China’s smaller cities spend the most on video games nationally: Report

People visit the stand of Tencent’s mobile game ‘Glory of Kings’ during the 2020 China Digital Entertainment Expo & Conference (ChinaJoy) at Shanghai New International Expo Center on July 31, 2020 in Shanghai, China.

Zhou You | VCG via Getty Images

SINGAPORE — Video games are booming in China’s smaller cities, with citizens there accounting for more than half of revenue nationally, according to a recent report by Niko Partners.

“76% of gamers in China live in Tier 3-5 cities, accounting for 70% of game revenue,” Niko Partners said in a synopsis of its China Gamers Report.

Cities in China are classified by tiers based loosely on population and economic size. For example, places such as capital Beijing and Shenzhen are generally considered tier-one cities, while lower-tier cities are smaller.

The country is the world’s top game market and will generate an estimated $40.85 billion in revenue this year, according to Newzoo.

“What we think is happening with the smaller tiers is … there are more and more gamers adapting to uses of mobile devices,” Lisa Cosmas Hanson, founder and president of Niko Partners, told CNBC in a follow-up interview.

With “fewer things to do for entertainment” in smaller cities as compared with their cosmopolitan peers in Beijing and Shanghai, “gamers spend their time with little cost entertainment which can be social.”

This could also be attributable to improved mobile data and broadband infrastructure, Hanson added, with “lots of Android smartphones available at lower price points.”

In a country of 1.4 billion people, even China’s smallest “cities” can have a population of more than 1 million each.

For video game publishers looking at China, the analyst said: “If you really want to draw the attention of people throughout the country, Tier 4, Tier 5, these places can’t be ignored.”

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‘iPhone 13’ May Have a Smaller Notch

The notch, which houses the front-facing TrueDepth camera system, on Apple’s 2021 “iPhone 13” lineup may be smaller, according to the leaker known as “Ice Universe.”

The rumor speculates that the iPhone 13 lineup will apparently retain the notch in 2021, but it may be slightly smaller. The leaker added rough sketches to illustrate the change, which show that rather than being reduced in width, the notch may be reduced in height to make it less noticeable.

Rumors circulated for some time suggesting that the iPhone 12 lineup would see the first reduction of the notch, but it now seems that the design change has been pushed back into 2021. However, some more reliable rumors have said that the 5.4-inch ‌iPhone 12‌ mini may be the only model to have a narrower notch due to its smaller screen size.

The notch has been a point of contention for some ‌iPhone‌ users, who have expressed frustration with the design decision. A reduction of the notch in this way on the ‌iPhone‌ 13 may go some way to appeasing critics of the notch. The alteration would also offer another reason to upgrade in 2021, when the ‌iPhone‌’s design is largely not expected to change.

Last week saw the first considerable leak of information about the ‌iPhone‌ 13 lineup from display analyst Ross Young, who said that the devices will come in the same sizes as the ‌iPhone 12‌ models, sport 120Hz-capable ProMotion displays, improved camera sensors, and sub-6GHz 5G connectivity.

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Apple Stops Selling Headphones and Speakers From Third-Party Companies Ahead of Rumored Smaller HomePod and AirPods Studio Launch

Apple is no longer selling headphones and wireless speakers from companies like Sonos, Bose, and Logitech, as it prepares to launch a new, lower-cost HomePod and AirPods Studio headphones.


According to checks performed by Bloomberg, Apple removed headphones and speakers from Bose, speakers from Logitech’s Ultimate Ears brand, and Sonos speakers from its online Apple Store at the end of September. Searching for these products, which were previously sold online and in retail stores, brings up no results.

Employees at Apple retail locations have also allegedly been asked to pull third-party audio products from shelves over the course of the last few days. Retail stores and the online store continue to offer Beats-branded headphones and speakers alongside Apple’s AirPods and ‌HomePod‌.

Apple has made similar moves in the past, eliminating stock of fitness trackers ahead of the launch Apple Watch. Apple told Bloomberg that it regularly makes changes to the products that it offers as new third-party accessories are released and the needs of customers change.

Rumors indicate Apple is working on several new audio products, including a smaller, lower-cost HomePod and high-end over-ear Apple-branded headphones that could be called “‌AirPods Studio‌,” to be sold alongside the ‌AirPods‌ and AirPods Pro.

Both of these new products are expected to launch before the end of the year, and the removal of the third-party audio products from the online store suggests we could be seeing Apple’s new audio devices soon, perhaps as soon as the iPhone-centric October event that’s rumored to be in the works.

Current rumors indicate that Apple has an event planned for October 13, and if that’s the case, we could see an Apple announcement as soon as tomorrow.

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New Fossil Gen 5E Smartwatch Gets Smaller and Cheaper

Fossil has launched the Gen 5E smartwatch, and in doing so has recognized not everyone wants a big watch with a 44mm case on their wrist. The Gen 5E introduces four 42mm case sizes with designs aimed at women, along with three more 44mm styles to the range too. Previously, the Julianna style Gen 5 watch, which had the more feminine design, only came with a 44mm case.

Fossil Gen 5E in 42mm size

Let’s start with the new 42mm styles. The 42mm Gen 5E may have a smaller case, but the round AMOLED screen still measures 1.19-inches, the case is still 12mm thick, and the battery has a 300mAh capacity. The case has either a decorated or smooth bezel and is attached to an 18mm strap, and comes in a two-tone stainless steel and gold finish, or rose gold finishes. There are two stainless steel link bracelets, a stainless steel mesh band, and a silicone strap to choose from.

If you want the 44mm Gen 5E it comes in black with a black silicone strap, black with a stainless steel link bracelet, or in gunmetal grey with a brown leather strap. The 44mm Gen 5E case design is different from the existing Gen 5 models, with no buttons on the case apart from the single crown set between button guards, and a textured bezel. The straps measure 22mm, and the screen is the same as the one used on the 42mm model.

Fossil Gen 5E in 42mm size

The Gen 5E comes with Fossil’s recently launched Wellness software update, which adds a new fitness app that works in a way to conserve battery life, plus there’s sleep tracking and an enhanced battery saving mode too. We recently took a closer look at the software on the Fossil Gen 5

Google’s smaller rivals say it’s not playing fair after record EU antitrust fine

  • Google’s latest Android “choice screen” auction results show Microsoft’s Bing was the main winner across most major European markets.
  • The process was introduced last year to appease EU regulators following a $5 billion antitrust fine on Google over Android abuses.
  • DuckDuckGo, which now features in just four markets, says the auctions are “fundamentally rigged by Google to benefit Google.”



Sundar Pichai wearing a suit and tie: Sundar Pichai, senior vice president of Android, Chrome and Apps for Google Inc., speaks during the Google I/O Annual Developers Conference in San Francisco, California, U.S., on Wednesday, June 25, 2014.


© Provided by CNBC
Sundar Pichai, senior vice president of Android, Chrome and Apps for Google Inc., speaks during the Google I/O Annual Developers Conference in San Francisco, California, U.S., on Wednesday, June 25, 2014.

LONDON — Google is still engaged in anti-competitive practices in the mobile search market, according to its smaller competitors, who claim a record antitrust fine from the European Union has done little to reduce the tech giant’s dominance.

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The company announced late Monday the results of a quarterly auction to decide the winners of its so-called “choice screen,” which lets Android users in Europe pick their default search engine when setting up their smartphone. The process was introduced last year to appease EU antitrust regulators following their 4.3 billion euro ($5 billion) fine on Google over unfair practices related to its mobile operating system.

Google’s latest auction results show that Microsoft was the main winner across most major European markets, with its Bing search engine coming out on top in the U.K., Germany, France and 10 other countries. Privacy-focused search engine DuckDuckGo, which has previously found success with the bidding process, this time features in just four markets — Bulgaria, Croatia, Iceland and Liechtenstein.

“Despite DuckDuckGo being robustly profitable since 2014, we have been priced out of this auction because we choose to not maximize our profits by exploiting our users,” the company wrote in a blog post.

“In practical terms, this means our