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26 SMT007 MAGAZINE I JUNE 2018 with people from any location, who can see the issues live. We reduce downtime and we don't impact the delivery to our customer. Las Marias: What are the best practices to consider when dealing with flex circuit assem- bly? Michaud: Honestly, the best practices to consider when dealing with flexible circuit assembly is to engage with individuals that have experi- ence with handling, processing, and design- ing flexible printed circuits. Miraco has 200+ combined years of flexible circuit and flexible circuit assembly experience. Las Marias: What can you say to our readers about choosing EMS partners for their flex circuit assembly? Michaud: Doing the proper due diligence when choosing an EMS partner is unequivocally the best investment you'll make in a program. It is necessary to go beyond the standard qual- ity audit and take the time to get to know the vendor's history and experiences with similar product on an intimate level, also choose part- ners that will engage early in the design process. Las Marias: How do you see the flex circuit assembly market in the next 12 to 18 months? Do you see continued growth? Michaud: I do see continued growth based on the emergence of medical and robotic technol- ogies that are making it out of the R&D stages and into pre-production and production. Las Marias: Do you have any final comments? Michaud: Thanks for reaching out. I hope this helps some of your readers in their flex circuit projects. SMT007 Smartphone vendors worldwide shipped a total of 334.3 million units during the first quarter of 2018 (Q1 18), resulting in a 2.9% decline when compared to the 344.4 million units shipped in the first quarter of 2017, according to International Data Corp.'s (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker. The China market was the biggest driver of this decline with shipment volumes dipping below 100 million in the quarter, which hasn't happened since the third quarter of 2013. Samsung remained the leader in the worldwide smart- phone market, grabbing 23.4% share despite experienc- ing a 2.4% decline from Q1 2017. Apple Inc.'s first quarter saw the iPhone maker move 52.2 million iPhones repre- senting a modest 2.8% year-over-year increase from the 50.8 million units shipped last year. Huawei climbed to a new market share high of 11.8% even as it remained in third overall. While its high-end smartphones are popular in China, the bulk of its ship- ments are of the more affordable class of smartphones, and it also introduced a few new models in the low-end and mid-range segments. Xiaomi's strong performance has no doubt been due to its strong growth outside of China. In Q1 2018, less than half of its shipments were domestic, a transition that very few Chinese companies have reached. OPPO held the fifth position, with its year-over-year decline of 7.5% more a result of the China slowdown than of its perfor- mance overseas, as both share and shipment volumes abroad increased in the first quarter. Global Smartphone Market Fell 3% in Q1 on China Slowdown

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