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Amazon, Apple and Google unite to form smart home partnership – Metro.co.uk

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Tech’s biggest names have joined together for a new partnership (Google)

Technology giants Amazon, Apple and Google have put aside their rivalries to form a partnership over the ‘smart home’ revolution.

The idea is to improve compatibility between devices like thermostats, speakers and security cameras.

The firms, along with the Zigbee Alliance, have created Project Connected Home over IP, which they say will help make smart home products more compatible with a wider range of operating systems and speakers – making them easier for consumers to set-up and use.

The Zigbee Alliance includes firms such as Ikea and Samsung SmartThings, which also manufacturer smart home devices.

Amazon and Google, through their respective voice assistants Alexa and the Google Assistant and the smart speakers in which they are housed, hold the majority of market share in smart home products.

However, not all smart home devices – which can include connected lightbulbs, entertainment systems and kitchen appliances – are compatible with every virtual assistant or platform.

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Announcing the partnership via its new website, the companies said the aim is to ‘simplify development for manufacturers and increase compatibility for consumers’.

The group said it wants to develop a connectivity standard – with security a fundamental feature – which all their respective smart home products would use.

It said it hopes a shared approach will resolve current issues around compatibility in the market.

Mandatory Credit: Photo by REX (9466757a) MODEL RELEASED Woman using tablet with smart home control functions at home VARIOUS

Current smart home setups can be conflicting and confusing (Rex Features)

The group said: ‘The project aims to improve the consumer experience of trying to use smart home products that aren’t compatible with each other.

‘We believe that the protocol has the potential to be widely adopted across home systems and assistants such as Amazon Alexa, Apple’s Siri, Google Assistant, and others.

‘If the working group succeeds with this goal, customers can be confident that their device of choice will work in their home and that they will be able to set up and control it with their preferred system.’

The group said it hopes to publish its first draft specifications on the issue by the end of next year.

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MediaTek taps TSMC 6-nanometer tech for new flagship 5G phone chips – TheChronicleHerald.ca

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By Stephen Nellis

(Reuters) – MediaTek Inc on Wednesday said it would use Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co’s 6-nanometer chipmaking technology for its newest chips aimed at premium 5G smartphones.

Taiwan’s MediaTek appears to be one of the first high-volume customers for the technology and is among a handful of companies with modem technology to connect phones to mobile data networks, competing against Qualcomm Inc and Samsung Electronics Co Ltd. The new chips announced Wednesday, called Dimensity 1100 and 1200, build on MediaTek’s efforts to go after higher-priced handsets where Qualcomm’s Snapdragon chips have historically had stronger market share.

Like Qualcomm and Apple, MediaTek designs chips and then contracts out production to outside firms. The newest chips will be made at TSMC, on a chipmaking technology called 6-nanometer. Qualcomm’s chips are being made by Samsung on 5-nanometer technology while Apple Inc uses TSMC’s 5-nanometer technology.

Smaller chipmaker technology is faster and more power efficient. MediaTek’s previous chips used a 7-nanometer process, and moving to newer manufacturing technology along with advances in the chip’s design make it 22% faster at computing tasks while consuming 25% less power, Finbarr Moynihan, general manager of international corporate sales, told Reuters in an interview.

(Reporting by Stephen Nellis in San Francisco; Editing by Leslie Adler)

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Galaxy S21 Plus specs vs. S21 Ultra vs. S20 Plus vs. S20 Ultra: Samsung S phones compared – CNET

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samsung-galaxy-s21-plus-ultra-06176

Drew Evans/CNET

Samsung’s trio of phones that make up its flagship S21 lineup have arrived — and the higher-end S21 Plus and S21 Ultra come packed with all the trappings you’d expect from a premium Android phone. All three are available to preorder now, and will ship on Jan. 29.

If you’re in the market for something fancier than the base model, it’s probably a good time to take a closer look at how Samsung’s pro phones, the S21 Plus and the S21 Ultra, compare with each other, and how they differ from their predecessors.

The standout change to the S21 is the price tag. Following lackluster sales of the S20 family, the South Korean company slashed prices by $200 across the S21 line, with the S21 Plus and S21 Ultra starting at $1,000 (£949, AU$ 1,549) and $1,200 (£1,329, AU$1,849) respectively.

The S21 Pro and S21 Ultra also have the expected incremental upgrades working in their favor: Processors are speedier, the displays have been upgraded and the cameras have been improved to take crisper photos and videos. The S21 Ultra now also supports Samsung’s stylus, the S Pen (sold separately), which blurs the line between the S series and the more professional Note series. 


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Samsung has also packed some refinements into the S21 Ultra’s camera system, but it hasn’t updated headline features such as 8K resolution and the phone’s 108-megapixel shooter. If you’re an avid photographer, you’ll likely care that the S21 Ultra comes equipped with two telephoto lenses (as opposed to one in the S20 Ultra) that offer 3x and 10x optical zoom, instead of digital zoom. Plus the main image sensor is apparently larger, which will allow it to capture photographs with improved dynamic range.

It’s also important to highlight the features Samsung removed to allow it to start at those lower prices. Because Samsung slashed prices of all three of S21 phones, it needed to save on costs by eliminating expandable storage entirely and ditching the in-box charger and earphones. The pricier S20 Pro and Ultra meanwhile, let you add up to 1TB storage and include those bundled accessories.

For more details on the differences between the S21 Ultra, S21 Pro, S20 Ultra and S20 Pro, take a look at our specs chart below.

Galaxy S21 Pro vs. S21 Ultra vs. S20 Pro vs. S20 Ultra

Galaxy S21 Plus Galaxy S21 Ultra Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra
Display size, resolution 6.7-inch Flat FHD+ Dynamic AMOLED 2X (2,400×1,080 pixels) 6.8-inch Edge WQHD+ Dynamic AMOLED 2X (3,200×1,440 pixels), 6.7-inch Dynamic AMOLED 2X 6.9-inch Dynamic AMOLED 2X
Pixel density 394 ppi 515 ppi 525ppi 511ppi
Dimensions (Inches) 2.97×6.35×0.30 in 2.97×6.50×0.35 in 2.9×6.37×0.30 in 2.99×6.57×0.35 in
Dimensions (Millimeters) 75.6×161.5×7.8 mm 75.6×165.1×8.9 mm 73.7×161.9×7.8 mm 76.0×166.9×8.8 mm
Weight (Ounces, Grams) 7.12 oz; 202g 8.07 oz; 229 g 6.56 oz; 186g 7.76 oz; 220g
Mobile software Android 11 Android 11 Android 10 Android 10
Camera 64-megapixel (telephoto), 12-megapixel (wide-angle), 12-megapixel (ultra-wide) 108-megapixel (wide-angle), 12-megapixel (ultra-wide), 10-megapixel (telephoto), 10-megapixel (telephoto) 12-megapixel (wide-angle), 64-megapixel (telephoto), 12-megapixel (ultra-wide), time-of-flight camera 108-megapixel (wide-angle), 48-megapixel (telephoto), 12-megapixel (ultra-wide), time-of-flight camera
Front-facing camera 10-megapixel 40-megapixel 10-megapixel 40-megapixel
Video capture 8K 8K 8K 8K
Processor Snapdragon 888 or 64-bit Octa-Core Processor 2.8GHz (Max 2.4GHz +1.8GHz) Snapdragon 888 or 64-bit Octa-Core Processor 2.8GHz (Max 2.4GHz +1.8GHz) 64-bit octa-core processor (Max 2.7GHz + 2.5 GHz + 2.0 GHz) 64-bit octa-core processor (Max 2.7GHz + 2.5 GHz + 2.0 GHz)
Storage 128GB/256GB 128GB/256GB, 512GB 128GB, 512GB 128GB, 512GB
RAM 8GB 12GB, 16GB 12GB (5G), 8GB (LTE) 12GB, 16GB
Expandable storage None None Up to 1TB Up to 1TB
Battery 4,800 mAh 5,000 mAh 4,500 mAh 5,000 mAh
Fingerprint sensor In-screen In-screen In-screen In-screen
Headphone jack No No No No
Special features IP68 rating, 5G-enabled, 30X Space Zoom, 10W wireless charging, IP68 rating, 5G-enabled, 100X Space Zoom, 10W wireless charging, 10x optical zoom 5G enabled; 120Hz refresh rate; water resistant (IP68) 5G enabled; 120Hz refresh rate; 100X zoom; water resistant (IP68)
Price off-contract (USD) $1,000 (128 GB)  $1,200 (128 GB)  $1,199 (128 GB) , $1,349 (512GB) $1,399 (128GB), $1,599 (512GB)
Price (GBP) £949 £1,329 £999 (5G) £1,199 (128GB), £1,399 (512GB)
Price (AUD) AU$1,549 AU$1,849 AU$1,499 (4G), AU$1,649 (128GB), AU$1,899 (512GB) AU$1,999 (128GB), AU$2,249 (512GB)

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LG Considering Exit From Smartphone Business, Halts LCD Production for iPhone – MacRumors

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LG is considering exiting the smartphone business entirely amid declining shipments and accrued losses of $4.5 billion over the past five years (via The Korea Herald).

lg wing

LG CEO Kwon Bong-Seok cautioned staff earlier today that the company is re-evaluating its presence in the smartphone industry:

Since the competition in the global market for mobile devices is getting fiercer, it is about time for LG to make a cold judgment and the best choice. The company is considering all possible measures, including sale, withdrawal and downsizing of the smartphone business.

He added that regardless of any change, the company will retain its current employees from the smartphone division and reassign them elsewhere.

LG has seen rapidly declining smartphone shipments in recent years, and the company is now believed to hold a market share of just two percent. LG has posted major financial shortfalls in its smartphone segment for 23 consecutive quarters, reaching a total loss of $4.5 billion.

When taking office as CEO in January 2020, Kwon pledged to turn the company’s smartphone business around. The CEO’s latest comments therefore appear to be an admission of failure to make the segment profitable.

At the same time, LG is reportedly ending its production of LCD displays for the iPhone, according to The Elec. LG Display had previously attempted to supply LCDs for the second-generation iPhone SE, but failed to meet Apple’s requirements, leading to Japan Display and Sharp being selected as suppliers instead. LG’s factory that previously made the components will be repurposed to manufacture automobile display panels.

Earlier this month, LG unveiled one of the world’s first rollable smartphones at CES, as the company has endeavored to explore unusual designs to lure in customers. The future of this device, and other LG smartphones such as the LG Velvet and LG Wing, are now highly uncertain.

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