Time is passing at breakneck speed, it seems. I still remember writing my first winners and losers post for 2021, and we’re already at 9 weeks into the year! As we prepare to enter the third month of his year, here I am, once again, with what I think is this week’s winners and losers. I had too much trouble picking our picks for this week. As the headline shows, this week’s winner is Samsung – while our loser this week is Google, thanks to its still confusing strategy with messaging apps.
But before we talk about these two companies and why they’re on this list, let’s also take a look at this week’s top tech stories.
Perhaps the most talked about product launch this week would be the Huawei Mate X2. The struggling smartphone and telecommunications giant’s third-generation foldable smartphone was officially launched in China this week. The Mate X2 is markedly different in design from its predecessors and now gets an inward folding design similar to that of the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2. With its Kirin 9000 processor and display and device specs. high-end photo, the Huawei Mate X2 would have been a suitable competitor to Samsung. Unfortunately, there’s a good chance that it will never officially make it out of China, as the overall appeal of the product is diminished by the lack of support for Google services. Also, at nearly $ 2,400, this in no way ignites the sales charts.
This week, Samsung also shared information about some updates to key features of its smartwatch models – the Galaxy Watch 3 and Watch Active 2 in Europe. Basically what the company has done is tell us that it has received certification for these smartwatch models to be legally referred to as medical devices. This is mainly due to the addition of features like an ECG and blood pressure monitoring which can be tracked through the updated Samsung Health Monitor app which will be available for download soon.
Samsung’s archival LG also made headlines this week – albeit for the wrong reasons. Do you remember the much talked about Rollable phone in the company? Yeah, the one we talked about at CES 2021. Well, a leading Korean news agency released a report claiming that LG is implementing this whole project. LG, however, was quick to leap up and release an unofficial statement saying the roll-up phone project was still underway. We still don’t know how this one would end.
Music connoisseurs reading this article will be very impressed to read again the news of Spotify’s decision to start a lossless streaming service soon. This announcement was made by the company earlier this week and is expected to officially roll out in the new feature. However, Spotify has yet to reveal the cost associated with this plan.
Other highlights this week include the announcement of the Realme GT 5G in China and the Realme Narzo 30 series in India. While the Realme GT is the company’s first flagship device for 2021, the Narzo series will also arrive in Europe under a different name.
Redmi also launched its new K-series devices – the Redmi K40 and K40 Pro in China this week. These devices are expected to arrive in Europe very soon as POCO brand devices. Oh, and I won’t forget, we also entered information on the Google Pixel 5a this week.
Now let’s turn to this week’s winners and losers, okay?
Winner of the week: Samsung for promising 4 years of security updates on most of its phones since 2019
In a major announcement, Samsung earlier this week confirmed that it will commit to releasing Android security patches for the vast majority of phones it has manufactured and sold since 2019. The company has confirmed that this policy is applicable to almost all of its products in the Galaxy S, Z, Note, A, M and XCover range.
Samsung has also released a list of phones that will continue to receive secret fixes for the next several years. The company revealed that the move was largely due to the result of partnerships with Google and processor makers, as well as more than 200 carriers around the world.
This is not only reassuring news for millions of Samsung smartphone users around the world, but it also sets a precedent for the rest of the Android smartphone vendors to follow.
Loser of the week: Google to always have fun with its messaging app strategy
Will Google ever be able to fix the mess it found itself in with its messaging apps? Since the days of Gtalk, Google has been working on the right strategy for messaging applications. More than a decade and a half later, it seems the company remains ignorant of the path it needs to take.
In the latest instance of an app “redesign”, the company recently started notifying Google Chat app users about integrating old Hangouts contacts and conversations into the new app. This could spell the end of Google Hangouts, which could soon join the ranks of Google Allo and GTalk.
To be honest, I’m not sure which Google messaging app is for personal communication anymore and which ones to use when doing something more professional. Do you?