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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.
Roundup

📳 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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