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Are foldable smartphones the next big thing?

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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

What’s changed?

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.

The Galaxy Z Flip 4

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

“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.”

Business

TikTok’s parent company loses $7bn

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TikTok’s Parent company sees losses grow as it tries to outplay Facebook, Instagram and YouTube

TikTok’s parent company, ByteDance, has experienced a loss of more than $7 billion dollars in operating costs, tripling last year’s records.

The company attributes the huge loss to its massive investment in global growth. It detailed the results in a financial report which was provided to internal stakeholders.

In the first quarter of 2022, the company recorded a profit in its operating costs, with the company’s revenue expanding by more than 80% to $61.7 billion in 2021.

But expenses that are focused on expanding its products worldwide continue to swell at a rapid rate.

While TikTok is one of ByteDance’s most successful and well-known products, the company owns a wide range of digital platforms including: Douyin, Toutiao, Vigo Video, Helo, Lark and BytePlus. In total, it attracts hundreds of millions of users in China alone and 1 billion TikTok users worldwide.

The internal report was emailed to all ByteDance’s 130,000 employees. In a note of assurance, company execs “remain confident in the strength of our business and organisation.”

The ability for ByteDance to continue to invest in the company’s growth is clearly a strong advantage the company has over its competitors in the market.

A new report found Australians spent more time on TikTok in the last 12 months than on Facebook, a leader for many years in the space.

With other platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and YouTube scrambling to compete with TikTok, it seems ByteDance must have a long-term expansion strategy in mind.

The company is evidently trying to arrive at a place where such massive losses relating to operating will be a distant memory.

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Business

Australian government will temporarily change telco laws amid Optus data breach

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Australians impacted by the Optus data breach are set to be given greater protection as authorities scramble to protect the personal information that was leaked online

Today, the Australian federal government has announced it will temporarily change the country’s telecommunication laws, paving the way for Optus to share sensitive data.

The move will see the divers licenses, alongside Medicare and passport numbers of impacted customers provided to financial institutions.

Allowing enhanced monitoring for those who were compromised in the cyberattack.

Optus will be working hand-in-hand with banks to monitor fraudulent activity, hopefully avoiding any breaches.

The government says all of the personal information must be immediately destroyed once it is no longer deemed necessary.

When announcing the changes, Communications Minister Michelle Rowland said financial institutions have been proactive throughout this process – but elements of the Optus response have previously been criticised.

The breach affected nearly 10 million customers and former customers, sending the country into a panic.

Australian Treasurer Jim Chalmers says this latest move is designed to help keep impacted residents safe from cyber crime.

This unprecedented move now sits with the Governor General who is required to give final approval.

Australians are told the regulations will remain in place for a period of 12 months.

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Business

Another twist in the Musk and Twitter deal

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The trial between Twitter and Elon Musk is still set to go ahead

The trial between Twitter and Elon Musk is set to go ahead, in a strange series of events. This comes despite Musk’s recent change of heart over the deal to buy the social media platform

Delaware Court judge Kathaleen McCormick says neither party has applied for a “stay” in the action. Now, proceedings are still due to begin on October 17.

This comes a day Musk performed a U-turn, deciding to go ahead with the multi-billion dollar deal to buy the social media giant.

Musk’s lawyer says his client has “reconsidered his position” and is now “committed to completing the transaction.”

The transaction values Twitter at $54.20 per share, bringing the total sale price to around 44 billion.

The trial was scheduled to run over five days with Twitter arguing the Tesla CEO should be required to complete the transaction.

Musk launched a counterclaim, alleging the company suffered a substantial reduction in its value, rendering the deal invalid.

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