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Apple users take longer to upgrade than before

Four years now, rather than three

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Last year, Apple’s performance drastically fell. People cared less about the latest iPhones. After the new year, the company fell behind Samsung and Huawei in the sales column. Now, Apple is facing a mountain to climb if it wants to regain its old dominance.

However, a new analytics report does not bode well for the iPhone maker. According to Bernstein analyst Toni Sacconaghi, Apple users are taking longer to upgrade their phones: four years, up from last year’s three.

The report also notes a marked 19 percent decrease in units sold this year. Because of the longer upgrade cycle, Sacconaghi expects only 16 percent of current iPhone users to buy new ones this year.

During Apple’s heyday, fans usually came in droves to line up for the next iPhone. Who doesn’t remember the gargantuan lines on launch day? Diehard fans usually wanted new iPhones as soon as they came out. Now, the story is changing. People are hanging on for much longer.

Apple’s head honcho has noticed the trend as well. In last month’s investor’s note, Tim Cook blamed the newly implemented battery replacement program. Because of 2017’s planned obsolescence controversy, Apple created a new replacement program, allowing for a longer iPhone life cycle. As a result, the company is now feeling the controversy’s huge fallout.

Of course, the battery replacement program is just one piece of the puzzle. Sacconaghi reveals the most obvious culprit: Apple’s exorbitant pricing scheme. As mentioned last year, Apple glorified their pricing, citing it as a key to victory. Unfortunately, an increase in returns per unit also results in fewer units sold.

Now, with the current upgrade cycle, iPhone 6 users will likely upgrade this year. iPhone X newcomers, however, will likely skip out on Apple’s newest launches this time around.

SEE ALSO: Apple might make the notch bigger this year

News

The US is offering a $10 million reward to prevent election hacking

Better be safe than sorry

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For ages, civilization has announced a bounty to get a hold of criminals. The tactic usually works because money acts as a motivating factor, prompting everyone to be on a lookout. The US is using the tried and tested method to ensure its 2020 Presidential election aren’t meddled with.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the US would offer a US$ 10 million reward to arrest anyone who interferes in the November elections. It includes attacks against US officials, US election infrastructure, voting machines, and also candidates and their staff.

Pompeo did not specify Russia but the US intelligence community has previously confirmed it expects another effort by Moscow as well as other US adversaries in the 2020 election.

The country is taking immense caution amid the Coronavirus pandemic to ensure fair elections. In 2016, many alleged that the elections weren’t fair since foreign entities had interfered. No substantial proof has been found yet, but it’s a widely known fact that hackers leveraged Facebook’s vulnerability to attack users psychologically.

“Such adversaries could also conduct malicious cyber operations against US political organizations or campaigns to steal confidential information and then leak that information as part of influence operations to undermine political organizations or candidates,” the State Department said.

Russian involvement has long been suspected and the US is already busy fighting a trade war with China. The hostile geopolitical scenario could be a perfect recipe for disaster if sharp vigilance isn’t maintained.

Modern warfare is pivoting towards digital offensives and the US has experience from both sides of the coin — a perpetrator as well as a victim. The US used cyberwarfare to derail Iran’s nuclear program. In retaliation, American companies are always a target, as proved by North Korea’s infiltration of Sony Pictures in 2014.

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Microsoft’s Your Phone app brings Android apps to Windows 10

This is what the future looks like

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Your Phone app will be able to run Android apps on your laptop or computer by streaming your phone’s screen. You can open an app, pin it to the taskbar, or quite literally do anything you want to. The feature will be extremely handy since it actually ports two completely different ecosystems into one.

Samsung just announced its top-tier offerings, including the Galaxy Note 20 series, Galaxy Tab 7, and the Galaxy Fold2 5G. They also announced further partnerships with Microsoft that’ll not only bundle Office apps on Samsung phones but also bring Android apps to a Windows computer.

Samsung has always marketed the Note-lineup as productivity-focused. With the Windows integration, you can complete work on-the-go with a Note 20 and quickly sync data with your primary machine.

This kind of looks like how Huawei Share works between a Huawei phone and laptop.

The more exciting part is the feature won’t be limited to the flagships. The list of compatible phones include but are not limited to the following:

  • Samsung Galaxy Note10
  • Samsung Galaxy Note10+
  • Samsung Galaxy Note10 Lite
  • Samsung Galaxy Fold
  • Samsung Galaxy S20
  • Samsung Galaxy S20+
  • Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra
  • Samsung Galaxy Z Flip
  • Samsung Galaxy A70
  • Samsung Galaxy A50s

The total number of supported devices stands at 33 at the moment.

There will also be new notification badges for your Android phone apps that you have kept open on the Windows machine. However, Microsoft does warn that certain apps may block this functionality considering they do limit the ability to cast screens to other devices.

This will also help you reduce app duplications. Simple apps like Spotify, WhatsApp, and Slack can be installed on one device and used seamlessly, without reaching out to another device.

The app is shipping to testers as part of the Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 20185 and is rolling out to Windows Insider testers at this time. With this app, Microsoft is not only advancing the experience of its own operating system but also ensuring its core products like Office are used the most on rival platforms like Android. To do so, it’s tapping Samsung’s potential as a phone maker.

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Samsung commits to three years of updates on its flagships

2019 flagships are also covered with the new change

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There’s one big change that Samsung is doing with the release of its latest flagships. From now on, Samsung is committing to three years of software updates. It’s a big change for the company.

All Samsung flagships starting with the Note 20 series will receive three major OS updates. This also applies to the recently-launched Galaxy Fold Z Fold2 5G. As such, buyers can expect the flagship to sport Android 13 since this recently-released flagship has Android 10 onboard.

In a surprising move, the company is also doing the same for the Galaxy S10 series released last year. The 2019 flagship has Android 9 on board, so users of that device can upgrade up to Android 12 in the future. As a matter of fact, Samsung confirmed to The Verge that all S, Note, and Z-series phones from 2019 will receive up to three years of updates.

See also: Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra — what the leaks didn’t tell you

As for the Galaxy A-series phones, Samsung said that support will vary depending on the hardware. Perhaps, budget-oriented A-series phones will stick to two years of updates. Still, it’s better to wait for Samsung’s official announcement regarding the per-device update roadmap.

Still, the change is a welcome move for everyone. In the past, the company only committed to two years of updates for most of its smartphones. For example, Samsung’s 2017 S flagship — Galaxy S8 — came with Android 7 Nougat and can be upgraded to Android 9 Pie. Moving to three years of updates allow users to keep the device for longer, which has a tremendous impact on the environment as well as the economy.

A looming domino effect?

With Samsung’s move, it is not far-fetched to think that other companies will follow suit. A major Android manufacturer pushing the needle for software updates is enough to compel others to provide a year or more of software updates.

Perhaps, this shall start a trend of supporting phones for longer. As more companies begin supporting their devices for longer, two years of updates will soon be not enough. In the future, Android users may expect three years to become the norm for updates. This is not just a pipe dream anymore, as Google and OnePlus are already doing it.

While it may seem like a big thing in the Android world, three years of updates are still measly compared to Apple’s support for its iPhones. Still, Samsung’s move is a step in the right direction, and it sure is a welcome one for those who keep their devices for longer.

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