Samsung unveils new foldable smartphones, seeking keep lead in growing market – Reuters
SEOUL, Aug 10 (Reuters) – Samsung Electronics (005930.KS) unveiled its latest high-end foldable smartphones on Wednesday, keeping prices at the same level as last year’s in a bid to cement its leadership in an expanding niche market.
The smartphone maker priced its clamshell Galaxy Z Flip4 at $999.99, and the 5G-enabled top-line Galaxy Z Fold4 with a 7.6-inch main screen to start at $1,799.99 in the United States, the same as the launch prices of last year’s models.
“We’ve successfully transformed this category from a radical project to a mainstream device lineup enjoyed by millions worldwide,” said TM Roh, president and head of mobile experience at Samsung Electronics.
The Galaxy Z Flip4 and Z Fold4, as well as its latest earbuds, Galaxy Buds2 Pro, will be generally available starting Aug. 26 in select places such as the United States, parts of Europe and South Korea.
Counterpoint Research forecast global shipments of foldable smartphones to grow to 16 million units this year, just 1.2% of the 1.36 billion smartphone shipments forecast, but a jump from 9 million foldables shipped last year.
Although the overall smartphone market is seen shrinking this year as consumers spend less, foldable smartphones are likely to fare better, as their quirky form factor, large screens and portability attract interest, analysts said.
Samsung held a 62% market share in foldable smartphones in the first half of 2022, followed by Huawei at 16% and Oppo at 3%. Counterpoint forecast Samsung’s share in the second half will be around 80% after the new releases.
Samsung said it is aiming for foldable phone sales to surpass that of its past flagship smartphone, Galaxy Note, in the second half. read more
“Foldables have helped Samsung differentiate itself… Apple will be Samsung’s key competitor in the future and we expect a foldable to be released from Apple in either 2024 or 2025,” said Counterpoint senior analyst Jene Park.
Samsung said the latest models make it easier for phone owners to use popular apps such as Instagram and Microsoft’s (MSFT.O) Outlook.
Reporting by Joyce Lee. Editing by Gerry Doyle
Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.
Absolutely BROKEN Necromancer Gameplay – Diablo 4 Beta – IGN
Counter-Strike 2 may immediately end matches with cheaters – GamesHub
Counter-Strike 2 (CS2), the next evolution of Valve’s, long-running, ever-popular, and lucrative tactical first-person shooting game was revealed in mid-March 2023. But beyond several visual improvements and refinements to the high-stakes game, it appears as if the company is taking the opportunity to implement far stricter measures to counteract cheaters, who utilise third-party tools to gain an unfair advantage.
As spotted by Twitter user Aquarius and reported on by PC Gamer, a line in the source code of CS2 has indicated a new feature that will immediately cancel an in-progress match of Counter-Strike 2 if a player is detected using cheating tools.
The code, which appears to outline the conditions for certain notifications to pop up in-game, includes the phrases ‘Cheater Detected’ and ‘This match has been cancelled by VAC Live’.
‘VAC’ in this instance, of course, is an abbreviation for Valve Anti-Cheat, the company’s proprietary cheat monitoring solution. VAC was first introduced with Counter-Strike in 2002.
As PC Gamer astutely notes, this appears to be Valve taking a page out CS2’s closest competitor at the moment, Valorant, developed by Riot Games. Riot’s anti-cheat measures have included match cancellations since the game’s launch.
Counter-Strike has always been a game with high stakes, requiring exceptional levels of player investment and focus to succeed. Having your multiplayer experience ruined by a lopsided, unfair match can be incredibly demoralising, especially if you’re stuck in it for some time before you can move on. If Valve’s new anti-cheat measures do go ahead, it can only be a positive thing.
Don’t cheat in multiplayer games. That’s a loser move.
Counter-Strike 2 will launch on PC sometime in mid-2023.
Microsoft Ends $1 Xbox Game Pass Offer For First Month of Use – Kotaku
Microsoft’s long-running introductory offer for its Xbox Game Pass subscription platform, which let users try the service out for $1 for the first month before moving onto more expensive payments, has finally come to a close.
As The Verge report, the deal—which applied to both Xbox Game Pass Ultimate and the PC Game Pass—has recently been pulled, with a Microsoft spokesperson saying “We have stopped our previous introductory offer for Xbox Game Pass Ultimate and PC Game Pass and are evaluating different marketing promotions for new members in the future”.
What those “different marketing promotions” could be is anyone’s guess, though given the whole point of the $1 deal was get new users on the hook, a natural successor could easily be the Xbox Game Pass Friends and Family scheme, which while still unavailable in the US has been tested in a number of international markets since late 2022.
Anyone signed up for Game Pass will see months from existing subscriptions converted into partial months on the sharing plan. If you’re currently signed up for Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, every remaining month will turn into 18 days of Game Pass Friends and Family. Those signed up for the piecemeal tiers will see their subscriptions convert into 12 days of Game Pass Friends and Family.
There are some limitations, however. If you’re the account holder, you can only have four additional people on an account at any given time, and can only share with eight unique accounts over the course of a calendar year. And it’s region-locked: The primary account holder can only add members who live in the same country or region.
While that’s not a 1:1 replacement for the $1 offer, which was just a good deal for anyone, it does mean folks recommending Xbox Game Pass to friends or family would have a pretty easy way to get them onboard via their own account.
It sucks to see the $1 deal go away, since I’m sure many/most of you took advantage of it, but if you weren’t ready for the time Xbox decided to start doing stuff like this, you have not been paying enough attention to TV and sports over the last five years.
The 100 most popular art museums in the world—who has recovered and who is still struggling? – Art Newspaper
Commercial real estate is in trouble. Why you should be paying attention – CNN
Planets on parade: 5 will be lined up in night sky this week – Ottawa.CityNews.ca
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