Mobile (Phones)

Qualcomm Details Snapdragon 845

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Qualcomm Details Snapdragon 845

Qualcomm announces the next generation of flagship Snapdragon mobile processor-- the Snapdragon 845, a direct successor to the 835 with features including 4K HDR video capture at up to 60fps.

The Snapdragon 845 combines a 2.8GHz 8-core Kyro 385 CPU and an Adreno 630 GPU. The GPU promises a 30% improvement in graphics, as well as 30% better power efficiency, 2.5x faster display throughput and support for room-scale 6DOF and room mapping for VR and AR applications.

On the photography side, the chip offers a Spectra 280 ISP performs multiframe noise reduction on 16MP images at 60fps, with support for the Rec. 2020 colour gamut and 10-bit colour depth. As mentioned earlier, it also allows for 4K video capture with HDR at 60fps, as well as slo-mo 720p video at 480fps and 1080p video at 240fps.

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Kantar Worldpanel: iPhone X Anticipation Hurt Apple Share

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Kantar Worldpanel: iPhone X Anticipation Hurt Apple Share

According to Kantar Worldpanel the late release of the iPhone X hurt Apple market share in key markets during the 3 months ending October 2017, with Android taking advantage of the situation.

Android gained 4.3 percentage points in the big 5 European markets (and 8.2% in the USA) during period. The analyst says such a drop in iPhone volume share was "somewhat inevitable" when comparing the non-flagship iPhone 8 with the 2016 flagship iPhone 7. One also has to keep in mind at least some customers postponed their iPhone purchase in order to compare the 8 with the X, before deciding whether the premium demanded by the overhauled device is worth it or not.

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Samsung Intros W2018... Flip Phone

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Samsung Intros W2018... Flip Phone

The flip phone ain't dead-- at least not in China, where Samsung announces the W2018, a high-end device featuring flagship internals and a camera with an f/1.5 aperture for better low-light photography.

Made exclusively for the China Telecom "Heart of the World" charity event, the W2018 features a pair of 4.2-inch 1920 x 1080 Super AMOLED touchscreens together with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 chipset, 6GB RAM, 64/256GB storage and a 2300mAh battery. Connectivity comes through dual-SIM slots, NFC and USB-C, security features include a fingerprint reader and an iris scanner, and the Bixby assistant can be summoned via dedicated button on the side.

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Ericsson: 5G Subscriptions Reach 1bn in 2023

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Ericsson: 5G Subscriptions Reach 1bn in 2023

According to the Ericsson Mobility Report 5G subscriptions will reach 1 billion by 2023, with 5G covering over 20% of the world population just 4 years after the first commercial 5G New Radio (NR) networks go live in 2019.

A number of perhaps predictable markets will get the first 5G deployments-- namely the US, S. Korea, Japan and China-- all based in dense urban areas. The forecast period also involves an 8X surge in mobile data traffic, reaching 110 Exabytes per month (or 5.5 million years of HD video streaming) per month.

The mention of streaming is relevant, since video is a main driver of mobile broadband traffic. Young millennials (in the 15-24 age bracket) stream 2.5X more than people over 45 years of age, and higher resolution and immersive 360-degree video will further impact data traffic consumption volumes.

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Gartner: Smartphones Grow in Q3 2017

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Gartner: Smartphones Grow in Q3 2017

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.

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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The Tiny Jelly Smartphone

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The Tiny Jelly Smartphone

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.

The 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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Faster Intel, Qualcomm Modems for 2018 iPhones?

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Faster Intel, Qualcomm Modems for 2018 iPhones?

According to well connected KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, the next iPhone models feature a modem upgrade-- specifically to Intel XMM 7560 and Qualcomm Snapdragon SDX 20 chips, allowing faster LTE speeds.

As seen in a note acquired by MacRumors, the analyst says both Intel and Qualcomm modems support 4x4 MIMO antenna technology (compared to the 2x2 MIMO in the latest iPhones), which should bring a boost in LTE transmission speeds. Kuo adds Intel should supply 70-80% of the required baseband chips, with Qualcomm handling the rest.

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The Foldable Dual-Screen ZTE Axon M

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The Foldable Dual-Screen ZTE Axon M

ZTE claims the Axon M brings nothing less than "a new smartphone category"-- or in the least something rather interesting, since it features a foldable design with two full-size displays.

The Axon M has a pair of 5.2-inch 1920 x 1080 displays, one in the front and the other in the back. A hinge connects the two, allowing users to flip the rear display and slot it next to the front one, creating a single 6.75-inch display. Users can then either stretch apps across the larger display or take advantage of Android split-screen features to run two apps simultaneously, one on each screen. Users can even watch two different videos on the two screens, switching between audio streams as they want.

In addition, one can also "tent" the phone and mirror the displays, allowing two people to look at the same content from the front and back. ZTE promises the "top 100" Android apps work on the Axon M, with the tablet version of the app (if one exists, obviously) running when the it is in "extended" mode.

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Qualcomm Claims 5G Data Connection

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Qualcomm Claims 5G Data Connection

Qualcomm manages a first 5G data connection on a 5G modem chipset for mobile devices-- specifically the Snapdragon X50, a mobile device modem first announced last year.

The test took place at the Qualcomm San Diego laboratories, and involved data connections via the 28GHz millimeter wave (mmWave) spectrum) using several 100MHz 5G carriers. The modem managed gigabit speeds, but should be capable of full 5Gbps speeds once 5G deployments are complete.

“Achieving the world’s first announced 5G data connection with the Snapdragon X50 5G modem chipset on 28GHz mmWave spectrum is truly a testament to Qualcomm Technologies’ leadership in 5G and extensive expertise in mobile connectivity,” the company says. "This major milestone and our 5G smartphone reference design showcase how Qualcomm Technologies is driving 5G NR in mobile devices to enhance mobile broadband experiences for consumers around the world.”

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Kantar Worldpanel: iOS Gains Share in Mainland Europe

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Kantar Worldpanel: iOS Gains Share in Mainland Europe

Apple gains smartphone OS share in the 5 biggest European markets in the 3 months ending August 2017, Kantar Worldpanel reports-- specifically an increase of 1.2% Y-o-Y, as held back by Great Britain.

According to the analyst, while Germany, France, Italy and Spain post iOS growth, Samsung boosted Android growth in Great Britain as the Galaxy S8 and J8 sold well while the flagship Apple smartphones lost momentum ahead to the new iPhone announcement. That said, the decline was "offset slightly" by strong iPhone SE sales.

“Samsung took full advantage of the weeks just before the iPhone 8 and iPhone X were released in Great Britain, with significant promotional activity that helped drive its overall share to a three-year high of 38.4% for the three months ending August 2017,”  Kantar says. “More than 1 in 4 Galaxy S8 buyers cited a specific promotion as a key purchase influencer, and almost half said that a good deal on the price of the phone was key to their purchase. Both of these metrics experienced a large increase over the last 2 months of the period.”

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Future iPhone to Get Stylus?

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Future iPhone to Get Stylus?

The late Steve Jobs was never subtle about his dislike for styluses, but if rumours are correct Apple is considering adding such functionality in a future iPhone.

According to Korean publication The Investor, a stylus-compatible iPhone might hit the market as early as 2019. Apple is allegedly already "in talks with a couple of stylus makers for a partnership," while the current A-series chip should receive a "drastic upgrade" to better support handwriting functions.

“Apple had to compromise on some touch performance of the latest iPhone X largely due to the less advanced chipset," the unnamed source claims.

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