Samsung has released its Q1 2020 financial results, and while it’s affected by the pandemic, its mobile unit still managed to report relatively healthy profits. Furthermore, the company also used the financial report to reveal a rough launch window for its next foldable and Note devices.
The firm’s IT and mobile division saw a 4% year-on-year drop in sales, from 27.2 trillion won (~$22.3 billion) in Q1 2019 to 26 trillion won (~$21.3 billion) in Q1 2020. Samsung also blamed COVID-19 near the end of Q1 for mobile shipments dropping quarter-on-quarter.
However, the unit’s profits saw slight year-on-year growth, going from 2.27 trillion won (~$1.8 billion) in Q1 2019 to 2.65 trillion won (~$2.1 billion) in Q1 2020. Samsung says an “improved product mix” was the reason for the steady profits, pointing to flagship launches such as the Galaxy Z Flip and Galaxy S20 series. But the current global situation does make you wonder what could’ve been, especially with arch-rival Huawei under a US trade ban.
What to expect later in 2020?
Samsung is expecting an “inevitable” drop in Q2 2020 though, owing to a shrinking smartphone market and store closures due to the coronavirus. But the firm says it’s also focused on more flexible and diverse manufacturing capabilities and improving online channels in a bid to soften the blow.
Samsung Galaxy Buds Plus: Why you should get the original Galaxy Buds instead
The Samsung Galaxy Buds Plus bring a lot to the table. In fact, they outperform the original Galaxy Buds in nearly every way, as they should: the Buds Plus are the newer, more expensive model. …
Looking to the second half of the year, Samsung revealed that it’ll offer new premium devices, specifically pointing to “new foldable and Note model launches.” This isn’t a surprise given that the Galaxy Fold and Note 10 series launched in the second half of 2019, but we now have official confirmation of a launch window for their successors.
The Korean manufacturer says it’ll also bring 5G to “mass market” devices. So you might want to wait until the second half of 2020 if you’re thinking about hopping aboard the 5G train — or if you want a new premium Samsung device.
A new mock-up of the 5.5-inch 2021 iPhone has been shared by Macotakara today that suggests a notchless screen and USB-C instead of a Lightning port (or nor port at all) could be in the works. The prototype also shows what could be a different camera setup compared to what we’re expecting on the iPhone 12 later this year.
At the end of last year, we learned that Ming-Chi Kuo expects the highest-end 2021 iPhone to be a fully wireless device, ditching the Lightning port and also skipping the USB-C port. However, today’s alleged 5.5-inch 2021 iPhone prototype shared by Macotakara suggests that the entry-level model could make the switch to USB-C along with a notchless screen.
This 2021 iPhone mock-up was made based on data from Alibaba, so it’s worth taking this rumor with grain of salt.
A 5.5-inch 2021 iPhone likely means it would be the entry model based on what we’re expecting for the 2020 iPhone lineup, with the more affordable iPhone 12 models coming in 5.4- and 6.1-inch sizes and the iPhone 12 Pro landing with 6.1- and 6.7-inch displays. Macotakara does mention that this is just one prototype that Apple is considering so naturally, there’s no guarantee this design and features will make it to market.
Macotakara says the case dimensions of this prototype are the same as the 5.4-inch 2020 iPhone but with a slightly larger screen at 5.5-inches. However, one interesting part of this prototype would be the entry-level 2021 iPhone gaining what could be a 3 or 4 camera setup. One major way Apple has differentiated its iPhone lineup is with camera hardware and features, like the 11 Pro having an additional lens over the iPhone 11.
Apple has been working toward a making iPhone with a “single slab of glass” design for many years. The iPhone X display design is still seen today in the iPhone 11 lineup (expected in the iPhone 12 series too) so removing the notch totally that houses the Face ID components and TrueDepth camera would be a big step forward in the screen to body ratio and Apple evolving the iPhone display’s design.
The iPhone 12 lineup may feature slightly smaller notches but if this prototype does turn out to ring true, the entire 2021 iPhone lineup would likely go notchless if the 5.5-inch entry-level model did.
The Macotakara video below suggests that Apple could launch its first under-screen front-facing camera with the 2021 iPhone lineup to make this potential notchless design happen.
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A $5 billion class-action lawsuit filed in a California federal court alleges that Google’s Chrome incognito mode collects browser data without people’s knowledge or consent.
Google faces a $5 billion class-action lawsuit over claims that it has been collecting people’s browsing information without their knowledge even when using the incognito browsing mode that’s meant to keep their online activities private.
The lawsuit, filed in the federal court in San Jose, California, alleges that Google compiles user data through Google Analytics, Google Ad Manager and other applications and website plug-ins, including smartphone apps, regardless of whether users click on Google-supported ads, according to a report in Reuters.
Google uses this data to learn about private browsing habits of Chrome users, ranging from seemingly innocuous data that can be used for ad-targeting—such as information about hobbies, interests and favorite foods—to the “most intimate and potentially embarrassing things” that people may search for online, according to the complaint. Google “cannot continue to engage in the covert and unauthorized data collection from virtually every American with a computer or phone,” the complaint said, according to the report.
The technology problem at the root of the report is a feature called incognito mode in the Chrome browser, which ironically is one that is supposed to protect people when surfing the internet. Chrome users can turn on incognito mode to protect their browsing history, sessions and cookies from websites that want to use this information for marketing or ad-targeting purposes.
However, the feature has long had a problem in that even when using their mode, people’s activity has still been detectable by websites “for years” due to a FileSystem API implementation, Google Chrome developer Paul Irish tweeted last year.
Though Google said it implemented the FileSystem API in a different way in Chrome 76, released last year, the problem persists even in the latest version of Chrome 83, which was released last month, according to a report filed Thursday in ZDNet.
It is still possible to detect incognito mode in Chrome–as well as other Chromium-based browsers, such as Edge, Opera, Vivaldi, and Brave, which share the core of Chrome’s codebase, according to the report, which said Google still has not set a timeframe to fix the issue.
Developers even have taken the Chrome codebase scripts to expand the ability of websites to block incognito mode users from browsing, expanding it to other browsers that don’t use the same code base, including Firefox and Safari, the report said.
Ironically, the problem that’s put Google in legal hot water is nearly the same as the one the company accused browser rival Apple of having earlier this year in its Safari browser.
In January, Google researchers said they identified a number of security flaws in Safari’s private-browsing feature—called Intelligent Tracking Protection–that allow people’s browsing behavior to be tracked by third parties. Apple responded by saying it had already fixed the flaws in an update to Webkit technology in Safari.
Search-engine rival Duck Duck Go used news of the class-action suit as an opportunity to laud its own technology, which it offers as an alternative to Google search as a way to allow people to search and use the web privately.
“Incognito mode isn’t private. It never was.” the company said on Twitter. “DuckDuckGo is private. Will always be.”
Longtime Google critic, author, psychologist and researcher for the American Institute for Behavioral Research and Technology Dr. Robert Epstein also took to Twitter to reiterate his longstanding public opinion over Google’s privacy violations.
“#Google#Surveillance & Advertising just got sued for $5 BILLION for lying about its bogus ‘incognito’ mode on its Chrome browser,” he tweeted. “As I’ve always said, you’re STILL being tracked when you’re in that mode.”
The current case against the technology giant is Brown et al v Google LLC et al, U.S. District Court, Northern District of California, No. 20-03664. The New York-based law firm Boies Schiller & Flexner is representing the plaintiffs in the class-action suit, Chasom Brown, Maria Nguyen and William Byatt.
A federal judge said Apple Inc must face part of a lawsuit claiming it fraudulently concealed falling demand for iPhones, especially in China, leading to tens of billions of dollars in shareholder losses.
While dismissing most claims, U.S. District Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers ruled late Tuesday that shareholders can sue over Chief Executive Tim Cook’s comments touting strong iPhone demand on a Nov. 1, 2018 analyst call, only a few days before Apple told its largest manufacturers to curb production.
“Absent some natural disaster or other intervening reason, it is simply implausible that Cook would not have known that iPhone demand in China was falling mere days before cutting production lines,” Rogers wrote.
The Oakland, California-based judge also said a decision by Apple to stop reporting iPhone unit sales “plausibly suggests that defendants expected unit sales to decline.”
Apple did not immediately respond on Wednesday to requests for comment.
The complaint, led by the Employees’ Retirement System of the State of Rhode Island, came after Cook on Jan. 2, 2019 unexpectedly reduced Apple’s quarterly revenue forecast by up to $9 billion, in part because of U.S.-China trade tensions.
It was the first time since the iPhone’s 2007 launch that the Cupertino, California-based company had cut its revenue forecast. Apple stock fell 10% the next day, erasing $74 billion of market value.
Cook had said on the analyst call that the iPhone XS and XS Max had a “really great start,” and that while some emerging markets faced downward sales pressures “I would not put China in that category.”
By mid-November 2018, Apple had told the manufacturers Foxconn and Pagatron to halt plans for new iPhone production lines, and a key supplier had been told to materially reduce shipments, the complaint said.
The case is In re Apple Inc Securities Litigation, U.S. District Court, Northern District of California, No. 19-02033.
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