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Nintendo Plans Switch Model With Bigger Samsung OLED Display – Bloomberg

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A Nintendo Switch game console. The company plans to unveil a model of its gaming console equipped with a bigger display this year.

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Nintendo Co. plans to unveil a model of its Switch gaming console equipped with a bigger Samsung OLED display this year, hoping the larger touchscreen can prop up demand in time for the holidays, people familiar with the plan said.

Samsung Display Co. will start mass production of 7-inch, 720p-resolution OLED panels as early as June with an initial monthly target of just under a million units, said the people, who asked not to be identified discussing internal matters. The displays are slated for shipment to assemblers around July, the people said. Representatives for Nintendo and Samsung Display declined to comment.

Nintendo seeks to sustain a Switch lineup that continues to sell well against the Xbox and PlayStation, thanks to pandemic-era breakout hits like Animal Crossing and a chip crunch that’s plagued supply of rival devices. But the gadget is now into its fifth year, while Microsoft Corp. and Sony Corp. both have new and more powerful machines in the market.

The gaming community has speculated online about the introduction of an OLED or organic light-emitting diode screen, but Nintendo has stayed mum and President Shuntaro Furukawa said in February his company has no plans to announce a new Switch “anytime soon.” Samsung’s involvement is the strongest indication that Nintendo is serious about updating the console, and on a large scale.

Shares of the Kyoto-based games maker fell 3.6% in Tokyo on Thursday amid a wider market selloff.

What Bloomberg Intelligence says

“The release of a more premium version of Nintendo’s Switch console with an OLED display and support for 4K graphics for the holiday 2021 selling season could drive the company’s sales above consensus for the fiscal year ending March 2022 and extend the life cycle of the Switch platform for many more years.”

– Matthew Kanterman and Nathan Naidu, analysts

#lazy-img-369095242:beforepadding-top:56.25%;Nintendo has barely outperformed fellow console makers since 2020

In February, Nintendo raised its annual forecasts after the Switch helped the company to its best quarterly earnings since 2008. The games maker hopes to sustain that run in 2021 despite stiffening competition and an ebbing pandemic.

Read more: Nintendo Raises Outlook After Surpassing High Expectations

“The OLED panel will consume less battery, offer higher contrast and possibly faster response time when compared to the Switch’s current liquid-crystal display,” said Yoshio Tamura, co-founder of display consultancy DSCC.

Nintendo decided to go with rigid OLED panels for the new model, the people said, a cheaper but less flexible alternative to the type commonly used for high-end smartphones. The latest model will also come with 4K ultra-high definition graphics when paired with TVs, they said. That could intensify a longstanding complaint of developers, who have struggled with the difference in resolution between handheld and TV modes and now face a bigger gap between the two.

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Rigid OLED panel price of the Switch’s display size has been falling due to over supply

Source: DSCC

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The deal benefits Samsung Display because market prices for so-called rigid OLED panels have been falling due to excess supply. Winning a customer like Nintendo also helps the Korean giant — an affiliate of Samsung Electronics Co. — firm up production plans. Nintendo in turn secures a valuable partner and supplier at a time semiconductor shortages are squeezing the supply of display-related components.

The new display’s resolution mirrors the current Switch and Switch Lite but is an upgrade from the Switch’s 6.2-inch and Lite’s 5.5-inch size. If the console’s housing remains unchanged, the new Switch is likely to sport a thinner bezel.

(Updates with share price and analyst comment)

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    $600K donation to boost online mental health programming in Nova Scotia – CBC.ca

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    Nova Scotia Health’s mental health and addictions program hopes to offer more online support to people across the province after receiving a significant donation this week.

    The QEII Foundation announced that RBC is contributing $600,000 toward the province’s e-mental health programming.

    “It’s particularly important for the current time under all the strains of COVID,” said Dr. Andrew Harris, a psychiatrist and the senior medical director for the program.

    The plan for online programming has been in the works for years, he said, but the pandemic expedited the push. Last June, the department launched a number of applications that can be used to help those with anxiety, depression and addictions.

    Since then, as many as 3,000 Nova Scotians have used the site to access mental health services.

    “There’s a persistent difficulty in accessing services,” Harris said of traditional models in Nova Scotia. He said those who don’t need intensive therapy may find the support they need through the online programs.

    He uses the example of someone who can’t take time off work to speak to a clinician.

    “It’s better for them to be able to access a service after hours or on the weekend. So our e-mental health services are tailored a little bit to meet that need.”

    Calls to crisis line increase

    Harris said the province’s mental health crisis line continues to see a 30 per cent increase in calls for help, so he’s trying to raise awareness that services can be accessed immediately online.

    “I think everyone is aware that for a lot of people it’s much easier to talk about a physical illness than a mental illness. So there’s an allowance there for privacy, for some anonymity but still making available things that can help the person who is struggling in the community.”

    The online portal has a list of programs that people can use, covering things like reducing stress, solving problems and becoming mindful. It mirrors a site in Newfoundland and Labrador that Harris said is used to help people in remote areas. 

    Harris said the donation from RBC will be used to continue to evaluate more services, and pay for the licensing of the products that are mostly developed by other organizations.

    He encourages anyone who is struggling to test out the site, and use it as an entry point into the mental health system.

    “It’s important for people to acknowledge when they’re struggling. It happens to all of us through our lives in different times.”

    Anyone in Nova Scotia looking to access the tools can visit: https://mha.nshealth.ca.

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    Samsung’s cheapest 5G Galaxy phones yet are launching this month

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    Samsung

    If you buy through our links, we may earn money from affiliate partners. Learn more.

    • Samsung is launching five new phones in its Galaxy A series this month.
    • Three of them will support 5G connectivity, and the most expensive phone is just $500.
    • The cheapest phone of the five still has three cameras but lacks 5G and other features.
    • See more buying advice on the Insider Reviews homepage.

    Samsung may be best known for its high-end Galaxy S phones that rival the iPhone. But the tech giant is proving that it can appeal to cost-conscious customers with the launch of five new smartphones in the United States, the priciest of which only costs $500.

    Samsung’s new lineup of budget phones, which debuted in other markets before coming to the US, are all launching this month. Some of them will be released as soon as this week, while the least expensive model will debut on April 29. The launch comes as competitors like Apple and Google have also been focusing on cheaper smartphones to boost sales.

    Three of these new Samsung devices also support 5G, another sign that shoppers no longer have to pay a premium to get access to next-generation wireless networks. All five of the new phones also have the traditional headphone jack for wired listening and run on an octa-core processor.

    Here’s a look at the new Samsung Galaxy A series phones that will be launching soon.

    Samsung Galaxy A52 5G

    Galaxy A52 5G_Awesome Black_Front_Back



    Samsung

    • Release date: April 9
    • Price: $499.99

    The Galaxy A52 5G is the most expensive smartphone of the bunch. It comes with a 6.5-inch FHD+ screen and a quad-camera system that includes some of the same features as Samsung’s more expensive Galaxy S phones. These include Single Take, which creates several different photos or video clips with different effects with a single press of the shutter button.

    Its screen can also boost its refresh rate up to 120Hz for smoother scrolling and performance, a feature that has become common on pricier flagship phones but is rare on cheaper models. It’s also the only phone in this A-series lineup to include Samsung’s notch-free screen design.

    Samsung Galaxy A42 5G

    Galaxy A42 5G_Prism Dot Black_Front_Back



    Samsung

    • Release date: April 8
    • Price: $399.99

    The less expensive Galaxy A42 5G has a slightly larger screen than the A52 5G, but scales back on certain features when it comes to the camera and screen refresh rate.

    Still, it has a triple-lens camera with high-resolution sensors, and like its pricier sibling it also supports Single Take.

    Samsung Galaxy A32 5G

    GalaxyA32 5G_Awesome Black_Front



    Samsung

    Release date: April 9

    Price: $279.99

    The Galaxy A32 5G is Samsung’s cheapest 5G smartphone to date. It has a large 6.5-inch screen, but it’s made from an LCD panel instead of Super AMOLED. That means it will likely lack some of the contrast and boldness of Samsung’s other devices. But Samsung hasn’t skimped on the camera considering this model has a quad-lens main camera, which is rare if not unheard of at that price.

    Samsung Galaxy A12

    Galaxy A12_Black_Back



    Samsung

    Release date: April 9

    Price: $179.99

    Samsung’s Galaxy A12 doesn’t come with 5G support, but it still gives you a lot for the price. For less than $200, you’re getting a quad-lens camera and a large 6.5-inch LCD screen. But remember this phone only has 32GB of storage, so it’s best suited for those who don’t store a lot of photos and videos on their device.

    Samsung Galaxy A02s

    Galaxy A02s_Black_Front



    Samsung

    • Release date: April 29
    • Price: $109.99

    The Galaxy A02s is Samsung’s cheapest phone, offering a 6.5-inch LCD screen and three main cameras. It doesn’t have 5G support or as much computing power or camera prowess as Samsung’s other A-series phones, but that’s to be expected for a device at this price. This phone is truly for those who just need the basics and little else.

    Sign up for Insider Reviews’ weekly newsletter for more buying advice and great deals.

    You can purchase syndication rights to this story here.

    Disclosure: This post is brought to you by the Insider Reviews team. We highlight products and services you might find interesting. If you buy them, we get a small share of the revenue from the sale from our commerce partners. We frequently receive products free of charge from manufacturers to test. This does not drive our decision as to whether or not a product is featured or recommended. We operate independently from our advertising sales team. We welcome your feedback. Email us at reviews@businessinsider.com.

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    Starving for more chips in a tech hungry world – Electronic Products & Technology

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    As the U.S. economy rebounds from its pandemic slump, a vital cog is in short supply: the computer chips that power a wide range of products that connect, transport and entertain us in a world increasingly dependent on technology.

    The shortage has already been rippling through various markets since last summer. It has made it difficult for schools to buy enough laptops for students forced to learn from home, delayed the release of popular products such as the iPhone 12 and created mad scrambles to find the latest video game consoles such as the PlayStation 5.

    Source: Adobe Stock

    But things have been getting even worse in recent weeks, particularly in the auto industry, where factories are shutting down because there aren’t enough chips to finish building vehicles that are starting to look like computers on wheels. The problem was recently compounded by a grounded container ship that blocked the Suez Canal for nearly a week, choking off chips headed from Asia to Europe.

    These snags are likely to frustrate consumers who can’t find the vehicle they want and sometimes find themselves settling for a lower-end models without as many fancy electronic features. And it threatens to leave a big dent in the auto industry, which by some estimates stands to lose $60 billion in sales during the first half of his year.

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    “We have been hit by the perfect storm, and it’s not going away any time soon,” said Baird technology analyst Ted Mortonson, who said he has never seen such a serious shortage in nearly 30 years tracking the chip industry.

    ___

    Is the pandemic to blame?

    Sort of. The pandemic prompted chip factories to start shutting down early last year, particularly overseas, where the majority of the processors are made. By the time they started to reopen, they had a backlog of orders to fill.

    That wouldn’t have been as daunting if chipmakers weren’t then swamped by unforeseen demand. For instance, no one entered 2020 expecting to see a spike in personal computer sales after nearly a decade of steady decline. But that’s what happened after government lockdowns forced millions of office workers to do their jobs from homes while students mostly attended their classes remotely.

    ___

    Are other factors at work?

    Yes. Both Sony and Microsoft were preparing to release highly anticipated next-generation video game consoles for their PlayStation and Xbox brands, respectively, that required more sophisticated chips than ever. To add to the demand, wireless network providers are clamouring for chips to power ultrafast “5G” services being built around the world.

    President Donald Trump’s trade war with China probably didn’t help either. Some analysts believe the Trump administration’s blacklisting of Huawei Technologies prompted that major maker of smartphones to build a huge stockpile of chips as it braced for the crackdown.

    ___

    Why is the Auto industry being hit so hard?

    Stay-at-home orders drove a surge in consumer electronics sales, squeezing auto parts suppliers who use chips for computers that control gas pedals, transmissions and touch screens. Chip makers compounded the pressure by rejiggering factory lines to better serve the consumer-electronics market, which generates far more revenue for them than autos.

    After eight weeks of pandemic-induced shutdown in the spring, automakers started reopening factories earlier than they had envisioned. But then they were hit with unexpected news: chip makers weren’t able to flip a switch quickly and make the types of processors needed for cars.

    ___

    How are automakers dealing with the shortage?

    They’ve cancelled shifts and temporarily closed factories. Ford, General Motors, Fiat Chrysler (now Stellantis), Volkswagen and Honda seem to have been hit the hardest. Others, most notably Toyota, aren’t being affected as dramatically. That is probably because Toyota was better prepared after learning how sudden, unexpected shocks can disrupt supply chains from the massive earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan in 2011, said Bank of America Securities analyst Vivek Arya.

    The harder hit automakers have diverted chips from slower-selling models to those in high demand, such as pickup trucks and large SUVs. Ford, GM and Stellantis have started building vehicles without some computers, putting them in storage with plans to retrofit them later.

    GM expects the chip shortage to cost it up to $2 billion in pretax profits this year from lost production and sales. Ford is bracing for a similar blow. Chip makers probably won’t fully catch up with auto-industry demand until July at the earliest.

    ___

    How will this affect people who want to buy a new car?

    Expect to pay more. Supplies of many models were tight even before the chip shortage because automakers were having trouble making up for production lost to the pandemic.

    IHS Markit estimates that from January through March, the chip shortage reduced North American auto production by about 100,000 vehicles. In January of last year, before the pandemic, the U.S. auto industry had enough vehicles to supply 77 days of demand. By February of 2021 it was down almost 30% to 55 days.

    ___

    Will other popular products be affected this year?

    Samsung Electronics, one of the world’s biggest chipmakers, recently warned that its vast line-up of consumer electronics could be affected by the shortage. Without specifying which products might be affected, Samsung co-CEO Koh Dong-jin told shareholders that a “serious imbalance” between the supply and demand for chips could hurt sales from April through June.

    ___

    What’s going to prevent this from happening again?

    There are no quick fixes, but chipmakers appear to be be gearing up to meet future challenges.

    Intel, which for decades has dominated the market for PC chips, recently made waves by announcing plans to invest $20 billion in two new factories in Arizona. Even more significant, Intel revealed said it is starting a new division that will enter into contracts to make chips tailored for other firms in addition to its own processors. That’s a major departure for Intel, aligning it more closely with a model popularized by TaiwanSemiconductorManufacturing Co., or TSMC, which already had been building a plant in Arizona, too.

    Compelled by the current shortage, TSMC also has committed to spending $100 billion during the next three years to expand its worldwide chip manufacturing capacity. About $28 billion of that investment will come this year to boost production at factories that have been unable to keep up with the surge in demand since the pandemic began, according to TSMC Chief Executive Officer C.C. Wei.

    And President Joe Biden’s $2 trillion plan to improve U.S. infrastructure includes an estimated $50 billion to help make the the country less reliant on chips made overseas. The U.S. share of the worldwide chip manufacturing market has declined from 37% in 1990 to 12% today, according toSemiconductorIndustry Association, a trade group.

    But chips won’t start coming out of any new factories built as part of the spending splurge for two to three years. And even as existing factories ramp up and expand to meet current demand, some analysts wonder if there might be a glut of processors a year from now.

    ___

    Krisher reported from Detroit.

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