Apple’s iPhone declines in China, and this year could be a struggle

Perhaps the next iPhone 8 will be Apple’s next shot at achieving greatness in China.iphone mac pixabay

The current iPhones aren’t helping Apple gain market share in China, according to Canalys. Markets like China and India are at the top of Apple’s agenda to grow the iPhone business.

China accounts for a third of worldwide smartphone shipments. Buyers in the market are leaning toward local brands like Huawei, Oppo, Vivo, and Xiaomi, which formed the top four smartphone vendors in China in 2016, according to Canalys.

Apple was in the fifth spot, and Samsung doesn’t figure in the top five.

In 2016, Apple’s phone shipments in China totaled 43.8 million units, a drop of 18.2 percent compared to 2015. It’s not looking any better for Apple in 2017.

“This year, the outlook remains bleak for Apple to get its China performance back to its heyday of 2015,” said Jessie Ding, a research analyst at Canalys.

The decline in China hit Apple’s worldwide shipments hard, with a net effect of about a 7 percent decline in the number of iPhones shipped globally, Ding said.

But the Chinese buyers are “awaiting the 10th anniversary of the iPhone with very high expectations,” Ding said.

The iPhone 8 may succeed, but it may not change a long-term trend of Chinese smartphone buyers buying local brands.

In many smaller Chinese cities, Huawei, Vivo, and Oppo smartphones are selling well. Those companies are also investing heavily in branding in top-tier cities, posing a further threat to Apple, Ding said.

Apple faces a similar problem in India. The iPhone brand awareness is limited to urban areas, and the handsets are priced too high for most of the population. Apple recently made a move to start assembling smartphones in India.

Many Chinese companies are launching new handsets this year with a focus on cameras and screens. One such smartphone is Huawei’s Mate 9 Pro, which was shown at CES. Huawei—known for networking gear—also makes its own chips, like Apple and Samsung.

Other Chinese brands like LeEco are also emerging and growing internationally. LeEco has particularly interesting smartphone designs. The company came out with a smartphone without a headphone jack ahead of Apple.

It’s a tight race among the top three Chinese smartphone makers. Huawei in 2016 shipped 76.2 million units, Oppo shipped 73.2 million units, and Vivo about 63.2 million units. Xiaomi’s market share tumbled, declining by 21 percent to 51.4 million units.

A survey released by IDC this week also noted a down market for iPhone in China, but placed the company in the fourth spot, ahead of Xiaomi. According to IDC, total smartphone shipments in China were 467 million units in 2016, growing by 8.7 percent.

But Apple’s shipments declined by 23.2 percent that year, totaling 44.9 million units. The top three Chinese smartphone makers were Oppo, Huawei, and Vivo, according to IDC.

China Overtakes US to Become Top Spender in Apple’s App Store

China Overtakes US to Become Top Spender in Apple's App Store: App Annie

  • The Chinese mostly spend on games, report says
  • Pokemon Go was the most downloaded gaming app worldwide
  • Apple recently opened two R&D centres in China

With the largest population in the world, there’s almost an air of inevitability about China coming to hold some records. Outpacing the United States, China has become the world’s largest market for Apple’s App Store in terms of revenue.

A new report released by App Annie says that China contributed an impressive $1.7 billion (roughly Rs. 11,376 crores) in revenue to the App Store in Q3 2016, which is 15 percent more than the USA. The report adds that the US had been the top market in terms of App Store revenue since 2010. The report also adds that the Chinese are spending over 5 times more than what they were spending just two years ago. China will catapult the largest App Store absolute revenue growth for any country by 2020, says the report.

“While revenue from Games accounts for the majority of revenue generated in China, other prominent categories like Entertainment and Social Networking are making strides and have more than tripled in the past year,” the report explains. “Video streaming apps in China have had a major impact on the Entertainment category as a whole, and include further integrations into traditional cable spaces with investments in smart TV and original content.”

App subscriptions have incrementally raised the revenue for China, making its gross App Store revenues higher than the US and Japan as well. The US currently stands second on the revenue chart with $1.5 billion (roughly Rs. 10,038 crores) while the third position is taken by Japan with $1.2 billion (roughly Rs. 8,030 crores). Last year’s third quarter had US at the top with $1 billion and Japan tailing behind with $800 million, while China was third.

Youku, QQ, Inke, and other mobile streaming apps have garnered higher revenues for the Chinese iOS app market, while Netflix soared high in the US and Japan. It’s no surprise that Pokemon Go shattered all records for downloads back when it launched. China too has shown its craze for the game with about $600 million revenue clocked in the mainland alone.

Recently, Apple opened two research & development centres in two major cities of China to bolster ties with the country. China’s digital market is important for Apple and it has been tirelessly making efforts to grab increased share of the market.

 

Xiaomi Mi Note 2 Leaked Image Again Tips Dual Edge Display

Xiaomi Mi Note 2 Leaked Image Again Tips Dual Edge Display

  • The leak shows the Mi Note 2 sporting a dual edge display
  • It refutes previous rumours of a dual camera setup
  • The Mi Note 2 is set to be unveiled on October 25

Xiaomi is set to unveil the Mi Note 2 at an event in China on October 25. Running up to the launch, there has beenno shortage of leaks and speculations. The latest one comes in the form of purported photographs of the Xiaomi Mi Note 2, and the pictures hint that the upcoming smartphone will sport just one camera at the back, and not two.

A little while earlier, an alleged Xiaomi Mi Note 2 teaserhad been leaked, showing the phone sporting a dual camera setup. However, these latest pictures snapped by a Weibo user, speak a different story. If these images are real and accurate, the Xiaomi Mi Note 2 will sport a single camera at the back. This image also brings back hopes of a dual edge screen. The jet black variant snapped in the photos comes with a dual curved screen, synonymous with the Samsung Edge series.

This latest leak also refutes previous rumours that claim the Mi Note 2 will sport an edge-to-edge bezel-less display with no curved edges. As is the case with all leaks, we expect you to take this with a grain of salt and since we are just a week away from the launch, all the details will be official soon.

As mentioned, the Mi Note 2 has been rumoured to launch for quite some time. The smartphone is said to be powered by a Snapdragon 821 SoC, and pack a 3600mAh battery. It’s anticipated to sport two speaker grilles at the bottom, and have a fingerprint sensor at the front. Lastly, the Mi Note 2 is expected to come in 6GB RAM/ 64GB storage and 6GB RAM/ 128GB storage bundles.

The Mi Note 2 is rumoured to be priced at CNY 5,699 (approximately Rs. 57,000) for the top-end variant and go on sale in China from November 1.

 

Huawei Kirin 960 SoC Announced, Likely to Power Huawei Mate 9

Huawei Kirin 960 SoC Announced, Likely to Power Huawei Mate 9

  • The new SoC will use ARM’s Cortex A73 CPU cores and Mali-G71 GPU
  • Huawei claims up to 180 percent improvement in graphics horsepower
  • Huawei’s upcoming high-end phones including the Mate 9 will use this SoC

Hisilicon, the Chinese semiconfuctor design firm wholly owned by Huawei, announced its next-generation flagship SoC at a press event in China. According to reports, the new chip will deliver massive graphics and storage subsystem performance improvements while also improving battery life. The Kirin 960 could debut as soon as next month, powering Huawei’s expected Mate 9 smartphone.

The Kirin 960 combines four high-powered 2.4GHz ARM Cortex A73 cores and four lower-powered 1.8GHz Cortex A53 cores. This arrangement is fairly common, allowing the SoC to allocate resources to tasks depending on power and battery life considerations. According to figures provided by Huawei, the Kirin 960 beats Apple’s A10, Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 821 and Samsung’s Exynos 8890 in the multi-threaded Geekbench 4 test, and is second only to the A10 (though by a large margin) when considering only one core.

Huawei can also boast of being the first to market with ARM’s new Mali-G71 GPU, which wasannounced at Computex this year. The Kirin 960 uses the G71 MP8, which indicates 8 GPU cores. The Mali-G71 is based on ARM’s new “Bifrost” architecture and is geared for 4K content and VR.  Support for the Vulkan graphics API is also a first. The improvements add up to a claimed 180 percent improvement in graphics performance compared to previous-generation Kirin SoCs. HEVC and h.264 encode and decode are supported at 4K 30fps.

Another improvement is support for the high-speed Universal Flash Storage 2.1 standard which can improve overall system responsiveness. Thirteen of the 14 most popular apps load faster on the Kirin 960 than its competition, according to Huawei. In addition, LPDDR4 RAM can be used in devices based on the Kirin 960, and there are promised improvements to the camera ISP and sensor control logic.

The SoC integrates a 4G LTE modem, which can handle up to Cat 12/13 speeds, ie 600Mbps downloads and 150Mbps uploads. It is fabricated on a 16nm process and will be manufactured by TSMC.

Huawei is expected to launch the Mate 9 next month. It is unknown whether it will take advantage of all the Kirin 960’s capabilities, but it should be running Android N when it makes it to markets.

 

Vivo Y55L With 5.2-Inch Display, 4G VoLTE Support Launched at Rs. 11, 980

Vivo Y55L With 5.2-Inch Display, 4G VoLTE Support Launched at Rs. 11, 980Vivo has launched the 4G VoLTE-enabled Vivo Y55L smartphone in India at Rs. 11, 980. The Y55L is an upgraded version of the Y51L that was launched in January. The Y55L’s main highlights include a split-screen feature for multitasking and an eye protection mode that reduces blue light for a comfortable screen brightness. The Y55L will be available across India and will be offered in Gold and Space Grey colour options.

The Vivo Y55L runs Funtouch OS 2.6 based on Android 6.0 Marshmallow. It sports a 5.2-inch HD display (720×1280 pixels) with a metal unibody and a 2.5D curved-edge screen. The handset is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 430 octa-core processor clocked at 1.4GHz coupled with 2GB of RAM.

On the camera front, the Vivo Y55L features an 8-megapixel rear sensor and a 5-megapixel front-facing camera. The device offers 16GB of inbuilt storage, which is expandable via microSD card (up to 128GB). Connectivity options include 4G and VoLTE support, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, 3.5mm audio jack, and Micro-USB with USB OTG.
The Vivo Y55L is fitted with a 2650mAh battery pack. The device measures 147.9×72.9×7.5mm and weighs 142 grams. Sensors include accelerometer, ambient light sensor, proximity sensor, and virtual gyroscope.

Commenting on the launch, newly appointed CEO of Vivo India, Kent Cheng, said, “India is a very important market for us because of the maximum smartphone penetration. We want to cater to every price point with our innovative products. And, through Y55L we want to tap the users that are looking for a smartphone that not just looks great but also delivers the desired results with its overall package.”

Vivo Y55L Vivo Y55L
KEY SPECS
Display
5.20-inch
Processor
1.4GHz
Front Camera
5-megapixel
Resolution
1280×720 pixels
RAM
2GB
OS
Android 6.0
Storage
16GB
Rear Camera
8-megapixel
Battery capacity
2730mAh

Meizu MX6 Gets a New Variant Sporting 3GB of RAM

Meizu MX6 Gets a New Variant Sporting 3GB of RAM
The original 4GB of RAM model was launched in July
The 3GB of RAM model is priced at CNY 1,799
The 4GB of RAM model is priced at CNY 1,999
Chinese smartphone manufacturer Meizu has released a new variant of its MX6 smartphone in China. While the model launched in July sported 4GB of RAM, the company on Wednesday launched a cheaper model with 3GB of RAM. The new variant will go on sale from Saturday in the country with a price tag of CNY 1,799 (roughly Rs. 18,100).

To recall, the Meizu MX6 with 4GB of RAM was launched at CNY 1,999 (roughly Rs. 20,100). The launch of the new variant in China was first reported by GizmoChina. The dual-SIM smartphone runs Flyme OS 5.5 based on Android 6.0 Marshmallow. It sports a 5.5-inch (1080×1920 pixels) LCD display and the company claimed that it sports a colour gamut (NTSC) of 85 percent. It is powered by a 2.3GHz deca-core MediaTek Helio X20 processor paired with 3GB of RAM and 32GB of inbuilt storage.

 

The smartphone also sports fingerprint scanner on the home button which the Chinese company claimed can unlock the smartphone in just 0.2 seconds and can also be used for biometric payments carried over via Alipay.
It supports dual-SIM cards and sports a 12-megapixel rear camera with an f/2.0 aperture, dual tone LED flash, PDAF (phase detection autofocus), and also supports 4K video recording. The Meizu MX6 also sports a 5-megapixel front camera with f/2.0 aperture.

The handset supports 4G LTE with VoLTE compatibility. Other connectivity options are Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.1, GPS, 3.5mm audio jack, and also come with USB Type-C port. The Meizu MX6 is backed by a 3060mAh battery with fast charging support. The Chinese company claims the MX6 with its fast charging (mCharge) technology can get up to 65 percent charge in just 30 minutes of charging. It measures 153.6×75.2×7.2mm and weighs 155 grams.

Meizu MX6 Meizu MX6
KEY SPECS
NEWS
Display
5.50-inch
Processor
2.3GHz
Front Camera
5-megapixel
Resolution
1080×1920 pixels
RAM
3GB
OS
Android 6.0
Storage
32GB
Rear Camera
12-megapixel
Battery capacity
3060mAh

Moto Z to Launch in India This Festive Season, Lenovo Executive Confirms

Moto Z to Launch in India This Festive Season, Lenovo Executive Confirms

  • Moto Z was launched in June globally
  • Moto Z, Moto Z Force and newer Moto Z Play will hit Indian markets soon
  • Price details are not confirmed yet

Chinese technology giant Lenovo will bring the much-awaited modular smartphone Moto Z to the Indian market this festive season.

The Moto Z, which was unveiled globally in June this year, allows users to attach a set of accessories called Moto Mods to the back of the device that adds various functionalities to the device.

“We will launch 8 new devices, of which six we have already announced, in this festive season… This includes the Moto Z,” Lenovo India Executive Director Mobile Business Group Sudhin Mathur told PTI.

While Mathur declined to comment on the timeline of availability of Moto Z in India, sources said the product could be launched in the first or second week of October.

Moto Z is currently available in markets like the US, the UK, and Latin America in three models (Moto Z Play, Moto Z, and Moto Z Force).

Lenovo, which had acquired Motorola from Google in a $2.9 billion deal in 2014, is betting on India to contribute significantly to its global growth. Last year, Lenovo’s revenues from India grew about 90 per cent while its overall revenues were up 68 percent.

According to research firm Gartner, smartphone sales are expected to slow down in 2016 globally, rising only seven percent compared to double-digit growth seen in previous years.

This is on the back of slower sales growth in mature markets like Europe and Japan. India, on the other hand, remains an opportunity and presents the highest growth potential, Gartner said.

Motorola Moto Z

Motorola Moto Z

Display

5.50-inch

Processor

2.2GHz

Front Camera

5-megapixel

Resolution

1440×2560 pixels

RAM

4GB

OS

Android 6.0.1

Storage

32GB

Rear Camera

13-megapixel

Battery capacity

2600mAh

 

Samsung Galaxy Note 7 Officially Recalled in US; Replacements Due September 21

Samsung Galaxy Note 7 Officially Recalled in US; Replacements Due September 21

  • CPSC has recalled 1 million Galaxy Note 7 units in US
  • The news comes after a series of reports of Galaxy Note 7 explosion
  • Samsung has officially issued a global recall of Galaxy Note 7

The US Consumer Product Safety Commission on Thursday announced a recall of around one million Samsung Galaxy Note 7 smartphones plagued by incidents of batteries bursting into flames.

The move by the US safety agency formalizes the recall underway in 10 countries after reports of faulty batteriesthat caused some handsets to explode during charging.

 

Samsung meanwhile announced replacements for the faulty phones would be available to US customers next week.

In the United States, there have been 92 reports of batteries overheating, including 26 reports of burns and 55 reports of property damage, including fires in cars and a garage, the commission said in a notice.

 

The US notice affects around one million of the global total of 2.5 million handsets being recalled, which has cast a cloud over the South Korean electronics giant and world’s largest smartphone vendor.

Samsung has advised consumers in 10 countries to trade their handsets for temporary replacement phones until it releases an updated flagship device.

But many users have snubbed the offer, choosing to wait until the new phones were available, citing the inconvenience of switching devices for an interim period.

 

And different regulatory practices in different countries – as well as varying reactions from carriers – have caused a degree of customer uncertainty and confusion that is hampering Samsung’s efforts to get the recall behind it as quickly and painlessly as possible.

In a half-page ad carried by major South Korean newspapers on Wednesday, Samsung announced a Note 7 software update that will limit battery recharges to 60 percent of capacity. It would prevent the phones from overheating, and thus exploding, but would effectively mean a downgrade of the high-end device.

Replacements coming
Samsung Electronics America announced that replacements for Galaxy Note 7 smartphones will be available at retail locations in the US by September 21.

“Our collaboration with the CPSC to fast-track a voluntary recall in the US addresses safety concerns by ensuring we reach Note 7 owners quickly to exchange their devices,” Samsung America president Tim Baxter said.

 

“We are asking owners to act now by powering down their Galaxy Note 7 devices and receive a replacement devices or a refund through our exchange program.”

In an effort to steal a march on Apple, the Galaxy Note 7 was given an early launch in the key US market, making that a priority for the recall effort.

US and Japanese aviation authorities have urged passengers not to turn on or charge the large-screen phones on aircraft, while the US Federal Aviation Administration has told passengers not to stow the device in checked baggage.

 

Samsung’s recall trouble comes as rival Apple seeks to regain momentum with the Friday release of new-generation iPhone 7 models.

The newest versions of the California-based technology giant’s lifestyle-changing iPhone aim to win over users with sophisticated camera technology, water resistance, more power and other improvements.

 

Airline Grounds Samsung Galaxy Note 7 After Explosions Recall

Airline Grounds Samsung Galaxy Note 7 After Explosions Recall
Australian carrier Qantas told customers on Thursday not to use or charge Samsung’s Galaxy Note 7 during flights after faulty batteries in the new smartphone caused some handsets to explode.

Samsung, the world’s largest smartphone maker, said last week it was suspending sales of its latest flagship mobile device and recalling 2.5 million units shipped globally following reports of exploding “phablets” that dealt a heavy blow to the firm’s reputation.

“Following Samsung Australia’s recall of the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 Personal Electronic Device (PED), we are requesting that passengers who own them do not switch on or charge them inflight,” a Qantas spokesman said in a statement.

 

The request applies to domestic and international flights as well as Qantas’ discount carrier Jetstar, the spokesman added.
Qantas’ domestic competitor Virgin Australia was not immediately available for comment.

In 2014, Qantas and Virgin Australia allowed passengers to use mobile electronic devices in-flight with limited restrictions after a relaxation of the rules by the country’s aviation authority.

Previous regulations banned their use during taxiing, take-off and landing due to fears they could interfere with the plane’s navigation equipment.

Samsung’s recall – the first for one of the South Korean electronics giant’s top of the range phones – came a week before arch-rival Apple unveiled its iPhone 7 on Wednesday.

 

Samsung’s mobile business chief Koh Dong-Jin had said the faulty rate amounted to 24 handsets per each million sold and that it would take about two weeks to prepare replacements.

Samsung Galaxy Note7 Samsung Galaxy Note7
KEY SPECS
NEWS
Display
5.70-inch
Processor
1.6GHz
Front Camera
5-megapixel
Resolution
1440×2560 pixels
RAM
4GB
OS
Android 6.0.1
Storage
64GB
Rear Camera
12-megapixel
Battery capacity
3500mAh

Moto E3 India Launch Event on September 19

Image result for Moto E3 India Launch Event on September 19
Lenovo will host a special event in India on September 19 where it will unveil the Moto E3. The phone will go on sale in India later this month, Ken Wong, President, Lenovo APAC, told Gadgets 360 at the sidelines of IFA in Berlin on Friday.

To recall, the Moto E3 is a budget smartphone with basic specifications that was unveiled back in July. It runs Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow and features a 5-inch HD (720×1280 pixel) IPS display. It is powered by a 1.0GHz MediaTek quad-core chipset alongside 1GB of RAM, and comes with 8GB of internal storage, expandable up to 32GB via microSD slot.

The Moto E3 packs an 8-megapixel rear camera and a 5-megapixel front shooter for selfies. Connectivity options include 3G, 4G, Bluetooth, GPS, Wi-Fi 802.11b/g/n. It is backed by a 2800mAh battery.

Another variant of the Moto E3, called the Moto E3 Power has been spotted recently and it was thought that Lenovo will launch this model in India. The Moto E3 Power comes with a 3500mAh battery, 2GB of RAM, and 16GB of storage, with support for microSD cards up to 128GB.

It’s unclear at this point if Lenovo will unveil both Moto E and Moto E3 Power in India on September 19, or just one of the variants. We’ll find out soon enough.
Lenovo unveiled the Moto Z Play at IFA 2016 earlier this week, and also showcased the Lenovo K6, Lenovo K6 Power, and Lenovo K6 Note smartphones.

Disclosure: Lenovo sponsored the correspondent’s flights and hotel for the trip to Berlin.

 

Motorola Moto E3 Motorola Moto E3
KEY SPECS
NEWS
Display
5.00-inch
Processor
1GHz
Front Camera
5-megapixel
Resolution
720×1280 pixels
RAM
1GB
OS
Android 6.0.1
Storage
8GB
Rear Camera
8-megapixel
Battery capacity
2800mAh