The Tiny Jelly Smartphone

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Chinese manufacturer Unihertz releases what it claims is the smallest 4G smartphone around-- the Jelly, a device with a 2.45-inch display, a far cry from the current 5-inch standard.

JellyThe result of a successful Kickstarter campaign, Jelly measures all of 92.4 x 43 x 13mm, making it tiny compared to most smartphones. It run on Android 7.0 and promises to be a fully-fledged smartphone, with the plastic shell packing a 1.1GHz processor, 1/2GB RAM, 8/16GB internal storage (expandable via microSD card slot), 4G LTE connectivity and dual-SIM capability.

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Maplin Trials iSmash Partnership

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Technology retailer Maplin hopes to boost its services proposition through a partnership with iSmash, a device repair specialist backed by Carphone Warehouse co-founder David Ross.

MaplinAn initial 6 month pilot has 3 Maplin stores-- St Paul's, Monument and Stevenage-- host iSmash concessions, before eventual rollout across the retailer's 200-store portfolio should it prove a success.

“We are constantly looking to expand our services proposition, as we look to create a customer journey that supports those who shop with us all the way from pre-purchase and consideration to after sales support," Maplin CEO Oliver Meakin says. “Following the nationwide launch of our Free Smart Home Survey, a new and unique service in the UK, this exciting new partnership with iSmash will provide first-rate tech repairs for our customers in store.”

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LG Realigns Mobile Business

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LG announces a "sweeping realignment" across its various business, including the appointment of a new CEO for its mobile division-- Hwang Jeong-hwan, who replaces current chief Juno Cho.

LG LogoJeong-hwan is a long-time LG employee, having been involvied in the development of one of the first LG smartphones in 2009 as head of the CTO's multimedia R&D lab. In the meantime Juno Cho gets a new role within the LG parent company.

Another leadership change comes in the shape of a new CTO-- LG Software Centre head Dr. Park Il-pyung replaces current CTO Dr. Skott Ahn. Prior to joining LG, Dr. Park was CTO at the now Samsung-owned Harman International, as well as head of the Samsung Intelligent Computing Lab. Dr. Park also holds a number of computing patents, together with a Ph.D. from Columbia University.

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Canalys: VR Headset Shipments Reach 1m

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Virtual reality headset shipments hit a record in Q3 2017, Canalys reports-- 1 million units, proof the device category is not slowing down... at least for now, at any rate.

Leading the Q3 2017 market is Sony, with PlayStation VR (PS VR) shipments reaching 490000. Following is Oculus with 210000 Rift headsets (with a summer sale boosting shipments) and HTC with 160000 Vive VR units. Together the 3 companies make 86% of the total market for the quarter.

Canalys VR market

“VR adoption in the consumer segment is highly dependent on price, and Oculus’ strategy of lowering prices has definitely helped drive adoption,” the analyst says. “Hugo Barra is betting on his next product, the $199 Oculus Go standalone headset, to reach more users next year. The Go will excite first-time users, but driving adoption beyond social media will be a challenge.”

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TrendForce: 8K, the Next Frontier for QLED TVs?

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OLED continues to dominate the high-end TV market in 2018, TrendForce's WitsView says, with shipments reaching a high of 2.5 million-- a "significant" increase over the shipments of 1.5m of 2017.

Samsung QLEDDriving such growth are more brands entering the OLED market, as well as promotional efforts from major vendors such as Sony. This comes despite the problems of OLED technology, namely colour decay and burn-in issues, and more companies are looking into further developing the technology. On the other hand QLED TV makers, including Samsung, TCL and Hisense, are finding the high pricing of QLED an issue when it comes to promotion.

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