News

OnePlus confirms and teases the ‘more affordable’ OnePlus Lite Z Thing

What a mouthful

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For a while now, OnePlus has circulated rumors and confirmations about an upcoming affordable smartphone line. On the one hand, several leaks have already spoiled the mysterious OnePlus Z, a potential midrange phone. On the other, OnePlus has confirmed the “affordable phone” rumors without giving anything away.

Now, OnePlus CEO Pete Lau is waving away most of the mystery. In a OnePlus forum post, the head honcho further confirmed the upcoming series. It shouldn’t be anything new, given Lau’s past confirmations of the same. However, this time, his statement links to a brand-new Instagram account hyping the series.

Quite a mouthful on its own, @OnePlusLiteZThing teases the series with the tagline, “New Beginnings.” Further, one of the account’s few posts is a very short Morse code message. It simply says “July,” potentially hinting at the series’ impending launch.

Unfortunately, the account does not spoil much. If anything, another post reads: “We want to celebrate what it means to stay true to who you are, what you do, and what you make.” Either OnePlus is returning to its flagship-killing roots, or the new smartphone heavily targets content creators.

The series will be developed by Paul Yu, who headed previous flagship devices in the past.

Either way, the future is coming. According to Lau’s original post, the new series will come first to Europe and India before anywhere else.

SEE ALSO: OnePlus CEO Pete Lau will allegedly move to OPPO, rumor says

Enterprise

Apple’s Tim Cook is now worth a billion dollars

Officially a billionaire

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A few years ago, Apple earned the highly distinguished status of becoming a trillion-dollar company. Without pausing to catch its breath, the company is already barreling towards the 2-trillion mark. Coinciding with his company’s success, Apple’s Tim Cook is now worth a billion dollars.

According to Bloomberg’s Billionaires Index, Cook’s net worth has just passed the US$ 1 billion mark just as Apple’s shares substantially grew last week. Just recently, the company announced a 4-in-1 split for its stocks due to the success.

The Apple CEO’s new position in the success column is an interesting one. Unlike his peers in the industry, Cook is one of the few CEOs who did not found his own company. The current leader took over the reins from the late Steve Jobs back in 2011. Since then, Apple’s success skyrocketed to its current status today. Back in 2015, amidst all the riches he acquired, Cook promised to give away most of his money to philanthropic endeavors.

Apple’s recent success is a stroke of good news compared to other big tech companies in the US. Last week, the biggest tech CEOs faced an onslaught of antitrust issues surrounding the tech industry. For example, Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg failed to defend his bullying and acquiring tactics to stomp competitors down. Though surviving this barrage, Apple is currently facing its own set of issues worldwide, including antitrust issues in the EU and a strange branding lawsuit in Canada.

If the current trend continues, Apple is set to ascend even further up the ranks of tech companies in the near future.

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Enterprise

WeChat ban can sink iPhone sales worldwide

Sinks by up to 30 percent

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Last week, President Donald Trump signed an official executive order banning TikTok and WeChat starting September 15. Though the spotlight is on TikTok, the pending WeChat ban can also impact the technology industry quite heavily. According to an analyst’s report, the WeChat ban can sink iPhone sales worldwide.

According to renowned Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo (via MacRumors), the impending ban will determine the iPhone’s fate in the Chinese market. WeChat, a platform owned by Tencent, is a popular messaging app in China. While the app’s presence is drastically lesser in other territories, Chinese immigrants also use the platform to stay in touch with relatives back in China.

If the ban passes, Apple’s App Store can potentially remove the app for all users around the world. Currently, the executive order’s wording is still vague. No one knows if a ban will remove WeChat from American iPhones or all iPhones all over the world.

In the best-case scenario wherein it’s only the US, global iPhone sales will likely drop by up to only 6 percent. This likely pertains to Chinese immigrants in the US. However, in the worst-case scenario wherein iPhones everywhere lose the app, Apple’s sales will sink by up to a whopping 30 percent.

Despite the overwhelming dominance of Chinese brands in China, Apple still retains a sizable share in the country’s market. Compared to last year, the American brand’s market share actually grew in size. If Kuo’s more pessimistic scenario comes to pass, Trump’s orders might have inadvertently doomed Apple’s business in China.

SEE ALSO: Apple is not interested in TikTok

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Laptops

Huawei is working on a bezel-less laptop

Coming on August 19

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Removing bezels on a smartphone is now an almost perfect art. Bezel-less phones are so ubiquitous that it’s almost expected today. Though smartphone displays are getting bigger, laptops are falling behind. Compared to their more portable companions, laptops and notebooks still have relatively larger bezels around the screen. Apparently, this might soon change. According to a new report, Huawei is working on a bezel-less laptop.

Reported by a few Weibo sources, the Chinese company is developing a new laptop with minuscule, practically invisible bezels. In fact, Huawei is calling it a “floating full-screen,” echoing the same branding exuded by the television industry like in Samsung’s The Wall. Additionally, the laptop will supposedly put out images in 3K resolution.

Compared to their struggling smartphone business, Huawei is still chugging along in the laptop industry — in terms of component availability, at least. Huawei’s laptops regularly come out in a more assured schedule. According to the leak, the bezel-less laptop will launch on August 19.

Of course, a laptop’s display is only one aspect of the device. Though the device has already leaked its most touted feature, no one knows what else is in store. Further, no one knows how durable the screen is. With a potentially revolutionary form factor, we have to wonder if that makes it more fragile than other laptops in the market.

SEE ALSO: Huawei MateBook D14, 13 arrive in the Philippines

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