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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.

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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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The best running apps for iOS and Android

Running is one of the best ways to keep yourself in shape and in good health. However, one of the most difficult things about running is staying motivated and engaged so you can accomplish your fitness goals. Luckily, technology can be a great tool to keep you engaged and motivated — especially when the desire to get off track or quit starts to kick in.

Here, we’ve rounded up 12 of the best running apps available for Android- and iOS-compatible devices. They offer GPS tracking, the ability to share stats with friends, and even the option to challenge friends to competitions. Many of these running apps are fully compatible with the Apple Watch and Android Wear, too.

So, let’s dust off our running shoes and put on our best looking pair of shorts. It’s time to run our way to better health. Exercise is just one piece of the puzzle to stay in good health.

Check out our picks for the best fitness apps for the iPhone or your Android device, apps that help you stay healthy all year round, and the best Fitbit device for every active lifestyle.

Strava

This fun running app makes it feel as if you’re playing a game with your friends. It offers GPS tracking but also allows you to see a feed of your friend’s activities, allowing you to challenge them along the way. You’ll also be able to see how you stack up against others, set goals, see leaderboards, and join monthly challenges.

You can also share your activities via Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Thanks to its robust community and the designer’s commitment to keeping it fresh, Strava remains one of the best running and fitness apps available. Download now for:

Android iOS

Runtastic

Doctors recommend you should aim for at least 30 minutes of exercise every day. This makes Runtastic the perfect app for those who like listening to audiobooks or podcasts while exercising. Its Story Running features allows you to download stories for just £1 and each track is roughly 40 minutes, making it the perfect time for a good workout.

The app is also optimized for both Android Wear and the Apple Watch. Download now for: Android iOS

Runkeeper

Runkeeper is another great running app which boasts a user community of more than 50 million runners.

Staying motivated is very important and Runkeepers social approach is perhaps its best feature. It allows you to stay inspired and motivates you with rewards, along with a host of sharing features. It has Apple Watch, iTunes, and Spotify integration and works with other health apps such as Fitbit or MyFitnessPal.

Download now for: Android iOS

MapMyRun

MapMyRun built a member community of more than 40 million people, due in large part to the fact it’s just a great running app. There’s a specific Routes feature which allows you to find nearby places to run, as well as tools for saving and sharing them with your friends.

The app can also automatically track runs and you can sync any data with devices from Garmin, Fitbit, Jawbone, and Under Armour (who happen to be the brand responsible for the app these days). With its deep customization and rewarding social features, MapMyRun is a triumph. Download now for:

Android iOS

Nike+ Run Club

Nike+ Run Club is a running app that takes an adaptive approach to your training. Based on your goals and fitness level, it adjusts the training to better suit your progress. Not only does the app help you stay motivated by integrating with social apps like Facebook but it also allows you to send a shoutout to a friend to help them stay motivated.

There’s no denying how much easier it is to accomplish your fitness goals when you have someone working toward them with you and Nike+ Run Club further proves this. Download now for: Android iOS

Endomondo

This is a great, GPS-enabled app that allows you to track running, walking, biking, and a slew of other sports.

Logged data is sent to Endomondo’s website so you can analyze your stats and progress — friendly competition with others in the community is also encouraged. While the baseline app is free, you can go with a Premium option which lets you enjoy the app ad-free while offering weather information and other added perks. You’ll also have access to more detailed statistics, including calories burned per month, running distance by year, and other useful metrics.

Download now for: Android iOS

RunGo

RunGo is the best app to use if you want to discover new places while you run. With turn-by-turn voice navigation, you can select more than 100,000 routes around the world, or build your own.

The app clearly tells you where to turn, even if you’ve gone a bit off course. You can also use it offline and it’s fully compatible with the Apple Watch. It also takes advantage of ARKit for iOS 11, integrating augmented reality into its features.

Monthly subscriptions cost £2 while a yearly subscription runs for just £10. Download now for: Android iOS

Couch to 5K

This running app dares to make a substantial promise.

Couch to 5k asks you to spend 20 or 30 minutes training, three times a week and promises that in nine weeks time, you’ll be ready to finish your first 5k race (roughly 3.1 miles). A one-time purchase of £3 allows you to choose between four virtual coaches and the app also features GPS support, an in-app music player, and offers you the ability to share your workouts via Facebook. Download now for:

Android iOS

Wahoo

Wahoo Fitness’ main attraction is its robust compatibility, which allows it to integrate with more than 50 third-party apps and 240 individual products. It allows you to upload workouts to a host of top-tier training websites, including MapMyFitness, Nike+, Strava, MyFitnessPal, and several others. You’ll also be able to use this app with heart rate sensors, bike speed sensors, and even some specialized gym equipment.

Download now for: Android iOS

Zombies, Run!

An incredibly unique fitness app, Zombies, Run!, turns your workouts into a real-life adventure. It’s a running game that casts you as the hero in a zombie adventure story — one where you must race to save your life and the lives of others.

The first four missions are free but after that, you’ll need to unlock new stories on a weekly basis. The app does allow you to unlock more than 240 missions by upgrading to a Pro membership. If you want to work out while having fun, this is the way to go.

Download now for: Android iOS

WeavRun

If music is your true inspiration for running, then WeavRun was designed just for you. This innovative app syncs your favorite music to your footsteps, increasing the beat as you speed up and decreasing the beat as you slow down.

In addition to simply tracking cadence and making automatic tempo adjustments, you can choose to enter your desired steps-per-minute and challenge yourself to keep in tune with the music. The app also includes GPS run tracking, seamless sharing, and is fully integrated with Strava and other running apps. The best part?

The app functions so that it doesn’t sacrifice the quality of the music — ever. It never distorts songs or stretches them beyond their original compositions. Download now for:

iOS Android

My Run Plan

This is not just another running app — My Run Plan is an advanced fitness tool for serious runners. This application builds a training plan tailored to your needs. It really is all about you, too, as it focuses completely on your schedule, your goals, and your performance.

How does it work? Set a running goal and input schedule information before letting the app’s algorithm give you customized training guidance. You can even reach out to USATF-certified coaches for questions regarding training, nutrition, or for help with injuries.

It costs £9.99 for a monthly plan. Download now for: iOS Android

Additional information

If you want to read more about how tech and health are getting more integrated, read our picks for the best fitness trackers and how Fitness AR uses ARKit augmented reality to share your workouts.

Update: We’ve added links to related articles and added the WeavRun and My Run Plan apps.

Editors’ Recommendations

WWDC 2018 event dated early for iOS 12, new iPad Pro?

We have some potentially exciting news for Apple fans now as it looks like the dates for WWDC 2018 this year may have been revealed ahead of schedule and before an official Apple announcement. We are probably a few months away from Apple sending out WWDC 2018 invitations, but according to whispers from MacRumors, WWDC 2018 will be taking place between June 4 and June 8. This is a Monday and the likely venue for the event is at the McEnery Convention Center – a location which will be familiar to many of you since Apple hosted WWDC 2017 at the same venue.

We are expecting to see iOS 12 unveiled up close and personal as always during Apple’s Summer keynote, while there could be a new iPad Pro taking center stage well with an OLED display and Face ID support. If you are praying for better battery life management with iOS 12 on the iPhone X and older devices, WWDC 2018 should be an essential event for you. What are you expecting to see from Apple this year and what devices will you consider upgrading?

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter or Google Plus.

Also See: Apple iPad Cortana app better than Siri say some

WWDC 2018 event dated early for iOS 12, new iPad Pro?

We have some potentially exciting news for Apple fans now as it looks like the dates for WWDC 2018 this year may have been revealed ahead of schedule and before an official Apple announcement. We are probably a few months away from Apple sending out WWDC 2018 invitations, but according to whispers from MacRumors, WWDC 2018 will be taking place between June 4 and June 8. This is a Monday and the likely venue for the event is at the McEnery Convention Center – a location which will be familiar to many of you since Apple hosted WWDC 2017 at the same venue.

We are expecting to see iOS 12 unveiled up close and personal as always during Apple’s Summer keynote, while there could be a new iPad Pro taking center stage well with an OLED display and Face ID support. If you are praying for better battery life management with iOS 12 on the iPhone X and older devices, WWDC 2018 should be an essential event for you. What are you expecting to see from Apple this year and what devices will you consider upgrading?

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter or Google Plus.

Also See: Apple iPad Cortana app better than Siri say some

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