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iPhone Sales Down in Apple's Q2

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Apple claims a "strong" fiscal Q2 2017 (ending 1 April 2017), with revenues reaching $52.9 billion and net profit of $11.0bn-- even if it also reports a surprise drop in iPhone sales reaching 50.8 million.

Apple resultsThe previous quarter saw iPhone sales reach 51.1m, perhaps a sign of customers holding Apple smartphone purchases back in anticipation of the 10th anniversary model the company should reveal later this year. And while the dip might appear slight it did lead to share prices falling (specifically by -1.9%), although that might be in part due to shareholders wanting more of the company's $250bn-plus cash and investments hoard.

"There is a general softening in phone demand to contend with as well as expectations of a big upgrade, all of which softens the blow of this quarter's miss," Forrester Research tells Reuters. "If we see Apple downplaying expectations before the next upgrade cycle, it might mean that the company isn't confident it will beat those expectations."

WD Upgrades G-Technology Drives With Thunderbolt 3

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Western Digital (WD) follows the launch of the G-Drive USB-C with upgrades on the G-Technology product lines-- the G-Drive with Thunderbolt 3, G-Raid with Thunderbolt 3 and G-Speed Shuttle XL.

WD G-TechnologyAimed at creative professionals such as videographers and digital photographers, the upgraded storage products promise "complete, high-capacity workflow solutions" customers can easily integrate into the larger Thunderbolt 3 ecosystem.

The G-Drive with Thunderbolt 3 is a high-performance storage solution offering x2 Thunderbolt 3 ports and a USB-C port. Users can daisy chain up to 5 additional devices, while capacities reach up to 12TB through an included HGST-brand Ultrastar 7200RPM enterprise class HDD, with transfer rates reaching up to 245MB/s.

The SteelSeries "Dual-Surface RGB Illuminated Mousepad"

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Accessory maker SteelSeries announces what it claims is "the world's first dual-surface RGB illuminated mousepad"-- the QcK Prism, a mousepad featuring a dual-textured reversible surface, as well as the obligatory LED lighting.

Steelseries mousepadThe "dual-surface" portion of the above claim comes via insert users can flip to choose between either a hard polymer surface (for fast-paced gaming) or micro-textured cloth (for extra control). SteelSurface says one can insert some of its QcK and Dex pads in the Prism base, but separately supplied mousing surfaces might not fit due to 1-5mm manufacturing tolerances.

IDC: EMEA Traditional PC Market Returns to Growth

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The traditional PC market (desktops, notebooks and workstations) continues to stabilise in Q1 2017, IDC reports-- shipments show "modest" 1.6% Y-o-Y growth, reaching 17.4 million units.

IDC EMEA Q1 2017 PCs

Notebooks show the strongest performance, growing by 8.9% Y-o-Y across EMEA with 9.2% growth in W. Europe and 8.3% in CEMA. Commercial notebooks are up by 18.6% in CEMA and 11.2% in W. Europe, the result of a push to avoid price increases and favourable exchange rates against the dollar, while consumer notebooks are up by 8.1% in CEMA and 7.5% in W. Europe thanks to previous quarter backlogs.

Desktop shipments are still on the decline however, as EMEA shipments are down by -12% Y-o-Y.

SK Hynix Intros 8Gb GDDR6 DRAM

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The SK Hynix product portfolio gets GDDR6 DRAM-- described by the company as "the world's fastest 2Znm 8Gb (Gigabit) GDDR6 (Graphics DDR6) DRAM" designed for high-end graphics card use.

SK Hynix GDDR6 RAMThe 20nm 8Gb chips operate at 16Gbps per pin, an industry record. SK Hynix provides a performance example of a graphics card with a 384-bit memory bus equipped with GDDR6, offering a bandwidth of up to 768GBbps. In comparis, an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 Ti equipped with GDDR5X has a bandwidth of under 500GBps.

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