Cell Phone

Samsung trademarks Galaxy J3 Luna Pro name

The Galaxy J series is about to expand with the addition of a few new smartphones. The unannounced Galaxy J7 (2017) is one of the handsets Samsung is expected to reveal very soon, but that might not be the only affordable smartphone launched by the South Korean company in Q1.

We reported less than a week ago about the Galaxy J7 Sky Pro, a name that Samsung trademarked in late January. Even though we don't have a confirmation yet, this might be a carrier-branded version of the long-rumored Galaxy J7 (2017), which will be released in the United States.

The name of a third Galaxy J series device has been spotted recently at USPTO (United States Patent and Trademark Office): Galaxy J3 Luna Pro. Judging by its name, this doesn't seem to be another variant of the Galaxy J7 (2017), but rather a refresh of the last yearGalaxy J3 Pro.

Although it might not mean anything, it looks like Samsung trademarked both the Galaxy J7 Sky Pro and Galaxy J3 Luna Pro names on the same day, January 24, 2017. The next step for Samsung would be to make both affordable smartphones official.


Cell Phone

Would you pay more for an iPhone or a Galaxy if they were 'made in America'?

President Trump rose to prominence on the wings of many promises during the election campaign period, and one of those was the "made in America" battle cry. It would result in manufacturer mandates to assemble their goods here, and bring paying employment back to the Rust Belt, compensating somewhat for the exodus of manufacturing jobs to China and other places over the last few decades. Well, there might not be mandates just yet, but some companies are being singled out as examples, and getting coerced into investing in US factories through an intriguing mix of tax incentives and plain old Twitter storms by the President himself. Apple's Tim Cook was summoned not long ago to discuss making some of its gadgets here, and yesterday the President shouted a loud "Thanks you!" to Samsung for building an imaginary factory here in the US, which caused a bit of a confusion, as those plans are apparently neither finalized, nor approved just yet. In any case, if and when iPhones get assembled here, partially or in full, it would add up anywhere between $30-$100 to the basic $649 price of one, calculated MIT researchers, and the same probably goes for a high-end Galaxy. In fact, one popular Apple analyst already suggested that there should be a special "made in the USA" model for which Apple may charge between $100-$200 more, depending on the version. That is why we wanted to ask you if you would be willing to pay more for your phone provided that it had the "made in America" stamp on the back. Tell us in the poll below, and sound off in the comments.
Cell Phone

Huawei launch event confirmed for February 26, P10 and P10 Plus flagships incoming

There have been rumors claiming Huawei plans to launch its P10 and P10 Plus flagship smartphones in March of April. It appears that these reports come in line with the official information we've just received today.

Huawei has just announced a launch event, which is to take place at Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2017 on February 26. The Chinese handset maker did not provide any additional details on the matter, but it's safe to assume that at least one of the two flagships will be announced in late February.

With the release of the P10, Huawei will completely move its flagship lineup into “phablet” territory. The P10 is expected to sport a 5.5-inch display, just like the P10 Plus that's rumored to include a similar panel with Quad HD (2560 x 1440 pixels) resolution.

We've also learned the both P10 smartphones will be equipped with powerful HiSilicon Kirin 960 chipsets, coupled with Mali-G71 MP8 graphics processing units and 6GB of RAM. The Leica-branded cameras are likely to made it into both models as well.

The main difference between the two models could be the fact that the P10 Plus will feature a dual-edge curved display, while the standard version will come with a flat panel.

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iPhone 7 Plus vs Sony Xperia XZ camera comparison: which does 2X zoom better?

A couple of weeks ago, a friend of mine treated herself to an iPhone 7 Plus. Long story short, she loved it, and it wasn't only for the gorgeous shade of Rose Gold it was sporting. The screen, the battery life, and the performance all blew her away, but the feature she was enjoying the most was the dual camera. Her pictures were coming out clear and detailed, even when she was zooming – something that couldn't be said about her old phone. Or for most other phones, actually.
There's a reason why the iPhone 7 Plus's camera performs that well. Next to its main camera there's a secondary Telephoto cam with proper optical magnification, and its 2X zoom brings the subject twice as close without sacrificing detail. In contrast, most other phones have to digitally stretch the image to achieve the zoom effect, and doing so results in loss of image quality.
Yet I think there's an Android phone that could match the iPhone at the zooming game – the Sony Xperia XZ. It doesn't have a secondary camera. It has no optical zoom either. But it has a bigger camera sensor, a wider aperture, and a ton more megapixels – 23, to be exact – to capture even the most minute details in every image. In comparison, the Telephoto camera on the iPhone 7 Plus has only 12 megapixels to work with. Will the XZ's technically superior camera be able to produce better shots at 2X zoom? There's one way to find out!
 Scene 1: Old-timer
iPhone 7 Plus
Sony Xperia XZ
 
IPHONE 7 PLUSSONY XPERIA XZ
 
On the left we have an image out of the iPhone 7 Plus, and on the right – a photo from the Sony Xperia XZ. Both shots were taken at 2x zoom. Can you name a winner? Looking at details alone, I can't. Both images look mighty fine even if I take a closer look, so I'm calling this round a tie. Looks like the 2x digital zoom on the XZ could prove just as useful as the iPhone's. 
Scene 2: Santa Claus
 
iPhone 7 Plus
Sony Xperia XZ
 
IPHONE 7 PLUSSONY XPERIA XZ
 
Or maybe I spoke too soon. This pair of images was taken at the office, where light conditions aren't exactly perfect for a photo shoot-out. Both photos look fine, of course, but the iPhone's is noticeably more detailed. Why is that? Well, the Xperia XZ's camera tends to be more susceptible to digital noise, and digital noise is always more prevalent in low-light shots, hence the smudgy details seen in its photo.
 
Scene 3: The bookshelf 
iPhone 7 Plus
Sony Xperia XZ
 
IPHONE 7 PLUSSONY XPERIA XZ
In this third set of images, the iPhone still has the upper hand over the XZ. This does not become obvious at first, but if you take a closer look, you'll notice how the detail in the texture of the wallpaper is mostly missing. Also, the titles of the books are clearer to read in the iPhone's photo. But then again, I'd say that both photos are usable as they look good enough.
Scene 4: In the woods 
iPhone 7 Plus
Sony Xperia XZ
 
IPHONE 7 PLUSSONY XPERIA XZ 
And the Xperia XZ is back in the game. For this next scene, the light from the setting sun provided it with enough light to capture a nice, sharp photo – one that matches the iPhone 7 Plus in terms of detail. Okay, maybe the iPhone does have a tiny bit more detail in certain areas of its image, but overall, I'd call this round a tie. 

Scene 5: Happy

iPhone 7 Plus
Sony Xperia XZ
 
IPHONE 7 PLUSSONY XPERIA XZ 
Alas, the Telephoto camera on the iPhone 7 Plus has its downsides. One of them: it is less sensitive to light compared to the phone's main camera. That's why in some low-light situations – in scenes such as this one – the iPhone's camera software chooses not to use its 2x zoom lens and shoots with its regular cam instead. Yes, the zoom in the iPhone's photo above is purely the product of digital image stretching. There's no optical zooming going on. Yet I can't say that the Xperia XZ's photo looks any better. When examined from up close, both photos have more or less the same level of detail, and I'd even say that in some areas, the iPhone's image does look clearer.
 Conclusion 
iPhone 7 Plus vs Sony Xperia XZ camera comparison: which does 2X zoom better?
After doing what I do for a living for so long, I have developed the habit of observing how people use their phones. And one of the things I've noticed is that pretty much everyone uses the zoom feature of its camera – regardless of whether they're a pro photographer or if they got their first smartphone yesterday. That's why it makes perfect sense for smartphone makers to give their phones better zooming capabilities. Apple did exactly that. The Telephoto camera on the iPhone 7 Plus does a really, really great job at bringing the subject closer to the photographer. It isn't the first phone to do so using optical means, but it is the first to implement optical zoom in a sensible, practical way. All the iPhone 7 Plus needs is enough light to do its magic. 
So, can the Xperia XZ match the zooming capabilities of the iPhone 7 Plus? Yes, I'd say that it can, but only to a certain extent. As long as light is plentiful, the Sony Xperia XZ takes sharp, detailed shots at 2X zoom – shots that look about as good as those from the iPhone 7 Plus. For the most part, that is likely thanks to the technical advantages of the camera Sony is using, such as the higher megapixel count and wider aperture. In low-light environments, however, the XZ's camera is held back by its susceptibility to digital noise, while the image processing that's supposed to clear that noise isn't making things any better. 
But then again, even though the iPhone 7 Plus and the Xperia XZ use completely different zooming techniques, all of the images I showed you above turned out perfectly usable. I guess whoever said that the best camera is the one you have was onto something.
If you liked this post, perhaps you'll like some of our other articles related to the iPhone 7 Plus and its awesome dual camera. Check them out below:
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Apple's AirPods have taken 26% of the online market for wireless headphones

After a two-month delay while Apple was ironing out some problems with the product, the wireless Bluetooth powered AirPods finally launched on December 13th. Already, AirPods own 26% of the online wireless headphone market, cementing what Apple CEO Tim Cook has called "a runaway success." The data comes from Slice Intelligence and is generated from actual receipts. This means that the figures should be very accurate.

In December 2015, wireless headphones accounted for half of the entire online U.S. headphones market for the first time. Last month, three out of every four headphones sold online in the states were of the wireless variety. Besides Apple, Samsung has its Gear IconX wireless ear buds that compete with the AirPods. But Apple does have the benefit of having sold millions of Apple iPhone 7 and Apple iPhone 7 Plus handsets, all sans a 3.5mm earphone jack. All of these iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus owners are potential AirPods buyers. On the day of the product's launch, December 13th, wireless headphone sales made online were ten times higher than the pre-holiday figure for an average day in 2016. For all of 2016, it was the single day with the most online sales of wireless headphones.

Apple has been dominating the category, and not just because of the $159 AirPods. Prior to the product's launch, Beats had the leading market share based on online sales, with 24.1%. That company of course, is owned by Apple. After the AirPods launch, Beats owned 15.4% and Apple had 26% for a combined market share of more than 40%. It might have been coincidence, but Bose got a huge lift from the AirPods launch as its share of the online wireless headphones market rose from 10.5% to 16.1%

Now that we now who is selling product, the question is, who is buying it? Female Boomers have the largest share at 38% followed by male Millemmials at 35%, and female Millennials at 32%. You can check out all of the data by clicking on the slideshow below.

Cell Phone

Galaxy S8 shipments said to target 60 million, release date set for mid-April

Citing industry sources, Korean news outlet The Investor reports that Samsung is targeting 60 million unit shipments for its upcoming Galaxy S8 flagship smartphone. The company has placed component orders to match this target and is working towards a mid-April release date for the product. This means the Galaxy S8 could take about a month longer to land in retail stores than its predecessor. This may or may not owe to Samsung extending its quality assurance process to prevent potential product-breaking flaws.

The sources claim that Samsung will begin mass-producing the Galaxy S8 in March. One of the reports suggests that an initial batch of 5 million units will be completed in March, while the other suggests that 5 million units will be Samsung's monthly production capacity for the months after. Either way, the sources claim the company will be showcasing the smartphone "a month or two" before its mid-April release. This means the Galaxy S8 could be announced at MWC 2017, either in late February or the first days of March, while being shown to carriers and retail partners behind the scenes.
60 million is quite an ambitious target. The past three generations of Galaxy S smartphones managed between 45 to 48 million units, with a record of 70 million units still held by the Galaxy S4 (2013). Its predecessor, the Galaxy S3, came close with 65 million units. Reportedly, Samsung set such a goal to help overcome the losses sustained after pulling the faulty Galaxy Note 7 off the market last year.

The report names iris scanner module maker Partron, camera lens firm Sekonix, and connectivity-handling Samsung Electro-Mechanics and Amotech as component delivery partners.

Cell Phone

Awesome Apple Watch stand transforms your timepiece into an 80's Macintosh computer

If there’s one thing nobody can deny Apple’s good at, it’s creating lasting designs. A testament to that is the angular Macintosh 128K from 1984 – a computer with such an iconic look, 30 years later people are using it as a design piece. The cuboid Mac has been repurposed to such things as a flower pot, an aquarium, an iPad stand, a DJ-ing helmet (yes, really), and many, many more. While some techies may find these “reincarnations” of the classic machine blasphemous, they are a testament to its lasting design.

If you are among the many who like the look of this Macintosh computer, you’ll be pleasantly surprised to learn that accessory maker Elago has released a 128K-styled stand for the Apple Watch. It comes in black and classic white/beige and looks really cool when you slip your watch in, especially if you’re using a watch face with green accents.

The W3 Elago Apple Watch stand is made from silicone and supports both generations of Apple Watches. It also supports Nightstand Mode and has a slot to fit the official charging cable. Both colors of the W3 start at $13.49 and can be purchased at Elago’s online store.

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Samsung Galaxy S7 running Android 7.0 Nougat appears in online database

The Samsung Galaxy S7 Active is poised to receive an update to Android 7.0 Nougat. The smartphone surfaced in the GFXBench database running the latest version of Android, which means the update is in testing and being primed for a release in the near future. Samsung has already published beta builds of Android Nougat for the Galaxy S7 and S7 edge, so it's highly likely that the Active will receive a Nougat update around the same time they do. The company has committed to delivering the Nougat update for the S7 and S7 edge this January, so the Active should get it around this time, or a little later.

So far, the beta Nougat updates have added a fair bit of functionality to their designated smartphones. There are new features such as adding third-party app functions as quick toggles, improved battery saving, an overhaul to the Calendar app, a Video Enhancer feature for better video and sound quality, repositioned toggles, new Device Maintenance, screen resolution adjustments, and other goodies on top of all the patches and fixes. All in all, this should be a fine update when it's pushed out.

Cell Phone

Sony's goal is to be the first non-Google OEM to update their devices to Android 7.1.1

When deciding which smartphone to purchase, there are a number of different factors that come into play - the camera, screen resolution, internal storage capacity, battery size, and more. When looking at Android-powered phones specifically, there's another area to be concerned about, and it has to do with software updates. Not all OEMs are made equal, and while some provide consistently fast and reliable software updates, the same can't be said for other brands. Sony has recently been doing a commendable job at getting their hardware updated to Android 7.0 Nougat, and in a recent post published to their Xperia Blog, it looks like Sony isn't calling it quits just yet. Android 7.1.1 was released to both Pixel and Nexus hardware a few days ago on December 5th, and Google also released this latest Android update to the Android Open Source Project (AOSP) on the same day so that other manufacturers and OEMs could update their hardware to the next version of Android as well. Samsung has recently announced that they'll be skipping the Android 7.0 and 7.1 updates and going straight to 7.1.1, and while this rollout for the S7 and S7 edge is expected to take place at some point early next year, the development team over at Sony has said that "if you spot any other vendor (excluding Google) releasing this (Android 7.1.1) faster than us, prepare your rotten tomatoes!" Sony's goal is to be the first non-Google OEM to update their devices to Android 7.1.1 There's currently no word as to when Sony will actually be releasing the 7.1.1 update to their hardware, but their development team has said that it's currently their concept team's "number 1 priority." As for what devices will be receiving 7.1.1, it's pretty safe to assume that both the Xperia X Performance and Xperia XZ will be getting the latest software as they were just recently updated to 7.0. It's also been confirmed that the Z5 line of devices, the Z3+, and the Z4 Tablet will be getting Nougat at some point in the future, so it wouldn't be a surprise if we saw 7.1.1 Nougat make its way to these devices as well.
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Samsung Galaxy S8 to include 'Beast Mode?'

We've referred to high-end smartphones before as "beasts, " but this might be the first time that one actually has a "Beast mode." Samsung has filed with the EU to trademark the phrase Beast mode. Knowing full well the pitfalls of making an assumption, we will say that this could be a new mode for the upcoming Samsung Galaxy S8. The latter is expected to be unveiled in New York City, possibly as soon as April.

Supporting this theory is the documentation, which shows that the name could be applied to a smartphone or even a smartphone operating system. In certain regions, the Galaxy S8 is rumored to be powered by the new Snapdragon 835 chipset. Other markets will use the next-generation Exynos chip. Both will be manufactured using the 10nm process, allowing either chip to bring the power without consuming excessive amounts of energy. We also could see 8GB of RAM inside, giving the device smooth multi-tasking capabilities.

One thing for sure, if Samsung does include some sort of overdriving Beast mode on the Galaxy S8, we're sure to hear about it in Samsung's marketing of the device.

So now there could be two reasons to look forward to April; it will be the start of the 2017 Major League Baseball season, and it could be the month that sees Samsung introduce its new flagship handset.

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Four new LG models certified by the FCC, could be the rumored K (2017) series

The FCC has certified four new handsets from LG with the model numbers of LG-M150, LG-M151, LG-M153 and LG-M154. Based on the diagram that accompanied the FCC documentation, the phone will carry a single rear-facing camera; with the FCC label placed inside the battery compartment, it would appear that the cell will be replaceable. The four new model numbers certified by the FCC could each represent one of the four new K (2017) series handsets that LG is reportedly going to introduce at CES next month. Those handsets are believed to include: LG K10 2017 - 5.3-inch HD screen, 5 MP wide-angle front-facing camera, 2.5D glass (slightly curved) on front and back, and fingerprint reader LG K8 2017 - 5-inch HD screen, 13 MP rear camera, 5 MP front-facing camera, and a 2500 mAh battery LG K4 2017 - 4.7-inch screen, 8 MP rear camera, 5 MP front-facing camera, and a 2500 mAh battery LG K3 2017 - 4.5-inch screen, 5 MP rear camera, 2 MP front-facing camera, and a 2100 mAh battery The CES opens on January 5th next month, and closes on January 8th.
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Apple and Google reportedly partner with LG Display on flexible OLEDs for foldable devices

Samsung's near monopoly on OLED display supplies might be challenged a year from now, as Apple, Google and Microsoft are reportedly partnering with LG on the production of flexible OLED panels. While Apple's name comes as no surprise here, as it is heavily rumored to introduce an OLED iPhone 8 next year, and is trying to diversify its screen suppliers, the fact that Google and Microsoft may be in the mix raises some eyebrows. As per the source of this rumor, Google is interested in flexible OLEDs for future iterations of its Pixels, while Microsoft is actually shopping for Surface line ideas. In any case, there are three powerful potential customers with money and enthusiasm to burn, so LG is said to take the opportunity, and be ready for mass production by 2018. The other important tip here is that those LG flexible displays are meant to be used into foldable devices, with a mechanism that keeps the screen stretched over the outer surface. Samsung has been developing such panels for a while now, allowing the OLEDs to bend numerous times without picture deterioration at the folding area, but it's the first time we are hearing LG might be up to something similar. In any case, it seems that we will be encountering much more unorthodox shapes and forms in phones going forward, which can only benefit the end users, if done right. Needless to say, LG Display has denied commenting on its future customers.
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Samsung Galaxy A7 (2017) receives its Wi-Fi certification, one step closer to getting unveiled

The Samsung Galaxy A7 (2017) received its Bluetooth certification last month, and was certified by the FCC earlier this month. Today it has received its Wi-Fi certification from the Wi-Fi Alliance. The model number is SM-A720X. With Both Bluetooth and Wi-Fi certified, there is talk that the phone could be unveiled sometime later this month. Meanwhile, the SM-A720F, which is the international version of the handset, was spotted on Indian import-export site Zauba a number of times. The latest rumored specs include a 5.5-inch or 5.7-inch screen with a 1080 x 1920 resolution. Powering the phone will be the Samsung Exynos 7880 SoC containing an octa-core 1.8GHz CPU and a Mali-T860 MP4 GPU. 3GB of RAM is inside along with 32GB of native storage. Both the back-facing and front-facing cameras will weigh in at 16MP, and Android 6.0.1 will be pre-installed. With an IP68 certification rating, the device will be able to withstand getting submerged to a depth of five-feet for as long as 30 minutes. The Galaxy A7 (2017) will be equipped with a Type-C USB port. We expect to see the Samsung Galaxy A7 (2017) unveiled at the same times as the Samsung Galaxy A3 (2017) and the Samsung Galaxy A5 (2017). The smaller Galaxy A3 (2017), with its 4.7-inch screen offering a 720 x 1280 resolution, already received its Wi-Fi certification last month. The Galaxy A5 (2017) and its 5.2-inch 1080 x 1920 resolution display, has received certification for both Bluetooth and Wi-Fi.
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Huawei P9 and Mate 8 start getting Android 7.0 Nougat updates

Although previous rumors suggested Huawei might start updating the P9 and Mate 8 to Android 7.0 Nougat operating system in early 2017, it appears that the Chinese handset maker decided to rush things up a bit.

We're now getting reports from China that the Android 7.0 Nougat update is now live for both the Huawei P9 and Mate 8. These are not just beta builds pushed to a small number of users, it's the real deal and it's rolled out to all users.

Unfortunately, Huawei's Android update roadmap leaked a while ago might have gotten one thing right, as the update is limited to China for not.

There's a high chance that Huawei won't widen the availability of Android 7.0 Nougat in other countries this year, so P9 and Mate 8 users worldwide might enjoy the advantages of the new update starting early 2017.

However, if you're located in China, you want to look for firmware version B352 if you own the Huawei P9, and firmware version B552 in case you're rocking a Mate 8.

Those who installed beta Android builds should rest easy as they will receive the Android 7.0 Nougat update as well, though the firmware versions will be different: B363 (Huawei P9) and B562 (Huawei Mate 8).

So, there you have it folks, it looks like Huawei P9 and Mate 8 users in China are already getting the update, while the rest of world might have to wait until early 2017.

Cell Phone

Galaxy A3, A5 and A7 (2017) leak out: waterproof, new glass design

Update: a few more Galaxy A-series 2017 slides have been sent our way, adding real images of the phones, as well as filling out details that confirm a new glass design, IP68 waterproofing for all, and 3000 mAh, 3300 mAh, and 3500 mAh battery capacities, respectively. Also, judging from the date on the Always-on display, release may come January 2nd.

Seven, Galaxy A7 '17 - that should be the promo invite of Samsung's upcoming alpha midranger. Last year, Samsung unveiled its A-series crop in December, and, judging from the recent deluge of certifications for the eventual Galaxy A7 (2017), it might out the new models in a week or two, which would be about a year after the A7 2016 model.

The new A7 is expected to sport a 5.7" 1080p Super AMOLED display, which would make it larger than the 5.5-inch A7 (2016). That added bulk may have gone into the battery pack, as the A7 (2017) will apparently come with a 3500 mAh juicer now. The phone is expected to be powered by an Exynos 7880, and have 3 GB RAM, as well as 32 GB/64 GB storage plus memory card slot for its expansion. Both the front and rear cameras were tipped to be with 16 MP resolution, though the main shooter would come with wide f/1.9 aperture.

A finger scanner and USB-C port are par for the course on a phone marked with 2017 in its name, but the most intriguing part of the whole setup, save for the high-res selfie snapper, is that the Galaxy A7 (2017) is said to sport IP68 certification, marking a first for the A-series of Samsung phones. 
 
Want to see how the phone may look like? Well, courtesy of this Samsung invitation meant for the vast Persian lands, you can - it pretty much looks like an enlarged S7, so we are waiting with bated breath for the official announcement and the price tag of this svelte Marshmallow-powered midranger. Unfortunately, we can't see the power key side, so we can't tell you if this one will have a side speaker like the leaked A5 (2017), but the source promises to upload more pictures of the real deal soon, so we'll keep you posted.
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Apple to open a flagship store at the Carnegie Library in Washington, D.C.

If you don't grow, you shrink. That seems to be Apple's mentality, as the company is reportedly looking forward to opening a new flagship store in Washington D.C.'s Carnegie Library. The Washington Business Journal reports that the local convention and sports authority has agreed to let Apple proceed with its plans, which include renovating the 113-year old building.

The company will work in tandem with Foster + Partners of London in redesigning the 63,000 square feet of space, possibly borrowing ideas from central Apple stores in London, California, and San Francisco. The design company is the one behind the aforementioned outlets, notable for elements like giant video screens, glass windows, and gathering places.

Apple's London store at Regent Street is also situated inside a historic building, and the company has been given a preservation award for its sensitive repurposing of historic properties, which means Apple knows how to handle the Carnegie Library's time-tested look and build. It will eventually become the company's second store in the District, the first one being in Georgetown.

The deal will be considered this Thursday. It's not known when Apple will be able to begin the renovation, and there's no schedule for the store's eventual opening.

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Apple hogging OLED display supplies for future iPhones? No problem, say Huawei and Oppo, we'll make our own panels

Apple often sits on the sidelines regarding a new and unproven technology, and when it matures enough, it decides that it's good enough to be applied on a grand scale. Case in point is the OLED screen tech, and grand scale in Apple's case might mean that up to 70 million such panels might be needed for a premium iPhone 8 modelwith curved display next year

 
Samsung has allegedly signed on a deal with Apple for up to 100 million panels already, and it is the globe's chief supplier of small-size OLEDs, so there will barely be anything to spare for a third maker, after Samsung and Apple are done outfitting their flagships with such screens in 2017. 
 
That duopoly, however, is not the only one that uses OLED screens in their phones. The Vivo Xplay 6 that was just announced, for instance, is equipped with a 5.7" Dual edge display of the type that Samsung used for the Note 7, as you can see in the image on the right.
 
That is why a group of Chinese phone makers - actually, the ones that currently hold the most market share in China - are teaming up to form a consortium and scale up production of OLED displays from sources other than Samsung or Apple suppliers, tip supply chain sources:
 
Since Apple's next-generation products including tablets and smartphones may use AMOLED panels, demand from 2018-2020 is expected to stay strong which will limit other smartphone vendors from acquiring sufficient supply. This will cause their products to become less competitive in the market.

Oppo, Vivo, and Huawei, which collectively moved more than 70 million handsets last quarter, will be investing in Royole - an OLED screen maker you've probably never heard of - to ramp up its production significantly in the next year or two, and are also exploring other independent options. 
 
That has to be a lot of ramping up, given that those options are said to be able to produce only a hundred thousand panels monthly, but when there is a will, there is a way. The Chinese makers aren't really concerned about 2017, as Apple is expected to have only one OLED iPhone model then, but rather for the 2018-2020 period, when it is likely to hog all extra supply while trying to diversify from Samsung to other partners in OLED making like Sharp or JDI.
 
 
Cell Phone

5 Jet and Glossy Black alternatives to the iPhone 7

5 Jet and Glossy Black alternatives to the iPhone 7

Posted:28 Nov 2016, 03:00, by Damian M.

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5 Jet and Glossy Black alternatives to the iPhone 7

Everyone wants the Jet Black versions of iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus. Units are sold out worldwide and Apple still struggles to catch up with the high demand. In the meantime, Samsung is looking to fill the niche and is about to release its own shiny black version of the Galaxy S7 edge. All eyes are on the two giants battling for the glossy black supremacy this winter, as people eagerly wait for the opportunity to wipe fingerprints off their phones' glass backs every five seconds.

But we here at PhoneArena began to wonder, aren't there any other glossy black options? Of course there are. So, in case you're not too keen on waiting for an iPhone 7 Plus or the new glossy Galaxy S7 edge, here are some alternatives that you can buy right now.

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iPhone 8 could become Apple's best selling phone ever, OLED screen and wireless charging to be key features

2017 marks the 10th anniversary of the iPhone, and it could be a huge year for Apple in terms of sales, obviously thanks to the much anticipated iPhone 8

According to famous KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo (known for his accurate predictions when it comes to all things Apple), iPhone suppliers are getting ready to produce between 120 and 150 million new handsets in the second half of fiscal year 2017 (for Apple, this means March - September 2017).

As previously reported, no less than three iPhone 8 models are expected to debut next year. Alongside direct successors to the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus (which should sport screens of 4.7 inches and 5.5 inches, respectively), a third model with a curved OLED screen of around 5.2 inches could hit the market in 2017. As mentioned yesterday, Apple is seemingly testing more than 10 iPhone 8 prototypes, and still has time to decided what models to release.

If Apple sells more than 120 million iPhone 8 units, this will become the company's best selling handset series to date, surpassing the iPhone 6 in popularity.

Ming-Chi Kuo notes that the high demand for iPhone 8 models will likely be driven by the new curved OLED screen, as well as by wireless charging. Interestingly, right now, it's said that only the 4.7-inch iPhone 8 may feature wireless charging (in addition to a "glass casing"). If a recent rumor is to be believed, Apple's wireless charging technology could be like no other out there, allowing the iPhone 8 to be charged even if it's up to 15 feet away from its transmitter. Of course, it remains to be seen if there's any truth to this.

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Huawei reportedly working on 10 nm Kirin 970 processor

On the heels of Kirin 960's debut last month, new rumors are suggesting that Huawei is already working on a next generation processor. Predictably dubbed the Kirin 970, the new chip will reportedly be a big leap in terms of performance from the 960, which was built on the FinFET 16 nm process just like the Kirin 950.

The Kirin 970 is said to be an octa-core chip built on the 10 nm process and will reportedly support global LTE. Huawei's decision to switch to the 10nm process for its next-gen silicon may have been spurned by recent announcements from Qualcomm and Samsung whose next processors, the Snapdragon 835 and the Exynos 8895, will be built on Samsung's new 10 nm process and be able to fit 30 percent more transistors than current 14 nm offerings.

There is no info yet regarding Kirin 970's debut, but it will likely power Huawei's 2017 high-end flagships and come out in time to compete with 10nm offerings from Samsung, Qualcomm, and MediaTek.

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