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2021-12-02 08:09:48| Engadget

Apple may be struggling with both demand and supply when it comes to the iPhone 13 lineup. According to Bloomberg, the tech giant has told its component suppliers that demand for its biggest moneymaker has weakened just before the holiday season. Back in October, the organization reported that Apple lowered the lineup's production goal to 80 million units 10 million less than its original target due to the lack of parts. However, the company was expecting to make up for the loss next year when component supplies are set to improve. Now, Apple has reportedly told its suppliers that the orders it was expecting to get next year might not materialize at all. The global chip shortage has had significant effects on companies across industries, forcing tech companies and automakers to significantly slash their production targets. In addition to lowering the iPhone 13's production goals, Apple reportedly chose to cut back on the iPad's production to be able to allocate more chips for its new phones. But some potential buyers may already have decided to skip this generation altogether after they were faced with lengthy wait times and lack of stocks at retailers. Especially since reports suggest that the iPhone 14 will be a major upgrade and will represent a complete redesign of the company's mobile devices. Despite the weakening demand, analysts are still expecting Apple to reveal a sales increase of 6 percent in the final three months of 2021. It remains to be seen whether slower demand for the iPhone 13 will have a significant effect on Apple's numbers next year, seeing as its phones have been the biggest contributors to its revenue for years. 

Category: Marketing and Advertising


2021-12-02 01:08:33| Engadget

After months of teasing, the legendary Rhodes piano is back, with Rhodes Music Group opening pre-orders for the new MK8 model on Wednesday. It costs an eye-watering $9,450. And that's only the price of the base model. Want the rad transparent hood? That's an extra $575. How about a walnut bottom shell? Add another $1,095.View this post on InstagramA post shared by Rhodes (@rhodes.piano)With all the possible extras, you can expect to pay $12,640 for a single MK8. That's a lot when you consider you can find a vintage Rhodes for as little as $2,500, and they're still highly desirable.If the price of the MK8 doesn't scare you away, we suggest you order one as soon as you can. With each one assembled by hand at the company's factory in Leeds, England, Rhodes only expects to manufacture about 500 MK8 units in 2022. You can claim a place in line by paying for one in full or putting down a 20 percent deposit. Shipments of the preamp-only model will begin in the first quarter of 2022, with the effects panel one to follow before the second half of the year.It's hard to overstate how important the Rhodes piano has been to the history of contemporary popular music. It was crucial to the evolution of jazz and rock and roll in the '60s, with Kieth Jarrett and Ray Manzarek just some of the musicians who used the instrument to create incredible melodies. More recently, it has made its presence felt in tracks from Nils Frahm and Thom Yorke. And now it has the chance to inspire a new generation of musicians. 

Category: Marketing and Advertising


2021-12-02 00:00:08| Engadget

Qualcomm is expanding its lineup of ARM-based chips for Windows and Chromebook with Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3 and 7c+ Gen 3 platforms. In addition, the company aims to power handheld gaming devices using Snapdragon G3x Gen 1 chipsets.Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3, which builds on last year's Gen 2, is the first 5nm PC platform, according to Qualcomm, which designed it with ultra-slim and fanless laptops in mind. It says that moving to a 5nm process node and other optimizations allowed for improved Kryo CPU performance while sustaining similar power consumption levels as Gen 2 chipsets. The company claims the chipsets will deliver up to 85 percent improved performance compared with the previous generation and up to 60 percent better per-watt performance than x86 chips.Along with 5G and WiFi 6/6E connectivity, the platform is said to offer multi-day battery life, upgraded camera and audio functions and chip-to-cloud security. Systems with 8cx Gen 3 chipsets will be able to take advantage of "29+ TOPS of AI acceleration," which Qualcomm claims is three times the performance of "the leading competitive platform." The AI acceleration could speed up tasks like face detection and background blur on calls. In addition, Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3 supports up to 4K HDR camera quality, and as many as four cameras.Qualcomm also says 8cx Gen 3 will offer up to 60 percent improved performance over previous-generation chips during GPU-intensive tasks thanks to the Adreno GPU. You'll be able to play games in Full HD at up to 120 fps, and Qualcomm claims the platform is optimized to let folks play up to 50 percent longer "than certain competing platforms."QualcommAs for Snapdragon 7c+ Gen 3, that platform's designed for entry-level PCs and Chromebooks, and it emerged only six months after the previous generation. It too supports 5G, both sub-6 and mmWave, thanks to the inclusion of the Snapdragon X53 5G Modem-RF system. You can also expect Wi-Fi 6 and 6E support. Qualcomm says the 6nm 7c Gen 3 platform will deliver up to 40 percent improved CPU performance and as much as 35 percent improved graphics performance over the previous-gen chipsets.ARM-based Windows machines haven't exactly set the world alight, and it remains to be seen whether Qualcomm can help the Windows on Snapdragon platform turn the corner with its latest, more powerful options. Devices with Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3 and 7c+ Gen 3 chipsets are expected to debut in the first half of 2022.QualcommElsewhere, Qualcomm is making moves in a new chipset category: gaming handhelds. It says the Snapdragon G3x Gen 1 Gaming Platform will support game streaming from consoles and PC, cloud gaming services and Android games and apps. The Adreno GPU can run games at 144 fps and at 10-bit HDR, according to the company, while the FastConnect 6900 system offers 5G mmWave and sub-6 and WiFi 6/6E connectivity.To show off the platform, Razer collaborated with Qualcomm on a handheld gaming dev kit that's available to developers starting today via Razer's website. The device features a 120hz, 6.65-inch OLED display with 10-bit HDR support, four-way speakers and a built-in controller. The device can even be used for live streams that include audio and video feeds from players, since it has a 1080p 60 fps camera and dual mics.Should Snapdragon-powered handhelds come to market, they'll be vying against the likes of the Nintendo Switch, Steam Deck, smartphones and tablets. It's a competitive sector, but one that's growing rapidly, so there might be room for devices with Qualcomm chipsets to carve out a niche.Qualcomm

Category: Marketing and Advertising


2021-12-01 23:42:40| Engadget

Payments firm Square plans to change its name to Block as cryptocurrencies and other blockchain technologies become a bigger part of its business. On Wednesday, the company announced it will move forward with the rebranding on December 10th.The name has many associated meanings for the company building blocks, neighborhood blocks and their local businesses, communities coming together at block parties full of music, a blockchain, a section of code, and obstacles to overcome, the company said in a blog post.Were changing our company name so we can give the full @Square brand to our Seller business. So now we need a name to tie @Square, @CashApp, @TIDAL, and @TBD54566975 together into one. That name is Block. Why? https://t.co/vVSKNnMUU3 Square (@Square) December 1, 2021When Jack Dorsey co-founded Square in 2009 shortly after his first stint as CEO of Twitter, the companys only product was its namesake card reader, which allowed merchants to process credit card payments with their phones. Since then, its business has expanded to include stock and crypto trading, money lending and more. This year, Square even bought a majority stake in Tidal. And its that expansion from that the rebranding is designed to encapsulate.We built the Square brand for our Seller business, which is where it belongs, Dorsey said. Block is a new name, but our purpose of economic empowerment remains the same. No matter how we grow or change, we will continue to build tools to help increase access to the economy.The move comes in the same week that Dorsey stepped down as the CEO of Twitter. Since 2015, he had led both Twitter and Square, a position that eventually led to pressure from activist investment firm Elliott Management. In a lot of ways, the rebranding is also reflective of Dorseys well-known enthusiasm for cryptocurrency. After all, this is the man who wanted the world to know he has a Bitcoin clock in his kitchen. He recently announced Square would build a Bitcoin hardware wallet, and consider a mining system.

Category: Marketing and Advertising


2021-12-01 22:10:25| Engadget

Microsoft isn't ready to backtrack on Windows 11's major design changes yet, but at least it's testing out a few new ways to customize the OS. With the latest Windows 11 Insider build (22509), you can have the revamped Start menu show more pinned apps, or more recommended apps and files, in addition to the default mode which balances the two. That's not a return to the Windows 10 Start menu that some diehard users have been clamoring for, and really, it's unlikely Microsoft will ever relent. Windows 11 prioritizes minimalism, and a busy Start menu filled with all of your apps doesn't really fit that mould.MicrosoftAmong other changes, the Insider build will also bring the date and clock back to the taskbar on additional monitor screens, something that was inexplicably removed in Windows 11. Microsoft notes that tweak isn't going to appear for every Insider user, oddly enough. It's a shame Microsoft isn't exploring more ways to customize the taskbarlosing Window labels has made my desktop cleaner, but harder to navigate compared to Windows 10.  The new Windows 11 Insider build will also it easier to use the Edge web browser while using Narrator, Microsoft's built-in screen reader. You can also expect to see more options moving over from the aging Control Panel, and into the cleaner Settings app. That includes Advanced Sharing settings, like Network Discovery and File/Printer Sharing. You'll also see more details about your printers and scanners within the Settings app.  

Category: Marketing and Advertising


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