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Slowing Innovation is the Key Reason for Declining Smartphone Sales

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Global sales of smartphones to end users declined 2.7% in the first quarter of 2019, totaling 373 million units, according to Gartner, Inc. Despite its absence from the U.S., Huawei maintained its ranking as the No. 2 smartphone vendor worldwide and continued to reduce the gap with Samsung.

“Demand for premium smartphones remained lower than for basic smartphones,* which affected brands such as Samsung and Apple that have significant stakes in high-end smartphones,” said Anshul Gupta, senior research director at Gartner. “In addition, demand for utility smartphones* declined as the rate of upgrading from feature phones to smartphones has slowed, given that 4G feature phones give users great advantages at a lower cost.”

Slowing innovation in flagship smartphones and rising prices continued to extend replacement cycles. The two countries that sell the most smartphones, namely the U.S. and China, saw sales decline by 15.8% and 3.2%, respectively, in the first quarter of 2019.

In the first quarter of 2019, Samsung retained the top spot in worldwide smartphone sales achieving 19.2% market share (see Table 1). Huawei achieved the highest year-over-year growth among the world’s top five, growing 44.5% and smartphone sales totaling 58.4 million units.

Sales of Huawei smartphones grew in all regions. “Huawei did particularly well in two of its biggest regions, Europe and Greater China, where its smartphone sales grew by 69% and 33%, respectively,” said Mr. Gupta. Huawei’s continued dominance in Greater China, where it commanded a 29.5% market share, helped it secure the No. 2 global smartphone vendor ranking in the first quarter of 2019.

Table 1: Worldwide Smartphone Sales to End Users by Vendor in 1Q19 (Thousands of Units)

Vendor1Q19
(Units)
1Q19
Market Share (%)
1Q18
(Units)
1Q18
Market Share (%)
Samsung71,621.119.278,564.820.5
Huawei58,436.215.740,426.710.5
Apple44,568.611.954,058.914.1
OPPO29,602.17.928,173.17.3
Vivo27,368.27.323,243.26.1
Others141,405.237.9159,037.141.5
Total373,001.4100.0383,503.9100.0

Due to rounding, numbers may not add up precisely to the totals shown. Source: Gartner (May 2019)

“Unavailability of Google apps and services on Huawei smartphones, if implemented, will upset Huawei’s international smartphone business which is almost half of its worldwide phone business. Not the least it brings apprehension among buyers, limiting Huawei’s growth in the near term,” said Mr. Gupta.

Despite a decline in its smartphone sales of 8.8% in the first quarter of 2019, Samsung remained the No. 1 smartphone vendor worldwide. “Samsung launched its flagship Galaxy S10 smartphone portfolio, which received a good response. However, its impact was limited as Samsung only started shipping the S10 at the end of the first quarter,” said Gupta. “Samsung also strengthened its midtier and entry-tier smartphone ranges with a refreshed A series and J series and the newly introduced M series, but aggressive competition from Chinese manufacturers limited their impact.”

Sales of Apple iPhones totaled 44.6 million units in the first quarter of 2019, a decline of 17.6% year over year. “The price cut for iPhones across markets helped drive up demand but wasn’t enough to restore growth in the first quarter,” said Mr. Gupta. “Apple is facing longer replacement cycles as users struggle to see enough value benefits to justify replacing existing iPhones.”

Vivo beat Xiaomi to claim the No. 5 spot in the first quarter of 2019. Vivo sold 27.4 million smartphones during the quarter. Xiaomi sold 27.2 million. The latest features, such as in-display fingerprint scanner, slider camera, fast charging, and almost bezel-less display, helped Vivo achieve double-digit smartphone sales growth in the first quarter of 2019. “However, the company could do much better by expanding the range of its entry-tier smartphones and selling them in emerging Asia/Pacific markets,” said Gupta.

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Expert Speak

Why You Should Use a VPN While Traveling

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According to a survey conducted by NordVPN, 50% of travellers use public Wi-Fi while on the road. However, only 20% of them use a VPN (a virtual private network) to protect themselves while being connected to a public network. “Travelers connect to public Wi-Fi in airports, cafes, parks, and trains. Some even use public computers to print their visa information or flight tickets. A VPN in those cases is crucial if you want to make sure that your vacation will not be ruined by cyber criminals. Nobody wants to lose access to their device or their bank account during a trip to a foreign country,” says Daniel Markuson, a cybersecurity expert at NordVPN.

As International VPN day (August 19th) is just around the corner, Markuson lists all the benefits offered by the service.

Enhanced online security
The main purpose of a VPN is to keep its user’s online connection secure even when they are away from home. Hackers can set up fake hotspots or access unsecured public routers and this way monitor users’ online activity. Once a user is connected, criminals can intercept their internet traffic, infect the device with malware, and steal their victim’s personal information.

When authenticating themselves on public Wi-Fi, users often need to type in their email address or phone number. However, if a user has accidentally connected to a hacker’s hotspot, they could be exposing themselves to real danger.

A VPN hides users’ IP addresses and encrypts their online activity. That means that, even if a user is using a malicious hotspot, the hacker behind it won’t be able to monitor their activity. Therefore, getting a VPN for travelling abroad is essential if you want to stay secure and private online.

Grab the best deals
Depending on the country in which you’re located, the prices for airline tickets, car reservations, and hotels might vary. That’s because businesses know that people in different countries can and will pay higher amounts for certain products and services. If you use a VPN for travel, you can hop between servers in different countries and find the best deals available.

Make the best of additional VPN features
As the industry is evolving, many VPN providers add new features to make their users’ experience even more wholesome. NordVPN, for example, recently added the Meshnet feature that lets travellers connect to other devices directly no matter where in the world they are. This enables users to form a remote connection with their home or office PC from anywhere in the world to share files or for other uses.

However, having said that, please check local laws and regulations about using VPN services on your devices, before you do.

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Components

TEAMGROUP Launches ELITE PLUS DDR5 Memory Modules

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TEAMGROUP has launched the ELITE PLUS DDR5 Desktop Memory with a brand new heat sink design to effectively increase reliability. Furthermore, TEAMGROUP has announced a new frequency of 6,000MHz for ELITE DDR5 to further increase operating performance and deliver an ultra-smooth user experience.

ELITE PLUS DDR5 Desktop Memory is equipped with a sleek, simple, and asymmetric aluminium heat sink that has been specially designed to be non-conductive and to protect against scratches, acids, rusting and rotting to provide full protection for the DDR5 module. ELITE PLUS DDR5 Desktop Memory is also equipped with a 1.1V standard working voltage which further reduces energy consumption for each unit of bandwidth compared to the 1.2V in DDR4, providing a more efficient power usage.

The DDR5 module is equipped with PMICs for effective power distribution, reliable power supply, and minimal noise interference. The IC supports on-die ECC, a feature that self-corrects DRAM cells for enhanced stability and reliability by reducing risks of information errors. The ELITE PLUS DDR5 modules are designed to be perfectly compatible with Intel and AMD systems and come with three frequencies: 4800MHz, 5600MHz, and 6000MHz, in single/dual channel options from 8GB to 32GB of storage capacity to satisfy a wide range of user demands.

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Accessories

ASUS Republic of Gamers Launches New Products Through an Evangelion Collaboration

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ASUS Republic of Gamers (ROG) has announced a comprehensive ROG x Evangelion collaboration centred around EVA-01, the flagship mecha of the manga and anime series known around the world. DIY PC builders will be able to assemble a high-end PC featuring EVA 01’s distinctive purple-and-green theme and a variety of artwork directly from the Evangelion universe so that they can fashion their very own ‘NERV command centre’. Options will include a unique ROG Maximus motherboard, two ROG Strix GeForce RTX graphics cards, a ROG Ryujin II 360 AIO cooler, and other top-shelf ROG gear.

ROG Maximus Z690 Hero EVA Edition Motherboard

The ROG Maximus Z690 Hero EVA Edition is covered in the classic purple and green of the EVA-01 and is similarly well-equipped. Robust cooling and power delivery are poised to push the latest 12th Gen Intel Core processors to the max. An A.T. Field design around the CPU socket and polymo-lighting on the I/O cover that switches between EVA-01 normal and berserk modes is a further aesthetic treat.

ROG STRIX GeForce RTX 3090 and 3080 EVA Edition Graphics Cards

The EVA Editions of the ROG Strix GeForce RTX 3090 and ROG Strix GeForce RTX 3080 come equipped with a myriad of performance-enhancing features. Aesthetic cues from EVA-01 cover the shroud and backplate, and the iconic synchronization effect is displayed on the front ARGB panel.

ROG Ryujin II 360 ARGB EVA Edition AIO Cooler

From end to end, the ROG Ryujin II 360 ARGB EVA Edition embodies the Evangelion spirit. A gunmetal pump cover surrounds a 3.5-inch screen that displays vital stats and customizable GIFs. Meanwhile, reinforced tubing pipes coolant into a radiator loaded with three NERV-styled ARGB fans, ensuring exemplary stability in the heat of battle.

ROG THOR 1000W Platinum II EVA Edition Power Supply

The ROG Thor II Platinum EVA Edition wears an EVA-inspired skin and wields component and cooling upgrades that enable the lowest noise levels — even during the most demanding skirmishes with the opposition.

ROG Strix Helios EVA Edition Chassis

The ROG Strix Helios EVA Edition is a premium mid-tower gaming chassis with three tempered-glass panels, a refined aluminium frame, and integrated front-panel RGB lighting. Interior and exterior details have been fashioned to match the aesthetics of the EVA-01 and house the other ROG x Evangelion components, making it the cornerstone of the collaboration.

ROG Strix XG27AQM EVA Edition Monitor

The ROG Strix XG27AQM EVA Edition is handsomely clad in the EVA-01’s purple and green colour scheme. With an overclocked refresh rate of 270 Hz and a speedy 0.5 ms (GTG) response time, users will experience an incredibly fluid view. The 27-inch display also covers 97% of the DCI-P3 colour space, offering a full representation of wide-gamut media.

ROG Rapture GT-AX6000 EVA Edition Network Router

The ROG Rapture GT-AX6000 EVA Edition features cutting-edge wireless technology, antennas styled like the EVA-01’s shoulder plates and a control app with a UI design fashioned after a visible A.T. Field.

ROG Delta S EVA Edition Gaming Headset

The ROG Delta S EVA Edition headset encapsulates a hi-fi-grade ESS 9281 QUAD DAC™ and ASUS AI Noise-Canceling Microphone within a lightweight shell that features EVA-inspired purple-and-green aesthetics and customizable RGB lighting. The total package weighs in at just 300 grams, putting comfort on equal par with impactful sonics and pristine comms.

ROG Strix Scope RX EVA Edition Keyboard

The ROG Strix Scope RX EVA Edition proudly wraps an EVA-inspired purple-and-green aluminium case around a full complement of ROG RX optical mechanical switches. This formidable combo consistently provides wobble-free keystrokes, a near-zero debounce delay, plus IP57 waterproofing and dust resistance for reliable deployment throughout prolonged campaigns.

 

ROG Keris Wireless EVA Edition Mouse

The ROG Keris Wireless EVA Edition weighs just 79 grams and sports the EVA-01’s striking green and purple colour scheme. With a 16,000 dpi ROG sensor and ROG push-fit switch sockets, users can aim with extreme precision and customize the amount of trigger force required to deliver a menacing payload.

ROG Scabbard II EVA Edition Mouse Pad

Combining contrasting NERV and EVA-inspired design elements on a nano-coated surface that repels water, oil, and dust, the ROG Scabbard II EVA Edition prominently displays your allegiance and provides a robust foundation for the ROG Keris Wireless EVA Edition mouse.

ROG Strix Arion EVA Edition SSD Enclosure

The ROG Strix Arion EVA Edition portable SSD enclosure features heat protection optimizations and blistering connection speeds, making it ripe for quick data backups and secret missions behind enemy lines.

ROG x EVANGELION T-Shirts and Sweater

The ROG T-Shirt EVA Edition and ROG Sweater EVA Edition are made of cotton for a naturally soft and cool feel, with a reinforced anti-wrinkle neckline and EVA-inspired design. The T-shirts will be available in black or white, and each will feature a different design on the front and back.

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