Google-made smartwatches reportedly coming early next year with Android Wear 2.0

With Android Wear 2.0 delayed until early next year, it makes sense that the rumored Google-made smartwatches would also be delayed till then. Evan Blass has tweeted that the company’s two devices will be released running the next version of the OS in Q1 of 2017…

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Google’s Rick Osterloh confirms Google Pixel 2 for later this year, says Pixel will ‘stay premium’

Google’s SVP of hardware, Rick Osterloh, said during a private meeting in Barcelona this week that there will indeed — unsurprisingly, considering its wild acclaim — be a second generation Pixel announced later this year. Further, Osterloh says that that the Pixel brand will “stay premium”…

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Samsung reportedly planning to release just one flagship line next year

One of the biggest theories we’ve seen surrounding the fallout from Samsung’s Note 7 recall is the potential that the company would ditch the Note branding ─ something I don’t doubt at all ─ however, according to a report out of Korea, that cut may be a bit more drastic.

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Android app industry expected to surpass iOS App Store in terms of revenue this year

Mobile app analytics firm App Annie is today out with its latest report. As usual, the data shows that Apple’s App Store has a significant lead in terms of revenue when compared to Google Play, but this report notes of a change. The firm estimates that Android will overtake iOS in terms of app revenue this year…

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Chromecast made up 35% of the digital media streaming market last year

According to the latest data from Strategy Analytics, Google’s acclaimed Chromecast streaming dongle made up as much as 35% of the streaming device market in 2015, besting competing devices from Roku, Apple, Amazon, and other manufacturers. Compared to 2014, Chromecast is showing a growing dominance in the market, likely thanks in part to the launch of the 2nd-gen model

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Lenovo chief: Google Play Services will be in China this year

According to a report by Tech.Sina, Google will finally bring its services in to China. Lenovo chief, Chen Xudong claims Google is on track to bring its Play Services to the nation at some point in 2016, and that its desire to do so isn’t a secret. Google wants its services back in China, but has faced strong opposition from the government in the past, heavily restricting its presence there.

While Android has long been the dominant smartphone platform in China, Google’s presence there is still very limited. In fact, Google Play Services are practically non-existent. Before the Nexus 6P was built, it was rumored by a reliable publication that Google had chosen Huawei specifically because of its influence in China. With Huawei being a Chinese brand, and the biggest seller of smartphones in the country, its influence is huge. What’s more, Google also recently partnered with (and took a minor stake in) Mobvoi, one of the most widely-used and advanced Chinese AI and voice recognition companies.

Clearly, with Android being the most widely-used smartphone OS in China, Play Services aren’t required or critical to the platform’s success. Bringing Play Services in to China would mostly be an effort to help end fragmentation in a country where multiple app stores exist for Android.

No specific timeframe was given in terms of when we might see Google Play back in China. One can only assume getting the service approved takes multiple jumps over political hurdles and cutting through endless miles of red tape. We’ll keep you updated when/if there’s any more to share on the issue.

Xiaomi retained top spot in China in 2015, but Huawei likely to hit back this year, says Canalys

While Canalys reported last year that Huawei overtook Xiaomi to become the biggest-selling smartphone manufacturer in China during Q3, it now says strong Q4 sales enabled Xiaomi to retake the top slot for the year. It says Xiaomi ended the year with a 15.2% market share against 14.7% for Huawei, with Apple following at 12.5%.

The WSJ reports that this view is echoed by rival market intelligence company Strategy Analytics. However, with more Chinese consumers looking to upgrade to mid-range handsets this year, Canalys analyst Nicole Peng believes the positions could be reversed during the course of this year …

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