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August 24, 2021
🤘 Good morning! Keep reading for a link to a harp distortion video that'll have you rocking out.
What can you buy?
OnePlus Nord N200 angled view
Eric Zeman / Android Authority

A report out of a US-focused wireless analyst suggests that the global chipset shortage is hitting the supply of lower-cost Android phones in the US.

The best line of the report, carried out by Wave7 Research and reported by PC Mag, is that a T-Mobile store manager told Wave7’s Jeff Moore that the shortage is affecting “everybody but Apple.”


  • It’s not flagships: Samsung’s Galaxy S21 and S21 Ultra are reportedly readily available.
  • But older or cheaper handsets remain out of stock: Verizon had or has no availability of the Galaxy A02s, the Note 20, the Galaxy A01, the Galaxy A21 and the Galaxy A51, says the report.
  • It’s the same for OnePlus: Its cheaper OnePlus Nord N200 offering sold well in July — as high as the top seller at Metro in July, with a 20% share on that network — but “amid short supply of certain OnePlus devices,” share fell to 10% in August.
  • Still: “The shortage of Samsung phones has helped cement OnePlus’ position as the top Android alternative,” notes the report, with OnePlus’ share at T-Mobile reaching a reported 8%, an all-time high.

Of course, it’s only one report, and a T-Mobile store manager in a different location might say something else. Outside the US, a Xiaomi factory has had to halt production on certain phones, with warnings that it is spreading, months after the first signs of shortages emerged.

  • And perhaps contrary to the Wave7 Research report is Apple itself warning of problems. 

From CNBC in late July, when Tim Cook was warning investors and analysts about shortages, saying silicon “supply constraints” will affect sales of the iPhone as well as the iPad:

  • “Cook said that the shortages aren’t in the high-powered processors that Apple has manufactured for its devices, but in what’s called “legacy nodes,” or chips that do everyday functions like driving displays or decoding audio, and can be manufactured using older equipment.
  • “The majority of constraints we’re seeing are of the variety that I think others are seeing, that I would classify as industry shortage,” Apple CEO Tim Cook said on a call with analysts.
  • “We do have some shortages in addition to that, that are where the demand has been so great and so beyond our own expectation that it’s difficult to get the entire set of parts within the lead times that we try to get those.”

On that note:

  • 10 years ago today, Steve Jobs stepped down as Apple’s CEO, with Tim Cook appointed. Cook was previously Apple’s Chief Operating Officer, focused on “end-to-end management of Apple’s supply chain,” along with other responsibilities.
  • So, Apple’s own problems are helped, of course, when Apple is the biggest dog in the fight for components, and the head guy was already the guy.

Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 review: A watch built on promises (Android Authority).

📁 Samsung’s new foldables already have 800,000 pre-orders in Korea alone (Android Authority).

📈 Also, Samsung says it will hire 40,000 employees over the next three years in a $205B expansion, led by Samsung Electronics and Biologics (Bloomberg).

👉 No more Mi: Xiaomi is ditching its Mi branding, will just be Xiaomi from now on. So, the Xiaomi Mix 4, and the Xiaomi 12 (Android Authority).

🤳 Instagram is killing age-old “swipe-up” call to action for links, replacing with “Link Stickers(Android Authority).

⭐ Google is revamping Play Store app ratings: You’ll get localized app ratings, and device form factors will be taken into account for apps too (Android Authority).

🎧 OnePlus Buds Pro reviews are out: Seem fine, not great, not bad? (SoundGuys).

😬 The Google Pay team is reportedly in major upheaval after the app’s revamp, slow progress (Business Insider).

🎮 Sony is quietly putting out a revised PlayStation 5 model: It’s 0.6 pounds lighter, which is considerable, has a better screw in the base, and may have a new wireless module. No word from Sony on what it all means, so we await teardowns to find out more… (Ars Technica).

🤦‍♂️ Oops: A Razer bug let you become a Windows 10 admin by plugging in a mouse or keyboard (Bleeping Computer).

📡 Review: Invoxia LongFi GPS Tracker — in short, this device connects to Helium’s peer-to-peer wireless tech based on LoRaWAN, where people set up hotspots all over the world, to earn crypto (Wired).

🕸 Spider-Man: No Way Home’s first (official) trailer is here (Gizmodo).

🎮 Gaming news is up this week as Gamescom kicks off on August 25, including an “Opening Night Live” show, there’s a 90-minute Xbox showcase today at 1PM ET (YouTube), Psychonauts 2 is released on August 25 on PC/Xbox/PlayStation 4 and has a bunch of 10/10 reviews (r/games).

👍 Also, EA is opening the patents for some of its accessibility tech to other developers (The Verge).

🛰 SpaceX has already shipped 100,000 Starlink satellite internet terminals (Engadget).

🎸 Someone added the heaviest distortion pedal they could find … to a harp! (YouTube).

🌜 “Why doesn’t our moon rotate, and what would happen if it started rotating suddenly?” (r/askreddit).

Chart Tuesday

Here’s something cool done by someone awesome — more on the person in a second.

What we have below is “The Humanity Globe,” showing the world’s population density (each dot is about 30 square km, using data from the gridded population of the world data set from SEDAC):

humanity globe
  • Humanity sure likes the coastal regions.
  • Tyler Morgan-Wall’s thread on Twitter shows closeups of different regions, like the sparsely populated Australia and dense Asian regions, the thinning out of people into the far north of North America, and so on.
  • But what’s fun is that Tyler Morgan-Wall made this, but also made the very packages used to make the 3D animations.
  • He wrote Rayshader and Rayrender for R, and has a masterclass for 3D mapping and visualization in R on Github.
  • Pretty cool if R is your thing!
  • (By the way, the 30km^2 number must not be right, else each point would be 900km square… so I’ve guessed the author means 30 square km, in ~5.5×5.5km sections?)


Tristan Rayner, Senior Editor

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