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November 12, 2021
🚀 Good morning! As of mid-morning I'm now on faster internet than ever at home now: a healthy 1,000Mbit/s for me to, um, send emails and type this newsletter. Good times!!
Samsung keeps betting on fold
Samsung Galaxy Fold 3 and Flip 3 sitting open
Eric Zeman / Android Authority

Samsung’s Galaxy Z Fold 3 and Flip 3 have been solid sellers for the South Korean maker, with strong sales in Korea and wider markets.

  • I’ve seen more people in the wild with a Fold 3 than I have any other foldable, and it seems the third-generation of both the bigger foldable and the clamshell Flip 3 convinced many to finally dip their toe in the water.
  • I’ve played with my friend TechAltar’s Fold 3, and he put up a long-term review the other week which details the phone, tablet, and DeX components of the device.
  • All seems to be going well enough for the form factor.

And now:

  • Samsung looks to be betting even bigger on the fourth generation.
  • Korean-based publication The Elec reports that the manufacturer is aiming to step up production of its 2022 foldables. 
  • Specifically, the Galaxy Z Flip 4 could pull most of Samsung’s foldable weight next year, as Samsung reportedly steps up production, aiming to sell almost 10 million Galaxy Z Flip 4, Galaxy Z Fold 4 units. 
  • The report splits the pair into aims to sell 2.9 million Galaxy Z Fold 4 units and 6.9 million Galaxy Z Flip 4 phones from the third quarter of 2022. That’s up from a combined 7 million units that were set as targets for the Fold/Flip 3.
  • Of course, that’s just an aim, and it may not translate into real-world sales.
  • In other news, despite the lack of the S21 FE, the report out of South Korea claims the Galaxy S22 FE will also be mass-produced from Q3 2022 and released in the same quarter 

Will anyone else join the fold?

  • The wider foldable market is still pretty small, with Samsung lacking real competition.
  • The Motorola Razr line was last updated in 2020, and Huawei’s Mate X2 which was launched in February this year is really only available in China.
  • …and that’s about it.

Stop press!

  • Just as I was about to hit send, a bunch of specs and official renders of the Samsung Galaxy S21 FE 5G just emerged, with a release date of January 4.
  • It’s not a major bit of new info, and very much unconfirmed. But it seems the S21 FE will also be available in both Snapdragon 888 and Exynos 2100 variants, depending on markets.

📳 Motorola Edge 30 Ultra renders leak showing a flat-screened flagship (Android Authority).

👉 A bunch of brands will support Android 12’s wallpaper theming option, but Samsung, Honor, and Asus won’t (yet) (Android Authority).

Logitech Pop Keys review: Reliable wireless mechanical keyboard with a divisive style (Ars Technica).

🎞 MoviePass’ co-founder, Stacy Spikes, has bought back the company and he wants to relaunch it next year (The Verge).

🔊 Spotify is acquiring an audiobook company as the quest to become more than music continues… (The Verge).

🔫 The GTA Trilogy remaster/reboot did not go well: PC players have been locked out for over 12 hours (VGC).

🙊 Ok, so: The world’s largest record company is creating an NFT super group based on virtual apes (Bloomberg). On that note: this is a good read from Ed Zitron who is particularly sour on NFTs for exploiting people: “Whatever good intentions NFT artists may have had are irrelevant to the larger point that the very structure of crypto-based NFTs is evil.”

🔋 Subaru reveals the Solterra SUV, its first electric vehicle, coming in 2022 with AWD (The Verge).

🤷‍♂️ Toshiba to split into three companies after years of scandal: infrastructure, tech devices, and memory chips (Gizmodo).

🌟 Glitter is an environmental disaster. So scientists invented an eco-friendly version (CNET).

🌓 Astronomers think a near-Earth asteroid is a chunk of the Moon. Anyone leave their chunk of moon lying about? (Gizmodo).

🤔 “ELI5: Why do houses gain more value over time even though they’re getting older and most likely, more worn?” (r/explainlikeimfive)

Friday Fun
Windows 11 Microsoft Store
Palash Volvoikar / Android Authority

Here’s something fun: You may have received a free $100 Microsoft gift card. But, no, actually, for real — check your inbox, check your spam folder!

Of course, we all get promises of gift cards and various nefarious spam in our inboxes. But be assured: Microsoft has confirmed it’s very real for US customers, for use on its Microsoft Store, and 50,000 people won. 

  • 25,000 recipients were emailed $100 gift cards
  • Another 25,000 people received $10 gift cards. 
  • It was apparently at random, rather than based on any metric, so everyone’s in with a chance.
  • You’ll need to redeem them in the Microsoft Store by the end of the year, though you get 90 days to use them once redeemed.
  • You could be looking to grab a new device or accessory, but you could grab Xbox Game Pass and start playing Age of Empires IV and Unpacking straight away. 
  • In any case, it feels like good news, if you jagged a winner!

Not bad for nothing!

Tristan Rayner, Senior Editor.

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