10-20 #Wallet : Apple will likely launch an iPad with a foldable display in 2024; Nokia has announced that it has won a multi-year deal with Reliance Jio; Samsung Electronics has announced an expanded partnership with Google; etc.

According to Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Forum, roughly 5.3B mobile / smartphones will drop out of use in 2022. Stacked flat atop one another at an average depth of 9mm that many disused phones would rise roughly 50,000 km – 120 times higher than the International Space Station; one-eighth of the way to the moon. And, despite their valuable gold, copper, silver, palladium and other recyclable components, experts expect a majority will disappear into drawers, closets, cupboards or garages, or be tossed into waste bins bound for landfills or incineration.   (Digital Trends, WEEE Forum)

realme has launched a new after-sales service and support subscription scheme called the Realme Care+. The new service will extend 1 year of warranty and add a damage protection service. It can be availed by existing and new customers from both online and offline channels for INR489. The new ‘care’ plan gives two-way protection to a user in the form of an extended warranty as well as damage protection. Realme Care+ will have access via multiple forms of communication including social media, email, voice, WhatsApp and webchat services.(Gizmo China, 91Mobiles)

Google has introduced a refreshed Family Link app with three tabs for highlights, controls and location along with a central hub for notifications. The company also launched a web version of Family Link for both parents and children. The company first introduced Family Link in 2017 to allow parents to monitor and set limits on children’s screen time and app usage. It also allows guardians to lock children’s Android and Chromebook devices at a set “bedtime”. Google updated the parental control platform with pandemic-related features like the “always allowed” app for learning in 2021.(Digital Trends, TechCrunch, Google)

Apple is introducing “Ask Apple”, a new series of interactive Q&As and one-on-one consultations that will provide developers with even more opportunities to connect directly with Apple experts for insight, support, and feedback. Ask Apple is free of charge and registration is open to all members of the Apple Developer Program and the Apple Developer Enterprise Program.(Apple Insider, Apple)

Netflix VP of Gaming Mike Verdu has revealed that Netflix is “seriously exploring a cloud gaming offering.” The company will also open a new gaming studio in Southern California. Google’s Stadia and Amazon’s Luna have made the same play, attempting to peddle video games that people can play even if they do not have an expensive gaming computer or coveted console. But these services have struggled to attain mainstream user adoption. Verdu thinks these products struggled due to their business models, not the technology itself.(TechCrunch, Neowin, Protocol)

Samsung is reportedly developing a smart ring that can track wearer’s activities and health. Samsung has applied for a smart ring patent with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. According to the patent, the company will outfit the ring with an optical blood flow measurement sensor as well as an electrocardiogram for measuring heart rate and blood pressure. It will also presumably be capable of controlling other devices such as laptops, smartphones, and televisions, which could set it apart from the competition. (Android Central, Naver, SamMobile)

Walmart-owned Flipkart has launched a metaverse-based shopping platform. Flipkart has partnered with eDAO, a Polygon-incubated firm, to launch the metaverse offering, which it is calling Flipverse. The platform will allow users to discover and shop products in an interactive way. At present, the service will be available for 15 brands including apparel brand Puma, cosmetics and personal care brand Nivea, and homegrown electronics brand Noise. (TechCrunch, Live Mint, Indian Express)

Samsung Electronics has announced an expanded partnership with Google to take smart home interoperability to the next level. In the coming months, Samsung Galaxy phone and tablet users will be able to easily onboard Matter-compatible devices to both the SmartThings and Google Home ecosystems. Samsung will update its SmartThings app in the coming months so that users can onboard Matter-enabled devices even if they are set up in Google’s ecosystem and vice versa.(Android Authority, TechCrunch, Samsung, The Verge)

BMW plans to invest USD1.7B to build at least six EV models in the U.S. by the end of the decade. The investment includes USD1B toward BMW’s factory in Spartanburg, South Carolina and USD700M to fund a new battery cell plant nearby. The factory, which builds BMW’s portfolio of X utility vehicles as well as lithium-ion battery modules for two plug-in hybrid electric models, will be “a major driver” for BMW’s electrification strategy, according to Oliver Zipse, BMW Group Chairman of the Board of Management. A new battery plant operated by Chinese supplier Envision Automotive Energy Supply Corporation will supply the factory with round lithium-ion battery cells developed for the sixth generation of BMW eDrive technology and the automaker’s next-generation EVs. The new battery format will increase energy density by more than 20%, and improve charging speed and boost range by up to 30%. (TechCrunch, Engadget, BMW, WSJ)

Alphabet-owned Waymo plans to expand its self-driving ride-hailing service, Waymo One, to Los Angeles. Waymo currently only operates its service to the public in the East Valley region of Phoenix. The company said it has already started driving around the city to collect mapping data. That process involves humans driving the cars down streets while sensors gather information on crosswalks, road edges, curb heights and intersections. (TechCrunch, CNN, CNBC)

Apple is bringing its immersive surround-sound audio product to vehicles through a partnership with Mercedes-Benz and Universal Music Group. For the first time, Spatial Audio with Dolby Atmos from Apple Music will be natively integrated into the car, starting with the Mercedes-Maybach S-Class, the Mercedes-Benz S-Class, as well as its growing electric portfolio the EQE sedan, EQE SUV, EQS sedan and EQS SUV.(Apple, TechCrunch, CNET)

Samsung Electronics has announced that Samsung Wallet will expand to 13 new markets in 2022. Since it first launched in Jun 2022, the digital wallet platform has become hugely popular in markets including China, France, Germany, Italy, Korea, Spain, the U.K. and the U.S. And now, the platform will be even more widely available for users in Bahrain, Denmark, Finland, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Norway, Oman, Qatar, South Africa, Sweden, Switzerland, Vietnam and UAE.(Android Central, Samsung)

Samsung Electronics has announced that its Tizen OS is expanding to offer NFTs (non fungible token) support with partners like Art Token, laCollection and Nifty Gateway. For B2B customers and developers, Samsung is providing B2B APIs specific to industries and use cases like Syncplay, which allows content to be synchronized and played in multiple signages. Tizen is also introducing SALT, a new content conversion solution to display the highest-quality HDR10+ content on supported TVs. (Android Headlines, Samsung)

Samsung Electronics has announced the introduction of a blockchain-like security system for its smart devices, Knox Matrix. The objective of the system is to increase the security of a multi-device environment, with each smart device monitoring others and sharing access data to simplify login tasks. Samsung has explained that it will interconnect the different smart devices available on a network, to enhance security through “multi-layered mutual monitoring”. According to Samsung, its Knox Matrix solution will also streamline login tasks all around the home, because the login state is distributed automatically to devices that need it to join the network. (Bitcoin, Samsung)

MediaTek unveils the Dimensity 1080 chipset with upgraded camera support. The MediaTek Dimensity 1080 is fabricated on TSMC’s N6 6nm manufacturing node and offers some key improvements over the Dimensity 920. It has an octa-core CPU, with two ARM Cortex-A78 cores clocked at up to 2.6GHz and six ARM Cortex-A55 cores clocked at up to 2GHz. The GPU is an Arm Mali G68. It also supports LPDDR5 memory and UFS 3.1 storage modules. Its Image Signal Processor (ISP) supports 4K HDR video encoding, quad-camera concurrency, and up to 200MP image capture with zero shutter lag.(CN Beta, MediaTek, XDA-Developers)

CCS Insights predicts that Apple will likely launch an iPad with a foldable display in 2024. According to Ben Wood, chief of research at CCS Insight, a foldable iPhone will be super high risk for Apple. Firstly, it would have to be incredibly expensive in order to not cannibalize the existing iPhones. The analyst predicts that a foldable iPhone would likely need to cost around USD2,500. He has said it would give Apple a chance to learn how to implement and scale foldable display technology as well as “breathe new life” into the iPad range. (Apple Insider, CCS Insights)

Motorola has announced a new concept for a rollable smartphone with a display that expands and contracts with the press of a button. The rollable phone concept has a 5” screen that can extend to 6.5” when unfolded. Motorola aims to provide a smartphone that can switch screen sizes depending on the situation rather than developing a smartphone-tablet hybrid.(Android Authority, Android Central, CNET)

A Brazilian court has levied a USD19M (BRL100M) “social damages” fine against Apple for selling iPhones without a charger. The Sao Paulo state court has said that Apple must offer battery chargers with iPhones that are sold in the country, providing a decision in a lawsuit brought about by the Brazilian association of borrowers, consumers, and taxpayers (AMBCC). (Engadget, Reuters, MacRumors, Apple Insider)

Google Fiber has announced that it is launching 5 and 8 Gig service in early 2023. Google Fiber will offer symmetrical upload and download speeds at 5 and 8 Gig. The 5 Gig plan will cost USD125 per month, while it is USD150 / month for 8 Gig. It will come with a Wi-Fi 6 router (people can also use their own), up to two mesh extenders, and professional installation. At the moment, 1 Gig (which launched in 2010) costs USD70 / month and 2 Gig from 2020 is USD100. (Android Headlines, 9to5Google, Google)

Apple has now removed the 3.5mm connector from all of the latest-generation ‌iPad‌ models in its lineup. The 9th-generation entry level ‌iPad‌, which Apple continues to sell, is now the only remaining tablet in Apple’s ‌iPad‌ range that has the 3.5mm connector. Apple has gradually removed the 3.5mm connector from its iPhones, and then from the iPad Pro, iPad Air, and iPad mini, in that order.  (Apple Insider, MacRumors)

Xiaomi is partnering with Airtel to bring out 5G services for its users in India, including Redmi users, on all 5G models across categories. The 5G phone users of Xiaomi and Redmi using Airtel need to change their preferred network to Airtel 5G. The users of Xiaomi 12 Pro, Mi 11 Ultra, Xiaomi 11T Pro, Xiaomi 11 Lite NE 5G, Xiaomi 11i HyperCharge, Xiaomi 11i, Mi 11X Pro, Mi 11X, Mi 10T Pro, Mi 10T, and Mi 10 will get the benefits of Airtel 5G. Similarly, in the affordable segment, Redmi K50i, Redmi 11 Prime 5G, Redmi Note 11 Pro+ 5G, Redmi Note 11T 5G, and Redmi Note 10T 5G will be able to stream 5G services.(Gizmo China, The Hindu, Indian Express, Economic Times)

Nokia has announced that it has won a multi-year deal with Reliance Jio to supply 5G Radio Access Network (RAN) equipment from its comprehensive AirScale portfolio countrywide. Under the deal, Nokia will supply equipment from its AirScale portfolio, including base stations, high-capacity 5G Massive MIMO antennas, and Remote Radio Heads (RRH) to support different spectrum bands, and self-organizing network software. Nokia also supplies 5G RAN equipments for Airtel. Nokia said that Reliance Jio plans to deploy a 5G standalone network which will interwork with its 4G network.(Gizmo China, Fonearena, Nokia)

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