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  1. Smarphones to receive Eco Rating label from major European operators Mobile devices will be scored across five categories related to sustainability, combined to give an overall score out of 100 Just how sustainable is your mobile phone? Today, a new joint initiative from Deutsche Telekom, Orange, Telefonica, Telia Company, and Vodafone intends to make the answer to this question very clear with the introduction of Eco Rating labels for mobile devices. The labels will be based on five categories related to sustainability: durability, repairability, resource efficiency, recyclability, and climate efficiency. These categories will form part of a more detailed assessment of each mobile device, resulting in an overall Eco Rating out of 100. Based on information from the operators, the various categories will take into consideration the entire life-cycle of the mobile phone where appropriate, providing consistent, accurate information at retail on the environmental impact of producing, using, transporting and disposing of smartphones. The rating methodology was created by IHOBE, a publicly-owned agency specialized in Economic Development, Sustainability and the Environment, building upon the latest standards from various industry bodies, including the European Union, ITU Telecommunication Standardization Sector (ITU-T), European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI), and the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). The Eco Rating scheme will be rolled out across 24 European countries from June and will initially cover mobile phones from 12 vendors, including Huawei, Samsung, and Xiaomi devices. More devices are expected to follow as the scheme matures. “Building a more sustainable future is our joint responsibility, so we believe the time is right to drive a harmonised, industry-wide Eco Rating Scheme that will improve transparency and help raise awareness of the environmental impact of the phones that our customers choose,” said the operators in a joint statement. “We look forward to welcoming more manufacturers and telecoms operators to the Eco Rating initiative in the future, and we hope it will inspire the whole industry to accelerate its transition towards a more circular model for mobile phones.” With demand for mobile devices climbing, hopefully this Eco Rating scheme will push device makers and operators to compete with one another to make their supply chains more sustainable, as well as helping to educate consumers about the environmental costs of the devices they purchase. Source: Smarphones to receive Eco Rating label from major European operators
  2. Consumers now average 4.2 hours per day in apps, up 30% from 2019 Image Credits: TechCrunch The coronavirus pandemic has increased our collective screen time, and that’s particularly true on mobile devices. According to a new report from mobile data and analytics firm App Annie, global consumers are now spending an average of 4.2 hours per day using apps on our smartphones, an increase of 30% from just two years prior. In some markets, the average is even higher — more than five hours. In the first quarter of 2021, the daily time spent in apps surpassed four hours in the U.S., Turkey, Mexico and India for the first time, the report notes. Of those, India saw the biggest jump as consumers there spent 80% more time in smartphone apps in the Q1 2021 versus the first quarter of 2019. To put this in perspective in the American market, Nielsen had last year reported consumers were spending around 4 and half hours watching live or time-shifted TV, but only 3 hours, 46 minutes using smartphone apps. Image Credits: App Annie However, we should point out that Nielsen and App Annie’s analysis can’t necessarily be compared directly, because App Annie only measured time spent on Android devices — and many Americans use iPhones. Nielsen, meanwhile, relies on panels to achieve a representative sampling. Nevertheless, the broad strokes here are that mobile apps seem to be a more popular means of entertainment than the good ol’ American pastime of watching TV. The new report also notes that three markets — Brazil, South Korea, and Indonesia — saw the average daily time spent in apps jump to over five hours this past quarter. It can be difficult to determine which apps are driving these changes as the most downloaded apps tend to remain the same quarter after quarter. The top charts are dominated by the usual names like TikTok, YouTube and Facebook, for example. That’s why App Annie now tracks what it calls “breakout apps,” which are those that saw spikes in quarter-over-quarter downloads across both iOS and Android. Image Credits: App Annie In Q1 2021, Western markets saw a sharp rise in secure messaging apps, Signal and Telegram. Signal, for instance, placed first in the U.K., Germany, and France, and fourth in the U.S. as a “breakout app” for the quarter. Telegram was No. 9 in the U.K. No. 5 in France, and No. 7 in the U.S. Investment and trading apps were also popular in the quarter, with Coinbase’s crypto app at No. 6 in the U.S. and U.K. on this list, while Binance was No. 7 in France. Crypto trading app Upbit, meanwhile, was No. 1 in South Korea. The payment app, PayPay was the No. 1 breakout app in Japan. And Robinhood was No. 2 in the U.S. Clubhouse also made a showing on the “breakout” charts, as it gained ground in non-U.S. markets like Germany and Japan, where it ranked No. 4 and No. 3, respectively. China’s breakout chart was different, with a focus on video apps like TikTok, Kwai, CapCut and iQIYI. Image Credits: App Annie TikTok’s influence on games was also apparent in the quarter. The game High Heels from Istanbul-based Rollic (now owned by Zynga), was heavily advertised on TikTok, sending the title to No. 1 in the U.S. and U.K.’s “breakout” games charts, as well as No. 3 in China, No. 7 in Germany, and No. 6 in Russia. Other hyper-casual games did well, too, including Project Makeover, DOP 2: Delete One Part, and Phone Case DIY. Crash Bandicoot: On the Run also broke out in the quarter. Despite launching on March 25, the game saw 21 million downloads in four days, becoming the top breakout app in Germany, No. 2 in the U.S., No. 3 in the U.K, and No. 9 in France. Source: Consumers now average 4.2 hours per day in apps, up 30% from 2019
  3. LG Pledges To Update Phones For 3 Years Despite Quitting Smartphone Business LG has just released a new press release in which it pledges to update its smartphones for the next three years. This wouldn’t be so odd if LG did not announce its departure from the smartphone business. LG Electronics announced, a couple of days ago, that LG Mobile is shutting down, essentially. The company won’t be making any more smartphones moving forward. The company has been experiencing operating losses since 2015, and has decided to call quits. The company did promise, initially, that it will continue updating its phones, but we did not know the details, until now. LG has pledged to do so for the next three years, by announcing a “three-year pledge”. Premium LG smartphones will receive up to three iterations of Android OS Do note that this concerns only premium LG smartphones, though. LG said that its premium phones will receive “up to three iterations of Android operating system updates from the year of purchase”. This applies to LG premium smartphones that have been released in 2019 and later. So, it includes the LG G series, V series, Velvet, and Wing devices that fit in that time period. Some non-premium, 2020 models will also get updates moving forward Certain 2020 models, such as LG Stylo and K series, will also receive updates. LG says that those phones will receive two OS updates, in case you were wondering. LG will also continue manufacturing phones through the second quarter of 2021. Why? Well, in order to meet contractual obligations to carriers and partners. So, you’ll still be able to purchase LG’s smartphones, if you want. LG also said that you’re free to contact LG customer service support in your area, in case you have any specific questions about your smartphone, and what comes next. LG has a sketchy history when it comes to updates, so… let’s see what happens This is a huge promise by LG, and it will be interesting to see what will happen moving forward. LG was far from being timely with updates in the past. It took the company quite a bit of time to bring new iterations of Android to its smartphones. The company was well-known for it, unfortunately, so it will be interesting to see what will happen here. LG did commit to updating quite a few devices in its press release, so let’s hope it will stick to that promise, and that the updates will arrive in time. Source: LG Pledges To Update Phones For 3 Years Despite Quitting Smartphone Business
  4. iPhone 12 Pro Max among Consumer Reports' best smartphones of 2021 The iPhone 12 Pro Max is one of the best smartphones of the year and the top-rated iPhone model in 2021, according to Consumer Reports. Apple's flagship 6.7-inch device earned one of the top spots in Consumer Report's latest smartphone rankings because of its A14 chipset, OLED display, 5G connectivity, and upgraded camera features. "While the 12 Pro Max will cost you $100 more than its smaller sibling, the 12 Pro, it packs in several more hours of battery life, a slightly larger display, and a 2.5x zoom camera that gets you just a hair closer to the action than the 12 Pro's 2x camera," the publication wrote. Consumer Reports did note that the iPhone 12 Pro Max is heavier and larger than its stablemates, which could make it harder to use for those with smaller hands. Other smartphones on the unranked list include the OnePlus Nord N10 5G and the Samsung Galaxy Note 20 5G. In addition to the 2021-focused list, Consumer Reports also ranks the best smartphones on the market based on a variety of ratings and reviews. That list is topped by a handful of iPhone models, including the iPhone 11 and iPhone 12 series. Source: iPhone 12 Pro Max among Consumer Reports' best smartphones of 2021
  5. AMOLED Smartphones will take 39% of the smartphone market this year According to the latest research by the analytical company TrendForce, the share of smartphones equipped with AMOLED screens will reach 39% of the total shipments in 2021. For comparison: last year it was 33%, and in 2019 – 31%. AMOLED SMARTPHONES WILL TAKE 39% OF THE SMARTPHONE MARKET THIS YEAR If this prediction turns out to be correct, the share of models with AMOLED screens will be greater than the share of not only models with liquid crystal displays on amorphous silicon (a-Si), but also models with liquid crystal displays manufactured using low-temperature polycrystalline silicon (LPTS) technology. Analysts point out that manufacturers will be actively purchasing smartphone components throughout 2021 for two reasons. First, the industry as a whole expects demand for smartphones to increase significantly this year. Second, manufacturing capacity throughout the semiconductor supply chain is congested, resulting in severe shortages in some segments. This encourages customers, including smartphone manufacturers, to stock up on some components to reduce the potential risk of shortages. IDC: THE SMARTPHONE MARKET HAS RETURNED TO GROWTH Experts of the analytical company IDC summed up the results of the fourth quarter of 2020 and the whole year in general on the smartphone market. As stated in the corresponding report, the smartphone market returned to growth. Sales in the fourth quarter of 2020 were 385.9 million units; which is 4.3% more than smartphones sold in the fourth quarter of 2019. At the same time, for the entire 2020, smartphones were sold 5.9% less than in 2019. At the end of the fourth quarter of 2020, Apple was named the market leader. It was able to increase sales in annual terms; that is, in comparison with the same quarter of the previous year, by 22.2% – from 73.8 to 90.1 million devices. This led to an increase in Apple’s share from 19.9% to 23.4%. The second place is occupied by Samsung, which in annual terms increased sales by 6.2%, as a result of which its share increased from 18.8% to 19.1%. The third-place belongs to Xiaomi. Its share increased from 8.9% to 11.2%. The top five also include Oppo and Huawei. Also, The share of Oppo increased from 8.3% to 8.8%. The share of Huawei decreased from 15.2% to 8.4%. As for 2020 as a whole, Samsung remained the leader with 20.6% of the market. Apple is in second place with 15.9%. The share of Huawei, which is in third place at the end of 2020, is 14.6%. The fourth-place belongs to Xiaomi, whose share is 11.4%, the fifth – to Vivo, whose share is 8.6%. In 2019, Samsung’s share was 21.6%, Apple’s 13.9%. Huawei – 17.5%, Xiaomi – 9.2%, Vivo – 8.0%. Source / VIA :TrendForce Source: AMOLED Smartphones will take 39% of the smartphone market this year
  6. Samsung could reveal its AMD GPU for smartphones in June Prepare for the power of RDNA in a handset In a nutshell: The smartphone world has been waiting a long time for the fruits of Samsung's partnership with AMD. According to a renowned leaker, we'll finally see the RDNA mobile GPU this June. It was back in 2019 when AMD and Samsung signed a deal that would bring the former's graphics tech to the latter's mobile devices. Later rumors claimed it was coming to Galaxy phones in 2021, and we've seen some promising benchmarks that show the GPU beating the Adreno 650 found in the Galaxy S20 series. Samsung is tentatively scheduled to release Samsung × AMD GPU in June to showcase new technologies and specifications, but only to release GPU, the processor needs to wait. — Ice universe (@UniverseIce) February 23, 2021 Now, Ice Universe, who's been behind countless Samsung leaks, has tweeted that the Samsung/AMD GPU will be revealed in June. They note that only the graphics processor is being unveiled; we'll have to wait a bit longer to see the full SoC it sits inside. Samsung's own Exynos SoC has long faced criticism for its shortcomings when compared to the Snapdragon alternatives. There was even a petition demanding the company drop its in-house chip. The recent Exynos 2100 is a lot closer to Qualcomm's new Snapdragon 888 in terms of its CPU performance—they share a similar design—but the Snapdragon's Adreno 660 outperforms the Mali-G78 MP14 in the Exynos by around 28 percent, though it runs hotter. An Exynos SoC with integrated RDNA tech could turn the Galaxy series into true graphics powerhouses. All Samsung needs to do is optimize the GPU. More leaked benchmarks from last month showed that an engineering sample of the Samsung/AMD SoC almost doubled Apple's A14 Bionic's GPU performance. We'll have to wait and see whether the final product arrives in Galaxy phones this year or next. Source: Samsung could reveal its AMD GPU for smartphones in June
  7. IDC: Indian market drops 2% in 2020, strong H2 counters weak H1 In its latest market report, IDC focuses on the performance of the Indian smartphone market in 2020. The first half of the year, which was marked by the lockdowns and restrictions at the beginning of the current pandemic, saw a 26% year-over-year decline in shipments, while the second half of 2020 saw a recovering market push to a 19% YoY growth. The resulting nearly 150 million phones shipped are a decline of just -1.7% YoY, which is the first after several years of growth for the Indian market. IDC projects that 2021 will bring an increase in shipments of around 10% over 2020. The online sales grew in 2020, accounting for nearly half of the total market at 48%. During Q4 of 2020 online shipments posted a record 51% share of all shipments, thanks to trade-in programs and deals. MediaTek-powered devices led the sales with a share of 43%, followed by 40% of Qualcomm-powered phones. 5G smartphone shipments crossed the 3 million mark in 2020, but adoption was limited by the lack of a 5G network and the higher price point. Xiaomi retained its leading position in 2020 with 41 million units shipped. Samsung was second on the thanks to the success of its online channels and its Galaxy M series of phones, shipping just under 30 million phones. Realme pushed Oppo for fourth and posted the biggest growth of 2020 with 19%. Source Source: IDC: Indian market drops 2% in 2020, strong H2 counters weak H1
  8. Hi All, Just wondering if Nokia with Canonical makes Ubuntu Touch Devices, does people love it and buy to help support Ubuntu Touch development? My wish is that Nokia should join hands with Canonical to make Ubuntu Devices. If that happens, all lazy s/w app giants will create apps supporting Ubuntu Touch platform. I'm calling s/w app giants as lazy bcoz if they would've supported Ubuntu Touch earlier, the OS could've been overtaking Android & Windows Phones(or Windows 10 Mobile) by now. All Nokia & Ubuntu/Linux fans(incl. myself) or devs out there, please suggest Nokia to create Ubuntu Devices in future ASAP. Please vote and provide feedback in comments(if any). Members please note that I'm referring to the future and not now. I'm not a fool to ask for/suggest a change in the first year of re-emerged Nokia. @steven36 & @teodz1984: Please read the desc carefully before providing comments.
  9. Qualcomm reportedly developing its own smartphones powered by Snapdragon 875 Look out, Note 20 Ultra (Image credit: Qualcomm) Qualcomm is allegedly developing its own branded smartphones, which will be produced in partnership with Asus, according to a report by Digitimes. These won’t just be run-of-the-mill phones, either – they’ll be premium gaming phones, per industry sources, and could come out as soon as the end of 2020. Asus will be responsible for designing and developing the hardware, according to Android Authority – which shouldn’t be a surprise given the company’s released several high-end gaming phones, culminating in the Asus ROG 3. Qualcomm, on the other hand, will create the ‘industry design’ and software running on top of its Snapdragon 875 platform. The report notes that the next Asus ROG phone and Qualcomm's gaming phone will likely share parts and components like displays, memory, cameras, batteries, and cooling systems, so expect some hardware similarities between the two smartphone lines. That Snapdragon 875 chipset hasn’t been officially confirmed, but it’s rumored to debut during Qualcomm’s annual showcase on December 1 and 2. That’s when the company traditionally unveils its new mobile-optimized silicon to be featured in the next year’s flagships. Snapdragon 875 and the next year’s flagships Nearly every flagship Android phone sports that year’s Snapdragon 800-series chipset; for instance, the Snapdragon 865 debuted in the Samsung Galaxy S20 line and has come out in phones throughout 2020, like the OnePlus 8 series. But top-end phones in the last few months have switched to the slightly faster Snapdragon 865 Plus chipset, including the Samsung Galaxy Note 20 line. Thus, we can probably expect a Snapdragon 875 Plus, but not before mid-2021. In the meantime, we’ll look forward to what the baseline Snapdragon 875 brings: since the 865 ushered in a year of widespread 5G support, we’re curious what its successor will accomplish. Ideally, this would bundle the 5G modem with the chipset, as prior versions in the Snapdragon 800 line did with 4G modems. This would save precious space that’s currently taken up by discrete modems like the Snapdragon X55, which pairs with current top-end Snapdragon chipsets to enable 5G connectivity. Qualcomm reportedly developing its own smartphones powered by Snapdragon 875
  10. Samsung says auto chip shortage could hit smartphones Warning comes as car companies lobby governments for help. Enlarge SOPA Images | Getty Images 57 with 37 posters participating Samsung Electronics said a global semiconductor shortage that has hit global carmakers could also disrupt orders for the memory chips used in smartphones, as manufacturers rushed to respond to the crisis. The warning from the world’s biggest memory chipmaker comes as companies and governments grow concerned that constrained chip manufacturing capacity could derail countries’ economic recoveries from the coronavirus pandemic. The rush by semiconductor foundries to meet demand for auto chips means many are now operating at full capacity, limiting their ability to take on new orders, which could in turn slow deliveries of chips designed for mobile devices. Samsung said on Thursday that this squeeze on foundries, and any subsequent slowdown in mobile device orders, could affect demand for its Dram and Nand memory chips, which enable smartphones and tablets to perform multiple tasks at once. "Because of the foundry supply shortages that have become an issue globally, the supply issue of other semiconductor parts could affect mobile demand, so we are closely watching the implications," said Han Jinman, executive vice-president of Samsung’s memory chip business. Global semiconductor players are already moving to address shortages in chips for the car industry. Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company, the world’s biggest contract maker of processor chips, said on Thursday that it was "expediting" automotive-related products in an attempt to meet automakers’ needs. "While our capacity is fully utilised with demand from every sector, TSMC is reallocating our wafer capacity to support the worldwide automotive industry," the company said. CC Wei, TSMC’s chief executive, told investors last week that it had converted some manufacturing capacity to respond to the sudden resurgence of demand for automotive chips at the end of last year. The Taiwanese group’s increased attention came after automakers pushed governments to campaign on their behalf. Car companies in Europe, Japan and the US have engaged in direct talks with the chipmaker as well as lobbied via industry associations’ diplomatic channels to Taiwan’s government, economy minister Wang Mei-Hua and TSMC have said. People directly familiar with those communications said such lobbying efforts were unusual. "We believe that as economies are struggling due to the pandemic, governments, especially in the countries hit worst by the virus, see car demand as a rare growth impulse important for their overall economies," said a Taiwanese government official. "We would not normally see this kind of approach if it were only about a few individual companies." Samsung is also considering urgently expanding foundry capacity. The company’s foundry business posted record quarterly revenues in the three months to December, it said on Thursday, led by strong demand for the chips used in 5G mobile technology and high-performance computers. Samsung said that a stronger South Korean won and higher production costs would hit the group’s first-quarter earnings, but its full-year outlook remained bright. Semiconductors, which accounted for nearly half of Samsung’s operating profits last year, are likely to drive an earnings increase in 2021 as chip prices rise. "The chip price increase this year won’t be as rapid as 2017-18 but we will see a steady rise with a prolonged upcycle, which will be healthier," said Daniel Kim, an analyst at Macquarie. The company’s net profits in the fourth quarter rose by 26.4 percent year-on-year to ₩6.45 trillion ($5.78 billion). The profits were below the ₩7.3 trillion forecast by analysts polled by Bloomberg. Samsung says auto chip shortage could hit smartphones
  11. Apple retakes second place in smartphone shipment rankings as sanctions bite Huawei Samsung’s still number one, but its shipments were down Photo by Amelia Holowaty Krales / The Verge Apple overtook Huawei to reclaim its spot as the second-bestselling smartphone manufacturer in the world in 2020, according to new research reports from Counterpoint Research and Canalys. Samsung was still the leading seller in terms of number of smartphones shipped, while Xiaomi, Oppo, and Vivo took the next three spots, according to Counterpoint. It was just under a year ago that the same research analysts reported that Huawei had overtaken Apple to take second place in 2019. But since then, US trade sanctions seem to have hit Huawei hard. The Chinese company’s smartphone shipments were 21 percent lower in 2020 compared to 2019, according to Counterpoint, and Huawei dropped out of the top five entirely in the fourth quarter of the year. It’s the first time in six years Huawei hasn’t been in the top five, Canalys notes. Huawei’s smartphone shipments dropped out of the top five in Q4 2020. Image: Canalys Although Huawei was still able to hold on to the number three spot overall, thanks to domestic sales in China (where it reportedly shipped 70 percent of its phones in 2019), Xiaomi seized the opportunity to expand internationally and saw shipments increase by 17 percent in 2020 compared to 2019. However, the fastest-growing smartphone brand in 2020 was reportedly Realme, which shipped 65 percent more phones than it did in 2019. Apple’s gains were more modest, increasing by 3 or 5 percent year over year depending on whether you ask Counterpoint Research or Canalys. The latter notes that Apple shipped the most iPhones ever in the fourth quarter of last year. Counterpoint Research reports that Apple overtook Huawei last year. Image: Counterpoint Research Although it’s still the bestselling smartphone manufacturer in the world, both reports suggest that Samsung’s smartphone business is losing market share. Both Canalys and Counterpoint say its shipments fell 14 percent in 2020 compared to 2019. It’s still around 50 million smartphones ahead of second place Apple, but the gap appears to be narrowing. Counterpoint says that the South Korean electronics giant is facing stiff competition from Apple at the high end of the market and from Chinese manufacturers in the midrange. Overall, the entire smartphone market was reportedly down compared to 2019. Canalys reports that shipments were down 7 percent, while Counterpoint reports a bigger 10 percent decline. Counterpoint blames the pandemic and resulting lockdowns for the drop, but notes that shipments began to pick up in the second half of the year. Apple retakes second place in smartphone shipment rankings as sanctions bite Huawei
  12. For years, the number of Americans who have reported using the internet, social media, and smartphones has been on a meteoric rise. But that rate has slowed to a near-stall. New data published this week by the Pew Research Center show that, since 2016, that number has plateaued, indicating those technologies have reached a saturation point among many groups of people. The percentage of Americans using smartphones (77%), the internet (88% to 89%), and social media (69%) has remained virtually unchanged during the last two years. “Put simply, in some instances there just aren’t many non-users left,” the report states. More than 90% of adults younger than 50 report they use the internet or own a smartphone. This number squares with some of the trends noticed earlier this year by Gartner, a global research firm. The fourth quarter of 2017 marked the first time since 2004 that the market for smartphones declined globally compared to the prior year. People are less frequently buying new phones. “While demand for high quality, 4G connectivity and better camera features remained strong, high expectations and few incremental benefits during replacement weakened smartphone sales,” the firm reported. That’s already posed significant challenges for foreign companies looking to break into the US market. The Chinese brand Xiaomi is the fourth-largest seller of smartphones in the world. But as CNBC reported earlier this year, any goals it has for getting its products into American hands will be tough, with market saturation being a big reason why. Of course, there are segments of the US population that represent room in which to expand the use of smartphones and the internet. About 60% of Americans living in rural zones complain they have internet speeds so slow that it inhibits use. There’s also the population over 50 years old, which often complains that learning a new technology isn’t worth their time, according to the Pew report. In 2015, a Pew survey showed 34% of people over 65 said they had no confidence in their ability to perform tasks online. So for companies looking to make inroads, some of the challenges are clear: Invent products that make usability improvements to what’s already offered by Apple or Samsung that can be applied across a broad age range of people. It’s a tall order, but a tighter market could just pave the way for a newer, better wave of technology. Source
  13. Your smartphone is going to look a lot stranger next time around Big, small, folding and curvy; MWC should see plenty of oddities to tempt jaded gadget buyers. But the real action is elsewhere. In tech, like in many other areas, nobody really knows anything. That's why, for all the predictions that artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things, augmented reality or 5Gwould be the things that mattered at Mobile World Congress last year, the device that actually stole the show was a phone that looked like a banana. Nokia's 8110 4G 'banana phone' turned out to be one of the stars of MWC last year. And with the smartphone industry desperate for something to turn around its fortunes, we can expect more oddities this year, too. "Globally the smartphone market is a mess right now," said Ryan Reith of tech analyst IDC recently, pointing out that we are holding onto our smartphones for longer, that most of us already have already bought one so finding new customers is getting harder, and that, amidst economic uncertainty, there is growing consumer frustration around continuously rising prices. I'd add another factor -- we're becoming bored of what we're being offered. Increasingly it's hard to differentiate between a mid-range rectangle of plastic and glass and a flagship slab of plastic and glass, except by price. Which is where something like the banana phone comes in. Tech companies need exciting stuff to get us out buying new hardware again. While Nokia's yellow device isn't likely to be copied by too many rivals, expect plenty of foldable phones over the next couple of years -- and maybe one at MWC from Huawei, hot on the heels of Samsung. If these devices prove popular, plenty more will follow. But some tech companies are already looking beyond the smartphone, and it's perhaps significant that one of the big events at MWC 2019 isn't even smartphone-related: it's a look at Microsoft's HoloLens smart glasses. Still, while odd smartphones and AR goggles are fun to write about, you don't see many people toting either, which means tech companies are going to have to work a lot harder to explain why we need to buy new devices. 5G is going to be everywhere at MWC, and many smartphone makers and network operators will hope that when it arrives it will give the market a much-needed boost by providing a compelling reason to upgrade. More bandwidth and lower latency will certainly make the mobile experience better -- especially for people who like to walk down the street making a video call. There will be plenty of 5G handset announcements and talk about 5G rollouts, although in reality it will be later this year and into next year that 5G will really come into its own. Much depends on when the 5G iPhone arrives, as this will mark the mass-market arrival of 5G -- for consumers, at least. But 5G is about more than that. Although they won't grab the headlines like a foldable phone, there will be plenty of AI, IoT and augmented reality plays on display at MWC. Most of them will rely on the bandwidth and the vast number of connections offered by 5G networks -- which will be able to support a million devices per kilometre -- to become reality. The recent clash between the US government and Huawei shows how just how important 5G networks will be in future. The IoT will bring plenty of innovations, particularly for business where the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) is ramping up fast. But the combination of AI, 5G and millions of sensors in our homes, watches, cars and clothes is going to create a surveillance capitalism bonanza that society is in no way ready for. If you think data privacy is a mess when it comes to smartphone apps, just wait until you are surrounded by sensors that record your every move and heartbeat. Deciding who gets access to all that data is going to be one of the big decisions we must make over the next few years. Sure, at MWC all eyes will be on the shiny gadgets; but don't miss the important stuff going on in the background. Source
  14. Xiaomi recently submitted a design patent for a smartphone design with dual camera selfies at its corners. The patent was first spotted by TigerMobiles and features several images of smartphones sporting different placements of the dual selfie cameras at the top. As full-screen smartphones designs with pop-up selfie cameras such as the Mi 9T have somehow become the trend, Xiaomi is finding more ways to place the selfie camera. Specifically, some of the designs depict positions other than the teardrop notch or pop-up camera design. In fact, one design clearly shows the dual sensors located on opposite ends of the phone. While another other suggests that the top bezels could make a comeback. Admittedly, these designs do look odd at first glance, but given enough time, it’s likely that these designs could become the next trend. In any case, these are just patents, and at the time of writing, it’s unclear if Xiaomi will even act upon these designs for all its future smartphones. Source: 1. TigerMobiles via GSMArena // Image: TigerMobiles 2. Xiaomi Submits Patent For Dual Corner Selfie Cameras On Smartphones (via Lowyat.NET)
  15. Three activists wandered around busy spots in Washington, DC, on Thursday using camera phones to run people's faces through facial-recognition software in protest against growing use of the technology. The software they used was Rekognition, Amazon's commercially available and sometimes controversial facial-recognition tool. The protesters collected 13,740 face scans, including of one US congressman. Protesters in white jumpsuits with smartphones mounted on their heads scanned people's faces on Thursday. Protesters who oppose facial recognition donned white hazmat suits and cameras to collect face scans of more than 13,000 people. Activists from Fight for the Future mounted the protest in Washington, DC, on Thursday. Three protesters wearing white jumpsuits bearing signs saying "Facial Recognition in Progress" scanned the faces of passersby using smartphones mounted on their heads. They used Amazon's commercially available facial-recognition software, called Rekognition. The protesters were making the point that facial recognition remained unregulated in the US. Private companies and the US government are increasingly adopting the technology, prompting fears of surveillance creep. The protesters focused on the halls of Congress as well as busy metro stops, and they were looking in particular for members of Congress, journalists, and Amazon lobbyists, according to a press release. The protest was livestreamed, and a tally was kept of how many people they scanned. The final count was 13,740, including 25 lobbyists, seven journalists, and one congressman, Democratic Rep. Mark DeSaulnier of California. The website where the protest was livestreamed allows people to upload their picture to check whether they were among the 13,740 faces scanned. Fight for the Future says it will delete all the photos and data after two weeks. "This should probably be illegal, but until Congress takes action to ban facial-recognition surveillance, it's terrifyingly easy for anyone — a government agent, a corporation, or just a creepy stalker — to conduct biometric monitoring and violate basic rights at a massive scale," Fight for the Future's deputy director, Evan Greer, said in a statement. "We did this to make a point." Fight for the Future's protesters. The organization is calling for immediate legislation banning the use of facial-recognition technology by governmental bodies and law enforcement. Four US cities have enforced their own facial-recognition bans: Berkeley, Oakland, and San Francisco in California, and Somerville, Massachusetts. The protest took place on the same day a bipartisan bill was introduced that would force the police to obtain a warrant before using facial recognition. Fight for the Future's methods were not universally welcomed. Chris Gilliard, an expert in privacy and tech policy, objected to the logic of using nonconsensual facial recognition on unsuspecting citizens, especially people of color. Greer responded in a comment to Vice that Fight for the Future deliberately picked areas "already under surveillance" rather than residential areas, a logic Gilliard rejected. "Following that logic, I could set up my surveillance project in a neighborhood filled with Ring doorbells. After all, everyone in that neighborhood is in the system," he tweeted. Artificial-intelligence experts have expressed concerns specifically over the usage of Amazon's Rekognition software by law enforcement, as researchers found it was more likely to misidentify women and people with darker complexions. Source
  16. The Best Cheap Phones for (Almost) Every Budget Why pay four figures? Good Android devices and iPhones are more affordable than ever. US wireless carriers like T-Mobile and Verizon go out of their way to make expensive smartphones seem affordable. Why not buy a $1,400 Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra if you only have to pay $0 down and $58 a month for it? Whether you pay it all at once or in 24 monthly installments, you’re still spending more than a thousand dollars for your phone. Your pricey new device may also keep you locked to your network, leaving you unable to switch wireless carriers until the phone is paid off. Here's another idea: Forget the spendy option and get a seriously great, more affordable phone instead. We’ve tested dozens to find the best cheap smartphones that aren't annoyingly slow. Our top pick is as good as almost any device, and our other picks strike a great balance between price and luxury. Updated March 2020: We've replaced the LG G7 ThinQ with a newer model, tweaked pricing on a few options, and added some warnings about upcoming successors that will likely dethrone our top picks in the coming months. When you buy something using the links in our stories, we may earn a small affiliate commission. Here's how it works. You can also support our reporting and reviewing by purchasing a 1-year print + digital WIRED subscription for $5 (Discount). 1. Google Pixel 3A ($320+) Best Overall Google doesn't think a phone needs to be $1,000 in order to be premium.Photograph: Google If you can spend $320 (or $420 for the larger Pixel 3A XL), you cannot find a better phone than this (9/10, WIRED Recommends). The 3A is the first budget-minded phone that has topped our Best Android Phones because it manages to feel like a high-end $800 phone in the ways that matter most: It's fast, it gets security updates directly from Google, and it has a camera that's as good as the one on almost any other phone you can buy. It even has a Night Sight mode that makes night-time selfies and other shots in very dim lighting conditions possible. The phones were already great value when they launched, and at that time they were priced at $400 and $480 respectively. But now the base prices have dropped, and you can almost always find the phones discounted on Amazon. Prepare to make a few sacrifices. The display doesn't stretch as close to the edges as many flagship phones, it's not waterproof, and there's no wireless charging (just fast wired charging). It's also covered in a classy polycarbonate shell instead of glass and metal—this actually makes it more durable, but if glass is your jam, take note. The Pixel 3A has a headphone jack, something even the expensive Pixel 4 and 4 XL do not have. (Here are some other great phones with headphone jacks.) If you're going to buy a Pixel, get this one, although do be aware there are reports (aka rumors) of a potential Pixel 4a arriving in May. Works on AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon, Sprint, and more Pixel 3A costs $320 at Amazon 2. Motorola Moto G7 ($200–300) Runner-Up A good buy for a teen, or anyone on a budget. Photograph: Motorola Motorola’s G-series phones kick-started the wave of affordable, decent Android phones when they first arrived several years ago. The Moto G7 continues that trend. It’s not the fastest or sexiest phone, but it’s incredibly cheap and performs every essential function well enough that you won’t go nuts taking a photo or waiting for an app to load. If you’re on a tight budget, this is the phone to own. It's more than adequate for a teenager or casual phone user. The Moto G7 can often be found for much less than its original $300 price, so make sure you catch it when it goes on sale, which happens frequently. There is also the more affordable Moto G7 Power, which has a massive battery, and the ultra-affordable Moto G7 Play that I don't recommend unless you're a very light phone user and are OK with a device that shows some lag. Read our full review of all three Moto G7 models for more information. Motorola has also announced two new successors—the Moto G Stylus ($300) and the Moto G Power ($250)—which are set to arrive this spring, so you may want to wait for one of those if you want the most current phone and you're OK with paying a little more. Works on AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon, Sprint, and more Moto G7 costs somewhere between $200 and $300 at Amazon or Motorola 3. Nokia 7.2 ($349) Best for $350 Nokia's phone receives software and security updates directly from Google for two years. Photograph: Nokia The Nokia 7.2 replaced one of our favorite cheap phones, the Nokia 7.1. It's similar but has double the storage and a larger display—with a smaller notch cutout for the selfie cam. It's a step up from some phones in its price bracket, with a reasonably fast midrange processor, dual rear cameras, and 128 GB of storage. It's also an Android One device, which means it gets two years of software updates directly from Google, including regular security patches. This makes it one of the only Android phones that will remain as updated and secure as possible (outside of Google's Pixel phones). On the downside, it's not rated for water resistance, and you'll need a case (this appears to be a good one). The glass back, though attractive, is very fragile. The Nokia 7 series usually gets updated closer to the end of the year, so don't expect a Nokia 7.3 until October. However, HMD Global, the company that makes these phones, was set to announce new Nokia devices at its now-canceled MWC press conference. Expect to see some cheaper (or more expensive) Nokia phones arrive soon. Works on AT&T and T-Mobile Nokia 7.2 costs $349 at Amazon 4. LG G8 ThinQ ($400) Best for $450 or Less It has a headphone jack. Photograph: LG Still lamenting the loss of the headphone jack? If so, you should check out LG's G8 ThinQ. Not only is it a flagship Android phone with the 3.5-mm port, but it also has a quad digital-to-analog converter (DAC) that makes music sound better when you plug in with corded headphones. Wireless audio sounds fantastic as well, thanks to its support for the immersive DTS:X 3D audio spec. The G8 is also faster than many of the phones listed above, because it comes equipped with the flagship chip of 2019, the Qualcomm Snapdragon 855. Paired with 6 GB of RAM, you won't have problems running any apps or games. There's also 128 GB of internal storage, a Micro SD card slot if you want more space, a 6.1-inch OLED (1440p) screen, wireless charging, water resistance, and a glass back (get a case, like this one, because the glass is slippery). It's a capable shooter too. The main 12-megapixel camera is paired with a 16-MP ultra-wide-angle one, giving you some versatility. I'd wager the aforementioned Pixel 3a still snaps better photos, though. LG isn't usually speedy at updating the software on its phones, but signs show it could be improving. Five months after Google released Android 10, LG started rolling out the update to the G8—still a slow timeframe but better than years past. You might have seen some news over the past few weeks on the LG G8X and V60 ThinQ. They're newer phones, but they cost a lot more and aren't going to add much value, so you're better off going for the cheaper G8. Works on AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint, Verizon, and more LG G8 ThinQ costs $400 at Amazon and $550 from Best Buy 5. OnePlus 7T ($499) Best for $500 A top-of-the-line processor makes OnePlus' phone fast and powerful. Photograph: OnePlus The OnePlus 7T (8/10, WIRED Recommends) is one of our favorite Android phones at any price, much like the OnePlus 6T before it. It has the chops (and chips) to go up against any high-end device but costs $200 to $400 less than most of the best Android phones and the latest iPhones. You don’t see many devices with a near top-of-the-line Qualcomm Snapdragon 855+ processor, an AMOLED screen, 8 GB of RAM, and 128 GB of internal storage for $600, the phone's original launch price, but it has been discounted to $500 for several weeks now, making it even better value. It's also nice that OnePlus has become one of the fastest manufacturers when it comes to delivering Android software updates. This phone launched with Android 10 and gets bimonthly security updates. The 7T has a capable in-display fingerprint sensor and triple rear cameras, including a 2X zoom lens. Our only real complaints are that it lacks a headphone jack, there's no wireless charging, and the snazzy glass-backed design makes this phone more delicate—though it comes with a case in the box. It’s also only splashproof, not waterproof. Works on AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon OnePlus 7T costs $499 from OnePlus 6. iPhone 8 ($449) A Good Affordable iPhone The cheapest iPhone on our list. Photograph: Apple Apple eliminated the home button (and Touch ID) on the iPhone a few years ago, but if you want one more go with the classic design, get an iPhone 8 (8/10, WIRED Recommends). It's missing a few of the camera tricks of newer iPhones, but it still runs just fine and should continue to chug along for at least a few more years. The big benefit of an iPhone (like the Google Pixel phones) is that Apple controls its software, so each model is supported for half a decade or so. Apple's App Store is also home to some of the best mobile games and apps, some of which you won't find on Android phones. We recommend waiting until the end of April if you can before jumping on the iPhone 8, though. There's a lot of talk about Apple releasing an updated iPhone SE model by then that will cost around $399, which will likely make it the cheap iPhone to buy. Works on AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon, Sprint, and more iPhone 8 costs $449 from Apple 7. iPhone XR ($599) The Cheapest Modern iPhone We recommend the XR as a step-up iPhone option. Photograph: Apple If you want the best deal for a high-end iPhone, consider the iPhone XR. It's our top iPhone at the moment. Just know that, like the OnePlus 7T, this phone is only "cheap" when you compare it with the incredibly expensive new models. The iPhone XR (8/10, WIRED Recommends) came out in 2018, but it still compares well to the new iPhone 11. No, it doesn't have an extra wide-angle lens, and its camera can't capture as much detail in the dark, but otherwise there isn't a huge difference between last year's model and what Apple is selling for $100 more today. Until the iPhone 12 rolls around in late 2020, the XR is worth strong consideration. iPhone XR costs $599 from Apple Should You Buy Now? With the Covid-19 outbreak, this is a difficult question. In short, yes. If you buy any of these phones now, they will serve you well. But several manufacturers will be announcing newer models soon (some already have), with plenty of launches expected in April and May. Factory activity in China is falling at record rates though, according to the BBC, so phonemakers may not be able to ship their new 2020-model phones until many months after they're announced. If you need a phone at this very moment, buy one now. If you can wait to see what the field looks like in late May, do it. Check Network Compatibility If you buy an unlocked phone on this list and try to take it to one of your wireless carrier's retail stores, they may tell you it isn't compatible with the network. It likely is. Just use a paper clip to pop the SIM card out of your current phone, then slide that SIM into your new phone. If it doesn't work at first, reboot the phone or just wait a couple of hours. If you need a new SIM, try ordering one online from your carrier, or try to get them to give you a SIM when you activate a line in the store (if you're starting coverage). Tell them you have a phone. Many times, reps will want to sell you a phone; that's one potential reason they might hassle you into buying a different device in the store. Having said that, please make sure whatever phone you buy will work on your wireless network. Listings on retailers like Amazon should state clearly which networks it will be compatible with. Also make sure the listing says that the phone is being sold "unlocked." Warning for Verizon and Sprint users: There's a higher chance an unlocked phone will not work on your network. Make sure it is labeled to work on Verizon or Sprint, or that it says the phone is CDMA-capable. Verizon customers, if something strange is going on, like you get no texts, you may also need to contact customer service and tell them to enable CDMA-Less roaming. AT&T and T-Mobile are GSM carriers, which is the standard for most of the world; most unlocked phones are compatible with them. If you're nervous, look up the specifications of the exact model you're considering. Make sure it has the LTE bands it needs to run on your carrier. Speaking of networks, none of the phones in this guide support 5G, which is perfectly fine. 5G phones are pricey, and the networks are still only available in a handful of places around the country, so you're not missing much. Avoid These Phones! If a phone isn't listed here, or if it's refurbished, be careful. It's easy to waste money or time when you're shopping for affordable phones. It's hard to get a sense of how a cheaper phone will act in the long term when you use it in a store for five minutes, and retail employees may not be much help. Make sure you read reviews online. For whatever reason, big manufacturers like Samsung like to keep selling their old pre-2019 devices, like the Galaxy S8. A good rule of thumb is to avoid most devices that originally came out before 2019. They probably won't continue to get software and security updates for long, if they're even being supported now. Source: The Best Cheap Phones for (Almost) Every Budget (Wired)
  17. NEW YORK (Reuters) - The average American video gamer is 33 years old, prefers to play on their smartphone and is spending big on content — 20 percent more than a year ago and 85 percent more than in 2015, a report showed on Thursday. The annual research from the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) comes as more American households rethink how to set limits for kids who love gaming and how to allocate their entertainment budgets in the streaming era. The $43.4 billion spent in 2018 was mostly on content, as opposed to hardware and accessories. Of pay-to-play games, “Call of Duty: Black Ops III”, “Red Dead Redemption II” and “NBA 2K19” took the top spots for most units sold but the list did not include free games such as “Fortnite.” “Games are striking an important chord with American culture,” said Stanley Pierre-Louis, ESA’s acting president and chief executive officer. “That’s what makes it the leading form of entertainment today.” Nearly 65 percent of U.S. adults, or more than 164 million people, play games. The most popular genre is casual games, with 60 percent of players gaming on their smartphones, though about half also play on personal computers and specialized consoles. Parents are limiting screen time for their kids and using video game ratings to screen content, and 87 percent of parents require permission for new game purchases, the study showed. Some 46 percent of all gamers are female, though they favor different kinds of games than men, particularly depending on age. Female gamers between 18 and 34 years old prefer “Candy Crush”, “Assassin’s Creed” and “Tomb Raider” and play most often on smartphones, while their male counterparts mostly play games on consoles, particularly “God of War”, “Madden NFL” and “Fortnite.” Gen Xers, who are 40 to 54 years old, lean towards “Tetris”, “Pac-Man”, “Call of Duty”, “Forza” and “NBA 2K.” Male baby boomers aged 55 to 64 like “Solitaire” and “Scrabble”, while women lean towards “Mahjong” and “Monopoly.” Game players were no more prone than other Americans to live isolated, sedentary lives, according to the report. Americans will soon have even more ways to play video games. Apple Inc is launching a game subscription service and Alphabet Inc’s Google announced a video game streaming service late this year. The new services will present challenges to established video game developers like Electronic Arts Inc, maker of “Apex Legends”; Tencent Holdings Ltd’s Riot Games, maker of “League of Legends”; Valve Corp, owner of “Counter-Strike” and the Steam distribution platform; and Activision Blizzard Inc, owner of “Call of Duty” and “Candy Crush.” Ipsos gathered data from more than 4,000 Americans to conduct the study for the ESA. Source
  18. First to 5G? For smartphone users, the race is kind of meaningless EE is the first UK carrier to jump to 5G. But for more consumers, the upgrade just isn’t worth it yet. 5G has arrived in the UK today. Jaromir Chalabala / EyeEm Pop the champagne and polish the medals, for the competition to be first to 5G has declared its victors. UK carrier EE turned on the country's first 5G network in the country on Thursday, beating its rivals to the punch. EE joins Verizon and Swisscom as "winners" of the race to being the first in its country to offer customers the next generation of network speeds. 5G is successor to 4G and its higher speeds will enable new experiences from autonomous cars to seamlessly integrated smart homes. For a handful of early adopters out there, EE's 5G switch-on will bring the first taste of whizzier, much-hyped mobile internet. 13 PHOTOS Samsung, LG, Motorola: How soon can we expect 5G phones? But it's crucial to recognize that it will just be a handful. Initially, 5G will only be available in the busiest and most central parts of the small number of launch cities.The rest of the time, you'll be connected to the good old-fashioned 4G network. So it may be worth holding off on upgrading to a 5G phone contract for now. Here lies the awkward period when 5G transforms from relentless hype to reality. It's a point of pride for a network to switch on 5G first, and you'll hear a carrier trumpet the claim in countless commercials. But it doesn't necessarily reflect when you'll get 5G or the ultimate strength of your network's 5G offering. Keep in mind, the industry celebrates many 5G milestones, even if most average phone users couldn't care less. Kester Mann, analyst at CCS Insight, doesn't think EE being first to pull the 5G trigger spells doom for other networks. In the UK, Vodafone is due to launch its own 5G network at the beginning of July, with O2and Three set to follow by the end of the year -- a relatively small difference. "If anything, it gives a bit of an opportunity to see how it's been positioned to market and use that early learning to inform their own propositions," he said in an interview. But that's not to say there aren't also good reasons to be in the pole position. "Being first is really important to maintain leadership when you have a technology transition," said Cristiano Amon, president of Qualcomm in an interview with CNET at EE's launch event in London last week. "You're always going to have first mover advantage, not only because you're going to get the learnings and the technology, but you actually can be faster to bring it to maturity, understand the new use cases and actually provide the value proposition to your customers." And it's not just the networks that could be affected by being early to 5G -- the hierarchy of device manufacturers could also be switched up. 5G is unusual in that it's the first generation of new network technology in which the ecosystem of devices is mature ahead of the carriers, said Amon. Several prominent Chinese manufacturers, including Xiaomi, Oppo and OnePlus, have timed their arrival or expansion in Europe to coincide with the advent of 5G. Of the current top manufacturers in the UK (Apple, Samsung and Huawei), only Samsung is currently in a position to compete with the newbies, with the Galaxy S10 5G variant is available on Vodafone and EE. Apple is conspicuous by its absence from the range of devices offered at launch and may not have a 5G phone of its own until 2020. Meanwhile Huawei's devices were pulled -- or put on "pause" -- by EE and Vodafone at the last moment due to uncertainty over its future relationship with Google's Android. So while you might be trying to decide between a Huawei and Samsung phone for your next upgrade, in a year or so you could be weighing up an Oppo or Xiaomi device instead. "You could certainly argue that it's an opportunity for some of these new device makers to make a bit of an impact on the market," said Mann. Don't worry, there will be plenty of time to make up your mind. Mann estimates networks won't be providing widespread 5G coverage to hundreds of thousands of people until the end of 2020. "It's definitely going to be a long process," he said. Source
  19. MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russian lawmakers want to make it a legal requirement for all smartphones, computers and smart TV sets sold in Russia to come pre-installed with certain Russian software in a bid to support domestic software producers, according to a draft bill. The bill, tabled at the lower house of parliament on Thursday, would allow authorities to draw up a list of mandatory, locally-made software. If passed, it would come into force in July 2020. Russia’s cell-phone market is dominated by Apple, Samsung and Huawei products. The bill also proposes fining companies that sell devices without pre-installed Russian software from 50,000 to 200,000 rubles ($790-3,170) starting from January 2021. The proposal will only become law if it is backed in three votes by the lower house of parliament and then approved by the upper house and President Vladimir Putin. The Federal Anti-Monopoly Service and communications ministry did not immediately reply to a request for comment. Russia has introduced tougher Internet laws in the last five years, requiring search engines to delete some search results, messaging services to share encryption keys with security services and social networks to store user data on servers in the country. ($1 = 63.0265 rubles) Source
  20. LG has no immediate plans of quitting the smartphone business - here's why Reports to the contrary are false (Image credit: LG) South Korean technology brand LG has been in a thick of things of-late. Apart from the introduction of the explorer series of smartphones that includes the LG Wing and others that are still to be launched, LG teased its rollable phone at the virtually-hosted CES 2021. The company has stayed away from the foldable phones till now and has suggested that the LG Rollable is slated for an official launch later this year. However, according to a report from a South Korean publication, this rollable phone could be LG’s last smartphone, after which it may exit the business. However, LG's global head of corporate communications, Ken Hong, has not only called these rumours baseless and untrue, but he also shot down the rumour by saying "Completely false and without merit. I won't even justify that rumor with a statement," according to AndroidPolice. This now-deleted post from a Korean publication Thelec.kr hinted that the company may wind up its smartphone business and teams have been internally informed that all other projects apart from Rollable Phone codenamed as “Project I” will be stopped immediately. It states that the management plans to focus on businesses that are more flexible and cited ongoing losses the primary reason behind this decision. It further added that to avoid any further confusions around the company’s vision, a formal announcement could be made on January 26. While the company is not quitting the smartphone scenes as of now, it has already been reported that the company plans to train its focus mainly on innovating new form factors and launching flagship devices only. It has been reported that LG like Samsung has decided to go the ODM route for its low-end and budget smartphones. This move will not only help the company stay focused on creating more impactful devices but more importantly it will help LG to reduce costs. To recall, LG has not had a record-breaking device since long. It had to discontinue its G-lineup of flagship series and had not experienced stellar results when it comes to financial results. However, with the explorer series, the company now aims to change things and we hope that it continues to bring more such exciting devices. LG has no immediate plans of quitting the smartphone business - here's why
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