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The Tech Weekender: Smartphone shipments drop by 37mn, Nokia's first 5G phone and PS5 & Xbox Series X announcements

Here are the biggest developments from the world of tech from the week ending March 21.
Mar 21, 2020 / 09:02 PM IST
In February, the world’s biggest smartphone event, the Mobile World Congress, was cancelled due to the novel coronavirus outbreak. Now, a new report from research firm Strategy Analytics shows a sharp decline in the number of smartphones shipped in February 2020. The firm compared the total number of smartphones shipped last month with the numbers in February 2019. Global smartphone shipments in the previous month reached 61.8 million units, which represents a 38-percent drop YoY. In comparison, 99.2 million smartphones were shipped in February 2019. Neil Waston, Executive Director at Strategy Analytics, said; “February 2020 saw the biggest fall ever in the history of the worldwide smartphone market. Supply and demand of smartphones plunged in China, slumped across Asia, and slowed in the rest of the world. It is a period the smartphone industry will want to forget.”
In February, the world’s biggest smartphone event, the Mobile World Congress, was cancelled due to the novel coronavirus outbreak. Now, a new report from research firm Strategy Analytics shows a sharp decline in the number of smartphones shipped in February 2020. The firm compared the total number of smartphones shipped last month with the numbers in February 2019. Global smartphone shipments in the previous month reached 61.8 million units, which represents a 38-percent drop YoY. In comparison, 99.2 million smartphones were shipped in February 2019. Neil Waston, Executive Director at Strategy Analytics, said; “February 2020 saw the biggest fall ever in the history of the worldwide smartphone market. Supply and demand of smartphones plunged in China, slumped across Asia, and slowed in the rest of the world. It is a period the smartphone industry will want to forget.”
Nokia finally joined the 5G smartphone race with the Nokia 8.3 5G. HMD Global also claims that the Nokia 8.3 5G is the 'first truly global 5G smartphone'. The phone starts at €599 (Approx. Rs 47,950) and offers a premium mid-range experience. The 8.3 is powered by the Snapdragon 765G chipset with an integrated 5G modem. On the back, the Nokia 8.3 5G packs a 64-megapixel quad-camera setup. Nokia also claims that the Adaptive display support on the 8.3 5G adjusts contrast depending on the ambient lighting conditions.
Nokia finally joined the 5G smartphone race with the Nokia 8.3 5G. HMD Global also claims that the Nokia 8.3 5G is the 'first truly global 5G smartphone'. The phone starts at €599 (Approx. Rs 47,950) and offers a premium mid-range experience. The 8.3 is powered by the Snapdragon 765G chipset with an integrated 5G modem. On the back, the Nokia 8.3 5G packs a 64-megapixel quad-camera setup. Nokia also claims that the Adaptive display support on the 8.3 5G adjusts contrast depending on the ambient lighting conditions.
Apple launched a new MacBook with some new updates. The Cupertino-based tech giant refreshed the MacBook Air with the new Magic keyboard and 10th Gen Intel hardware. The new MacBook Air is equipped with a 13.3-inch Retina display but also supports the 6K Apple Pro Display XDR monitor. Apple claims, its latest MacBook Air offers up to 12 hours of battery life. The MacBook Air starts at $999 (Approx. Rs 75,400). Apple also announced a flagship iPad alongside the MacBook Air.
Apple launched a new MacBook with some new updates. The Cupertino-based tech giant refreshed the MacBook Air with the new Magic keyboard and 10th Gen Intel hardware. The new MacBook Air is equipped with a 13.3-inch Retina display but also supports the 6K Apple Pro Display XDR monitor. Apple claims, its latest MacBook Air offers up to 12 hours of battery life. The MacBook Air starts at $999 (Approx. Rs 75,400). Apple also announced a flagship iPad alongside the MacBook Air.
Apple also launched a new 11-inch and 12.9-inch iPad Pro. The new iPads sport 120Hz ProMotion displays with P3 wide colour support and 600 nits brightness. Apple has also added a new A12Z Bionic chipset on the iPad Pro with an eight-core CPU and a new eight-core GPU. The iPad also gets a primary and ultrawide camera on the back with a ToF depth sensor that works as a LiDAR scanner. Both primary and ultrawide cameras can do 4K video up to 60fps. Apple also launched a new Magic Keyboard accessory that can be attached to the iPad Pro. The iPad Pro starts from $799 (Approx. Rs 60,350), while the keyboard accessory is priced at $299 (Approx. Rs 22,600) for the 11-inch model and $349 (Approx. Rs 26,400) for the 12.9-inch model.
Apple also launched a new 11-inch and 12.9-inch iPad Pro. The new iPads sport 120Hz ProMotion displays with P3 wide colour support and 600 nits brightness. Apple has also added a new A12Z Bionic chipset on the iPad Pro with an eight-core CPU and a new eight-core GPU. The iPad also gets a primary and ultrawide camera on the back with a ToF depth sensor that works as a LiDAR scanner. Both primary and ultrawide cameras can do 4K video up to 60fps. Apple also launched a new Magic Keyboard accessory that can be attached to the iPad Pro. The iPad Pro starts from $799 (Approx. Rs 60,350), while the keyboard accessory is priced at $299 (Approx. Rs 22,600) for the 11-inch model and $349 (Approx. Rs 26,400) for the 12.9-inch model.
 Microsoft confirmed all the specs, design, features and controller for the next-gen Xbox. The Xbox Series X will be powered by a custom AMD CPU based on Zen 2 architecture clocked at 3.8 GHz, while a custom AMD RDNA 2 GPU with 12TFLOPs and 52 compute units. The Xbox Series X boasts a custom 1TB NVMe SSD and 16GB of DDR6 RAM. Microsoft is targeting 4K gaming at 60 fps by default when gaming on the Xbox Series X. However, the console will also support 8K gaming, 4K gaming up to 120fps and real-time ray tracing. Microsoft will also allow you to play games from all previous Xbox consoles on the Xbox Series X.
Microsoft confirmed all the specs, design, features and controller for the next-gen Xbox. The Xbox Series X will be powered by a custom AMD CPU based on Zen 2 architecture clocked at 3.8 GHz, while a custom AMD RDNA 2 GPU with 12TFLOPs and 52 compute units. The Xbox Series X boasts a custom 1TB NVMe SSD and 16GB of DDR6 RAM. Microsoft is targeting 4K gaming at 60 fps by default when gaming on the Xbox Series X. However, the console will also support 8K gaming, 4K gaming up to 120fps and real-time ray tracing. Microsoft will also allow you to play games from all previous Xbox consoles on the Xbox Series X.
Sony also confirmed several specifications about the PlayStation 5. Sony is using a custom eight-core AMD Zen 2 CPU, clocked at 3.5 GHz and AMD GPU based on RDNA 2 architecture that features 10.28 teraflops and 36 compute units clocked at 2.23GHz. The PS5 is equipped with 16GB of DDR6 RAM and a custom 825GB SSD, which promises super-fast load times. The PlayStation 5's SSD will be more than 50 times faster than the PlayStation 4. The PS5 will support 8K gaming, 4K gaming up to 120Hz and real-time ray tracing. Sony will also offer backward compatibility with PS4 games.
Sony also confirmed several specifications about the PlayStation 5. Sony is using a custom eight-core AMD Zen 2 CPU, clocked at 3.5 GHz and AMD GPU based on RDNA 2 architecture that features 10.28 teraflops and 36 compute units clocked at 2.23GHz. The PS5 is equipped with 16GB of DDR6 RAM and a custom 825GB SSD, which promises super-fast load times. The PlayStation 5's SSD will be more than 50 times faster than the PlayStation 4. The PS5 will support 8K gaming, 4K gaming up to 120Hz and real-time ray tracing. Sony will also offer backward compatibility with PS4 games.
A couple of days ago, Google decided to cancel its biggest annual developer conference amid concerns about the novel coronavirus outbreak. However, the search giant only cancelled the physical I/O event, scheduled to take place in California in May, with plans to host it online instead. Now, we have confirmation that there won't be an online version of Google I/O 2020. Instead, the company will share updates, developments and new products and services through its blogs and community forums. Since the announcement to cancel the physical event, the COVID-19 epidemic turned into a global pandemic. Google said in a statement on the I/O website that it is concerned for the health and safety of its developer, employees and the local communities. Additionally, there is a "shelter in place" order by the California, Bay Area counties.
A couple of days ago, Google decided to cancel its biggest annual developer conference amid concerns about the novel coronavirus outbreak. However, the search giant only cancelled the physical I/O event, scheduled to take place in California in May, with plans to host it online instead. Now, we have confirmation that there won't be an online version of Google I/O 2020. Instead, the company will share updates, developments and new products and services through its blogs and community forums. Since the announcement to cancel the physical event, the COVID-19 epidemic turned into a global pandemic. Google said in a statement on the I/O website that it is concerned for the health and safety of its developer, employees and the local communities. Additionally, there is a "shelter in place" order by the California, Bay Area counties.
Samsung unveiled two smartphones this week in its pocket-friend Galaxy A and M series. The Galaxy M21 and Galaxy A41 were recently unveiled in India and Japan, respectively. Both the phones feature Super AMOLED displays and 48-megapixel triple-camera setups, but that's where the differences end. The Galaxy A41 was announced with an unnamed processor, while it also has a smaller battery, a different design and will arrive in June. The Galaxy M21, which launched in India, has a massive 6,000 mAh battery, Exynos 9611 chipset and a rear-mounted fingerprint reader. The Galaxy M21 starts from Rs 12,999 and will go on sale on March 23.
Samsung unveiled two smartphones this week in its pocket-friend Galaxy A and M series. The Galaxy M21 and Galaxy A41 were recently unveiled in India and Japan, respectively. Both the phones feature Super AMOLED displays and 48-megapixel triple-camera setups, but that's where the differences end. The Galaxy A41 was announced with an unnamed processor, while it also has a smaller battery, a different design and will arrive in June. The Galaxy M21, which launched in India, has a massive 6,000 mAh battery, Exynos 9611 chipset and a rear-mounted fingerprint reader. The Galaxy M21 starts from Rs 12,999 and will go on sale on March 23.
Moneycontrol News
first published: Mar 21, 2020 09:02 pm

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