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A $1,000 Samsung phone with a removable battery just went on sale in US – Android Authority

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Samsung Galaxy XCover FieldProSamsung

A not-so-new Samsung Galaxy phone with a removable battery just went on sale in the US. With internals that somewhat match those of the Galaxy S9, the Galaxy XCover FieldPro is a $1,100 phone that’s now up for grabs through AT&T.

The device was first introduced in October 2019 but its availability at the time was limited to enterprise customers.

The rugged phone has a removable battery and is designed for people like law enforcement officers, emergency workers, hikers, trekkers, technicians, and other users who basically need a rough and tough device for extreme conditions.

The phone carries US military standard certification (MIL-STD-810G) for durability and ruggedness. This gives it the ability to survive extreme temperatures, shocks, vibrations, and drops. It’s also IP68 rated for water and dust resistance.

Samsung Galaxy XCover FieldPro specs

As far as the specs of the phone are concerned, it features 2018’s flagship Exynos 9810 chipset. It also gets a 5.1-inch QHD display, 4GB RAM, 64GB of expandable storage, and a 4,500mAh removable battery.

In terms of cameras, the Galaxy XCover FieldPro houses a 12MP dual aperture primary shooter and an 8MP selfie snapper. The camera setup is exactly the same as the one found on the Galaxy S9.

There’s a fingerprint sensor at the back of the device and it uses a pogo pin connector for charging or attaching peripherals.

Just like the XCover Pro, the FieldPro also gets a dedicated push-to-talk button that facilitates two-way communication during emergencies.

Other sensors on the phone include: an accelerometer, a gyroscope, an ambient light sensor, and a barometer. The device runs on Android Oreo and reportedly supports updates to Android 10.

You get a USB-C cable, a travel adapter, a pogo pin charger, a push-to-talk earphone, an an extra battery in the box.

Pricing

This rugged smartphone doesn’t come cheap. In fact, the retail price listed on AT&T’s website is a whopping $1,104.99. This brings it in the same league as the Samsung Galaxy S20 series as far as premium pricing is concerned.

However, if you are looking to buy the device on the cheap, you can also pick it up with a 30-month AT&T instalment plan for $36.84/month. The carrier will start shipping the phone between April 13 and April 15. There’s also an option to pick it up from an AT&T retail outlet.

Like the idea of a rugged Samsung phone with a removable battery? Then you can check out the phone on AT&T’s website via the button below.

Samsung Galaxy XCover FieldPro A rugged phone with removable battery

Who says smartphones with removable batteries are dead? Certainly not Samsung, as its Galaxy XCover FieldPro is now available to purchase. You’re essentially getting a Galaxy S9 with a 4,500mAh removable battery and more rugged design.

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Why Did Microsoft’s Retail Stores Die as Apple Stores Thrived? – Motley Fool

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Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) recently announced that it will permanently close all of its brick-and-mortar Microsoft Stores worldwide. It will also convert its four stores in New York City, London, Sydney, and Redmond, Washington into “Experience Centers” that showcase its products instead of selling them.

The closures were reportedly planned last year, according to The Verge, but significantly accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic. The company already shuttered all its “Specialty Store” mall kiosks last year. In a press release, Microsoft VP David Porter noted that the tech giant’s “product portfolio has evolved to largely digital offerings, and our talented team has proven success serving customers beyond any physical location.”

Image source: Microsoft.

Microsoft stated that it wouldn’t lay off any staff as part of the reorganization, and that it would continue paying its retail employees as they transferred to remote sales, training, and support positions. It also said it would “continue to invest in its digital storefronts” to reach over 1.2 billion people monthly in 190 markets.

Let’s see how this strategic shift will impact Microsoft, and why it has failed to replicate Apple‘s (NASDAQ:AAPL) success in brick-and-mortar retail over the past decade.

Will these closures dent Microsoft’s earnings?

Prior to the pandemic, Microsoft operated 72 stores in the U.S., seven stores in Canada, and one each in Puerto Rico, the U.K., and Australia. Microsoft doesn’t separately disclose its sales from those retail stores.

However, Microsoft expects the closures of its stores to result in a pre-tax charge of $450 million, or $0.05 per share, in its fiscal fourth quarter, which ends on June 30. Those charges will primarily include asset write-offs and impairments.

Back in April, Microsoft guided for 6% to 9% year-over-year revenue growth in the fourth quarter, but didn’t provide any earnings guidance. Analysts expect its revenue to rise 8% to $36.5 billion, but for its non-GAAP earnings to grow less than 1% to $1.38 per share.

Microsoft’s write-offs and impairments will be excluded from its non-GAAP earnings, so the store closures alone wouldn’t cause it to miss analysts’ expectations. However, they’ll still take a bite out of its GAAP earnings, which hit $1.71 per share in the year-ago quarter.

Why couldn’t Microsoft follow Apple’s lead?

Microsoft opened its first retail stores in 2009, eight years after Apple launched its first Apple Stores.

A community gaming event at a Microsoft Store.

Image source: Microsoft.

The brand appeal of Apple’s products over the past decade — including the iMac, iPod, iPhone, and iPad — turned Apple’s retail stores into major attractions in otherwise struggling malls. Apple has also consistently generated higher sales per square foot than any other American retailer in recent years.

Apple’s stores were so popular that malls granted them sweetheart deals to move in. Back in 2015, Green Street Advisors claimed that Apple paid less than 2% of its sales to malls, compared to an average cut of 15% for other typical tenants. Microsoft, whose stores lacked Apple’s brand appeal, likely couldn’t generate comparable sales or secure similar deals with malls.

Microsoft’s hardware business has improved significantly in recent years under CEO Satya Nadella, with new Surface devices and Xbox consoles attracting new buyers. However, these products were also widely available at other retailers, and Microsoft’s store-based community events arguably couldn’t solidify its stores as “hangouts” as Apple did with its Genius Bar and free classes.

The right decision, but a missed opportunity

Microsoft’s decision was the right move, since there wasn’t a reason to continue losing money on brick-and-mortar stores throughout the retail apocalypse and COVID-19 crisis when it sold all its products online.

The closures won’t meaningfully impact Microsoft’s long-term growth, but they mark a missed opportunity to follow Apple’s lead in strengthening its brand with retail hangouts. They’ll also reduce the number of places where Microsoft can showcase its new and upcoming hardware products.

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Ubisoft shakes up executive ranks, begins process to deal with harassment – GuelphToday

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TORONTO — A Paris-based game software developer with offices in several Canadian cities is making changes in response to complaints against several executives, including a vice-president based in Toronto.

Ubisoft says Maxime Beland, its Toronto-based vice-president of editorial, has resigned and another unidentified employee in Toronto has been fired.

Tommy Francois, a Paris-based vice-president of editorial and creative services, has been placed on disciplinary leave.

The two vice-presidents were part of a creative team that set the tone and direction of Ubisoft’s various games, which include the “Assassin’s Creed” franchise.

Ubisoft chief executive Yves Guillemot says in a public letter posted online that he has decided to “revise the composition” of its editorial department and transform its human resource processes.

Guillemot says Ubisoft will begin holding online sessions on Monday, moderated by external facilitators, in order to collect suggestions for improvement.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 5, 2020.

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Ubisoft shakes up executive ranks, begins process to deal with harassment – Kamsack Times

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TORONTO — A Paris-based game software developer with offices in several Canadian cities is making changes in response to complaints against several executives, including a vice-president based in Toronto.

Ubisoft says Maxime Beland, its Toronto-based vice-president of editorial, has resigned and another unidentified employee in Toronto has been fired.

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Tommy Francois, a Paris-based vice-president of editorial and creative services, has been placed on disciplinary leave.

The two vice-presidents were part of a creative team that set the tone and direction of Ubisoft’s various games, which include the “Assassin’s Creed” franchise.

Ubisoft chief executive Yves Guillemot says in a public letter posted online that he has decided to “revise the composition” of its editorial department and transform its human resource processes.

Guillemot says Ubisoft will begin holding online sessions on Monday, moderated by external facilitators, in order to collect suggestions for improvement.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 5, 2020.

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