CES typically isn’t a major show for smartphones, but this year could be different now that a Korean newspaper is reporting that Samsung will announce two new phones at CES 2020.
According to the Korea Herald, the two phones in question are the Galaxy S10 Lite and the Galaxy Note 10, which are essentially streamlined and more affordable versions of Samsung’s current flagships: the Galaxy S10 and Galaxy Note 10. The Korea Herald says both phones will initially go on sale in India, but outside of that, it’s currently unclear if these phones will ever make their way to the U.S.
Unfortunately, while that’s all the info the Korea Herald had on Samsung’s new phones, a couple of recent reports from Winfuture.de have shed a lot more light on what we can expect from the S10 Lite and Note 10 Lite.
For the S10 Lite, Winfuture says it will start at around 680 euros (approx. $750), and it will feature a 6.7-inch AMOLED screen with a centrally-located punch-hole selfie cam instead of the corner-mounted cam you get on a standard S10. However, what really differentiates the S10 Lite from being more than a big version of the $750 Galaxy S10e is that the S10 Lite will come with three rear cameras instead of just two: a 48-MP main camera, a 12-MP ultra-wide camera, and a brand new 5-MP macro camera.
On top of that, Winfuture says the S10 Lite will have a new tilting optical image stabilization system (or tOIS), that may allow the phone to correct photos based on pitch and yaw in addition to standard X and Y-axis stabilization.
And unlike a lot of previous international Galaxy S phones, it seems S 10 Lite will come with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 chip instead of an Exynos-based chip that Samsung typically features in phones sold in Europe and Asia. This is a small but potentially important change because the Qualcomm variant of the Galaxy S10 is generally regarded as the superior model thanks to slightly better performance and battery life.
Finally, the S10 Lite’s specs include a sizable 4,500 mAh battery, speedy 45-watt fast-charging, and a USB C port. (No word yet on if that means headphone jack from the original S10 is present or not.)
As for the Note 10 Lite, Winfuture says it will actually cost less than the S10 Lite with a starting price of 610 euros (about $675 U.S. dollars). The Note 10 Lite’s screen size is also the same as the S10 Lite’s at 6.7-inches. However, in a move the seems intended to help the Note 10 Lite hit that lower price. instead of a Qualcomm processor, the Note 10 Lite is expected to ship with an Exynos 9810, which is actually the same chip used in international models of the almost two-year-old Galaxy S9.
Similar to the standard N0te 10, the Note 10 Lite features a triple rear camera module consisting of a 12-MP main cam, a 12-MP 2x telephoto cam, and a 12-MP ultra-wide-angle camera, in addition to a built-in stylus for sketching and taking notes.
The Note 10 Lite will also come with a 4,500 mAh battery (which is slightly larger than even the 4,300 mAh battery in the Note 10+), though strangely, it seems the Note 10 Lite won’t have support for wireless charging. That said, as a small bonus, the Note 10 Lite will reportedly come with a 3.5mm headphone jack, which is a pleasant surprise since neither the standard Note 10 or Note+ has one.
Winfuture’s mention of euros suggests that both phones will at least be available somewhere in Europe, which gives a little hope that these new Lite phones may be available over here as well. Either way, with CES 2020 slated to start on January January 6th, it shouldn’t be too long until we know for sure.
Britain in talks with 6 firms about building gigafactories for EV batteries
Britain is in talks with six companies about building gigafactories to produce batteries for electric vehicles (EV), the Financial Times reported on Wednesday, citing people briefed on the discussions.
Car makers Ford Motor Co and Nissan Motor Co Ltd, conglomerates LG Corp and Samsung, and start-ups Britishvolt and InoBat Auto are in talks with the British government or local authorities about locations for potential factories and financial support, the report added .
(Reporting by Kanishka Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by Himani Sarkar)
EBay to sell South Korean unit for about $3.6 billion to Shinsegae, Naver
EBay Korea is the country’s third-largest e-commerce firm with market share of about 12.8% in 2020, according to Euromonitor. It operates the platforms Gmarket, Auction and G9.
Shinsegae, Naver and eBay Korea declined to comment.
Lotte Shopping had also been in the running, the Korea Economic Daily and other newspapers said, citing unnamed investment banking sources.
South Korea represents the world’s fourth largest e-commerce market. Driven by the coronavirus pandemic, e-commerce has soared to account for 35.8% of the retail market in 2020 compared with 28.6% in 2019, according to Euromonitor data.
Shinsegae and Naver formed a retail and e-commerce partnership in March by taking stakes worth 250 billion won in each other’s affiliates.
($1 = 1,117.7000 won)
(Reporting by Joyce Lee; Editing by Edwina Gibbs)
Canada launches long-awaited auction of 5G spectrum
The 3,500 MHz is a spectrum companies need to provide 5G, which requires more bandwidth to expand internet capabilities.The auction, initially scheduled for June 2020, is expected to take several weeks with Canadian government selling off 1,504 licenses in 172 service areas.
Smaller operators are going into the auction complaining that recent regulatory rulings have further tilted the scales in the favour of the country’s three biggest telecoms companies – BCE, Telus and Rogers Communications Inc – which together control around 90% of the market as a share of revenue.
Canadian mobile and internet consumers, meanwhile, have complained for years that their bills are among the world’s steepest. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Liberal government has threatened to take action if the providers did not cut bills by 25%.
The last auction of the 600 MHz spectrum raised C$3.5 billion ($2.87 billion) for the government.
The companies have defended themselves, saying the prices they charge are falling.
Some 23 bidders including regional players such as Cogeco and Quebec’s Videotron are participating in the process. Shaw Communications did not apply to participate due to a $16 billion takeover bid from Rogers. Lawmakers and analysts have warned that market concentration will intensify if that acquisition proceeds.
In May, after Canada‘s telecoms regulator issued a ruling largely in favour of the big three on pricing for smaller companies’ access to broadband networks, internet service provider TekSavvy Inc withdrew from the auction, citing the decision.
Some experts say the government has been trying to level the playing field with its decision to set aside a proportion of spectrum in certain areas for smaller companies.
Gregory Taylor, a spectrum expert and associate professor at the University of Calgary, said he was pleased the government was auctioning off smaller geographic areas of coverage.
In previous auctions where the license covered whole provinces, “small providers could not participate because they could not hope to cover the range that was required in the license,” Taylor said.
Smaller geographic areas mean they have a better chance of fulfilling the requirements for the license, such as providing service to 90% of the population within five years of the issuance date.
The auction has no scheduled end date, although the federal ministry in charge of the spectrum auction has said winners would be announced within five days of bidding completion.
($1 = 1.2181 Canadian dollars)
(Reporting by Moira Warburton in Vancouver; Editing by David Gregorio)