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After transitioning its curved screen from an experiment to a standard feature at the top end, Samsung is reportedly working on foldable phones. Two foldable phones are said to be in the works at Samsung, with one model scheduled for launch in 2017.

Samsung Electronics is working on a ‘dual-screen’ smartphone that has flat screens on both side as well as a phone with single flexible OLED display, as per a report by Etnews. The company has been tipped to produce a small amount of dual-screen smartphones in 2017 in order to gain user response from the market.

The dual-screen smartphone features two flat displays on each side and even though the panel doesn’t bend itself, there is a hinge between the two displays that allows for the smartphone to have a foldable design. Once completely folded, the displays will be inside, and no longer visible. On the other hand, the other foldable smartphone, which is expected to come after the dual-screen phone, is tipped to sport a panel that itself bends, and will result in a device with a display on both front and back when completely folded. As it will feature a truly foldable display, the phone will understandably require a much advanced hardware.

Notably, Samsung has already given us a glimpse of its ‘in-foldable’ smartphone that sports a foldable display panel inside the smartphone. Quoting an expert from the industry, the report said, “In-foldable Smartphone is seen as a first type of a foldable Smartphone. Out-foldable Smartphone is the next step of in-foldable Smartphone.”

In the out-foldable smartphones, the panels work even at the point where it is bent, Etnews points out. Interestingly, Lenovo showcased its own flexible displays at its Tech World 2016 event earlier this year in June.

Samsung has earlier been tipped to unveil two smartphones with bendable displays at MWC 2017. Some reports have further suggested that the company’s timeline for the launch of its foldable smartphone was impacted by the global recall of its Galaxy Note 7 smartphone.

 
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Apple has been rumoured to introduce OLED panels to mark its ten-year anniversary for quite a while now. The company has also been reported to face supply issues, refraining it from introducing the battery efficient panel across all variants. It is expected to launch three devices, out of which, one premium variant only will sport OLED panels, while the others will stick to LCDs for now. A fresh report also reiterates this claim, and sheds light on the future of display makers because of this strategic shift to OLED by Apple.

According to a report by the Wall Street Journal, Apple will introduce three variants next year. The first two will be successors of the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus with upgrades in hardware and software – and will be called iPhone 7s and iPhone 7s Plus. These will continue to sport LCD panels, at least for next year. There will be a third premium variant which will adopt OLED panels and feature significant changes marking the ten year anniversary. It is only in 2018 that all iPhone models will offer OLED displays, the report adds.

This third variant is expected to sport an edge-to-edge OLED display with curved edges. It is said to get rid of the Home Button altogether and embed the fingerprint sensor and the Home Button underneath the display. All of this is mere speculations and early rumours, so we recommend you to take it lightly.

In any case, Samsung is reportedly the only major supplier for these small screen OLEDs making it difficult for Apple to shift to OLED on all variants. But LG Display, Sharp, and Japan Display have all ramped up efforts to scale up their OLED production and should be ready to produce in mass quantities by 2018. This means that Apple could eventually bring OLED in all variants, but for next year, only one variant will get it.

For those latecomers coming in 2018, the investment of billions into OLED effort may never bear fruit as the sudden influx of supply may bring the price down cutting down profit margins. The report states that LG could see negative financial numbers for the next two years, and even in the future their gain to make up for the losses is not certain.

[“source-ndtv”]


Apple Inc officials on Tuesday met Commerce Ministry top brass amid its plans to open stores in India without initially having to source components locally.

According to sources, the meeting chaired by Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) Secretary Ramesh Abhishek lasted for almost an hour with senior officials from Apple discussing details of the new Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) rules in single-brand retail and the company’s retail expansion plans.

Apple officials are believed to have sought clarity on the changes in mandatory domestic sourcing norms for single brand retail brought in earlier this year. However, no official word on the meeting was received from either side.

In June this year, government had relaxed FDI norms by giving a three-year exemption from local sourcing to foreign players in single-brand retail and a five-year relaxation for ‘state-of-the-art’ and ‘cutting-edge’ technology.

India is one of the fastest growing markets for the Cupertino-based company. In the first three quarters of this fiscal year, Apple’s iPhone sales in India were up 51 percent year-on-year.

In May this year, Apple’s CEO Tim Cook had visited India and met Prime Minister Narendra Modi as well as key industry leaders like Sunil Bharti Mittal and veteran banker Chanda Kocchar.

Apple had also announced setting up of a design and development accelerator to support Indian developers creating innovative applications for iOS and opened a new office in Hyderabad to accelerate maps development.

Cook during his May visit, had discussed issues including manufacturing and setting up retail stores in the country with Modi.

The FDI rules for single brand retail call for mandatory sourcing of at least 30 percent inputs from domestic companies.

 
[“source-ndtv”]


It was reported earlier that Google’s final build of the Android 7.1.1 Nougat would start rolling out to Pixel, Nexus, and Android One devices on December 6. However, it seems that the rollout has begun a few days earlier with reports suggesting that General Mobile 4G (Android One) users have already started receiving the update.

AndroGuider was the first to report that the stable update of the Android 7.1 .1 Nougat has arrived for General Mobile 4G users. The report was backed by a screenshot sent by a General Mobile 4G user in Turkey.

According to the screenshot, the new update is 240.6MB in size and brings improvements to security and stability and bug fixes. The new update also consists of the December security patch, which is yet to be listed on Google’s Android Security Bulletin.

Vodafone Australia had earlier mentioned the December 6 rollout of the Android 7.1.1 update in a dedicated webpage. The rollout listed was for the Nexus 6P and mentioned that the OTA update is about 650MB in size, though Google never announced the exact date officially.

However, seeing as how the new update has begun rolling out in Turkey, you can expect Google to make an official announcement for both the Android 7.1.1 update and the December security patch soon enough.

This also means that Nexus and Pixel devices should also receive the new update (build NMF26F) in the coming days. Users of Nexus 6, Nexus 5X, Nexus 6P, Nexus Player, Nexus 9, Pixel C, General Mobile 4G (Android One), Google Pixel and Google Pixel XL should expect the update any day now.

[“source-ndtv”]

InvenSense Inc, a US semiconductor company that makes motion sensors for Apple and Samsung, is exploring strategic alternatives, including a possible sale, people familiar with the matter said on Friday.

InvenSense shares jumped as much as 13 percent on the news, and were trading up 61 cents at $7.48 by late afternoon, giving the company a market capitalisation of nearly $700 million.

If it succeeds in selling itself, InvenSense would be the latest company to be swept up by a wave of consolidation in the industry, as makers of chips for smartphones face intense price competition and seek scale.

Smartphone chip maker Qualcomm agreed to buy NXP Semiconductors NV for about $38 billion this week, in the biggest-ever deal in the semiconductor industry.

InvenSense, which designs gyroscopes to help smartphones calculate motion, is working with an investment bank to explore its options, the people said. Chinese and Japanese companies are among interested suitors, they added.There is no certainty that the sale process will result in any deal, the people cautioned.

The sources asked not to be identified because the deliberations are confidential. InvenSense could not be reached for comment.

Northland Capital Markets analyst Tom Sepenzis said in a research note last month that the growth of virtual reality, especially in China, could help InvenSense’s prospects.

“InvenSense is certainly well positioned as there are no Chinese companies offering gyroscopes,” Sepenzis said.

InvenSense, which competes with STMicroelectronics NV and Bosch Sensortech, got a boost in August when Pacific Crest Securities upgraded the rating on its stock, arguing the gyroscopes are essential to mobile phones for augmented reality games such as Pokemon Go.

InvenSense’s chief executive Behrooz Abdi talked up the Pokemon Go opportunity on the company’s last earnings call in July, and said more consumers playing games that involve moving around with their phones would boost demand for its gyroscope products.

 
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Investigators believe the latest incidents of Samsung smartphones overheating, which prompted it to abandon its Galaxy Note 7 model, may be the result of a flaw different from the one that caused the device’s original recall last month.

Preliminary examination of the evidence from recent battery incidents suggests there is an issue with the batteries made by China’s Amperex Technology Ltd., which were supposed to be a safe alternative to those supplied by another company that led to scores of incidents in which phones burned and melted, according to a person familiar with discussions between government agencies and the company.

The issue may have crept into the supply line after Samsung began replacing Galaxy Note 7 phones that were equipped with batteries made by Samsung SDI, said the person, who wasn’t authorized to speak publicly about the issue. The SDI batteries were slightly too large for the phone, according to a US consumer-safety agency. Samsung is a major shareholder in Samsung SDI.

The apparent new fault helps explain why Samsung would abruptly pull the plug on what was supposed to be its premier phone designed to compete against Apple’s iPhone 7. Amperex, a unit of Japan’s TDK Corp., didn’t respond to requests for comment on Tuesday. Samsung declined to comment.

TDK shares fell as much as 4.5 percent in Tokyo trading. Samsung SDI rose as much as 3.5 percent in Seoul.

Before the September 15 recall, there had been 92 reports of Galaxy Note 7 batteries overheating in the US, with 26 cases causing burns. Samsung and agencies investigating the latest failures haven’t released details about what they believe is causing the incidents.

Samsung is leaving at least some of its most valuable wireless carrier partners in the dark about the root causes of the battery issues, according to one carrier executive who asked not to be named. Samsung is asking some of its partners to share testing data, but the South Korea-based phone maker has not reciprocated with its own data, leaving carriers to deal with replacing phones and not providing customers with explanations of the problem, the executive said.

Reversed course
Samsung moved to recall its phones last month, offering replacements that it assured consumers were safe. Samsung reversed course this week after several of the replacement phones caught fire, shutting down production and asking retailers to stop selling all of the Galaxy Note 7s.

The move sent Samsung shares down 8 percent on Tuesday, vaporizing $17 billion in market value. Samsung’s sterling brand image built up over decades is at risk unless the management team led by Vice Chairman Jay Y. Lee, 48, doesn’t get out in front of the crisis soon.

The company has not said how many new or replacement phones will be affected by the latest announcement. Analysts estimated the original recall would cost between $1 billion and $2 billion, but that figure will likely rise. Chung Chang Won, an analyst at Nomura Holdings Inc., estimated in a research note before the company’s announcement the worst-case scenario of Samsung terminating the Galaxy Note 7 would cost the company about $5 billion in operating profit through 2017.

The incidents in the US are under investigation by the Consumer Product Safety Commission, which Monday issued a statement warning all owners of Galaxy Note 7s to power them off and stop using them.

When the agency announced an agreement with Samsung to begin a government-sanctioned recall on September 15, Chairman Elliot Kaye said batteries made by Samsung SDI had been built slightly too large for the compartment in the phone. Installing them had crimped the corner of the batteries, causing them to short circuit and overheat, Kaye said.

[“source-ndtv”]

A replacement model of the fire-prone Samsung Galaxy Note 7 smartphone began smoking inside a US plane on Wednesday, the family that owns it said, prompting fresh investigations by the Consumer Product Safety Commission and the Federal Aviation Administration.

A problem with the replacement for the Galaxy Note 7 model would create a new, embarrassing and potentially costly chapter to a global scandal which has hurt Samsung’s reputation. It also could add new dangers for consumers.

Indiana passenger Brian Green’s phone began emitting smoke inside a Southwest Airlines Co flight to Baltimore from Louisville, Kentucky, his wife Sarah told Reuters after speaking with her husband. She said that Green had replaced the original phone about two weeks ago after getting a text message from Samsung.

Samsung said in a statement it was working to recover the device and to understand the cause. “Until we are able to retrieve the device, we cannot confirm that this incident involves the new Galaxy Note 7,” the South Korean company said.

The world’s largest smartphone maker announced a global recall of at least 2.5 million of its flagship Galaxy Note 7 smartphones in 10 markets last month due to faulty batteries causing some phones to catch fire.

The US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is in touch with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Samsung and the phone’s owner to gather facts, Chairman Elliot Kaye said in a statement, reminding consumers that they could get refunds for the troubled model.

The FAA said in a statement that it had confirmed a Samsung phone caused the smoke on the Southwest flight and that it was investigating the incident.

Technology news site The Verge, which earlier reported the incident, quoted Brian Green as saying the phone was a replacement, and it posted a picture taken by him of the packaging. The picture showed an identifying label with a black box, which Samsung has described as the indicator of a replacement phone. A spokeswoman declined to comment on the picture.

Samsung customers in China have reported problems with phones that have the same battery as the global replacement model, but Samsung has said it examined the Chinese phones and found the batteries were not at fault.

Green picked up the new phone at an AT&T Inc store on Sept. 21, the Verge said.

Southwest said the plane was evacuated after a customer reported smoke from a Samsung device. All passengers and crew exited the plane and no injuries were reported, a Southwest Airlines spokesperson said.

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Apple is in negotiations with Sharp to secure organic LED displays for the iPhone maker’s next-generation of devices, a person familiar with the matter said.

Any Oled supply agreement would depend on the Osaka-based company’s output capacity, said the person, who asked not to be identified because talks aren’t public. The discussions stem from Apple’s desire to increase the number of suppliers for Oled screens, according to the person.

Earlier Friday, Sharp announced it will invest JPY 57.4 billion ($566 million or roughly Rs. 3,780 crores) for the development of Oled production facilities, with the goal of starting output by June 2018. The funds will be used for equipment in Sharp’s factories in Mie and Osaka, and to deliver sample products to customers, the company said in a statement.

“Apple has unofficially or as a nod encouraged Sharp to go into it,” said Amir Anvarzadeh, Singapore-based head of Japanese equity sales at BGC Partners Inc., in a phone interview. “Apple’s general strategy is to increase the competition on the supply side, and dilute the risk exposure to one company.”

Sharp spokesman Toyodo Uemura declined to comment on specific customers. An Apple spokesperson in Japan didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

Sharp’s capital investment in Oled is part of JPY 200 billion (roughly Rs. 13,175 crores) that the manufacturer had already committed to Oled technology, part of a strategic plan it adopted with new owner Foxconn Technology Group. Next-generation screens based on Oled, or organic light-emitting diode, technology promise more vivid images and less battery drain. Friday’s announced investment will be for smartphone displays, a representative of Sharp said without identifying specific customers.

“This investment is in response to what Apple is doing,” said Hideki Yasuda, an analyst at Ace Research Institute in Tokyo. “Production isn’t likely to begin until the second half of 2018, so the impact to profit won’t be until after that.”

Sharp shares rose as much as 2.2 percent after the announcement, but closed unchanged Friday in Tokyo. The stock has climbed 8 percent this year, compared with the broader market’s 15 percent decline. Apple accounts for about 27 percent of Sharp’s revenue, according to Bloomberg’s supply chain analysis.

Earlier this year, the Japanese company agreed to accept a rescue package from Foxconn Technology Group, ending a takeover battle that spanned four years. Last month, the company said its liabilities no longer exceed assets after receiving a JPY 289 billion infusion.

[“source-gadgets.ndtv”]

It seems like winters are coming early for iPhone 7 and 7 Plus users, as user report claim that the Home Button on the smartphones doesn’t work without direct touch of a finger. Apple introduced a non-clickable new home button with iPhone 7, which uses Force Touch technology just like its latest laptops. Now, some users are claiming that the home button doesn’t work even with most gloves, including touchscreen-friendly ones.

The issue was first highlighted by Twitter user Myke Hurley, who pointed out that the Home Button on iPhone 7 is not able to recognise touch if there is any material, like a T-shirt, between finger and the button. However, the reports following this initial complaint have been divided.

On one hand, a report from MacRumors claims that the Home Button was not responsive to even touchscreen-friendly gloves in their test. “We tested with a pair of gloves that are designed for touch screens and while we could unlock the iPhone 6s Plus with the gloves and use the touchscreen, that wasn’t possible with the iPhone 7 Plus — the Home Button wouldn’t activate,” MacRumors said in its report.

While on the other hand, iMore has showcased the Home Button working with capacitive gloves on. In its report, it says, “Touch ID won’t work with capacitive gloves, because they cover your fingerprint, but you can still to bring up Passcode, then tap it in.”

Hurley, in a subsequent tweet, has said that the home button doesn’t seem to be working due to the Touch ID ring present on it.

With the introduction of ‘Raise to Wake’ feature, which allows you to wake the screen up just by picking up the device, with iOS 10, it is arguable how much annoyance this issue will create when winters actually arrive.

For now, we will have to wait and see if Apple will choose to respond to the issue.

At the iPhone 7 launch event, Apple said the new AirPods had been specially designed for the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus, and come with a brand new W1 wireless chip, leading many to believe that the wireless earphones only work with the new iPhone models.

Apple also used the term “Bluetooth-like” technology, once again confusing matters about what connectivity standard the AirPods used. Things started becoming clearer soon after however, with the product’s listing page detailing the use of Bluetooth (version not specified), as well as compatibility with other iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch models.

Specifically, the AirPods are compatible with iPhone 5 and newer devices, iPad mini 2 and new devices, iPad Air and newer devices, and the iPod touch 6th generation. By the omission of older models, this very plainly indicates that the AirPods work with devices running iOS 10. Apple also includes Apple Watch models in the list of compatible devices.
Providing some clarity in an interview with BuzzFeed however, Apple executives went on to detail that apart from iOS 10 devices, AirPods work with watchOS 3 and macOS Sierra devices. They also clarified that while the AirPods use Bluetooth, Apple has used “secret sauce” to make the pairing seamless via the W1 wireless chip, and provide features like tap to change songs. The publication goes on to note the devices work with non-Apple devices, but, do not get the “secret sauce” features.

So, now that we know the AirPods use Bluetooth to connect and stream audio; they are fully compatible work with Apple devices running the latest operating systems, and, that they work with non-Apple devices, only one question remains – how do you pair them with non-Apple devices?

Thankfully, Daring Fireball’s John Gruber and TechCrunch’s Matthew Panzarino have weighed in, revealing that the AirPods carrying + charging case in fact features a small button on the rear panel. This button resets all active connections, and presumably leaves the AirPods open to pairing with other Bluetooth devices. To explain just how exactly this works, we will have to wait for October when the new AirPods go on sale.

[“source-gadgets.ndtv”]