News

Google acquires part of HTC’s smartphone business

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It has finally happened: Google bought a chunk of HTC’s smartphone team to bolster their hardware efforts. 

In a blog entry posted by Rick Osterloh, Senior Vice President of Hardware at Google, the search giant signed an agreement with the Taiwanese smartphone manufacturer to acquire “a team of HTC talent.” Osterloh said that these people were already part of the Pixel production.

In addition, Google has also bought a “non-exclusive license for HTC intellectual property.” If this rings any bells, that’s because Google had a similar game plan when they bought out Motorola for their patents back in 2011.

According to The Verge, this deal is worth US$ 1.1 billion, which is a fraction of what Google spent on the US$ 12.5 billion Motorola acquisition.

Since this isn’t a full takeover, HTC’s core smartphone business and Vive sub-brand will still live on. The question remains how much genuine manpower HTC will lose in this process, and if their future products will be as competitive as they’ve tried to be this year.

As for Google, this should be seen as a smart move, considering how invested they’ve become with their own hardware since last year when the HTC-made (under Google’s direction) Pixel smartphones were launched. By having a familiar team on board, the search and advertising specialist could finally be taken more seriously for their self-branded products.

Interestingly, this is being announced just two weeks before Google’s big event on October 4, where they’re expected to launch the Pixel 2 and possibly more hardware. At the same time, we wonder how Android-reliant brands like Samsung and LG will react, now that the operating system’s owner is a more direct rival to their smartphone divisions.

SEE ALSO: 5 keys to making the Google Pixel 2 a success

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News

Foldable iPad coming in 2024, report says

With a carbon fiber kickstand

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Only a few things are as mythical as Apple’s first foldable device. For years, Apple has reportedly worked on foldable technology in hopes of eventually releasing an iPhone or an iPad with the form factor. Now, years later, more and more reports are revealing optimistic developments for the company’s first set of foldable devices.

According to a new one from Ming-Chi Kuo, Apple will likely release the first foldable iPad sometime in 2024. With the new device, the company hopes to revamp the iPad lineup, releasing a more varied mix to boost shipments.

Additionally, Kuo states that the device will come with a carbon fiber kickstand. Besides offering a unique form factor for the lineup, the kickstand’s material will also decrease the device’s weight, making for a lighter iPad.

It’s still some time away from now. Even if Kuo hit the nail on the head with this report, Apple can still change plans between now and 2024. Besides an iPad, the company is also reportedly working on a foldable iPhone to take on Samsung’s dominance in the industry. However, like the enigmatic iPad, not much is known about the foldable iPhone. Given the increasing abundance of reports about the foldable lineup, we will likely learn more as the year progresses.

SEE ALSO: Apple testing E Ink displays for foldable iPhone

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Gaming

It’s easier to get a PlayStation 5 now, Sony says

More supplies worldwide

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Still struggling to get a new PlayStation 5? If dwindling console stocks are keeping you down, Sony has announced a reprieve for queue waiters. The company promised that supply for the console will greatly increase ahead of the PlayStation VR2’s launch in February.

Since the console’s launch back in 2020, scalpers and bots have persistently plagued the industry, taking supplies away from most gamers. Over the years, the impact of supply problems gradually dissipated. Today, it’s easier to buy a PlayStation 5, but supply can still be an issue in some parts of the world.

During CES 2023, Sony initially hinted that PlayStation 5 stocks should increase even more this year. Now, Sony is making it even more official. Today, the company officially posted that it’s easier to find one in retailers globally.

For users hunting for the console in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Europe, Sony recommends going to the official PlayStation store to buy one.

To promote the increased supply, Sony has also released a new promotional video for the PlayStation 5’s exclusives set to imitate a news show.

Only a month into the year, 2023 is already looking to be a great year for the platform. Later in February, Sony is set to launch the new PlayStation VR2. The console will also host a flurry of notable exclusives including Marvel’s Spider-Man 2, Assassin’s Creed Mirage, and Street Fighter 6.

SEE ALSO: PlayStation launches ‘The Year of Play’ campaign

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Entertainment

Netflix confirms One Piece adaptation coming this year

Plus a new poster

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Netflix continues its huge gamble on anime adaptations. Over the past several years, the platform produced a couple of live-action versions of classic anime shows. To the company’s dismay, neither of the adaptations were received well. Still, the gamble continues to truck on. Netflix has confirmed that the upcoming One Piece adaptation is coming this year.

The live-action adaptation isn’t exactly new. Netflix first announced the title back in 2020 but offered only a few developments concerning the show’s production. Now, we have a release window and a poster.

To be fair, the new poster doesn’t show much except for Luffy’s back. A wider shot shows a bit more including the rears of all the Straw Hat Pirates and a shot of the Thousand Sunny in the distance.

Likewise, Netflix has not shared what the synopsis of the One Piece adaptation will be. Historically, the platform’s live-action adaptations start from the very beginning, taking viewers on a compressed tour through the original anime show’s plot.

That said, the company has a long uphill climb to legitimize its live-action anime adaptations. Despite featuring Willem Dafoe as Ryuk, Netflix’s previous Death Note adaptation quickly receded into a forgettable title. Additionally, Cowboy Bebop was canceled after only one season.

SEE ALSO: Netflix Southeast Asia movies to watch

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