Live Apple iPhone Event Tracker: The 5G Smartphones

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Oct. 13, 2020, 12:00 p.m. ET

Credit…Frederic J. Brown/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Many of us are eagerly anticipating Apple’s new iPhones on Tuesday because they are expected to include a major new feature: 5G, for the fifth-generation cellular network.

Phones with 5G capability have been positioned as far better than our current devices. That’s because carriers like AT&T and Verizon have hyped 5G as a life-changing technology capable of delivering data speeds so fast that you can download a feature-length movie in seconds.

But tamp down your expectations, at least for now. In the near term, the new cellular technology probably won’t be a big leap forward from its predecessor, 4G. Instead, in most cases, 5G will only be incrementally faster, if at all.

Here’s what you need to know:

  • The much-hyped, ultrafast variant of 5G is known as “millimeter wave.” But its reach is limited right now. This flavor of 5G lets carriers transmit data at incredibly fast speeds. The catch? Its signals travel shorter distances, covering a park in New York but not a broad swath of the city, for example. It also has trouble penetrating obstacles like walls. So for now, the carriers are focusing its deployment in large spaces like sports stadiums and outdoor amphitheaters.

    That’s good news if you enjoy livestreaming concerts or games. But it’s unlikely we will be attending those types of events anytime soon in this pandemic.

    And because of the technical limitations, we are unlikely to see this ultrafast 5G deployed nationwide anytime soon, meaning we won’t be getting its incredible speeds in the vast majority of places.

  • Our cellular networks are broadly shifting to a

The chip advance set to make smartphones smarter

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iPhone user
Apple’s new iPhones are set to be the first consumer gadget powered by 5nm chip technology

When Apple unveils its new iPhones, expect it to make a big deal of the fact they’re the first in the world to be powered by a new type of chip.

This, we’ll likely be told, will let owners do things like edit 4K video, enhance high-resolution photos and play graphically-intensive video games more smoothly than was possible before while using less battery power.

The “five nanometre process” involved refers to the fact that the chip’s transistors have been shrunk down – the tiny on-off switches are now only about 25 atoms wide – allowing billions more to be packed in.

Effectively it means more brain power.

Travel back just four years, and many industry insiders doubted the advance could be delivered so soon.

That it has been, is in large part down to the ingenuity of a relatively obscure Dutch company – ASML.

It pioneered a way to carve circuitry patterns into silicon via a process called extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography.

Its machines cost a cool $123m (£92m) each, which is high even in relation to other semiconductor industry tools.

But it’s currently the only company making them. And they are still more cost-effective than alternative options, in part because of a low defect rate.

“At such small scales precision is key,” said Dr Ian Cutress, who reports on the sector for Anandtech.

“What they’re doing is akin to hitting a stamp on the surface of Mars with a paper aeroplane.”

ASML likens its technology to making the leap from using a marker pen to a fine-liner.

But rather than ink it uses what it terms “feeble light” generated via a mind-boggling process.

Light wavelengths graphic
ASML’s process uses light at a 13.5nm wavelength, sitting in

French Consumers Encouraged to Stop Spending on New Smartphones

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(Bloomberg) — France is preparing incentives for consumers to shift spending habits to used electronics, in an attempt to lower the impact on the environment and provide a boost to local ecommerce startups.



a person holding a bag and walking on a sidewalk: A pedestrian uses a smartphone while wearing a protective face mask outside the LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton SE luxury goods store in Place Vendome, in Paris, France, on Tuesday, March 10, 2020. The euro-area economy may be headed for its first recession in seven years as the coronavirus outbreak takes an increasing toll on businesses and consumer confidence.


© Bloomberg
A pedestrian uses a smartphone while wearing a protective face mask outside the LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton SE luxury goods store in Place Vendome, in Paris, France, on Tuesday, March 10, 2020. The euro-area economy may be headed for its first recession in seven years as the coronavirus outbreak takes an increasing toll on businesses and consumer confidence.

The government said it will deploy a scoring system on devices’ re-usability from January, and will set aside 21 million euros ($25 million) from its stimulus plan to fund re-usability startups and projects.

Environment minister Barbara Pompili and her colleague for Digital Affairs, Cedric O, told Bloomberg that the government is in talks to boost second-hand purchasing, but didn’t detail the plans which are still being finalized. O said a new form of tax on goods was unlikely because companies would shift the cost on consumers.



a person standing in front of a table: A customer tries a Redmi Note 5 display model smartphone inside a Xiaomi Corp. store in Paris, France, on Friday, May 25, 2018. Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi opened it's first store in Paris and plans for more shops in France, Spain and Italy, testing the appetite of consumers in developed markets as its executives consider a U.S. expansion.


© Bloomberg
A customer tries a Redmi Note 5 display model smartphone inside a Xiaomi Corp. store in Paris, France, on Friday, May 25, 2018. Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi opened it’s first store in Paris and plans for more shops in France, Spain and Italy, testing the appetite of consumers in developed markets as its executives consider a U.S. expansion.

Read More: Porsche, Ferrari Cars Face $59,000 Gas Guzzlers Tax in France

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“We want to incite people who want to buy a handset to think first about refurbished ones,” Pompili said.

Selling refurbished handsets has been a long-standing business. Both Apple Inc. and Samsung offer second-hand phones on their websites, and the global market for used smartphones is

5G smartphones reach 14% of U.S. sales as average price drops by 30%

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As the only successor to the 4G cellular technology used in smartphones and mobile computers, 5G was guaranteed to be a hit at some point — the only real question was how long it would take to truly go mainstream. This week, a report from Counterpoint Research suggests that a steep fall in 5G phone prices helped kick their U.S. sales into high gear, though the firm notes that the numbers will likely change substantially following Apple’s entry into the 5G market this month.

The trend lines are clear: Average selling prices of 5G phones fell by $218 from January 2020 to July 2020, reaching an all-time low of $730 — a drop of roughly 30% — while 5G phones increased their share of total smartphone sales from 3.3% to 11.6% during the same period. Counterpoint notes that the August percentage is an even higher 13.5%, aided in part by the release of even more affordable phones such as the T-Mobile/TCL REVVL 5G. That’s a sharp uptick from 2019, when 5G was found largely in phones priced at or over $1,000, and constituted only 1% of sales.

Adoption of 5G technology remains a chicken and egg scenario worldwide, as carriers are hoping for widespread 5G device adoption to justify buildouts of 5G networks and dismantling of older 3G tower hardware, but neither can fully happen without the other. Once higher speed, lower latency 5G towers are ubiquitous, carriers have promised that transformative new industrial, automotive, and mixed reality applications will become widely available, but 5G’s initial adoption is relying largely on business and consumer demand for faster internet access.

5G’s growth in the United States is especially interesting given the comparatively mediocre performance of U.S. 5G networks, which have continued to deliver uneven and inconsistently better than 4G performance across

Samsung’s new Galaxy F series smartphones, and more tech news today

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Your tech news digest, by way of the DGiT Daily tech newsletter, for Thursday, 8 October 2020.

1. Samsung’s new Galaxy F series

Samsung is set to launch the Galaxy F41 today. The F-series is starting in India first as a mid-range option, and the expectation is that Samsung will focus on cameras.

  • It’s reported that Samsung will differentiate the new series by focusing on cameras.
  • Samsung’s event invite told us it would feature a good-sized 6,000mAh battery, a Super AMOLED Infinity-U display, and a triple camera with a 64-megapixel main camera, and be about 6.5-inches in size.
  • In terms of the camera prowess, we may see Samsung pursue small but useful features not always seen on mid-range devices, like optical image stabilization, larger sensors, and more specialized lenses.
  • An apparent benchmark was seen on GeekBench, showing it’ll run an Exynos 9611 SoC, have 6GB of RAM, and run on Android 10.
  • The Exynos 9611 is a step or two down from the Snapdragon 730, and around the Snapdragon 665 level of performance.
  • The already-launched Samsung Galaxy M31s specs seem to line up very closely with what we’re seeing with the F41, but a straight rebrand doesn’t really make sense, so we’re looking for additional features and improved camera tech.

From India to the world?

  • Despite the fiercely competitive marketplace, Samsung has used India as a proving ground.
  • The M-series first launched in the country before heading into other markets, including the recent M51 with a 7,000mAh battery.
  • I’d again expect the F-series to be trialed in India before a wider release, if Samsung is able to clearly differentiate the device line and gain traction in the niche it’s trying to find.
  • But at the same time, it’s not going to be easy.
  • There’s so much competition in the mid-range