Google on Wednesday unveiled two new smartphones with 5G wireless capability under its Pixel brand, which showcases the Android mobile system but has limited market share.
The new Pixel 5 will start at $699 (around P34,000) for United States customers and its reduced-price Pixel 4a with 5G at $499 (around P24,000), the California tech giant announced at a streamed event.
The phones will be available from Oct. 15 in the U.S. and other markets.
The new handsets are “packing more helpful Google features into phones backed by the power and speeds of 5G,” said Google vice president Brian Rakowski.
The announcement puts Google, for the moment, ahead of Apple in the 5G smartphone race, with a 5G iPhone widely expected to be unveiled in the coming weeks. It also positions Google with a competitively priced 5G device as consumers begin looking for upgrades.
Google’s Pixel handsets have won positive reviews for their powerful cameras and integrated artificial intelligence, but have failed to crack the top ranks of the smartphone market dominated by the likes of South Korea’s Samsung, Apple and China’s Huawei.
The Pixel devices nonetheless serve as a showcase for Google and Android, integrating hardware and software and the newest Google applications.
“Google has pivoted its Pixel line from competing at the highest price points to offering more value, but the competition has intensified in the mid-tier market as well,” said Avi Greengart of the consultancy Techsponential.
“That leaves the Pixel 5 again trying to differentiate itself on its camera and software.”
The launch comes with the global smartphone market struggling from the pandemic-induced economic crisis and with many consumers waiting for 5G devices.
Total smartphone sales were down 16% in the second quarter, according to research firm IDC, whose survey showed Huawei leading the market ahead of Samsung, Apple and Chinese firms Xiaomi and Oppo.
At Wednesday’s event, the company also announced a ramped-up version of its Google TV platform which competes against Roku and Amazon’s Fire TV.
“The new Google TV experience brings together movies, shows, live TV and more from across your apps and subscriptions and organizes them just for you,” said Google TV senior director Shalini Govilpai.
Also unveiled was a new Nest Audio smart speaker which is 75% louder and has 50% stronger bass than its original smart speaker with the Google Home brand, according to the company. IB
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Sony boosts PlayStation profits despite looming PS5 launch – The Verge
Sony’s gaming division is continuing to drive major profits for the company even as the PlayStation 4 era winds down. The company announced PlayStation-related revenue of 507 billion yen (~$4.9 billion) and an operating profit of 105 billion yen (~$1 billion) for its July-September quarter, respective improvements of 52 and 40 percent on the same period a year ago.
With the PlayStation 5 set to launch in a couple of weeks, normally you’d expect a significant negative impact on Sony’s books for the previous quarter as the company ramps up manufacturing before it starts to bring in more revenue. Sony does say that its profits were hit by an increase in costs, while revenue was reduced by a predictable decrease in PS4 sales. Higher game software sales and PlayStation Plus subscriptions, however, more than made up the shortfall.
Sony’s big PS4 release for the quarter was the open-world samurai adventure Ghost of Tsushima, which came out in July and sold 2.4 million copies in its first three days. Sony says it’s the fastest-selling new IP on the platform.
Ghost of Tsushima is now PS4’s fastest selling first-party original IP debut with more than 2.4 million units sold through globally in its first 3 days of sales.
— PlayStation (@PlayStation) July 24, 2020
Sony has now revised its full-year gaming forecast upward slightly, expecting to make 2.6 trillion yen in revenue and 300 billion yen in profit by the end of March 31st. That’d be a 26 percent increase in both revenue and profit, which would be impressive for the first year of a console cycle.
Sony’s revenue is likely to be limited in the short term by the number of PS5 consoles it’s able to manufacture. In an interview with Reuters today, SIE chief Jim Ryan said there was “very considerable demand” for the device, which he says was preordered in the US more times in its first 12 hours than the PS4 was in its first 12 weeks. “It may well be that not everybody who wants to buy a PS5 on launch day will be able to find one.”
League of Legends: Wild Rift cinematic trailer revealed – Dot Esports
To coincide with League of Legends: Wild Rift’s move into regional open beta the team at Riot Games has released an impressive cinematic trailer for the mobile game.
The trailer showcases many of the champions available in Wild Rift as they face off against each other to the tune of a remixed version of The Kinks hit song “You Really Got Me”.
Players who reside in Regions currently serviced in the closed beta testing will now have unrestricted access to the beta, allowing new players to download and participate without being approved.
Both IOS and Android app stores will have the game available for their users to download in the included regions with more regions to come later in 2020 and into 2021.
Wid Rift offers mobile players a similar experience to that available on the League of Legends computer game with slight alterations to help the game function better on a mobile device. These include changes to champions kits that work better with the controls scheme as well as changes to gameplay that will see game times drastically lower than players’ experience on the PC counterpart.
With COVID causing setbacks in Wild Rift’s development and release, players in America will have to wait into 2021 before they are able to finally get their hands on the game.
iPhone 12 boasts latent reverse wireless charging feature, FCC filing suggests – AppleInsider
A Federal Communications Commission filing hints at a latent iPhone 12 feature that could one day allow the handset to wirelessly charge other accessories.
Apple’s iPhone 12 series could be hiding a major feature that was rumored to debut with last year’s iPhone 11 devices. Known as reverse wireless charging or “bilateral” wireless charging, the functionality enables smartphones to use their inductive charging coil to juice up smaller accessories or even other phones.
Evidence that Apple’s new iPhone range might support the feature showed up in a recent regulatory filing detailing the company’s 2020 handsets. Discovered by VentureBeat’s Jeremy Horwitz, the document seemingly references the new MagSafe protocol that debuted alongside iPhone 12 this month.
“In addition to being able to be charged by a desktop WPT charger (puck), 2020 iPhone models also support WPT charging function at 360 kHz to charge accessories [including] an external potential apple accessory in future,” the filing reads, according to Horwitz.
While mere speculation, the feature as described could enable charging of attached MagSafe accessories, including unannounced devices like a next-generation AirPods product. Just yesterday, Bloomberg reported that Apple will deliver new AirPods models, including a second-generation AirPods Pro, in early 2021.
Apple was previously rumored to bring reverse charging to iPhone in early 2019. At the time, TF Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo predicted that year’s iPhone — what would become iPhone 11 — to feature “bilateral” wireless charging. The report was later seconded by supply chain sources, though Apple ultimately nixed those plans.
Today’s discovery suggests Apple continued work on the charging feature and integrated functionality into its MagSafe protocol. In theory, reverse wireless charging could be activated via a software update, but it remains unclear if and when Apple intends to do so.
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