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Huawei overtakes Apple in annual race to Samsung’s smartphone crown

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Huawei overtook Apple to become the world’s second best selling smartphone manufacturer in 2019, according to reports from Strategy AnalyticsCounterpoint Research, and Canalys. Over the course of the year, the Chinese manufacturer reportedly shipped around 240 million phones, compared to just under 200 million for Apple. Samsung retained its comfortable lead in first place, shipping just shy of 300 million devices. Xiaomi and Oppo rounded out the list of the top five manufacturers.

The jump is especially surprising given Huawei’s continued presence on the USA’s entity list, which prevents the company from installing Google’s apps and services on its new devices, limiting their appeal outside of China. As a result, Huawei’s main strength was in its home country. Counterpoint Research says China accounted for 60 percent of its sales, allowing its shipments worldwide to increase by 17 percent between 2018 and 2019 — though not in Q4 specifically.

One report said that Huawei’s shipments grew by 17 percent between 2018 and 2019.

However, tensions with the US still had an effect. Canalys notes that 2019 could have been the year that Huawei challenged Samsung for the number one smartphone spot, but ultimately this challenge never materialized. It’s unclear when the situation could change in the future.

Huawei has been nipping at Apple’s heels for a while. Back in 2017 Huawei initially overtook Apple to sell more smartphones in the months of June and July, and the following year IDC reported that it had sold more phones than Apple in the second quarter of the year. But in 2019, the company overtook Apple to sell more phones throughout the entire year.

Although it lost out on the number two spot for 2019 as a whole, Apple had a very strong fourth quarter as is typical for the company. All three market analyst firms agreed that it managed to outsell Samsung in the last quarter, with sales being driven by the iPhone 11’s lower pricing in particular. Analysts said that Apple’s phone sales were up by between 7 and 11 percent in Q4 2019 compared to the same quarter in 2018.

Samsung is expected to rebound this quarter with the launch of its flagship Galaxy S20 series next month. Apple is also likely to receive a boost from the launch of its long-rumored successor to the more affordable iPhone SE, which could be popular in price-sensitive markets like India.

Despite individual gains, all three reports agree that the industry sold fewer phones in 2019 than it did in 2018. Counterpoint Research notes that this is the first time the smartphone market has ever declined for two years in a row. With the US’s trade wars still ongoing, and China’s coronavirus scare having potential implications for supply chains, 2020 could be another challenging year.

Source:
https://www.theverge.com/2020/1/30/21114885/huawei-overtakes-apple-2019-analysts-strategy-analytics-counterpoint-research-canalys

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SoundCloud Mobile Uploads Are Finally Here — Here’s What You Need to Know

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SoundCloud mobile uploads have finally arrived in the latest update for iOS users.

SoundCloud now allows iPhone users to upload tracks to their account using the app. Android users will have to wait as the feature is still ‘coming soon.’ SoundCloud is embracing mobile uploads at a time when most of the world’s only internet access is through their phone.

A report from 2019 found that by 2025, three-quarters of internet users will access the internet from their smartphone. The study estimates that around 2 billion people only accessed the internet via their phones in 2019. Smartphone-only growth is led by people in countries like China, India, Nigeria, and Pakistan.

SoundCloud mobile uploads allow people to share their creations with the world, using only a smartphone.

Here’s how to use the feature on the iOS app. Tap the upward-pointing arrow on the top right of the home screen. Then choose any supported audio file on your phone. Lossless HD files like FLAC, WAV, ALAC, or AIFF have the best audio quality.

Once the song is uploaded, you’ll be presented with a screen to correct metadata. Make sure everything is correct, add artwork, a title, check genres, and add a description of the track right from your smartphone. You can even check whether you want the track to be public or private.

Once you tap save, the track will display on your public SoundCloud profile. SoundCloud even features integration with Instagram Stories for quick-sharing tracks among your followers.

SoundCloud mobile uploads are the single feature users have wanted for years. Now the mobile app allows track, Spotlight, and profile editing as part of its mobile toolkit. That gives grassroots artists everything they need to maintain an online presence using their smartphone.Also Read:  TikTok Signs Thousands of Indie Labels for Its Resso Streaming Music Service

It’s a wise choice on SoundCloud’s part – expanding its mobile presence means more artists are likely to choose it as a platform.

Source: https://www.digitalmusicnews.com/2020/02/18/soundcloud-mobile-uploads/

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Samsung’s Z Flip glass covering is ready for non-Samsung foldables

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Samsung’s display unit has provided further details on the glass used in the Galaxy Z Flip and pointed to its potential wider adoption on non-Samsung foldables in the future. Yonhap reports that the 30-micrometer-thick covering is the result of a collaboration with glass manufacturer Dowoo Insys, in which Samsung Display holds a minority stake. Samsung Display currently provides display technologies to a variety of smartphone manufacturers, including the OLED panels found in Apple’s recent iPhones.

Although the Z Flip’s display is covered by this new ultra-thin glass (UTG), the glass layer is protected by an additional layer of plastic that YouTube channel JerryRigEverything found was highly susceptible to scratching. Removing the plastic layer caused the screen to break (similar to what we saw with Samsung’s original Galaxy Fold), which shows that the layer is still integral to the display unlike regular aftermarket screen protectors. Samsung Display claims that its glass is “tough, yet tender” and able to withstand 200,000 folds.

Nevertheless, commercialization of Samsung Display’s ultra-thin glass is a big step for foldable devices, since companies now have a major manufacturer to turn to for their foldable glass needs. Yes, its durability has come into question, but that could improve over time as we’ve seen with each successive generation of Corning’s Gorilla Glass.

Source: https://www.theverge.com/2020/2/19/21143505/samsung-display-ultra-thin-glass-foldable-display-galaxy-z-flip-commercialized

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PS5 and Xbox Series X surprise reveal as key specs leak for BOTH consoles

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What’s going to be the better console: PS5 or Xbox Series X? It’s certainly an argument that’s been waged across quite a few message boards in recent months, as Xbox Series X was officially unveiled to the world. Meanwhile, a series of leaks and sly comments by Sony execs have given us an inkling as to what the PlayStation 5 will be capable of.

However, we still don’t know which will be the better buy. Although the Xbox will come with no exclusive games at launch, if it proves to be the more powerful console in the long term, it could hurdle this barrier. Although some PS5 games will be exclusive, this is no guarantee of power. The stakes are high. And now, thanks to a recent link, we could finally have the answer we’ve been looking for.

Posted on 4chan’s /v/ gaming board, the anonymous leaker posts what they claim to be specifications from the second, revised development kits, which means if true, these specs won’t be too far off the finished product. 

One the one hand, 4chan’s lack of accountability means it’s awash with misinformation. However, a leaker posting on the same board last month correctly predicted PlayStation’s new tagline: “it’s time to play”. The tagline, incidentally, was hidden among a smorgasbord of PS5 info also disclosed by the same leaker, so we won’t write anything off just because of the source.

The specs adhere closely to some of the rumours previously heard about the consoles, with the Series X being incrementally more powerful while the PS5 is set to edge it out in the GPU stakes. 

Both consoles appear to have cores dedicated to ray tracing, the GPU technology that creates incredibly immersive, realistic environments. However, the PS5 also includes dedicated 3D sound cores too, something the Series X appears to lack.

As stated above, take this info with a whole heap of salt. In addition, although the kits are fairly advanced in the development process, things could change between now and release. We can’t wait until the PS5 is officially revealed and both consoles’ gamepads are in our hands, so we can compare them side-by-side. Not long now…

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