Nikkei: Sharp Considers Buying Toshiba PC Business

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Sharp is looking to return to the PC market, Nikkei reports-- specifically through the purchase of the ailing Toshiba PC unit, as well as help from parent company Foxconn.

SharpThe Japanese newspaper says talks have already begun "at the working level," while analysts suggest the price for the unit totals around ¥10 billion (or $91.9 million). Previously Toshiba considered selling the PC unit to Taiwan's Asus, but the deal failed to materialise.

As mentioned earlier, the Toshiba PC unit is a loss maker. In fiscal 2016 it saw operating losses reaching ¥500m on sales of ¥191.8bn, the result of competition from the Asian mainland, not to mention the generally shrinking PC market. As a result it has already scaled back operations by pulling out of consumer PCs in emerging markets.

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Fitbit Brings Pebble to a Close

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The era of the Kickstarter-driven hardware success has come to something of a close-- Fitbit announces support for Pebble smartwatches ends on 30 June 2018.

Pebble The closure means many Pebble features will stop working, including the App Store, voice recognition features, SMS and email replies, forum and cloud development tool. For the time being the iOS and Android companion apps should continue working, unless an OS update breaks compatibility.

Fitbit acquired Pebble's employees and software assets on December 2016. Once a darling of the independent crowdfunded device industry, Pebble had hit hard times, leading to layoffs and a search for investors in order to "stay afloat." Enter Fitbit, who was looking for the software expertise required to make an own smartwatch.

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New Colours for LG G6, Q6 Phones

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LG promises to brighten consumers' lives with "unique and exciting" colour options for the G6 and Q6 smartphones, namely the "Moroccan Blue," "Lavender Violet" and "Raspberry Rose" shades from the V30.

LG smartphone coloursThe company says the "sophisticated" blue is inspired by the buildings of Chefchaouen, Morocco, while the violet appeals to customers who "appreciate the finer things in life." As for the rose, the "unique" colour has been designed with anniversaries, graduation ceremonies and Valentine's Day in mind.

The G6 is already available in Astro Black, Ice Platinum, Mystic White, Terra Gold and Marine Blue. The Q6 comes in Astro Black, Ice Platinum, Mystic White, Terra Gold and Marine Blue.

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Gartner: Device Shipments to Increase 2.1% in 2018

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According to Gartner global shipments of devices-- specifically PCs, tablets and mobile phones-- total 2.28 billion units in 2017, and are set to reach 2.32bn in 2018, a 2.1% increase.

Two markets drive overall device shipments. First are mobile phones, led by the high-end smartphone segment. Second are premium ultramobiles, with Apple and Microsoft Windows 10 device stimulating higher demand.

Gartner devices 2018

"Consumers have many technologies to choose from, which poses two main challenges for vendors. The first is to compete for wallet share, given how many devices consumers own. The second is to deliver value and maintain relevance-- to offer the right device to the right audience," the analyst says. "We will see more buyers focusing on value, rather than just price, and therefore considering higher-priced devices."

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Fujifilm Presents X-A5 Mirrorless Camera

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Fujifilm announces a retro-style mirrorless camera-- the X-A5, an update on the entry-level X-A3 featuring a 24.2MP Bayer sensor with on-chip phase detection, faster autofocus, 4K video and a microphone input.

Fuji X-A5Part of the company's X-A series line of APS-C cameras, the X-A5 is comes wrapped in brown, pink or black faux leather. The design is more or less identical to the X-A3, with the same controls and articulated touchscreen customers can flip up by 180-degrees for easy selfie snapping.

On the photography hardware side, the X-A5 features on-chip phase detection pixels and an intelligent Hybrid autofocus system the company says focuses twice as fast as the previous models. Native ISO sensitivity reaches 12800 (with maximum range of 51200), reducing camera shake and noise in low-light conditions.

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