Apple is betting the same design changes that helped the iPhone X captivate fans last year will rejuvenate some of its lower-profile products.
The iPad Pro on Tuesday received a heavy makeover, drawing in iPhone X elements like a slimmer bezel and integration of the Face ID facial recognition system instead of Touch ID and the traditional home button. It also includes the “Liquid Retina” display, first seen in the iPhone XR.
The new MacBook Air got a few of the same tweaks, mainly the smaller bezels and body, as well as the sharper display. The Mac Mini got a new space gray finish and more horsepower.
The changes mark long overdue upgrades to product lines that have played important, but diminishing, roles in Apple’s lineup given that iPhone sales generate the majority of the company’s revenue. The changes to the iPad Pro mark the first significant design overhaul since that tablet originally launched in 2015. The MacBook Air hasn’t had a major change in years, with only a chip upgrade last year.
Apple doesn’t just want you to own one of its products — the benefits and hooks really sink in when you go all in on its family of devices and services. With PC makers, led by Microsoft‘s Surface line, building sleeker and more attractive devices, Apple needed to step up.
“The new iPad and Macs include some very welcome changes that Apple owners will appreciate,” said Patrick Moorhead, an analyst at Moor Insights. “I don’t think Apple did enough to pull people from their premium Windows PCs to the platform, though.”
iPad Pro’s overhaul
Apple’s iPad Pro gets its biggest makeover yet, with thinner bezels and the addition of Face ID. The smaller iPad Pro gets a larger display at 11 inches in the same body, while the 12.9-inch model gets a smaller body that’s close in size to the standard 8.5 by 11-inch sheet of paper. Apple said the larger iPad Pro has 25 percent less volume.
The company hopes the changes will get you excited about tablets again.
“The iPad is a magical piece of glass that transforms into anything you need it to be,” Apple CEO Tim Cook said.
Exciting consumers about tablets is a challenge, with the whole category struggling for the past few years. Consumers have hung on to their older tablets — purchased when they were a hotter item — or spend more time on their larger smartphones.
Since the original launched in 2015, the iPad Pro has been presented less as a media device and more a tool on which you can create and share content. But it hasn’t been a runaway success, partly because of the cost and because it lacked a lot of pro-grade software.
The previous iPad Pro did help reverse 13 quarters of consecutive declines, which ended in mid-2017 with a minor bump. In the last quarter, Apple reported iPad unit sales ticked up 1 percent to 11.5 million, while revenue fell 5 percent to $4.74 billion. The company is scheduled to release its fiscal fourth-quarter results on Thursday.
In March, Apple unveiled a new iPad for the education market, but the cost of the device and Pencil accessory elicited skepticism about whether cash-strapped schools would invest in these tools.
The iPad Pro isn’t going to address those cost concerns. It starts at $799 for the smaller version and $999 for the larger 12.9-inch model.
MacBook Air returns
A new MacBook Air is finally here.
It comes with a Retina Display, while the frame around the screen is half the size, making for a laptop that has 17 percent less volume. It also includes a TouchID sensor in its butterfly-design, backlit keyboard.
Mac fans have long wondered whether Apple would ever release an update to the Air, which has served an entry-level journeyman role despite the lack of changes over the years. It had also received little attention as Apple introduced the slim MacBook and the touchbar-enabled MacBook Pro.
At a starting price of $1,199, it’s $200 more than the previous $999 entry-level Air. But the company said it’s the cheapest Retina Display-enabled Mac in its lineup, and will serve as the gateway to Apple’s other Mac products.
“(Apple) seems to be pleased with the growth of the Mac platform and its ability to attract new users so they must think there is more headroom,” said Ross Rubin, an analyst with Reticle Research.
While the upgrades are nice, gone are the days when the Air played a leading role in Apple’s product lineup.
When Steve Jobs introduced the Air in 2008, fans fell over themselves praising the sleek and lightweight design. Subsequent generations trimmed down the Air even further, forcing PC makers to respond with the short-lived category, “ultrabooks.”
“The MacBook Air redefined the notion of the modern notebook,” Cook said.
Ultrabooks are gone, but PC makers have flooded the market with thin, light and powerful PCs, boasting sharper displays and powerful processors.
On Tuesday Apple also introduced a new Mac Mini, with a space gray finish. The new Mini can go up to six cores for five times the performance of the Mac Mini. There’s also the option for 64 gigabytes of memory and up to 2 terabytes of storage. Unlike the more svelte MacBook line, the Mac Mini also keeps the standard USB port.
Like the MacBook Air, the Mac Mini’s starting price jumped to $799 from the previous model’s price tag of $499. The original story published at 8:29 a.m. PT.
We’re all carrying so many devices these days that our pockets are starting to look like Batman’s utility belt. Between your smartphone, smartwatch, tablet, laptop and the half-dozen other assembled gadgets and doohickeys we’re toting around, power to keep all that tech running is a primary concern at all times.
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The latest model of the Huawei Smartphones called Y9 2019, which is already available in Nigeria and other parts of the world, has continued to excite Nigerian customers who see it as a sleek, light wight smartphone with broad screen that allows for fuller view of images and texts.
Shipped into the country in January 2019, the smartphone comes with dual SIM card slots, including a microSD card slot for additional memory capacity to accommodate heavy downloads of photos and videos.
The dual SIM slot was specifically built to address customers’ demand in Nigeria and Africa, where most of the subscribers prefer to operate with dual SIMs from different telecoms service providers.
One of the latest customers to Huawei brand of smartphones in Lagos, Nigeria, Mr. Jacob Adebayo, described Huawei Y9 2019 as rugged that could withstand pressure and shock when dropped from a distant height.
The Huawei Y9 (2019), which is an improvement on Y9 2018, Y8 Prime and Y7 Pro, is powered by Huawei’s new Kirin 710 mid-range processor. Other specifications include 4GB of RAM, 64GB of internal storage which can be expanded using a microSD card (up to 400GB), and a non-removable 4,000mAh battery.
The battery, which is long-lasting, enables users to make maximum use of the phone all through the day without battery drainage. Experience has also shown that minimal usage of the phone could retain its battery for more than 36 hours talk time.
Dubbed the Huawei Y9 (2019), the smartphone was launched in China back in October 2018 and is the successor to the Y9 (2018). The latest smartphone from the Chinese smartphone giant, which overtook other smartphone brands to become the world’s second largest manufacturer in 2018, features AI-enhanced cameras, a notched display, dual rear and front cameras, and Android 8.1 Oreo out-of-the-box.
Priced at N76,900 in the Nigerian market, the lone variant of the Huawei Y9 (2019) with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of internal storage, commenced sale exclusively via Amazon India from 15th January 2019.
The Huawei Y9 (2019) fits comfortably in the palm of the hand and feels chunky and solid. The plastic back has a high-gloss finish in a bid to imitate glass. It looks sleek and stylish but gets smudged very easily. A case is recommended to enhance grip, as the phone comes very slippery.
Colour and camera
There are two colour variants on offer — Midnight Black and Sapphire Blue. The vertically oriented dual-camera module is located in the upper right corner of the smartphone, with the words AI camera emblazoned underneath it. There’s also a centrally located fingerprint sensor and a Huawei logo on the bottom right. The power button and volume rocker are placed on the right edge of the phone, and the left side houses the SIM tray, which has separate slots for two Nano SIMs and a microSD card.
Up front, there is a 6.5-inch full-HD+ display, with a 1500:1 contrast ratio, and a pixel density of 397ppi. The notch has become the new normal in smartphone design and the Huawei Y9 (2019) also embraces the design trend. The dual cameras are housed within the sizeable notch, which can be be masked via the settings.
The Huawei Y9 (2019) has four cameras in total — two at the front as well as the back. Up front, there is a 16-megapixel primary sensor with an aperture of f/2.0 and a pixel size of 2-microns, and a 2-megapixel secondary sensor with an aperture of f/2.4. At the back, there is a 13-megapixel sensor with an aperture of f/1.8 alongside a 2-megapixel secondary sensor with an aperture of f/2.4.
The camera app is loaded with features such as intelligent scene detection, a fully featured Pro mode, AR stickers, filters, light painting, panorama, and time-lapse.
The display seemed to have adequate brightness, good viewing angles, and punchy colours. Huawei offers two colour modes for the display — Normal and Vivid — and users can also calibrate the colour temperature according to their own preferences. There’s also an Eye Comfort Mode which reduces harmful blue light. A detailed analysis of the display will have to wait till we conduct our full review.
Huawei has retained the legacy 3.5mm headphone jack. It still uses the old Micro-USB standard for charging and data transfer.
The Huawei Y9 (2019) runs Honor’s EMUI 8.2 skin atop Android 8.1 Oreo. EMUI is smooth and fluid, but the software experience is let down by the sizeable amount of clutter and bloat.
There is a dedicated night mode as well which allows you to tweak the exposure and ISO. Huawei’s flagships are known for their camera quality, and it is expected that the Huawei Y9 will maintain high quality images.
Samsung has revealed its latest S10 smartphone in San Francisco
Here is a hands-on first look at the Galaxy S10, S10 Plus and S10E
The Korean giant has unveiled a folding phone, the Samsung Galaxy Fold
Samsung has launched a new 5G smartphone
Why Samsung’s folding phone could be a blueprint of the future
Samsung has unveiled a folding phone that doubles as a tablet, which the Korean company hailed as the biggest development in smartphones in a decade.
The Samsung Galaxy Fold, which was launched alongside four other smartphones on Wednesday evening, functions as a typical smartphone but can be unfolded to a second 7.3-inch touchscreen.
The device, which will be released in April, will cost at least $1,980 (£1,516), making it by far the most expensive smartphone on the market.
It is the first of its kind from a major smartphone company, with Samsung claiming the device “answers sceptics” who claim that innovation has dried up in the industry
Samsung also unveiled the latest version of its flagship smartphone line, the Galaxy S10, releasing three models that cost between £669 and £1,099.
The phones – the cheaper S10E, the S10 and the S10+, feature a fingerprint scanner embedded within the touchscreen and three rear cameras that allow for wider-angle photos.
The smartphone-maker also teased its largest phone yet, the S10 5G, which offers 6.7 inch display and promises to be the future of smartphone connectivity. The phone will be available later this year, when 5G networks, that offer faster mobile data connections, come online.
The company is hoping 5G support will give it a leg up over Apple, which is not expected to unveil a 5G phone until next year. All these devices are capable of wirelessly charging other Samsung phones and accessories.
Phone makers have spent years attempting to develop flexible touchscreens that allow devices to fold in two, answering consumers’ demands for ever-bigger phone screens, without sacrificing portability. Several manufacturers are now working on their own foldable phones, hoping the technology will breathe life into a saturated smartphone market.
“The Galaxy Fold breaks new ground not just because it defines categories. It breaks new ground because it answers sceptics, who say that everything has been done, that the smartphone is a mature category in a saturated market,” Samsung’s mobile chief DJ Koh said. “We are here to prove them wrong.”
Samsung said folding the phone out into a bigger-screened version will allow multi-tasking features such as split-screen apps and better video watching.
However, the high price of the device means it is likely to sell in small numbers. Some versions are likely to sell for more than $2,000, just 18 months after Apple introduced the first $1,000 17 months ago.
The presentations are winding down, and Samsung has left us with their vision of the future in their latest commercial featuring the classic song made famous by Doris Day.
But there’s more to come, keep up to date with the latest Samsung news here and follow @JamesTitcomb on the ground as he elbows everyone out of the way for a first look at the folding phone.
Samsung’s 5G phone
The Galaxy S10 5G is being introduced with a fanfare – a 6.7 inch display that promises to be the future of smartphone connectivity.
This is the biggest screen on a Galaxy device. It comes with a 25-watt charger, so it will charge a lot faster. It has a 3D depth-sensing camera.
Verizon customers will be the first to receive the handsets.
New smartwatch with a full week’s charge
Samsung’s new Galaxy watch features a battery that lasts up to a week and can continually analyse your stages of sleep – this is a huge part of the company’s push into healthcare.
They include heart monitors and “continuous stress tracking when life gets overwhelming”.
Galaxy Buds with Bixby
Samsung has just launched wireless, Apple-style earbuds. Hot take from the Samsung stage: “They are so cool”.
They feature a high efficiency chip set for which allows for 5 hours of calls on a single charge. They are also Bixby-enabled, so you can interact with them remotely and give them instructions (and why wouldn’t you?). They will be available from March.
Incidentally, Bixby can now apparently tell the difference between the Queen’s English and English from Queens (cue laughter from stage). Samsung’s AI assistant also understand three different languages.
S10 price starts at £799 and will be available from March 8
The Samsung Galaxy S10 will start at £799, up to £999. The S10 Plus will start at £899 with a £1,099 version. The S10E will begin at £669.
You can find pre-order details on the Samsung Galaxy S10 here.
Samsung bets on Instagram feature with the S10
The S10 presentation featured Instagram chief executive Adam Mosseri, who presented an “Instagram mode” that will allow users to quickly post any photo onto the social media site.
Of course, there was a rather awkward selfie on stage with DJ Koh….
Here is everything you need to know about the new S10
Matt Field has gone through all of the bells and whistles of the new phones here – here are the highlights and how they differ from the S9.
First photos of the Samsung S10
Here’s the S10
The S10 introduction has come hot on the heels of the Samsung Galaxy Fold. But what does it bring to the table? Read Matthew Field’s guide to the new devices to find out more.
Forget the £1,000 smartphone.
“Samsung just announced the price of the fold – $1,980 and up – and the crowd here literally went ‘ooooooooh'” like a pantomime,” says James Titcomb.
The era for smartphone innovation is not over
Samsung chief executive DJ Koh said that the company will prove critics wrong with the lineup of products and services launched this evening. He said:
“The Galaxy Fold breaks new ground not just because it defines categories. It breaks new ground because it answers sceptics, who say that everything has been done, that the Smartphone is a mature category in a saturated market, we are here to prove them wrong”
“Today marks a new beginning, a shift.
“The next decade of progress and innovation. I am excited by what we have achieved, but I am even more excited by what we have enabled.”
Samsung Galaxy Fold: Price and availability
The new device will cost $1,980 (£1,516) and will be available from April 26.
Six cameras, but kind of clunky
Galaxy Fold: the specs
The new Galaxy Fold has a 9nm processor and 12GB of RAM, making it one of the most powerful smartphones on the market (and ever). It has 512GB of on board memory. Because the phone folds up like a tablet from essentially two “smartphone” bodies, it has a dual battery, one in each side of the device that link together.
Samsung has claimed that the Galaxy Fold will fit in the palm of the hand when it’s folded.
Galaxy Fold, revealed
It’s here – within a couple of minutes of the launch, we’ve seen the first official photo of the foldable phone. The first official description is “It’s gorgeous”.
Samsung has called the new device part of a “whole new category” and confirmed the name: Samsung Galaxy Fold – with a 7.3-inch folding infinity display that folds the phone out into a tablet.
Samsung says it has invented a whole new hinge system with “multiple interlocking gears” that are hidden away.
And… here we go
It’s kicked off in San Francisco, with some distinctly creepy music. It looks like they are starting with the folding phone…
We’ve been stuck in a camera race, Peter Jarich of analyst firm GSMA Intelligence argues, as smartphone makers have struggled to stand out with a “series of black rectangles”.
“If you’re trying to convince people to buy, then foldable is the way to go, ” he says. “This is all taking place at the same time as 5G. Will this have 5G? Doubtful.”
Could Samsung launch the iPhone killer?
Samsung’s launch today could provide the smartphone market with a much-needed jolt this year. In January, Samsung was forced to issue a profit warning as sales fell 11pc and profits dropped dropped 29pc on the back of slowing phone and chip sales; just days after Apple chopped its sales forecast due to an economic slowdown.
So can the S10, a foldable phone or a 5G device turn the tide? One market analyst told us this evening that the smartphone market is so competitive that Samsung can’t afford not to try. “What if this were the next big thing and they missed out on it?”
Live from San Francisco
James Ticomb (@jamestitcomb) is up and running from the launch in San Francisco. First thoughts?
“Samsung has to pull off the trick of convincing us that the S10 matters and is worth buying, and that phones these days are so boring that you need one that folds in half.”
A folding phone is on the cards
Rumours ahead of the launch included a foldable phone, nicknamed Samsung Galaxy X or Galaxy F (for fold), which was teased back in November. It would be a first for the technology company and could be a game-changer in the smartphone market.
Why foldable phones are the next big thing
But that’s not all. Several rivals are rumoured to be launching 5G smartphones at Mobile World Congress next month, which could prompt Samsung to release a rival product today.
Here’s what we know so far
Samsung’s main new phone tonight is expected to be the Samsung Galaxy S10. It is due to feature some “very significant” design changes, according to Samsung’s mobile chief executive DJ Koh. You can read all the rumours here – but we’re expecting more cameras, more memory and a larger display.