Tag Archives: phone

Samsung Ships the Most Smartphones

Price plays a major role in which smartphone consumers are buying these days. Check out this article from cnet.com to learn more about the brands that ship the most smartphones across the globe.

Device Pitstop woman using smartphone

Samsung, Oppo shine in a weak phone market

While the market flirts with bottoming out, Samsung clings to the top spot, Apple slumps and China’s Oppo rockets upward.

By Lance Whitney

As smartphone shipments sputter and stall, an upstart is shooting forward from the back of the pack.

China’s Oppo saw shipments of its phones more than double — the precise gain: 137 percent — in the second quarter of 2016, compared with the same period a year earlier.

That was good enough to put Oppo into fourth place, according to new reports from market researchers IDC and Strategy Analytics. The company has been aggressively expanding beyond its home base in China to India and other emerging markets.

Samsung held onto the top spot during the second quarter. Its modest rise in shipments kept it well ahead of second-place Apple and third-place Huawei.

Overall, phone makers shipped a total of about 340 million smartphones during the quarter, up no more than about 1 percent from the year-earlier period.

That paltry gain has a lot to do with phone fatigue in established markets, where most people who want phones already have them and aren’t seeing enough pizzazz in new models to spring for them. At the same time, carriers have been putting the kibosh on subsidized plans, confronting consumers with the hard reality of having to pay full price for new phones.

On the plus side, the worldwide smartphone market may have reached a bottom during the first half of the year, according to Strategy Analytics.

“The growth outlook for the second half of this year is brighter due to multiple big new product launches from Samsung, Apple and others,” said Linda Sui, director of Strategy Analytics, in a statement.

Apple is widely expected to unveil its iPhone 7 in September. Samsung is expected to introduce its Galaxy Note 7 next week.

Though Apple’s iPhone shipments slumped during quarter, the company did win people over with its moderately priced new iPhone SE, IDC said.

Samsung remained top dog in large part because of the popularity of its Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge phones. It shipped 77 million phones during the quarter, nearly twice as many as Apple and well over three times more than Oppo.

Price will continue to be a critical factor in reigniting sales among wary consumers.

“Outside of Samsung’s Galaxy S7 flagship, a majority of vendors, including Apple, have found success with more affordable models compared to their flagship handsets,” said Anthony Scarsella, IDC’s research manager for mobile phones, in a statement.

Click here to see more from cnet.com.

Reasons Why You Should Use Wi-Fi Calling

After reading this article from Techlicious, you’ll definitely start using Wi-Fi calling in certain situations.

device pitstop model calling with wi-fi

What is Wi-Fi Calling and Why You Should Be Using It

By Kaitlyn Wells

Most of us spend time in at least a few places where our phones just don’t work, whether it’s a room or two at home, a favorite basement coffee shop or some other signal-blocked location. That’s where Wi-Fi calling can save the day. Instead of relying on the cellular phone network, Wi-Fi calling and texting uses an available Wi-Fi network to place your call over the Internet.

Clearly, if you don’t have a cellular signal or it’s spotty, the ability to make Wi-Fi calls comes in handy. But that isn’t the only reason you’ll want to use Wi-Fi calling.

Wi-Fi calling is perfect for overseas travelers because there’s typically no roaming or international charge for making calls or sending texts back home. Sprint doesn’t charge for Wi-Fi calls to your family back in the United States, but Wi-Fi calling isn’t supported in some countries, including Australia and China. T-Mobile doesn’t charge roaming fees for Wi-Fi calls but will deduct your call minutes for calls made between U.S. lines if you don’t have an unlimited plan. And Verizon, Sprint and T-Mobile will still charge an international rate if you call an international line using your U.S.-based smartphone.

How to make a Wi-Fi call

Wi-Fi calling isn’t automatically enabled on smartphones. To turn yours on, go to the Settings menu. On iPhones go to Settings > Phone and then toggle on Wi-Fi calling. On Android, you’ll generally find Wi-Fi settings under Settings > Networks > Call, where you can then toggle on Wi-Fi calling.

Once you activate Wi-Fi calling, you dial or text as usual. The routing of your call or text is handled automatically in the background.

Does my carrier offer Wi-Fi calling?

All major cell phone carriers now support Wi-Fi calling, with support for the most recent iPhones and Android phones. And, the feature will inevitably become more widespread. “Wi-Fi calling exists because it’s a great way for the carriers to offload their network traffic and increase coverage without having to pay for it,” Michael Bremmer, CEO of TelecomQuotes.comwrote in an email.

So when will you get Wi-Fi calling? Here’s the latest on Wi-Fi for each of the major carriers:

Sprint Wi-Fi calling is available on most recent Android devices and iPhones, starting with the iPhone 5C, 5S, 6 and 6 Plus and 6s and 6s Plus with iOS software v8.3 and higher. Check your phone’s settings menu to see if it’s supported.

T-Mobile offers 38 different phones with Wi-Fi calling, including recent iPhone models, the Samsung Galaxy S6 and S7, the LG G5 and HTC 10.

AT&T has rolled out Wi-Fi Calling to 6, 6 Plus, 6s and 6s Plus with iOS software v9.0 and higher and is starting to roll out to Android devices, beginning with the LG G4.

Verizon Wireless has rolled out Wi-Fi calling to 14 devices including the iPhone 6, 6s and 6s Plus, Samsung Galaxy S6 and S7, HTC 10, LG G4 and G5.  

Or course, if your handset doesn’t support Wi-Fi calling, you may be able to find some workarounds. Apps like FaceTime, Google Voice, Line, Skype and WeChat allow you to make voice and video calls over Wi-Fi as well as send text messages.

How Wi-Fi calling compares to cellular

Thanks to the growing popularity of free public Wi-Fi hotspots, you may not need to pay another dime to make a call again. In fact, Cisco VNI predicts global hotspots will increase sevenfold from 2014 to 2018, resulting in 109 million hotspots in North America alone.

But a cheap price tag doesn’t always equate with high quality. “Trying to get the best signal for a Wi-Fi call is challenging,” said Anurag Lal, president and CEO of telecommunications company Infinite Convergence. “Many times, [the quality of service is through] individual users with a Wi-Fi network, and there is no guarantee for a particular bandwidth.” Lal adds that signal strength can diminish as more people attempt to use the same network, such as at hotels, airports or athletic stadiums.

Consumers may have another gripe with Wi-Fi calling service: there may be a 1- or 2-second delay in the conversation. Think of the delay you hear with the echo of the same news broadcast aired on different TVs in your home. If you’re accustomed to receiving an immediate response using traditional phone service, a conversation over Wi-Fi may annoy you.

While it doesn’t make sense for most people to switch to a Wi-Fi-only provider like Scratch Wireless, Wi-Fi calling can make a big difference if you have limited minutes, get poor reception or travel abroad.

Click here to see the article on techlicious.com.