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The Iconic BlackBerry Will No Longer Make Phones After August 2020

Everyone that grew up during the early years of this millennium knows BlackBerry. Often credited with being the world’s first maker of the mainstream smartphone, BlackBerry has seen many a heyday, once holding over 20 percent of the global smartphone market and shipping more than 50 million devices every year. However, the iconic Canadian company missed the turn in the millennium that saw the rest of the world run helter skelter towards Android and the dawn of touchscreen smartphones inspired by the equally iconic Steve Jobs. After ceasing to operate its own brand of smartphones in 2016 and licensing its brand to TCL Electronics, BlackBerry has announced on Twitter today that it is severing its partnership from TCL. With no news of a change of hands in partnership, this may well be the end of the way for BlackBerry, once a behemoth in the world of mobile devices.

The company has been in the dead, for all intents and purposes. Its last smartphone, the BlackBerry Key2 LE, was unveiled nearly two years ago. In comparison to the fanfare and near frantic hubbub that brands such as Xiaomi, Samsung, Oppo and other leading smartphone players generate, the Key2 LE came — and went — in comparative silence, perhaps speaking a lot about the recent state of the brand. As a result, the announcement from BlackBerry does not come as a surprise. What does strike out, though, is that BlackBerry is not drawing a complete end to its future trysts with smartphones. The company’s statement on Twitter says that only its partnership with TCL has ended, suggesting that it remains open to the prospect of a new manufacturing partner, or a comeback in one way or another, in the coming years.

That said, it seems unlikely that BlackBerry smartphones will ever be a thing again. While the ever shifting nature of technology means one can never say never, it seems unlikely that the brand will ever scale the heights it once did in the world of mobile devices. BlackBerry Limited will continue operating as it has, and given today’s cybersecurity climate and the company’s expertise with enterprise security, may see it being in and around the smartphone industry via software only. As for its devices in the market today, BlackBerry has announced that its partner TCL will honour warranties and service requests in respective markets. No word, however, has been said about software updates going forward.

Is this the end of BlackBerry’s round two, then? Going by information available right now, it certainly feels so.

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Vivo V19 Series Pre-Bookings to Begin by End of February, Could Arrive in Time for IPL 2020

Chinese smartphone maker Vivo is expected to soon bring its brand new Vivo V19 series to India. It is being speculated that the phones will be rolled out for the Indian market by mid-March, just in time for this year’s IPL (Indian Premier League). Pre-booking for both the phones, Vivo V19 and Vivo 19 Pro, might begin by the end of this month.

As per a report by 91 Mobiles, the successor of Vivo V17 series, the Vivo V19 series phones are going to be available online and also through authorized stores. The Vivo V19 and Vivo V19 Pro, are likely to be priced between Rs 20,000 – Rs 30,000. Further, the report also speculates that the Vivo V19 Pro would go on sale ahead of the standard Vivo V19. In terms of specifications, nothing, in particular, is known but it is being expected that the devices will be a notch better than their predecessors.

The brand had launched the Vivo V17 series phones in December last year. The Vivo V17 housed a 4,500mAh battery with the company’s dual-engine 18W fast charging. In terms of camera the device had a quad setup at the back including a 48-megapixel primary sensor, 8-megapixel secondary shooter, 2-megapixel bokeh lens and 2-megapixel macro lens. Further the quad-camera setup was also backed by Super Night Mode, an LED flash, Ultra Stable video, portrait mode, AR stickers, AI makeup etc. The front camera on the device included a 32-megapixel sensor.

On the other hand, Vivo V17 Pro came with a 4,100 mAh battery with 18W Dual-Engine fast charging support. The front camera of the device included a 32-megapixel and an 8-megapixel combo while on the back there was a 48 megapixel Sony IMX 582 primary sensor, an 8-megapixel Super Wide-Angle lens, a 2-megapixel depth sensor and a 13-megapixel telephoto lens with 2x zoom.

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Want a Realme Smart TV? It May Launch as Soon as MWC 2020

Realme is working on its own smart TV, and the same may be launched as early as the upcoming Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2020. The brand is proactively attempting to take on brands such as OnePlus and Xiaomi, and in a bid to do so, is looking to expand its portfolio of products to include wearable devices, audio gear and even televisions. With Xiaomi gaining considerable popularity with its Mi TVs, and OnePlus also making considerable noise with its own televisions, a Realme TV will be an interesting proposition, particularly in value driven markets such as India.

Responding to a fan query regarding the Realme Smart TV on Twitter, Francis Wang, CMO of Realme Mobiles, replied that interested users, fans and industry watchers will soon see a market announcement regarding the product. When another user posted if there is a possibility of Realme making laptops as well, Wang responded by saying that if the TV goes well, “laptop is something worth a try.” This would certainly be within interest, since its prime rival, Xiaomi, also has a thriving laptop range under the Mi Notebook and Redmibook portfolios, and is in fact expected to unveil its first Redmibook in India within the coming weeks.

As for smartwatch and fitness bands, as asked by a third user, Wang replied, “That comes even faster”. In fact, Madhav Sheth, the CEO of the company, had already confirmed that they will soon launch a fitness band, during the launch of the Realme 5i. Realme is expected to face competition from the likes of Samsung, LG, Xiaomi and OnePlus, who are all notable names now in the Indian television space.

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Apple iPhone 9, Wireless Charging Mat, iPad Pro, High-End Headphones, Coming in First Half of 2020

Apple could announce a new iPhone, updated iPad Pro and MacBooks, a new wireless charger and a new pair of Bluetooth headphones by early 2020.

Apple iPhone 9, Wireless Charging Mat, iPad Pro, High-End Headphones, Coming in First Half of 2020
Apple could announce a new iPhone, updated iPad Pro and MacBooks, a new wireless charger and a new pair of Bluetooth headphones by early 2020.

Apple is said to working on launching a range of new products in the first half of 2020, including a pair of high-end headphones. The tech giant may unveil the headphones, tag trackers, updated versions of iPad Pro, MacBook Pro, and MacBook Air, The Verge reported citing a research note from analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.

It is rumoured that Apple could release a 4.7-inch LCD equipped iPhone and a new wireless charger. The 4.7-inch LCD iPhone is expected to have the same design as the iPhone 8 with updated, iPhone 11-caliber specifications. This will be similar to what happened with the original iPhone SE, which borrowed the iPhone 5 design and was updated with the improved camera and processor from the iPhone 6S.

The Apple AirTags will be equipped with a Tile-like Bluetooth tracker that would use ultra wideband (UWB), which can help track down lost items. One of the most talked-about products is a wireless charging mat with a new, smaller wireless charger. Apple, while announcing the iPhone X in September 2017, had announced the AirPower wireless charger and had said that it could charge an iPhone, Apple Watch and AirPods all at once using a multiple-coil design. The company had also said the custom, software-based features would allow for an iPhone to show charge levels for all charging devices. However, the product was eventually canceled.

Apple is also said to be working on new high-end Bluetooth headphones. However, there is no certainty as to whether the headphones will be based on the same over-ear noise-canceling models or an entirely new device. Apple has been quite successful with its AirPods range and this could be a nice addition to the category.

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Apple Expected to Produce 6 Million Units of iPhone 9 by Q1 2020

Apple had produced a total of 70 million iPhones in its first-quarter, of which 52 million phones were iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro models.

Apple Expected to Produce 6 Million Units of iPhone 9 by Q1 2020
Image for Representation
(Reuters)

Apple is expected to produce a total of six million units of the iPhone SE2, also called the iPhone 9, between the period of January 1 and March 31. As per a report, Cowen analyst and Managing Director Krish Sankar has claimed that the tech giant will be producing a total of six million pieces of iPhone SE 2 between January 1 and March 31. With this information, rumours about the phone’s launch in March seem to be more believable.

Sankar also added that the upcoming iPhone will probably be priced at $475 and will account for 12 percent of all iPhone production in Apple’s second quarter. This also means that the rest of the 40 million phones will be mostly iPhone 11 series phones including the iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max. Apple in its first quarter, which is from October 1 to December 30, had apparently produced a total of 70 million iPhones of which 52 million phones were iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro models.

As per estimates, the company will target making another 43 million iPhones in its third fiscal quarter which ends on June 30. Further, analysis claims that the brand will ship a total of 195 million iPhones in this fiscal year which is from October 1, 2019, to September 29, 2020.

It is rumoured that the iPhone 9 will have a 4.7-inch notch-less LCD display and will also have a home button with Touch ID, advanced single-lens camera and the A13 Bionic processor. According to an image shared on Twitter, the imaging sensor of the upcoming device looks much bigger and thicker than the one on the back of the iPhone 8. This will most likely mean better camera performance. Till now it is not clear as to when Apple will launch the iPhone SE 2, and what will be the final name of the device. But if Apple launches the handset at a competitive price, it could work in favour of the company.

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| Edited by: Chhavianshika Singh

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MWC 2020: Nokia 8.2 5G Alongside Affordable Phones Expected From HMD Global

Nokia is likely to unveil a type of wearable fitness tracker, complete with NFC and Google Pay, and the Nokia 5.2 at MWC 2020.

Nokia
(Image for representation: News18)
The upcoming Mobile World Congress 2020 is expected to witness the launch of a couple of new devices from HMD Global. As per a report, the brand may come up with the Nokia 8.2 5G and an all-new original series Nokia device. Till now, no details about the device are known. Further, it is also rumored that the company might unveil a type of fitness tracker wearable complete with NFC and Google Pay. It is likely that the Nokia 5.2, which was expected to launch at last year’s Mobile World Congress will finally be released in 2020.

The phone may house a Qualcomm Snapdragon 632 processor, 3GB RAM along with 32GB storage. However, an expensive variant of it will have 4GB RAM and 64GB storage. In terms of camera, the phone is expected to house a 16-megapixel main camera and an 8-megapixel depth sensor at the back. In terms of display, the device should have a 6.2-inch notched LCD panel which comes with an 8-megapixel selfie camera.

Probably, the cheapest smartphone that Nokia has in the MWC lineup, the Nokia 1.3 is likely to have a 6-inch LCD screen along with an unspecified MediaTek chipset. In terms of storage, the device is expected to come with 1GB of RAM and 8GB of storage. Further, it is being expected that the phone will have a 3D nano-textured plastic cover on the back. The camera is most probably will be of 13-megapixel at the rear and 5-megapixel at the front.

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Google I/O 2020 Scheduled for May 12-14: Android 11, Pixel 4a and More

Google might launch an affordable version of the Pixel 4 along with the first preview of Android 11.

Google I/O 2020 Scheduled for May 12-14: Android 11, Pixel 4a and More
Google might launch an affordable version of the Pixel 4 along with the first preview of Android 11.

Google I/O, the company’s annual developer conference, will begin from May 12 and will go on till May 14. In a tweet Google CEO Sundar Pichai informed that the event will take place at the Shoreline Amphitheatre in Mountain View, California. Pichai shared a Google I/O GIF with the caption, “Cosmos aligned. We’ll be back at Shoreline Amphitheatre in Mountain View for this year’s #GoogleIO on May 12-14!”

Last year at the Google I/O event, affordable versions of the Pixel 3 phones called the Pixel 3a and Pixel 3Aa XL were launched. This year, if rumours are to be believed, the search giant may launch affordable versions of its 2019 flagships, the Pixel 4 and the Pixel 4 XL. As per some of the leaked information, the handset is expected to be powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 730 or possibly the new Snapdragon 765 series SoC, with 4GB RAM and a 12.2-megapixel main rear camera. As of now, one can only expect 5G connectivity if the phone is powered by Snapdragon 765.

The Google Pixel 4 was launched last year and houses a dual-camera including a regular and a telephoto lens, which lets the device offer more depth in photos apart from other benefits that enhance the user experience. The handset did not make its way to India due to the use of the Soli radar, which is apparently used by the Indian army. Hopefully, the Pixel 4a will skip that feature and eventually make its way to India.

We are also expecting Google to shine some light on the next Android update, which might be called Android 11. There have been reports that Android 11 could bring a welcome change to the Airplane mode as it would no longer automatically switch off Bluetooth like it currently does. It is also being said that it is a possibility that Android 11 or Android R, could also increase the file size limit for video recordings from the current 4GB. We can expect the first developer preview of the Android 11 update somewhere around the end of February or March.


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Google I/O 2020 Scheduled From May 12 to May 14

Google is expected to launch the Pixel 4a at the upcoming developer conference.

Google I/O 2020 Scheduled From May 12 to May 14
Google is expected to launch the Pixel 4a at the upcoming developer conference.

US-based search engine giant Google on Friday revealed that its next I/O developer conference will take place from May 12 to 14 at the Shoreline Amphitheatre, which is in Mountain View near Google’s HQ.

“Cosmos aligned. We will be back at Shoreline Amphitheatre in Mountain View for this year’s #GoogleIO on May 12-14,” tweeted Google CEO Sundar Pichai. Last year, Google announced the Pixel 3a and Pixel 3a XL at I/O. This year, the company is expected to launch the rumoured Pixel 4a at the event. The upcoming Google Pixel 4a, which is expected to be the successor of the budget Pixel 3a, is likely to have a punch-hole display.

Google launched the Pixel 4 in October, but it decided not to release it in India. According to the new leaks, the Pixel 4a has tried to match the design of the standard Google Pixel 4 very closely. But unlike the Pixel 4’s dual sensor at the back, the budget 4a is likely to have a single camera sensor, in addition to a rear fingerprint sensor, 3.5mm headphone jack, and the same USB-C port and bottom-facing speakers. The 5.7- or 5.8-inch display of Pixel 4a utilises the punch-hole for the front-facing camera sensor in order to make the bezels appear much slimmer compared to its predecessor Pixel 3a, suggest the leaks.


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Poco Will Now be an Independent Brand, Confirms Poco F2 for 2020 Launch

Poco has started teasing a new ‘chapter’ for the brand.

Poco Will Now be an Independent Brand, Confirms Poco F2 for 2020 Launch
Poco has started teasing a new ‘chapter’ for the brand.

Xiaomi’s sub-brand Poco which currently only has one handset under its lineup has announced that it will now be an independent company. The standalone company will run on its own and have its own making strategies. The development comes days after Xiaomi India announced that it will be focusing more on the Mi brand of products in the country.

Soon after the announcement, Poco has started teasing its next smartphone. dropping hints on its Twitter account. In the first tweet, we can see a teaser trailer very similar to the launch of a new Netflix or Amazon Prime series with a reference to “season 2.” In another tweet, the company has released an open letter talking about the brand’s journey as well as the developments on the company’s sole device, the Poco F1. The letter also talks about how the team is working hard to fix mistakes and asks fans to stay tuned for the successor of the F1.

The company says that the F1 which was launched in 50 markets has been a successful product. And there are no doubts about it, as the company is still providing support for the smartphone despite close to two years since its launch. The handset recently received the new MIUI 11 based Android 10 update. It is, however, a bit concerning how Xiaomi never launched more devices under the Poco brand despite the success.

“POCO F1 is an extremely popular phone across user groups and remains a top contender in its category even in 2020. We feel the time is right to let POCO operate on its own now, which is why we’re excited to announce that POCO will spin off as an independent brand,” said Manu Kumar Jain, VP of Xiaomi.

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Expect 2.16 Billion PCs, Tablet and Mobile Phones to Ship in 2020: Gartner

The worldwide mobile phone market is on course to grow by 1.7 percent in 2020.

IANS

Updated:January 21, 2020, 4:29 PM IST

Global Device Shipments to Hit 2.32 Billion Units in 2018: Gartner (Photo courtesy: AFP Relaxnews/ cyano66/ IStock.com)
The worldwide mobile phone market is on course to grow by 1.7 percent in 2020.

The global shipments of devices — PCs, tablets and mobile phones — will reach 2.16 billion units in 2020, an increase of 0.9 percent from 2019 buoyed by growth in smartphone shipments driven by 5G handsets, a Gartner report said on Tuesday. 5G models will account for 12 percent of mobile phone shipments in 2020 which would reach 43 percent by 2022.

“2020 will witness a slight market recovery. Increased availability of 5G handsets will boost mobile phone replacements, which will lead global device shipments to return to growth in 2020,” said Ranjit Atwal, research senior director at Gartner. In 2019, global shipments of devices totaled 2.15 billion units. The worldwide mobile phone market is on course to grow by 1.7 percent in 2020. Shipments of smartphones were weak in 2019, recording a 2 percent decline year over year, but are expected to grow in 2020 — particularly in Greater China and emerging markets in Asia/Pacific.

“From 2020, Gartner expects an increase in 5G phone adoption as prices decrease, 5G service coverage increases and users have better experiences with 5G phones. The market will experience a further increase in 2023, when 5G handsets will account for over 50 percent of the mobile phones shipped,” said Atwal. Even after experiencing a return to growth in 2019, PC shipments are still forecast to decline in 2020 and beyond.

Through 2020, this market will be affected by the end of the migration to Windows 10, said the report. After three years of growth in the professional PC market, replacement levels will decrease. According to Gartner, one billion PCs will have migrated to Windows 10 through 2020 — around 80 percent of all PCs in use. “The PC market’s future is unpredictable because there will not be a Windows 11. Instead, Windows 10 will be upgraded systematically through regular updates,” said Atwal.

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