HTC U Ultra vs. HTC 10

New Atlas compares the features and specs of the HTC U Ultra (left) and HTC 10

HTC has been as clear as mud on whether the new U Ultra is considered the company’s true 2017 flagship, or whether it’s an experimental offshoot ahead of an HTC 11 (or an otherwise-named successor to last year’s high-ender). Either way, let’s see how the Ultra stacks up next to the firm’s unquestioned 2016 flagship, the HTC 10.

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Act Surprised: Faraday Future drastically shrinks factory plans in North Las Vegas

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Faraday Future had planned to build a Nevada factory at about three million square feet, but is now setting up a plant at about a quarter of that size.

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Apple Watch Dominated Holiday Season With Estimated 5.2 Million Shipments

Apple shipped a record-breaking 5.2 million Apple Watch units last quarter, making it by far the most popular smartwatch of the holiday shopping season, according to the latest data from research firm Strategy Analytics. Apple captured an estimated 63.4% of the worldwide smartwatch market during the quarter.






Apple’s closest competitor Samsung shipped only 800,000 smartwatches in the quarter, for an estimated 9.8% market share, according to Strategy Analytics. All other smartwatch vendors, such as Garmin, Fitbit, and Huawei, combined for an estimated 2.2 million shipments and 26.8% market share.





“Demand for Apple’s new Watch Series 2 as a holiday-season gift in Western markets was surprisingly strong and it enabled Apple to clear a large backlog of smartwatch inventory during the quarter,” said Strategy Analytics director Cliff Raskind.



It is important to acknowledge that these are estimated figures, and that shipments do not necessarily reflect sales.


Apple does not break out Apple Watch sales like it does with iPhones, iPads, and Macs, and instead groups the device under its “Other Products” category. Given the category also includes the Apple TV, Beats products, iPods, AirPods, and other accessories, figuring out Apple Watch revenue is deliberately challenging.



Apple only elected to share that the Apple Watch set all time sales records during the first quarter of its 2017 fiscal year, with CEO Tim Cook noting holiday demand was “so strong” that Apple “couldn’t make enough.”


Strategy Analytics will not disclose its exact methodology for competitive reasons, but executive director Neil Mawston told us the company uses “a blend of channel checks, financial analysis, and other sources” to estimate Apple Watch shipments. “It is the same methodology we have used for phones since the 1990s and for wearables since the modern market first emerged circa 2013.”



Apple saw its “Other Products” revenue drop 8% to $4.02 billion in the quarter compared to $4.35 billion in the year-ago quarter, a sizeable decline that Apple financial chief Luca Maestri attributed to declining Apple TV sales.



Strategy Analytics said the smartwatch industry is showing “tentative signs of recovery” this year, but Raskind noted there remain “several barriers to growth” that must be addressed.

Smartwatch vendors like Samsung need to launch more exciting or cheaper models, Apple must engage closer with mobile operators to stock or subsidize its popular Watch portfolio, while component makers need to develop more accurate sensors for health and fitness tracking that consumers will trust and use more.

Apple Watch shipments totaled 11.6 million units in 2016, or slightly more than half of the estimated 21.1 million smartwatches shipped by all vendors in the year, according to Strategy Analytics. The firm’s data shows a slightly lower 20.8 million smartwatches were shipped globally in 2015 for comparison.


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Chester Graves to Ole Miss: Rebels Land 4-Star DE Prospect

The Ole Miss Rebels added a pass-rusher to their future depth chart on Wednesday when defensive end Chester Graves joined their 2017 recruiting class. 

Ross Martin of the Platte County Citizen provided a video of the announcement:

The 6’5″ and 235-pound Graves is a 4-star prospect, per Scout, and the No. 160 overall player, No. 14 defensive end and No. 1 defensive end from the state of Missouri in the 2017 class.

A number of schools pursued Graves during his recruitment cycle outside of Ole Miss, including nearby Missouri, Iowa, Kansas, Northwestern and Minnesota.

It is no surprise so many programs recruited Graves given his talent level. Jeremy Crabtree of ESPN.com said the “case [was] closed” that Graves was the top recruit in Kansas City. 

Hudl shared some of the highlights that earned Graves such a distinction:

One of the first things that jumps out about Graves is his overall size. He uses his height and strength to bulldoze his way into opposing backfields and meet running backs in the hole. Scout provided a breakdown of Graves’ skill set and pointed to his overall explosiveness at the line of scrimmage.

While Graves doesn’t bring top-end speed, that burst he shows during his first couple of steps allows him to get past offensive tackles and disrupt passing attacks. Scout said, “Once he becomes more versatile and adds more ways to beat opposing linemen, he’ll be even more of a handful to block.”

That is an enticing thought for Ole Miss fans, especially since he hasn’t even landed on campus yet with the opportunity to improve his game and add strength. The Rebels need to improve a defense that allowed a disappointing 34 points per game during the 2016 season if they hope to compete with the likes of Alabama and LSU, and adding impact players like Graves is an ideal place to start.

Chevy Bolt and Volt both easily outpace Nissan Leaf sales

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Chevrolet Bolt electric-vehicle sales already outpaced the more established Nissan Leaf in just its second month of availability.

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Premier League Results Week 23: Wednesday’s 2017 EPL Scores, Top Scorers, Table

Manchester United failed to take full advantage of a number of their top-four rivals who dropped points on Tuesday, as they were held to a 0-0 draw by relegation-battling Hull City at Old Trafford on Wednesday.

Manchester City, on the other hand, were hugely impressive, thumping West Ham United 4-0 at the London Stadium.

Meanwhile, Peter Crouch scored his 100th Premier League goal in Stoke City’s 1-1 draw with Everton at the bet365 Stadium.

Read on for a recap of the day’s action, along with the updated Premier League standings and top scorers.

 

Wednesday Recap 

Arsenal, Liverpool, Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur all dropped points in Tuesday’s Premier League action, giving Jose Mourinho’s Manchester United side the perfect opportunity to close the gap on the UEFA Champions League spots.

However, while they had their chances to beat Hull, United were largely poor on an evening when Tigers goalkeeper Eldin Jakupovic enjoyed an excellent performance.

The 32-year-old stopper kept out efforts from Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Paul Pogba in the first half, before denying the Frenchman again and keeping out a close-range Juan Mata effort after the break.

United dominated proceedings but were simply not clinical enough. The Manchester Evening News‘ Samuel Luckhurst pithily summarized a frustrating 90 minutes for the Old Trafford outfit:

Stoke City had no such trouble in east London, as they swept West Ham aside in a brilliant display.

The Hammers started well, looking to pinch an early goal, but it was Kevin De Bruyne who opened the scoring for Manchester City by sweeping home from the edge of the box after exchanging passes with Gabriel Jesus in the 17th minute.

Four minutes later David Silva fired in City’s second, when Leroy Sane put it on a plate for the Spaniard after a run down the left flank.

The newly signed Jesus then got in on the act in his first Premier League start, tapping home Raheem Sterling’s ball six minutes from the break, before Yaya Toure converted from the penalty spot seven minutes after the hour.

It was a fine performance from Pep Guardiola’s side, and it drew them level on points with fourth-placed Liverpool.

Crouch reached his landmark after just seven minutes of Wednesday’s clash with the Toffees and celebrated in familiar style, having been set up for a simple finish by Marko Arnautovic, per BigSport:

He nearly had a second when he volleyed just wide. Joel Robles also did brilliantly to keep out an Arnautovic effort that would have doubled Stoke City’s lead.

After 39 minutes it was Everton who found an equaliser, when Ryan Shawcross turned Seamus Coleman’s cross into his own net. The game eventually finished in a draw. 

Fed may hike rates four times this year: BlackRock’s Rieder

The Federal Reserve could hike interest rates as many as four times this year, a move that markets are not sufficiently anticipating, BlackRock Inc’s chief investment officer of global fixed income said on Wednesday. “If the Fed does move in March, we could see as many as four hikes in 2017, and as long as data remains supportive, very likely three hikes,” Rick Rieder said in a note. The Federal Reserve held interest rates steady earlier on Wednesday in its first meeting since President Donald Trump took office, while painting an upbeat picture of the U.S. economy.