July was a busy month in terms of leaks, rumors and official launches of mobile devices and software. The most expected device launches come from top contenders in the market, Apple and Samsung, which are putting the finishing touches to their next generation of flagships. Meanwhile, the legal battle between Apple and the largest producer of mobile chipsets, Qualcomm, is taking a new, sharper turn.
These are some of the highlights of this month’s latest developments and trends. Find all the significant events on the global mobile market below.
Google Launches Android O Developer Preview 4 – the Final Stable Beta Version before Launch
Without a doubt, the global market for mobile technology is growing and demands increased professionalism, not only from individual consumers but also from the business sector. The rise of vulnerability in mobile apps and IoT devices has pushed the number one player on the open source mobile market, Google, to speed up the fully functional preview of their alternate mobile operating system for developers.
Google Android O is the next generation of Android OS, which will replace the current Nougat version. The first compatible devices which can be used for testing the beta version are the proprietary Google phones Pixel and Pixel XL. The Developer Preview 4 version is the last beta stage of the OS before official launch and is available for download for developers to test their apps and perform necessary tweaks before the new Android update rolls out.
Among the top recommendations from Google, there is a specific guideline to make sure that apps “should run and look great, and should handle the Android O behavior changes properly – in particular, pay attention to background location limits, notification channels, and changes in networking, security, and identifiers.”
Android O is expected to be launched together with the next generation of Google Pixel smartphones.
The 10th Anniversary of Apple iPhone Is Near, but the Next Generation May Arrive Late
This September will mark the 10-year anniversary of the moment when Steve Jobs first introduced the iPhone to the world. The iconic smartphone has gone through seven generations already, but the iPhone 8 may not make its appearance on time to join the celebrations.
A report by DigiTimes, a Taiwan-based trade magazine, suggests that the first shipments of iPhone 8 will take place around November-December 2017. The delays are justified by two key issues:
First of all, Apple wants to mark the anniversary with a spectacular device, featuring the latest hi-tech accessories and elements, including a borderless screen, more advanced hardware to support superior Augmented Reality capabilities and wireless charging.
The second issue may be a shortage in OLED screens, which are critical to the success of the new launch, coupled with last minute tweaks to the fingerprint sensor.
Whether the delayed launch is finally confirmed or not, one thing is certain: with an alleged price of $1,200, the iPhone 8 will be the most expensive device in the history of Apple smartphones.
Samsung Prepares to Wow the World after the Note 7 Debacle with Two New Phones
Image Source: Samsung Mobile Twitter
Samsung is not riding the most favorable waves at the moment. Therefore their next product launch must be spectacular. Photo leaks and official teasers indicate a double launch: the flagship Galaxy 8 will be accompanied by the heavy-duty, rugged version, aptly named Samsung Galaxy Active.
Regarding the Galaxy 8 launch, analysts have already placed their bets on a dual-camera ensemble, of 12 MP, respectively, 13 MP sensors and featuring a 3x optical zoom capability. The 13MP camera will likely feature a wide angle lens, while the 12 MP camera will be equipped with a telephoto lens.
In terms of size, the Samsung Galaxy 8 will get bigger than ever, featuring the now standard curved screen with a 6.3-inch diagonal and the S Pen for easy navigation.
Meanwhile, a leaked photo of the Samsung Galaxy Active indicates that this phone will not feature a curved screen. The display will be 5.8-inch and the rugged body will be 1.5 times thicker than the Galaxy 8.
The Samsung Galaxy Active will feature a body made of polycarbonate with metal sides and will be water resistant. Another key feature of the phone will be the 40,000 mAh battery. The Samsung Galaxy 8 is expected to be officially launched on 23 August, while the Galaxy Active will have an earlier launch date.
Qualcomm Proposes a Ban on Apple iPhones
Qualcomm has been in an ongoing legal battle with Apple, alleging that the Cupertino-based company has infringed on six of its registered mobile patents. The industry has reacted to the lawsuits, with hi-tech giants like Intel accusing Qualcomm of attempting to use the International Trade Commission to remove competition. As part of their demands, Qualcomm requests the ban on import into the US of iPhones running on non-Qualcomm chipsets. At the same time, the ban would include the sale by Apple of devices already shipped into the US. This would include the iPhone 7 and the iPhone 7 Plus, as well as a few iPad versions.
Qualcomm responded to critics by stating that their public positions are a “coordinated effort aimed at misdirecting” the ITC.
The legal battle between Apple and Qualcomm started in January when Apple launched the lawsuit against Qualcomm, citing unfair licensing rights for its technology and demanding a lower fee. As things stand, this legal conflict has no clear end in sight, while the two companies remained locked in a mounting range of counter-offensives.