News

The Top 10 Global Smartphone Brands of 2017

And the winners are…

Published

on

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.

News

Nokia XR20: Rugged smartphone with 4 years of updates

Launched alongside the budget C30 and a 6310 remake

Published

on

Fancy a smartphone that could withstand extreme conditions? Well, Nokia now has one — and with guaranteed four years of updates too. The Nokia XR20 is the company’s first rugged smartphone, complete with a host of features.

The design, for a start, is something that you would expect from a rugged smartphone. It’s a bit chunky and for a good reason: the phone is MIL-STD certified, surviving drops from 1.8 meters. The ruggedized casing also helps in shock-proofing the phone. For a peace of mind, the phone also has an IP68 water and dust resistance along with Gorilla Glass Victus on the front.

Now, some people would equate rugged smartphones with outdated specs. This is not the case for the Nokia XR20, as it rocks features on par for the mid-range market.

First up, it has a sizable 6.67-inch IPS FHD+ display with a 20:9 aspect ratio. One unique thing about this display is that it has a maximum brightness of 550 nits, and it can even operate with gloves. It’s also worth mentioning that the front bezels here don’t have any “Nokia” branding at all — a first for the company’s recent smartphone lineup.

The camera on this phone is also par for the course. Up front, there is an 8MP selfie camera located on a centered punch hole. Meanwhile, the rear cameras are made of a main 48MP wide-angle lens and a 13MP ultra-wide-angle lens.

On the performance front, there is a Qualcomm Snapdragon 480 chipset powering the device. It is a mid-range chipset at its best, and fortunately, it has 5G built-in for future-proofing. By default, it comes with 6GB of RAM and 128GB of internal storage. It also has plenty of support — four years of security updates, plus three years of major OS updates.

For connectivity, it has a lone USB 3.0 Type-C port with Bluetooth 5.1 built in. There’s even a 3.5 mm headphone jack included into the mix. However, Nokia also integrated dual speakers on this device if listening out loud is your jam. Finally, the device can keep up for two days thanks to its 4,630mAh battery.

The device will retail on August 24 for a price of US$ 549. Buyers can get it in two color configurations: Ultra Blue or Granite Grey.

Nokia C30 and 6310: budget and nostalgic pairs

Aside from the rugged XR20, the company also announced two new devices — the Nokia C30 and 6310. The former is a budget device that adds to the fledgling Nokia C-series line-up. It has a big 6.82 HD+ display, complete with a V-notch housing the 5MP selfie camera. The back houses the two rear cameras with a 13 MP wide-angle lens and a 2 MP depth sensor. Nokia is using an Unisoc processor here, along with the trimmed-down Android 11 Go. Furthermore, it comes with a 6,000mAh battery which is humongous for its class.

Image from Nokia

Meanwhile, the Nokia 6310 is revived and modernized 6310 that many people know from the past. Just like you would expect, it features the classic design of the long-gone feature phone but with a twist. It has a curved 2.8-inch display, a rear-facing 0.3MP camera, and Series 30+ OS. Strangely enough, there is Bluetooth 5.0 here yet 4G is nowhere to be found.

Image from Nokia

The Nokia C30 will retail for EUR 99 while the 6310 will go for EUR 40.

Via: GSMArena.com (1) (2)

Continue Reading

News

Smart Signature Plan 599 is now available

It’s their most affordable Signature Plan to date

Published

on

Smart unveils new signature plan for only PhP 599. There are two variations of this plan: a sim-only version and a signature lite with device. For the inclusions of the sim-only plan we have 5 GB monthly data allocation. Followed by unlimited calls and texts to all networks, and 100 minutes of calls to any PLDT landline.

For the signature lite with device, you get 2.5GB monthly data with unlimited calls and texts to all networks. Followed by 25 minutes of calls to any PLDT landline, this sounds like a promising plan for PhP 599.

The signature plan lite is available to new subscribers as well as existing postpaid customers. Customers may sign up for the signature plan lite at any smart store nationwide. Alternatively, you can also book a virtual appointment via Stay Smart.

“Smart’s superior network offers a superior digital experience. By launching our most affordable postpaid plan yet, we aim to empower more Filipinos with this differentiated experience so they can simply achieve more in their chosen career or passion,” said Jane J. Basas, SVP and Head of Consumer Wireless Business at Smart.

Smart’s new plan competes directly with Globe’s own plan 599.

Continue Reading

Enterprise

Apple: Leaks are causing wrongly sized iPhone cases

Issues cease-and-desist order

Published

on

Leaks have always been an important part of the smartphone cycle. Before a huge smartphone launch, leakers have always found a way to release information before the actual company. Premature information normally doesn’t affect the actual release. However, some companies certainly want to clamp down on leaks. Apple, for one, has always despised leaks. However, the company now has a different purpose for doing so: to prevent wrongly sized phone cases.

Reported by Vice, Apple has issued a cease-and-desist order against a Chinese citizen caught leaking info about upcoming iPhones. The leaker supposedly released prototypes for the devices to the public.

According to Apple, leaks ruin the surprise for consumers especially since they spoil the company’s plans. Additionally, the company says that releasing information outside of Apple’s purview will dupe case manufacturers into making cases of the wrong size especially if the actual products are of a different size.

Historically, Apple has been antagonistic against people leaking company secrets. The company has even filed lawsuits against employees caught smuggling out company secrets. Despite how much hype that leaks can generate for the company, Apple really doesn’t like its leaks.

Currently, there have already been a substantial amount of leaks surrounding the upcoming iPhone 13 series. There have also been hints for next year’s iPhone 14 series.

SEE ALSO: iPhone 14 series might use titanium chassis

Continue Reading

Trending