As another week draws to a close, it is time we take a quick look at what we think are the winners and losers of the week. Unlike last week, the NextPit editorial team had a (fairly) long conversation to decide on our picks this week. In the end, Google made the cut as our winner, while BigTech companies (which also includes Google) found themselves in the loser’s corner. This week, we also have a special winner from the NextPit community for participating (and winning) our photo contest!
But first, let’s take a quick look at some of the other important developments from this week, shall we?
Leaks from Apple and Samsung
Samsung never fails to remain out of the limelight and this week was no exception. This week, we saw what could be the first-ever images of the company’s 2021 foldable lineup. The devices that leaked include the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 and the Galaxy Z Flip 23. From the renders, it seems that both these devices would only see incremental updates over their existing brethren. The Galaxy Z Fold 3 could be thinner than the Fold 2 - while the Galaxy Z Flip 3 gets an interesting dual-tone design.
Staying with Samsung, this week also saw the first renders of the company’s upcoming Galaxy Watch Active 4 leak. Then we had more information about Samsung’s next-gen Galaxy S handsets - the Galaxy S22 and Galaxy S22 Plus, likely featuring real telephoto cameras. Oh, and lest we forget, the Korean company also announced a new mid-range handset - the Galaxy M32 in India - with chances of a wider launch in the coming months.
Moving on to Apple, while we know that the company will announce its next-generation iPhone models just two months from now, there is talk already about the models that would arrive next year - in 2022. The (likely) iPhone 14 models may come in two display sizes - 6.1" and 6.7", and there shall be four models in total. Also, the rumors make it seem like Apple is doing away with the iPhone Mini series starting next year. Let’s see how this one pans out. Staying with iPhone-related news, this week also saw four new dummy iPhone models appear in a leak claiming to be iPhone 13 models.
Winner of the week: Google for agreeing to reduce Play Store commission for certain apps
Google - and BigTech companies, in general, have always been vilified for their monopolistic behavior. While we will talk about this in this week’s losers section, this time around, Google did make a move that has been appreciated by many.
The company, on June 23, announced the launch of the Play Media Experience program, which basically helps developers come up with great user experience on Android apps that work across several Google ecosystem products, including Android Auto, Google TV, and Wear OS.
While not all apps qualify for this program, the ones that do get a huge waiver in terms of Google’s service fees, instead of the normal 30 percent cut that Google takes off developers, apps that are part of the Play Media Experience program will only have to dole out half that amount to Google.
Loser of the week: BigTech companies for opposing nee anti-trust regulations in the US
We may hate to admit it, but there is no denying that what happens in the US has its reverberations felt across the rest of the (tech) world. This week saw US lawmakers announce five new bills that could adversely impact the dominance of monopolies like Amazon, Facebook, Google, and Apple.
These bills, according to reports, will end up putting several restrictions on many of the monopolistic tactics that these companies are notorious for. This ranges from things like acquiring competitors, promoting self-branded products (or services) on their own platform over products from other sellers (remember AmazonBasics?), and forcing companies to make the process of the switch to competing platforms easier (try transferring WhatsApp data from Android to iPhone), and so on.
The reaction from the head honchos at these companies has been unanimous. Apple’s Tim Cook reportedly made calls to Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and other members of Congress to push back against the bills while other senior executives have made public statements talking about the adverse nature of the bills. There is still time for these bills to be passed and it needs to be voted by a committee before it is even passed and made into a law. Do you think these bills would make it to fruition in their current state?
Special winner of the week: NextPit community member CF for winning the NextPit photo contest!
In case you weren’t aware, NextPit held a photo contest in May- the results of which were announced this week. Our winning photograph came from our German community member, CF. Titled “After the rain,”, who believe it or not, captured the photo using an iPhone 8! This once again highlights the fact that taking a great photo doesn’t necessarily require the latest and greatest equipment! Read more about our photo contest in the dedicated article here.
Do you agree with our picks for the winners and losers for this week?