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Most people would think that the iPad is still the tablet sales king, but things have changed - and they've only changed in the last month. According to the latest data from 1010data Ecom Insights Panel, iPad sales plummeted in the last month, from a decent 35% or so market share to just 17%.
Microsoft seems to have taken over, with September's market share numbers for the Surface sitting at around 24%, aby skyrocketed to 45% last month. Why? Well, Microsoft did launch its new Windows 10-powered Surface Pro 4 tablet, which is a pretty damn good tablet - especially compared to the much more casual iPad - and even the bigger, 12.9-inch iPad Pro (which still runs iOS).
The more surprising thing here is that Apple took a huge hit to their tablet market share domination, and it only took one device launch from Microsoft, and one month to do so. It proves that Microsoft has something truly great on their hands with Surface, which excites me to see what we'll see in the future from the company, especially with HoloLens in the oven.
It appears the North Korean government has cracked down on mobile phone access to foreigners living inside the reclusive country. Foreign residents have been blocked from accessing 3G networks, while North Korean citizens remain unable to visit Internet websites outside of the country. Foreign visitors have the ability to purchase 3G mobile SIM cards, with access only lasting about the same amount of time as their visit.
"Unfortunately we are facing Internet service outage from the local Internet provider's side with no estimated time, we will keep you posted once the service is back to normal," according to a memo sent to subscribers of the Koryolink mobile provider.
The block started on Friday local time, and it's unknown what caused the sudden restriction. Of the country's 24 million residents, about 2.5 million of them are currently phone subscribers. There is concern that users with access to the Internet will find unrestricted information, which can be shared with other residents.
If ASUS wants to purchase HTC, then it's going to have to dig in for a fight - because HTC doesn't have any interest in being acquired.
Here is what HTC said in a public statement: "We strongly deny the news. We didn't contact ASUS and will not consider the acquisition. As an international brand, HTC will continue to design world-class innovative smart devices through its pursuit of brilliance brand promise."
As Samsung, Google, Huawei, Lenovo and other manufacturers find success in releasing Android-based smartphones, HTC - which once enjoyed comfort in the evolving smartphone market - has struggled in recent quarters. To make matters worse, the Apple iPhone is seeing strong demand in China, a market that HTC once was able to fall back on.
The announcement of the OnePlus Two smartphone can't be far away, with the latest rumor from MyDrivers teasing that the company will launch the OnePlus Two smartphone in July, for just $322.
Internal sources of the site hve said that it will launch next month for 1999 Yuan, which roughly converts to $322 USD. We don't know if this price will translate exactly the same to the US, but if it's priced at under $400, this is going to be one of the hottest smartphones of the year.
Do you have $91,000 spare to blow on a smartphone? Too bad. Someone else shelled out a couple of house deposits on the Samsung Galaxy S6 edge Iron Man Limited Edition smartphone.
JD.com, China's second largest e-commerse retailer, auctioned off just one of the Galaxy S6 edge Iron Man Limited Edition smartphones, with a huge 92,429 bids received, the final price was $91,635. At $91,635, this lucky bidder spent nearly 100 times what the phone retails for, at $1079.
While I love the Galaxy S6 edge, you'd have to be very wealthy - Tony Stark rich - to spend nearly $100,000 on a smartphone. But, what a collector's item, eh?
Smartphone maker BlackBerry is reportedly interested in using Google Android on its upcoming smartphone, according to multiple sources speaking to Reuters. The company doesn't even control one percent of the current smartphone market, with constant rumors that it would just abandon phone development.
BlackBerry is fighting for its survival in the smartphone market, with users choosing Android and Apple iOS - and would be a complete reversal of BlackBerry's desire to use its own mobile OS. If BlackBerry can focus on device management and software, instead of the mobile OS, it will be able to free up resources for future development.
"We don't comment on rumors and speculation, but we remain committed to the BlackBerry 10 operating system, which provides security and productivity benefits that are unmatched," a BlackBerry spokesperson told Reuters.
HTC is in trouble once again, with the Taiwanese smartphone manufacturer cutting its sales forecast by as much as 35%, with plans to write off $94 million of "impaired assets", writes Bloomberg.
HTC shares have dropped by 9.9%, the lowest they've been since May 2005. Slowing demand and weaker sales in China have reportedly been to blame, with HTC set to record a loss for the current quarter. Jasmine Lu, an analyst with Morgan Stanley said: "The magnitude and timing should disappoint the market and deepen investors' concerns over rapidly deteriorating fundamentals and management credibility".
It seems that even the One M9 smartphone wasn't enough to help HTC out of its slump, but with the Vive VR headset coming out this year, will it be enough to help HTC?
Apple CEO Tim Cook predicted that "2015 will be the year of Apple Pay," as the company launched its mobile payment ecosystem.
The Apple PR machine has discussed Apple Pay successes: "We've spoken to all of the top 100 merchants in the U.S., and about half will accept Apple Pay this year, with many more the following year," an Apple spokesperson informed Reuters.
However, analysts, retailers and industry experts think there is far too much optimism being displayed by Apple - with less than a quarter of retailers currently accepting Apple Pay. Just four of the 98 retailers in the National Retail Federation top 100 US retailers will adopt Apple Pay within the next year.
Apple is expected to announce that its expanding Apple Pay into England over the summer, according to industry sources speaking with The Telegraph.
To help expand Apple Pay, Apple negotiated with financial institutions and retailers to get agreements in place. Details related to retail partners and app announcements will likely take place on Monday.
Here in the United States, Apple - and other companies trying to promote mobile payments - still want to win over consumers. Even though a lot of us are familiar with it, we're just not ready to fully adopt mobile payments. I'll be curious to see if iPhone owners across the pond will be able to woo shoppers.
Chinese based smartphone manufacturer Nubia has released its 2015 flagship device in a recently issued press release - the borderless Nubia Z9.
Based on Android, this phone offers a 16 MP camera with image stabilization, fingerprint sensor technology and a release date of Q3 2015 in the United States. Said to be priced between $564 - $725 on release, this phone certainly looks promising.
The boarderless design includes a 5.2-inch full HD screen and Refractive Conduction Technology in order to provide what it claims is "more dazzling visual effects than any other smartphone of similar size."