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.”
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.
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.