News

Apple is working on a foldable iPhone, report says

Likely ready by 2021

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Are foldable phones finally a thing? After the rockiest start, the foldable hype has seemingly petered into oblivion. The Samsung Galaxy Fold and Huawei Mate X are still coming to markets worldwide. However, the excitement has already withered away. Everyone is already focused elsewhere. Of course, the foldable phone can still skyrocket to popularity in the future.

In anticipation for this potential future, Apple is joining the foldable fray. At least, according to an investor’s note from UBS.

At first, the note reiterates Samsung’s current dominance in foldable technology. However, it confirms Apple’s efforts to catch up in the future. Right now, Apple has no announced launch for a foldable iPhone. The company is currently focusing on the iPhone 11’s launch later this year. As such, UBS is expecting a 2021 launch for a foldable iPhone.

Besides confirming Apple’s efforts, the note has also surveyed consumers today. According to the survey, a third of consumers are interested in a foldable smartphone. Generally, interested customers are willing to pay US$ 400 more than usual for the device. More importantly, Apple users are more interested and can pay more. Compared to the other consumers, interested Apple customers will pay US$ 600 more for a foldable phone.

Currently, the foldable smartphone’s price is the biggest turn-off for consumers. For example, Samsung will sell its foldable phone for a bank breaking US$ 1,980. Who knows how much more Apple is charging for their own version? At the very least, Apple can expect a fair modicum of hype for an eventual foldable iPhone.

SEE ALSO: Apple is buying Intel’s 5G modem business

India

Poco X2 is coming in February

The wait is almost over

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The long wait is now almost over. POCO India just revealed that the next Pocophone will launch on February 4, 2020.

Announced in a tweet, the next phone will be called POCO X2 and, according to the company, will make you go “Bruh, it’s Smooth AF.”

Why smooth? It’s likely referring to a high screen refresh rate — a feature that was introduced in 2019 by the likes of OnePlus and ASUS and will likely come to several phones in 2020. It’s possible the POCO X2 will have up to a 120hz screen refresh rate.

The phone’s dedicated website also highlighted the cameras, a Qualcomm Snapdragon chip, liquid cooling, and fast charging. If the POCO X2 will carry on the “flagship killer” tag that the Pocophone F1 carried, then it wouldn’t be a stretch to think that it will carry the latest Qualcomm SoC.

There’s still a lot that we don’t know, but we don’t have to wait too long to find out!

SEE ALSO: POCO is now officially an independent brand

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India

India now the world’s second-largest smartphone market

It finally surpassed the US

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With a population of 1.3 billion, India is the second-most populated country in the world. The total number of population in India presents an opportunity for tech companies willing to break ground with their products. The proliferation of tech brands in the country testifies to the Indians’ demand for new tech products — particularly, smartphones.

Over the years, the smartphone market in India grew significantly. According to the latest statistics from Counterpoint Research, India finally surpassed the US to become the second-largest smartphone market in the world.

India’s growth remained while smartphone shipments remained flat globally.

The total smartphone shipment in India reached 158 million in 2019 with a 7% year-on-year growth.  The bulk of this shipment came from Indian buyers looking for midrange smartphones with flagship capabilities. These buyers, as the research notes, are buying these devices as their first or second smartphone.

Photo lifted from Counterpoint Research

Xiaomi leads the way

Chinese tech companies saw a strong surge in India and drove the majority of smartphone shipments. Xiaomi, in particular, leads the pack with 28% of smartphones shipped coming from the company. The company now has to prioritize the Indian market, as the market finally became its largest last 2019.

Samsung (24%), Vivo (16%), and OPPO (9%) also did well last 2019. Interestingly, Realme’s growth in India has been staggering — from 3% in 2018 to 10% in 2019, the company registered a 255% year-on-year growth.

Other companies like ASUS and OnePlus also grew significantly on an annual basis. ASUS registered a 67% growth while OnePlus at 29% growth.

While budget devices remain popular among Indians, the market for midrange and flagship devices is also growing. One company to benefit from this growth is Apple, wherein the lowered entry price of iPhone 11 compared to iPhone XR made it a hit among Indians with deep pockets.

Feature phones are declining

While the Indian smartphone market grew significantly, the market for feature phones dropped significantly. The market saw a steep 38% year-on-year decline during the last quarter of 2019. Counterpoint Research blames this to a slow down in shipments from a leading feature phone maker, Reliance Jio.

Surely, the Indian smartphone continues to be a competitive market for most tech companies. The growing adoption of smartphones in India means that there is no slowing down for its market. Perhaps, there will come a time when smartphone shipments in India may even surpass that of China’s.

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Motorola razr: “Bumps and lumps” are normal, according to Motorola

Take good care of your razr

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Image source: Motorola US / YouTube

After all the hype, are we ready to give foldable smartphones a chance? Logic says: proceed with caution. The pioneering phones have proven themselves less than durable. For example, even after two iterations, the Samsung Galaxy Fold still had inherent flaws (which the company admitted to).

Now, the industry’s newest addition — the refreshed Motorola razr — is going through similar speed bumps. However, according to Motorola, there’s nothing to worry about.

Today, Motorola USA released a support video on their official YouTube page. The video issues several reminders on how to take care of the foldable phone. Most are self-evident, such as staying away from sharp objects and screen protectors. One, however, is a strange addition.

“Screen is made to bend; bumps and lumps are normal,” the addition said.

Undoubtedly, “bumps and lumps” don’t usually apply to smartphones — if it’s working correctly, at least. To call it “normal” is strange. What does it even mean? When do bumps and lumps occur?

If the Galaxy Fold is any indication, the flexible screen deforms after bending over and over. The plastic can pop like a broken screen protector. That said, it’s strange to see how Motorola’s own deformations are normal.

If Motorola is downplaying the flaw, is the new razr actually better than most foldable smartphones? Unfortunately, despite the downplaying, “bumps and lumps” are still undesirable for some users. Will this impact the Motorola razr negatively? Possibly.

SEE ALSO: New leak reveals Motorola phone with a stylus

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