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business

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[Update: Samsung calls it off] Samsung shamelessly aligns with off-brand Supreme in China

Brand partnerships are usually the least interesting part of a phone announcement, but Samsung's latest phone unveiling comes with some serious drama. The company's new Galaxy A8s announcement included the surprising announcement of a partnership with Supreme in China, where the company has not operated in the past. However, it's not the "real" Supreme; it's the fake Italian firm that has been such a thorn in Supreme's side.

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Sony Q3 financial results show continued mobile losses

Sony has never been a top Android phone maker, but it's been trying for a long, long time. As the smartphone market plateaus, Sony is losing money on mobile quarter after quarter, and the most recent one is no exception. While Sony overall made money at the end of 2018, the mobile division is still a loser.

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Samsung and LG warn of profit decline in fourth quarter as smartphone market stagnates

Turns out Apple is not the only company expecting to disappoint investors with its next set of quarterly results — Samsung and LG are in the same boat. Whether or not it's for precisely the same reasons is unclear, but it seems a plateauing smartphone market is at least partially to blame for all three companies' guidance misses. 

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HTC's revenue dropped to an all-time low in 2018, down 62% from 2017

I don't need to tell you that HTC is in dire financial straits, but I'm still going to tell you how dire because wow. HTC just released its year-end 2018 numbers, and things are looking bleak. HTC took in just 23.74 billion TWD ($770 million) during 2018, the lowest in all its years as a public company.

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HTC plans smartphone sales 'reboot' in 2019

HTC was the first Android device maker, and it remained one of the market leaders for years. Its recent performance hasn't been stellar, though. After a long line of lackluster quarters, HTC president Darren Chen promises improvements in 2019. Apparently, HTC is aiming for a sales "reboot" by focusing on high-end and mid-range phones.

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LG reshuffling puts home entertainment president Brian Kwon in charge of mobile division

It's getting on toward the end of the year, and you know what that means. Yes, it's time for LG's semi-annual executive shakeup. As usual, LG's management isn't happy with how the mobile division has done over the last year, so it's putting someone new in charge. That person is Brian Kwon, the current head of LG's home entertainment group.

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LG made more money in Q3 as mobile losses shrink slightly

LG is a profitable company overall, reporting growing profits almost every quarter. However, LG's mobile division has been an anchor around the company's neck. LG mobile still isn't profitable in the just-released Q3 results, but the losses have lessened. LG thinks it can turn the corner and start making money on smartphones again, but it's not exactly within striking distance of that goal.

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Telltale Games is reportedly closing down and cancelling most current projects [Update: Confirmed]

Telltale Games has won critical praise for titles like The Walking Dead and The Wolf Among Us, but that was not enough to keep the lights on. A flood of now-former employees report that Telltale is closing its doors in the near future after laying off most workers. Telltale has not officially confirmed any changes as of yet, but this looks like the end.

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Smart speaker sales up 187% in Q2 2018: Google Home leads the pack, Chinese market sees rapid growth

With the ultra-affordable Google Home Mini and Echo Dot often on sale for as little as $30, it's no surprise that sales of smart speakers have gone through the roof over the past 12 months. The global market saw year-on-year growth of 187% in Q2, with total shipments increasing from 5.8 million in 2017 to a staggering 16.8 million for the same period in 2018. Google's lead from Q1 has been retained — it sold 5.4 million Home devices in the second quarter.

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WhatsApp to monetize by selling ads and charging business users

How to go about bringing in revenue is a problem Facebook has failed to solve in the four years since it acquired WhatsApp. The world's most popular messaging app cost roughly $22 billion, but other than a brief experiment with charging an annual 99-cent subscription fee, there has been no clear plan on how to monetize the service.

The company's reluctance to serve advertisements to its now 1.5 billion users is admirable, but it looks like that could change starting next year. According to the Wall Street Journal, there are plans to show ads in the Status section of the app.

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