News

Apple’s iPhone 13 series won’t get a USB-C port

Lightning connector is still the king

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Apple’s iPhones have shipped with a Lightning port for the longest time, and the trend won’t be changing anytime soon. While USB-C continues to rule the industry today, Apple shall stick with the conventional port for an indefinite period of time.

The latest research note by TFI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, Apple will not ditch the Lightning connector in favor of a USB Type-C standard on iPhones anytime soon. And the decision to do so apparently has a lot to do with two key reasons — profits and longevity.

“We believe that USB-C is detrimental to the MFi business’s profitability, and its waterproof specification is lower than Lightning and MagSafe,” he said in the note, as quoted by AppleInsider. MFi stands for Apple’s Made for iPhone (MFi) program, allowing Apple to license the proprietary technology to other brands for making compatible accessories.

Kuo also predicts that the Pro iPhone model might lose the notch, favoring a hole-punch camera that’s popular on Android phones. However, he also adds that a shift to Touch ID is unlikely.

The note also says that we can expect an iPhone SE option with 5G compatibility. This is actually a no-brainer since every phone maker is gearing up for the boom, and the developing markets are yet to deploy full-scale 5G, giving some time to Apple.

Lastly, he speculates that the iPhone 13 Pro successor will be Apple’s main iPhone release to abandon the notch and “adopt” the hole-punch display design. Android phone makers have taken a similar approach, and it has worked well so far for everyone.

Users have long asked for a USB-C port on the iPhone because it eliminates the need to carry a Lightning cable wherever you go. Thanks to standardization, a USB-C wire is capable of charging a MacBook, Android phone, third-party accessories, as well as power banks. Having one universal port helps massively in enabling easy portability. In fact, even the iPad Pro has a USB-C port available now.

India

The LG Wing gets a huge price cut, now available for $400

Offer available till stocks last

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Last week, LG announced it’ll entirely shut down its mobile division due to rising losses. It’ll stop making new phones, but existing inventory is up for grabs. It seems like the company is earnest about leaving the past behind and has announced a massive discount on the recently launched LG Wing.

The LG Wing has received a massive price cut of almost INR 40,000 (US$ 532). It was launched for INR 69,990 (US$ 931) in October 2020 but will now sell for INR 29,999 (US$ 400) via Flipkart. Only the 8GB+128GB option was launched in India.

While this may be surprising for readers from other markets, LG has previously introduced such radical discounts in India. Even the LG G8X, which launched for INR 70,000 (US$ 931), was soon available for INR 25,990 (US$ 345). It’s still in stock and available for a discounted price. In fact, you can exchange your old phone in return for further discounts of up to INR 16,500 (US$ 220).

LG Mobile intends to close down by July 31 completely. So, the time span available to grab existing inventory is short. Thankfully, a one-year warranty and five-year service for the LG Wing are mentioned, meaning LG intends to keep the spare and service supply chain active for a long time.

It has also confirmed that these recent phones shall receive active software updates for up to three years. So, if you’re thinking of grabbing a niche phone that looks unique, this is your chance.

If it helps, this writer purchased the LG G8X three months ago for a discounted price and it has turned out to be an extremely solid phone. The Dual Screen setup comes in very handy for Zoom calls, reading, and researching. We’re unlikely to see such radical or experimental ideas anytime soon since most companies are now focused on scaling, in turn, moving away from a niche market.

Read Also: The LG Wing 5G offers a new smartphone experience

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Health

Facebook will convert its California HQ into a vaccination site

Helping end the pandemic

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Vaccination
Image by Hakan Nural

Facebook said it’s converting a part of its Menlo Park headquarters into a vaccination site, joining the government effort to speed up the US’s vaccination drive. The technology company is going out of its way to ensure citizens are jabbed as soon as possible, in turn, putting an end to the Coronavirus pandemic.

It’ll partner with the Ravenswood Family Health Center to turn part of its headquarters into a vaccination clinic for underserved communities. The company also said it’s partnering with California Governor Gavin Newsom and nonprofits to support pop-up clinics.

Facebook plans to arrange vaccine rides to and from Facebook’s campus. However, Facebook employees will be ineligible for the vaccination program. The new vaccination site is being made for under-served communities.

Recently, the social networking giant launched a tool that shows the nearest vaccination facilities to a user. Facebook is partnering with Boston Children’s Hospital, which runs the VaccineFinder.org website, to offer the tool that identifies places nearby to get the vaccine.

The adoption of vaccines is a point of contention for many due to a host of reasons — misinformation, lack of trust, poor supply chains, and more. Amid the pandemic, health regulators worldwide are urging citizens to get jabbed as soon as possible. Facebook has also launched a profile picture frame that says, “I got my COVID vaccine.”

“Now that many countries are moving towards vaccinations for all adults, we’re working on tools to make it easier for everyone to get vaccinated as well,” Mark Zuckerberg, CEO, said in a blog post.

As part of the efforts, the Coronavirus Information Center will expand to Instagram, and the company soon expects to roll out a WhatsApp chatbot in association with local health authorities.

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Gaming

NEO: The World Ends with You is launching in July

On multiple platforms

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After announcing that NEO: The World Ends with You is indeed coming, Square Enix has now confirmed the game’s release date — July 27, 2021.

Square Enix also released additional details about the game including characters, locations, and team battle details.

The colorful cast of characters is lead by Rindo along with Fret, Nagi, Minamimoto, and Shiba. These characters will interact in a cartoonized version of Shibuya, Tokyo and their communication will be presented with a comic-esque look.

As you go around exploring the city streets and sounds, you will uncover the secret behind everything. As Rindo, you and your group of friends must break the fate handed to you by this deadly game.

Platforms, Pre-order bonus

NEO: The World Ends with You will be available on the PlayStation 4 (PS4), Nintendo Switch, and PC on the Epic Games Store.

The PS4 digital pre-order bonus includes an avatar set that can be used on the PlayStation Network profile.

The PS4 and Nintendo Switch digital early purchase bonus are five equippable items once used by the legendary Neku. These items are normally unavailable until you proceed considerably far in the story, so they will give you a leg up in the early days of the game. These are:

  • Legendary Headphones — Drastically increases item drop rates from enemies.
  • Legendary Tank Top — Greatly increases Attack.
  • Legendary Shorts — Shortens the duration the wearer is knocked down.
  • Legendary Sneakers — Increases movement speed during combat.
  • Legendary Music Player — Enormously increases HP.

Early purchase bonus for the physical version are:

  • Pin: UFO Rescue — Hold the button to slowly restore your team’s HP.
  • Threads: Virupaksa Hoodie — Greatly increases HP.
  • CD: Twister (Neo Mix) — Adds ‘Twister -NEO MIX-‘ as a main menu music option.
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