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The global smartphone market slowed significantly in the first quarter, with shipments little changed at 334.9 million units versus 334.3 million a year ago, according to estimates from IDC. The market researcher said this was the smallest year-over-year growth on record, according Telecompaper. It attributed the slowdown to saturation in developed markets, as well as declines at both Apple and Samsung, the two market leaders. 
 
IDC estimates Samsung's shipments fell 0.6 percent year-on-year to 81.9 million, while its market share was largely stable at 24.5 percent. Apple's share dropped to 15.3 percent from 18.3 percent a year ago, as its shipments fell 16.3 percent year-on-year. Huawei took third place with 8.2 percent of the market, as its shipments jumped 58.4 percent year-on-year to 27.5 million. 
 
 
The rest of the top five showed a surprise shift to the lesser-known Chinese brands Oppo and Vivo, which pushed out the previous fourth and fifth place players Lenovo and Xiaomi, respectively. Oppo had a 5.5 percent share of the global market with shipments of 18.5 million phones, and Vivo took 4.3 percent with 14.3 million units shipped. Oppo had the strongest growth of all smartphone makers, at 153.2 percent, driven by expansion of its distribution in China and into other Asian markets. 
 

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