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Nauru: The Tiny Island Crushing International GDP Statistics

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nauru
Move over China, it’s Nauru’s time to shine. The tiny Micronesian island of Nauru has managed an incredible 16% average annual GDP growth over the past decade – outstripping all other contenders by a hefty margin. For decades, the nation’s economy was based around phosphate deposits located on the island, which funded a centrally-managed trust that supported the island’s 11,000 or so citizens. However, following years of mismanagement, the trust’s assets fell from as high as $1.3bn in 1991 to $138m in 2002. In the 1990s, the island later became a tax haven – there are no personal taxes levied in Nauru – but the nation was forced by the international community to introduce anti-avoidance laws. Despite many vicissitudes, the country appears to be on the right track: in the last 10 years, GDP per capita has grown from around $2,400 to over $8,000.

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What Is the World’s Largest App Store? It’s not Apple’s…

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App Store

With over 2.8m different apps in its app store, Google comes out ahead of Apple, which can boast just 2.2m. This result reflects the broader Android/iPhone debate that has raged for several years now. Each phone has its own legion of fans but the sheer number of apps available on Google Play is now adding another dimension to the ongoing competition. Until recently, it was widely accepted that iOS apps generated higher revenues than their Android counterparts but the tables seem to be turning. Accordingly, commentators expect that a recent spike in Android users and the concurrent increase in spending on Android apps will make them more profitable than iOS apps in 2018. Google has also introduced Instant Apps, which essentially enable users to try out apps without actually downloading them in order to save storage space, data and time. Developers are currently building Instant App versions of their software to enable users to try out their offerings merely by pressing a “Try Now” button on the Google Play store. Apple is unlikely to have overlooked this innovation and a similar feature will probably grace the App Store sometime soon.

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Crunching Numbers: Social Media by Active Users

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Social Media Users

It is not surprising that Facebook dominates this list with over 2bn active users currently across its network, 1.3bn of whom also use the company’s Messenger app. However, the notable absence of Twitter from the top 10 social media sites by active users is somewhat strange. With just 330m active monthly users, Twitter is languishing and its user base is not growing. Nevertheless, after a programme of cost-cutting and deals to supply data to corporations, the company said recently that it might be on the verge of posting its first-ever profit this quarter. Instagram’s extraordinary rise over the past few years is reflected in its active users, who now number 700m – up from just 50m in 2012 before it was acquired by Facebook. Google-owned YouTube has also performed exceptionally well with 1.5bn active users, although this number does not include people who frequent the site without having an account.

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Q3 2017 Smartphone Sales: Who’s in the Lead?

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smartphone sales

Over Q3 2017, smartphone sales reached a total of 373.1m units following an unusual sales contraction in the preceding quarter. Each of the top five smartphone makers shipped more units and all apart from Apple were able to grow their market share. As usual, South Korea’s Samsung dominated the industry with Apple lagging in its usual second place. Indeed, the gap actually widened between the two market leaders as Samsung sold 7m extra smartphones against Apple’s additional 1m compared to the same period a year ago. Elsewhere, Chinese phone makers Huawei, OPPO and Xiaomi continue to grow and eat away at smartphone market share in developing nations.

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