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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.

Enterprise

Huawei thinks about selling its 5G business

Will hopefully appease Western tensions

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Once again, Huawei is weighing all its options. As time rolls by, the company is slowly losing its grip on the Western market. Even after a temporary wave of full support, the US government has gone cold turkey. Huawei is still on the blacklist. In the meantime, the company’s temporary operating license is merely receiving extensions. Unfortunately, extensions don’t mean much without a definitive end.

Huawei is in dire straits. According to a recent interview with The Economist, Huawei founder Ren Zhengfei is mulling over a drastic move: selling its 5G business to the highest bidder.


Throughout the entire controversy, Huawei’s detractors have often decried the company’s 5G technology as a potential security threat. According to the detractors, the Chinese government can seize control of the company at any time.

Hence, a potential sale can alleviate geopolitical pressures. If a sale is concluded, the purchasing customer will have access to the technology’s inner workings. The customer can check if the network does have a Chinese backdoor built into it. Further, they can tailor the technology in any way they want.

Since plans are plans, the Huawei boss still doesn’t have any potential customers in mind. Likewise, the company has not announced a price yet. If you’re eyeing your wallet for a huge purchase, you’ll have to wait for when Huawei announces the sale.

SEE ALSO: Huawei is still getting the Android 10 update

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Huawei is still getting the Android 10 update

For models before the Mate 30 series

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If you’re a Huawei user like me, you’re probably worried about the future of your daily driver. Will my Huawei P20 Pro just wither away when Google finally leaves the building? Fortunately, no.

According to the latest news surrounding the Huawei-Google brouhaha, Huawei’s current lineup is immune from the upcoming purge. Specifically, all of Huawei’s devices released before the Mate 30 series will still enjoy Google’s beautiful suite of products. Naturally, here’s the next question: will we still get valuable software updates?


At IFA 2019, Huawei unveiled the upcoming roadmap for software updates going forward. The update specifically refers to Huawei’s Android 10 package — the customized EMUI 10. The roadmap confirms which of the current models will receive the update. Surprisingly, the update will as far back as the Mate 10 series.

Starting November 2019, the main P30 unitsthe regular P30 and the P30 Pro — will start receiving the package. Afterwards, December will introduce the update to the Mate 20 series and the Honor 20 series. Finally, the P30 lite, the P20 series, and the Mate 10 series will receive the update starting March next year.

After that, Huawei has alluded to “other models” getting the update in the second quarter of next year. However, the roadmap does not clarify which models this includes. On the one hand, this might pertain to past models before the Mate 10 series. On the other, Huawei is possibly holding on to a fleeting hope that they reconcile with Google in the future.

Regardless, Google is still supporting Huawei’s current phones in the meantime. The roadmap should come as a sigh of relief for those still sticking to their Huawei devices.

SEE ALSO: Huawei announces flagship Kirin 990 processor

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Siri will never say ‘feminism,’ thanks to Apple

New directive forces Siri to deflect gender questions

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Let’s face it: an AI-powered voice assistant is unbelievably fun to tease. We’ve all joked around with Siri. From charming compliments to making Siri talk dirty, we’ve all tried to break Apple’s programming. For what it’s worth, Apple specifically programmed quirky responses to equally quirky questions. It’s all about finding the right question.

As with every fun pastime, there will always come people who take things too far. Some users will try to get Siri say forbidden words and discuss touchy topics. Without much of a choice, Apple must put its foot down somewhere. Based on leaked documents from The Guardian, the developer is already discovering its limits.


Internally, Apple has changed several directives regarding today’s more sensitive topics. For feminism and the #MeToo movement, Siri should respond in three ways: don’t engage, deflect, and inform. The new directive even forbids the voice assistant from mentioning the word “feminism” even when asked directly.

According to the leaked documents, Apple is maintaining a “guarded” stance against controversial topics. However, the company is still ensuring their neutrality in the matter. At the most general level, Siri will respond with statements of equality. One such response states: “I believe that all voices are created equal and worth equal respect.” Another example triggers when users ask about Siri’s identity: “My name is Siri, and I was designed by Apple in California. That’s all I’m prepared to say.” The new Siri is a lot more direct than yesteryear’s general responses. Further, the document also detail how Siri should be addressed: a genderless non-human whose “true origin is unknown, even to Siri; but it definitely wasn’t a human invention.”

Besides explaining the current directives, the document also details the voice assistant’s future. Apple will eventually release a more substantial update in 2021. The update will include several new features, including the ability to talk back-and-forth with Siri about health.

SEE ALSO: Tell Siri to ‘lace up’ the Nike Adapt Huarache

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