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1. Apple announcements today: Expect a new era
Over the weekend, more details emerged of what is reported to be a new era for Apple, which is going all-in on services as its iPhone and device dominance falters.
- Apple started its live stream at the Steve Jobs Theatre in Silicon Valley this weekend, days in advance of the event, for the first time.
- The empty theatre played a range of tongue-in-cheek moments and jokes on its screen, including missing an incoming iPhone call from Chris Evans, or Captain America, texts from NBA star Kevin Durant (MacRumors), and had a few performers on stage at various times, too.
- As I write, it’s showing an Apple Maps driving navigation for an on-time arrival to the Steve Jobs Theatre.
- The best in the business suggest at least three new services: Apple’s new streaming video strategy, plus news and magazines, a gaming service for iOS, plus a rumored credit card.
- We’ve reported on the entertainment and news services extensively, with the fresh news scooped by the WSJ that both the TV and movies service, and the news and magazines service, will run for $9.99 per month, including HBO, Showtimes, and Starz.
- HBO sells HBO Now for $14.99 so that’s an intriguing offer.
- The gaming service appears to be for paid iOS games, possibly giving access to the likes of Minecraft, Stardew Valley, Monument Valley, NBA 2K19, and so on.
- And what we won’t see, apparently, are any new devices or gadgets. Last week, Apple quietly announced refreshes to its AirPods, iPads, and iMacs, not deemed to be event worthy.
- Bloomberg calls it all the “biggest strategy change since the iPhone in 2007” and a new era.
- You have around six hours to speculate wildly and/or place your bets on how this will look today, in a few months, and in a few years.
Bonus: The iPhone SE is on sale again at apple.com and even the geeks love it (HN).
2. …Meanwhile in Huawei world
Over at Huawei, which is eating the iPhone’s lunch in China, the Chinese manufacturer is still concentrating on devices.
- The P30 and P30 Pro launch is tomorrow in Paris at 2pm local time (9am EDT).
- Many aspects of each device have been leaked in advance – including details it revealed on its own site seemingly by accident – including the above image.
- @evleaks found a Singaporean announcement page that went live long enough to be caught by Archive.org.
- Based on the leaks it looks like the focus will be on a quad-camera setup, including a “periscope telephoto lens” on the P30 Pro, delivering 10x hybrid zoom, and a night mode for low-light photos.
- Plus a six-inch display, a waterdrop notch, in-display fingerprint sensor, new colors, and a headphone jack on at least the P30.
- Android Authority’s Bogdan Petrovan is on hand in Paris and should provide some direct insight for us on what it all means post-event, so stay tuned.
Quick thought bubble:
- Within the next two days, Apple will make its move on services, while Huawei keeps pushing flagships.
- Apple isn’t even reporting device sales anymore, while Huawei doesn’t have a services ecosystem, just hardware.
- I doubt we’ll see a right or wrong – both approaches can be profitable – but this is the clearest divergence in gadget tech we’ve seen in years.
3. Smartphone photos are getting so much better, but what about video? (AA).
4. A family tracking app was leaking real-time location data for weeks (TechCrunch).
5. Man stole $122m from Facebook and Google by sending them random invoices, which the companies promptly paid (BoingBoing).
6. The Huawei Mate 30 could be the first phone with a chipset built with the latest Extreme UltraViolet (EUV) process (GSMArena).
7. Also, what is EUV and why is it advancing Moore’s Law? (IEEE).
8. As Apple amps up, YouTube bows out of Hollywood arms race versus Netflix and Amazon (Bloomberg).
9. How YouTube toy unboxing videos are changing toys and packaging (Vox).
10. Nintendo to launch two new Switch models as early as this summer: one high-end with better specs, one cheaper and smaller and possibly more like a 3DS (WSJ).
11. How id Software went from skeptical to excited about Google Stadia streaming: successful blind test comparisons after some legwork (Ars Technica)
12. CERN Physicists discover new difference between matter and antimatter (Nature).
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