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iPhone 12 is almost here, which means now is the worst time to buy a new iPhone – CNET

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We’ll find out on Oct. 13 whether or not this concept rendering of the iPhone 12 Pro from the YouTube channel ConceptsiPhone is accurate.


ConceptsiPhone

This story is part of Apple Event, our full coverage of the latest news from Apple headquarters.

It’s official! Apple sent out invites (complete with AR graphics) for an event on Oct. 13. Here’s how to watch the virtual event live. This event should be all about the new iPhone, which rumors say will be called the iPhone 12. With the event date set, we have officially entered into the “don’t buy a new iPhone unless you absolutely need it” zone. A new, massive leak just hinted at the possible prices of the iPhone 12 lineup, which might also sway your opinion.

Apple usually announces new iPhones at the beginning of September. And while the company definitely held an event last month, it was to announce the Apple Watch 6 and SE as well as the new iPad and iPad Air. The October event will likely launch the iPhone 12 and its siblings, including an iPhone 12 Mini.

Read more: iPhone 12 wish list: 5 features I wish Apple would copy from Samsung

Even if you aren’t intending to buy an iPhone 12, it’s a good idea to delay the purchase of a new iPhone. New iPhones mean that there will be discounts and clearance prices on old models and if you time it right, you could actually score a pretty good deal.

iPhone 12 prices will be cheaper, more expensive, exactly the same

There are four new iPhone models expected. Just like the iPhone 11 generation, there will likely be an iPhone 12, 12 Pro and 12 Pro Max alongside a smaller phone called the iPhone 12 Mini. Prices for the new iPhones are expected to stay the same, be more expensive and be cheaper. Sounds confusing, but let me explain.

Currently the base iPhone 11 costs $699, the base 11 Pro costs $999 and the base 11 Pro Max costs $1,099. The new iPhone 12 Pro and 12 Pro Max are likely to stay at the exact same price as their older iPhone 11 counterparts. Meaning if you intended to buy an 11 Pro or 11 Pro Max, in about a week, you should be able to snag an iPhone 12 Pro or 12 Pro Max for the exact same price.

Read more: What will iPhone 12 look like? All the design clues, from screen size to colors

The iPhone 12 Mini is expected to cost $649 (that’s $50 cheaper than the iPhone 11) and the iPhone 12 is likely to come in at $749 (that’s $50 more than the 11). These prices, however, are not quite supported by the latest leak.


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iPhone 11 should drop in price

For years, Apple has kept the previous year’s models around and sold them at a discount. Currently you can get 2018’s iPhone XR for $599. After the iPhone 12 event, there is a good chance that Apple may keep the iPhone 11 around and drop its price to $599.

As far as the iPhone 11 Pro, it’s harder to tell if Apple will keep selling it or the iPhone 11 Pro Max after the new iPhones are announced. When the iPhone 11 and 11 Pro were announced last year, the company stopped selling the iPhone XS ($385 at Back Market) or XS Max ($624 at Back Market).

‘But I just bought a new iPhone’ or ‘I need to buy a new iPhone now’

There is absolutely nothing wrong with buying a new iPhone right now. If you have a broken phone and need a new one, don’t wait for Apple to announce new iPhones. That said, Apple’s typical return window is 14 days. Usually (this isn’t always the case) Apple extends that return window to 30 days when a new product/updated product is announced. Meaning, if you just bought an iPhone 11 for $699, and Apple starts selling them for $599, you can get that $100 back or return the phone outright. Be warned that if you opened a new line with a carrier and are returning a phone, you’ll need to check with them about canceling the new line.

Also, if you got your iPhone through a carrier or non-Apple retail store, find out what their return policies are.

The iPhone SE is the exception

Earlier this year, Apple announced the $399 iPhone SE. And it’s highly unlikely that Apple will be announcing a new iPhone SE next week. That said, if you do buy an iPhone SE directly from Apple and a new version is announced, you are still in that 14-day return window and should be fine.

For more about the iPhone 12 and everything we’re expecting read CNET’s iPhone 12 rumor round up.

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5G smartphone teardowns confirm benefits of radio system integration – Electronic Products & Technology

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Global tech market advisory firm, ABI Research, using the teardown expertise of System Plus Consulting, unpacked two 5G smartphones to confirm that smartphone OEMs are extending fully integrated modem-RF system designs to support 5G and LTE implementations over their flagship devices. The teardowns analysis shows that Qualcomm’s RFFE system design covers both sub-6 Gigahertz (GHz) and Millimeter Wave (mmWave) 5G options, as well as LTE frequency bands, which will enable OEMs to efficiently and cost-effectively integrate 5G with 3G/4G into complex form factors. Such a fully integrated modem-RF system design is vital to drive wider adoption of 5G beyond the traditional smartphone market. 

“Of particular interest in these teardowns is the use of mmWave modules, which are showing signs of increasing adoption as they aim to reach markets beyond North America. The use of these modules will be even more crucial for enabling new and complex form factor designs, such as foldable phones, to support mmWave access,” states David McQueen, Research Director at ABI Research.

Smartphone OEMs favour integrated system solutions

With 5G smartphone sales expanding rapidly, the RFFE has now replaced the modem/chipset as the largest revenue growth opportunity in the industry.

“High design and RF components sourcing complexity are evident in 5G, so smartphone OEMs are seeking to favour integrated system solutions to accelerate time to market while differentiating in terms of performance and overall power consumption,” McQueen explains. “Optimizing integration between 3G/4G and 5G using a single supplier could not only provide a superior system design, enabling the production of cost-effective, smaller form factors, and low-power consuming devices, but it also has the potential to support newer features, such as 5G Carrier Aggregation (CA) and Dynamic Spectrum Sharing (DSS). Furthermore, 5G mmWave ecosystem momentum is gathering pace as the complexity of integration in smartphones is addressed through a fully integrated and miniaturized mmWave RF module design, which appears to have already matured enough to support ultra-thin foldable smartphone designs.”

Handling the complexity of the entire cellular radio systems for OEMs can only be achieved if the modem-to-antenna system as a whole is taken into consideration, including co-existing mmWave/sub-6 RFFEs.

“However, these latest teardowns suggest signs in the industry that this approach has expanded to encompass an optimized design that now includes 4G,” McQueen points out. OEMs cannot ignore this level of integration to rationalize RFFE procurement. “Moreover, this approach ensures that OEMs’ devices can address issues such as integrating all network technologies without compromising the efficiency of the RFFE system designs and the overall device form factor. It simplifies the complex and costly sourcing processes associated with RF components, involving collaborations with multiple suppliers, which could lengthen the overall product development time and their time to market,” McQueen concludes.

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Apple Shares New 'Dark Universe' Experimental Video Shot on iPhone 12 Pro – MacRumors

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New Photos Offer Better Look at iPhone 12 Color Options

As we wait for the iPhone 12 review embargo to lift later today, more pictures are circulating of the devices in real-world lighting conditions, providing a better look at the different colors available.
Leaker DuanRui has shared images on Twitter of the iPhone 12 in white, black, blue, green, and (PRODUCT)RED. The black and white colors are similar to the iPhone 11 colors, but the other…

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Cloud9 Signs Top All-Women Valorant Team MAJKL, AT&T to Serve as Presenting Partner – TEO – The Esports Observer

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The release of Valorant has already created significant forward progress for women in esports. Just last month, Spectacor Gaming’s FTW initiative became the first tournament organizer to receive official professional-level tournament status from Riot Games for an all-women tournament. Now, esports organization Cloud9 is looking to take that progress one step further with the signing of that tournament’s champion, MAJKL, as a sister team to its existing Valorant roster.

The team will now compete under the name “Cloud9 White” with the (currently) all-male team rebranding to “Cloud9 Blue.” Additionally, AT&T has expanded its deal with the organization to become the presenting partner of Cloud9 White.

While multiple teams including Dignitas and Counter Logic Gaming currently field women’s rosters in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and/or Valorant, those teams most commonly compete in all-women events. According to Cloud9 Senior General Manager Gaylen Malone, the organization is committed to turning Cloud9 White into a true sister team competing in Valorant’s male-dominated pro scene. 

She told The Esports Observer that the company’s strategy was inspired by early Korean League of Legends. In the early 2010s, many Korean LoL organizations signed 10 players divided across two rosters with similarly-themed names (Azubu Frost/Blaze, Najin Black Shield/White Sword, etc). These rosters would frequently play practice matches against one another and occasionally exchange players back and forth. “I don’t expect us to exchange players week-by-week,” said Malone, “but I do expect for the coaches and players of Cloud9 Blue to eventually look to integrate some of the women from Cloud9 White into their roster.”

Like those old Korean rosters, the teams will have scheduled practice time competing against one another and will have coaches “sharing systems across both rosters.” In addition to practicing like sister teams, Cloud9 intends to have its two rosters compete in the same tournaments. The two rosters will both aim to qualify for the game’s first official championship, First Strike, which takes place later this year.

For Malone, the decision to sign the MAJKL roster was not only due to their status as the top women’s team in the game, but their approach to competition. “The thing that stood out to me about this team is that they were already playing together and scrimming together. They weren’t a team that were all friends before Valorant and were playing for fun. They are a talented group of women who came together because they all wanted to be the best at the game and were committed to improving as a team. They were already working like a C9 team should, which is what made me so interested in them! This team was already clearly the top women’s team and they are ready to work on becoming the top Valorant talent, not just the top women’s Valorant talent.”

Shizuka Suzuki, head of sponsorships and experiential marketing at AT&T, also expressed her excitement regarding the signing and expanded partnership to TEO. She explained that both C9 and AT&T have a commitment to elevating women in gaming. AT&T recently announced a gender equality initiative for game developers called Unlocked Games.

“We’ve got a huge passion around gender equality in sponsorships overall,” Suzuki said. “Whether that be with the WNBA, whether that be women’s soccer – a lot of different areas where we’re intentionally making investments to help provide women with a platform to make sure they’re being seen by the younger generation or by others.”

In addition to its traditional sports activities, AT&T has been active in esports for several years sponsoring mobile gaming initiatives for ESL. Suzuki noted that, despite the smaller scale of many women’s esports programs, brands should take notice of the opportunities that exist in the space. “It’s almost a best-kept secret. Generally, those rights fees are a little cheaper than in men’s sports. What that allows is for companies of all marketing budget sizes to be able to go invest in world-class athletes.” She did however caution that brands need to make sure that such initiatives align with their values before entering the space. 

While it remains to be seen whether Cloud9 White can compete consistently with the top teams in Valorant, the organization is setting itself up to make significant strides for women in esports, pushing one step closer to the ultimate goal of co-ed teams becoming the norm in the space. 

“It’s going to take everyone,” Suzuki said. “If we all share that same passion of giving women a better opportunity, more opportunities to be seen, and certainly more content around them…it’s going to take all of us as part of that ecosystem to move the needle.”

In part, Cloud9 is able to help potentially move that needle due to groundwork previously laid by the women’s ecosystem of CS:GO. The similarity in gameplay between it and Valorant allowed for women’s teams to more easily migrate over from what is currently the most professionalized women’s esports infrastructure in the industry. Malone echoed the sentiment of this requiring a collaborative effort:

“I think that CS:GO was able to make such great strides because of the community and the TO’s pushing for it to happen. It is apparent that Valorant is making similar strides through a concerted effort between the community and the developer. Riot Games is making decisions early on to include women in competition and to ensure those women will be supported in the scene. I think that other titles could find similar success if they invested resources to the same degree while making conscious decisions to be more inclusive and provide stepping stones for women.”

That commitment from Riot Games is also part of why Cloud9 made the decision to sign a  women’s roster. “We have seen opportunities to jump into women’s CS:GO in the past, but I think our relationship with Riot Games really made this a unique opportunity. Having

an open line of communication with the developer and being able to talk about long term goals, really made us want to jump in and start developing talent for Valorant.”

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