Apple to Reportedly Use Micro-LED in 2017's Apple Watch 3 and Later iPhone Models

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Apple has been working with LuxVue to develop new micro-LED screens
  • Apple was granted patents related to LuxVue and micro-LED
  • The company is also looking to invest in Toshiba’s chip business

Apple’s plans to replace OLED with micro-LED in 2017 Apple Watch 3 and iPhones has raised concerns in Samsung as Apple’s expected use of Samsung OLED screens for a new iPhone model this year may only be temporary.

“Apple has been working with LuxVue (which it acquired in 2014) to develop new micro-LED screen production in the two years since the technology began gaining public attention in the 2015,” Apple Indiser reported on Wednesday, citing a Business Korea report.

Apple was granted patents related to LuxVue and micro-LED, that also explains the inclusion of sensing Infrared diodes with the ability to read fingerprints on the surface of the display.

In addition to the loss of a billion dollars worth of OLED screens, Samsung and LG are also increasingly concerned that Apple will start sourcing its RAM and cameras elsewhere, too, the report noted.

Aiming to secure a stable supply of memory chips for its iPhones, Apple may invest billions of dollars to obtain a substantial stake in struggling Japanese conglomerate Toshiba’s chip business, ending nearly two decades of being among Samsung’s largest RAM customers.

Apple to Reportedly Use Micro-LED in 2017's Apple Watch 3 and Later iPhone Models

Apple executives are also considering joining hands with chip manufacturer Foxconn, formally known as Hon Hai Precision, for taking a big stake in Toshiba’s semiconductor business.

Early this year, Foxconn announced that it is teaming up with Apple to set up a display-panel manufacturing facility in the US at an investment of $7 billion.

The facility could create between 30,000 and 50,000 new jobs and could include the production of TV screens in addition to smartphone displays.

Foxconn has most of its factories in China where it assembles Apple’s iPhones.

Samsung Galaxy S8+ Reportedly Receiving Firmware Update, Includes June Security Patch

HIGHLIGHTS

  • New firmware update for Galaxy S8+ said to be rolling out now
  • Brings minor changes to the UI
  • The update includes June security update

Samsung has started rolling out a firmware update to its Galaxy S8+ smartphone in select markets. The new firmware update also brings June Android security patch that was recently released by Google.

Sammobile reports that the new update is now available in India apart from the European market. Samsung Galaxy S8+ users should start receiving the over-the-air notification for the update. As usual, users can also manually check for the update via Settings > About Phone > System Update. The update reportedly comes with software build G955FXXU1AQF7/ G955FOXM1AQF7/ G955FXXU1AQF7 which will differ depending on the region, and is about 450MB in size.

The firmware update for the Samsung Galaxy S8+ (Review) brings minor changes to navigation bar where icons will be added to the left-hand side of the navigation bar, which will now offer more room to users without the bar blocking it. The number of available background colours in navigation bar has been changed as well, and after the update, the background colour will be set to the default colour. The Samsung Galaxy S8+ update changeling also confirms that the update will improve quality of panorama images from Camera. As announced by Google, earlier this month, the June Android security update, which is included in the new firmware update, resolves around 100 issues.

Samsung Galaxy S8+ Reportedly Receiving Firmware Update, Includes June Security Patch

Samsung Galaxy S8+ and Galaxy S8 had earlier received a firmware upgrade that included a fix for the red tint display issue that many users had reported.

Last week, Samsung made the Galaxy S8+ variant with 6GB RAM and 128GB storage available to buy in India. Priced at Rs. 74,900, the variant went on sale via Flipkart.

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iPhone 8 Dimensions, Renders Leaked; LG Reportedly Eyeing OLED Display Orders Next Year

HIGHLIGHTS

  • iPhone 8 dimensions tipped at 143.59×70.94×7.57mm
  • Renders tip an edge-to-edge display
  • It is expected to be thicker than the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus

iPhone 8 rumours have been numerous in the recent past, and today’s leak brings more information on the dimensions of the iPhone 8. Renders have also been leaked alongside, and the iPhone 8 is seen being compared to the iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus, Samsung Galaxy S8, and Samsung Galaxy S8+. Furthermore, LG is reportedly eyeing OLED display orders from Apple next year, and has made a large amount of investment to ramp up its OLED smartphone display production.

First up, iDrop News cites anonymous “factory workers with intimate knowledge” to report that the iPhone 8 will measure at 143.59×70.94×7.57mm. This makes the iPhone 8 wider and larger than the iPhone 7, but smaller when compared to the iPhone 7 Plus. To recall, the iPhone 7 dimensions are at 138.3×67.1×7.1 mm and the iPhone 7 Plus measures at 158.2×77.9×7.3 mm. Looking at the dimensions, the iPhone 8 is also thicker than both the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus.

iPhone 8 Dimensions, Renders Leaked; LG Reportedly Eyeing OLED Display Orders Next Year

The report is unclear about the weight, but it is anticipated to be more than the iPhone 7 but less than the iPhone 7 Plus. The report has also leaked renders of the smartphone, based on the information it received. The iPhone 8 is seen sporting an edge-to-edge display in the front with no Home Button in the front as well. There is a small lip at the top edge of the smartphone for integrating the front camera and sensors. At the back, there is a vertical dual camera setup with the Apple logo, but no sign of a fingerprint scanner. This further cements rumours of a fingerprint scanner embedded underneath the display.

Furthermore, the iPhone 8 is also pegged against the Samsung Galaxy S8 and Samsung Galaxy S8+. To recall, the Galaxy S8 measures 148.9×68.1×8.0 mm, while the Galaxy S8+ comes in at 159.5×73.4×8.1 mm. If the rumoured dimensions are true, the iPhone 8 will be slimmer.

A separate report from ET News claims that LG is investing huge amounts of money to become Apple’s second supplier of OLED displays next year. This year, Samsung has reportedly bagged the exclusive deal for the iPhone 8’s OLED displays, but LG is reported to be ramping up its production facilities for OLED smartphone displays, and is switching from its previous focus on TVs.

“LG Display is planning to invest about $3.56 billion (KRW 4 trillion) into P10, which is its new factory in Paju, and construct production lines for 6th generation flexible OLEDs in 2018. Although it was planning to make investments mostly on large OLEDs for TVs initially, it is currently thinking about making investments on OLEDs for Smartphones first. It seems that LG Display is planning to secure its position as the second supplier for Apple iPhone by quickly increasing its production capability of OLED for Smartphone, the report said.

LG also believes that Chinese OEMs will follow Apple’s footsteps to integrate OLED displays, so if it doesn’t bag an order from Apple, it does have other options to partake from.

Google Pixel XL Successor 'Muskie' Reportedly Shelved for 'Taimen' With Larger Display

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Google was earlier tipped to launch three phones this year
  • Taimen has been rumoured to feature 4GB of RAM
  • Google Walleye is expected to succeed the regular-sized Pixel smartphone

If you have been following leaks around the second-generation Google Pixel smartphones, you would know that the search giant has been tipped to launch three new devices with codename ‘Walleye’, ‘Muskie’, and ‘Taimen’. Now, the company has reportedly shelved the rumoured successor to Google Pixel XL, i.e Muskie, and will instead go with Taimen, which reportedly features a larger display.

An Android Police report citing sources close to the matter, Google has shelved the device codenamed Muskie and now plans to launch two smartphones, codenamed Walleye and Taimen. While the reason for ditching Muskie has not been revealed, AP says that it has confirmed with multiple independent sources that the information is correct. This means that Muskie has been shelved permanently, Taimen will be the successor to Google Pixel XL, and Walleye will succeed the standard Google Pixel, as had been rumoured earlier.

Google Pixel XL Successor 'Muskie' Reportedly Shelved for 'Taimen' With Larger Display

As per the previously leaked information, Taimen is expected to be powered by an octa-core Qualcomm processor clocked at 1.90GHz. The smartphone, which was previously tipped to be a possible tablet as well, is expected to feature 4GB of RAM and run Android O. Rumours had previously indicated the Pixel successor will feature an improved camera and better processor as well.

Considering information available regarding the upcoming Pixel smartphones is sparse, we will have to wait for more leaks to flow in till we can give you some idea of what to expect from the second-generation of Pixel smartphones. As Google Pixel and Pixel XL were launched in October last year, we can expect the next-generation models to arrive around the same time this year.

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Battery Capacity

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Asus to Reportedly Kill Its ZenWatch Android Wear Lineup Due to Poor Sales

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Asus has shipped an average of 5,000-6,000 ZenWatches per month
  • Huawei and LG have also slowed down their smartwatch efforts
  • Asus’ last major Android Wear smartwatch was the ZenWatch 3

Asus to Reportedly Kill Its ZenWatch Android Wear Lineup Due to Poor Sales

Asus may just kill its ZenWatch lineup of Android Wear smartwatches soon, according to some reports that have recently surfaced. It seems that Asus is having a tough time selling its smartwatches and the low sales may just push the company to pull the plug on the smartwatch.

The Taiwanese company, according to a report from Digitimes, has been shipping an average of 5,000 to 6,000 ZenWatches per month, which is not a good sign when compared to the likes of Apple, Xiaomi and Fitbit who have shipped their respective smartwatches in millions in the past quarter.

Asus is not the only one who has given up on its Android Wear smartwatch. Lenovo brand Moto in December also put a hold on its smartwatch efforts, deciding not to launch a new wearable with the latest Android Wear 2.0. However, the company has not decided to kill its lineup just yet. Meanwhile, Huawei and LG have also slowed down their production citing a lack of interest in the market.

 

Notably, companies like Misfit, LG, Verizon and Tag Heuer have launched smartwatches running on the latest Android Wear 2.0. The new operating system was unveiled in February and brings a number of improvements over the first version including improved interface, customised watch faces, Google Assistant and Android Pay Support, among other things.

Asus’ last major Android Wear smartwatch was the ZenWatch 3, which was launched in India back in December starting at Rs. 17,599. The smartwatch sports a 1.39-inch Amoled display with a 400×400 pixel resolution (287ppi pixel density). It is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 2100 SoC, coupled with 512MB of RAM and 4GB of inbuilt storage.