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By Abhay V
iPhone 12 Pro models and new iPad Air reportedly seeing higher than expected demand
by Abhay Venkatesh
Apple unveiled a host of products through multiple virtual events this fall. The first event in September saw the introduction of new iPad models. The October event was reserved for the new iPhones, while the November event was solely focused on unveiling the ARM-based M1 chip and new Mac devices powered by Apple’s own SoC.
While the new iPhone devices launched later than their yearly schedule, the devices – especially the iPhone 12 Pro series – are reportedly seeing higher than expected demand, according to renowned analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. The report, accessed by MyFixGuide, goes over expectations about the demand for various Apple products through the last quarter of this year and the first quarter of 2021.
The analyst suggests that the demand for the iPhone 12 Pro and 12 Pro Max models are higher than expected, offsetting the lower than expected demand for the iPhone 12 and 12 mini, which led to an overall increase in shipments. Demand for the new iPad Air, Watch Series 6, and Watch SE too are strong, with shipments expected to increase further next year. New technologies like mini-LED displays, 5G support, and more are said to benefit the iPad line next year, whereas improvements in the design and “innovative health management functions” might be on the cards for the firm’s smartwatch offering.
The new M1 powered MacBook models are also reportedly seeing higher demand that initially expected. Additionally, the analyst also reiterates previously reported information about redesigned MacBook Pro laptops expected sometime in the second half of 2021, which will help improve shipment figures further.
Lastly, Kuo predicts that AirPods shipments could flat-line or even decline up to ten percent in the first half of 2021, following lower than expected demand. The possible reasons for the decline include manufacturing hurdles, thanks to the increased focus on producing shared components for the iPhone and the lack of a successor this year. The firm is expected to launch the third generation AirPods sometime in the first half of 2021.
By Namerah S
2020 Holiday Gift Guide: Smartphones
by Namerah Saud Fatmi
Gifting a loved one a smartphone can be a great way to show your affection towards them. Maybe your father has a really old phone that needs to be replaced, or maybe you have a younger sibling who is in college and can't afford to get an upgrade. No matter the occasion or the person, receiving a phone as a present will definitely put a smile on anyone's face.
If you're confused or completely lost for ideas, check out our list of recommendations down below:
Image via Apple Although the vast majority of people subscribe to the ideology 'the bigger the better', when it comes to smartphone sizes, there is still a large number of people who have more petite preferences. If not the size, the nostalgia factor could definitely be a reason for you to buy an iPhone SE for your special person this year.
Powered by the A13 Bionic chip, the iPhone SE has a small 4.7-inch Retina display, an IP67 waterproof and dust resistance rating and a single-lens 12MP f/1.8 rear camera. The phone is available in three shades, Black, White and PRODUCT(RED). You can purchase the Apple device for upwards of $299.
Mi Note 10
Image via Xiaomi Global Are you searching for a flagship phone on a budget? If you are, look no further because Xiaomi's Mi Note 10 is the perfect choice for you. Powered by the SnapDragon 730G, it has a 6.47-inch curved AMOLED screen, a gigantic 5260mAh battery, a penta-camera setup on the rear led by a 108MP main camera, 30W fast charging support, and an in-screen fingerprint sensor. It even has a headphone jack, which is something unusual for a 2020 flagship.
The Chinese all-rounder comes in three colours, has 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. If you are interested in purchasing the Mi Note 10, you can find it here for about $499.
If your special someone is really environmentally conscious, perhaps this might be a great gift. The whole idea behind the Fairphone 3+ or any of the other Fairphone devices is to create sustainable, eco-friendly phones. In line with this philosophy, they use recycled materials and try to make their smartphones as long-lasting as possible. Most of the components in the smartphone can be replaced, upgraded or repaired very easily.
The base Fairphone 3+ sports a 5.65-inch IPS LCD screen, 4GB RAM, 64GB internal storage, 3,040mAh and is powered by the Snapdragon 632 chipset. You can check out our review here and purchase the device for €469 here.
One of the prettiest looking phones this year would have to be the OnePlus 8 in Interstellar Glow - a colour option best described as the colour of the sky just before the sun sets. For that one flamboyant person in your life who is bright, perky and a lover of unicorns and all things rainbow, this shade hits the nail right on the head.
Not only is the OnePlus 8 a real good looker, but it also has great guts. The slim smartphone boasts a 6.55-inch fluid AMOLED display, 5G support, Snapdragon 865, 4,300mAh battery, Warp Charge 30T and a bunch of other features for a starting price of $699. You can check out our review here or purchase the OnePlus device on Amazon for a discounted price of $599.
Samsung Galaxy S20 FE
Image via Samsung Mobile Press Lastly, we have the Samsung Galaxy S20 FE, an elegant smartphone that serves as the perfect finish for our list. The Galaxy device has a 6.5-inch flat Super AMOLED display with a 120Hz refresh rate and is available in a wide range of assorted colours. Apart from the colour options, another plus point is that the device supports 5G.
Other noteworthy tech specs include a water resistance rating of IP68, RAM options of 6GB and 8GB, 128GB or 256GB of internal storage, a 4,500mAh battery, Fast Wireless Charging 2.0 support and an under-the-screen optical fingerprint sensor. Currently, you can acquire a unit of the Galaxy S20 FE for $50 less than its usual price tag of $699 on Amazon.
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By Rich Woods
2020 Holiday Gift Guide: Smartwatches
by Rich Woods
Smartwatches can be an excellent gift because not everyone has one. If they do have one, it might be a few years old, as it's not something that we refresh as often as a smartphone. If you're looking to get a tech gift for someone that seems to have everything else, a smartwatch might be the way to go.
Here are some of our favorite smartwatches:
Huawei Watch Fit
Huawei's Watch Fit was one of my personal favorite smartwatches of the year. It's also the most inexpensive one that I reviewed at $129.99, but what's cool about this little device is that it has guided workouts. It's a great way to stay in shape when we can't go out. Of course, it will track your regular workouts, deliver notifications, and more. It also gets up to 10 days of battery life.
You can check out out review here, or find the product here. It works with iOS and Android.
Huawei Watch GT 2
It probably looks weird to have two Huawei products back-to-back, but it wouldn't make sense to come back around to this, as the Watch GT 2 series is so similar to the Watch Fit. The Watch GT 2 Pro is definitely the most stylish watch that I reviewed this year, and it has everything the Fit has except the guided workouts, and then some. For example, this watch can playback music during your workouts. It also gets up to two weeks of battery life, something that's unheard of in a smartwatch.
Coming in at under $200 for the non-Pro, it comes in a 46mm size and a smaller 42mm size for those with smaller wrists. You can check out our review here and check it out here. It works with iOS and Android.
Mobvoi TicWatch Pro 3
The TicWatch Pro 3 is the first smartwatch to use Qualcomm's Snapdragon Wear 4100 chipset, the first to use Cortex-A53 and the first major advancement to the chipset since Android Wear was introduced in 2014. For that reason, the TicWatch Pro 3 is actually the only Wear OS smartwatch that I'd recommend right now.
It also has a unique dual-screen technology, which puts an LCD display on top of the OLED screen, so it's not using much power when it's idling. You can check out the review here, and check out the product here for $299.99. Wear OS works with both iOS and Android, although using it with iOS can be a bit limited.
Samsung Galaxy Watch3
Samsung's smartwatches run its Tizen OS, and they're actually pretty good. The newest one is called the Galaxy Watch3, and it has new features like blood pressure, ECG, and blood oxygen monitoring.
The 41mm model normally starts at $399.99, but you can get it for $339 right now. The 45mm variant is normally $429.99 and is on sale for $369. Both LTE variants are $60.99 off as well, with the 41mm one coming in at $389 and the 45mm one coming in at $419.
If you're looking for something that's more inexpensive along the same lines, check out the Galaxy Watch Active2, which is $70 off at $179.99 and $199.99 for the 40mm and 44mm models, respectively.
Samsung's watches work with all Android devices that have access to the Google Play Store, but it has much better integration with Samsung phones.
It wouldn't be a smartwatch gift guide without the Apple Watch, a device that many consider to be the best on the market. It only works with iPhones, of course, and the newest update adds features like sleep tracking, third-party watch face support, and more.
Apple still sells the Apple Watch Series 3, and it's currently $20 off at $179. You can also grab the Apple Watch SE $20 off for $289, or the Apple Watch Series 6 starting at $379. Apple offers a bunch of different configurations, and the prices go up from there.
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By Rich Woods
2020 Holiday Gift Guide: Streaming solutions
by Rich Woods
Every year, we like to write up some holiday gift guides for those that like to get people some device as a gift, but don't quite know what to get. One of my favorite topics is set-top boxes; you know, those little streaming devices that let you play Netflix, Hulu, and a lot more. The reason is that for so many people, streaming devices are the perfect gift.
There are so many people that only think to upgrade one component of their entertainment system. I can't tell you how many people I see spend a couple thousand dollars on a brand-new LG OLED or Samsung QLED 4K UHD TV, but they're still using their third-generation Apple TV or original Amazon Fire TV Stick. Many people just don't stop to think that they're limiting their experience by using an old device.
It's a meaningful upgrade in our experience too. We spend a lot of our time in front of TVs, whether it's for binging a new show on Netflix or watching movies. Going from something that only supports FHD to something that supports UHD and HDR formats like Dolby Vision can really change the experience. And it's not even an expensive gift.
Amazon Fire TV
If you're buying for someone that's invested in Amazon's ecosystem, the Fire TV is the way to go. What's great about them is that Amazon has some solid deals on its own hardware throughout the holiday season. There are four key products here: Fire TV Cube, Fire TV Stick 4K, Fire TV Stick, and Fire TV Stick Lite.
The Fire TV Cube is the best that Amazon has to offer. It's faster than the quad-core processors in the Fire TV Sticks with its hexa-core chipset, and it has an Ethernet port for wired internet speeds. Another key feature is far-field voice microphones for Alexa support. It's normally $119.99, but right now, it's $79.99.
The Fire TV Stick 4K has the same picture quality as the Fire TV Cube, meaning 4K resolution support along with HDR10+, Dolby Vision, and more HDR support. It comes with an Alexa voice remote. Normally $49.99, this product is just $29.99.
Next, we have the FHD lineup, which is the Fire TV Stick and the Fire TV Stick light. The Fire TV stick is normally $39.99 and it's marked down to $27.99, so you should probably just spend the extra $2 for 4K and Dolby Vision support. Finally, normally $29.99, the Fire TV Stick Lite is $17.99.
Fire TV Cube Fire TV Stick 4K Fire TV Stick Fire TV Stick Lite Google Chromecast
Google's Chromecast was always a product that I had trouble recommending. The whole idea was supposed to be a new take on a streaming device. Instead of a remote control, you cast content from your smartphone to the device, also controlling it with your phone. It was interesting, but not always practical.
The new Chromecast is more traditional though. It comes with an actual operating system, Google TV, which will let you run all of your apps like Netflix, Hulu, and so on. It also comes with a proper remote control. And another thing, you don't need to spend extra money on some "Ultra" variant to get 4K support. The new Chromecast supports 4K resolution, and HDR formats like Dolby Vision, HDR10, and HDR10+.
If you want to check it out on the Google Store, you can find it here.
The nice thing about Roku is that it's platform-agnostic. Amazon's Fire TV is built around Amazon Prime subscription content and on-demand content. Apple TV is built around iTunes. Roku isn't built around any service, although it does have a few of its own now. Roku was also the first to make a streaming set-top box back in the day.
These days, it makes a ton of products, and you can check out the full list here. At the top of the lineup is the Roku Ultra, which supports 4K, Dolby Vision, Dolby Atmos, and wired internet. Usually $99.99, it's on sale for $69.99. Roku also has the Streambar and Smart Soundbar, which add audio quality to the mix along with 4K HDR support.
There are some other things that are nice about Roku too, such as AirPlay support if you don't want to go all-in on an Apple TV. There's also a headphone jack in the remote control, so you can watch TV without waking people up. Just like Amazon, Roku also has its own range of inexpensive streaming sticks.
Roku Ultra ($69, usually $99.99) Roku Streambar (99.99, usually $129.99) Roku Smart Soundbar ($179.99) Apple TV
Apple TV is great if you're invested in Apple's ecosystem, and the nice thing about iTunes is that Apple doesn't charge extra for 4K content. Apple has two models, the Apple TV HD and Apple TV 4K. The difference is pretty self-explanatory. The only problem is that the Apple TV 4K is already three years old, and the Apple TV HD is over five years old.
If you want to check these out, you can find them here:
Apple TV 4K ($179) Apple TV HD ($149) As an Amazon Associate, Neowin may earn commission from qualifying purchases.
By Jay Bonggolto
Apple extends deadline for online group event in-app purchase requirement to June 2021
by Jay Bonggolto
Apple is giving developers more time to incorporate in-app purchase systems into their apps that offer paid online events, a requirement that was initially set to take effect by the end of this year. That deadline has now been extended to June 30, 2021.
In September, Apple temporarily eased its policy that required an in-app purchase system for apps offering paid online group experiences. The reprieve lifted the 30% App Store fee for those events until December 31, allowing businesses to hold paid events and get all of the earnings after tax.
The change was made after Facebook complained about that requirement following the launch of its paid online events, which was meant to help Page owners monetize their live streams. The social networking giant then asked Apple and Google to waive the 30% fees from revenues generated through these events in support of small businesses and creators. The Cupertino-based company initially declined Facebook's request.
In announcing the extension, Apple cited the COVID-19 pandemic: “As the world fights COVID-19, we recognize that adapting experiences from in-person to digital continues to be a top priority.” That means small businesses and creators can now continue to conduct paid group events online through their iOS apps without paying Apple's standard App Store fees until mid 2021.