Five gadgets to look out for this year

Sennheiser AMBEO soundbar

Sennheiser has launched its new AMBEO soundbar, designed to deliver 3D sound that places the listener inside the sound experience. Thirteen drivers and virtualisation technology deliver 5.1.4 surround sound without additional speakers.

LG rollable OLED TV


Janitors at this China lenses firm are becoming millionaires thanks to this stock’s 9,500% rally

HONG KONG / SHANGHAI (June 6): At most big companies, it’s pretty clear who the millionaires are: top executives, rainmakers, science whizzes with PhDs.

But at China’s Sunny Optical Technology Group -- whose stock has climbed faster than any other in MSCI Inc.’s global indexes over the past decade -- the richest employees are just as likely to be factory workers, janitors and cafeteria chefs.

Samsung Electronics forecasts fourth-quarter profit at over three-year high

Samsung Galaxy Note 7

SEOUL (Jan 6): Samsung Electronics Co Ltd said on Friday its fourth-quarter profit likely leapt 50% from a year earlier to its highest level in more than three years, beating expectations on strong chip sales and a smartphone rebound.

The upbeat outlook comes despite a slight fall in revenue and the anticipated US$2.1 billion ($3 billion) profit hit from the withdrawal of the fire-prone Galaxy Note 7 premium smartphone in October.


How Apple lost China to two unknown local smartphone makers

Mobile World Congress in Shanghai, China

BEIJING (Nov 23): Two years ago, Oppo and Vivo couldn’t crack the top five in China’s smartphone market. Now they outrank everyone after elbowing Apple aside, thanks to people like Cheng Xiaoning.

Cheng runs a thriving electronics store in the rural town of Miaoxia, tapping into her WeChat social media account to promote the brands that pay the biggest commission, and in her case that’s Oppo and Vivo. While such payments start at about 40 yuan ($8.30), they escalate for more expensive handsets and reach almost 200 yuan for Oppo’s high-end smartphones.


Samsung Note 7 fires risk hurting demand for other products

Samsung Note 7

SEOUL (Oct 5): Kong Tse has seen first-hand how the global uproar over flammable Samsung Note 7 smartphones is playing out with consumers. The 26-year-old, who hawks devices in the warrens of Hong Kong’s Wanchai Computer Center, says sales of the company’s handsets have tumbled 30% since the controversy began, including the high-end S7 Edge.

“Once betrayed, eight times avoided,” says the tousle-haired salesman, invoking a local saying while leaning against the counter in a tiny shop for Well Go Telecom. “They’ve lost a lot of trust.”


Apple's iPhone 7 more expensive to make: IHS Markit

Apple iPhone 7

BENGALURU (Sept 21): Apple Inc is spending more to manufacture its iPhone 7 smartphone than predecessor iPhone 6S due to features such as a bigger battery and larger storage capacity, according to a teardown by IHS Markit Ltd.

Including US$5 ($6.80) in basic manufacturing costs, total cost to manufacture the iPhone 7 mobile rises to US$224.80, US$36.89 higher than the business research provider's estimates for the iPhone 6S.

Apple retails an unsubsidized 32GB iPhone 7 at US$649.


Worldwide smartphone market flat but Huawei grew by 64% in 1Q, says IDC

SINGAPORE (June 16): Huawei, harbouring ambitions to overtake Samsung and Apple to become the world’s largest smartphone maker, has shipped 28.3 million units in the first quarter this year, up 64% y-o-y, even as overall market stayed flat.

According to IDC, worldwide shipment of smartphones in 1Q this year was 334.9 million units, barely budging from the 334.3 million shipped a year earlier. Huawei now boasts a worldwide market share of 8.5%, according to IDC.


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