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iPhone 13 mini is only 3 percent of total U.S. iPhone sales

For the first quarter of 2022

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The iPhone 13 series had clear delineations with what it wanted to sell. Two versions offered a vanilla experience in two relatively smaller form factors. The other two versions offered a more premium experience in larger builds. The differences were clear. However, there’s a problem with the smallest variant of the series, the iPhone 13 mini.

Months after the launch of the series, the iPhone 13 mini never met the company’s expectations. Current expectations estimate that the next series will not have a mini version, replacing it with a Max version of the regular iPhone 14.

Now, according to sales data from the Consumer Research Intelligence Partners (via MacRumors), only 3 percent of U.S. iPhone sales in the last quarter were from the iPhone 13 mini. In comparison, 71 percent of the total sales were from the iPhone 13 series. The mini version really isn’t too popular.

Regardless, Apple isn’t losing a lot in the smaller phone market. The company still sells the iPhone SE series with a recent entry making waves now. Sporting a cheaper price tag, the iPhone SE (2020) offers a more competitive advantage compared to the iPhone 13 mini.

The mini’s lack of popularity does hint that the version won’t make a new appearance this year. According to current reports, the iPhone 14 series will have the regular iPhone 14, iPhone 14 Max, iPhone 14 Pro, iPhone 14 Pro Max.

SEE ALSO: Apple inks deal with BOE for iPhone 14 screens

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Samsung rumored to launch an affordable Galaxy Fold

In 2024

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Galaxy Z

For all the hype surrounding them, foldable smartphones are still one of the most expensive devices you can own in today’s market. Years after Samsung launched its first foldable phone, still only a handful of people can realistically afford the series. Fortunately, the lineup’s reputation for inaccessibility might soon change. According to a new report, Samsung is preparing a more affordable Galaxy Fold in the next few years.

As reported by Korean publication ETNews, Samsung is working on an “entry-level foldable smartphone.” Unlike most foldable phones that go over US$ 1,000, the reported devices will likely cost US$ 800 or below. That’s around or less than the cost of a flagship smartphone today.

According to the report’s estimates, it won’t be that long of a wait either. Samsung will reportedly release the affordable foldable phone within the next two years. Fans might need to wait through only two generations of the lineup before getting a better device for their wallets.

Currently, Samsung still has a set of foldable phones to launch sometime this year. If the rumors are true, this won’t be the affordable phone yet. Besides, the company still has a few more kinks to work out before perfecting the foldable form factor for a mass audience.

SEE ALSO: Is Samsung working on a horizontal folding Galaxy Fold?

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Another country wants to force Apple to go USB-C

More signs of a USB-C iPhone

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The cascade against Lightning continues. Recently, the European Union agreed on eventually forcing every tech maker in the region to adopt USB-C, much to the chagrin of Apple’s proprietary Lightning cable. Now, another country is considering on a similar edict against Apple.

First reported by Tecnoblog (and interpreted by 9to5Mac), Brazil has proposed a universal standard for smartphones in the country. Notably, Brazil’s proposal is not as airtight as the European Union’s. The country can still back down from enforcing such a rule. The government is currently deliberating suggestions from both lawmakers and civilians. If passed, affected manufacturers will have until July 2024 to comply.

As a silver lining, the proposal only affects smartphones, instead of the entire spectrum of devices. If the law is upheld, Apple has to worry only about iPhones. The European Union, on the other hand, wants a universal standard for every device.

However, much like the EU’s decision, Brazil’s proposal hinges on the waste created by excess cables and the convenience for consumers. Implementing a standard for everyone will ensure that one cable and charger will apply to all.

Though the proposals point at “every” manufacturer, Apple is certainly the most affected by them. Most other manufacturers have already shifted to USB-C, whereas Apple stubbornly stays behind its proprietary standard.

SEE ALSO: Apple might be forced to ditch Lightning cables for USB-C

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U.S. urges Google, Apple to ban TikTok

It’s about national security again

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Here we go again. Years since the last kerfuffle with the platform, the United States government is once again pursuing a ban against TikTok. However, instead of a geopolitical wave of infractions, the government’s latest pursuit will potentially untold damage on the video-sharing platform.

Recently, FCC commissioner Brendan Carr tweeted a letter he sent Apple and Google about the risks of TikTok. Carr is calling for an absolute ban from both the App Store and the Play Store. But unsurprisingly, the letter’s reasoning goes back to the old fears surrounding the Chinese app.

As reiterated in the letter, TikTok reportedly harvests an absurd amount of information from its millions of users. The platform’s owners, ByteDance, then ships that data off to servers in China. As stated in most anti-China fears, the Chinese government can notoriously request unlimited access of this data, marking a potential security risk on Americans. The letter cites evidence going as far back as 2019.

Carr urges Apple and Google to follow their policies regarding apps in their respective stores. If followed, TikTok might disappear from official sources, leaving third-party sources as the only places to get the app from.

Besides the regulatory, TikTok is also facing struggles in the competitive front. Meta’s Facebook and Instagram are reportedly taking renewed steps to compete more effectively with the platform.

SEE ALSO: Facebook is going to become more like TikTok

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