Mobile (Phones)

Samsung Ends Galaxy Note 7 Sales

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Samsung Ends Galaxy Note 7 Sales

Samsung brings an end to the Galaxy Note 7, the phablet with the unfortunate tendency to either catch fire or, in worst case scenarios, explode as it announces a global recall program for the device.

As per company announcement, "since the affected devices can overheat and pose a safety risk, we are asking consumers with an original Galaxy Note 7 or a replacement Galaxy Note 7 to power it down and contact the carrier or retail outlet where you purchased your Galaxy Note 7."

Samsung had already announced a Note 7 recall program involving an exchange with a new version of the handset... only the replacement handsets also started burning. Signs suggest this is due to a battery overheating issues, and as such Samsung changed suppliers during the manufacturing process. However that was in vain, as the new batteries are still getting too hot and, in some cases, burning up.

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What Makes the Priciest iPhone Model?

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What Makes the Priciest iPhone Model?

Customers wanting an iPhone 7 built in materials more luxurious than the standard aluminium might be interested in the Gresso iPhone 7 Black Diamond collection, featuring 18 karat gold and black diamonds.

Limited to just 3 models, the Gresso "Lux" iPhone has a back panel encrusted with 1450 black diamonds (for a total of 104 karats), a body crafted from grade-5 titanium, a camera frame made from 10g of 18 karat gold, individualised engraving and a similarly adorned pair of AirPods. The asking price? $500000.

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Sharp to Supply Apple With OLEDs?

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Sharp to Supply Apple With OLEDs?

The next generation of Apple devices might get OLED displays from Sharp, Bloomberg reports, as a "person familiar with the matter" claims the two companies are currently going through negotiations.

The deal appears to depend on the Japanese company's output capacity, since the discussions come directly from Apple wanting to increase the number of OLED suppliers.

The rumours follow the Sharp announcement of a $566 million investment in the development of OLED production facilities, with the goal of starting output by June 2018. The funds will find use in the acquisition of equipment for Sharp factories in Mie and Osaka, as well as the supply of sample products to customers.

“This investment is in response to what Apple is doing,” analyst Ace Research Institute tells Bloomberg. “Production isn’t likely to begin until H2 2018, so the impact to profit won’t be until after that.”

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Xiaomi Intros Mi 5s Flagship

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Xiaomi Intros Mi 5s Flagship

Xiaomi announces an incremental update on the Mi 5 flagship smartphone-- the Mi 5s, a 5.5-inch handset featuring a metal body together with the a Snapdragon 821 chipset and an ultrasonic fingerprint reader.

According to the company, the ultrasonic fingerprint sensor was meant for the Mi 5, but the technology only ready for mass production on July 2016. The technology allows companies to build a fingerprint reader underneath the glass covering the display, although the Mi 5s has a little dent to help users guide their fingers to the sensor.

As mentioned earlier a 2.15GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 CPU powers the device, together with 4GB LPDDR4 RAM, up to 128GB UFS 2.0 storage and 3200mAh battery. The rear-facing camera gets a boost with a 12MP Sony 1/2.3-inch IMX378 CMOS sensor, f/2.0 aperture lens, dual-tone LED flash, phase detection auto-focus, auto HDR and video recording reaching up to 4K resolution at 30fps, as does the 4MP front-facing selfie shooter with an f/2.0 aperture 80-degree lens.

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Digitimes: VR-Enabled Smartphones to "Soar" in Q4

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Digitimes: VR-Enabled Smartphones to

Digitimes Research points out a sales opportunity for the holiday season-- the penetration rate of VR-enabled smartphones and tablets is to "soar" in Q4 2016, at least when compared to other devices.

Helping smooth the way for VR-enabled smartphones is the successful H1 2016 launch of VR video-enabled Samsung flagship handsets. In the meantime Google and ARM are expected to update VR video applications with reduced algorithm requirements in Q4 2016, fostering the further development of enabled mobile devices.

According to Digitimes Research shipments of VR video-enabled smartphones are to reach 70 million units in 2016, accounting for 5% of overall global smartphone shipments.

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HTC Intros Desire 10

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HTC Intros Desire 10

HTC announces the latest addition to the Desire smartphone family-- the Desire 10, a midrange handset available in 2 variants, one named Lifestyle, the other Pro.

Both versions have a 5.5-inch display and run on Android 6.0, but are otherwise fairly different. The Pro is higher-specced model, with a 1080p resolution display, MediaTek Helio P10 CPU, 3 or 4GB RAM, 32 or 64GB storage, 20MP rear-facing camera, 13MP front-facing camera, 3000mAh battery and a rear-mounted fingerprint scanner.

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Apple Announces iPhone 7, 7 Plus

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Apple Announces iPhone 7, 7 Plus

Apple reveals exactly what everyone was expecting in this year's September event with the latest incarnation of the iPhone-- the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus, now featuring IP67-rated stainless steel construction together with a slew of internal upgrades.

But before we get to the new iPhone, one has to mention the opening of the event in question. In a move simultaneously unbelievable and inevitable Nintendo took the stage to announce its first iPhone game, Super Mario Run. Demonstrated by company guru Shigeru Miyamoto, the game will surely be a first of surely many Nintendo titles hitting iOS, as the ailing Japanese company looks to boost its bottom line by developing games for machines other than its own.

Anyway, back to the iPhone. Available in now traditional 7 and 7 Plus forms, the smartphones comes in a gloss jet black finish as well as the familiar silver and rose gold, and has a rebuilt Home button featuring a Taptic engine similar to that found in the touchpad found in the latest MacBooks. Powering it is new processor, the A10 Fusion, featuring a 4-core CPU and 6-core GPU for a 40% speed boost over the A9.

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Samsung Orders Galaxy Note 7 Recall

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Samsung Orders Galaxy Note 7 Recall

Following slightly terrifying reports of Galaxy Note 7 tablets catching fire or exploding while charging Samsung suspends sales of the phablet and announces a global replacement program.

The burning-- and at times explosive-- issue comes from the battery, and so far 35 such cases have been reported. According to Samsung this is but a "tiny fraction of the high volume of device sold since launch," but concerned customers will be able to replace their handsets with a new smartphone through an exchange program.

Samsung is still to fully detail the program in question, but it will be held through carriers and retail outlets. Carriers in the US will also be adding a choice of credit or gift card should customers stick with a Samsung device as a "gesture of appreciation."

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Blu Pure XR Brings 3D Touch to Android

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Blu Pure XR Brings 3D Touch to Android

Blu Products announces a sequel to last year's Pure XL smartphone with the Pure XR-- a 5.5-inch handset complete with a "3D Touch" feature similar that offered by the iPhone 6s.

The Pure XR features an octa-core MediaTek Helio P10 (6755) CPU, Mali-T860 GPU, 64GB internal storage (expandable via microSD), 4GB RAM, 16 MP rear-/8MP front-facing cameras, 3000 mAh battery and a USB-C port inside an aluminium unibody.

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No Home Button for 2017 iPhone?

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No Home Button for 2017 iPhone?

The iPhone model to launch in 2017 will lack at least one element, Bloomberg reports-- the smartphone will not feature a Home button, part of a "major redesign" the company has in the works.

The revelation comes as part of a wider report focusing on the addition of a faster mobile payment chip hitting the Japanese version of the iPhone. Based on the FeliCa standard dominant in the country, the chip should allow for tap-to-tay on mass transit.

According to rumours the 2017 iPhone-- supposedly dubbed the iPhone 8-- will feature an edge-to-edge flexible OLED display lacking in top and bottom bezels. Instead all Home button functionality (including Touch IT) is to be built directly into the display. The grapevine also suggests the display will be curved edges on both sides and built entirely in glass.

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Gartner: Premium Smartphone Sales Slow Down in Q2

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Gartner: Premium Smartphone Sales Slow Down in Q2

According to Gartner, global Q2 2016 smartphone smartphones total 344 million units-- a 4.3% Y-o-Y increase, if one seeing slowdown as customers prefer to wait for upcoming hardware launches in H2 2016.

Overall mobile phone sales for the quarter are down by -0.5% Y-o-Y, with only Samsung and 4 Chinese companies, Huawei, Oppo, Xiaomi and BBK Communication Equipment, showing growth.

Samsung also leads in smartphones, with Q2 2016 market share reaching 21.8% thanks to a strong device portfolio helping it win share previously occupied by Chinese vendors in emerging markets. Apple follows with a -7.7% Y-o-Y sales decline, the result of saturation in all mature markets, as well as the "worst" sales decline in Greater Chine and Asia/Pacific to date.

However Apple sees best performance in Eurasia, Sub-Saharan Africa and E. Europe-- Gartner says Q2 2016 sales in the regions are up by over 95% Y-o-Y.

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