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2020 iPhone Alert: Apple’s New Price Changes Revealed – Forbes

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05/02 Update below. This post was originally published on April 30

Everyone thinks they know the iPhone 12’s headline feature. Thanks to new information, we now know they’re wrong. 

MORE FROM FORBESApple iPhone 12: Everything We Know So Far

In a blockbuster exclusive, the ever-reliable Jon Prosser of Front Page Tech, has revealed pricing for Apple’s entire iPhone 12 line-up and it is going to take center stage. So here’s what we have learned and why it matters:

  • 5.4-inch iPhone 12 (codename – D52G) – OLED / 5G – Dual Cameras – $649
  • 6.1-inch iPhone 12 (D53G) – OLED / 5G – Dual Cameras – $749
  • 6.1-inch iPhone 12 Pro (D53P) – OLED / 5G – Triple Cameras + LiDAR – $999
  • 6.7-inch iPhone 12 Pro Max (D52G) – OLED / 5G – Triple Cameras + LiDAR – $1,099

First, these prices are sensational. They may not differ significantly from the current iPhone 11 models ($699, $999 and $1,099) but that in itself is remarkable considering the addition of 5G across the range. To put this in context, the adoption of 5G across the Galaxy S20 range meant Samsung was forced to increase prices by as much as 20% and the range now starts at $999. 

Second, Apple is bringing the entry point for the iPhone 12 range down $50 with the introduction of a new 5.4-inch model that is likely to be as small, if not smaller than the 4.7-inch iPhone SE due to its bezel-less design. Yes, there’s a $50 increase on the 6.1-inch version but, for that, there’s not only 5G but OLED added as well while Apple is shrinking the notch across all models. 

05/01 Update: Prosser has followed up on this leak, explaining that “the biggest contributing factor” to Apple hitting these price points due to its new partnership with BOE for OLED displays. He understands this has brought down manufacturing costs significantly, compared to its exclusive partnership with Samsung when the iPhone X became the first OLED iPhone back in 2017. Another factor in Apple’s favor is it doesn’t take its CPU and GPU from Qualcomm. This year Qualcomm has been forcing all phone partners to take its flagship Snapdragon 865 chipset with 5G, which has hiked up costs. Apple will still use Qualcomm’s 5G modem, but it has its own A Series chipset which manufactures at massive scale so the costs can be separated. Is 2020 the year iPhones actually become more affordable than 5G Android phones? It is looking like it.

05/02 Update: an exclusive iPhone 12 leak from China’s Econonic Daily News claims Apple is looking to integrate an in-display fingerprint sensor into its 2020 flagship phones. The site states that Apple’s partnership with GIS is behind the move with Qualcomm’s ultrasonic sensor the planned component. The first generation sensor was used in Samsung’s Galaxy S10 line-up and heavily criticised for unreliable performance but Qualcomm since revealed a radically upgraded version, dubbed the ‘3D Sonic Max’. In a world where face masks are increasingly common, the addition of in-display Touch ID would be great for iPhone users – especially as it is still the primary form of biometric authentication on Android phones. That said, despite Apple’s numerous Touch ID patents, the report goes against leaks we have heard up to now. So treat this trending story with caution.

Reports from the supply chain suggest that Qualcomm, GIS, and BOE, are working on integrating a fingerprint sensor into a touch display for the upcoming iPhone. GIS’ touch display and Qualcomm’s fingerprint sensor can already be found in Android devices such as the Galaxy S20, so it comes as no surprise these names are in the mix. Malcolm Owen for Apple Insider:

Downsides? Very few. Apple’s remarkable LiDAR sensor has the potential to transform Augmented Reality (AR) apps and games over time, but it remains potential at this stage, so it’s a smart cost save on the non-Pro models. 

Meanwhile, Prosser adds a cherry on top of his leak by revealing the source of these prices is the same one who helped him nail the iPhone SE launch date, something many prominent sites got wrong. And price is not the only thing to look forward to with the iPhone 12 phones. Alongside 5G, the smaller notch and the switch to OLED for every model, Apple’s new A14 chipset looks capable of MacBook Pro-grade performance while the OLED panels will have 120Hz ProMotion refresh rates

Yes, the new iPhone SE may be the smartest buy you can make this year, but the iPhone 12 line-up looks like being the most exciting. 

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TikTok’s Play Store rating back up to 4+ stars after Google removed more than 8 million negative reviews – Android Police

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TikTok was hit by a swarm of negative reviews in India following a dispute between local YouTube creators and TikTok influencers, which brought down the app’s Play Store rating to an average of only 1.2 stars. Since these reviews aren’t representative or related to the quality of the application itself, Google decided to remove the vast majority, bumping the social network back up to 4.4 stars.

In total, it looks like Google removed far more than eight million individual reviews to bring the app closer to the average 4.5-star rating it had before the backlash in India hit it in full force. In a statement to TechCrunch, Google justifies the move as a corrective action to limit spam abuse.

Above: When it all started: May 19 rating. Below: May 28 rating.

The dispute between YouTubers and TikTokers that kicked off the negative ratings is only the tip of the iceberg, as TechCrunch further reports. A lot of TikTok videos have surfaced that appear to promote violence, animal abuse, racism, child mistreatment, and sexual harassment, which certainly played into the backlash against the platform.

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Distributel permanently waiving data overage charges on its internet plans – MobileSyrup

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Distributel announced that it is permanently waiving data overage charges on all of its current internet plans for its customers.

The carrier started to waive overage fees in March due to a large number of its customers working from home due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Distributel says that today’s decision reflects its customers’ changing needs.

“We listen to our customers and continue to respond to their evolving needs. This change is effective immediately across all capped plans, and no further customer action is required,” the company wrote in a press release.

Distributel notes that this is a time of change for everyone, including its customers, employees and partners. It says that its business continuity plans have allowed it to continue supporting its customers through the pandemic.

“Our customers’ satisfaction is extremely important to us. They told us that they truly appreciated having data caps removed and that it made a real difference for them,” said Matt Stein, CEO of Distributel, in the press release.

Stein says that the company thought about extending the program past the initial three months, but realized that customers’ needs have changed for the long-term.

This is a big move by the company, and one that will be appreciated by its customers. It will be interesting to see if other Canadian service providers will do the same.

Source: Distributel

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Apple buys Waterloo-based AI startup in effort to improve Siri – MobileSyrup

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Despite recent efforts to open Siri up to third-party apps, Apple’s voice-activated assistant still lags behind competitors like Alexa and Google Assistant in several ways.

The recent acquisition of Waterloo, Ontario-based Inductiv, a company that uses AI to correct data and improve machine learning, could be yet another example of Apple aiming to close that gap. The tech giant confirmed the acquisition to Bloomberg, but didn’t elaborate on its plans, stating that it “buys smaller technology companies from time to time.” The concept of “clean data” is important to machine learning because it allows AI to improve software with “less human intervention,” according to Bloomberg.

Inductiv was co-founded by machine-learning professors from Stanford University, the University of Waterloo and the University of Wisconsin, Madison. A company founded by the professor from Stanford University, Lattice Data, was also purchased by Apple back in 2017. Apple recently acquired startup Voysis to reportedly improve Siri’s natural language comprehension.

Given both of these acquisitions are recent, it will likely be several months or even years before Inductiv’s and Voysis’ technologies are integrated into Apple’s voice-activated assistant.

Source: Bloomberg

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