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Samsung launches world’s first 108MP mobile camera

DSLRs are becoming a thing of the past

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Last week, Xiaomi announced it’ll be launching Redmi-branded phones with a 64-megapixel camers sensor. In the end, it also added that we can expect a 108-megapixel camera phone soon, but it never released any further information.

Now, Samsung has officially released its 108-megapixel ISOCELL Bright HMX sensor, developed in collaboration with Xiaomi. Obviously, Xiaomi will be the first one to release a phone with this sensor.

The new sensor will be able to capture 108-megapixel grade photos with a resolution of 12032 x 9024 pixels. The sensor will continue to come with a 0.8-micrometer (μm) pixel size, same as its 64-megapixel predecessor. It also comes with support for Smart ISO that changes in accordance with the environment for optimal light-to-electric signal conversion.

According to Samsung, it can absorb more light in low-lit settings and its pixel-merging Tetracell technology allows the sensor to imitate big-pixel sensors, producing brighter 27-megapixel images. We’ve seen a similar concept in action with Xiaomi’s current 48-megapixel phones.

The camera is also capable of shooting videos at resolutions up to 6K (6016 x 3384 pixels) with 30-frames-per-second (fps).

Samsung will be mass-producing it later this month and we can expect a smartphone bearing the camera sensor some time at the end of 2019.

This is a very essential win for Samsung since it has been trying to ace camera components for years, but Sony has always maintained an edge. Samsung has practically no market share in China, but is trying to make in-roads via individual components. The company already makes processors, RAM, storage chipsets, and displays.

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Xiaomi wants to make its own processor, Huawei ban no deterrent

Xiaomi is betting big

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Pretty much every major smartphone maker today relies on a third-party for processors. Qualcomm and MediaTek lead the race, while Samsung has its in-house Exynos lineup. Huawei’s Kirin series has long been its first choice of processor for flagships, but this could change soon.

Xiaomi wants to join this elite club and intends to continue working on its own chips. According to Xiaomi founder and CEO Lei Jun, the Chinese smartphone maker continues to design its own chips and shall announce the results when new developments are made.

The announcement’s timing is of utmost importance since US-China relations have radically deteriorated in the last couple of years. The ban on Huawei has revoked its access to Arm chip designs. It means that the telecom giant can no longer produce any Kirin-branded processor.

The ban sets a negative precedent for Chinese companies that inherently depend on Western technology. It’s like a stack and the processor’s design is the heart. All new developments are made on top of each other, making it near-impossible for Chinese companies to move forward without Arm design.

Amid the uncertainty, Xiaomi’s announcement is confidence infusing. It first released its in-house chip in 2017 and was called Surge S1. The affordable chipset has been seen in Mi 5C only so far.

After the Huawei ban, Chinese companies have ramped up their effort to go truly independent. The Chinese government has also rolled out tax incentives to boost chipset production. On the same lines, Huawei has intensified its efforts to develop Harmony OS, a direct competitor of Android.

These bets are all long-term in nature and it’s unlikely we’ll see any advancement in the near future. But, the US-China clash has kickstarted a new race, a race that’s aimed towards digital technological superiority.

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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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