Gartner: Smartphones Grow in Q3 2017

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According to Gartner global smartphone sales total 383 million units in Q3 2017-- a 3% Y-o-Y increase with all top 5 vendors achieving double-digit growth with the exception of Apple, whose growth clocks at 5.7% Y-o-Y.

W. European sales total 36m thanks to growing demand for premium smartphones from top brands. However, the territory lags behind the likes of Greater China, emerging APAC and N. America.

Gartner q3 2017 smartphones sales

Leading the vendor rankings is Samsung with sales reaching 85m, a 19.3% Y-o-Y increase. The Galaxy S8, S8+ and Note 8 models are main sales drivers, helping the Korean compete against Chinese manufactures. The double-digit growth is the first since Q4 2015.

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DigiTimes: Cheapest 9.7-inch iPad Yet for 2018?

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DigiTimes reports Apple plans an "inexpensive 9.7-inch iPad" for 2018-- one with a price of around $259, making it attractive to more budget-conscious customers.

9.7inch iPadAccording to unnamed sources from the upstream supply cheain, the price point allows Apple to maintain its current quarterly 10 million unit iPad shipments. It also provides a weapon against the price competition from first-tier players such as Samsung, Amazon, Huawei and Lenovo. It should ship from Q2 2017, and will be aimed at the industrial and service sectors and as well as the consumer market.

As for who is making the tablet, DigiTimes suggests production is being outsourced to Compal Electronics, with Compeq and Unitech Printed Circuit Board taking care of PCB orders.

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FDA Approves KardiaBand Apple Watch Strap

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The Apple Watch gets a first medical device accessory in the US-- the AliveCor KardiaBand, an EKG reader strap for the wearable device approved by the Food and Drug Administration.

KardiabandAlready in use in Europe, the KardiaBand is a strap with an integrated metallic sensor able to push EKG readings to a companion app. It can detect abnormal heart rhythm and atrial fibrillation (AF), making it similar to the KardiaMobile iPhone accessory. However it takes readings in real-time instead of having to be held in both hands for 30 seconds to register a reading.

To start a reading, users simply need to start a reading on the Kardia Watch app, place their thumb on the sensor and wait for the 30-second analysis. In addition users can speak into the Watch microphone to note palpitations, shortness of breath or dietary habits linked to heart-rate fluctuations.

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AirPods "Most Important" Wireless Apple Accessory?

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KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo states the AirPods are "the most important accessory in Apple's wireless ecosystem," before predicting the earbuds will be a big seller come next year.

AirPodsAccording to note from the analyst obtained by MacRumors, AirPods shipments will double in 2018-- from 13-14 million in 2017 to 26-28 million units. The analyst believes AirPod demand is "strong" and, thanks to improved assembly and increased capacity from manufacturer Luxshare, shipping has been reduced to 1-3 days.

Previously the Airpods were manufactured by one supplier, Invetec, but the addition of Luxshare has helped smooth manufacturing issues. As a result Luxshare might become main AirPod supplier, and even enter the HomePod supply chain.

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A Profitable Motion

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James Dobson

Consumer electronics distributors and dealers (even big retailers like Best Buy, MediaMarkt, Carrefour and others move to add new categories of technology which bring added profits—especially since PCs, smartphones and TV sales have matured.

Our editors sit down with James Dobson, EMEA Sales Director for Razor, global leaders in wheeled goods innovation as he prepares new product introductions for the CES Las Vegas. He’s meeting Europeans—distributors and retailers—there to show how CE partners can move into this new product category.

I guess we should have expected this broadening of the product range inside CE/PC stores. The big food stores before us actually have a name for this widening of the product mix: they call it non-food merchandising and it’s a huge part of their success. How advanced is this in America?

It’s no secret that our successful American chains like Best Buy have proven by experiment that their retail sales areas can win consumers to new product categories that are not solely electronics.
It makes sense the same type of customers who want the latest PC or smartphone (and they come in all ages, all demographics) also want to buy other “cool” products.
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