Huawei Leads China’s Smartphone Market as Xiaomi Pips Apple: Canalys

Domestic smartphone shipments have fallen by 3 percent to 11 million in the second quarter of this year after six consecutive quarters of growth, with Huawei leading the market, shipping over 23 million smartphones, new research said on Wednesday.

According to a survey conducted by global market research firm Canalys, Oppo had to settle for second place with just over 21 million, despite growing 37 percent year on year. This was followed by Vivo that shipped just over 16 million.

In fourth place, Xiaomi with a shipment of under 15 million smartphones overtook Apple.

“Xiaomi still offers the best value in the Chinese market and it remains the preferred choice for price-conscious consumers. The online channel continues to be a key route to market for Xiaomi and this quarter saw it take the lead in the 618 online sales events across online retail platforms,” said Lucio Chen, Canalys Research Analyst, in a statement.

According to Lucio, Redmi has had strong uptake in the mid-tier, going head to head with Oppo’s A series and Vivo’s Y series.

Huawei Leads China's Smartphone Market as Xiaomi Pips Apple: Canalys“Xiaomi’s growing network of ‘experience stores’ will pose a threat to Oppo’s and Vivo’s offline dominance, while showcasing the design and build quality of its devices,” he added.

The rest of the top ten, including Apple, Samsung, and Meizu, all suffered annual shipment declines this quarter.

“China’s smartphone market continues to consolidate. The top five brands accounted for almost three quarters of shipments, with the top four all growing and adding 10 percent to their cumulative share compared with the same quarter a year ago,” said Hattie He, Canalys Research Analyst.

The report pointed out that Huawei and Xiaomi have strong online brands, and are now rapidly growing their offline channels.

Oppo and Vivo face greater pressure on their mid-range from Redmi and Honor. The failure to establish online channels will slow the momentum of these rising stars.

USB 3.2 Type-C Specification Announced, Doubles Data Transfer Speeds

The USB 3.0 Promoter Group has now announced a new USB Type-C specification – USB 3.2. It brings along double the data rates – with up to 20Gbps. However, while the aim of USB Type-C was to end the saga of multiple ports, this new added one defeats that purpose. The specification is expected to be finalised later this year, and we could expect the first devices next year.

USB Type-C looked to bring uniformity in ports so that users could charge all devices – be it laptops, mobile phones, cameras, tablets, or anything else through one single USB Type-C port. However, there’s now the age-old USB 2.0, non-reversible USB 3.0, and USB 3.1 Gen1 and Gen 2 as well. Amidst all this, the USB 3.0 Promoter Group has unveiled USB 3.2 adding to the confusion.

While all these ports are interoperable, they do not work up to optimum unless you have the latest innards to support it on all devices. In any case, USB 3.2 offers really good data transfer speeds at 20Gbps, which is twice what USB 3.1 Gen 2 offers at 10Gbps. To recall, USB 3.1 Gen 1 offers up to 5Gbps transfer speeds. USB 3.2 makes use of multi-lane capabilities to achieve these speeds, allowing for up to two lanes of 5Gbps or two lanes of 10Gbps operation.

USB 3.2 Type-C Specification Announced, Doubles Data Transfer SpeedsUSB 3.2 host connected to a USB 3.2 storage device will be capable of realizing over 2GB per sec data transfer performance when using a existing USB Type-C cable certified for SuperSpeed USB 10Gbps.

“With increased performance and seamless compatibility, the new USB 3.2 specification brings even more speed and bandwidth benefits to new USB 3.2 devices, while remaining compatible with USB 3.0 and earlier devices. We’re excited to work with our partners in the USB 3.0 Promoter Group to help showcase these benefits to users around the world,” said Roanne Sones, General Manager, Strategy and Ecosystem for Windows and Devices, Microsoft in a statement.

The USB 3.0 Promoter Group consists of big tech giants like Apple, HP, Intel, Microsoft, Texas Instruments, and more. The group has announced that it will have even more surprises for the USB Developer Days event in September 2017.

Apple, Cochlear Partner on First ‘Made-for-iPhone’ Hearing Implant Sound Processor

Cochlear, a company focused at implantable hearing solutions, has teamed up with Apple to unveil the first “made-for-iPhone” cochlear implant sound processor. With the Nucleus 7 Sound Processor, people with a Cochlear Nucleus Implant can stream sound directly from a compatible iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.

Additionally, people using the new Cochlear Nucleus hearing implant will be able to control, monitor, and customise their hearing on their iPhone or iPod touch through the Nucleus Smart App available to download for free from the App Store. The company also claims that the Cochlear Nucleus 7 Sound Processor is the “smallest and lightest” behind-the-ear cochlear implant sound processor available in the market.

The Nucleus 7 Sound Processor will be commercially available in September in the United States and Canada for those who are looking to receive a cochlear implant. Additionally, the company will make the Nucleus 7 Sound Processor available as an upgrade in October for select recipients of cochlear implants.

Apple, Cochlear Partner on First 'Made-for-iPhone' Hearing Implant Sound ProcessorThe Nucleus 7 Sound processor offers a range of features like the hearing tracker records coil-offs time when the sound processor coil does not detect the implant coil in cases such as if it has fallen off. The Nucleus Smart App’s Find My Processor feature helps locate a lost sound processor.

Chris Smith, Cochlear Chief Executive Officer and President, announcing the new implant said, “The approval of the Nucleus 7 Sound Processor is a turning point for people with hearing loss, opening the door for them to make phone calls, listen to music in high-quality stereo sound, watch videos and have FaceTime calls streamed directly to their cochlear implant.”

This is not a first hearing aid device for which Apple has collaborated with a hearing solution company. The company lists a range of products on its website.

Sarah Herrlinger, Senior Manager for Global Accessibility Policy and Initiatives at Apple toldTechCrunch, “We wanted to see something that could become ubiquitous out in the world. We want everybody to use our technology and to say ‘wow my iPhone is the best piece of technology I’ve ever used before’…with every iteration of our operating system our goal is to add in new accessibility features in order to expand the support that we can give to people all over the world.”

Samsung developing a Bixby-powered Apple AirPods rival: Report

Samsung is developing a voice-activated smart earpiece to rival Apple’s AirPods, according to a new report. Korea’s ETNews claims the wireless earbuds will be powered by the company’s Bibxy AI, which has recently started rolling out for all owners of the Galaxy S8 and S8+ in the US.

The voice-activated earpiece will have a noise cancellation feature that scans excessive noise and further improves voice quality. The report says Samsung’s upcoming wireless earbuds will be launched alongside the Galaxy Note 8 next month in New York. However, it is unclear if the earbuds will be sold separately or bundled with the Galaxy Note 8. The South Korean company is yet to confirm the existence of the upcoming voice-activated smart earbuds.

Samsung Bixby earbuds, Apple AirPods competitor, Bixby earphones SamsungSamsung may be considering to bring its voice-activated smart earbuds to the market, but it won’t make them as good as the AirPods. The company’s Samsung’s Bixby AI is still half-baked. Early reviews have been mixed to worse, while many claim Bixby is no where to close to Siri and Google Assistant. So it’s hard to imagine that Samsung would even consider launching its voice-activated smart earpiece in the US or Europe. It is, of course, a possibility to see the launch happening in South Korea.

Samsung was previously rumoured to be working on a Bixby smart speakers similar to the likes of Amazon Echo, Google Home and Apple HomePod, but reports now say the plan has been shelved. Evidently, Samsung doesn’t seem to be convinced with an idea of a voice-activated speakers.

Apple Watch Series 3 to launch later this year, says new report

Apple is expected to launch a new model of its popular smartwatch in the second-half of the year, according to a report from Chinese-language news site Economic Daily News. DigiTimes has sited a Chinese news outlet to confirm the launch date of Apple Watch Series 3

The report says Quanta Computer is expected to see a rise in income in the second-half of the year. Quanta is the same contract manufacturer Apple has been using to produce its notebooks, serves and wearables. The unexpected rise in income indicates that Quanta will most likely manufacture the third-generation Apple Watch. This isn’t the first time Quanta will be given a duty to produce Apple watch, as the first and second-generation models were earlier manufactured by the same Taiwanese company.

Apple Watch Series 3, Apple Watch Series 2 release date, Apple Watch 3 price, Apple Watch Series 3 rumoursApple Watch Series 3 has been rumoured to launch later this year, however, Apple is yet to confirm the exact release date. Previous reports in the past have indicated that Apple could launch the new smartwatch model alongside the iPhone 8, which the company plans to launch in September. Though there has been no confirmation on the same.

Apparently, the design language of the next-generation model won’t change. Instead, Apple will most likely improve the watch’s general performance and battery life. Moreover, previous reports have indicated that Apple might incorporate micro-LED displays for better image quality. Evidently, the micro-LED technology could replace OLED screens that would be used in the Apple Watch Series 3.

At the same time, it has been said that Apple might add a SIM card option in the next-generation model for cellular-connectivity. Back in March, Susquehanna Financial Group semiconductor analyst Christopher Rolland claimed that Apple’s upcoming smartwatch would get a cellular connectivity, one of the most requested feature for the device.

Apple Appoints Isabel Ge Mahe as New China Head Amid Localisation Drive

Apple Inc on Wednesday said it has appointed a managing director for Greater China – a newly created role – in its latest move to localise product features and comply with new cyber regulations in China governing foreign technology firms.

Isabel Ge Mahe, who worked in wireless technology at Apple for over nine years, will coordinate teams across China, the US company said in a statement.

“Apple is strongly committed to invest and grow in China,” Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook said in the statement. “We look forward to making even greater contributions under her leadership.”

The announcement comes as Apple works to meet compliance measures under a new law requiring foreign firms to store data locally in partnership with Chinese entities.

Apple Appoints Isabel Ge Mahe as New China Head Amid Localisation DriveApple last week said it will invest in a $1 billion project in Guizhou province which will include a data centre run with a local partner. It said none of its systems will have so-called backdoors that allow outside parties to access data.

Ge Mahe’s previous projects include working with China’s state-backed telecom firms to develop country-specific functions including the ability to use local telephone numbers as Apple identification numbers, short message service (SMS) fraud detection, and support for quick response (QR) codes which are widely used in China for payments.

“I am looking forward to deepening our team’s connections with customers, government and businesses in China to advance innovation and sustainability,” said Ge Mahe in the statement.

In the new role she will report directly to Cook and Chief Operating Officer Jim Williams, the company said.

Australia to Compel Chat Apps to Hand Over Encrypted Messages

Social media giants like Facebook and WhatsApp will be compelled to share encrypted messages of suspected terrorists and other criminals with Australian police under new laws unveiled Friday.

It comes after Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull warned encrypted messages were increasingly being used by terrorists, drug traffickers and paedophile rings, calling for legislation to be modernised to allow police to do their jobs.

“We need to ensure that the internet is not used as a dark place for bad people to hide their criminal activities from the law,” he said, adding that the tech giants must “face up to their responsibility”.

“They can’t just wash their hands of it and say it’s got nothing to do with them.”

Australian authorities can currently obtain information from telecommunications companies, but not internet firms that use data encryption to guarantee user confidentiality.

Encryption essentially involves complex algorithms scrambling data to make it indecipherable until unlocked by its owner or when it reaches its destination.

“Because of this end-to-end encryption, all of that information, all of that data, that communication is effectively dark to the reach of the law,” said Turnbull.

“And that’s not acceptable. We are a society, a democracy, under the rule of law, and the law must prevail online as well as offline.”

The laws will be introduced into parliament by the end of the year.

Attorney-General George Brandis said the legislation would be similar to Britain’s Investigatory Powers Act, which imposes an obligation on companies to cooperate with investigations.

Australia to Compel Chat Apps to Hand Over Encrypted MessagesThey would provide Australian intelligence and law enforcement authorities with coercive powers as a “last resort” if tech companies did not voluntarily help, said Brandis.

“It is vitally important that the development of technology does not leave the law behind,” he said.

However, Silicon Valley tech companies have so far refused to bend to similar legal requests.

British Home Secretary Amber Rudd will travel to the United States shortly to discuss the issue with her American counterpart and tech companies, said Turnbull.

The US government last year locked horns in a legal battle with Apple, seeking to compel the iPhone maker to help decrypt a device used by one of the attackers in the San Bernardino shooting rampage.

Authorities eventually dropped the case after finding a way to break into the iPhone without Apple’s help.

Turnbull admitted it may be difficult to enforce the laws if firms do not comply, but said it was important to “recognise the challenge and call on those companies to provide the assistance”.

How to Enable or Disable Automatic Updates on Mac

These days enabling automatic updates has become the norm on practically every operating system. This has its benefits – you don’t have to manually download updates to apps and all critical security patches are downloaded automatically to your phone or computer.

Enabling automatic updates on a smartphone doesn’t really bother most people. Sometimes apps may start crashing after updates but by and large, apps continue to work as expected after updates. You’re also unlikely to be using a bunch of apps at the same time. However, that’s not true on a Mac or a PC.

At any point we’ve got at least eight apps open. Enabling automatic updates is convenient but not the best idea because apps have to be closed before installation can begin. That prompt tends to interrupt our workflow and we’d rather not deal with it in the middle of the work day.

First up, let’s figure out how to enable or disable automatic updates on Mac.

  1. Click the Apple logo on the top left and open System Preferences.
  2. Click on App Store. Now you’ll see a bunch of options dealing with automatic updates on macOS.
  3. To disable automatic updates, click on the tick mark next to Automatically check for updates to uncheck it, which is checked by default.
  4. To enable automatic updates, click the empty box next to Automatically check for updates. You’ll see a tick mark in the box now.

macos sierra auto update sc macOS Sierra

macOS automatic update options

That covers the basics. If you follow these steps, you will either enable or disable the system’s automatic checks for app and macOS updates. There are other options here that let you choose when you want to download and install updates.

The first option is Download available updates in the background. This is enabled by default and macOS automatically downloads all updates in the background and prompts you when they are ready to install. If you disable this, you’ll simply get a notification stating that updates are available. Downloading updates in the background is generally a good idea as you don’t have to wait for downloads to complete when you manually update. However, if you often use cellular data on your Mac, you might end up with a big data bill if you leave this option checked.

The second option is Install app updates and the third one is Install macOS updates. If you enable these both, the system will automatically install – not just download – all updates. We don’t recommend this for most people as it tends to interrupt what you’re doing and gives updates first priority. These options are not enabled by default.

The fourth option is Install system data files and security updates. This is also enabled by default and we recommend that you let it be enabled. It pushes critical security patches to your Mac as soon as they are available, so it’s best have this on at all times.

This should answer your queries around automatic updates on macOS. For OS updates, macOS also lets you automatically install them late at night when you aren’t using the machine. This option pops up as a notification to install updates when you are working, but you can snooze that and have the updates installed at night.

For more tutorials, visit our How To section.

How to Reset or Hard Reboot an iPhone or iPad

Despite all of Apple’s engineering efforts, there are some times when your iPhone or iPad stops responding to your touch and you need to reset iPhone. And no matter how long you hold down the power button, the option to power off your phone just doesn’t show up. Essentially, the iPhone or iPad has hung due to a software bug, caused by either iOS itself, or a misbehaving app. In such a case, there’s a straightforward way around the problem. That involves forcing your iPhone or iPad to restart – called a reset or hard restart, and erroneously, even hard reset iPhone by some –  by holding down a combination of two buttons for 10 seconds or more, which will then clear all running processes and well, forcibly reboot the device. It’s not recommended that you do this unless your device is frozen, but sometimes it can be an essential last resort.

Starting with the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus, the Home button isn’t a physical button anymore. That’s why the button combination is different on those devices, as opposed to the older models before that.

How to reset/ hard reboot on iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus

This method works on the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus. To force your iPhone 7 or iPhone 7 Plus to hard reset aka reboot iPhone, press and hold down the Sleep/ Wake button on top of your device, and the volume down button on the side of the phone, until the screen goes black and Apple logo appears in the middle. This might take up to 20 seconds, so don’t let go until you see the Apple logo.

How to Reset or Hard Reboot an iPhone or iPadHow to reset/ hard reboot on older iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, iPhone SE, and older iPhone models

This method works on all iPhone and iPad models, except the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus. To force your iPhone or iPad to hard reboot aka reset, press and hold down the Home button (under the display) and the power button (or the Sleep/ Wake button, as Apple calls it) on top of the device, until the screen goes black and the Apple logo appears in the middle. This method works with the iPads as well.

Have you faced any problems resetting your iPhone or iPad? Tell us about your experience via the comments below.

For more tutorials, visit our How-To section.

Tech 101: USB Type-C – What it Is and What it Isn’t

In Part 1 of this story, we looked at the history of USB, the reasons that Type-C came into being, and the standards that make it what it is. In Part 2, we’ll talk about the added advantages of Type-C, and the practical effects it will have on our lives right now and in the long term.

For more news related to updates technology trends the visit this site, News Brochures.

Additional features and benefits
Beyond the potential bump up to 10Gbps speeds, Type-C allows for a whole raft of other features. The most important of these is the updated Power Delivery spec which allows devices to negotiate for up to 100W of power – ten times more than the 10W USB 3.0 was designed for. For desktop peripherals such as printers, this means separate power bricks could be dispensed with, and smaller devices will be able to charge a whole lot faster than they do now.

A single cable between a laptop or phone and a docking station could let the portable device send audio and video output and connect to networks and accessories such as hard drives and printers, while also receiving power. Multiple devices could be consolidated into one, reducing cable clutter. For example, Apple’s Thunderbolt Display already lets MacBook users do this with two cables – a possible future version with Type-C could reduce this to one. Eventually all kinds of desktop accessories could route power to our portable devices, and ports or card readers that can’t fit on devices themselves could be accommodated on the chargers we always carry around anyway.

Specific cables will be required for anything more than the basic 10W power level, for safety reasons. There are also larger implications, such as being able to run USB wiring around a house to eliminate the need for “wall-wart” adapters for charging small devices, but this is still a long way away.

usb_power_delivery_scale_usb-if.jpgUSB Alternate Modes will allow other protocols to ride over USB cables, potentially doing away with the need for their own ports and wires. HDMI, DisplayPort, MHL and DisplayLink are already on the list of supported standards, which means that devices supporting any of these modes will be able to work with each other through their USB ports, independent of USB traffic.

However, this there is going to be some confusion because of this. Having a USB Type-C connector is not the same as having a smaller HDMI port or DisplayPort built in, and doesn’t guarantee that a phone can be plugged in to a TV to play videos on it, for example. It is up to device makers to support any or all Alternate Modes, which they might or might not do for their own reasons. Users will have to understand which of their devices are capable of what.

The USB-IF has said it is working on “defining joint identification guidelines” that will hopefully help users know what they can and can’t do. Meanwhile, get ready to deal with an assortment of cables with USB Type-C on one end and HDMI, DisplayPort and various other potential mates on the other. Again, just being able to plug one device into another is no guarantee that they will work together.

usb_alternate_mode_vesa_dp.jpgThe current state of affairs
Nokia’s recently launched N1 tablet uses a Type-C USB connector but you’ll only be able to achieve USB 2.0 speeds when transferring data between the tablet and a host PC or a mounted drive. There’s no indication of whether it supports quick charging or any of the Alternate Mode features.

Motherboard manufacturers such as Asus and MSI have announced a raft of USB 3.1 refreshes, but very few models have the Type-C connector. Most feature two Type-A ports but again, there are caveats. They both branch off the same controller and so they share bandwidth – you’ll only be able to get the peak 10Gbps if you don’t use both ports at the same time . You’re also limited by the motherboard itself, and the amount of PCI-Express bandwidth available internally to the controller.

You also won’t be able to charge laptops from these ports because motherboards simply aren’t designed to route that much power around – to do this, some kind of bracket or adapter would be needed with its own feed from the PC’s power supply. Of course the power supply itself would need to have enough overhead to push out an extra 100W of power on demand, and this is an area in which cost-sensitive PC makers are not known to be generous.

The new Chromebook Pixel (2015) features two Type-C ports and you can use either one for charging and/or to charge smaller devices. Both ports will also allow DisplayPort and HDMI video output using adapters, according to Google. The device ships with a 60W charger but it will charge slowly from 10W USB power sources. Incidentally, Google has promised widespread Type-C support on future Nexus products and other devices.

chromebook_type-c_google.jpgYou could plug two Chromebooks into each other, but since devices are supposed to negotiate the amount of power they need when compatible sources are plugged in, we have no idea how that would work out.

And then of course there’s the shiny new MacBook. If any device is really going to push Type-C into the mass consciousness, it will be this one – it has a single Type-C port and no others. The new MacBook comes with a 39W charger and a cable with Type-C on both ends, but guess what? The cable will work for data transfers only at USB 2.0 speeds.

Apple is calling the port USB-C, which is bound to catch on. This might cause some confusion because it implies a new version of USB. However, Apple says the port supports “USB 3.1 Gen 1 (up to 5Gbps)” which, as we know, is no better than the speed of good-old USB 3.0.

apple_macbook_type-c_apple.jpgIf you want to plug anything else into your MacBook, you’ll need an adapter. Apple has already listed two, each of which breaks out into one Type-C port, one Type-A port, and either HDMI or VGA for video output. Each one costs $79 (approximately Rs. 5,000) and a simple USB 3.1 Type-A adapter costs $19 (approximately Rs. 1,200) – and Apple being Apple, you don’t get any of them in the box even when you spend up to $1,599 on a new MacBook.

The future
Thankfully USB (in all its forms) is an open standard and other companies will soon be selling similar accessories for much less. We expect to see dozens of USB Type-C devices from pen drives and HDDs to dongles, adapters, hubs, docks and chargers announced by mid-2015. SanDisk, Adata and LaCie are amongst the first to have announced products.

However, devices that rely on Alternate Mode functionality will simply not always work as you imagine they should. You’ll want to check specific device compatibility rather than relying on USB Type-C as a standard.

Multi-interface devices will probably be popular for a while, as Type-A and Micro-B aren’t going to disappear for at least another decade. And while Type-C adoption will hopefully be very quick, smartphones are unlikely to switch over from Micro-B in the immediate future. It took long enough for all the world’s manufacturers (but one) to standardise on Micro-USB, and with laws in place in the EU and other parts of the world, change will not come quickly.

sandisk_dualdrive_type-c_sandisk.jpgMeanwhile, other port standards such as Thunderbolt are likely to die out. Apple was really the only company that ever put much muscle behind it, and high licensing costs combined with a lack of appeal compared to USB 3.0 never let it gain much momentum. Additional USB ports would be more than welcome on the next revisions of all Mac hardware, and we don’t think anyone would mourn Thunderbolt for very long if it quietly went away.

Many devices could ditch their single-purpose ports such as HDMI and Ethernet. With cheap universally compatible adapters in wide circulation, slim devices wouldn’t have to sacrifice connectivity anymore. Docking stations could become popular in schools and public spaces, turning our phones or other portable devices into full-fledged workstations with a single wire.

For that matter, all our lives would be considerably improved if Apple replaced its proprietary Lightning interface with USB Type-C – though the company isn’t likely to give up its margins on accessory sales anytime soon.

The USB Type-C connector will solve a lot of problems for a lot of people, but it will also create a few new ones in the short term. We can only hope that Type-C will last through the next few USB speed revisions and we won’t have to deal with another connector type for a very long time.