Trending February 2024 # Why Are Smartphone Sales Declining? # Suggested March 2024 # Top 6 Popular

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The smartphone era has led to an explosion of innovation, from more gimmicky things like fingerprint scanners to the uncanny ability to fit an incredible amount of computing power in a tiny space that’s occupied mostly by a screen and a battery. The amount of “new” seems to be running out, however, as manufacturers in 2023 are having trouble attracting new buyers. Although the reasons behind it are not in the data, one could draw a clear conclusion as to why fewer people are buying smartphones than they did last year.

The Data

Gartner published an analysis for the final quarter of 2023, the time of the year when people go on enough holiday shopping frenzies to empty stocks everywhere. Compared to 2024’s final quarter, the following year saw a decline of 5.6 percent. This is the first-ever decline in sales recorded by Gartner in the smartphone industry.

This may not seem like much, but when you’re expecting hundreds of millions of sales, the losses could amount to tens of millions of dollars.

At the consumer level, however, not a lot would change. Companies would simply reduce the number of smartphones they manufacture if demand falls.

Why This Is Important

Although we don’t really know what caused the decline in sales, we can safely boil it down to two different trends. By no means could we ascribe this dip to a lack of interest in smartphones, as they have become incredibly ubiquitous in modern society.

However, PCs are also ubiquitous. And even so, their sales figures are not nearly at the levels they were in the late 90s and early 2000s. At some point disruptive technologies will plateau, not in popularity but in purchases.

According to Gartner, two things are happening:

Fewer people are upgrading from “dumb” phones to smartphones due to a lack of high-quality ultra-cheap smartphones.

People who own smartphones are already choosing to take better care of them and making smarter purchases of phones that would not succumb as easily to obsolescence.

Consumer choices for the most part in the first half of the 2010s involved a preference for new, shiny features. But consumer decisions don’t happen in a vacuum. They evolve over time.

As people grew more immune to the noise that flagship manufacturers were making about the flashiness of their new phones, they began making savvier choices. Some of these people will stop buying a new phone every one or two years just to have the latest gear.

This happens as soon as smartphones are viewed less as status symbols and more as tools.

Although this event marked a slight drop in sales, we could expect the growth to plateau at some point in time when interest in having the most cutting-edge technology drops.

On the other hand, this would also lead application developers to think more about how to make their apps more resource-friendly just like they started doing as people stopped buying brand new PCs all the time.

Miguel Leiva-Gomez

Miguel has been a business growth and technology expert for more than a decade and has written software for even longer. From his little castle in Romania, he presents cold and analytical perspectives to things that affect the tech world.

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Why The Haptics In Your Smartphone Matter

Luke Pollack / Android Authority

You probably didn’t buy your latest smartphone with its haptic feedback in mind, but there’s a good chance you’ve noticed it. The quality of haptics on offer varies across the board. For every iPhone or OnePlus phone with tight-as-a-drum feedback, there are seemingly a dozen phones with vague, buzzy vibrations that make you want to disable the feature altogether.

But how much does it matter? More than you might think. It’s not just a reflection of your phone’s quality — in some cases, it can improve the functionality of the phone. Here are a few reasons why you’ll want to consider haptics an important feature the next time you’re shopping for a handset.

Haptic feedback makes your phone easier to use

David Imel / Android Authority

Haptics are an acknowledgment that you’ve performed a task, like typing on the keyboard or reaching the end of a list. That, by itself, is tremendously useful in practice. You’ll know when to stop scrolling, when a pull-to-refresh command worked (particularly helpful for social networks), or whether you missed a key. In the best-case scenario, they can even save you from looking at the screen.

Great haptics elevate the quality of a phone and encourage companies to think holistically about design.

The better the haptics, the more intuitive your phone becomes. On an iPhone, for instance, the subtle tick-tick-tick of scrolling through a pull-down menu makes it easier to stop exactly on the item you want. Think of good haptics as improving responsiveness in the same way a high refresh rate display does — they reduce the time you spend navigating your phone.

That interaction can even be crucial for accessibility. If you’re visually impaired, haptic vibrations may be the best way to confirm button presses or find your way around the interface. Both Apple and Google consider physical feedback an important aid when audiovisual cues aren’t options. These vibrations can notify you of a call or error message that you’d otherwise miss. In that light, good haptics can be all-important for certain people.

They sweeten your experience

Robert Triggs / Android Authority

There’s also a simpler, harder-to-quantify reason to seek out improved haptic feedback: it makes your phone more enjoyable. Haptic feedback came about in part to provide livelier interaction than you’d get touching “dead” glass. Why shouldn’t it be as sophisticated as possible?

A good haptic system, whether it’s the iPhone’s Taptic Engine or the motors in HUAWEI’s Mate 40 Pro, creates a more immersive experience. Your phone feels more like it’s responding to you, or even working in harmony with you. While it would be a stretch to say your phone comes alive, good haptics can make it feel like more than a hunk of glass and metal. The technology is even, dare we say it, fun — you might want to scroll through a list or type a lengthy message just to feel those subtle thumps and taps. Plus, it can make a huge difference to the mobile gaming experience.

See also: Advanced haptics are coming to Android

Like we said at the beginning, haptic feedback can skew your perception of a device. Subtle, precise feedback can boost the perceived quality of a phone, even if it’s not a premium-priced model. A system that buzzes and rattles, meanwhile, can make even the most expensive handset seem cheap. Ultimately, it reflects attention to detail. If a company is thoughtful enough to make your phone’s tactile response a delight, there’s a good chance it devoted the same consideration to the rest of the hardware.

As such, we should encourage our favorite phone brands to put more effort into haptic feedback. It not only elevates the quality of a phone, but it also encourages companies to think holistically about design. You might get a better-made device even if you don’t particularly care for haptics, and it may make you appreciate the technology where you didn’t before.

Microsoft To End Lumia Smartphone Sales By The End Of This Year

Microsoft to end Lumia smartphone sales by the end of this year

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Nokia Lumia production will cease by the end of 2024 reports WinBeta.

It’s no secret that Microsoft has been trying to liquidate its remaining Lumia assets by offering giveaways, buy-one-get-one offers and discounts as of late. Microsoft also slowed the release of Lumia handsets down over the years because of faltering sales and lackluster market performance.

The most recent Lumia releases range from a low-range model, a mid-range model and two flagships:

Lumia 550

Lumia 650

Lumia 950

Lumia 950 XL

Lumia rolled out as a Microsoft phone back in 2011 and stood out with its clean, smooth UI and display of information without having to open several apps. The first phone released in the range was the Nokia Lumia 800 which ran Windows Phone 7.5. Lumia phones running Windows 8 were released in 2012, Windows 8.1 in 2014 and Windows Phone 10 in 2024.

The phone thrived somewhat under Nokia’s supervision and generated notable market revenue but in 2013, Microsoft bought Nokia’s shares and assimilated the Lumia brand into a bigger company name. Lumia handsets began rolling out with Microsoft brand logo in 2014 while the Nokia logo was left on production models. Though the merger didn’t go so well after new CEO Satya Nadella fired several employees, it ultimately ended up deteriorating the brand.

Microsoft started offering its Lumia devices on its Microsoft Store website and in physical stores at more than reasonable prices and offers, which is kind of worrying. Several people have stated the physical Microsoft Stores have been moving their sale of Windows phone collections into smaller areas and out of the way from customers. As for the online international website, all links to the Lumia range have been removed from the homepage in the US, and the company replaced Lumia with Windows phones on other regional sites. When Winbeta sources tried reaching out to the company for recent developments on the matter, they refused to give away anything, saying that they “have nothing to share” at the moment. This also suggests to keeping you eyes open for latest Windows phone releases at the Microsoft Store.

Lumia phones, powered by Windows OS, were only able to attain a total three percent market share in Europe. The Lumia series produced a few bright stars with models like the Nokia Lumia 920 and the Nokia Lumia 1020 with its 41MP Carl Zeiss primary camera with OIS.  It was an attempt by Microsoft to breathe new life into the brand that had been lifeless for so long. Principally, the entire OS was built from scratch and ran a lighter version of Windows 10. It was also bundled with the Universal Windows Platform which made scaling on mobile, desktop, tablet, and Xbox One possible. With the introduction of Continuum support, users could plug-in their Windows 10 devices to a screen and run a lighter version of the OS.

What is Microsoft planning next? Is it the end of Windows phone era? Luckily, there is still a ray of hope for Windows phone lovers. With the end of Lumia declared in December 2024, Microsoft is planning to release its two major updates, Redstone 2 and Redstone 3, both of which are focused on Windows mobile phones; the former in early 2023 and the latter after a breach of a few months. Windows phone lovers are firmly grasping on the hope for the rumored Surface all-in-one release, a superior replacement for the previously terminated Lumia phones.

Expert tip:

Between the discontinuation of Lumia and the release of the Surface device, Microsoft’s Director of Engineering Laura Butler, who was recently involved in several Windows Insider planning meetings for Redstone 2, has left some hints on Twitter about a Surface phone. The tweets might not be a solid confirmation, but are certainly enough to raise some speculation.

@TehJackuh @itsmichaelwest @zacbowden Surface Phone not NOT confirmed. 🙂

— Laura Janet Butler (@LauraCatPJs) September 7, 2024

The use of a double-negative, “not NOT,” doesn’t help much either. This is one of a few tweets, though:

@itsmichaelwest @zacbowden Surface iPhone. 😉

— Laura Janet Butler (@LauraCatPJs) September 6, 2024

We must say it is a little astounding to see a senior Microsoft authority figure stating the term Surface phone directly.

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Best Smartphone Deals Between Rs. 6,000 And Rs. 16,000 From Amazon And Flipkart Sales

Ahead of the sale, both the e-com portals have revealed most of the offers on smartphones. So, if you are planning to buy a new smartphone during this sale season, we have compiled a list of best smartphones’ deals from both the sales.

Rs. 6,000 Micromax Yu Ace

If you are planning to buy a budget phone this season, there are a number of smartphones available in the market. However, Micromax’s Yu Ace is the best deal if your budget is Rs. 6,000. The latest smartphone from the domestic company comes with several new features like 5.45-inch HD+ 18:9 display, MediaTek 6739WW processor with 2GB RAM, 13MP rear camera, 4000mAh battery, and stock Android 8.1 Oreo.

Rs. 7,000 Realme C1

If you have Rs. 1,000 extra then you can go for the Realme C1. In this segment, this is the new Hero Phone because of its features at such a low price. The latest phone from Oppo’s sub-brand comes with features like a 6.2-inch HD+ notch display, octa-core Snapdragon 450, 13MP+2MP dual rear camera, face unlock and a big 4230mAh battery.

Rs. 8,000 Xiaomi Redmi 6

Next, for the Rs. 8,000 segment, our Hero Phone is Xiaomi Redmi 6. The company refreshed it’s Redmi series in India just last month with the launch of Redmi 6 and two other phones. The Redmi 6 comes with features like 5.45-inch HD+ 18:9 display, a new 12nm Helio P22 chipset with 3GB RAM, 12MP+5MP dual rear camera, and 3000mAh battery.

The Redmi 6 is available at Rs. 7,999 on Flipkart.

Rs. 9,000 Xiaomi Redmi Y2

Xiaomi has announced up to Rs. 2,000 discount on its selfie centric phone-Redmi Y2. The Redmi Y2 3GB/32GB model is the best deal in Rs. 9,000. The smartphone comes with features like 5.99-inch HD+ 18:9 display, Snapdragon 625 chipset, 12MP+5MP dual rear camera, and 16MP front camera.

The Redmi Y2 is available at Rs. 8,999 on Amazon.

Rs. 10,000 Zenfone Max Pro M1

You can buy Zenfone Max Pro M1 3GB/32GB at Rs. 9,999 during the Flipkart sale.

Rs. 11,000 Nokia 5.1 Plus

The first phone that can be listed in the Rs. 11,000 segment is Nokia 5.1 Plus. HMD Global announced this phone back in August but it went on sale just last month. The smartphone is now available with Rs. 500 discount and has features like 5.8-inch HD+ notch display, MediaTek Helio P60 processor with 3GB RAM, 13MP+5MP rear camera, and stock Android 8.1 Oreo with Android One program.

Realme 1

Our next hero phone for the Rs. 11,000 category is Realme 1. Though the phone is older as Realme has launched two more models since then, but it is the best deal under Rs. 11,000. The key features of the smartphone are 6-inch FHD+ Display, Helio P60 processor with 4GB RAM, 13MP rear camera and 3410mAh battery.

You can buy Realme 1 at Rs. 10,490 on Amazon.

Rs. 12,000 Honor 9N

Coming to the Rs. 12,000 segment, our hero phone here is Honor 9N. Huawei’s smartphone brand launched this phone back in July in India. It features a notch display with FHD+ resolution, is powered by Kirin 659 chipset with 3GB RAM, sports 13MP+2MP dual rear camera and a 16MP front camera. It looks classy with its glass back.

You can buy Honor 9N 3GB variant for Rs. 11,999 on Flipkart.

Rs. 13,000 Redmi Note 5 Pro

You can buy Redmi Note 5 Pro 4GB/64GB at Rs. 12,999 during Flipkart sale.

Rs. 14,000 Realme 2 Pro

For the Rs. 14,000 segment, our Hero Phone is Realme 2 Pro. Although there is currently no discount on this phone, however, because of its features it is the best deal under Rs. 14k. The key features of the Realme 2 Pro include 6.3-inch FHD+ dewdrop notch display, powerful Snapdragon 660 chipset with 4GB RAM, 16MP+2MP dual rear camera, 16MP front camera, and 3500mAh battery.

You can buy the Realme 2 Pro 4GB variant at Rs. 13,990 on Flipkart.

Rs. 15,000 Nokia 6.1 Plus

The first hero phone under Rs. 15k segment is Nokia 6.1 Plus. The phone was launched back in August with several new features at Rs. 15,999. But, this is now available with Rs. 1,000 discount on Flipkart. It has key features like 5.8-inch FHD+ notch display, glass back, Snapdragon 636 chipset with 4GB RAM, 16MP+5MP rear camera, and stock Android 8.1 Oreo with Android One.

You can purchase Nokia 6.1 Plus at Rs. 14,999 during Flipkart‘s sale.

Mi A2

Another phone in Rs. 15k segment is Xiaomi Mi A2. The second Android One phone from Xiaomi now comes with Rs. 2000 discount for the first time. The key features of the Mi A2 include 5.99-inch FHD+ 18:9 display, Snapdragon 660 chipset with 4GB RAM, 12MP+20MP dual rear camera, 20MP front camera, and Android 8.1 Oreo with Android One.

Rs. 16,000 Motorola One Power

Our last category is Rs. 16k. In this segment, we came up with one phone that has not even got discount during the sale. However, Motorola One Power is the best deal under Rs. 16k. The latest phone from Motorola comes with features like 6.2-inch FHD+ notch display, Snapdragon 636 chipset with 4GB RAM, 16MP+5MP rear camera, 12MP front camera, 5000mAh battery, and Android 8.1 Oreo with Android One.

You can purchase Motorola One Power at Rs. 15,999 via Flipkart.

Why More People Are Choosing Ubuntu

It’s been my observation that Ubuntu fans are thrilled that the distribution is seeing adoption not only with end users, but also from companies like Valve in the gaming space. Bundle this with the rumor that Microsoft Office could make a Ubuntu version in 2014, and you find that Ubuntu seems unstoppable.

Sadly though, some in the Linux community are less than impressed with the distro. Some Linux enthusiasts find themselves rehashing old arguments in that Ubuntu is spreading itself too thin. While others simply dislike the distribution for their own personal reasons. Regardless of how any of us feel, the fact is that Ubuntu is succeeding in areas where the Linux desktop has failed previously.

In this article, we’ll explore why Ubuntu is succeeding, why some folks dislike Ubuntu and how this affects (or doesn’t affect) other Linux distributions.

Another area where Ubuntu nailed it early on was attracting power users and newbies alike into the fold of Ubuntu’s development. This meant that existing users would remain satisfied with what Ubuntu had to offer, while newer users wouldn’t be intimidated by confusing menus and extras that are better suited for enterprise admins than casual end users.

It’s interesting to note that early versions of Ubuntu dating as far back as Ubuntu 5.04 offered tools like the network manager, which made connecting to your local network a snap. At that time, other distributions were all over the map, with some of them using control panel-centric settings for this basic functionality. Very early on, Ubuntu was focused on bringing forth needed functionality to the end user without making them to dig for it. This is where Ubuntu was able to differentiate itself from the other distributions. Even the other newbie-friendly options relied too heavily on convoluted desktop environments and settings tucked away out of easy reach at the time.

Bearing in mind that I will receive a bucket of hate mail over my next statements, history agrees with my sentiment. When Ubuntu selected the Gnome desktop for its users, nearly all the other newbie-friendly distributions at the time were based on KDE. Now I agree that both desktop environments have evolved a lot over the years. However, at the time, the Ubuntu developers felt that Gnome was the least convoluted desktop out there. KDE was complete overkill for the casual user who didn’t need fifteen ways to access the same thing on their desktop. Back then, KDE was better suited for power users and Gnome, with some tweaking, offered a far simpler experience.

There is no denying that KDE had two things going for it back then. First, it looked a little bit like Windows. So some thought this would make the transition easier.

Second, KDE was — and still is — vastly more attractive to look at upon initial installation. One doesn’t need to tweak KDE to make it pretty.

Where Gnome shined, however, was that it was brain-dead simple to navigate. Application and menu navigation were very straightforward, and at no time would users be presented with choices that they might not understand. Again, I believe this was the reason behind the decision to use Gnome over KDE for early revisions of Ubuntu.

Why Remote Workers Are More Productive

Allowing employees to work remotely can increase their productivity.

Research shows that employees working remotely can save $4,500 on commuting costs annually.

One of the most effective ways workers can stay productive is by taking breaks throughout the day. 

This article is for business owners who want to learn more about remote worker productivity. 

Tech developments paved the way for many employees and business owners to work from home for years, and the pandemic prompted a sharp increase in remote work. Working at home is now the norm for many Americans, but is this working arrangement productive? 

Research from Ergotron says yes. Researchers polled 1,000 remote and hybrid employees in the U.S. about their productivity, wellness and other life facets. They found that working from home improves work-life balance, increases productivity and fosters healthier lifestyles. It’s a win-win situation that workers relish for its flexibility.

We’ll look at how working from home boosts productivity and how to stay efficient while managing working relationships remotely.

How does working from home increase productivity?

With all the modern comforts of home beckoning our attention, it would be understandable if employers saw a productivity dip in remote workers. However, the opposite is true. In fact, remote workers appear to be working longer hours while enjoying a healthier work-life balance and reduced stress. 

Remote workers are working longer hours. Ergotron’s study found that 40% of employees work longer hours at home than when in the office. And data from the National Bureau of Economic Research shows these extended workdays are, on average, about 48.5 minutes longer. For full-time employees, this time could add up to more than 193 additional working hours in a year.

Remote workers have an improved work-life balance. Perhaps surprisingly, at the same time, 75% of Egotron survey respondents said their work-life balance has improved since they’ve been working from home. In fact, data from Future Forum corroborates this notion. In April 2023, Future Forum found that remote employees have twice as much work-life balance as full-time office workers.

Remote workers experience less stress. A 2023 Nitro study also identified trends toward reduced workplace stress among remote workers. In that study, 29% of remote respondents said they were moderately stressed at work, down from 33% in 2023 when office work was the norm. The study also showed the number of employees who felt “extremely” stressed while working has declined. This figure fell from 17% in 2023 to 15% in 2023 as work shifted from in person to at home.

Did You Know?

Fostering a positive work-life balance is a way to keep employees happy – and happier employees are more creative, work smarter and are more productive.

How can workers become more productive at home?

While remote employees report decreased stress levels, workplace stress, pressure and anxiety haven’t dissipated entirely. As remote employees work longer days, balancing their work and life responsibilities is crucial to their mental health and the business’s success. 

Here are some tips to help employees combat stress while maintaining their productivity.

1. Take breaks to reduce stress and boost productivity.

Remote workers often take fewer breaks than their in-office colleagues, but taking breaks is one of the most effective ways for remote employees to stay productive. 

Encourage your workers to get up periodically during the workday, especially when they’re particularly drained or distracted. They can grab a healthy snack, take a walk, call a friend, meditate, etc. 

Many people find success using the Pomodoro Technique, which follows this method:

Choose a task.

Work on it for 25 minutes.

Put a checkmark on a sheet of paper after the 25-minute period ends.

Take a five-minute break. (This marks the completion of one “Pomodoro” sprint.)

After every four Pomodoro sprints, take a longer break.

Continue this throughout the day until your workday is over. 

This technique can help your employees decompress and come back more focused.

2. Follow a schedule for a more productive day.

Another technique to help employees stay productive at home is designating set work hours. Encourage employees to maintain the same schedule they did when they worked in the office. Following a routine will help your workers feel more structured and efficient, and it will help keep their attention focused.

Tip

Help remote employees figure out their most productive work times and plan their tasks around these productivity peaks.

3. Use optimized tools to boost productivity. 

According to the Nitro report, many employees found that some tasks became slightly more challenging after transitioning to remote work. That was true even of simple tasks such as signing and editing PDF documents. 

Ensure your remote team has the proper tools to do their jobs away from the office. For example, host short training sessions on specific software applications, implement remote business collaboration apps and install remote working tools that foster communication. 

Tip: The best remote PC access software can help remote employees get assistance from in-office IT team members and resolve tech issues quickly. 

4. Keep a to-do list to stay productive.

To-do lists can help increase productivity among remote employees. Encourage employees to use small business organization apps to note what they wish to accomplish daily so they’re not jumping from assignment to assignment. 

When you and your team work remotely, communication is critical. Set daily or weekly meetings to discuss and prioritize projects and set deadlines so you can stay on track.

5. Eliminate distractions to stay focused and productive.

Distracted workers cost businesses time and money. While the Nitro report suggests that remote employees have more control over their workdays than in-office employees, distractions can still arise at home. 

Text messages, phone calls and social media are all distractions at-home employees may face. Encourage remote workers to silence their phones, create a workspace that improves productivity and stay away from areas of their home that may tempt them to direct their attention elsewhere. 

Tip

Consider using one of the best employee monitoring solutions to ensure remote workers are productive and safe.

Tip

Read our reviews of the best video conferencing services to find a system that fits your needs and budget.

Tip

Reliable home internet is essential for remote workers who need a consistent connection to stay productive. Compare internet providers in your area to find the best plan for your needs.

Bringing new meaning to “out of office”

As trends emerge around work environments, employees and employers are finding new ways to keep productivity levels high. Allowing employees to work remotely can boost their morale while ensuring your company meets – or exceeds – its previous efficiency rates. And with these tips to further increase your remote employees’ productivity, your team can accomplish new goals while enjoying their time at your company.

Sammi Caramela contributed to the reporting and writing in this article.

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