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Qualcomm's new Snapdragon chip supports always-on cameras – MobileSyrup



Qualcomm unveiled its new Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chip at its annual Tech Summit on November 30th. There’s a lot to be excited about with the new chip.

Unfortunately, there are a few things to be wary of too, like the always-on camera capability.

Qualcomm seems convinced that adding an image signal processor (ISP) dedicated to running the camera all the time is a good idea. In fact, when Qualcomm talked about the always-on camera during its four-hour Tech Summit live stream (it happens around hour three, and you can check it out here or below), it said its vision was to “enhance privacy and security” using the always-on camera.

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If that sounds completely counterintuitive, you’re not wrong. Qualcomm’s pitch is that the always-on camera can constantly scan for your face and automatically lock your phone if you look away or enable privacy features if it detects you’re looking at your phone with someone else. One example the company shared was that the chip could temporarily hide notifications when it detects you’re showing your screen to someone else.

Except, that’s not really the main privacy concern people have with an always-on camera. I’m more worried about my phone always watching me than I am about the people around me getting a glimpse of my screen.

What’s worse is that this will exacerbate existing privacy and security concerns. We’ve got always-on microphones in our phones now and those have brought a host of problems. I am not looking forward to the can of worms that an always-on camera will open.

Qualcomm says users can disable the always-on camera, but that isn’t enough

All that said, The Verge reports that Qualcomm’s VP of product management, Ziad Asghar, said that users will be able to disable the always-on camera, or possibly even choose which always-on camera features they want to use.

Further, it’s worth considering that phone manufacturers may not use the feature. Qualcomm makes the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1, but other companies make the phones that run on those chips. Samsung, OnePlus and others could skip the feature entirely.

There are other potential solutions to the always-on camera thing as well, although few are elegant. Android 12 includes the ability to disable the camera and microphone via a software toggle — that could be one way of temporarily disabling the always-on camera (assuming you get a Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 device running on Android 12). Phones could include a physical camera shutter, like what’s become popular on laptops. However, I doubt many manufacturers will want to integrate a physical shutter into their smartphone designs. Heck, maybe people will start sticking tape over their phone’s camera too.

Ultimately, there will likely be phones that don’t do any of that and ship with the always-on camera feature. Perhaps the worst part about the always-on camera in the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 is it could set a precedent that leads to other companies including the capability in a race to keep up. And if that happens, it’s only a matter of time until someone messes up and the always-on camera goes from privacy concern to privacy nightmare.

Image credit: Qualcomm

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China's Restrictions Delay iPhone 14 Development | by slashdotted | May, 2022 – DataDrivenInvestor



According to a source, iPhone 14 development is behind schedule owing to Chinese lockdowns

At least one iPhone 14 model is three weeks late

Photo by Brett Jordan on Unsplash

According to a fresh rumor today, the development of at least one iPhone 14 model is three weeks behind schedule owing to Chinese lockdowns, which might damage initial production levels in the worst-case scenario.

According to reports, Apple has instructed suppliers to accelerate product development efforts in order to make up for a lost time before the delay impacts the regular manufacturing schedule, which might impair the initial production numbers of the iPhone 14 series.

By the end of June, all new iPhone models should have completed the EVT and moved on to the verification step.

As speculation grows regarding the characteristics of the next iPhone 14 models, such as an always-on display, a fresh source claims that the development of the line has been slowed by China’s coronavirus regulations.

All iPhone 14 versions are presently undergoing engineering verification testing (EVT), which involves Apple working with suppliers to optimize production processes and calculate manufacturing costs.

The unexpected lockdown shutdown of major Apple suppliers in Shanghai, as well as the effect on regional transportation, have caused the delay.

Apple is apparently working with its suppliers to expedite the process and get back on track.

The story seems to imply that, unlike the iPhone 12, the iPhone 14 will not be delayed and would instead come in the same September launch window as its current best iPhone, the iPhone 13.

Is the iPhone 14 going to be delayed?

According to this claim, it is doubtful that the iPhone 14 would be delayed.

The story does, however, raise the likelihood that one of the iPhone 14 versions may be substantially more difficult to get when it is introduced later this year.

The delay is claimed to be due to the internal development of the iPhone 14 series production process

. According to Nikkei, suppliers must adopt new manufacturing processes and adjust current production lines as part of a process known as New Product Introduction (NPI).

Last month, supposed real-world iPhone 14 display panels leaked online, revealing the suspected pill-shape and circular display cuts that would replace the conventional notch on this year’s new iPhone models to house the front-facing camera and Face ID technology.

In March, claimed iPhone 14 Pro 3D CAD renderings leaked, revealing the device’s reported redesigned pill-shape and circular display cutouts, which are likely to contain the iPhone’s Face ID components and front-facing camera module, eliminating the rectangular notch from the device’s display.

China’s restrictions stymie iPhone 14 development — Mobile World Live

According to the news agency, Apple’s iPhone 14 is being created by contract manufacturers Foxconn and Pegatron, with full production expected to begin in late August.

Nikkei Asia reported that engineering verification tests must be finished by the end of June in order to fulfill the manufacturing timetable and that one of the four iPhone 14 variants is three weeks behind schedule.

Due to the limitations, Pegatron paused manufacturing in its Shanghai and Kunshan plants earlier this year, while Foxconn halted operations at its Shenzhen factory.

Apple officials warned last month that supply concerns in China might affect sales by much to $8 billion in the current fiscal quarter.

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Luxury carmaker Maserati introduces convertible sportscar MC20 Cielo – Economic Times



MODENA: Maserati‘s turnaround plan aims to liberate the Stellantis luxury brand from being a “slave to volumes” which has weighed on quality, its CEO Davide Grasso said on Wednesday, unveiling a convertible version of its MC20 sportscar.

Maserati, which returned to operating profit last year, delivered 24,200 cars in 2021 – 7,300 units more than in 2020. That still leaves it far from 2017’s peak, when it sold 51,500 cars.

“That was a success in terms of numbers, not necessarily for customers,” Grasso said, adding defect rates at Maserati were at that time higher than the average in luxury and premium markets.

“You enter a vicious circle of unsold cars and bigger and bigger discounts,” he said. “We were not good enough with quality, new powertrains, infotainment”.

Grasso said Maserati’s performance would keep improving this year and in 2023 in terms of market share, products, revenues and margins.


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The brand has recently unveiled its new Grecale SUV, which will be available in a full-electric (BEV) version in 2023. Next year Maserati will also introduce new versions of its Gran Turismo and Gran Cabrio models, and plans to make all its range electrified by 2025.


Chief Commercial Officer Bernard Loire said sales could potentially top 30,000 units this year though it was not a target.

“It’s a projection based on our current performance,” he said.

Loire said China, Maserati’s second largest market after the United States, was being hit by an ongoing lockdown, but feedback from initial orders for Grecale were very positive.

“We see a much better second half,” he added.

He said Grecale would allow Maserati to compete in a segment, worth around 40% of the luxury market, where the brand has not been present so far.

Image - 2022-05-26T141424.363Agencies

With deliveries expected to start in the first quarter of 2023, the new retractable hardtop MC20 Cielo – ‘Sky’ in Italian – will contribute to Maserati’s sales only in 2023.

Fitted with a six-cylinder, three litre, 630 horsepower engine, for a top speed of over 320 km per hour, it will cost 260,000 euros ($277,000), 30,000 euros more than its coupe sister MC20. That’s higher than entry level models of Ferrari and Aston Martin.

Combined capacity for MC20 and MC20 Cielo, both produced in Modena, northern Italy, amount to about 1,400 units a year, with flexibility to adapt output between the two models.

Their BEV versions are expected by 2025.

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iPhone 14 production is "weeks" behind schedule thanks to the resumption of lockdowns in China –



Nikkei Asia

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