Are foldable smartphones the next big thing?
Samsung has wrapped its latest Galaxy Unpacked event, announcing two foldables, new smartwatches, and an update to its Galaxy Buds Pro line
Tech commentator Trevor Long, who was at the event, and tech expert Greg Nibler unpack the biggest announcements
Taking a look at the Galaxy Zed Flip 4, Samsung hasn’t changed the overall design – but new features include the ability to see selfie previews on the cover screen and fast charging.
At a slightly higher cost, there’s the Galaxy Zed Fold 4.
This design remains largely the same, but Samsung has made some big changes to the cameras.
What’s probably most interesting about this latest product launch is Samsung’s wearables push.
At the Unpacked event, the tech giant finally unveiled its Galaxy Watch 5 and Galaxy Watch 5 Pro.
After serious battery life complaints, the new devices both boast bigger batteries, faster charging, and increased durability.
What was the actual event like?
Tech commentator Trevor Long joined TICKER NEWS live in New York to detail the experience.
“It was still a bit of a hybrid experience. Because this wasn’t a fully in person thing. So basically, all the gathered media were were in a room together. But there was still just a visual presentation or a short introduction from one of their executives to the same visual presentation is pretty much everyone saw on their live stream,” he says.
“But of course, we then got the opportunity to go and go hands on with all the devices. And it’s fascinating in both London and New York, they’ve set up large experience areas where the general public will be able to come through over the next few weeks and actually touch and feel and experience these devices,
“I think it’s a very smart move from Samsung, because the category is still so new. It’s been around for a few years.”
Are people warming to foldable smart phones?
Tech expert Greg Nibler says there were a lot of issues that came out and some kind of bad publicity with Galaxy fold phones, “but it feels like they’ve worked on that quite a bit”.
“Let’s face it, there’s not a lot of people that have been purchasing these overall so far. But I think just the fact that Samsung keeps on pushing this there, regardless of anything that happens, they are going to keep on making these foldable phones because they believe that this is something that people are going to want.”
Meanwhile, Trevor longs believes foldable phones won’t go mainstream.
However, he is in New York with Samsung Australia and was talking to their executive vice president about the demand.
“And he (Aus VP) said they’re seeing nearly 300% demand. Now that’s not purchasing, but they see interest at a peak, the amount of searches and things that are going on. So it there’s definitely demand there.”
But the VP also told Trevor that there will come a time (he didn’t put a date on it) but there will come a time “when the folding format is the primary format”.
Long also commented on the more refined general design.
“I think people will have trust in the fact that they are durable too.”
When is Apple going to come out with their own foldable device?
“I don’t even think it’s going to be this year, probably next year, maybe sometime Apple will do it,” Long says.
“Apple doesn’t really have something to compare directly. But we’re coming to the watch side. I do think you know, the Galaxy watches certainly made some improvements with this five and the five pro you mentioned the battery life. That’s pretty impressive specs, they said I believe was 40 hours for the watch five and up to 80 hours for the five pro if you’re not using everything on it. That’s, that’s really great..
But is that going to be enough to convince somebody who’s an Apple Watch user to switch out of that ecosystem? Long says “I doubt it.”
Can new tech hires be sustained?
As technology companies continue to lay off staff, Australian research shows the future may be brighter
Australia has a target of delivering 1.2 million critical tech workers by 2030.
However, the sector has been battered by changes and layoffs since the pandemic came to light.
Kate Pounder is the CEO of the Tech Council of Australia, who said the pandemic changed the playbook for many companies across the sector.
“There is some evidence that there was a boom in job creation and company formation during the pandemic.”
The Tech Council of Australia recently revealed an 8 per cent increase in tech jobs last year.
It means Australia’s tech workforce is around 935,000.
“When there’s change in the labour market, you see people using that to start a business,” Ms Pounder said.
Despite the rapid layoffs across many major technology companies, Ms Pounder said for every job lost over the past quarter, 20 have been created.
“We are finding that the ease of people moving into jobs is getting a little better.
“It’s still challenging to find people in Australia, particularly for people in specialised roles,” she said.
Tech layoffs reach their highest point in over 20 years
There have been over 130,000 layoffs across the technology sector in the last five months
The technology sector was billed as the most exciting industry to work in.
Big offices, big dreams, big money were all part of the parcel for many companies attracting staff.
As many organisations caught onto the momentum of the pandemic, the same energy has not been particularly met on the other side.
Thousands of workers have since been laid off as the good times stopped rolling.
In fact, the technology sector’s layoffs are the highest since the dotcom bubble burst 22 years ago.
The BT Group is one of the latest companies cutting staff.
Fifty-five thousand have lost their jobs as part of a corporate restructure.
CEO Philip Jansen will freeze his £1.1 million salary until he retires, according to reports from Sky News.
The ground is also shifting as artificial intelligence takes hold and the economy worsens.
BT Group said it is laying off 11,000 staff because of the increased capacity for artificial intelligence in the workplace.
At the same time, companies like Apple and Goldman Sachs are among those restricting or banning the use of tools like ChatGPT amid privacy or data concerns.
Big tech crackdown on employees using ChatGPT
Apple and Samsung are among companies restricting or banning the use of ChatGPT
Some of the world’s largest technology companies, including Apple and Amazon have banned or restricted OpenAI’s ChatGPT.
The tool relies on artificial intelligence to produce responses to prompts entered by users.
However, major brands remain concerned around the privacy risks because of the data ChatGPT uses to improve its accuracy.
Samsung has previously reported employees unintentionally leaking confidential internal source code and meeting recordings through ChatGPT.
Meanwhile, Apple has banned the web-platform over concerns surrounding data leaks.
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