The Top 10 Global Smartphone Brands of 2017

And the winners are…



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.


TikTok is experimenting with longer, three-minute videos

Currently in testing phase



Sometimes, a minute is not enough. For TikTok users, a minute is all they have. Often, the limit fosters a lot more creativity than on with no limits at all. Most TikTok users, especially viral ones, can create engaging content in just a minute. However, if a minute isn’t enough, TikTok is experimenting with longer, three-minute videos.

Recently, social media commentator Matt Navarra spotted the upcoming feature and posted a screenshot on Twitter. As shown in the update, the video-sharing platform is testing a longer three-minute limit for videos. The feature is currently in its early stages.

With a new limit, TikTok is following in Twitter’s footsteps. After enjoying years of popularity, Twitter extended its long-standing 140-character limit to 280 characters. At first, most users criticized the extensions. But now, the new 280-character limit is just part of the status quo. TikTok will likely follow the same trend.

However, public reception is still unknown. Though Twitter eventually accepted a longer limit, TikTok has always thrived under the extremely short format. Will most people want to watch a three-minute video?

At the very least, the feature is still in its testing phases. It will take a while before TikTok rolls the update out to most users. However, if you’re looking for a longer TikTok format, today is your lucky day.

SEE ALSO: TikTok is still most downloaded entertainment app amid controversies

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Mate 40 Pro topped AnTuTu’s ranks in November

Nabbed both top and second spots



Is Huawei’s demise greatly exaggerated? Despite the company’s mounting problems, Huawei’s new smartphones are still up to par. Case in point, their new flagship series recently made it to the top of an AI benchmarking list. Now, here’s another notch under Huawei’s belt: The Mate 40 Pro topped AnTuTu’s ranks in November.

Quite impressively, both the Huawei Mate 40 Pro and the Mate 40 Pro+ nabbed both the top and second spots on the popular benchmarking site for the month. They scored 698654 and 684069, respectively. Both are sporting the new (and possibly final) Kirin 9000 series.

Sitting nicely in third, the Xiaomi Mi 10 Ultra got a score of 671045. Below Xiaomi’s entry, the two iQOO 5 handsets are at the fourth and fifth spots.

Huawei’s dominance is no surprise, though. Before the lineup’s launch, Huawei confirmed the death of Kirin after the U.S. government’s persistent banning. The company likely pulled out all the stops. Now, their Kirin 9000 stockpile is confidently in the lead, or at least in the higher tier of chipsets, for a sizable amount of time.

However, the Mate 40’s dominance might be short-lived. Yesterday, Qualcomm launched next year’s flagship chipset, the Snapdragon 888. Any future smartphone launching with the new chipset can likely blow away the Kirin 9000.

Regardless, Huawei can rest easy for now on top of AnTuTu’s ranks.

SEE ALSO: Huawei Mate 40 Pro price and availability in the Philippines

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Samsung is developing a charger that harvests your body heat

Meant to be worn like a ring



As far as 2020’s smartphone controversies go, nothing comes close to Apple’s disappearing charging adapters. Since the recently launched iPhone 12 series, Apple took out the free chargers normally found inside new iPhone packages. Apparently, Apple isn’t alone. Samsung is likely joining Apple in the decision soon. Much like Apple, the company is developing more revolutionary charging solutions. According to a new patent, Samsung is developing a charger that harvests your body heat.

Spotted by Dutch outlet GalaxyClub, the South Korean tech maker patented a wireless charger meant to be worn like a ring. Samsung filed the patent back in January and published the patent only today.

Image source: GalaxyClub

The ring itself contains a tiny engine that converts kinetic energy into usable power for a device. Ideally, the charger can use both motion and body heat. Then, after converting your body’s energy, the ring transfers power to your phone as you’re holding it.

Though a convenient concept, the patent explicitly envisions a more pragmatic use for the charger, such as in survival situations with no access to power. Additionally, Samsung believes that the device can come in other form factors like bracelets, anklets, and even hair ties.

According to the source, however, the patent hasn’t made it past the drawing board yet. It might take a while before such a device makes it out in the world. As of now, wireless charging is still in its toddler years, especially when talking about charging power. Still, it’s nice to see what the future of charging can look like.

SEE ALSO: Apple’s MagSafe charger works on Samsung and Google phones

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