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Smartwatches are doing even worse than expected

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We already mentioned the current state of smartwatches as a big, fat miss in our recent year-ender compilation, but now, things are looking even bleaker for 2017.

Based on a report done by eMarketer, the research firm expected a smartwatch usage growth of more than 60 percent among adults in the US this year. Instead, the forecast has changed to only 24.7 percent, which is clearly a huge drop.

This translates to 39.5 million American adults using an internet-connected watch this year, as opposed to the original estimate of 63.7 million users. Making the situation worse is a penetration rate of just 21.1 percent by the year 2020 — not good at all.

Reasons for the slump are obvious, but still worth noting. There just isn’t enough reason to use a smartwatch on top of a smartphone, and while phones are improving in the cost-friendly segments, smartwatches are still maintaining exuberant prices.

eMarketer analyst Cathy Boyle had this to say:

They [consumer surveys] also reported high price-sensitivity. Without a clear use case for smartwatches — which have more features than fitness trackers, but significant overlap with smartphone functionality — the more sophisticated, expensive devices have not caught on as quickly as expected.

Ouch.

With news of the next generation of Android Wear being delayed until early 2017 — and the likes of Moto pulling out of the platform completely — we don’t see high-tech watches taking off, either. It doesn’t help that Samsung, who’s one of the leading brands in this category, relies on its own operating system, and not Android Wear.

Adding to the flames is Apple suspiciously hiding its latest sales numbers for both generations of the Apple Watch, as well as the well-loved Pebble brand being bought out by fitness tracker giant Fitbit for less than $40 million.

Still, there’s hope in hybrid smartwatches. With smart functionality in traditional watch designs, they last for months on battery power while retaining fitness tracking and handset connectivity features. We went as far as listing the Fossil Q Hybrid Smartwatch in our Holiday Gift Guide.

[irp posts=”8312″ name=”Here’s why you won’t see a new Moto smartwatch anytime soon”]

Sources: eMarketer, Business Insider

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OnePlus 6T McLaren Edition: Price and availability in the Philippines

The most expensive OnePlus phone, yet

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Shortly after its international debut, the most expensive OnePlus phone is (surprisingly) already on its way to the Philippines.

The OnePlus 6T McLaren Edition is now available for pre-order online through Argomall. It’s priced at PhP 39,990, which is slightly higher than its US$ 699 retail price in the US.

Compared to the regular OnePlus 6T, the McLaren Edition comes with 10GB of memory, 256GB of storage, and the latest Warp Charge technology that can fill up half of the phone’s battery in just 20 minutes.

Also, the special edition phone features a carbon fiber pattern, orange accents, and the McLaren logo on the back.

There’s no exact shipping date for the phone, but it’s already listed on Argomall’s website.

SEE ALSO: OnePlus 6T McLaren Edition introduces Warp Charge, 10GB RAM

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Philippine telcos are now required to unlock phones after lock-in period

Finally, a pro-consumer measure

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The Philippines’ Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) has ordered the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) and telcos for the mandatory unlocking of phones and devices after the subscriber’s lock-in period.

The policy is based on the Memorandum Order 004, Series of 2018 issued by DICT on December 14.

According to the memo, subscribers who have completed their contract and have no outstanding obligations can demand telcos to unlock their phones or devices. The process must also be done conveniently and should be shouldered by the service providers.

The NTC is now tasked to draft the Memorandum Circular for the memo’s appropriate rules and regulations and conduct consultations and hearings with affected parties.

There’s no exact date of implementation, but with order already announced to the public, Filipinos will soon have freedom for their network-locked phones given that they have already fulfilled their contract.

Source: DICT

SEE ALSO: Mislatel confirmed as Philippines’ new telco

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Huawei Nova 4 press renders leak before official announcement

It’s the era of holed phones

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Samsung already announced their new midrange phone that has a hole in the screen. This is the newest display trend after the notch, and Huawei is next in line to present their own. The launch of the Nova 4 is scheduled for next week, but official-looking renders have already leaked online.

The renders further confirm some of the early reports about the Nova 4. The most obvious one is the position of the hole in the display for the front camera, which is expected to be a 25-megapixel sensor. This approach is supposedly less intrusive than having a notch. The Nova 4 will also have a triple-camera setup on the rear that’s strikingly similar to the P20 Pro’s; however, the sensors will not be same.

Rumors suggest that Huawei will have two Nova 4 variants. Both will have the Kirin 970 processor (same on the Nova 3), 8GB of memory, and 128GB of storage. They will also feature the same 16-megapixel monochrome and 2-megapixel depth sensors.

The difference between the two variants is in the main camera. The more expensive one will have a 48-megapixel Sony sensor, while the cheaper variant is stuck with a 20-megapixel sensor. Aside from that, the two variants will be practically identical.

Huawei will announce the Nova 4 on December 17 in China. Based on the leaked renders, it’ll come in a basic black color with red, blue, and white-pink gradient options.

Source: DroidShout

SEE ALSO: Huawei P30 will have a notch and curved display

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