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What to expect from Apple’s March 21 announcement

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Apple may be in hot water with the feds, but that doesn’t mean the California-based tech giant is slamming the breaks on its product release cycle in lieu of its legal battle with U.S. authorities. Apple today sent out invites to a press event at 10 a.m. (Pacific time) on March 21 at its Cupertino campus.

“Let us loop you in,” the invite simply says. If we didn’t know any better, we’d say it’s a nod to Apple’s Infinite Loop campus.

The products to be announced, in usual Apple fashion, remain a mystery, though recent reports point to a successor of the 9.7-inch iPad and a new 4-inch iPhone packing the same internals as the iPhone 6s.

Dubbed the iPhone SE, it will likely replace the iPhone 5s (and, possibly, iPhone 6) as Apple’s lowest-priced smartphone. Why? Because Apple, now more than ever, desperately needs a serious midrange option if it wants to grow its business in emerging economies, where price is too often the deciding factor.

More Apple Watch bands and materials are also expected to take the stage, in addition to a new software update for the company’s smartwatch. We may also see the release announcement for an iTunes update and iOS 9.3, which is currently in beta testing.

You can watch Apple’s March 21 keynote live on your Apple products, or by heading to Apple’s dedicated event page here using Safari or Microsoft Edge on Windows 10.

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Apple, Samsung sold fewer smartphones in 2018 — report

Huawei won the game, though

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2018 wasn’t a great year for smartphones in terms of sales, but not every company took a hit last year. According to the latest report by Gartner, the total number of devices sold in 2018 was 408.358 million, a 0.1 percent growth from 407.845 million. The biggest losers are Apple and Samsung, both in Q4 and the whole year.

Apple sold 11.8 percent fewer units during the holiday season compared to the same quarter in 2017. Samsung also sold fewer phones during the last quarter, but the South Korean company still managed to maintain a big gap from competitors.

According to the report, Apple is mostly affected in Greater China since buyers are now delaying their upgrades as they wait for bigger innovations. Alternatives are gaining popularity due to their cheaper prices as well.

While two of the biggest names in the industry suffered loss, Huawei, on the other hand, increase their sales and is now close in taking Apple’s coveted second spot. The Chinese tech giant managed to sell an extra 52 million phones in 2018.

Xiaomi and OPPO also gained a few extra millions of sales during the last quarter of 2018. Interestingly, Xiaomi was able to overtake OPPO the whole year with 7.9 percent market share versus 7.6 percent.

SEE ALSO: Apple users take longer to upgrade than before

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Huawei official confirms P30 Pro’s quad camera setup

Through a leaked photo

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Image source: Weibo

In a month, Huawei will finally launch the successful P20 series’ successor — the Huawei P30 and P30 Pro. Given last year’s success, the P30 series has some huge boots to fill. Thankfully, existing rumors are already painting a colorful portrait for us.

As the launch beckons just around the corner, Huawei has officially confirmed the series’ most highlighted rumor — the quad rear camera. Last year, the P20 Pro flaunted an amazing triple rear camera system. This year, leakers and rumor mills have speculated on one more camera. After much speculation throughout the past few months, a Huawei official has suddenly leaked the information himself.

On Chinese social network Weibo, Richard Yu, CEO of Huawei Consumer Business Group, posted an incredibly close-up shot of the recent full moon. As is standard with most Chinese smartphones, the photo came with an incriminating watermark.

Image source: Weibo

Strangely, Yu still tried to blur out the phone’s model. Despite the blur, the “Leica Quad Camera” label is blatantly clear. Further, the blur still doesn’t completely hide the starting letter, “P.” Obviously, the P20 series does not have the indicated quad camera setup. Also, the blur isn’t big enough to cover “Mate 20 Pro.” The P30 Pro is the only possible option.

Intentional or not, Yu’s leak is the biggest hype maker for the upcoming launch. If the P30 Pro can shoot moon shots like that, it will likely offer an enjoyable shooting experience. Regardless, the Huawei P30 series is only a month away. Huawei has a lot of momentum going into the launch.

SEE ALSO: Huawei is now accepting registrations for the P30 series in Singapore

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Nokia 6 and 2.1 get updated to Android 9 Pie

True to the promise

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Nokia 2.1 | GadgetMatch

HMD Global, the company that creates the new Nokia phones, is keeping their promise to users of the original Nokia 6 and the entry-level Nokia 2.1 by seeding the Android 9 Pie update according to schedule.

Both the Nokia 6 and Nokia 2.1 phones should start getting the sweet update to Google’s latest Android version. Like with any rollout, the process is done gradually; some users might have to wait for a bit to get theirs.

For the Nokia 6, the update weighs around 1.7GB and it also brings the latest February 2019 security patch. This is the phone’s second major version upgrade. It was released in 2017 with Android Nougat and got updated to Android Oreo last year.

The Nokia 2.1, on the other hand, gets the Android Pie (Go edition) since it’s a phone with 1GB of memory. The lightweight version of Android makes sure that things will run smoothly despite the limited memory and storage capacity.

Based on HMD Global’s schedule, the Nokia 3.1 Plus was supposed to receive Android Pie in January, but it was missed. The Nokia 3.1 and Nokia 5.1 are next in line for the update.

SEE ALSO: HMD Global shares Android Pie update roadmap for Nokia phones

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