Taking a look back at seven days of news and headlines across the world of Android, this week’s Android Circuit includes the Galaxy S10 software problems, leaked Note 10 designs, the latest Galaxy Fold delay, Huawei fights back against America, 5G arrives in the UK, why Sony is still in the smartphone business, and a deep dive into the Qualcomm anti-trust judgement.
Android Circuit is here to remind you of a few of the many things that have happened around Android in the last week (and you can find the weekly Apple news digest here).
Samsung Addresses Galaxy S10 Software Problems
This week saw Samsung roll out the May security patch and software updates to the Galaxy S10 family. It didn’t go well, with apps freeing and handsets locking up. SamMobile reports:
The most common complaint going around right now is a freezing issue with third-party apps. Apps like Twitter and Nova Launcher seem to be most affected, but the problem isn’t limited to these apps. We’ve had Twitter hang on our devices here at SamMobile as well, and since the app didn’t get an update in the Google Play Store recently, the phone’s software update is no doubt the culprit.
Thankfully action was taken quickly, with update XXU1ASE5 pulled from distribution and replaced with a new build:
There’s no word yet on the contents of the update. It could range from everything that was included in the failed update, it could be limited to some critical security ties while the rest of the code undergoes more testing, or it could simply be rolling back the changes so that those affected have a stable handset while the problems are worked on by Samsung.
The update is expected to roll out world-wide over the next few days and be made available or all Galaxy S10, Galaxy S10e, and Galaxy S10 Plus handsets. But do check the software version numbers carefully before going ahead with the installation.
More here on Forbes.
Is The Galaxy Note 10 Camera Design Ugly?
Although the expectations of the camera here high, it looks like Samsung’s Galaxy Note 10 is going to fall short. Not only will it re-use the optics of the Galaxy S10, it’s going to be a rather clunky physical design. Both Max Weinbacj (XDA Developers) and Steve Hemmerstoffer (@OnLeaks) have passed judgement on the Note 10’s look, and it’s not a pretty conclusion. Gordon Kelly reports:
Referring to his sources, Weinbach stated: “I think the Note 10 Pro is going to look MUCH worse than people think with current concept designs. Like much much worse.” And when challenged on that, responded: “Dude you have no idea”.
Hemmerstoffer was similarly downbeat when asked if the Galaxy Note 10 design was “an improvement or a step back from the S10+?”. He revealed: “It looks bad compared to #GalaxyNote9 rear camera design… IMO at least.”
More here on Forbes. As for how it looks…
Why is this awkward? Kelly once more:
And here’s the crazy part: Samsung has already installed all these modules into the Galaxy S10 5G, but managed to do it in a single, clean, horizontal array. The insiders are right, the implementation inside the Galaxy Note 10 is a mess.
Galaxy Fold Delayed Once More
Questions remain over the Samsung Galaxy Fold. Announced in late February, it was as close to launch as possible before Samsung recalled the review units and pushed the retail release back. Now – with pre-orders being automatically cancelled by many retailers – the folding smartphone has been delayed yet again. Jason England reports:
It looks as if the Galaxy Fold won’t launch in June, but the release date may be announced by the end of next month. According to a Samsung Electronics official:
The release schedule has not been decided, and we are in a position to announce the launch schedule in a few weeks.
Samsung was set to release its new groundbreaking foldable phone in June after delays from issues with its design. Unfortunately, it is taking longer than Samsung thought to fix the problems with the device.
More at Android Central.
Huawei Fights Back Against America
Following Huawei’s addition to the Entity List, making it all but impossible for US companies to work with it, the Chinese company is heading to the Courts to challenge the ruling. Paul Mozur reports for the New York Times:
The Chinese telecommunications giant filed a motion on Tuesday in the United States to accelerate its lawsuit against the White House, which it filed in March in a federal court in Texas. The request for summary judgment could expedite an outcome without the costs and time of a full trial, including avoiding handing over sensitive corporate information during the discovery process. It also could give the company a chance to present its arguments publicly in front of a judge in just a few months rather than wait for a trial to unfold.
Huawei has also released a full statement regarding the action and what it sees as a smokescreen action:
Banning Huawei using cybersecurity as an excuse “will do nothing to make networks more secure. They provide a false sense of security, and distract attention from the real challenges we face,” said Song Liuping, Huawei’s chief legal officer. “Politicians in the U.S. are using the strength of an entire nation to come after a private company,” Song noted. “This is not normal. Almost never seen in history.”
“The U.S. government has provided no evidence to show that Huawei is a security threat. There is no gun, no smoke. Only speculation,” Song added.
You can read Huawei’s press release here.
5G Arrives In The UK
With one of the first publicly available 5G networks, UK carrier EE has provided early access to a number of tech writers, including Forbes’ David Phelan. Along with the 5G variant of the OnePlus 7 Pro, Forbes’ David Phelan took the 5G network for a spin:
The speeds in London so far are astonishing. Where I live, reasonably centrally, I’m routinely finding speeds of 200 Megabits per second (Mbps) or more. In some locations I’ve seen 450Mbps. To put that in context, my usual 4G speeds are around 30Mbps-100Mbps and my usual home broadband musters just 20Mbps
Of course, there are no other users on the network until it goes public so there were no issues of contention to be considered. Still, one of the claims of 5G networks is that the capacity is around 10 times greater than 4G, so perhaps this won’t be an issue when significant numbers of cellphone subscribers are using 5G.
More here on Forbes.
Sony Continues With A Smartphone Based Strategy
Can you have a successful consumer electronics business that is future-proof without having a smartphone? Sony CEO Kenichiro Yoshida thinks not, and that means that Sony is staying in the smartphone game, even after a few difficult years. Makiko Yamazaki reports:
The smartphone business reported an operating loss of 97.1 billion yen ($879.45 million) in the year ended March, lagging rivals such as Apple and Samsung Electronics and weighing on the group’s record-breaking profit.
Sony’s consumer electronics hardware business “has centered on entertainment since our foundation, not daily necessities like refrigerators and washing machines,” Kenichiro Yoshida told a group of journalists on Wednesday.
“We see smartphones as hardware for entertainment and a component necessary to make our hardware brand sustainable,” he said. “And younger generations no longer watch TV. Their first touch point is smartphone.”
More at Reuters.
The Qualcomm name will be recognisable to anyone who looks at smartphone spec sheets, being one of the key components of this digital world. Following the US court case into its business practices, Ars Technica’s Timothy B, Lee reports in-depth on the company. The article opens with “We did a deep-dive into the 233-page ruling declaring Qualcomm a monopolist” and pulls no punches:
Last week, a California federal judge provided the FTC and Apple with sweet vindication. In a scathing 233-page opinion [PDF], Judge Lucy Koh ruled that Qualcomm’s aggressive licensing tactics had violated American antitrust law.
I read every word of Judge Koh’s book-length opinion, which portrays Qualcomm as a ruthless monopolist. The legal document outlines a nearly 20-year history of overcharging smartphone makers for cellular chips. Qualcomm structured its contracts with smartphone makers in ways that made it almost impossible for other chipmakers to challenge Qualcomm’s dominance. Customers who didn’t go along with Qualcomm’s one-sided terms were threatened with an abrupt and crippling loss of access to modem chips.
More – much more – at Ars Technica.
Android Circuit rounds up the news from the Android world every weekend here on Forbes. Don’t forget to follow me so you don’t miss any coverage in the future, and of course read the sister column in Apple Loop! Last week’s Android Circuit can be found here, and if you have any news and links you’d like to see featured in Android Circuit, get in touch!