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Samsung is still the top smartphone vendor in the world

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The numbers are out! The International Data Corporation (IDC) published their preliminary results for the second quarter of 2017, and it seems like Chinese smartphone brands are inching closer to the top.

Still at the number one spot is Samsung with a 23.3 percent market share and 79.8 million shipments. Playing a major role in the success are the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+. The victory of the South Korean company is not solely dependent on their flagships, as the mid-range Galaxy A and budget Galaxy J series are also doing well for other markets. With the Galaxy Note 8 announcement later this month, Samsung could look forward to greater numbers for the third quarter.

Samsung Galaxy S8+ and Galaxy S8

Second in line is Apple with a 12 percent market share and 41 million shipments. While the Cupertino company has yet to unveil its new smartphone, the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus are doing well in the high-end market. Compared to last year, the new iPhones are doing better than the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus, but with just a marginal growth of 1.5 percent year-over-year.

Not far behind is Huawei with a 11.3 percent market share and shipment posting at 38.5 million. Huawei is currently the top Chinese smartphone brand worldwide with a growing grasp of the European market. With a year-over-year change of a positive 19.6 percent, Huawei is on its way to overthrow Apple’s place. Driving the sales of the company is its flagship P10 series, Mate 9 phablet, and the more affordable Honor series.

Huawei P10 review

Huawei P10

OPPO remains in the fourth position with a 8.1 percent market share and 27.8 million shipments. Just like with Huawei, OPPO has gained a positive 22.4 percent growth as it expands outside of China. OPPO is already doing well in Southeast Asia thanks to its marketing stand on camera performance — with a big focus on selfies.

Back in the top five is Xiaomi with a modest 6.2 percent market share and 21.2 million shipments. Compared to the same period last year, Xiaomi has the biggest growth among smartphone brands with a 58.9 percent year-over-year change. Even in China, the company made a big jump due to their bang-for-buck devices. It shouldn’t be a surprise; we all know that Xiaomi offers the best hardware for every price segment.

While these five brands enjoy growth, overall smartphone shipments declined by 1.3 percent compared to the same quarter of 2016 and also down by 0.8 percent from the first quarter of this year. Have people started to crawl away from smartphones? Well, that’s highly unlikely, unlike the descending trend of consumer tablets.

SEE ALSO: Chinese phone brands are (unsurprisingly) taking over Asia

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Mi MIX Alpha could launch for commercial sale soon

Any guesses on the price?

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Xiaomi’s Mi MIX Alpha is a concept phone that the brand has shown off quite a few times. It means the phone isn’t ready for commercial production yet but we could see a similar offering soon in the coming future. There are hints and reports that Xiaomi could launch the Mi MIX Alpha soon.

The brand has maintained that the phone can be mass-produced today if needed. Xiaomi Product PR, Agatha Tang, shared a short video of the phone on Twitter. The phone has a 180 percent screen-to-body ratio thanks to a wraparound Flexible OLED screen.

Furthermore, pictures teardown pictures of the phone have been posted on Xianyu second-hand platform in China. The pictures clearly sh0w the motherboard, screen, cameras, and other modules. While the battery is missing, the post suggests that the Mi MIX Alpha could indeed be close to commercial launch.

The leak says Xiaomi is opting for the latest Snapdragon 865 processor with “Draco” as its codename. If true, Xiaomi will have a very unique offering in a market that’s currently dominated by foldable phones.

Coming to the other internals of the phone, it’ll have a 7.9-inch Flexible OLED display. So far, the concept sports a Snapdragon 855 processor, 12GB RAM, and 512GB internal storage. On the rear is a 108-megapixel primary lens, 20-megapixel wide-angle lens, and a 12-megapixel telephoto lens. On the front is a 20-megapixel selfie shooter. Backing these internals is a 4050mAh battery with 40W fast charging.

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Facebook employees walk out to protest against Trump

Some have threatened to resign

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Besides other battles happening concurrently, US President Donald Trump is currently spearheading a war against the country’s most popular social media networks. After Twitter’s landmark moderation over Trump’s factually ambiguous tweets, the president signed an executive order to eventually regulate and control what social media can do for moderation in America. Naturally, Twitter went on the defensive, calling out the measure’s implications for liberty. However, Facebook is taking a different approach.

Though Mark Zuckerberg ultimately expressed wariness towards the executive order, he still called out Twitter as an unnecessary “arbiter of truth.” His stance naturally implies Facebook’s passivity towards potential false news posted on his platform. However, despite his stance, Facebook’s employees are much more divided.

On Monday, Facebook employees staged a virtual walkout in protest of Zuckerberg’s stance on Trump’s misleading information, as reported by The New York Times. Because the company is still working remotely, the protesting employees simply refused to work or automated email responses to indicate that they were protesting. Some have even considered resignation amidst internal turmoil.

Lately, Trump has posted antagonistic messages on his social media platforms regarding the brewing protests against George Floyd’s murder. Whereas Twitter has moderated Trump’s tweets fairly, Facebook has allowed Trump’s posts to slide. Facebook’s internal protests are targeting this lackadaisical approach to moderation.

If anything, the network’s protests marks a good change coming for the social media network in terms of moderation.

SEE ALSO: Facebook is adding a new care reaction to the Like button

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Microsoft replaces journalists with AI for its news service

Part of the company’s push towards using AI for its services

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These days, we often hear of AI or artificial intelligence and computers taking over the jobs of people. The latest company to join the party is Microsoft. The Redmond-based company is now replacing its hired journalists with AI to curate news for MSN and Microsoft News.

The move comes after a company-wide reshuffling this month. Microsoft is slowly building its artificial intelligence capabilities like other Silicon Valley companies. As such, MSN and Microsoft News will increasingly rely on AI for news curation and recommendation. This doesn’t mean, however, that Microsoft will stop dependence on human curators and editors. Currently, it employs more than 800 editors around the world.

The layoffs are not only affecting those based in the US. There are also reports that Microsoft is also letting go of people in the UK as part of the broader push towards AI.

Microsoft is no stranger towards using its own AI for its services. As a matter of fact, it is already using AI to scan news content and process it. It is also using AI to suggest photos that a human editor can pair with another one. The company has also been pushing for the use of AI to news publishers and journalists.

Source: The Verge

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