Is Apple about to switch things up? With the company’s ugly 2019 iPhone redesign now a stone-cold certainty, a genuinely surprising report reveals Apple is designing a very different iPhone which millions will want.
Popular Chinese site Global Times delivers the head-turning news that Apple will launch a new budget-friendly iPhone which drops Face ID in favour of an in-display Touch ID fingerprint sensor. The phone is tipped to launch first in China, but it has the potential to be a worldwide smash.
Little else is known about the iPhone at this stage, but Global Times’ source states the motivation for the phone is to “save on costs” as it battles to win back Chinese market share. In recent years local brands Huawei, Oppo and Vivo have taken control by mixing cutting-edge designs with prices that substantially undercut Apple’s iPhones.
The move would make sense. Global Times notes that over 85% of the Chinese market belongs to smartphones priced under 4,000 yuan ($580). Apple used to cover that market with the iPhone SE when it launched at just $399, but the company’s subsequent strategy of filling the gap with iPhones several generations old does not seem to be working.
Moreover, Apple has clearly been developing the tech to make such an iPhone happen. Since December, Apple has filed no less than five (1,2,3,4,5) in-display Touch ID patents, including breakdowns with photography and information that reveals the tech has the potential not just to scan your fingerprint but 3D model it.
How much should we trust Global Times? Given the news is a shock, it’s smart to exercise caution and there’s no date attached to the device’s launch. That said, insiders have already stated in-display Touch ID will return to 2020 iPhones alongside Face ID (and the designs look mouthwatering). Touch ID has also already begun its renaissance by coming to the Macbook Pro and MacBook Air.
Wanting something to happening and it actually happening are two very different things, but there’s little doubt in my mind that a budget iPhone with Touch ID built into the display would be a global hit. And with 2019 now clearly the wrong year to upgrade your iPhone, there’s no harm in waiting to see how this one pans out.
TikTok owner ByteDance plans to launch music streaming
(Reuters) – TikTok owner Beijing ByteDance Technology Co Ltd is in talks with big music labels – Universal Music, Sony Music and Warner Music – for global licensing deals to include their songs on its new music subscription service, the Financial Times reported on Sunday.
ByteDance is looking to launch its music streaming as soon as next month, initially in emerging markets such as India, Indonesia and Brazil, before a future opening in the United States, the FT reported, citing people familiar with the matter.
In addition to on-demand music, ByteDance’s app will include a library of short video clips for listeners to search through and synch to songs as they listen, the report added.
ByteDance has not given a name to its music app yet and pricing remains unclear, although it is expected to cost less than the $10 a month charged by Spotify Technology SA, Apple Inc and others in the United States, according to the report.
The company was not immediately available for comment on Sunday.
(Reporting by Anurag Maan in Bengaluru; Editing by Peter Cooney)
Apple announces press event on Dec. 2
Apple will host an event on Dec. 2
Apple just announced a press event that it will hold at 4 p.m. ET on Dec. 2 in New York City. The event will be focused on “honoring our favorite apps and games of 2019.” A tagline on the invite says “Loved by millions. Created by the best.”
Apple typically issues a press release detailing its favorite apps and games of the year annually, but this time there may be some sort of awards ceremony instead of just a release. New products are not expected at the event.
Reports had suggested Apple was planning to hold some sort of press conference in October, although the company ultimately announced and released products instead of holding a splashy event. Recent announcements included the new 16-inch MacBook Pro and new AirPods Pro with noise cancellation.
Samsung’s Star Wars-themed Galaxy Note 10 Plus
With the impending December 20th release of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker looming like a nearby Death Star, Samsung has announced a Star Wars-themed Galaxy Note 10 Plus that’s giving off some major Kylo Ren energy. It will be on sale in the US on December 13th for $1,299.99.
The phone looks really slick. I love the red lightsaber-style S Pen. It’s a black Note 10 Plus with a First Order emblem on the back and red trim on the buttons and around the camera. In the Kylo Ren-themed box, you’ll also get black Galaxy Buds with a red inner casing, a Ren-themed leather phone case, and a Ren-themed “metal badge.”
Samsung says the phone will come with exclusive Star Wars-themed wallpapers, shutdown animations, icons, and sounds.
With a price tag of $1,299.99, it’s a little more expensive than a base Galaxy Note 10 Plus — which you can buy on Samsung’s website at a sale price of $839.99 — but the extra Star Wars-themed goodies might make the extra cost worth it.
Samsung says bundle will be available in Australia, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Korea, Norway, Russia, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, UAE, the UK, and the US. In select markets, it will be available starting on December 10th, which is a bit sooner than the US release date.
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