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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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Qualcomm officially launches Snapdragon 8 Gen 1

Coming first late 2021

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A few days ago, Qualcomm officially confirmed a coming name change for its ubiquitous Snapdragon chipset series. Of course, though Qualcomm already announced the change, the company did not reveal the new naming scheme. Now, the mystery is gone. Welcome, the new Snapdragon 8 Gen 1.

Sporting a new coat of paint, the chipset touts an improved 5G modem, the X65 5G. According to the company, the modem can reportedly reach 10Gbps in download speeds. It can also connect to the emerging Wi-Fi 6 standard, allowing up to 3.6Gbps in download speeds. The upper limit won’t mean much in today’s still-young 5G global network. However, it does mean much for the chipset’s longevity.

In the camera department, the chipset sports an 18-bit processor which can supposedly process 4,000 times more data than its predecessor. It can support up to three 36-megapixel cameras simultaneously. It can shoot up to 8K HDR footage at 30 frames per second, UHD footage at 120 frames per second, or slow-mo 720p videos at 960 frames per second.

Qualcomm didn’t specifically indicate how much the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 differs from the Snapdragon 888 in the performance department. However, it will once again focus on the future of AI. Features that use AI will reportedly get a boost going forward.

According to the company, the first smartphones with the chipset will launch sometime by the end of the year. As expected, more smartphones will come out next year in 2022.

SEE ALSO: Upcoming Snapdragon chipset scores 1000000 on AnTuTu

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Jack Dorsey steps down as Twitter CEO

Successors named

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Twitter’s Jack Dorsey has been as much of a staple for the social media network as Mark Zuckerberg has for Facebook. However, as followers of Apple and Microsoft can attest to, long-standing figureheads of tech can change in an instant. Twitter is suddenly undergoing just that sort of shakeup. In a surprise announcement, Dorsey has announced that he is stepping down as Twitter CEO.

On-brand for his eccentric personality, Dorsey tweeted out the internal email detailing his resignation from his post. According to the email, Dorsey now feels that it is time to transition the company from a “founder-led” system to something potentially greater. He, along with other members of the board, has already appointed successors for his position.

First, now-former Twitter CTO Parag Agrawal will serve as the company’s CEO effective immediately. Agarwal was formerly an engineer with Twitter but has since led the company through several key decisions beside Dorsey.

Secondly, Bret Taylor, a member of Twitter’s board, will eventually serve as the new chairman. Dorsey will still serve the rest of this term until around May. Between now and the end of his term, Dorsey will help both new leaders transition into their new positions.

Though Dorsey’s announcement has a sense of intensity, this isn’t the first time that the Twitter founder exited his position. Back in 2008, he left his post for a time before returning to helm the company again in 2015. Only time will tell whether this current resignation will stick and what role he will transition into now. Regardless, it’s a new era for Twitter.

SEE ALSO: Twitter rolls out soft block feature for everyone

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Dimensity 9000 will reportedly cost double its predecessor

Same with Snapdragon, reportedly

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The end of the year often means the latest generation of smartphone chipsets. Qualcomm and MediaTek, two of the world’s top chipset makers, launch the latest flagship series that will power the following year’s slate of smartphones. Qualcomm already teased a rebranding with their upcoming launch. Now, we have a few more details about MediaTek’s recently launched Dimensity 9000.

Recently, MediaTek launched its next flagship chipset series. The Dimensity 9000 promises impressive performance that can allegedly topple its predecessor’s performance, the Dimensity 1200. However, a promise like that can come with its drawbacks.

Via GizChina, the Dimensity 9000 will reportedly cost double of its predecessor. Though the report does not give actual specifics, it is likely that a more expensive price tag for the processor also comes with an increase in price for the flagship smartphones that it will come with. Next year’s smartphones might come a lot costlier because of the chipset.

If anything, the report also states that the upcoming Snapdragon flagship chipset will also have a higher price tag when it launches soon. As such, most flagships might indeed have higher price tags next year.

Both chipsets have not made their ways to an actual smartphone yet. However, the Snapdragon and Dimensity series do have the most ubiquitous brands for a chipset. If the report does come to pass, we might have to bid our wallets adieu next year.

SEE ALSO: MediaTek announces new Dimensity 9000 chipset

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