News

BlackBerry finally gives up on creating its own phones

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The headline above was something we were expecting to write one day, but now that it’s happened, it’s still quite sad. BlackBerry’s original smartphone designs are no more.

In a lengthy PDF detailing BlackBerry’s recent financial highs and lows, the Canadian company chose to stick to what it’s good at, specifically software and security services. But this doesn’t mean that no more handsets are coming out of this development; all BlackBerry phones released from now on will simply be designed and manufactured by third-party hardware partners.

This process actually began over a month ago. The once high-end smartphone brand synonymous with QWERTY keyboards released the DTEK50, which is a $300 full-touchscreen Android handset. It’s something you wouldn’t imagine BlackBerry doing back when it was at the top of the smartphone world over half a decade ago.

blackberry-dtek50

BlackBerry DTEK50

It was a sign of things to come. The terribly named DTEK50 was just an Alcatel Idol 4 with BlackBerry’s branding plastered all over it. Once rumors surfaced of a successor in the DTEK60 being cooked up, which looks to be a rebranded Alcatel Idol 4S, the unfortunate announcement we’re hearing now becomes less of a surprise.

BlackBerry’s woes began when it couldn’t catch up to the momentum built by Google and Apple’s operating systems. Realizing that physical keypads were no longer desired by the majority of consumers, its software developers went hard at work on a more touchscreen-friendly BB10 OS, which first debuted on the Z10 and Q10 in early 2013. Its gesture-based interface introduced several good ideas outside of the usual Android and iOS functionality, but it arrived way too late.

Once that experiment failed, BlackBerry gave in and accepted the open-source Android system on October 2015. The Priv combined the richness of Android’s touchscreen interface with BlackBerry’s signature keyboard sliding out from underneath. Together with the company’s added security features, it seemed like a great deal, until everyone realized it cost $700 at launch.

blackberry-priv

BlackBerry Priv

Overall sales dwindled in the past few years, to the point of having less than one percent of the worldwide smartphone market share. That alone was a signal to retire.

On the bright side, we still have good memories to live with. Remember that awesome Bold 9900? It still stands as one of the best physical keyboard-equipped smartphones of all time. There was also the Curve 9220, which was the Nokia 3310 of BlackBerries. And who could forget the unjustly underrated PlayBo— wait, never mind. Even BlackBerry chose to forget it ever existed.

[irp posts=”7249″ name=”BlackBerry has a new security-focused flagship phone”]

Source: Business Insider

News

Apple ready to launch a lot of devices in next 12 months

Including iPhones, iPads, Macs, and Watches

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Apple is obviously releasing new devices later this year. As is tradition, the company is readying for the launch of the next flagship series, the iPhone 14. However, it looks like the iPhone 14 series isn’t the only thing Apple is preparing for. According to a new report, the company is set to launch a plethora of products between now and early 2023.

As reported by Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman, Apple has a lot of surprises for its fans. Besides the four upcoming models of the iPhone 14 series, the company will also launch “three Apple Watch variations, several Macs with M2 and M3 chips, the company’s first mixed-reality headset, low-end and high-end iPads, updated AirPods Pro earbuds, a fresh HomePod and an upgraded Apple TV.”

Previously, Apple was rumored to upgrade its iPad lineup, starting with a base iPad compatible with USB-C. With geopolitical pressure potentially forcing the company to completely shift to USB-C, a good number of new devices makes sense — that is, if USB-C is truly coming soon.

Besides that, the company has also teased an absurd number of changes and new features coming to iOS 16, iPadOS 16, watchOS 9, and macOS Ventura. It looks like an intensive refresh of software. A good set of software will naturally complement a similarly impressive set of hardware coming soon.

SEE ALSO: iOS 16: Best New Features

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Accessories

Samsung has Starbucks-themed cases for coffee lovers

Exclusive to South Korea

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Since the company is from the country, Samsung offers a lot of exclusives in South Korea. Previously, the company sold a Pokémon-themed exclusive edition of the Galaxy Z Flip 3 in — you guessed it — South Korea. Now, it has another set of exclusives. This time, it’s for coffee lovers. Samsung is now selling a Starbucks-themed cases for the Galaxy S22 series and the Galaxy Buds 2.

The smartphone cases are pretty straightforward. Sporting the coffee company’s iconic green, the Galaxy S22 and S22+ cases have either a patch with the Starbucks logo or a tagline that says, “Count Stars in Your Galaxy.”

Meanwhile, the Galaxy S22 Ultra features a more iconic case with a strap at the back. One variant has the iconic green-and-white color combination with a patch of a bear wearing a Starbucks apron. The other one has the strap designed as a Starbucks receipt.

While the smartphone cases are nifty on their own, the charging case for the Galaxy Buds 2 are on a league of their own. One model is a minimalist green with the Starbucks patch. The other, however, looks like a coffee mug with aesthetic latte art inside and a Starbucks logo at its side.

As with the previously mentioned Pokémon-themed products, the Starbucks-themed set is exclusive to South Korea and will be limited while supplies last.

SEE ALSO: Samsung unveils a Pokémon Edition of Galaxy Z Flip 3

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Entertainment

Netflix confirms ads are coming later this year

In a cheaper subscription tier

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vivo T1x

Netflix is currently in a bind. As the platform’s rivals grow, Netflix has started shrinking and losing subscribers. The company has also started pondering on alternative strategies to maintain its grip on the streaming world. One of the most recent ideas involves the introduction of a cheaper, ad-supported subscription tier. Now, after much strategizing, Netflix has all but confirmed its addition later this year.

During the recent Cannes Lion advertising festival (via The Hollywood Reporter), Netflix co-CEO Ted Sarandos confirmed that the platform is indeed adding a cheaper option for subscribers by the end of the year. While the platform was initially averse to including ads, Sarandos has stated that some subscribers actually don’t mind ads in return for a cheaper price per month.

Prior to an official announcement, Netflix has not announced how much the new subscription will cost on launch. Likewise, they haven’t confirmed whether the tier will come to all countries and territories where Netflix is present.

If anything, Netflix isn’t alone or the first in adding an ad-supported subscription tier. Hulu, for example, already offers such a tier. Hulu’s partner streaming platform, Disney+, is also considering adding a similar tier later this year.

Besides adding the ad-supported tier, Netflix is also pumping up its presence in the gaming world. They are also considering another payment system meant for users who share their passwords to non-subscribers.

SEE ALSO: Netflix is losing a lot of long-term subscribers

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