As yet another week draws to a close, it’s time we rummage through the important tech happenings and pick our winners and losers. As obvious from the headline, this time around, we have our traditional arch nemeses Apple and Microsoft in the spotlight. While Apple takes the winners prize for achieving the magical number of 100 million Apple Watch shipments, Microsoft is our loser for coming up with an awesome product - nearly two years late!
But before we talk at length about our picks for this week, let us also take a quick look at some of the other important tech news that grabbed eyeballs this week.
We start with the launch of perhaps the most talked-about launch since the arrival of the Samsung Galaxy S21. Xiaomi, earlier this week, announced the launch of its flagship smartphone – the Mi 11 in Europe. The phone - which will ship with a charger - is a power-packed flagship with all the bells and whistles you would associate with a top tier phone. Key specs? How about the all-powerful Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 SoC, 8GB RAM, up to 256GB storage and a 108MP primary camera sound? Even more exciting, however, is the totally whacky Mi 11 Ultra which leaked towards the end of the week. This phone reportedly gets a secondary display at the rear.
This week also gave us a glimpse of what Android 12 could look like. Leaked images of UI elements that we are likely to see on the upcoming version of Android were posted by XDA Developers. As mentioned earlier, Google’s next-gen operating system will feature several changes to its UI and will also get much better theming support.
Huawei was also in the news this week with its CEO Ren Zhengfei issuing a rare statement to members of the press. The troubled smartphone major seems to me making peaceful overtures to the new Biden administration in a bid to get itself out of the entity list it is in. He also made it clear that Huawei’s smartphone business is here to stay and dismissed rumours of a possible sale.
Xiaomi also announced its intentions to launch the popular Redmi Note 10 series devices next month. In fact, we now know that the company’s most sold mid-range smartphone lineup will receive a fresh update on March 10.
Two affordable smartphones from Motorola also broke cover this week. The handsets include the Moto G30 and the Moto E7 Power. Expect these two devices to go official in the next few days – quite possibly with a bunch of other new smartphones from the Lenovo-owned company.
Winner of the week: Apple for selling more than 100 million smartwatches
A recent report by Above Avalon indicates that Apple has managed to ship more than 100 million units of the Apple Watch. The Cupertino based company took just over five years to cross this important milestone. This also means that just over 10 per cent of Apple’s 1 billion iPhone owners own an Apple Watch - which effectively means there is still a lot of future Apple Watch owners that are yet to get hold of one.
What is surprising is the fact that Apple is yet to officially talk about hitting this magic sales number. This is probably because the company probably hit the milestone towards the end of the year after it had announced most of its important launches. Chances are high; the company will talk about Apple Watch numbers in the next event it holds.
Loser of the week: Microsoft, for launching an excellent product REALLY late!
Our pick for the loser of the week is Microsoft for launching, well, an excellent product. Except, the product should have ideally been on sale in 2020 instead of 2021.
We are, of course, talking about the Microsoft Surface Duo which was first showcased in late 2019. By the time the product made it to Europe, it’s February 2021. This means it is still rocking hardware that used to be in vogue on smartphones from, well, 2019. Even if we give Microsoft the benefit of the doubt and blame the pandemic for the delay, what justification do they have for pricing the device for the same 2019 price levels?
Microsoft, effectively, wants you to part with more than EUR 1500 for something that is 1.5 years old. Hell, I would think twice before I invest that kind of money on something cutting edge and fresh out of the oven! My friend Casi has a long rant about how overpriced the Surface Duo is in his country, Germany.
Do you agree with our Winners and Losers for this week? It’s OK if you don’t but do let us know why you disagree in the comments section below!