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Is this Samsung’s next Galaxy Fold? – Circuit Breaker

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Samsung’s Galaxy Fold has the dubious honor of being the first folding phone most of our readers could actually buy — but it won’t be the last. Last month, Motorola announced a vertically folding throwback to its classic RAZR, and Samsung has teased that it might do something very similar. Now, images are floating around Chinese social media of a phone that looks like it might be Samsung’s clamshell Galaxy Fold — and you can check them out for yourself immediately above and below.

We aren’t certain that these images, via Weibo by way of phone leaker Ice Universe, actually depict a Samsung device, much less one that’s headed to market. It could be a prototype, a concept, or even a clever fake. But Bloomberg has reported since March that Samsung would follow the Galaxy Fold with a pair of additional foldable devices including a clamshell like the one you see above, and the overall silhouette lines up nicely with the concept images that Samsung officially shared in October.

You might note, though, that this foldable appears to only have two primary cameras around back, compared to the five or so reportedly headed to Samsung’s Galaxy S11 in February of next year. Earlier this month, Bloomberg reported that the next Galaxy Fold would launch around the same time, and would also get the same 108-megapixel main camera and 5x zoom camera as the Galaxy S11 — but if so, and if these images are that phone, it looks like it might rely on digital zoom for everything between 1x and 5x.

Earlier this month, after speaking to analysts, The Korea Herald reported that the next Galaxy Fold is expected to be quite a bit more affordable than its predecessor at around $845, less than half the $1,980 the current device costs in the US. We’re taking that with a grain of salt since Motorola’s razr foldable will cost $1,499 this January despite its mid-range specs. Even $900 would be pretty aggressive for a folding Samsung flagship.

Yesterday, Huawei announced that it’ll be releasing a faster, more durable version of its Mate X foldable next year, and will bring the existing version to Europe as well. It’s only been released in China so far.

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Britain in talks with 6 firms about building gigafactories for EV batteries

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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)

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EBay to sell South Korean unit for about $3.6 billion to Shinsegae, Naver

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EBay will sell its South Korean business to retailer Shinsegae Group and e-commerce firm Naver for about 4 trillion won ($3.6 billion), local newspapers reported on Wednesday.

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)

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Canada launches long-awaited auction of 5G spectrum

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Canada is set to begin a hotly anticipated auction of the mobile telecommunications bandwidth necessary for 5G rollout, one that was delayed more than a year by the pandemic.

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)

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