Your tech news digest, by way of theÂ DGiT Daily tech newsletter, for Thursday, July 9.
1. Samsung Galaxy Unpacked: August 5
The news reverberating around is that come 2021, Samsung could follow Apple in killing the in-box phone charger. That means if you buy a new Samsung phone, youâ€™ll only get the phone in the box, not the charger. Possibly.
Appleâ€™s starting it:
- Reliable rumors suggest that as soon as the iPhone 12, Apple will no longer include either wired earbuds or a power adapter in the usual iPhone 12 box.
- Wired earbuds have already been dropped by quite a few smartphone makers, and now the power adapter is next in line.
- Why? Reducing costs, and making more money?
- Although itâ€™s a small, low-cost element, the power adaptor and its packaging requirements cost enough that itâ€™s valuable to not include.
- Apple analyst Ming-chi Kuo says this removal from Apple will allow the company to sell the iPhone 12 at a similar or the same price as the iPhone 11.
- And as for the expected iPhone 12 with 5G, removing the in-box goodies will also offset the cost of the 5G components in the new phone, and the associated packaging, reducing freight costs, and so on.
- All of that isnâ€™t crazy: thereâ€™s a strong argument that people will already have a couple of the little power adapters floating around, possibly even unused, given most are interchangeable with different devices.
- Whatâ€™s likely going to annoy people is that Apple is developing a new 20W PD USB-C power adapter. And, it will be sold separately.
- This comes on the brink of a new era of GaN chargers, that will be smaller and offer more power delivery than ever. So, itâ€™s a shame that older technology appears to be the end-point for a charger in the box, but new tech is often used to offer new pricing (and revenue).
- The charging cable itself, though, is always useful. What Apple is doing with that isnâ€™t clear at all. I donâ€™t think thereâ€™ll be an outcry if just the little power adapter into â€˜the holesâ€™, per The Frogger Seinfeld episode, goes away.
- Though, there is an argument that youâ€™re paying more than ever for a smartphone only to get less than ever. The $1000-barrier has already proven to be difficult for manufacturers to make sales, and Apple doubled-down by focusing on the $400 iPhone SE 2020. With wired headphones and power adapter and cable, and all, in the box.
Samsungâ€™s doing it too:
- According to Koreaâ€™s ETNews Samsung is also considering selling its smartphones without in-box chargers from as early as next year.
- â€œSamsung Electronics is discussing with its partners about a plan that will exclude chargers from a list of components of smartphones.â€� said industry insiders.
- Samsung has previously come under fire for selling a $50 45W fast charger for the Galaxy S20 Ultra while only including a 25W charger in the box.
- But it came with a charger, at least.
- I have asked a few other manufacturers if they are looking at similar plans, but at time of sending hadnâ€™t yet received a response. But where the big two go the rest will surely follow, unless they make it a point of pride.
- Fairphone did it first, by the way, back in 2016, to reduce waste.
Not a huge deal, but..:
- There is a strong case against bundled phone chargers if new phones are shipped without chargers and Iâ€™d expect Apple wouldnâ€™t miss using the environment as a case to nullify complaints.
- But one issue at play is the lack of standards. Proprietary fast-charging solutions exist for the likes of Huawei and OnePlus, while USB Power Delivery with USB-C is one more common standard â€“ or even Qualcommâ€™s Quick Charge.
- Apple is already getting closer to adopting USB-C across its platforms, but the iPhone appears to be sticking with the Lightning port for now with its next iPhone.
- I imagine that while USB-C everywhere would overall be great, there would be some fairly hard pushback on ditching the Lightning cable that most iPhone owners will be using or have in drawers.
- But it would, overall, have a net positive impact if the world went to USB-C at some point, given most new laptops, including MacBooks, are already there.
2. Android 11 Beta 2 is out, with Google now saying itâ€™s a stable release that can be relied upon by developers. And while thereâ€™s some minor user changes, the best fix looks to be much-improved media controlsÂ (Android Authority).
4. Thunderbolt 4 is coming. Hereâ€™s everything you need to know: USB4 compliant, longer cables, and Apple has said itâ€™ll include it with Apple Silicon which is good and not hugely surprising because Apple has always supported and adopted Thunderbolt (and, hey, it is royalty-free!). But, USB-C cable confusion will still reign: itâ€™s not USB4 per se, and standardization still isnâ€™t quite there (Android Authority).
5. More hints that Apple will offer Mini-LED displays in screens in 2021 Macs (MacRumors).
6. Quibiâ€™s finally charging people after its 90-day trial expired. The problem is 92% of early users were lost (The Verge).
7. Tinder starts testing video dates for face-to-face chats. Face, sure. (Engadget).
8. Sony has launched its wearable air conditioner called Reon Pocket that can cool or heat for about $130 (Interesting Engineering).
9. â€œ3D TVs didnâ€™t die: they just ended up in cars (Gizmodo).
10. â€œWhatâ€™s your greatest internet accomplishment?â€� (r/askreddit).
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