News

China’s investment might have saved Apple’s screen supplier

Has China saved Apple’s new iPhones?

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Last year, Apple revealed a surprising decision. Rather than completely adopting OLED, the iPhone maker used LCD screens for its budget iPhone XR. Despite the cheaper solution, Apple still delivered a perfectly serviceable smartphone. The iPhone XR received a favorable modicum of praise.

Unfortunately, Apple’s economic strategies might have caused some unintentional fallout. Apple’s main screen supplier, Japan Display Inc., has fallen into dire straits. Just like Apple, the supplier has not adequately transitioned to OLED production. Likewise, Chinese suppliers have lowered their prices to competitive advantages. As a result, Apple’s main screen maker might be headed to the locker room.

However, just as China killed Japan Display’s performance, China might also save the ailing company. Reportedly, the Chinese Silk Road Fund and Taiwan’s TPK Holding Co will invest new funds into Japan Display. The investment will supposedly number around CNY 60 to 80 billion. Both companies will also take 30 to 50 percent stakes on the screen supplier.

Sadly, it might be too late. Two months ago, Apple reportedly ordered a batch of OLED screens from long-time rival Samsung. Supposedly, the new shipment will cost less for the iPhone maker. The Samsung-made screens will likely make an appearance this year, if the deal concludes successfully.

It’s still too early to tell. Apple is also struggling with other components. For example, Qualcomm is currently waging a legal war against Apple’s key components, possibly delaying developments in the future.

Usually, Apple launches its smartphones around September. Given component uncertainty now, the iPhone might look different behind the scenes when September comes this year.

SEE ALSO: 2019 iPhones will look just like 2018 models, and that’s fine

News

The AirPods Pro will cost as much as a new phone

New form factor will be noise-canceling

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Be honest; how many times have you lost an AirPod? Once? Twice? Naturally, you’ll never hear anyone admit it. Apple doesn’t even have quantifiable data on AirPod replacements. If anything, Apple’s AirPods were still the world’s best-selling wireless hearables in 2018, according to Counterpoint Research. People are heavily buying into the ecosystem. And we’re not even done yet.

In a few months, Apple fans will start throwing even more money at Apple. According to new information, Apple will launch a premium AirPods variant, the AirPods Pro, during the holiday season.

Embedded deep in the iOS 13.2 beta, Apple included a new glyph that supposedly depicts the new hearables. Most notably, the glyph includes a couple of very distinct ear plugs. Unlike the open AirPods, the AirPods Pro will likely have an in-ear, noise canceling form factor.

Further, a China Economic Daily report has revealed information about its eventual release. Besides having an in-ear form factor, it will also have a noise-canceling listening mode, similar to other noise-canceling headphones today.

According to the report, the AirPods Pro will launch around the end of October. It will launch for at least TWD 8,000 (or around US$ 260). The new price tag is a huge step-up from Apple’s previous releases.

In March, Apple launched the second generation of AirPods. The newly released AirPods launched for only around US$ 175. The AirPods Pro lives up to its “Pro” moniker. As such, losing one of these things can come incredibly costly. A single pair costs as much as a midrange smartphone today.

Finally, Chinese OEMS have already begun shipping out potential accessories for the next Apple AirPods. For example, the photo above is supposedly housing for the new model’s charging case. From the get-go, the AirPods Pro is already a much bigger beast compared to the older models.

Thankfully, it won’t be long before the end of October. We’ll finally get our hands on these pricey things soon.

SEE ALSO: Apple might make your iPhone’s logo light up, patent says

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Accessories

This is a real Banana Phone and you can buy it now

Connects to your smartphone like a headset

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Image source: Banana Phone

In the deep annals of ancient internet history, one of the earliest memes was the infamous Banana Phone song. In fact, the word “meme” hadn’t even entered our common lexicon when the video first dropped on YouTube. Since then, the video has gained massive online popularity, earning it a spot in the internet hall of fame.

More than a decade later, we finally have the technology to create a real Banana Phone. Created by the Banana Phone LLC, the Banana Phone is literally a banana-shaped phone. Somewhat.

Instead of a smartphone (or even a dumb phone), the Banana Phone is a Bluetooth-enabled device that merely connects to your smartphone. In other words, yes, you can take calls on a banana.

The device isn’t a new one, either. The Banana Phone was first developed in 2017 through an Indiegogo campaign. However, The Verge has spotted a new one already in the works.

According to the founder himself, the upcoming Banana Phone will come with a loudspeaker built for music playback. If the mood takes you, you can actually play the original “Banana Phone” video through an actual Banana Phone. We’re living the dream.

Besides the loudspeaker, the new model will come with a bigger battery, capable of up to 20 hours of usage. Despite the upgrade, the Banana Phone will still have the same US$ 39.99 price tag.

Currently, the new model is still unavailable on the Banana Phone’s official site. However, it will likely launch sometime around the end of November.

SEE ALSO: Nokia 8110 4G Hands-On: Retro Banana Phone!

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Apps

Google discontinues Datally, its mobile data saving app

It’s gone from the Play store

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Using the Datally app from Google? It’s time to move one and find another as Google officially discontinues its mobile data saving app.

In the official support page of Datally, Google notes that the app is not available on the Play store. True enough, visiting the link to Datally throws the app not found error.

Users of the mobile data saving app can continue using it, but the app will not receive future updates. To speed up its discontinuation, the app is giving a warning that it is incompatible with Android 10. So, users who upgraded to the latest OS can’t use the app anymore.

Datally launched last 2017 to help users control their mobile data usage. The app shows the data usage of every app as well as overall data usage metrics. It also let users block background data.

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