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The Tech Weekender: Top news from the world of technology this week

Apple vs Epic, Xiaomi vs Lithuania, Huawei vs the US, and more.

September 26, 2021 / 12:49 PM IST
Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney took to twitter to share a correspondence with Apple stating that the Cupertino-based tech giant will not reinstate Epic's developer account till all court appeals were finished. After a mixed decision by the federal judge in the ongoing Epic vs Apple trial, the Fortnite maker has vowed to continue the battle. The judge ruled in favour of Apple in nine out of the ten counts. The ruling did not find that Apple had a monopoly and did not agree with Epic that the iPhone maker had to support alternative payment systems on the App store. Apple called Epic's past actions "duplicitous" and said that it would not consider any requests to do so until the district court's judgement becomes "final and non-appealable."
Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney took to Twitter to share correspondence with Apple stating that the Cupertino-based tech giant will not reinstate Epic's developer account till all court appeals were finished. After a mixed decision by the federal judge in the ongoing Epic vs Apple trial, the Fortnite maker has vowed to continue the battle. The judge ruled in favour of Apple in nine out of the ten counts. The ruling did not find that Apple had a monopoly and did not agree with Epic that the iPhone maker had to support alternative payment systems on the App store. Apple called Epic's past actions "duplicitous" and said that it would not consider any requests to do so until the district court's judgment becomes "final and non-appealable."
Lithuania’s Defense Ministry recommended that consumers avoid buying Chinese mobile phones and advised people to throw away the ones they have now after a government report found the devices had built-in censorship capabilities. Flagship phones sold in Europe by China’s smartphone giant Xiaomi Corp have a built-in ability to detect and censor terms such as "Free Tibet", "Long live Taiwan independence" or "democracy movement", Lithuania’s state-run cybersecurity body said on September 21. However, a spokesperson for Xiaomi refuted the claim saying that its devices “do not censor communications to or from its users.”
Lithuania’s Defense Ministry recommended that consumers avoid buying Chinese mobile phones and advised people to throw away the ones they have now after a government report found the devices had built-in censorship capabilities. Flagship phones sold in Europe by China’s smartphone giant Xiaomi Corp have a built-in ability to detect and censor terms such as "Free Tibet", "Long live Taiwan independence" or "democracy movement", Lithuania’s state-run cybersecurity body said on September 21. However, a spokesperson for Xiaomi refuted the claim saying that its devices “do not censor communications to or from its users.”
Microsoft’s recent Surface event saw the launch of new first party hardware that is designed to run on Windows 11, which is just few weeks away from making its debut. Among the new devices revealed were the Surface Pro 8, Surface Pro X, Surface Go 3, Surface Duo 2, and Surface Laptop Studio. For more info on the new Surface devices, head on over to the link.
Microsoft’s recent Surface event saw the launch of new first-party hardware that is designed to run on Windows 11, which is just a few weeks away from making its debut. Among the new devices revealed were the Surface Pro 8, Surface Pro X, Surface Go 3, Surface Duo 2, and Surface Laptop Studio. For more info on the new Surface devices, head on over to the link.
The European Union is set to a impose a universal charger for smartphones, setting up a clash with Apple and its widely used iPhone connector cable. The European Commission believes a standard cable for all devices will cut back on electronic waste, but Apple says a one-size fits all charger will stop innovation and create more pollution. EU executive vice president Margrethe Vestager said in a statement; "European consumers have been frustrated long enough about incompatible chargers piling up in their drawers. We gave industry plenty of time to come up with their own solutions, now time is ripe for legislative action for a common charger."
The European Union is set to impose a universal charger for smartphones, setting up a clash with Apple and its widely used iPhone connector cable. The European Commission believes a standard cable for all devices will cut back on electronic waste, but Apple says a one-size-fits-all charger will stop innovation and create more pollution. EU executive vice president Margrethe Vestager said in a statement; "European consumers have been frustrated long enough about incompatible chargers piling up in their drawers. We gave industry plenty of time to come up with their own solutions, now time is ripe for legislative action for a common charger."
Some of the biggest tech and automotive companies recently attended a virtual meeting at the White House to discuss the global chip shortage. Representatives from companies including Apple, Microsoft, Samsung Electronics, GM, Ford, BMW, TSMC, Micron, and Stellantis, among others are said to present at the meeting. A shortage of semiconductor chips has forced automakers to cut production after a decrease in demand for cars early in the coronavirus pandemic led many chipmakers to shift production to computers and tablets, whose demand soared amidst the surge in remote working and learning. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo said, "It's time to get more aggressive. The situation is not getting better, in some ways it is getting worse." Raimondo pressed automakers, chip makers, and other companies in a bid for more information about the ongoing semiconductor crisis.
Some of the biggest tech and automotive companies recently attended a virtual meeting at the White House to discuss the global chip shortage. Representatives from companies including Apple, Microsoft, Samsung Electronics, GM, Ford, BMW, TSMC, Micron, and Stellantis, among others are said to present at the meeting. A shortage of semiconductor chips has forced automakers to cut production after a decrease in demand for cars early in the coronavirus pandemic led many chipmakers to shift production to computers and tablets, whose demand soared amidst the surge in remote working and learning. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo said, "It's time to get more aggressive. The situation is not getting better, in some ways it is getting worse." Raimondo pressed automakers, chip makers, and other companies in a bid for more information about the ongoing semiconductor crisis.
Nintendo recently held a virtual Direct event where it made quite a few big announcements, including several new games as well as a movie. Castlevania Advance Collection, Actraiser Renaissance, Bayonetta 3, Splatoon 3, and Kirby and The Forgotten Land. Nintendo also announced that it would be working with Illumination (Despicable Me) to produce an animated Mario movie which will be released on Dec 21 in North America. The company also revealed a Nintendo Switch Online Expansion Pass.
Nintendo recently held a virtual Direct event where it made quite a few big announcements, including several new games as well as a movie. Castlevania Advance Collection, Actraiser Renaissance, Bayonetta 3, Splatoon 3, and Kirby and The Forgotten Land. Nintendo also announced that it would be working with Illumination (Despicable Me) to produce an animated Mario movie which will be released on Dec 21 in North America. The company also revealed a Nintendo Switch Online Expansion Pass.
Apple recently released iOS 15, iPadOS 15, watchOS 8 and tvOS 15 for its respective devices. However, a release date for macOS 12 Monterey is yet to be announced. If you missed the update notifications on your device or it doesn't show up for some reason, you can manually check for updates by navigating to Settings, then tapping on General and selecting Software Update. For a list of compatible devices to receive the following updates, head on over to the link.
Apple recently released iOS 15, iPadOS 15, watchOS 8, and tvOS 15 for its respective devices. However, a release date for macOS 12 Monterey is yet to be announced. If you missed the update notifications on your device or it doesn't show up for some reason, you can manually check for updates by navigating to Settings, then tapping on General, and selecting Software Update. For a list of compatible devices to receive the following updates, head on over to the link.
Apple’s latest iPhone 13 series recently went on sale in India and other parts across the globe. In India, you can buy iPhone 13 models from Flipkart, Amazon, Apple's website, Vijay Sales, Reliance Digital, and other Apple authorised retailers. The iPhone 13 mini features a starting price of Rs 69,900, while the iPhone 13 is available for as low as Rs 79,900. The iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max feature a starting price of Rs 99,900 and Rs 1,29,900, respectively.
Apple’s latest iPhone 13 series recently went on sale in India and other parts across the globe. In India, you can buy iPhone 13 models from Flipkart, Amazon, Apple's website, Vijay Sales, Reliance Digital, and other Apple authorised retailers. The iPhone 13 mini features a starting price of Rs 69,900, while the iPhone 13 is available for as low as Rs 79,900. The iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max feature a starting price of Rs 99,900 and Rs 1,29,900, respectively.
Google introduced two new tools for Android to make it more accessible for everyone. The tools make it easier to control the phone and communicate using facial gestures – Camera Switches and Project Activate. Both of these tools use your phone’s front-facing camera and machine learning technology to detect face and eye gestures. The tools will enable users can scan their phone screen and select a task by smiling, raising eyebrows, opening their mouth, or looking to the left, right or up. The new tools are aimed at helping people with severe motor and speech disabilities use their devices.
Google introduced two new tools for Android to make it more accessible for everyone. The tools make it easier to control the phone and communicate using facial gestures – Camera Switches and Project Activate. Both of these tools use your phone’s front-facing camera and machine learning technology to detect face and eye gestures. The tools will enable users can scan their phone screen and select a task by smiling, raising eyebrows, opening their mouth, or looking to the left, right, or up. The new tools are aimed at helping people with severe motor and speech disabilities use their devices.
As Huawei’s smartphone business continues to tank globally as the company continues to grapple with US restrictions on its supply chain. Rotating chairman Eric Xu said that revenue form Huawei’s smartphone business is set to drop by at least $30 billion to $40 billion this year. Xu noted that despite the firm getting used to sanctions from the US, imposed since 2019, its new 5G business areas are unable to offset the losses from the smartphone business. Xu said his "biggest hope" for the company is that it will still exist in five to ten years.
Huawei’s smartphone business continues to tank globally as the company continues to grapple with US restrictions on its supply chain. Rotating chairman Eric Xu said that revenue from Huawei’s smartphone business is set to drop by at least $30 billion to $40 billion this year. Xu noted that despite the firm getting used to sanctions from the US, imposed since 2019, its new 5G business areas are unable to offset the losses from the smartphone business. Xu said his "biggest hope" for the company is that it will still exist in five to ten years.
Realme recently announced that it would be bringing Realme UI 3.0, the latest version of its Android skin, to devices starting next month. The announcement was made during Realme’s GT Neo 2 launch event. Additionally, Realme also announced that it ranks among the top six smartphone brands globally with a 135 percent year-on-year growth. According to Counterpoint Research data, Realme is now the sixth largest smartphone brand in the world. In Q3 2018, one quarter after it was founded, Realme ranked 47th largest brand globally. In India, Realme also announced the Narzo 50 series as well as the Realme Band 2 and a new smart TV.
Realme recently announced that it would be bringing Realme UI 3.0, the latest version of its Android skin, to devices starting next month. The announcement was made during Realme’s GT Neo 2 launch event. Additionally, Realme also announced that it ranks among the top six smartphone brands globally with a 135 percent year-on-year growth. According to Counterpoint Research data, Realme is now the sixth-largest smartphone brand in the world. In Q3 2018, one quarter after it was founded, Realme ranked 47th largest brand globally. In India, Realme also announced the Narzo 50 series as well as the Realme Band 2 and a new smart TV.
Carlsen Martin
first published: Sep 25, 2021 05:26 pm

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