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Tech Trend! Samsung sets up 2019 innovation war with foldable smartphone

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D.J. Koh, President and CEO at the IT and Mobile Communications Division of Samsung Electronics, knows what boredom can eventually do to technology — especially to smartphones that are lately witnessing incremental enhancements amid sales slowing down globally.

Barring design changes and offering Artificial Intelligence (AI)-enabled hardware, smartphones are currently offering nothing out-of-the-box.
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The charismatic Samsung executive now wants you to fold the smartphone in half and use it like a tablet.

While other players like Huawei, LG, Motorola and arch rival Apple have secured patents on foldable devices, Samsung has taken a definitive lead with a real one.

Setting the stage for the Next-Gen innovation war, Koh teased us in an interview with tech portal CNET last month: “Possibly when we start selling the foldable phone, it may be a niche market… but definitely, it will expand. I’m positive that we do need a foldable phone.”

The world finally saw a glimpse of the foldable phone during the Samsung Developer Conference 2018 in New York on November 7 when Justin Dennison, Senior Vice President of Mobile Marketing, took out a real foldable smartphone from his jacket.

Reports now say Samsung Electronics plans to launch its first foldable smartphone in March next year and the shipment volume will be at least one million.

Will Samsung’s next big innovation change the furtune of the smartphone industry in 2019?
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“Tab in your pocket is a great idea. The consumers’ reactions and real use cases will tell us whether this extreme device will succeed or not, but at the moment, it is a remarkable innovation and now very much in existence,” Jaipal Singh, Associate Research Manager, Client Devices, IDC India, told IANS.

Industry experts say Samsung may showcase the foldable smartphone at the Mobile World Congress (MWC) in February, ahead of the official launch in the following month.

While the price of the foldable smartphone has not been decided, it is said that it may cost around $1,770 to begin with.

According to Tarun Pathak, Associate Director at Counterpoint Research, Samsung has set a high bar for smartphone vendors, especially at a time when innovation is perceived to have reached its peak.

“With the upgrade cycle getting longer, smartphones with curved displays have potential to become popular with early adopters. This will also have implications on supply chain and developers,” Pathak told IANS.

Positioning of components and creating content for developers is equally important in case of such devices.

“While the concept of foldable devices was always there, the Samsung announcement has put a lot of weight behind such a category that is ready for commercial deployment,” Pathak added.

Experts have various suggestions about the upcoming device — that it should not be bulky, should consume less battery and fit easily into the palm; but Samsung must have deliberated on such factors while developing the device.

“Multi-tasking is the future and this device fulfills that. The experience has to be seamless for the consumers. The durability is also important for heavy users,” said Singh.

The upcoming device will fold inward and sport a 7.4-inch screen when unfolded and have a 4.6-inch display like a regular smartphone when folded, said a report in Yonhap news agency.

According to Prabhu Ram, Head-Industry Intelligence Group (IIG), CyberMedia Research (CMR), the Samsung foldable phone will mark the beginning of a long road of new innovation.

“Smartphones have not seen much disruptive innovations for a long time now — in form factor and display. Samsung has now achieved a technical breakthrough in display manufacturing,” Ram told IANS.

A foldable smartphone will soon reach near you. Koh, who understands the global smartphone market inside-out, says the foldable phone will not be a “gimmick product that will disappear after six to nine months after it’s delivered”.

Whether it will perfectly slip into your pocket and fit into your budget is yet to be seen, but foldable displays have rekindled hope in a market that reached its peak in 2018 and is waiting for the next big thing.

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After WhatsApp Groups, User Phone Numbers Found In Google Search Results.

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WhatsApp continues to be in the news for some wrong reasons. The messaging app has been attracting attention over the new privacy policy row. Now, phone numbers of WhatsApp web users have reportedly been found on Google Search. This comes a few days after it was reported that group chats have been exposed on Google Search. Users could simply search for the group on Google they want to join. The latest breach has leaked the phone number of WhatsApp’s web users, according to an report. Let’s take a look at the latest WhatsApp update issue to see if there are things you could do to avoid exposing your details online.

Details of WhatsApp’s Web users have leaked online. According to the a report, the messaging app has allegedly exposed the phone numbers of the web users on Google Search via indexing. This comes days after another report which stated that group chats have been exposed on Google Search.

Security researcher Rajshekhar Rajaria claims that the phone numbers of WhatsApp web users have appeared on Google Search. “If someone is using WhatsApp on a laptop or on an office PC, the mobile numbers are being indexed on Google Search. These are mobile numbers of individual users, not business numbers,” Rajaharia told IANS. The researcher also shared some screenshots with the publication.

WhatsApp, earlier today, announced that it is delaying its new policy by three months. The messaging app is doing so to help everyone understand its principles and the facts. “We’ve heard from so many people how much confusion there is around our recent update. There’s been a lot of misinformation causing concern and we want to help everyone understand our principles and the facts,” it said. The messaging app also announced that no one will have their account suspended or deleted on February 8. 

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