Kantar Worldpanel: iOS Gains Share in Mainland Europe

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Apple gains smartphone OS share in the 5 biggest European markets in the 3 months ending August 2017, Kantar Worldpanel reports-- specifically an increase of 1.2% Y-o-Y, as held back by Great Britain.

Samsung iPhoneAccording to the analyst, while Germany, France, Italy and Spain post iOS growth, Samsung boosted Android growth in Great Britain as the Galaxy S8 and J8 sold well while the flagship Apple smartphones lost momentum ahead to the new iPhone announcement. That said, the decline was "offset slightly" by strong iPhone SE sales.

“Samsung took full advantage of the weeks just before the iPhone 8 and iPhone X were released in Great Britain, with significant promotional activity that helped drive its overall share to a three-year high of 38.4% for the three months ending August 2017,”  Kantar says. “More than 1 in 4 Galaxy S8 buyers cited a specific promotion as a key purchase influencer, and almost half said that a good deal on the price of the phone was key to their purchase. Both of these metrics experienced a large increase over the last 2 months of the period.”

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Future iPhone to Get Stylus?

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The late Steve Jobs was never subtle about his dislike for styluses, but if rumours are correct Apple is considering adding such functionality in a future iPhone.

iPad Pro stylusAccording to Korean publication The Investor, a stylus-compatible iPhone might hit the market as early as 2019. Apple is allegedly already "in talks with a couple of stylus makers for a partnership," while the current A-series chip should receive a "drastic upgrade" to better support handwriting functions.

“Apple had to compromise on some touch performance of the latest iPhone X largely due to the less advanced chipset," the unnamed source claims.

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Apple Irish Datacentre Gets Approval

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The Irish High Court has a decision on Apple's plan to build a datacentre in the country, Reuters reports-- construction can go ahead, bringing relief for both the iPhone maker and the Irish government.

Apple Ireland datacentreApple announced it was going to invest €850 million in a datacentre in Derrydonnell, Galway county back in February 2015. The local council gave planning permission 6 months later but a series of appeals blocked the works for over 2 years.

Most recently residents attempted to stop the construction on November 2016, as they insisted the permission granted by the An Bord Pleanála planning authority was invailid. According to the allegations, the authority failed to do a proper impact assessment. This lead to Apple (successfully) asking the High Court to fast-track the case.

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Microsoft Confirms End of Windows Phone

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Microsoft OS designer Joe Belfiore takes to Twitter to confirm what many already suspected-- work on Windows Mobile is officially over, bringing an end to the Microsoft-powered smartphone.

Windows PhoneBelfiore does say existing support phones will continue to receive bug fixes and security updates, but Microsoft is not working on new software features or hardware. This was to be expected, considering how new development builds of the mobile OS stopped appearing earlier this year.

One also has to keep in mind Windows Phone user volumes remained all too low, leading to developers dropping support for the platform even as Microsoft offered financial incentives.

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Sony Bringing Aibo Back?

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Sony plans to return to household robots, Nikkei reports-- specifically through what sounds like a sequel to Aibo, the much loved robot dog first launched back in 1999.

Sony robotsThe Japanese giant abandoned robot development in 2005, but unnamed sources tell Nikkei the company is bringing together a number of former Aibo team members, such as AI expert Masahiro Fujita. Interestingly, while the robot will act like a dog it will also take the role of an Amazon Alexa or Google Home, allowing users to control smart home appliances through voice commands.

Behind the robot dog is a proprietary OS based on an open platform allowing developers to work additional features, as well as "advanced technologies" ensuring the robot can, well, act like a dog.

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