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Sixty percent of smartphones will have glass backs by 2020

Prepare for fragile fingerprint magnets

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What is your phone made of? Until recently, the smartphone market was synonymous with the aluminum market. Everyone loved metal on their phones. Coming from a tacky plastic binge, phones desperately needed the premium vibe that metal exuded. Spearheaded by Apple, makers attached the material to their entire lineups.

As we know now, 2018 popularized an entirely different beast — the glass back. At the time of this writing, the vast majority of smartphone makers already offer a form of glass architecture: Samsung, Apple, Huawei, Xiaomi, Vivo, OnePlus, and OPPO. Pioneered by Samsung’s Galaxy S6, the trend sputtered to life slowly. Now, the glass revolution is well underway.

According to analysts at Counterpoint, the glass smartphone will take over 60 percent of the entire market by 2020. As of 2018, the material pervades only 26 percent of the market. By next year, the number will jump up to 41 percent.

The escalation is a marked surprise. Previously, the trend’s beginnings were only at 7 percent and 13 percent from 2016 to 2017, respectively. In just four years, the material skyrocketed from minority to market domination. By 2018, more than half of smartphones will rock glass backs.

Leading the pack, Apple already uses glass backs for 64 percent of its lineup. Additionally, Samsung, despite pioneering the trend, uses glass for only 36 percent of its lineup. (Although, the brand’s more vertical product structure might have contributed to that.)

Despite the trend’s exponential growth, glass has had its fair share of controversies. Currently, OnePlus 6 users are constantly reporting glass breakages, despite not dropping their phones. Moreover, glass is a notorious fingerprint magnet without a protective case.

Logistically, manufacturing glass backs costs less than metal ones. Theoretically, the material also helps with better connectivity and optimized wireless charging. However, since the trend is still in its early stages, additional developments will have to wait.

Of course, if you want to cash in on this trend, buy yourself a good protective case.

SEE ALSO: Corning promises stronger cover glass with Gorilla Glass 6

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Samsung’s next phones could have an under-screen camera

No bezels, too!

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As 2018 rolls to a close, the hunt for a truly bezel-less phone continues. Across the industry, companies have invented waterdrop notches, pop-up sensors, and holed screens. However, for all their glitter and glamour, all these inventions have barely grazed the concept of a truly bezel-less screen.

Now, Samsung is inching closer and closer to the next step of screen technology. Based on a presentation from China, the company has detailed its plans for next year’s smartphones. Particularly, they are launching an all-out war against notches and buttons.

From renowned Samsung source Ice Universe, Samsung will integrate everything into the screen. Previously, the company hinted this integration through rumors of an under-screen fingerprint sensor. However, this goes beyond that.

Aside from a fingerprint sensor, Samsung’s new screen will (shockingly) integrate sensors inside the panel. In other words, Samsung’s next front-facing camera will settle in under the screen! Beaming with confidence, Samsung has made the boldest claim: Next year’s phones won’t have a visible selfie camera at all.

Additionally, Samsung makes another bold move: Sound on Display. As is standard for every phone today, the front-facing sensors usually pair with the phone’s speakers. According to Samsung, that pairing will become a thing of the past. Strangely, Samsung’s new phones will emit sound straight from the screen.

Unfortunately, Samsung has not detailed how exactly this works. However, the company’s presentation confirms the claims, at least. We can expect these developments in the near future.

Currently, Samsung’s lineup consists of the Galaxy S10 series early next year. So far, swirling rumors haven’t pointed towards this interesting new form factor. If anything, Samsung will also out the Galaxy Note 9’s successor and a foldable smartphone. The planned developments can come with any of these. Regardless of the uncertainty, Samsung’s blueprints are the closest we’ve gotten to a truly bezel-less phones.

SEE ALSO: Samsung Galaxy A9 (2018) has insane quadruple rear cameras

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OnePlus 6T launch set a day earlier because of Apple

Now on October 29

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“What do we do now?”

That was the question OnePlus CEO and founder Pete Lau asked himself and his team after finding out that Apple set their next major event on the same date as the OnePlus 6T launch.

What OnePlus originally thought would be the best, most timely date to unveil their upcoming flagship after all the launches we’ve seen this month, turned out being the worst.

“Our goal is to make sure it gets the time and attention it deserves,” Lau said in a blog post on the company’s official forum. “[Feedback] showed us that if we chose to stick to our original timeline, launching the OnePlus 6T on October 30, we would be overshadowed by Apple.”

With that, the OnePlus 6T’s launch date has been moved to October 29 — still in New York at 11am EDT.

OnePlus says that this decision was made after lots of deliberation between themselves and input from fans. Lau added: “We have only just begun our journey and cannot afford to let one of the most important products in our history be affected by another great product launch.”

For those who bought a ticket but can’t attend the event anymore, they’ll get a full refund. Anyone who has to make changes to their travel and accommodation arrangements will be assisted by OnePlus; added costs will be covered individually.

For everyone else who’ll be watching the live stream from home, it simply means we’ll get to see OnePlus’ next flagship smartphone a day sooner.

The OnePlus 6T is expected to be similar in a lot of ways to the OnePlus 6 launched six months ago, except it’ll come with a smaller notch and in-display fingerprint scanner — at the expense of the audio port, however.

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Sony confirms Android Pie rollout schedule

Updates coming in October to March

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Months after launch, the coveted Android Pie is still the rarest operating system out in the wild. With Android’s notoriety, the new operating system’s incredibly low distribution rates don’t come as a surprise. Currently, only the top smartphones have tasted a piece of Pie. Even then, new adopters are only slowly trickling in.

Surprisingly, Sony has accelerated their upgrade schedules, leaving other brands trailing in the dust. Already, the Xperia XZ2 and XZ2 Compact are receiving Android Pie updates. Meanwhile, the new XZ3 comes with the operating system fresh out of the box.

Today, the company has announced further updates to the old schedule. Within the next few weeks, Sony’s older models will receive the new update. Starting October 26, Android Pie will roll out to the XZ Premium, the XZ1, and the XZ1 Compact. Meanwhile, the XZ2 Premium can enjoy the new operating system starting November 7.

Additionally, the XA2, the XA2 Ultra, and the XA2 Plus will get Android Pie on March 4.

Notably, the announced phones are older than Android Pie’s current lineup. This is the most concrete schedule that Android has enjoyed. While other brands have promised future updates, not many have fulfilled their end of the bargain.

That said, expect the same dismal adoption rates in the future. Even now, the preceding Android Oreo still hasn’t taken over a sizable share of the smartphone market. While Sony’s announcement is a step up, can we expect other brands to step up as well?

SEE ALSO: Sony unveils Xperia XZ3 with best-possible specs and features

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