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March 9, 2021
☕ Hello! Lots to come: tomorrow the ROG Phone 5 launches, and then the Find X3 series on Thursday.
Apple’s possible March event sure sounds familiar...

Apple’s next event is rumored to be on March 23, with reliable Chinese leaker “Kang” offering a March 23 date for the possible launch of new devices. What could be unfortunate is that OnePlus, which announced its March 23rd date yesterday, may change its launch date (again).


  • Apple has held “Special Event” launches in March in recent years, including 2015, 2016, 2018, and 2019, which has often featured non-iPhone, non-Mac devices. 
  • 2019’s edition launched Apple News+, Apple Card, Apple Arcade and Apple TV+, while March in 2020 was rattled by the pandemic breakout.

What could it be?

  • Outside of a new iPhone, the consistently rumored Apple products in the works for early 2021 include: AirPods 3, new AirPods Pro, new iPad Pro models, an updated iPad mini, lower-cost iPad, refreshed iMac, and of course, the continuing possibility of Apple’s smart trackers in its AirTags. There are more elusive M1 laptops rumored too, such as a MacBook Pro with higher-powered M1X chip with more CPU and GPU cores.
  • None of those are guaranteed to launch — I’d place my bets on iPad Pros and AirPods 3, but we should know more as we get closer to the date. 
  • Also, most recently, Apple’s virtual events have been swift affairs. I don’t have a device-per-minute rating, but it’s felt like more products launched per event than in previous times. That may be the case again.

And what will OnePlus do?

So, there’s a possible clash for OnePlus and Apple. Back in 2018, OnePlus shifted its launch of the OnePlus 6T by a day

A quote from OnePlus at the time:

  • “For hours, we talked to our press contacts to gain insight into how Apple’s announcement could affect the launch of the OnePlus 6T. We received considered, honest and thoughtful feedback. They showed us that if we chose to stick to our original timeline, launching the OnePlus 6T on October 30, we would be overshadowed by Apple.”

Is it different this time? 

  • With virtual event launches, flights and hotels don’t need to be changed, and event clashes on a single day seem a lot more manageable.
  • And in 2018, it was a direct next iPhone (iPhone X) vs next OnePlus (6T) smartphone battle.
  • That doesn’t seem like it will be the case this time. 
  • So, if indeed it is all true, OnePlus may not feel that it has to move dates.
  • In any case, March is a busy month regardless.

📈 OnePlus just went ahead and published an image of the OnePlus 9 Pro. Looks just like the leaks! (Android Authority).

🔜 Cheaper Snapdragon 888 chipsets could be headed our way, with the tradeoff being no integrated 5G. Full-throttle performance without 5G? Hmm (Android Authority).

🆕 Samsung Galaxy A52 and A72 appear early on Samsung’s official site, some leaked pricing indicates similar or cheaper to previous A51/A71 models (Android Authority).

👂 Nothing hints at “Concept 1,” its first product. Erm, just an earbuds render? Not much to see folks (Android Authority).

💓 Google’s tool for measuring heart, respiratory rate with a Pixel is finally here (Android Authority). Or is it? See next story!

👉 “The problem with Android is you never know when you’ll get anything”. Yup. I have a Pixel. I don’t have Google Maps dark mode yet, or Google’s new tool (Droidlife).

🔓 Microsoft Outlook Exchange “Crazy Huge Hack,” explained (Gizmodo).

💻 Dell’s new G15 is a speckled gaming laptop coming to China first. Those speckles! Hmm (The Verge).

🏀 HeheStreams: The pirate assembling a better sports streaming service (The Verge).

🧻 Amazon Dash Smart Shelf review: When supplies get low, this thing orders new stuff. But … is that good? “I haven’t run out of toilet paper since I installed Amazon’s smart shelf in my linen closet,” but: “I have no idea when Amazon will decide it’s time for me to buy more toilet paper, or if I’m getting the best deal on toilet paper” (Wired).

📡 SpaceX plans Starlink broadband for aircraft, ships, large trucks & RVs, but not for passenger cars as the “terminal is much too big” (Ars Technica).

🍏 “If Skynet takes over, try writing ‘Robot’ on your shirt(Gizmodo).

🚔 “FBI/CIA agents of Reddit, what’s something that you can tell us without killing us?” (r/askreddit). Here’s a fun one: “Whatever the latest technology is that you can buy, the government is five years ahead.”

Chart Tuesday

In the US, coal now produces less electricity than nuclear energy while wind and solar continue to grow (r/dataisbeautiful). But is it all good news?

coal power share vs gas and renewables

All the best,

Tristan Rayner, Senior Editor

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