News

Xiaomi breaks into top 5 smartphone vendors of Europe

Rookie of the year!

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It wasn’t enough for Xiaomi to have the bestselling Android phone in the world. Now they want to take over Europe!

After breaking into the Western European market last November and vowing to make a stronger impact in that region, the Chinese company is finally seeing the fruits of its labor with an incredible showing in Canalys‘ latest data of smartphone shipments during the first quarter of 2018.


While fourth place in smartphone shipments isn’t exactly market dominance, the fact that Xiaomi just started in Europe and already shipped 2.4 million units is astonishing.

Have a look:

This led to a growth that’s — wait for it — off the charts! And with barely any footing this time last year, Xiaomi already has a respectable 5.3 percent market share in Europe.

Samsung is still at the top with a 33.1 percent share, but its reign might not last long with a 15.4 percent decline in growth. Apple, likewise, experienced a drop of 5.4 percent while managing to maintain its second-place position.

Fellow Chinese brand Huawei is in third with a 16.1 percent control of the market and positive growth for the quarter. The only European company on the list, Nokia, earned the fifth spot with 1.6 million units shipped and a 3.5 percent market share.

Xiaomi’s rise is even more impressive when you notice the steep overall decline of handset shipments in Western Europe. That part of the continent had to endure a 13.9 percent dip with only 30.1 million units shipped during the three-month period.

Europeans are clearly less in need of new gadgets, but have been loving the entry of Xiaomi. Canalys points out that flagship features have been trickling into the budget-friendly segment, which Xiaomi and Nokia have been capitalizing on. These two brands are also privately owned, meaning they can operate under a net loss in order to push as many shipments as possible.

Xiaomi is currently working on its Initial public offering (IPO) which would change the company’s market approach, but for now, it can enjoy the fantastic numbers and its successful push into yet another important region.

Lifestyle

In a smart world, Supreme is making a dumb phone

It offers a rich detox

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We’ve often seen luxury brands venture into tech and launch a few limited edition gadgets. Porsche Design has been making rebranded BlackBerry’s and Android phones for quite some time and they’ve been a huge success. Similarly, there are dedicated brands like Vertu that intended to cater to this ultra-posh demand.

Fashion brand Supreme has also announced a phone, but don’t get too excited. It’s a feature phone that sports huge Supreme branding on the back and comes in their signature red color. Other than the logo and two-decade-old feel, the phone has nothing new to offer.


The specs sheet is supremely short as well. It has a 2.4-inch display, dual SIM support, a camera, and 3G support. If you’re rich enough and want to take a digital detox, this phone is built for you. Else, you can always just flaunt the Supreme logo.

It’s actually manufactured by Blu and The Verge says it could be a rebranded Zoey 2.4. If that’s the case, we also know it’ll have 128MB RAM and 16GB storage via an external SD card.

Even though Supreme hasn’t officially announced the price, don’t expect it to be “affordable”. This is the same brand that sold a branded brick for US$ 30. And these “used” bricks are now selling for hundreds of dollars on eBay.

This won’t be their first tech product though. Supreme had launched a branded power bank, which too got sold out in a very short period of time.

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Xiaomi, OPPO, and Vivo phones could soon have AirDrop-like feature

Sharing files has never been easier

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The Apple eco-system is famous for its feature integration across all devices. Transferring files between two iPhones is simple and quick thanks to wireless AirDrop functionality. Similarly, an iPhone and a Mac are virtually always connected via a single Apple ID.

Though, Apple’s products are restricted and cannot communicate with the phone of other brands directly. Android, on the other hand, is open-source and able to communicate with a wider range of devices. Though, brands have developed their own proprietary tech like Samsung Mirror or Huawei Share. Again, these are limited to the company’s own eco-system.


Xiaomi, Vivo, and OPPO want to make it easier for users and have announced a new cross-brand direct file transfer alliance. Devices of all three brands will be able to transfer files at 20 MB/s without the need of a third-party service like ShareIt.

Implementing an AirDrop-like system on Android is impossible because every brand relies on its in-house software. This includes various skins like MIUI, ColorOS, and Funtouch OS. The three brands are open to other companies joining the alliance.

This is a huge step in favor of the user because the three brands hold a combined market share of almost 50 percent in China. We wouldn’t be surprised to see other brands like Huawei joining soon.

A standardized protocol ensures everyone is on the same page. Another notable association would be Wireless Power Consortium that manages the Qi wireless charging standard. It lets everyone leverage the same technology, making the user experience streamlined. For a change, even Apple is a part of this group.

Google also has been trying to push a unified messaging protocol called Rich Communication Services (RCS). It can be an easy-to-use messaging service like Apple’s iMessage, compatible across all Android phones.

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Buy from the App Store without a credit card with Smart

iTunes, Apple Music, App Store purchases simplified

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For the longest time, if you want to purchase an app in the App Store, you have to use your credit or debit card to complete the payment process. The same story goes when you want to subscribe to Apple Music. Smart Philippines would like to change that by introducing a new form of payment for Apple services: your mobile number.

Starting August 15, Smart is extending its carrier billing for purchases made in the App Store, Apple Music, iTunes, and iCloud. This means you can now use your Smart mobile number as an option to pay for all Apple services. The purchase will be directly deducted from your prepaid load or automatically charged from your monthly postpaid bill.


To enable this option, you simply need to do the following:

  1. Sign-in to your Apple device using your Apple ID. If you don’t have one yet, create an Apple ID first.
  2. Select “Mobile Phone” as your payment method from your account settings in App Store, Apple Music, or iTunes.

Once you’ve done all the steps, you’re good to go. Your payment will be automatically processed and configured. With this payment option, you can pay for your favorite apps, games, music, movies, TV shows, along with Apple Music subscriptions and iCloud storage plans.

Apple services include the popular iTunes, Apple Music, iCloud and the App Store. This year, Apple is doubling down on its services in light of declining iPhone sales. Last March, the company introduced Apple News+, Apple TV+, Apple Arcade, as well as the Apple Card.

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