- The Nex S (~$700) by Chinese smartphone maker Vivo is the very commercially available first all-screen (6.59-inch Super AMOLED display with a full-HD+ resolution) smartphone with no notch, no front earpiece speaker – it uses its Screen SoundCasting technology to turn the screen into a speaker – an under-the-display fingerprint scanner and an 8-megapixel selfie camera that pops up from inside the phone. Other features include a Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor, dual-SIM support, 128GB or 256GB of storage, a rear dual camera (12-megapixel and 5-megapixel), and a 4,000-mAh battery. At 8 mm thick, the Vivo NEX is just 0.3 mm thicker than the iPhone X. However, the virtual fingerprint scanner is slower than a physical one and doesn’t work all the time, and we will have to see how the pop-up mechanism survives the test of time.
- For the second quarter in a row, the iPhone X remained the world’s most popular smartphone. For the first 3 months of this year, Apple sold between 12.7 and 16 million iPhone Xs according to estimates from IHS Markit and Strategy Analytics, respectively. For Strategy Analytics, the iPhone X was closely followed by the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus which shipped 12.5 million and 8.3 million units, respectively, and then followed by the iPhone 7 with 5.6 million units. IHS Markit also ranked the iPhone 8 second, followed by the $116 Samsung Galaxy Grand Prime Plus and the iPhone 8 Plus. However, this will certainly change during the current quarter, when sales of the Samsung S8 will surpass iPhone X shipments and become the world’s best-selling Android smartphone globally in the second quarter of 2018.
- Overall, Samsung was the best selling smartphone manufacturer last quarter with 78 million units, according to Counterpoint Research, followed by Apple (52.2 million), Huawei/Honor (39.3 million), Xiaomi (27 million), Oppo (22 million), Vivo (19.5 million) and LG (11.4 million). Interestingly, despite a 14% decline of the Chinese smartphone market last quarter, Apple’s market share in China grew 32% year-over-year while most of the other local smartphone makers saw theirs declined, forcing them to look at other growing markets like India, Southeast Asia, Middle East, Africa, Europe and Latin America.
- Shenzhen-based OnePlus, a sister company of Vivo and Oppo and part of the BKK Electronics conglomerate, announced that they sold 1 million OnePlus 6 (~$530) in less than a month (22 days to be exact). In comparison, it took 3 months to reach the same milestone for the 2 previous OnePlus phones, while Apple sold more than 3 million iPhone X in just 22 days last quarter.
- Apple confirmed that starting with the next generation of its mobile operating system (iOS 12), expected in the fall, it will deactivate the data function of an iPhone lightning/USB port if the device has not been unlocked in the past hour. This “USB Restricted Mode” will prevent anyone (mostly law enforcement agencies) to crack into an iPhone using the lightning port and siphon all of its data.
- App of the week: the Lumen Privacy Monitor is a VPN application for Android that monitors applications on the device for connections to servers tracking users and collecting data.
Joining me this week to discuss these top mobile news stories and more is tech veteran Eric Leandri, the co-founder and CEO of search-engine Qwant.
Author: Jean Baptiste is a Vice-President and Principal Analyst at Atherton Research, a global technology intelligence firm helping clients deliver successful go-to-market strategies.