Samsung launches pricey new Note as pandemic shrinks smartphone market

FILE PHOTO: People wears masks in front a Samsung Store at a main shopping area as the country is hit by an outbreak of the new coronavirus in downtown Shanghai, China February 21, 2020. REUTERS/Aly Song/File Photo

SEOUL (Reuters) – Samsung Electronics Co Ltd (005930.KS) unveiled its latest Galaxy Note smartphone on Wednesday hoping to regain ground against rivals Huawei [HWT.UL] and Apple (AAPL.O) as the smartphone market begins to recover from its COVID-19 slump.

Samsung launched its previous premium model, S20, in February at the start of the pandemic but since then it has ceded its top ranking in the smartphone market to China’s Huawei, as people opt for cheaper models in straitened times.

The new Note 20 boasts a larger screen at 6.7 inches (17 cm), 5G connectivity, enhanced writing features with its S-Pen stylus, and access to more than 100 console and PC

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Explainer: Europe’s coronavirus smartphone contact tracing apps

BERLIN (Reuters) – More than 20 countries and territories in Europe have launched or plan smartphone apps that seek to break the chain of coronavirus infection by tracking encounters between people and issuing a warning should one of them test positive.

FILE PHOTO: Florian Heretsch of the developing team of software giant SAP works on the German government official COVID-19 tracing App at the SAP headquarters, as the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues, in Walldorf, Germany May 29, 2020. REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach/File Photo

Most countries in the region have opted to use Bluetooth short-range radio to monitor close encounters that could spread the disease, after concluding that tracking people’s movements using location data would be intrusive.

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Since there is no cure or vaccine for COVID-19, governments have turned to technology to contribute to broader efforts to contain

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Apple’s Taiwan suppliers, Samsung apply for India’s smartphone scheme

NEW DELHI (Reuters) – Apple Inc’s (AAPL.O) Taiwan contract manufacturers Foxconn (2317.TW), Wistron Corp (3231.TW) and Pegatron Corp (4938.TW) have applied for India’s $6.65 billion scheme to boost local smartphone manufacturing, the country’s tech minister said on Saturday.

FILE PHOTO: People wear masks to protect themselves from coronavirus disease (COVID-19), while listening to the annual general meeting at the lobby of Foxconn’s office in Taipei, Taiwan, June 23, 2020. REUTERS/Ann Wang/File Photo

The production-linked incentive (PLI) plan offers companies cash incentives on additional sales of devices made locally over five years, with 2019-2020 as the base year. India hopes it will help turn the country into a global smartphone export hub like neighbouring China.

Apple already assembles some its smartphones, including the iPhone 11, via Foxconn and Wistron’s local unit in two southern Indian states.

Pegatron, one of Apple’s top suppliers, has

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Huawei, Apple gain bigger share of shrinking China smartphone market

SHENZHEN, China (Reuters) – Huawei Technologies [HWT.UL] and Apple (AAPL.O) both increased their share of the China smartphone market in the second quarter of 2020, bucking a broader trend as the overall market for handsets continued to contract.

People wearing protective face masks walk next to a Huawei advertisement and an Apple store in Shanghai following an outbreak of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Shanghai, China May 25, 2020. REUTERS/Aly Song

Huawei shipped 40.2 million devices in China in the second quarter, 8% more than a year earlier, to increase its share of the market to a dominant 44%.

Apple saw substantial year on year growth of 35%, selling 7.7 million units, though its sales made up only 8.5% of the total market.

Overall smartphone shipments in China totalled 97.6 million units, a 7% decrease from the year prior.

The contraction suggests that despite China’s economic resumption

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