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Sonos, PopSockets speak out against Big Tech's dominance – CNET

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At an Amazon booth at the Las Vegas Convention Center during CES 2020 this month.


Ben Fox Rubin/CNET

As David Barnett tells it, Amazon is an abusive, unfair and uncaring partner to smaller businesses using its platform.

Barnett, founder and CEO of PopSockets, which makes adhesive grips for the backs of phones, on Friday lambasted the e-commerce giant for ignoring issues about counterfeit that he’d raised for months and bullying him to lower his prices. His comments were part of his sworn testimony before the House Judiciary’s Subcommittee on Antitrust, Commercial and Administrative Law, which has been holding hearings to investigate the potentially excessive power of the biggest tech companies in the US.

“This is tiring, this is tiring week after week,” Barnett told lawmakers at the University of Colorado’s Wittemyer Courtroom, describing Amazon’s threats to extract better prices — a practice that ultimately caused him to end his partnership selling products directly to Amazon.

He says his company is now banned from selling on Amazon’s website on its own and he’s lost countless sales after cutting off the lucrative direct-sales relationship. Other companies, he suggested, would rather put up with Amazon pushing them around to keep getting paid.

Amazon, along with fellow tech giants Facebook, Google and Apple, have all faced tough scrutiny over the past year from lawmakers and regulators, who not that long ago looked at Silicon Valley in a far more positive way. Now officials are raising concerns about these companies’ growing dominance in the market, which could be squashing competition.

This work could bring about big changes in the tech industry, perhaps forcing big players to break up, cutting off future mergers, or creating new regulatory restrictions. Officials say they’re pursuing this work to make sure innovative new startups can thrive and customers can benefit from strong competition.


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These tech giants have defended themselves by saying they’re small players in their broader fields, like Amazon being a tiny part of global retail. Facebook has pointed to emerging competition like TikTok threatening its lead in social media.

Regarding its PopSockets relationship, an Amazon spokesperson on Friday said it’s continued to work with PopSockets on counterfeits even after the direct partnership ended, calling the company “a valued retail vendor.” The person said Amazon does require some popular brands to sell directly to Amazon, so the company can ensure the best prices are available for customers.

Amazon also pointed to an IDC study, which Amazon funded and which was released Thursday, that discusses the sales growth of small- and medium-sized businesses on Amazon’s platform.

This theme of imbalanced, dominating business relationships kept resurfacing during the hearing. As part of their relationship, Sonos CEO Patrick Spence told lawmakers, Google tried to restrict his company’s innovations and wanted insights into Sonos’ future product plans. Sonos this month sued Google, claiming the company stole its wireless speaker technology.

“There’s such a dominant power that exists with these companies that really even as a company of our size you feel like you have no choice,” Spence said.

A Google spokesperson responded: “Sonos has made misleading statements about our history of working together. Our technology and devices were designed independently. We deny their claims vigorously, and will be defending against them.”

Kirsten Daru, general counsel at Tile, and David Heinemeier Hansson, chief technology officer of Basecamp, offered similar complaints that tech giants Apple and Google so thoroughly dominated their markets that it was virtually impossible not to work with them. Those companies then use that power to make unexpected and unfair changes that can harm smaller businesses, they said. 

For instance, Hansson complained that Apple has been able to charge developers a 30% fee for paid apps for years because it faces little competition. Barnett, of PopSockets, said other online marketplaces that rival Amazon certainly exist, “but most of them are really tiny.”

Fred Sainz, an Apple spokesman, said Friday that the company built its App Store as a safe, trusted place for customers, and a great business opportunity for developers.

Rep. David Cicilline, a Democrat from Rhode Island, who’s chairman of the subcommittee, has already raised serious concerns about these companies’ power, using terms like “economic nightmare” and “one algorithm tweak away from ruin” when talking about them on Friday.

Rep. Ken Buck, a Republican from Colorado, shared these concerns, showing there’s bipartisan cooperation on this issue, but he warned against unnecessary government interventions.

For now the chance that any of these tech giants could get broken up is remote, and Wall Street has pushed all these companies’ stocks higher despite this negative attention. Still, when Microsoft went through similar antitrust reviews 30 years ago, the process lasted for a decade, so it’s anyone’s guess what the outcome will be over such a long timeline.

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Halo Infinite Receives Brand New CGI Promo Trailer – Bleeding Cool News

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343 Industries has released a brand new trailer today for Halo Infinite, this time giving us the proper CGI cinematic vibes. People have been freaking out over the free-to-play multiplayer beta that’s been taking place the past couple of weeks, some giving it praise for being fun and awesome and a throwback to classic forms of the franchise, others holding back on saying too much as they wait to see what the campaign will bring them. But overall it sounds like most people are digging the game as-is as they slowly make their way to the December 8th release date. The latest trailer is pretty short and to the point, as we see Master Chief run across the map doing his best to clear out the biggest and baddest foes he’s had to face since being reactivated. Enjoy the trailer below as we have info on the beta below, in case you haven’t tried it yet.

In Halo Infinite, someone has to do it, and that someone is you. Courtesy of 343 Industries.In Halo Infinite, someone has to do it, and that someone is you. Courtesy of 343 Industries.
In Halo Infinite, someone has to do it, and that someone is you. Courtesy of 343 Industries.

When all hope is lost and humanity’s fate hangs in the balance, the Master Chief is ready to confront the most ruthless foe he’s ever faced. The legendary Halo series returns with the most expansive Master Chief story yet. Begin anew and step inside the armor of humanity’s greatest hero to experience an epic adventure and finally explore the scale of the Halo ring itself.

Legendary Multiplayer, Freed: Halo’s celebrated multiplayer returns, reimagined and free-to-play! Seasonal updates evolve the experience over time with unique events, new modes and maps, and community-focused content.

Arena: Halo returns to its roots with fair starts, on-map equipment, and 4-player squads to offer the ultimate arena-shooter experience.

Big Team Battle: Create endless combat possibilities by mixing and matching a rich variety of weapons, vehicles and equipment to experience big-team mayhem and fun that embraces the full spectrum of the Halo sandbox.

Spartan Customization: Become a Spartan that’s uniquely your own with a rich and deep player customization system. Earn and discover new cosmetic items simply by playing campaign or multiplayer. Or to obtain even more cosmetic rewards, purchase a Battle Pass that never expires and unlock new content at your own pace.

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This is the BEST entry-level 4K TV Cyber Monday deal for Xbox Series X – Windows Central

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If you’ve been looking for a great entry-level 4K TV for your PS5 or Xbox Series X, then look no further. This 50-inch Vizio MQ6 4K TV is currently down to its lowest price ever with $130 off the typical RRP, down to just $399 for Cyber Monday. It has almost everything you need to get the most out of your new PS5 or Xbox Series X, without breaking the bank.


Vizio TvVizio Tv

25% off:
Vizio MQ6 4K TV

While this panel lacks 120hz needed for 120 FPS games, it has everything else you need to get started with 4K 60 FPS gaming. HDR10+, UHD, with smart features for good measure.

$399 (was $529) at Amazon

The Vizio MQ6 series TVs aren’t the best for HDR out there, but this is a great option for those who have a PlayStation 5 or Xbox Series X and want an entry-level set without breaking the bank. Ideally you’d want a TV with higher brightness capabilities than this (in the 800-1000 nits range at least), but 300 nits is passable with HDR10+, especially for the asking price here.

The Vizio MQ6 also doesn’t support 120Hz for 120 FPS gameplay, but it does output 4K 60 FPS which is the baseline for most AAA games launching on the Xbox Series X and the PlayStation 5. Both systems also support HDR10 for expanded colors, and the Vizio MQ6 also features 3x full HDMI 2.1 with eARC, alongside its Vizio Gaming Engine, which ensures you’re getting improved latency between your controller and the display output. Crucially, the Vizio MQ6 also supports AMD FreeSync variable refresh rates, this gives you a smoother viewing experience on Xbox Series X, since it synchronizes the refresh rate of the display directly with your console.

This TV also supports a full range of smart features, including Alexa and Google smart assistant support, all the expected TV apps like Netflix, Disney Plus, Amazon Prime, and so on. As entry-level TVs go, this is arguably the best value option on the entire market right now, and it’s available at this price just between now and Cyber Monday.

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Cyber Monday Apple iPhone deals 2021: Best UK offers from Sky, Three – Radio Times

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  We may earn commission from links on this page. Our editorial is always independent (learn more)

Thought the iPhone deals were over? Cyber Monday is now here and we have all the best discounts on iPhone 13, iPhone 12 and more from iD Mobile, Three, Sky and all the major UK networks.

Black Friday may be over, but Cyber Monday is only just beginning – and so are a whole host of new deals. Our expert team has scoured the net and researched prices for the very best Cyber Monday on the iPhone 11, iPhone 12 and even the brand new iPhone 13. 

Vodafone had some of the best deals across most iPhone models over Black Friday, and the offers extend right through to the end of Cyber Monday – which means there’s still a chance to save 50% on a smartwatch connectivity plan with the iPhone 13.

Vodafone faces tough competition this Cyber Monday, so make sure you compare all the deals below to find the plan that is right for you, with  ThreeVirgin MediaSky MobileO2 also getting in on the price-slashing action.

However, there are also savings on buying a shiny new iPhone outright, with retailers such as Currys and John Lewis also an option for those not looking for a contract.

Those who are looking for a plan, however, could do a lot worse than Three, who are still offering six months half price on the new iPhone 13 Pro as well as a £100 voucher if you swap from another network, while Virgin Media are offering great bundle deals for a few more days, including the iPhone 13 from £30 a month with no upfront cost (36-month plan).

However, if you’d like your iPhone 13 with all-you-can-eat data, then iD Mobile are still offering one of the lowest-priced deals around, including unlimited data, minutes and texts for £39.99 per month and £29 upfront (24-month plan).

Here are the best iPhone Cyber Monday deals available today, as well as our thoughts and advice on which of the many models is right for you. If you’re purchasing outright, take a look at our best Cyber Monday SIM-only deals, and browse the sales at AmazonCurrysAOArgos and Very.

iPhone 13 Cyber Monday deals highlights at a glance

It’s been a good Black Friday weekend for iPhone 13 deals – here are some of the best offers still going this Cyber Monday:

When do Cyber Monday iPhone deals end?

Long gone are the days when Cyber Monday deals end at midnight – the time that Cyber Monday deals end depends on each individual retailer. For example, Vodafone and Sky have countdown timers showing that their deals will end at midnight on Cyber Monday, while Virgin Media has confirmed their offers will run through Wednesday 1st December.

If you have your eye on a particular deal, it is worth checking the retailer’s website to see when their deals expire. However, not every website states when their offers end, and products may well run out of stock – so it may be safer to purchase your iPhone on Cyber Monday just to be sure!

Cyber Monday iPhone contract deals available now

If 50-60GB of data sounds like plenty to you, then here are the best deals on mid-range data iPhone contracts. Unlimited data prices are in the table below, while handset-only deals are in the next section of the article.

Best iPhone Cyber Monday deals with 50-60GB data:

Best iPhone Cyber Monday deals with unlimited data:


Vodafone Cyber Monday iPhone deals

Vodafone logo
  • iPhone 13 | From £43 per month with £29 up-front (50% off a smartwatch connectivity plan)
  • iPhone 13 Pro | From £57 per month with £49 up-front
  • iPhone 12 Pro Max | From £43 per month with £19 up-front (plus save £312 on your airtime plan)
  • iPhone SE | From £25 per month with £19 up-front

Three Cyber Monday iPhone deals

Three logo

EE Cyber Monday iPhone deals

EE LOGO

Virgin Media Cyber Monday iPhone deals

Virgin media logo

Sky Mobile Cyber Monday iPhone deals

Sky Mobile logo

Sky Mobile offered 50% off its 60GB data plans on any smartphone as part of its Black Friday deals – a deal that is continuing throughout Cyber Monday. You may have to  hurry though, the offer ends at midnight tonight:


Mobiles.co.uk Cyber Monday iPhone deals

mobiles

The Mobiles.co.uk Black Friday sale is not offering too much money off the handsets but is instead boosting the data plans – however, be aware that deals end at 8am today.


iD Mobile Black Friday iPhone deals

id mobile 100x100

Currys, via its subsidiary iD Mobile, is offering one of the top iPhone 13 deals we have spotted so far.


Best iPhone handset only deals available now

If you’d rather not have a chunky monthly payment, you can always, of course, avoid the contract route and purchase a handset outright if the budget stretches. Handset-only prices tend to not receive as much of a discount as contracts, though we’ve discovered a few deals that would go great with a sim-only deal.

The iPhone 13 is the latest model and boasts a more powerful A15 Bionic chip and improved battery life, though, in our iPhone 12 review, we gave the phone four and a half stars, and it is still well worth purchasing. There’s more detail on the differences below, but if your mind is made up, here are the best Cyber Monday deals:

iPhone 13 handset-only Cyber Monday deals

  • John Lewis: claim up to £300 when trading in an old iPhone

We have been tracking iPhone 13 availability and where to buy in the UK as the mobile has been one of the many products to experience home delivery delays, so it is worth checking stock and delivery times.

Which Apple iPhone should you buy?

iPhone 13

Apple iPhone 13

Announced in September, the big selling point of the latest iPhone model is a powerful new A15 chipset and improved battery life. We give the mobile four and a half stars in our iPhone 13 review, praising the clear display, high-end camera setup and great battery life.

There are four variations of the iPhone 13 – the mini, standard iPhone 13, Pro and Pro Max. As well as price, each model varies slightly in terms of screen size and camera setup, so it’s worth considering whether you would like any premium features.

The iPhone 13 starts at £779:

The iPhone 13 mini starts at £679:

The iPhone 13 Pro starts at £949:

The iPhone 13 Pro Max starts at £1,049:

iPhone 12

Apple iPhone 12

It may be a year old now, but the iPhone 12 holds up well and is still an excellent purchase in 2021. The iPhone 13 boasts new features such as a faster processor and improved cameras, but it’s not a revolutionary upgrade that makes the iPhone 12 obsolete.

See our iPhone 13 vs iPhone 12 page for an in-depth look at the differences between the two phones, but we’re still very impressed with the iPhone 12, which bagged four and a half stars in our full iPhone 12 review.

At the cost of a few features, the iPhone 12 is somewhat cheaper than the iPhone 13 and has seen a few deals now a newer model is available. We’ll keep you updated with the latest and greatest discounts throughout Cyber Monday.

The iPhone 12 now starts at £679:

The iPhone 12 mini now starts at £579:

Apple itself no longer stocks the iPhone 12 Pro or iPhone 12 Pro Max, but you can still pick up deals elsewhere.

iPhone 11

The iPhone 11 is the outlier here in terms of design and looks, but it still stands up well as a handset two years on from its 2019 release. Of course, if you want the very, very latest thing – this isn’t it. But the phone works well, and its A13 Bionic chip makes for a smooth user experience.

The main omission of the iPhone 11 is 5G and MagSafe, which were introduced on its successor, the iPhone 12. So if that level of connectivity is a major sticking point for you as a user, this isn’t the phone for you. Take a look at our iPhone 11 vs iPhone 12 rundown for more info, or find buying links below.

The iPhone 11 is now priced from £489:

iPhone SE

Apple iPhone SE

The iPhone SE is the best option for those on a tighter budget, but it’s still an impressive handset in many ways. It carries the same A13 Bionic chip from the iPhone 11, a very good 12MP camera and a great display.

The iPhone SE is now priced from £389:

Should you buy an iPhone 13, 12 or 11?

There are a lot of factors in play when deciding which series of iPhone to choose. It’s worth taking a look at the features and specs of the new iPhone 13 and comparing them to what you actually need. Do you want the very latest specs, or is the iPhone 12 still more than enough to keep you happy?

If you’re deciding which generation of iPhone to buy, read our iPhone 13 vs iPhone 12 guide. As we detailed in our iPhone 12 review, last year’s smartphone is no slouch: it’s compatible with MagSafe accessories, has a fantastic high-res display, fast A14 Bionic chip, 5G, wireless charging, good drop protection and more.

But the same can also be said for the even older iPhone 11 – which lacks 5G but still has a stunning screen, Qi wireless charging and a reliable camera setup. It won’t be the latest and greatest Apple phone, but not everyone actually needs that.

While the iPhone 12 (64GB) has an RRP of £799, it is down to £649 on Amazon. And if you can settle for the iPhone 11, even better. Last year, the iPhone 11 – which had an RRP of £729 when it was released in 2019 – was discounted to £489 (64GB) at Currys.

If you want to know the key differences between the two older Apple phones, read our iPhone 11 vs iPhone 12 guide – which will help you make a buying decision.

If you’re solely focused on the new iPhone 13, keep an eye out for trade-in deals, which retailers have offered in prior years. These could save you some money if you are upgrading devices. That said, stock has been up and down, so head to our iPhone 13 availability page to track retailer and network stock in the UK. If you’re not sure which handset is for you, read our new iPhone 13 reviews:

Are there new iPhone deals on Cyber Monday?

Again this depends on the retailer – some simply carry their Black Friday weekend deals throughout Cyber Monday, while some take the opportunity to add some brand new offers. Either way, our team of experts will scour the net for any new Cyber Monday offers and keep this page updated.

Want an Apple device but not sure which to buy? Read our guide to the best iPhone. Got an iPad? Here’s our guide to the best iPad accessories.

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