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‘I was on Married At First Sight and this is what it’s ACTUALLY like’

Married At First Sight, the Channel 4 show which aims to match people on their scientific compatibility, is the nation’s current obsession.Clark met – and married – Melissa for the first time, surrounded by family and friends (and a camera crew!) in June 2016, when taking part in series two.

Although the general public were rooting for their relationship, Clarissa didn’t quite get their happily ever after. In fact, following their honeymoon in Ibiza, a six-week stint in an Airbnb in East Finchley (paid for by Channel 4), and a month move to Milton Keynes, Clark asked for a divorce at the end of September 2016.

18-months on, he looks back on the experience, and reveals what it’s ACTUALLY like to be on Married At First Sight

‘The advert for a social experiment came up on Tinder’ “I was hungover and flicking through Tinder, and something popped up that said, ‘Do you want to be part of a social experiment with Channel 4?’ On a whim I emailed across a photo, my age, all those standard formalities, and thought nothing of it when I received a response that said, ‘Due to high volumes of applications you probably won’t hear anything, but thank you for responding’. “9am the following Monday, I got a phone call saying ‘Clark, we’re really interested in your profile.

Can you talk us through your story, who you are, all that kind of stuff’.” ‘I didn’t know it was Married At First Sight until I was deep in the process’ “When they asked me the questions, they said, ‘We’re a production company.

We’re doing a screening for a Channel 4 programme. We want to talk to you about you, your dating history, that’s what it’s going to revolve around’. I didn’t know what it was for until after they had tested me for video screening.

You’re far enough into the process not to turn back when they tell you it’s Married At First Sight. “Nobody’s forcing you to go through with the process, but there are definitely pressures. You feel like you’re too far in to back out.

I would talk to people about it and nine times out of 10 they thought it was a terrible idea.” MORE: HOW COUPLES GETTING MARRIED ON THE SAME DAY AS THE ROYAL WEDDING REALLY FEEL ABOUT IT

‘Producers never really explain what the scientific tests are for’ “The science day was, if I’m honest, pretty pointless. I understand it probably all makes sense, but it was never explained to us how it makes sense and how we were matched on the scientific perspective.

They measure your height, your shoulder to waist ratio, the size of your index fingers, all of that, but I kind of felt like, ‘OK, how does this actually have any impact on a future relationship in this day and age?'” ‘The questionnaire that you’re matched on is incredibly detailed’ “It was a 500 question questionnaire that goes through your likes, your don’t likes, all the intricate pieces of information about you.

Your religious views, your political views, what you find attractive, your sexual history, are you sexually active. If you want to match with someone of the same ilk as you, you’d like to think they match you on the same morals and what you’ve said when you’re doing it.” ‘Your social media is hidden during the build up to the show’

“I had no interest in getting to know the other couples. You never meet anyone else in the process – during the science day you meet a couple of other people, but you never meet any of the other couples throughout the whole programme. There’s no crossover.

All your social media is hidden, there’s no way you can find anyone. I had no interest in it, though, because once I watched the programme I knew for a fact I wouldn’t get on with these people and they wouldn’t be my friends – that’s not horrible to them, we’re just very different people.” ‘There’s a small budget for the wedding dress, and stag-dos’

“But there’s no financial gain from going on the show. There’s budget for things – her wedding dress, a small budget for the suits. There’s some money for hen-do and stag-dos, but it was mainly out of my pocket.

I think they put money towards travel or something. But there was genuinely no monetary gain. Lots of people think, ‘No one would do that for free’, but actually I spent quite a lot of money on the process.”

‘You choose the wedding you want from a powerpoint presentation of options’ “There are six options of lots of different things – type of food, music, style and theme of wedding.

Everything that I chose didn’t get picked! Everything was chosen by her. None of my decisions were considered.

From what I understand, Melissa got what she wanted for the wedding – but I believe the wedding day is about the woman anyway, so it was fine.” ‘You can only invite a limited number of people’ “You also have a guest limit – I was only allowed to invite 20 people.

It definitely caused some friction with some of the family members! The whole day for me was a bit of a blur, it happened quickly but not memorably. It’s really hard to explain.

The day started at 9am with my groomsmen getting ready, it didn’t sink in until the taxi on the way there. I was nervous standing in the room waiting to meet her family; my side was packed out with friends and family as much as possible.”

MORE: THIS IS THE NEW FAVOURITE NAME FOR THE DUKE AND DUCHESS’S THIRD CHILD, ACCORDING TO BOOKMAKERS ‘We had to say ‘I Do’ twice for different camera angles’ “Obviously there were production people giving you directions of where to sit, where to stand, where to go on the wedding day.

We had to repeat our lines – our vows to each other – a couple of times, and say ‘I Do’ for different camera angles. “It didn’t ever feel forced, though. I had a great team and camera crew from Channel 4.

They were fantastic. There were times when we got frustrated with each other when they were getting heavily involved when I was trying to chill out for the afternoon, but actually I struck up a friendship with them. After the show, I realised that they were doing it for the show.

They were just doing their jobs.” ‘We both think we were matched with other people before each other’ “They asked me in the questionnaire to define ‘my type’, and you have to detail the height you like, body type, tattoos, all these sorts of things.

I put high on my criteria that they had to be at least 5ft 5″ to 6ft, and Melissa is 5ft. I’m 6ft3″. So I did feel like they hadn’t really matched us on my criteria.

“We both think we were matched with other people before and they pulled out half way through the process. We spoke about it, I genuinely believe that’s the case. When I decided I didn’t want to be with her anymore, it became quite apparent that we weren’t meant to be a match.”

‘You were meant to live in London to apply for the process’ “I think you were meant to live in London to be part of the process, but Melissa didn’t say she was moving back to Milton Keynes in her application. One of the guys was from Bournemouth, one of the guys was from Bromley.

There was no real thought behind where we were living. I think Channel 4 massively messed up because our lives were never going to work together.” ‘We had Skype counselling with the relationship advisor from the show, but it wasn’t very good’

“When we had our first big issue, we did a Skype counselling session with Channel 4’s relationship advisor, Jo. And we talked through and explained the situation to her, and I just didn’t feel supported. I didn’t feel like it was worthwhile, it was rubbish.

It didn’t have any positive impact on the marriage – if anything it made me resent the situation more.” ‘I hadn’t seen her for a year when we got a divorce’

“The divorce was an easy process. I went in to sign a couple of papers in June 2017, and then I had to sign some more in September, and then the divorce went through on November 13th 2017. I didn’t see her in that time at all – the last time I saw her was in October 2016, when she left me in the flat in Milton Keynes.”

‘Channel 4 set budget aside for the divorce’ “You have to let producers know when you want a divorce – budget was already set aside for it. The money was already in place when they put the bid in for the programme.

“You have to legally be married for a year before you can apply for a divorce, so I had to wait until June 19 2017 before I could apply for a divorce. When I sat down with the production crew and explained to them why I was making my decision, they understood, they apologised, they said they were sorry they didn’t support me. There was some support from the relationship counsellor Jo in the beginning, and that was it.”

‘They asked me to go through the ins and outs of the break up on camera’ “During the series, there’s an episode where I was in a pub with my best friend, and before filming started I just lost it and reeled through everything [that had gone wrong in the relationship], and the camera man was like, ‘You need to say this on camera’, and I was like, ‘There’s no way in hell I’m saying all of this on camera.

One, it’ll make me look like an arsehole, and two, I would never want to put Melissa in a situation where it has an impact on her’.” ‘The process never felt fake, but it was very full on for six months up until the wedding, and then no support afterwards’ “It was 100 per cent real.

It was very straight lace. Everything had a process, everything was being done, but as soon as you were married, you were left to your own devices as a married couple for a few weeks. You go on honeymoon, you move back to the apartment they rent for you.

You’re now living with a complete and utter stranger, which is fine, and the camera crew pop in once, twice, three times a week to talk to you to see how everything’s going, but that’s it. “I felt like there should be more to it. I felt like there should be more actions around helping develop the relationship – there was no support [from production] in helping to develop the relationship.”

Married At First Sight Series 3 continues every Thursday at 9pm. MORE: CORONATION STREET STAR ALAN HALSALL SHARES HIS AMAZING HAIR TRANSFORMATION (Via Cosmopolitan UK)

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Smartphone sales fall for first time ever, says Gartner

Apple’s iPhone X wasn’t enough to boost smartphone sales in the holiday quarter.

CNET

Uh oh. Smartphones finally took a nosedive. In the fourth quarter of 2017, smartphone sales fell for the first time ever, according to Gartner.

Handset makers sold nearly 408 million smartphones to customers in the quarter, down 5.6 percent from the same period a year ago, the research firm said Thursday. That marks the first annual decline since Gartner started tracking the smartphone market in 2004. Fewer people are switching their feature phones to smartphones “due to a lack of quality ‘ultra-low-cost’ smartphones” and instead are buying nicer feature phones, Gartner analyst Anshul Gupta said Thursday.

And people who already own smartphones are upgrading to higher-end models and holding on to them longer, he added. “Moreover, while demand for high quality, 4G connectivity and better camera features remained strong, high expectations and few incremental benefits during replacement weakened smartphone sales,” Gupta noted.

The smartphone market has been slowing down of late. It’s become harder for handset vendors to make huge changes in their devices and differentiate from one another.

Prices for the latest and greatest phones have actually increased at the same time US carriers have gotten rid of subsidies. All of that’s meant people are waiting longer to upgrade. Even Apple has struggled.

It reported in April 2016 that its iPhone unit sales fell for the first time ever, and they ended up declining for that full year. Apple’s sales have largely rebounded, though they again slid in the December quarter despite the launch of the iPhone X. Samsung managed to hold on to the No.

1 position in the fourth quarter, even though its unit sales slid 3.6 percent to 74 million units, Gartner said. The company on Sunday will show off its newest phone, the Galaxy S9. The device is expected to feature tweaks but no major design overhaul.

Apple ranked No.

2 in the period with iPhone sales down 5 percent to 73.2 million, followed by Chinese vendors Huawei, Oppo and Vivo. Huawei and Xiaomi (which doesn’t rank in the top five) were the only smartphone vendors to see their unit sales grow in the quarter, Gartner said.

Now Playing: Watch this: iPhone X is the top seller, but total iPhone sales take…

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(Note, Apple earlier this month reported it sold 77.3 million iPhones in the December quarter, but Gartner calculates its figure differently. It tallies devices in the hands of actual users, while Apple and others also include phones that have not yet been purchased by end consumers and are still held by Verizon Wireless, Best Buy and other vendors.)

For the full year, smartphone sales increased 2.7 percent to 1.5 billion units, Gartner said. Samsung’s market share stayed about flat at 21 percent, while Apple’s remained at about 14 percent. Huawei’s grew to 9.8 percent from 8.9 percent in 2016.

For smartphone operating systems, Android’s lead grew by 1.1 percentage points to 86 percent.

Apple’s iOS remained at about 14 percent.

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Why February 25 is the most important day of MWC (or maybe not)

Officially, 2018’s Mobile World Congress (MWC) starts on February 26, but for many attendees, the day of greatest anticipation is a day earlier, February 25. Why? Because that’s when we finally get to know the new Samsung Galaxy S9.

Not everyone believes that the presentation of the latest member of the Galaxy family is the most important thing at the show, however. “We don’t focus on device launches as something essential for our show,” explained Michael O’Hara, CMO of the GSMA — the trade group that organizes the MWC show — in an interview with Digital Trends Espanol. Although O’Hara noted that the organization is very happy with launches like the Galaxy S9, he pointed out that there was no event of this magnitude last year, and does not consider that the strength or success of the Mobile World Congress.

Objetivos del #MWC2018 : mas #Negocios , mas #mujeres y mas #Seguridad , sin olvidarnos del nuevo #GalaxyS9 https://t.co/6PfLIV9coD pic.twitter.com/GGbacBTrEY

— DT en Espanol (@DigitalTrendsEs) February 21, 2018

In fact, what takes place in Barcelona is something else. It’s about doing business, business, and more business. “The MWC is successful because industry leaders, regulators, and governments come and do their business,” he stresses. And in that sense, the figures that accompany MWC show their importance.

In addition to some 2,300 exhibitors, 170 international delegations and 108,000 attendees, it also entails the creation of 13,000 temporary jobs and an economic impact of 471 million Euros. In fact, since 2006, the MWC has generated 4.4 million Euros and created of 115,000 part-time jobs. Not bad!

Possible change of venue? It’s obvious therefore that the mere possibility of a change of headquarters would be a great loss for Barcelona, Catalonia, and Spain in general. But at the present the GSMA has an agreement with these three parties (city, state, country), so Barcelona remains the headquarters of MWC — at least until 2023.

Whether that changes will depend above all on one thing: “that you can guarantee a safe environment for the event.” Despite the secession vote and subsequent protests that have taken place recently in the Catalan capital, and the strong independence movement that still live and breathe in all of Catalonia, the truth is that this requirement is illogical. Despite everything, for the GSMA, “the city of Barcelona works very well, and we want it to continue being headquarters,” O’Hara clarifies.

What is expected this year at MWC are fewer interventions of super-known industry leaders such as Facebook creator Mark Zuckerberg or Google CEO Sundar Pichai — events that were present at previous MWC events and drew great publicity and press. The motive? “This year we’ve decided to make things a little different.

We wanted to have leaders from more emerging industries. Focus on technologies that can make a difference and that can change the world, “O’Hara explains. More female presence and greater security

Likewise, in order to change things, the MWC of 2018 will have a greater female presence in terms of the participant speakers, as well as the attendees to this technology fair. “Twenty-five percent of our speakers are women this year,” said O’Hara, who wants the show to be a little more diverse. But that’s not the only thing that worries O’Hara. Therefore, to avoid a recurrent problem during the MWC, this year will increase the security during the event.

Thefts are a daily issue in Spain,especially in Barcelona. However, the organization is working and collaborating closely with local authorities to increase the police presence with special attention this year. All for the purpose of allowing entrance to the event only to authorized persons, and to try to have fewer reports on thefts. “It’s not possible to eliminate crime, but to try to reduce the number of reports,” concludes the GSMA’s marketing director.

Our predictions MWC expects to reap the same success as past shows in 2018 — and indeed, to exceed it in some ways. No doubt, that will be thanks to events such as Samsung and the presentation of its Galaxy S9, along with the announcements and novelties of other important industry players such as Huawei, LG and HTC, to name a few — even if it is not the priority for the GSMA.

There is a lot of excitement and many curious and experts are ready to see what is happening and what comes out of this Mobile World Congress.

Whether or not they will meet expectations, we’ll know soon enough.

But if you want to know in advance with a little more detail the ads on phones and other devices that we hope, do not miss our predictions.

Editors’ Recommendations

The Galaxy S9 arrives in stores on March 16, says report

The Galaxy S9 will be revealed on Feb.

25.

Samsung

We know the Galaxy S9 will be unveiled on Feb.

25, but how long until you can actually hold one in your hand? Not too long, reports The Investor, which claims the Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9 Plus will go on sale across the globe March 16. But if waiting 19 days after the phone is announced seems unbearable, you may be able to get the phone early.

Preorders for the Galaxy S9 may go live on Feb.

28 in Korea, according to the report. It also claims that people who preorder the Galaxy devices may receive it between March 9 and March 15, a few days before the phone lands in stores. The report cites Korean telecom carriers, which apparently already have an official preorder and release schedule from Samsung.

We couldn’t independently verify this information with Samsung — Samsung declined to comment on this story — but as the Galaxy S9 unveil draws closer, concrete dates may have already been set in stone. Last year the Galaxy S8 was first announced on March 29, but it wasn’t until April 21 that it first went on sale in places like South Korea, Canada and the US. Other countries like Australia and the UK didn’t get the S8 until April 28, while markets like Japan and South Africa didn’t get the phone until June.

While we don’t know for sure when the Galaxy S9 is rolling out to each country, if the reported dates are true it could mean less waiting for some. The Galaxy S9 will be unveiled the day before the international mobile tradeshow Mobile World Congress. Samsung’s Galaxy S phones are the most popular Android devices out there, and the S9 could give other premium phones like Apple’s iPhone X some stiff competition.

Be sure to stay tuned to CNET as we cover Mobile World Congress live and look out for official details on the Galaxy S9.

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Mobile World Congress 2018

BlackBerry and Nokia still struggling to make a comeback

Last February, the once-great Nokia and BlackBerry brands each hoped to stage a triumphant return at the world’s largest phone show. A year on, we’re still waiting for a knockout device that will put either one back in the international spotlight in a meaningful way. Despite the brands launching 8 Android phones between them in the past year, it’s clear neither one has turned the tide.

Neither company can expect to return to their pre-2010 heights, before the phone world accelerated its path to its current iPhone/Android duopoly. But if their respective comebacks fall flat, it means fewer choices for consumers in an era increasingly dominated by Apple and Samsung handsets. Fewer than 6 million Nokia phones shipped in the past year, IHS Markit analyst Wayne Lam told CNET.

BlackBerry could have shipped as many as 170,000 units in the fourth quarter, according to Neil Shah, an analyst at Counterpoint Research. In contrast, Apple sold 77.3 million iPhones in a single quarter. BlackBerry declined to share sales figures and HMD Global, which licenses Nokia’s name, didn’t respond to multiple requests to comment on this story.

Low sales figures are to be expected for these revivalists, even a year in. Comebacks in the phone world don’t happen overnight; they occur over years of steady investment and marketing work. “[With] Nokia and Blackberry, there’s an expectation that they will take the world by storm in just a few months and dominate the market once again,” said Francois Maheiu, BlackBerry’s chief commercial officer. “The world knows there are two mega players right now, Apple and Samsung… it takes time.”

Both BlackBerry and Nokia phones are expected to update in the coming months, hoping to kick up momentum once again. The Nokia brand has its announcement this week at Mobile World Congress 2018 and BlackBerry is expected to unveil its next phone later in March, according to analysts. The hopefuls will need much more than a flashy presentation or booth space to wrest attention from the Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus, which Samsung will unveil on February 25.

For BlackBerry and Nokia devices to stand a chance against the Samsung leviathan, they’ll need to show top-tier phones with hardware and software good enough to compete.

Nokia hopes a meh 2017 leads to an ‘awesome’ breakout in 2018

A year ago, it looked like Nokia phones would fulfill their fans’ biggest wish: to run on Android software. But even six releases in, the handsets aren’t doing much other than laying a stable budget base. After years of smartphone hot potato, they have a lot of catching up to do.

The original Nokia phones first switched hands to Microsoft, which bought the rights in 2013, and replaced Nokia’s proprietary software (primarily Symbian with a dash of MeeGo) with Windows OS. Three years later, Microsoft bumped its license to a new company, HMD Global, which uses Android. With so many Android phones available, Nokia phones today rely on hardware and competitive pricing to stand out.

However, HMD Global’s 2, 3, 5, 6, 7 and higher-end Nokia 8, failed to generate as much buzz as the 3310, a revamped flip phone that doesn’t even have Wi-Fi, apps or a touchscreen.

Andrew Hoyle/CNET

On the flip phone side, Nokia “may be in for a slight revival especially on the backs of the new 4G feature phone trend that is sweeping global markets such as India and other cost sensitive global markets,” said Lam. We’re not exactly sure what HMD Global has planned for Nokia in 2018, apart from something “awesome,” according to a tweet from Juho Sarvikas, the product lead of HMD Global, which operates out of Nokia’s spiritual homeland of Finland. But the fact that HMD Global is hosting a press event, when few brands want to compete with Samsung, shows a commitment to further build the Nokia name in 2018.

Most buyers throughout the world pick new phones through their carrier. Nokia could differentiate its hardware by offering a feature other phonemakers don’t, perhaps a return to the 41-megapixel “Pureview” camera from 2012. But its best chance of success is to get on as many global carriers as possible.

“The big question for HMD/Nokia is whether their success can continue without moving into the US, which is a tough market and one where the Nokia brand will not help much,” said Carlonia Milanesi, an alayst with Creative Strategies. “Nokia will not be able substantially to grow further without gaining share in China and the US.”

BlackBerry: Staying alive, but only just

Where Nokia phones spread out over the entry-level and midrange, the new BlackBerry wanted to punch in with a single high-end device, the KeyOne. Licensed by China’s TCL Communication, which also markets Alcatel phones, the KeyOne returned to the legacy brand’s core characteristics of a physical keyboard and enhanced security that caters to corporate IT policies. Late in the year, the keyboard-equipped KeyOne was joined by the all-screen BlackBerry Motion.

And in January, the company introduced a new KeyOne color and direct US sales for the BlackBerry Motion, which had previously only sold in Canada. While we don’t expect to see new BlackBerry phones until after this month’s biggest mobile trade show, TCL’s investment indicates that it’s business as usual.

Josh Miller/CNET

BlackBerry phones have more carrier visibility than Nokia handsets in the key US market, with a presence in AT&T and Sprint. Globally, Orange, Vodafone and Singtel are wins.

That was all part of TCL’s two-pronged plan. “Number one for us was to make BlackBerry available all over the world again,” BlackBerry’s Maheiu said, adding that the KeyOne is sold in more than 50 countries. The second approach is to court security-conscious businesses to offer BlackBerry phones as an option for employees, alongside Apple and Samsung devices.

“BlackBerry will be the third choice for the employee,” said Maheiu. To this end, BlackBerry has seeded over 1,000 businesses with its phones for testing in-house, in the hopes that at the end of the trial, companies embrace the KeyOne and Motion. Over 30 percent of those corporations would bring the phones on board by the end of December 2017, the phonemaker said, and it expects that figure to rise to over 50 percent by end of March.

Not everyone agrees with the brand’s chances. “Sadly, I think they overestimated the size of the QWERTY market as well as how difficult it is to get into the enterprise market,” said analyst Milanesi. While BlackBerry’s visibility is still a blip on the global map, its strategy to build through carriers and corporations could forge some humble inroads, so long as its phones can offer the same features as other top handsets for the same price or less.

Now Playing: Watch this: Nokia 3310 and BlackBerry KeyOne: CNET editors react

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BlackBerry could also gain momentum by jumping early on the foldable smartphone trend. We’ve already seen one device with the ZTE Axon M, and Samsung has vowed to release its first foldable phone in 2018.

“I think if BlackBerry are design savvy, they can add to the overall conversation around how these devices look and operate,” IHS Markit analyst Lam said.

It’s too soon to say if BlackBerry phones will move quickly on the foldable concept.

Regardless, TCL shows a confident face.

“BlackBerry handsets are here to stay,” said Maheiu.

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