There’s bad news for iPhone fans: The latest credible information suggests Apple is still years away from delivering a must-have technology most Android flagships already enjoy.
Esteemed industry analyst Ming-Chi Kuo predicts that Apple’s long-awaited periscopic camera technology won’t arrive until 2023, a year later than had been previously expected, according to a report by MacRumors. However, he did offer one important piece of good news for impatient iPhone photographers.
A periscopic or ‘folded’ lens squeezes powerful zoom capabilities into the restricted dimensions of a smartphone by redirecting light sideways through the smartphone’s body via a sequence of lenses and mirrors or prisms.
The technique has been used to great effect in rival smartphones such as Samsung’s Galaxy S21 Ultra which is capable of up to 10x optical zoom. The iPhone 12 Pro Max, on the other hand, is limited to just 2.5x.
While 2023 may still seem like a long way off, Kuo also predicted massive camera upgrades for iPhones due for release this year and in 2022. Flagships due in 2021 are expected to receive a higher quality telephoto lens featuring 6 elements rather than 5. Additional lens elements can help to improve picture quality by reducing optical distortions which typically have to be corrected in software. Additionally, next year’s iPhone models are expected to feature a new ‘unibody’ lens design, which will allow for smaller camera modules.
Despite Apple’s multiple patents pertaining to periscope technology, the company is clearly taking a very cautious approach when it comes to actually bringing it to market. The reasons behind this remain unknown, but while not everyone needs a powerful zoom lens, I feel the feature can’t come soon enough.
Apple’s current flagships deliver superb camera performance but the addition of powerful optical zoom will surely deliver a big boost in the one main area where they still lag several years behind.
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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)
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