We're back with another edition of NextPit's winners and losers of the week. It's been a fruity seven days in the world of tech once again, with plenty of product launches and developments in the industry. Let's dive right into it.
As ever we'll start with a handful of notable mentions. After a somewhat sketchy episode, the Sony PlayStation 5 is available for pre-order again. The console won't officially be in your hands until November 12th, but retailers in the United States such as GameStop started re-opening pre-orders after an initial, chaotic false start. You can either pay for your new home console outright or secure a unit with a $50 deposit.
There was also confusion surrounding the launch of the rival Xbox Series X this week too. Some exciting gamers looking to grab the new Xbox console were left baffled by Microsoft's confusing naming policy and, as a result, reportedly accidentally bought an Xbox One X. The console, which launched in 2017, saw a 431% increase in sales during the pre-order phase of the Xbox Series X, suggesting the confusion is real and widespread.
There was good news in the fight against coronavirus this week with both the launch of the NHS contact tracing app in the United Kingdom (finally) and news that Google is bringing a helping Covid-19 feature to its Maps app. A new 'layer', accessible via the menu where you can select between choices such as satellite view and street view, will show a 7-day average of new Covid-19 cases per 100,000 people in the selected region.
Winner of the week: European Samsung fans
There was positive news for Samsung fans in Europe this week with the launch of the new Galaxy S20 Fan Edition. For the first time on the Galaxy S series, European users will not be forced to take a flagship with the South Korean's own Exynos processor under the hood and instead will get a Snapdragon 865 from Qualcomm. The non-5G version of the Galaxy S20 FE still comes with the Exynos 990, but it's a step in the right direction for European Galaxy fans to have the option at least.
The reason this is a big deal is that there have been performance questions over the Exynos chips for years. It's no secret that Samsung's own chipsets typically underperform compared to the Snapdragon models sold in the United States. The Samsung Galaxy S20 FE will be available from October 2nd. The fact you have to plump for the 5G version is a bit of a downer, but for many Europeans, this is positive news and worthy of being awarded our winner of the week award.
Loser of the week: app developers team up against Apple
For the gang in Cupertino, this is the headache that just won't go away. The Wall Street Journal reported this week that disgruntled app developers are banding together to take on Apple and its App Store practices. The Coalition for App Fairness is comprised of Epic Games, Spotify, and Match Group, the owner of Tinder. It's a non-profit registered in Washington D.C. and is seeking legal and regulatory measures to take on Apple's App Store practices. There are likely to be implications for Google and the Play Store here too.
This scrap has been rumbling on for a while now, particularly in the case of Epic Games versus Apple. The disagreement has lead to the popular Fortnite game being essentially banned form the iPhone, with lawsuits flying back and forth between the two companies.
It remains to be seen how much success the new coalition will have in its fight for fairer app store policies, but one thing is for sure - this is not just going to go away for Apple and possibly Google. The monopolies these two giants have enjoyed over the app marketplaces on iPhone and Android devices are in danger of being broken up.
Who were your winners and losers of the week just gone? Share your opinions below the line.
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