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Cherry Mobile, Samsung remain on top of the Philippine smartphone market

Vivo, OPPO, and Huawei are also on the list

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The Philippine smartphone market continues to be competitive and lively with the presence of multiple local and international brands. After having a decline in smartphone shipments last year, the market managed to bounce back.

According to the latest report from the International Data Corporation (IDC), smartphone shipments in the Philippines reached 7.8 million units during the first half of 2018 which is a 5.6 percent growth year-over-year.

The low-end smartphones still had the biggest share of the market. Although, the average selling price grew to US$ 192 or around PhP 10,000 from US$ 127 (≈PhP 6,000) last year.

This shows the willingness of Filipinos to invest in a phone with better specifications and features. In addition, phone usage became heavier. Aside from using the phone for video streaming and as a point-and-shoot camera, consumers were also engaged in mobile gaming.

Flexible financing options played a part in the increase of customer’s purchasing decisions. Card-free installments such as Home Credit allowed Filipinos to purchase more expensive phones with lighter monthly payments.

In the end, Filipinos remain to be price-conscious and want to get the best value. The smartphone trend nowadays not only includes quality cameras, but also bezel-less displays, high-speed processors, AI features, and long battery life.

Among all the smartphone manufacturers present in the Philippines, home-grown brand Cherry Mobile continues to lead the local market. There’s a slight decline year-on-year though, because of price competition and strong marketing of international brands.

In second place is Samsung. The South Korean company remains on top with various offerings from low-end to premium. Celebrity endorsements and maybe even brand loyalty from fans are also factors that keep Samsung strong.

Vivo climbed to third place from fifth in just a year thanks to aggressive marketing efforts and numerous celebrity endorsements. The best-selling models from Vivo include the V9, Y71, and Y85.

OPPO slips into fourth place, but the popular Chinese brand maintains a strong presence with mall ads and active promodisers. The use of popular celebrities also has a high reach among the youth and masses.

Lastly, we have Huawei in fifth place which proves them as a growing name in the industry. The brand’s significant growth is attributed to the similar approach of other Chinese brands: celebrity endorsements, online ads, and in-store retail displays.

SEE ALSO: Huawei and Vivo are fastest-growing smartphone brands in the Philippines

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Galaxy S22 Ultra will look like a Galaxy Note phone

Based on a new render

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The Galaxy Note series is in a state of limbo. After the rise of the brand’s foldable phones, Samsung toned down on the iconic Note series. The brand hasn’t even launched a new entry yet – if it even is launching one this year. If you’re a fan of the series, there’s still hope. Based on new renders, the upcoming Galaxy S22 Ultra will look remarkably similar to the Galaxy Note series.

Rendered by Steve Hemmerstoffer and Digit.in based on currently known leaks, the upcoming premium smartphone will reportedly have a built-in dock for the S Pen. Of course, the series had already received stylus support, but the Galaxy S21 series never had a dock for the pen.

Additionally, the renders show a quad rear camera setup much like the previous series. However, the layout does look a bit different from its predecessors. Either way, the upcoming flagship has a hint of familiarity for those more used to the Galaxy Note series.

Unfortunately, the render doesn’t show how the S Pen will look like. For the past few iterations, Samsung did confirm that more optimized S Pens are coming for different devices.

In other details, the renders also show that the headphone jack is here to stay.

Right now, it’s still early to tell if the renders are what the real deal will look like. A lot can still happen between now and the projected launch window in January.

SEE ALSO: Samsung Galaxy Z Fold3 review: Do-It-All device

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US drops charges against Huawei heir Meng Wanzhou

Allowed to return to China

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Huawei MateBook D 15

Is the Huawei saga finally reaching its conclusion? For years, the American government has hounded the Chinese company for its ties to its respective country’s government. The administration then issued several bans, forcing Huawei to either find alternatives or give up its business. To the company’s dismay, Huawei has already suffered intensive damage. Now, amid their victory, the United States is throwing the company a bone by dropping its charges against Huawei heir Meng Wanzhou.

Back in 2018, Canadian authorities arrested the daughter of Huawei’s founder Ren Zhengfei. Meng, who is also Huawei’s chief finance officer, was indicted with charges related to an illegal trade deal in Iran. Since then, the company’s heir found herself stuck in a limbo between house arrest and potential extradition to the United States.

Her chapter in the ongoing Huawei struggle is apparently over. In the United States, Meng pleaded not guilty to the government’s charges and agreed to take responsibility for her role in the deal. For their part, the government has dropped the charges in an apparent agreement with the CFO. Meng was allowed to return home to China.

Though Meng Wanzhou is off the leash, Huawei still has an uphill battle because of the said deal. Further, the company is still fighting against bans from the American government. Huawei has already fallen off the ranks in terms of success in the smartphone realm.

SEE ALSO: Huawei wants to help scale-up startups in Asia Pacific

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Enterprise

Xiaomi blacklists “Samsung” and other terms from its phones

But there’s a reason why

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Throughout the past few years, Chinese smartphones have received a lot of flak for its ties to geopolitical issues. Both Huawei and ZTE have already suffered through bans from the American government. Naturally, Xiaomi is in a similar boat. Unfortunately, because of a new research report, things might get worse before they get better.

According to a report published by the National Cyber Security Centre in Lithuania, Xiaomi’s smartphones automatically download a list of terms that they blacklist. The list includes sketchy terms like “China,” “Taiwan Solidarity Union,” and other geopolitical terms. Obviously, including China-related terms can cause a bit of alarm for users elsewhere. However, the blacklist might have uses outside of the obvious.

Spotted by XDA Developers, Xiaomi uses the list for advertising purposes. Besides the China-related terms, the list also includes its brand rivals like “Samsung” and “ZTE.” It also includes pornography and piracy terms. Most ironically, the list also blocks its own smartphone models. The publication spotted that the blacklist is used solely by the smartphone’s advertising platform. Which does make sense now.

The list is designed to block out ads from competing companies and its own (which makes sense since someone who owns a Xiaomi phone probably doesn’t need to see a Xiaomi ad anymore). Blocking pornographic and piracy-supporting ads also makes sense. The China-related terms remain problematic, but there is no indication that Xiaomi uses the list for anything other than advertising.

Further, Xiaomi should activate the filter manually. The automatic download doesn’t automatically mean that the phone is censored. That said, there is still a possibility that Xiaomi can use the filter for more geopolitical reasons. At the very least, current reports don’t point toward that for now.

SEE ALSO: Xiaomi 11T series focuses on mobile filmmaking

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