Author: News Aggregate

Look Out Apple: Is Spotify Building Its Own Smart Speaker?

Spotify is working on a line of “category defining” hardware products and is ready to start setting up the manufacturing process. The streaming music company intends to create a hardware category “akin to Pebble Watch, Amazon Echo, and Snap Spectacles,” according to job adverts posted over the past year. One ad for a senior product manager, posted last April, called for an expert to “define the product requirements for internet connected hardware [and] the software that powers it.” Today, a trio of job adverts (spotted by industry site MusicAlly) have been posted, seeking an “operations manager,” “senior project manager: hardware production,” and “project manager: hardware production and engineering” for the hardware. The first of those adverts states that “Spotify is on its way [to] creating its first physical products and set-up an operational organization for manufacturing, supply chain, sales and marketing.” The new hire would manage the supply chain for the new product, suggesting the company is ready to begin the manufacturing process shortly. Spotify declined to comment on this story. Historically, the streaming service has largely relied on third-parties to make it available to users. Its Spotify Connect feature allows products such as Amazon’s Echo, Sony’s PS4, and even BMW 7 series cars to directly pull streams from the cloud. But it has also faced pressure from a few manufacturers who don’t want to incorporate the Connect functionality...

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Anyone Need OLED Panels? Poor iPhone X Sales Leave Samsung with Surplus

Working under the assumption that the iPhone X would sell like hotcakes, Samsung set off to produce and deliver a huge number of OLED (or organic light-emitting diode) screens for Apple’s 10th anniversary handset. Although the new phone was Apple’s biggest earner, it actually sold less units than any other iPhone model before it. This low demand has caused Apple to reportedly reduce its iPhone X production by half, leaving Samsung with a surplus of OLED panels which the South Korean company is now unable to sell. According to a report in the Nikkei Asian Review, Samsung is looking for new buyers who could potentially use the OLED panels on their own handsets. Unfortunately, the potential buyers are the Chinese manufacturers who produce handsets for the budget or mid-range market and prefer to stick to low-cost LCD displays. Money Matters The iPhone X was one of the most expensive handsets launched in 2017, and its costly OLED displays were a part of the reason why — Samsung’s OLED panels cost over $100 each, which is more than twice the cost of the company’s liquid crystal displays. To sprinkle salt on the proverbial wound, Samsung is also facing stiff competition from rival manufacturers. The South Korean giant currently controls about 95% of the OLED market, but that could soon drop with LG Display ramping up production this year, as are...

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Google Pay Is In, Android Pay and Google Wallet Are Out

Two-and-a-half years after it launched its Android Pay system for mobile purchases, Google is revamping its digital payments platform to make it “simpler, safer, and more consistent” for users. The company announced today that it is rolling out a new Google Pay app for Android device users that will replace its previous app, Android Pay. It’s also giving “a fresh coat of paint” to its seven-year-old peer-to-peer payment system, Google Wallet, now renamed Google Pay Send. Google first unveiled its new plans for mobile payments in January, and even more updates are in the works, with additional features expected to become available over the next few months. Google Pay across the Google Ecosystem The new Google Pay app is part of Google’s wider plan to bring mobile payment capabilities to every part of the Google environment, according to Gerardo Capiel, product management director for consumer payments, and Varouj Chitilian, engineering director for consumer payments. “We’re currently working on bringing Google Pay to all Google products, so whether you’re shopping on Chrome or with your Assistant, you’ll have a consistent checkout experience using the cards saved to your Google Account,” Capiel and Chitilian noted today on the Google Blog. “As we continue to expand to even more devices and services, the new app offers an exciting glimpse of what?EU?s to come.” The new Google Pay app features a Home tab...

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Samsung Galaxy S9: Leaks, Rumors and What We Actually Know

Samsung will launch its new Galaxy S9 and S9+ flagship pair of smartphones, the followup to the popular Galaxy S8 range, in Barcelona on 25 February. Here is everything we think we know about the new top-spec Android smartphones. Same All-Screen Design The Galaxy S8 ushered in a new all-screen design to the modern smartphone, which was followed by everyone from OnePlus to Apple with its iPhone X. The Galaxy S9 will have a similar design that is expected to match the sizes of the S8 and S8+ [pictured here] and come with curved edges, an elongated screen with rounded corners, metal edges and glass front and back, according to several well placed sources talking to the Guardian. Improved Single Camera A few details are expected to change for the new model, primarily around imaging. The Galaxy S8 had an improved version of the 12-megapixel camera fitted to the previous Galaxy S7. The Galaxy S9 is expected to come with an improved single camera and the S9+ with a version of Samsung’s dual-camera system that first debuted in the Note 8, according to two people familiar with the matter. The orientation of the camera equipment and the fingerprint scanner on the back of the smartphones has been changed from horizontal to vertical, which is expected to make the biometric system easier to reach, two sources said. Samsung’s teaser trailers...

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Qualcomm Boosts NXP Bid as It Fights Broadcom Takeover

Qualcomm is raising its takeover bid for NXP Semiconductors by nearly 16 percent to about $43.22 billion, citing in part NXP’s strong results since the companies first announced their merger in October 2016. The move announced Tuesday comes as Qualcomm itself is in the crosshairs of Broadcom Ltd., which earlier this month raised its own cash and stock bid for Qualcomm to $121 billion. Qualcomm, based in San Diego, had offered $110 per share cash for NXP, based in The Netherlands. It said Tuesday it’s now offering $127.50 per share. The chipmaker said holders of 28 percent of NXP stock have agreed to tender their shares at the higher price. After news of the higher bid, Broadcom said it’s evaluating its options, calling out the Qualcomm board for their “disregard for its fiduciary duty to maximize value for Qualcomm stockholders.” The San Jose, California, company continued to urge Qualcomm shareholders to vote for the Broadcom slate of six director candidates at the Qualcomm annual meeting on March 6. In morning trading, NXP shares rose 6.3 percent to $125.91. Qualcomm slid 3.8 percent to $62.41. Broadcom rose just over 1 percent to $251.84. http://www.newsfactor.com/story.xhtml?story_id=107381 http://www.freenewsfeed.com/rss...

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