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The Top 10 Global Smartphone Brands of 2017

And the winners are…

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How well did your favorite smartphone brand grow in 2017? 

Here are some interesting insights form IHS Markit, a renowned market research firm, that recently published its findings on the leading global smartphone brands of 2017.

Gold and Silver go to…

Samsung was the leading Smartphone brand of 2017 by shipped unit volume. Its dominance is unchallenged with a total market share of 22% or 316.2 million. Samsung shipments grew 2% last year.

Apple is a distant second at 15% or 215.8 million units — this despite an amazing fourth quarter, where the iPhone X was the bestselling smartphoneApple, however, flatlined this year with zero growth rate.

A Chinese brand takes Bronze

Huawei in third is creeping up on Apple with an 11% market share or 153.1 million shipped units, a plus of 10% compared to the previous year, but ran into speed bumps breaking into the US market. The company only sold around 200,000 units in the fourth quarter of 2017, despite the promising showing of the Huawei Mate 10 Pro in other parts of the globe.

In January, AT&T pulled out from negotiations, days before a partnership was scheduled to be announced at CES 2018. In addition, a proposed bill seeking to ban Huawei from doing business in the US might further hurt the company’s chances of securing all important carrier partnerships for its flagship devices.

Better together

Sister companies OPPO and Vivo took fourth and fifth, respectively. Both companies posted double-digit year-on-year growth rates, 23%  and 18%, respectively. Together, both brands shipped 212.8 million units, enough to get dangerously close to Apple and well ahead of Huawei. Both brands opened flagship stores in China allowing them to boost brand recognition and drive home an image of value for money.

The growth winners are

But when it comes to growth numbers, the clear winners are Xiaomi at sixth and Motorola at ninth. The two brands saw growth rates well beyond any other brand, both enjoying a 58% year-over-year growth.

Motorola now controls 3% of the market while Lenovo, as the owner of the Motorola Mobility name, reached only a 1% market share.  This is a clear validation of Lenovo’s go-to-market strategy to focus on the beloved Motorola brand. In 2018, expect Lenovo to continue to shift away from Lenovo-branded smartphones in favor of Motorola-branded handsets.

What about the other South Korean player?

While LG maintained almost the same unit volume as in 2016 with a growth of just 1%, they climbed up one spot to number seven due to the weak performance of ZTE. LG is struggling to get market recognition for its high-end devices, and with a limited marketing budget compared to other brands, this might not change in the foreseeable future.

And the losers

ZTE and Gionee are the biggest losers of 2017. ZTE declined by 20%, dropping to the eighth spot. Ginoee also declined by 14%.

The overall market

The global smartphone market grew only slightly by 3% equaling a total unit volume of 1.44 billion shipped phones compared to 1.4 billion in 2016. The fourth quarter of 2017 saw a decline of 4.5%, ringing in trouble ahead and laying the foundation for more changes to come in 2018.

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Xiaomi X Leica partner for ‘Imagery Technology’

Something coming in July

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Xiaomi just dropped a huge bomb on their social media channels announcing a partnership with renowned camera maker Leica.

In the post, Xiaomi said it is ” a global strategic partnership in mobile imaging.”

“Combining the legendary image and innovative technology, let’s look forward to a new era of mobile photography in July,” the post added.

In their official blog, Xiaomi and Leica noted that this is a long-term partnership. It also says the two companies “share the same ideas regarding mobile imaging.” They promise to explore more in mobile imaging “through extreme technological breakthroughs and aesthetic pursuits.”

There isn’t much to go on at this point but this move is monumental considering what the partnership did for Huawei years back. Xiaomi and its fans have plenty of reason to be excited. The partnership could catapult Xiaomi to an even more premium territory and put it in the stratosphere to compete against Apple and Samsung overall.

Huawei and Leica

Huawei and Leica officially announced their partnership in 2016. The first result of that partnership are the Huawei P9 and Huawei P9 Plus. Huawei’s standing as a premiere smartphone camera skyrocketed with the Huawei P20 and P30 series. The partnership went on with the P40 and P50 series but it appears it has indeed come to an end.

Gizmochina reported in 2021 that the Huawei and Leica partnership will reach its conclusion with the P50 series.

Huawei official statement

Below is Huawei’s official statement sent to GadgetMatch on May 23, 4:16PM (GMT+8)

Huawei Consumer Business Group and Leica Camera AG have worked intensively together since 2015. The cooperation between the two companies ended on March 31 of 2022. 

 The two companies highly appreciate the partnership. The cooperation was based on each company’s excellent technical know-how and mutual trust resulting in ground-breaking innovations in the field of smartphone photography. 

Together, Huawei and Leica Camera have created new imaging standards and technical capabilities, bringing convenient and high-quality experiences to consumers worldwide, through which they have recorded the most memorable moments of their lives. 

Huawei is grateful to its global consumers for their support and will continue providing them with the ultimate in mobile photography experiences through its continued pursuit of innovation.

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Qualcomm announces Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1

And Snapdragon 7 Plus Gen 1

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The second half of this year’s smartphones are coming. Naturally, each smartphone needs a capable processor to make itself more special among today’s crop of devices. Signaling the start of the next slate of devices, Qualcomm has announced the Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1.

A lot of current lineups have already launched for the year. However, we’re still missing some of the more premium offerings today. The new Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1 will power the next generation for the year. And, according to Qualcomm, the chipset will deliver 10 percent faster CPU and GPU performance. It will also use 15 percent less power, squeezing out an extra hour of usage.

The chipset will focus more on performance. Even if the smartphone heats up from all the gaming, the processor can keep up with delivering sustained performance.

Though the list of confirmed devices is still a bit sparse today, companies have already promised to use the Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1. These include Honor, iQOO, Lenovo, Motorola, OnePlus, OPPO, realme, vivo, Xiaomi, and ZTE. As expected, gaming brands are also signing up like ASUS’s Republic of Gamers and Black Shark.

Ironically, that’s not even the gaming processor, according to Qualcomm. The company also released the Snapdragon 7 Plus Gen 1, which reportedly touts a 20 percent boost to GPU performance. Honor, OPPO, and Xiaomi are already making phones with the chipset.

SEE ALSO: Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 beats Apple A15 Bionic in early tests

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Netflix is losing a lot of long-term subscribers

People are switching

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The Netflix revolution was indeed televised. However, after enjoying years of success as the streaming platform of choice, a lot of users are now leaving Netflix for greener pastures. Over the past few months, the company has struggled to patch its failures. A recently released data report does confirm that the platform has a right to worry. More and more long-term subscribers are reportedly cutting their subscriptions short.

According to The Information, around 13 percent of Netflix cancelers in the past quarter are from accounts that have been with the platform for over three years. The data, which was reportedly obtained from Antenna, pegs cancelations at around 3.6 million Americans, a big increase from the 2.5 million of the past five quarters.

Though 13 percent isn’t exactly a giant figure, it’s still a blow to Netflix’s empire. While streaming platform rightly focus on gaining new subscribers, losing the loyalty of long-term users isn’t something to shrug off.

Since announcing lost expectations, Netflix announced ways to save on costs and retain its subscribers. Other methods include canceling projects, opening a games division, and potentially charging users more for account sharing. Naturally, not every plan hits users the same way.

In the meantime, other platforms — like Disney+, HBO, and Hulu — are attracting more users with more varied and exclusive content. Regardless, Netflix is skidding down a slope. Only time will tell whether its latest strategies will stave off more losses.

SEE ALSO: Netflix is experimenting with livestreaming content

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