Samsung has halted the production and global sales of the Galaxy Note 7 smartphone and asked users to stop using it after reports came in of replacement units catching fire. Samsung may have been clear with its communications to consumers but the South Korean company isn’t taking any chances of misinformation being spread. According to a media report, Samsung has been pushing a pop-up message to select Galaxy S7 units in an attempt to reassure users that their phones aren’t affected and aren’t being recalled.
TechnoBuffalo’s Todd Haselton reports that some Samsung Galaxy S7 users are receiving a push message from the company that reads, “Your Galaxy S7 is not an affected device.” It also says, “The Galaxy S7 is not subject to recall. You can continue to use your device normally.” At the moment it isn’t clear whether Samsung is sending push messages to just Galaxy S7 users in the US only or outside the country as well.
One of the possible reasons for Samsung to send push messages is the Galaxy Note 7 recall and the company clearly wants to differentiate the two premium units. Another reason may be the use of number “seven” on both the Galaxy Note 7 and Galaxy S7 which may confuse some consumers. Unfortunately, there is no word whether Samsung is pushing such messages to Galaxy S7 Edge users as well which was unveiled alongside Galaxy S7 earlier this year.
A recent report claims that Samsung after discontinuing Galaxy Note 7 smartphones may kill its Note branding entirely. The Galaxy Note 7 fiasco has caused major brand image damage to the company’s Note lineup, and it is quite plausible Samsung will kill the entire Note phablet range after all.
Amidst the exploding Samsung Galaxy Note 7 controversy, a report last month alleged that a Galaxy S7 Edge exploded inside the pocket of an Ohio resident.
At an event in San Francisco on Tuesday, Google unveiled the Google Pixel and Google Pixel XL, first Google-branded smartphones. As we’d reported in August, India is one of the launch markets for the phone, with Google Pixel price in India to start at Rs. 57,000, with pre-orders set to begin October 13. The phone will be available from Flipkart, Reliance Digital, and Croma, as well as smaller retailers, with a retail availability at the “end of October” according to Google.
The Google Pixel costs $649 (approximately Rs. 43,000) for 32GB variant in the US, $749 (approximately Rs. 50,000) for 128GB; Pixel XL costs $769 (approximately Rs. 51,000) for 32GB, $869 (approximately Rs. 58,000) for 128GB. Pre-orders in the US are already underway.
The launch event was however one of the worst kept secrets from Google, and almost everything was leaked in advance of the event. As widely expected, Pixel and Pixel XL are the first phones with Google Assistant built-in. The Google Pixel sports a 5-inch full-HD Amoled display and the Google Pixel XL sports a 5.5-inch Quad HD Amoled display – both with Corning Gorilla Glass 4 protection. Both the models will be available with almost identical innards except the screen size and battery size.
The Google Pixel and Google Pixel XL will be available exclusively via Verizon and unlocked version from Google store. The smartphone will be available for pre-orders starting Tuesday in Australia, Canada, Germany, UK, and the US. It will be available in Quite Black, Really Blue (limited edition), and Very Silver colour variants, though it seems the blue colour will not launch in India just yet.
The Google Pixel and Pixel XL phones sport an aluminium unibody and also feature polished glass combination at the back. Both phones are powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 processor, with two cores clocked at 1.6GHz, and two cores clocked at 2.15GHz. The Pixel and Pixel XL will pack 4GB of LPDDR4 RAM and sport Pixel Imprint fingerprint sensor. The smartphones sport 12.3-megapixel rear camera with a Sony IMX378 sensor, PDAF, a large f/2.0 aperture and 1.55-micron pixels. Both sport an 8-megapixel front camera with a Sony IMX179 sensor, an f/2.4 aperture and 1.4-micron pixels.
As rumoured ahead of the launch, Pixel and Pixel XL smartphones will only come in 32GB and 128GB storage models. Google has specified however that both smartphones have access to unlimited storage for full-resolution photos and videos via Google Photos. The Android 7.1 Nougat-based Pixel smartphones will come with a USB Type-C port and will include the 3.5mm audio jack. The smartphones are also IP53 rated for dust and water resistance. The Google Pixel smartphone will come with 24×7 customer care feature which can help resolve issues on the device real-time. Pixel users will have access to a toll free phone support number along with 54 walk in service centres across over 30 cities in India.
At the event, Google also unveiled the Daydream VR headset, Chromecast Ultra with 4K HDR, Google Wifi, and a price tag for Google Home, its Amazon Echo competitor.
Google CEO Sundar Pichai at the launch discussed the company’s efforts with artificial intelligence and machine learning to build tools like the Google Assistant. To recall, the Google Assistant was first unveiled at Google I/O, and has already reached the general public with the Google Allo instant messaging app. Rick Osterloh, the new head of Google’s newly formed hardware division, introduced the presence of Assistant in two new surfaces – in the context of the Pixel phone, and the Google Home speaker.
BlackBerry Ltd Chief Executive John Chen said on Monday he was two-thirds of the way toward achieving his goal of turning the Canadian technology company’s fortunes around.
“We have made investment over a billion-plus, all in software, all in security, and now we need to execute it,” Chen said at an event in Toronto two days before the company will report its second-quarter earnings.
Waterloo, Ontario-based BlackBerry, a once-dominant smartphone maker, has shifted its focus to software that companies and governments use to manage their mobile devices.
Chen, who became CEO in 2013, had said he would decide by September on the fate of its unprofitable hardware unit. He did not provide an update when asked about the issue.
Apple is known to remain discreet on specification details in every iPhone keynote, and this year is no different. The company does not unveil RAM and battery size, and teardowns done later reveal the exact innards. After the iPhone 7 Plus, the iPhone 7 has also been ripped apart by do-it-yourself repair site iFixit to see if Apple delivers on its promises.
The teardown reveals that there is a 1960mAh battery housed inside the iPhone 7, which is a significant upgrade to the 1715mAh one found on the iPhone 6s. It is rated for a capacity of 7.45 Wh-a notable increase from the 6.55 Wh battery in last year’s model. According to Apple, the battery will provide up to 14 hours of 3G talk time, 14 hours of Wi-Fi internet browsing, and 10 days of standby. Also, iFixit cheekily adds that it doesn’t explode.
It shows that the iPhone 7 is indeed powered by the A10 Fusion APL1W24 SoC paired alongside Samsung-made 2GB module of LPDDR4 RAM. Also on board is the Qualcomm MDM9645M LTE Cat. 12 Modem – a finding that contradicts Chipworks’ teardown, hinting there might be more than variant of the smartphone. The place where the 3.5mm audio jack used to be, is now replaced by a piece of plastic sitting behind the ingress protection. This plastic sheet was also seen on the larger variant, and according to a statement by Apple to The Verge, it is a ‘barometric vent’ enabling the iPhone 7 to measure altitude more accurately. Because of the absence of the audio jack, there’s also more space for the Taptic engine to serve home button more efficiently.
The entire rundown confirms that Apple has gone to lengths to make the iPhone 7 waterproof (even the SIM tray has a rubber gasket). Display repairability is eased as the smartphone opens like a book now, exposing the screen’s innards first. iFixit also notes that damage to the phone is greatly reduced because of the water and dust proofing, but repairability also becomes a tad bit more difficult because of the ingress protection everywhere. In any case, the company gave the iPhone 7 a repairability score of 7 out of 10, just like the larger variant. Interestingly, the predecessor iPhone 6s also got the same score from iFixit last year.
Apple has begun the sale of the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus, and few users have reported their first experiences with the device. As user reviews pour in, statistics on the selling count is also surfacing online. While the number of units sold so far is not known, latest figures reveal that the iPhone 7 Plus is more in demand than the iPhone 7.
Slice Intelligence has posted data that claims that the selling ratio of the iPhone 7 Plus and iPhone 7 is at 55 percent to 45 percent . The larger variant outshines the smaller variant by a relatively large margin. This is also the first time the larger variant is more dominant in sales than the base variant, since its first introduction in 2014. The firm has published data of previous generation phones as well.
In 2014, when the larger variant was first introduced, the iPhone 6 outsold the iPhone 6 Plus by 65 percent to 35 percent. The very next year, the margin was reduced, but the iPhone 6s still remained dominant with 59 percent of sales, while the iPhone 6s Plus contributed to 41 percent of sales.
However this year, apparently because of the introduction of new camera hardware, the Plus variant is more in demand. The iPhone 7 Plus sports a dual camera setup for better photography. There are two 12-megapixel lenses – one wide-angle and one telephoto for more zoom. It also features optical image stabilisation.
This year, Apple has introduced new storage variants – 32GB, 128GB, and 256GB – and has removed the 3.5mm audio jack. The Home Button gets Force Touch, and is capacitive responding to pressure. Early users have reported a hissing sound in the iPhone 7 Plus when put the heavy usage, and many are blaming the powerful A10 Fusion chipset for the noise.
The frayed scrap of paper taped to the sidewalk outside Apple’s flagship store in San Francisco’s Union Square had a simple message: $5 for photographs.
The sight of Apple fans clamoring to get the latest phone was replaced Friday by people looking to make a few bucks from their lead spot in the line. For the first time, being first through Apple store doors around the world is no guarantee of securing the top-of-the-line new iPhone. A combination of limited supply and Apple’s push toward online pre-orders meant walk-in customers were unable to buy the larger iPhone 7 Plus version.
The result: smaller, less-enthusiastic lines. That’s a big change from the retail frenzy that has long been a ritual of the company’s marketing for a product that still accounts for at least 57 percent of revenue.
“My iPhone 5 died two days ago, the screen became detached,” said David Nelson, a 51-year-old attorney from Oakland, California, who waited toward the back of a line of several hundred people outside the San Francisco store Friday morning. “If my phone had survived, I wouldn’t be here.”
It was subdued outside the London Apple shop in Covent Garden. A well-organized line of a few hundred people cycled through, mainly consisting of people with receipts to pick up pre-ordered devices.
The line outside Apple’s Fifth Avenue store in New York was the smallest since the launch of the iPhone 3GS in 2009, according to Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster. His research team counted 400 customers lining up there Friday, down from a peak of 1,880 for the iPhone 6 debut in September 2014. Apple said earlier this week that all models of the 5.5-inch screen iPhone 7 Plus were sold out in advance, as were all other new handsets with the glossy jet black finish.
“Consumers continue to trend toward pre-ordering new devices to specifically avoid long launch day lines,” Munster wrote in a Friday note to investors. “Pre-orders and early inventory issues will continue to impact future launch day lines, thus would not be surprised to continue seeing smaller lines across the world on future launch days.”
This year, Apple extended its iPhone Upgrade program, in which customers pay a monthly fee in return for a new handset every year. This may help Apple stabilize iPhone sales in years without new blockbuster models, but it also reduces the need for people to gather for hours outside stores on launch day. After being introduced in the US a year ago, iPhone Upgrade was rolled out to the UK and China this year.
Several Apple retail employees in Europe said their stores had no stock for customers walking in without a pre-order reservation, despite Apple’s statement that there would be iPhone 7s available in all colors besides jet black. At European stores where stock for walk-ins was available, quantities were scarce and customers seeking a particular color and capacity configuration ended up with a model they didn’t want or left empty-handed, the employees said. Some big Apple stores in California received fewer than 100 units for walk-in customers, other employees said. They didn’t want to be identified sharing descriptions of early sales. Apple won’t disclose initial weekend sales numbers for the new models, breaking with the tradition of past years.
The lack of sizable crowds this year is a far cry from previous product launches. The first iPhone in 2007 introduced the world to customers camping outside stores to buy a new technology product. Greg Packer, a former government maintenance worker, started the line at Apple’s Fifth Avenue store five days before the original iPhone became available, while a group of organic farmers sat in line for more than a week before the iPhone 3G’s launch in 2008.
Lines at some malls were so long that security guards made crowds wait at nearby locations and escorted customers in small groups to the store to buy their phones. Apple employees provided waiting customers with bottled water, coffee and donuts.
The large crowds were not only made up of shoppers. Some people paid others to line up for them and re-selling new iPhones purchased early from stores became a thriving side business.
Piper Jaffray’s Munster said this year’s line outside the Fifth Avenue store had “little to no representation from overseas re-sellers.” Last year, these entrepreneurs accounted for about 20 percent of the line, he noted.
Still, smaller lines do not necessarily mean fewer sales, because online pre-ordering has picked up, the analyst said. “We remain comfortable with our thinking for slight growth in the iPhone 7 cycle compared to the iPhone 6 cycle,” he wrote.
Back in San Francisco on Friday, some customers were still waiting to get phones for other people. Matic Skok, a 23-year-old from Slovenia, was buying an iPhone 7 for his uncle back home.
“My uncle is addicted to his iPhone,” Skok said, adding that he didn’t plan to buy a new handset for himself. “I have a 5S but it’s too expensive for me to get a new one.”
Dual-camera setups for smartphones aren’t new, with HTC back in 2014 launching the One M8 with dual-camera setup at the rear. The dual-camera setup has been lately seen on a lot of smartphones including the LG G5, Huawei P9, and more recently the iPhone 7 Plus. In an attempt to tap the trend, chipmaker Qualcomm has introduced its new Clear Sight technology for dual-camera setups. The company says that the new Clear Sight technology is designed to “mimic the attributes of the human eye” which means the setup can mimic functions of binocular vision. The company is also detailing colour and low light technologies, likening them to the human eye’s cones and rods.
Qualcomm says the biggest advantages of the new Clear Sight tech are that it enables taking images with improved dynamic range, sharpness, and less noise in low light. The new dual-camera tech from Qualcomm is supported by the high-end Snapdragon 820 and 821 processors. Clear Sight can be expected to be seen on smartphones launched in 2017.
Detailing the new tech, Qualcomm says Clear Sight features integrated hardware module that contains two cameras – each comes with its own lens and image sensor. Both the cameras have different image sensors: one colour image sensor, and a separate black and white image sensor.
With Clear Sight, Qualcomm has removed the top layer’s colour filter which means it won’t be able to capture colour, but its ability to capture light is claimed to increase by 3 times.
“The human eye is a great analogy because your eyes contain cells called “cones” and “rods.” Cones are great at capturing colour, but require well-lit environments, while rods excel in capturing light in low-light conditions, but don’t capture as much colour. Clear Sight is designed to mimic cones and rods to give you the best of both worlds, producing an image that has optimal contrast and brightness,” notes Qualcomm.
Samsung’s troubles as it tries to recall millions of Galaxy Note 7 smartphones are continuing to stack up, and its advice for dealing with the phones just got a little more complicated.
The batteries in the smartphones have been known to explode and catch fire while charging. Now, Samsung is telling customers in South Korea to download a software patch to their phones, the Associated Press reports. The patch will keep the phone’s battery from charging to more than 60 percent capacity.
It’s not clear at the moment whether this patch will also be rolled out to US customers.
Samsung told The Washington Post in a statement Tuesday that any steps it takes in the United States must be approved by the Consumer Product Safety Commission. “Samsung is continuing to work with the CPSC and our carrier partners to develop and evaluate solutions that are best for US Note 7 owners,” a Samsung spokeswoman said in the statement. “No action will be taken without the approval of the CPSC. Customer safety remains our top priority.”
Samsung announced last week that it was working with the federal agency to formally issue a recall for the large-screen smartphone. Samsung previously started a voluntary replacement program in cooperation with major US carriers. That opened it up to criticism from consumer advocates, including writers at Consumer Reports, who said that a problem as serious as the one affecting the Note 7 should be handled formally by the government.
The release of a software patch seems to contradict the company’s initial advice, which was to stop using the phones and to turn them off. Samsung hasn’t offered details on how capping a Note 7’s battery charge at 60 percent may reduce the risk of fire or explosion – or explained its confusing instructions. But the company may be releasing this patch to reach those who continue to use their phones despite being told to stop.
Keeping your phone off is still the guiding direction, at least in the United States. The CPSC has said, in no uncertain terms, that the best course of action with Galaxy Note 7 units is “to power them down and stop charging or using the device.”
Without further information from Samsung about whether the phones are safer if charged only to 60 percent, consumers may still wish to be safe rather than sorry – and keep the phones off altogether.
Samsung’s latest Galaxy Note 7 is making headlines for all the wrong reasons which have led authorities of several countries including India to ban the use of the handset in flights. The South Korean consumer electronics giant has announced that the replacement stock for the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 will arrive country-wise starting this month and the first country to get the new stocks will be Australia, where it will be available beginning September 21.
Samsung in the meanwhile has revealed ways how you can check whether a Galaxy Note 7 is safe or not and it can be done through checking the label on the retail box. The company says that the new Note 7 packaging will sport a clear identification on the box which will have a small black square on the white barcode label along with a white sticker with a blue letter ‘S’.
This will allow customers to check their Note 7 units for safety labelling once the replacement units will be available. The new labelling will also curb third-party retailers from selling the old stocked Galaxy Note 7 units. However, what if you receive a Galaxy Note 7 without a retail box (for whatever reason). The South Korean company has you covered there as well, and will also soon let customers cross-check if their Galaxy Note 7 unit is safe by entering an IMEI number via an online database.
“All Galaxy Note7 devices have a unique IMEI number so we can identify and advise if an IMEI number belongs to a new replacement Galaxy Note7,” notes Samsung.
The company has announced that customers in Australia will be able to buy the new Galaxy Note 7 stocks from early October.
According to replacement process published by Samsung Australia, customers who are affected by the Galaxy Note 7 issues remain entitled to choose a new Galaxy Note 7 (where users will be provided with a courtesy device until the replacement Galaxy Note 7 stock arrives) or get complete refund. Customers can approach either Samsung or their retailer (or operator) for the entitlement. Those who elect a replacement Note 7 unit will be contacted by their original place of purchase (whether be Samsung or a third-party retailer) from September 21 (in Australia) to coordinate for the collection or delivery of the new Galaxy Note 7 unit.
“Until a replacement device is provided, Samsung reminds all customers who still have an affected Galaxy Note 7 smartphone to back up their data, complete a factory reset to delete personal data, power down their device and return it to its place of purchase to seek remedy of their choice,” Samsung stresses in a press statement.
One of the biggest ironies is that Samsung has not announced official recall for Note 7 units worldwide, which means some third-party retailers globally are still selling the phones – and aren’t legally bound to stop. The South Korean company recently however announced an exchange policy for all the Galaxy Note 7 customers.
Samsung’s latest Galaxy Note 7 is steadily becoming the biggest laughing stock globally as there are more cases reported on the exploding of the Galaxy Note 7 units while charging due to an alleged battery issue. In recent incidents, the explosions due to Galaxy Note 7 led to fire in a jeep and also reportedly put a house on fire. In another case, the explosion of a Galaxy Note 7 caused major damage to hotel room.
Apple has been sued by owners of iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus smartphones who say a design defect causes the phones’ touchscreens to become unresponsive, making them unusable.
According to a proposed nationwide class-action lawsuit filed on Saturday, Apple has long been aware of the defect, which often surfaces after a flickering gray bar appears atop the touchscreens, but has refused to fix it.
The plaintiffs linked the problem to Apple’s decision not to use a metal “shield” or “underfill” to protect the relevant parts, as it did on versions of the iPhone 5.
“The iPhones are not fit for the purpose of use as smartphones because of the touchscreen defect,” according to the complaint filed in federal court in San Jose, California.
Todd Cleary of California, Jun Bai of Delaware and Thomas Davidson of Pennsylvania are the named plaintiffs in the lawsuit, which accuses Apple of fraud and violating California consumer protection laws. They seek unspecified damages.
Apple did not immediately respond on Monday to a request for comment.
Problems with iPhone 6 touchscreens were described online last week by iFixit, which labeled the issue “Touch Disease”.
That company sells repair parts and has previously analyzed other Apple products.
Apple, based in Cupertino, California, sold 166.4 million iPhones, generating $108.5 billion (roughly Rs. 728,089 crores) of net sales, in the first nine months of its current fiscal year.
The case is Davidson et al v. Apple Inc, U.S. District Court, Northern District of California, No. 16-04942.