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Samsung hesitant to use Qualcomm’s unsecure ultrasonic fingerprint scanner in future phones

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Samsung and other OEMs could have become wary of using Qualcomm’s ultrasonic fingerprint scanner on their future devices next year due to recent security issues.

Samsung bucked the industry trend and went with Qualcomm’s ultrasonic in-display fingerprint scanner for the Galaxy S10 and Note 10 which uses ultrasonic waves to read one’s fingerprint in 3D, while almost every other OEM went with an optical in-display fingerprint scanner.

It was touted that Qualcomm’s ultrasonic fingerprint scanner was faster, secure, and more reliable. However, the real-life experience turned out to be exactly the opposite as the Galaxy S10 and Note 10 series were panned for their slow fingerprint scanner performance.

Worse, a major security flaw was discovered with the fingerprint scanner on these flagship Galaxy devices which allowed almost anyone to unlock the phones. This security flaw led to many banks disabling the fingerprint sign-in feature in their app for the S10 and Note 10. Samsung was quick to roll out an update and fix the flaw but the issue had already had a negative impact on the company’s image by then.

An official from a Korean telecommunications company says Samsung ended up going with Qualcomm’s ultrasonic fingerprint scanner despite security issues. These same security concerns could make other OEMs hesitant to adopt the technology in their future devices. A local analyst also believes that Samsung could end up ditching the ultrasonic fingerprint scanner for optical in-display fingerprint scanners made by Korean companies in 2020.

Qualcomm is expected to announce its second generation ultrasonic fingerprint scanner at the upcoming Snapdragon Tech Summit which should address these security concerns and further improve the performance of the scanner. The company will also announce its flagship Snapdragon 865 chip for 2020 at the same event.

Source:
https://www.neowin.net/news/samsung-hesitant-to-use-qualcomms-unsecure-ultrasonic-fingerprint-scanner-in-future-phones

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Huawei will build more HarmonyOS devices next year and sell them globally

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Huawei is planning to release more devices powered by HarmonyOS next year and will market them globally. However, there are no plans to switch its phones, tablets and computers over to the in-house OS. The company already stated that it will not release a Harmony phone this year and it looks like there won’t be one next year either.

It will release peripheral products like smartwatches, though (the current breed of Huawei smartwatches run Lite OS). Huawei is also planning on building smart speakers and VR devices that will run Harmony. Smart TVs too, of course, like the Honor Vision, which will launch in Europe in the near future.

Huawei will build more HarmonyOS devices next year and sell them globally

While the plan is to develop HarmonyOS into a fully-featured OS capable of powering smartphones, the company prefers to stick with Android – it’s Google Mobile Services that need replacing in Huawei’s view. Currently, the company relies on extensions to continue using tech and services provided by US companies.

Source:
https://www.gsmarena.com/huawei_will_build_more_harmonyos_devices_next_year_and_sell_them_globally-news-40481.php

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Huawei’s Mate 30 contains no American parts

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When the extent of the Trump administration’s sanctions targeting Huawei became clear, we wondered whether the Chinese telecoms giant would be able to make a smartphone without American components. The answer, according to a new report by The Wall Street Journal, is apparently yes.

The analysis by UBS and Fomalhaut Techno Solutions says that Huawei’s Mate 30 contains no US parts at all. Huawei appears to have found non-American suppliers for several critical components. For example, it’s now sourcing audio amplifiers from the Netherlands’ NXP rather than Cirrus Logic, relying entirely on its own HiSilicon semiconductor division for Wi-Fi and Bluetooth chips rather than Broadcom, and using other companies like Japan’s Murata and Taiwan’s MediaTek for other parts previously supplied by US manufacturers.

Sally Shin@sallyshin · 21h

New Huawei Mate 30 used zero US suppliers, teardown analysis shows

Intel
Broadcom
Qualcomm
Qorvo
Skyworks
Cirrus Logic

all provide parts to Huawei https://www.wsj.com/articles/huawei-manages-to-make-smartphones-without-american-chips-11575196201 …Huawei Manages to Make Smartphones Without American ChipsAmerican tech companies are getting the go-ahead to resume business with Chinese smartphone giant Huawei, but it may be too late: it is now building smartphones without U.S. chips.wsj.com

Sally Shin@sallyshin

UBS: Huawei’s internalization effort looks to have progressed faster than expected, as we now see some Huawei 4G models (Y9 Prime 2019 and Mate 30) which are not using any US components anymore

h/t @WigglesPalmer

View image on Twitter

72:30 PM – Dec 2, 2019Twitter Ads info and privacySee Sally Shin’s other Tweets

Huawei has a “clear preference to continue to integrate and buy components from U.S. supply partners,” a company spokesperson told the WSJ. “If that proves impossible because of the decisions of the US government, we will have no choice but to find alternative supply from non-US sources.”

Huawei hasn’t been able to divest itself of US suppliers entirely, even though it’s banned from doing business with most of them. The company said it had been stockpiling components in anticipation of sanctions, and separate teardowns reveal that some newer devices are still reliant on American parts. TechInsights, for example, shows that the higher-end Mate 30 Pro 5G uses chips from Qualcomm and Texas Instruments.

This could be for any number of reasons; presumably Huawei would want to use up the chips it saved for this scenario regardless of whether it had any other options. It’s also not surprising that the company would be making big moves to diversify its supply chain. What the UBS teardown does demonstrate, however, is that Huawei is entirely capable of manufacturing high-end smartphones without American suppliers. The question remains whether anyone outside China will buy one.

Source:
https://www.theverge.com/2019/12/3/20993148/huawei-mate-30-no-american-components-manufacturers

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Facebook buys maker of hit VR game ‘Beat Saber’

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Facebook-owned Oculus on Tuesday said it is buying the studio behind hit virtual reality game “Beat Saber” as it looks to expand VR technology to wider audiences.

Oculus, which makes Rift and Quest VR headgear, did not disclose financial terms of the deal to acquire Prague-based Beat Games.

“Beat Games is joining us in our quest to bring VR to more people around the world,” Oculus director of augmented and virtual reality content Mike Verdu said in a blog post.

“Beat Games’ accomplishments are already impressive, but Facebook and the Beat Games team know that there is so much more that can be done across VR, games, and music.”

Verdu assured players that the studio would continue to ship content and updates for “Beat Saber” on platforms where it is already available.

In the virtual game, players use light sabers to slash oncoming, large cubes to the beat of the music, sometimes twisting or ducking to avoid oncoming walls.

“VR reimagines old genres and invents new ones,” Verdu said.

Oculus is exploring ways, including acquisitions, to accelerate the adoption of virtual reality technology, which Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg has heralded as the next major computing platform.

“With the resources and know-how that we can offer, Beat Games will be able to accelerate, adding more music and more exciting features to ‘Beat Saber’ as well as bringing the game to more people,” Verdu said.

Facebook is planning a virtual social community where users of its Oculus headgear can “explore new places” via its Horizon virtual world, which is set for a beta launch in 2020.

Oculus users will be able to choose an avatar and interact with others in the virtual community, Facebook said earlier this year.

Horizon will replace earlier versions of the social VR community Facebook Spaces and Oculus Rooms.

Oculus remains a small part of Facebook, whose core social network and other platforms reach more than two billion people worldwide.

Analysts expect sales of 1.3 million units in 2019 of the Oculus Quest, a wireless VR headset unveiled last year.

Source:
https://guardian.ng/technology/facebook-buys-maker-of-hit-vr-game-beat-saber/

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