you remix other users’ Scenes if their account is public. Reels is launching today on iOS and Android but is limited to Brazil for now.

 

It’s safe to assume that Instagram is piloting the new feature because a release timeline for other regions isn’t available yet.

Instagram also has IGTV that is essentially a YouTube rival. However, short videos have been the main forte of TikTok and since the death of Vine, there has been a vacuum in this segment. With healthy funding from its Chinese parent Bytedance, TikTok has enough firepower to take on the Facebook-owned app.

In a leaked audio recording, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has also expressed concerns about TikTok’s growth and dominance in certain market. He said that the Chinese company has “married short-form, immersive video with browse. So it’s almost like the ‘Explore Tab’ that we have on Instagram, which is today primarily about feed posts and highlighting different feed posts.”

Instagram previously launched a dedicated video sharing app called Lasso but failed to migrate users over from the primary app. Incorporating similar features in the Instagram app is the best way to ensure users get on board.

 

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