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Sony to cut down its smartphone division in half by next year

It was bound to happen

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It’s common knowledge in the tech space that Sony’s Xperia business isn’t doing that well, even in its home turf of Japan. Sadly, it seems like that struggle will turn into a shakeup in their mobile division soon.

Nikkei Asian Review reports that Sony will take off 50 percent of its smartphone workforce by March 2020. This means that 2,000 of the 4,000 employees will either be let go of or transferred to other divisions in Sony’s wide product portfolio.


Sony will reportedly focus the remainder of its smartphone sales on regions where it’s still popular, namely in Europe and China. Southeast Asia will be one of the first to see Xperia phones less often in stores.

Xperia smartphones were once part of an elite group of brands that innovated and sold well around the world. Unfortunately, rising competition from the likes of Samsung, Apple, and Huawei will lead to a possible third-straight year of losses for Sony since 2017.

The strength of rival brands isn’t the only reason for the drastic move, however. Global smartphone shipments in general have been declining each year since 2017, mostly thanks to mobile technology plateauing and consumers upgrading less often.

Despite the recent struggles, Sony managed to launch the flagship Xperia 1 and midrange Xperia 10 series just last month during Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. There haven’t been any reports on the success of these models just yet.

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BlackBerry Messenger is shutting down

Enterprise version will live on

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Do you still remember your BlackBerry Messenger PIN? Almost a decade ago, BBM was the world’s most efficient solution for instant messaging. Before dependable data plans simplified messaging, BlackBerry offered a free alternative for its users. Years later, the tables have turned. Data packages have popularized other free messaging services like Messenger, Whatsapp, Telegram, and Viber. BlackBerry Messenger became obsolete.

Three years ago, BlackBerry tried a few resuscitation strategies, adding support between other apps. Unfortunately, it wasn’t enough. Users just flowed liberally to other messaging apps.


Naturally, the end is near. BBM is past its expiration date. Now, BlackBerry has made the funeral official. On May 31, the company will cease support for BBM. Because of a rapidly declining user base, the messaging service will be shut down. At least, for consumers.

Instead, BlackBerry Messenger will live on through its enterprise version. Unlike the consumer version, BBMe — as the enterprise version is called — offers end-to-end encryption and message editing after sending. Initially intended for business users, the service requires a biannual US$ 2.50 subscription fee. Because of the recent announcement, BlackBerry Messenger Enterprise is now available for everyone to download.

“Though we are sad to say goodbye, the time has come to sunset the BBM consumer service, and for us to move on,” BlackBerry said in a blog post. Regardless of its user base now, BBM’s end is a sad day for instant messaging. Back in its heyday, BlackBerry was a major force in the smartphone world, going toe-to-toe with Samsung and Apple. Exchanging BBM PINs was, in itself, a secret handshake exclusive only to BlackBerry users. Whether you were a user or not, BlackBerry Messenger was a huge hit back in the day.

SEE ALSO: BlackBerry KEY2 LE is a toned-down, colorful version of KEY2

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Samsung finally gives Galaxy S10 a dedicated night mode

It’s about time!

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One of the most sought-after features in a smartphone camera these days is night mode, which provides greater illumination to low-light environments. While Samsung had been offering this in its phones for some time already, it’s only now that its getting its own mode in the default camera app.

The firmware update is currently on its way to Galaxy S10 users in Switzerland, according to SamMobile. Called Bright Night, the mode is found situated beside the likes of Live Focus and Panorama.


It’s a feature users had been clamoring for in the past. Previously, you would have to allow the AI scene optimizer to automatically select the mode for you; with this update, you don’t have to wait for total darkness to set in anymore.

With several of Samsung’s competitors — such as Google and Huawei — offering this function off the bat, it’s about time the Galaxies followed suit. Unfortunately, there’s no word yet on which non-S10 models are getting this, too.

In the meantime, you may keep checking the software update option in the settings menu until it becomes available for your Galaxy S10. The update happens to come with the April 2019 security patch as well, signaling that it’s bound for a global release soon.

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Samsung issues statement on breaking Galaxy Fold units

Don’t peel that layer!

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Image source: Marques Brownlee

The Galaxy Fold has finally arrived. After a bombastic announcement, the world’s first foldable smartphone will slowly trickle down to consumers all around the globe in just a few days. Unfortunately, Samsung’s biggest launch of the year has arrived with a considerable cloud of controversy.

Reported by multiple sources, the Galaxy Fold has already experienced flaws almost immediately out of the box. For one, famed YouTuber Marques Brownlee broke his unit relatively quickly. According to his tweet, Brownlee mistakenly peeled a thin layer that “appears to be a screen protector.” He quickly realized that the layer was, in fact, a crucial component for the display. The screen broke immediately. Bloomberg writer Mark Gurman reported the same issue, lamenting how easy it was to peel off.


Similarly, The Verge reported a strange bulge that appeared soon after usage. The issue differed from Brownlee’s or Gurman’s; however, the result was the same. Eventually, after much folding and unfolding, the screen finally broke.

Luckily, all three have requested or received replacement units from Samsung. However, regular consumers will likely experience less luck, especially if the issue persists. Thankfully, Samsung has swiftly issued a statement regarding the problem.

Firstly, the company has pledged to “thoroughly inspect [the review] units in person.” At the very least, Samsung is not ignoring these strange flaws. At the same time, this statement covers only issues with unknown causes.

For those who peeled the critical layer, Samsung has just issued a warning: “Removing the protective layer or adding adhesives to the main display may cause damage. We will ensure this information is clearly delivered to our customers,” according to the statement.

As it turns out, the protective layer is an essential part of the Galaxy Fold. Hopefully, Samsung will add a clearer label when the smartphone launches in the coming days.

SEE ALSO: Samsung Galaxy Fold goes through folding endurance test in latest video

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