screens

Samsung already at work on new smartphones with foldable screens
The Samsung Fold will hit the US market in the spring of 2019, and a European launch is also expected later in the year. ― AFP pic SAN FRANCISCO, March 7 ― Having created a buzz on February 20 when it revealed its first foldable smartphone, dubbed the Galaxy Fold, Samsung is already working on other similar models, Bloomberg reports.Two other models are reportedly under development at the South Korean monolith. One is said to have a foldable screen on the outside of the smartphone, while the other has a vertical opening with a second screen inside.For the moment, Samsung is thought to be working on various prototypes and might reveal models ready for market by the end of 2019. Bloomberg reports that these phones will also have an in-display fingerprint scanner, as featured in the Galaxy S10.The Samsung Galaxy Fold has a sizeable 7.3-inch screen once it is unfolded like a book, and a “small” 4.6-inch screen when folded. It's on sale from the end of April at a starting price of US$1,980 (RM8,099) in the US, and it's exected to launch in Europe later this year.Foldable screens seem to be the new major trend of 2019 in the mobile phone industry, as following Samsung, Huawei's Mate X was unveiled at the Mobile World Congress. The Mate X is expected to be launched this year at a price of €2,299. It differs from the Galaxy Fold in that its large 8-inch screen is on the outside rather than the inside of the device.Other major smartphone manufacturers such as Oppo, TCL and Xiaomi have said that they are also working on folding handsets. ― AFP-Relaxnews [...]
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Under fire Huawei and foldable screens in focus at top mobile fair
5G devices to shine at the Mobile World Congress 2019 starting Monday. ― AFP pic BARCELONA, Feb 22 ― Phone makers will focus on foldable screens and the introduction of blazing fast 5G wireless networks at the world's biggest mobile fair starting Monday in Spain as they try to reverse a decline in sales of smartphones.Huawei will also be in the spotlight at the four-day Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona as the Chinese telecom giant fights US efforts to persuade its allies not to use the company's technology to build their 5G networks due to concerns that its gear could facilitate Chinese spying.The firm is the leading manufacturer of equipment for the fifth-generation cellular networks which operators are starting to install. The technology ― known as 5G ―  will bring near-instantaneous connectivity for smartphones and devices from automobiles to robots.“This year we are going to see real 5G ready launches happening in different countries and the focus will be on where, when, how and what are the consumer benefits going to be of 5G in 2019,” said Ian Fogg, a mobile industry analyst at OpenSignal, which collects and analyses data from mobile networks.Huawei and other firms are scheduled to carry out 5G smartphone demos at the fair even though the next generation wireless network will not be widely available for several more years.Samsung, the world's biggest seller of smartphones, unveiled a handset that folds open to be a tablet on Wednesday in San Francisco, becoming the first major manufacturer to offer the long-awaited feature.China's Xiaomi and several other firms are expected to follow Samsung's lead and present foldable devices of their own in Barcelona although it was not clear if they would be prototypes or commercially available devices such as Samsung's.'Consumer frustration' Foldable phones come as handset makers are scrambling to introduce new features to attract customers.Global smartphone sales fell 4.1 per cent in 2018 to a total of 1.4 billion units due to an economic slowdown in China, which consumes about one-third of the world's phones, and a lack of major innovations that encourage people to upgrade their devices, according to research firm IDC.Sales fell by 0.5 per cent in 2017 for a first annual decline.“People have been holding on to their phones longer. A lot of it is consumer frustration that devices aren't changing a tonne and prices keep going up,” said senior IDC research analyst Ryan Reith.Apple as usual will not be present at the show and Huawei this year will present its new flagship at an event in Paris in March instead of at the fair.With the three biggest smartphone makers not unveiling new devices in Barcelona, the rest of the industry will have a rare opportunity to grab the spotlight at the fair.Huawei opportunity? Huawei received a boost in its battle to ease concerns over its technology in the lead up to the congress after the Financial Times reported on Monday that British intelligence has concluded security risks posed by using equipment made by the firm can be managed.And mobile communications industry body GSMA, which organises the fair, urged European governments not to ban Huawei from helping to build their 5G networks.Australia, New Zealand and Japan have followed Washington's call for a Huawei ban, but the picture in Europe is more nuanced, not least because Huawei's 5G capabilities are ahead of those of its rivals, analysts say.Major countries such as Germany fear banning the Chinese firm would cause a considerable setback in Europe's efforts to deploy 5G and stay competitive in communications.The fair will be an opportunity for the Chinese firm “to show that it is continuing to do their work, that it's still innovating, and that it does things well differently from its competitors,” said Dexter Thillien, an analyst at Fitch Solutions. ― AFP [...]
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Attack of the small screens: Africa eyes mobile gaming boom
Sidick Bakayoko, founder of Paradise Games, in the Ivory Coast, talks about his work at Africa Games Week, one of Africa’s most significant electronic gaming expos, in Cape Town November 28, 2018. — AFP pic CAPE TOWN, Dec 2 — An army of humans laid waste to an alien colony as South African video game maker Simon Spreckley enthusiastically controlled the action using his phone’s touch screen.“The penetration of mobile devices in Africa is huge. People often have two or three phones, which is pretty crazy,” said Spreckley, 40, who wore a T-shirt emblazoned with “Brute”, a four-armed muscled alien from the game.“So that’s one of the big pluses and why we are trying to do this,” he said, promoting Invasion Day which will likely launch on Apple’s App Store and Google’s Play platform in 2019.The multi-player tactics game, set in the 1950s, is the brainchild of Spreckley’s eight-strong team at VSUS, a Cape Town-based developer.Many other African developers are also opting to tailor games for mobile devices instead of traditional consoles like PlayStation or desktop computers, leading to a surge of handheld innovation on the continent.“There’s enormous potential in Africa because the continent is primarily mobile,” said Sidick Bakayoko, 34, the founder of Paradise Game, an umbrella group for developers in Ivory Coast.“We’ve done a jump and instead of first going with PC, we’ve gone directly to mobile,” he told AFP at last week’s Africa Games Week convention in Cape Town which brought together African games coders, developers and artists with top executives from Sony and other industry giants.“With the emergence of a number of low-cost smartphones, it’s now very easy to purchase a mobile phone,” he said while video games enthusiasts tried out the continent’s latest digital offerings on screens nearby.‘Jump on the bandwagon’Bakayoko said that the increasing number of African gaming products for handheld devices mirrored the explosion of mobile banking and financial tools like Kenya’s Mpesa on the continent in recent years.“So there’s great potential for video games using electronic payments... it can work well with Kenya as a prime example,” he said.“There’s no reason for Africa not to jump on the bandwagon.”Another part of mobile gaming’s appeal over other platforms in Africa is that it consumes less data, which can be slow or costly.“In Nigeria, they even get games pre-loaded on the phones because data is so expensive,” said Evan Greenwood, 37, the director of South Africa’s leading computer game studio Free Lives.“There’s the potential (in Africa) — but data has to get cheaper and the right games have to be made.”Invasion Day will be free to download, but players must purchase upgrades from within the game.Spreckley hopes Invasion Day will catch the eye of a major investor, but many African mobile games developers have struggled to turn their creations into cash.   ‘In more people’s hands’Ivory Coast’s Point Point, based on a traditional children’s game played using paper, and Madagascar’s Gazkar, a racing game featuring the island’s ubiquitous Citroen 2CV, have proved popular with mobile gamers — though not readily profitable.But Google’s decision in June to allow games developers from African countries including Nigeria, Zimbabwe, South Africa and Tanzania to make money from their creations sold on its Play store could revolutionise the sector.“Most people use (Google) Android here,” said Sithe Ncube, 24, the founder of Zambia’s Ubongo Game Lab.“People haven’t had a way to monetise their mobile games. People have actually been developing apps for a while but there hasn’t been a way to use it as a business model,” said Ncube who wore a spiked choker and had a streak of bright purple in her dark hair.“If Google Play can let us do that, then that’s a good platform for people to start on.”In 2017, accountants PwC said “revenues for console and PC games will lose market share to social (and) casual gaming” like that offered on handheld devices.Africa’s video game industry, currently worth US$310 million, would be worth US$642 million by 2021, the firm added.Spreckley said that choosing the mobile support for his game would mean “we can get it in more people’s hands quicker”.“You’re not reliant on people buying big expensive consoles and then products off the shelf.” — AFP [...]
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Bye bye, home button: Apple gives new iPhones edge-to-edge screens
First the headphone jack, now the home button: Apple is saying goodbye to classic hardware elements to make room for new design features, like an edge-to-edge screen that is now available even in cheaper models. [...]
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Coromandel screens inspire Chanel’s new high jewellery collection
‘Horizon Lointain’ plastron necklace in yellow gold, platinum, diamonds and mother of pearl from the Chanel ‘Coromandel’ high jewellery collection. — AFP pic PARIS, July 10 — French fashion house Chanel presented a new high jewellery collection alongside the haute couture fashion shows in Paris (July 1-5). This season’s collection is inspired by the designer Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel’s love of Coromandel lacquered screens. The poetic universe of these Chinese “objets d’art” and the techniques used to make them gives rise to a high jewellery collection featuring over 50 pieces.A focal point of the designer’s Parisian apartment at 31 rue Cambon, Coromandel screens, dating notably from the 17th and 18th centuries, were both an obsession and lifelong infatuation for Gabrielle Chanel, from 1910 onwards. These decorative panels showcasing Chinese art have now inspired an entire high jewellery collection with poetic, delicate and creative designs.Even more than the motifs, which include Coromandel landscapes, it is the Chinese lacquers used to create screens, among other items, that inspire this exceptional collection. Their colour palette and rich shine are channelled via several pieces in this “Coromandel” high jewellery line.Colours and gemstones shineThe Chanel Coromandel collection includes no less than 59 creations, including 24 unique pieces, and has three main themes: Floral, animal and mineral. The floral theme evokes Gabrielle Chanel’s favourite flower, the camellia, while the animal theme is inspired by the bestiary of Coromandel, and the mineral theme focuses on crystals and gemstones.Collection highlights include a plastron necklace from the “Horizon Lointain” set — evoking a Coromandel landscape in yellow gold, mother of pearl and diamonds — as well as a reversible cuff, nodding to the geometric structure of the screens, featuring a pivoting yellow diamond. A bracelet in yellow gold, platinum, green and blue lacquer, mother of pearl and diamonds also stands out.As for stones, this season Chanel has particularly made use of tsavorite garnets, emeralds, tourmalines, spinels, rubies, pink sapphires and — of course — diamonds. — AFP-Relaxnews [...]
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