Samsung on Thursday said that despite a poor demand for smartphones and tablets amid weak seasonality and uncertainties over component supply, it aims to secure solid profitability by expanding flagship sales such as Galaxy S21 FE and upcoming release of a new Galaxy S series.
The company further said that it will proactively target replacement demand with competitive mass-market 5G lineup and growth opportunities in the market while continuing to increase sales of Device Ecosystem products such as PCs, tablets and wearables.
For Samsung's quarter ending December 31, the revenue of the Mobile eXperience (MX) Business increased slightly led by sales of premium products such as foldable phones and Device Ecosystem products.
"Despite the component supply shortage, the MX Business saw a slight revenue growth quarter-on-quarter driven by sales increase in premium smartphones including foldable lineup and Galaxy S series," said the company.
Device Ecosystem products such as PCs, tablets and wearables have also contributed to the revenue growth.
Looking ahead to the first quarter, the company is bullish on flagship sales of Galaxy S21 FE and Galaxy S22 series.
Samsung ‘Galaxy Unpacked' event will take place on February 9. According to the company, the company will set an epic new standard for smartphones with the most noteworthy S series ever created.
The S22 series, powered by either Qualcomm's Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 or the Exynos 2022 depending on region, is expected to come in three models -- the Galaxy S22, S22 Plus and S22 Ultra.
The Galaxy S22 Ultra could have a built-in S Pen for the first time for a Galaxy phone, effectively succeeding the Galaxy Note line.
According to Samsung, in 2022, uncertainties related to prolonged pandemic and component shortage are likely to persist.
"Yet, the smartphone market is expected to continue to grow and the wearable market is likely to see a double-digit growth. The MX Business will solidify its leadership in the flagship market by accelerating innovations and differentiated experiences such as Galaxy S and foldable series," it added.
Meta (formerly Facebook) reportedly charged its Internet users in developing countries like Pakistan, Indonesia and the Philippines, in the name of offering them free access to the Web.
Meta's Internet service, called Free Basics, is offered via Meta Connectivity (formerly Facebook Connectivity) and is supposed to provide users with "access to communication tools, health information, education resources and other low-bandwidth services" at no charge.
Launched in 2013, the initiative currently serves more than 300 million people globally.
According to a report in The Wall Street Journal, the users in Pakistan have been charged the most for using Facebook's "free" Internet at a total of $1.9 million, with nearly two dozen additional nations also affected.
According to the social network, the issue stemmed from a glitch in its software, which has now been fixed.
Facebook partners with mobile carriers in developing countries to give users free access to Facebook and some other websites.
"Internal company documents show that many of these people end up being charged in amounts that collectively add up to an estimated millions of dollars a month," the report mentioned.
Many of the users have inexpensive cell phone plans that cost just a few dollars a month, often prepaid, for phone service and a small amount of internet data.
They don't realise they've been getting charged for using mobile data until they run out of funds.
The issue appears to stem from Facebook's software and user interface (UI), with videos at the root of the problem.
Glitches in Meta software let some videos appear in the Free Basics programme, which let users pay for watching those videos.
Meta said it has fixed the problem.
"We tell people that viewing photos and videos will result in data charges when they sign up, and we do our best to remind people that viewing them may result in data charges," a Meta spokesperson told The Verge.
"The issue identified in the internal report that affected some of those reminders has largely been addressed. We'll continue to work with our partners to meet our obligations to these users and ensure accurate and transparent data charges."
The Free Basics programme is not available in India as in 2016, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) had disallowed service providers from offering or charging discriminatory tariffs for data services purely on the basis of content.
Facebook later cut off free internet service for India, saying "Free Basics is no longer available to people in India".
Smartphone maker Micromax on Monday launched its new handset 'Micromax In note 2' with quad rear cameras and 20:9 AMOLED display in India.
The IN note 2 will be available in 4+64GB in two shades - black and brown from January 30 onwards on micromaxinfo.com.
"Consumers today are aspiring to own a stylish smartphone without compromising on the performance. With the IN note 2, we have struck the right chord where style meets performance," Rahul Sharma, Co-Founder, Micromax India said in a statement.
The smartphone features a 6.43-inch full-HD+ (1,080x2,400 pixels) AMOLED display with a 20:9 aspect ratio and 550 nits of peak brightness.
Under the hood, there is the MediaTek Helio G95 SoC, along with 4GB of RAM.
The smartphone comes with the quad rear camera setup that houses a 48MP primary sensor, along with a 5MP ultra-wide shooter, 2MP macro shooter, and a 2MP depth sensor.
For selfies the device offers a 16MP selfie camera sensor at the front.
The handset also houses a 5,000mAh battery that supports 30W fast charging.
Connectivity options include 4G LTE, Wi-Fi 802.11ac, Bluetooth v5.0, GPS/ A-GPS, USB Type-C, and a 3.5mm headphone jack.
Google on Monday announced plans to open a new office in Pune this year, that will hire professionals for building advanced enterprise cloud technologies.
Expected to open in the second half this year, the facility will hire people for Cloud product engineering, technical support and global delivery centre organisations.
The company said it has kicked off recruitments, alongside rapidly growing teams in Gurugram, Hyderabad and Bengaluru.
"As an IT hub, our expansion into Pune will enable us to tap top talent as we continue to develop advanced cloud computing solutions, products and services for our growing customer base," said Anil Bhansali, VP of Cloud Engineering in India.
The hires will be responsible for building advanced enterprise cloud technologies in collaboration with Google Cloud's global engineering teams, providing real-time technical advice, and delivering product and implementation expertise that customers turn to Google Cloud for as their trusted partner.
Google Cloud has hired some key industry people in recent months in India, including former AWS veteran Bikram Singh Bedi as Managing Director, Google Cloud India.
In November last year, the company hired senior IBM executive Subram Natarajan as Director of Customer Engineering for its India operations.
Google last year opened it second Cloud region in the country -- in Delhi-NCR and close to the government quarters -- to further serve businesses of all sizes especially the public sector.
As millions of students and professionals globally, including India, go back to learning and work from home amid the Covid wave triggered by the Omicron variant, the focus is back on devices that can boost their productivity and creativity at home and help them sail through the period.
The all-new iPadOS 15 has brought in some fresh features to help kids navigate the crisis.
Take advantage of Quick Note, a fast and easy way to take notes anywhere outside the app, and you can even add links from apps and websites to provide context.
You can simply start one by swiping up from the bottom right corner of the display.
In iPadOS 15.2, you can also access Quick Note with a swipe from the lower left or lower right corner of the screen.
If you make a Quick Note on your iPad, it will be on your iPhone and Mac, too.
The iPad user can also see what others have added to his or her shared note with Activity View, and notify them with mentions.
With Scribble, you can handwrite in any text field and have the writing converted into typed text in real time.
If you are writing in a darkened field, Scribble will automatically appear in light text so you can always view your writing clearly.
According to Apple, transcription happens on device so all your writing stays private. The Shape recognition feature will allow you to draw geometrically perfect lines, arcs, and shapes, including hearts, stars, and arrows.
With iPadOS 15, multitasking is easier to use and even more powerful. You can work on multiple apps at the same time with Split View.
With ‘Center Window' feature, you can work with email, notes, or message in the centre of the screen without leaving your current view.
"Touch and hold a note, email or massage and select open in new window in the center of the screen".
The iPad users can now utilise Microsoft's updated Office app that is optimised for iPadOS and now houses Word, Excel and Powerpoint in a single application.
"Take advantage of the useful tools designed for mobile tasks, like creating PDFs, signing documents, converting images to text and tables and other quick actions".
You can also use the iWork suite of apps, including Pages, Numbers and Keynote.
With iPadOS 15, iPad supports global keyboard shortcuts, which allow you to quickly perform many common actions.
You can also interact with iPad in new ways with basic gestures like tapping, swiping, scrolling and zooming.
More advanced gestures can even enable you to switch between recent apps, access controls and more.
The Shortcuts app lets you automate tasks you do often with just a tap or by asking Siri.
Another ‘Translate app' is now available on iPadOS. The system-wide translation lets you translate text that you select, even in many third-party apps.
In the app, Auto Translate and face-to-face view improve conversation flow and make it easier to follow along.
The ‘Focus' feature in iPadOS 15 can temporarily silence all notifications, or allow only notifications from specific people and apps.
While monitoring threats related to a Java logging system called 'Apache log4j2', Microsoft researchers have discovered a previously undisclosed bug in the SolarWinds software that was compromised last year.
During the sustained monitoring of threats taking advantage of the 'Log4j2' vulnerabilities, the Microsoft Threat Intelligence Centre (MSTIC) team observed activity related to attacks being propagated via a previously undisclosed vulnerability in the SolarWinds 'Serv-U' software.
"We discovered that the vulnerability is an input validation vulnerability that could allow attackers to build a query given some input and send that query over the network without sanitation," Microsoft said in its security update.
SolarWinds said the Serv-U web login screen to LDAP authentication was allowing characters that were not sufficiently sanitised.
"SolarWinds has updated the input mechanism to perform additional validation and sanitisation. No downstream affect has been detected as the LDAP servers ignored improper characters," the company said, adding that it affects 15.2.5 and previous versions.
Microsoft reported the discovery to SolarWinds and they immediately patched the vulnerability.
"SolarWinds has updated the input mechanism to perform additional validation and sanitisation. To ensure proper input validation is completed in all environments, SolarWinds recommends scheduling an update to the latest version of Serv-U," said the company.
Microsoft warned that the Russia-based cyber criminals, behind the massive SolarWinds software attack last year, are on the prowl again, this time targeting organisations integral to the global IT supply chain.
The Russian nation-state actor 'Nobelium' has targeted at least 140 resellers and technology service providers in global IT supply chains, it said.
San Francisco, Jan 21 (IANS) Elon Musk-run brain-machine interface company Neuralink is preparing to launch clinical trials that will implant brain chips in humans.
According to dailymail.co.uk, the firm is hiring a clinical trial director, which says the right candidate will "work closely with some of the most innovative doctors and top engineers, as well as working with Neuralink's first Clinical Trial participants".
"As the clinical trial director, you will work closely with some of the most innovative doctors and top engineers, as well as working with Neuralink's first clinical trial participants," the advert for the role in Fremont, California, says.
"You will lead and help build the team responsible for enabling Neuralink's clinical research activities and developing the regulatory interactions that come with a fast-paced and ever-evolving environment."
Since launching publicly in 2017, Neuralink has demoed its brain implant in pigs and monkeys.
The main aim of the project is to provide a direct connection between a brain and a computer to overcome the power of Artificial Intelligence (AI), using a "sewing machine-like" device to stitch threads to an implanted brain chip.
Musk recently said that Neuralink's brain chip technology would allow people to stream music into their brains effortlessly.
Musk confirmed the feature recently over an exchange with a Twitter user who asked: "If we implement Neuralink - can we listen to music directly from our chips? Great feature."
Musk replied with a simple, "yes".
He has also confirmed that the chip would be able to control hormone levels, which would have the potential to help with anxiety relief, among other things.
Musk has often criticized the over-reliance on AI and the potential danger it poses. He recently claimed that AI will be "vastly smarter" than any human and would overtake us by 2025
Microsoft has revealed that its Xbox Game Pass has gained 25 million subscribers amid coronavirus pandemic.
The service was launched in 2017 with more than 100 Xbox games for $9.99 per month, though a separate PC-only sub is available for $4.99. One can get a bundle with both, plus Xbox Live Gold, for $14.99.
The news of this new milestone came accompanying the announcement that Microsoft is acquiring Activision-Blizzard, a gaming publisher known for titles like Call of Duty and World of Warcraft.
"Upon close, we will offer as many Activision Blizzard games as we can within Xbox Game Pass and PC Game Pass, both new titles and games from Activision Blizzard's incredible catalog," Xbox chief Phil Spencer said in his acquisition announcement.
"We also announced today that Game Pass now has more than 25 million subscribers. As always, we look forward to continuing to add more value and more great games to Game Pass," Spencer added.
When the transaction between Microsoft and Activision Blizzard closes, Microsoft will become the world's third-largest gaming company by revenue, behind Tencent and Sony.
The planned acquisition includes iconic franchises from the Activision, Blizzard and King studios like "Warcraft," "Diablo," "Overwatch," "Call of Duty" and "Candy Crush," in addition to global eSports activities through Major League Gaming.
The company has studios around the word with nearly 10,000 employees.
Motorola on Tuesday launched the Moto Tab G70 LTE tablet in the Indian market.
The tab is powered by a MediaTek Helio G90T SoC paired with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of built-in storage and features an 11-inch display.
The Moto Tab G70 LTE comes only on one configuration - 4GB + 64GB, priced at Rs 21,999.
Moto Tab G70 comes with an 11-inch 2k display with a resolution of 2,000x1,200 pixels 400 nits of peak brightness.
Under the hood, the tablet is powered by the MediaTek Helio G90T SoC, a 12 nm chipset with two Cortex-A76 cores, six A55s. The processor is paired with 4GB RAM and 64GB onboard storage that can be expanded up to 1TB via a microSD card.
As for optics, Moto Tab G70 is equipped with a 13MP rear camera. In addition, there will be an 8MP on the front for video calls and selfies.
The tablet runs Android 11 out of the box on the software front. It features Dolby Atmos powered quad speakers. It is backed by a 7,700mAH battery with 20W rapid charging support.
OnePlus recently launched its much-anticipated flagship smartphone 'OnePlus 10 Pro' in China and now a new report has revealed that the phone has received a good response in its first flash sale in the region.
According to the brand's account on Weibo, the batch went out in just one second, and the income was over 100 million yuan ($15.7 million), reports GSMArena.
The 8GB+128GB, 8GB+256GB and 12GB+256GB variants are priced at 4,699 yuan, 4,999 yuan and 5,299 yuan, respectively.
The smartphone features a 6.7-inch second-generation LTPO AMOLED display with support for variable refresh rates (1Hz to 120Hz). This curved panel has a resolution of 3216x1440 pixels (QHD+), 525 PPI.
The OnePlus 10 Pro is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chipset paired with LPDDR5 RAM and UFS 3.1 storage. It is the debut handset for ColorOS 12.1 based on Android 12.
The latest version of OPPO's mobile operating system brings features such as HyperBoost for gaming and more, the report said.
The smartphone houses a triple camera setup on the rear -- 48MP+50MP+8MP. For selfies and video calls, there is a 32MP sensor on the front.
All these cameras are co-tuned by Hasselblad with features like Hasselblad Natural Colour Optimization 2.0, XPan Mode, and more.
The smartphone houses a 5,000mAh battery with 80W SuperVOOC fast wired charging or 50W AirVOOC fast wireless charging support.
It also has support for reverse wireless charging.