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The Quibi debacle, HUAWEI Mate 40 event, and more tech news you need to know
Your tech news digest, by way of the DGiT Daily tech newsletter, for Thursday, 22 October 2020.
1. RIP Quibi
It wasn’t good, it wasn’t well-executed (no screenshots?!), and the content was a true mixed bag with few gems.
- On April 6, Quibi arrived, a big hard launch with loads of advertising, celebrity star power, and two experienced executives leading the way.
- By October 21, 198 days later, Quibi was gone.
- (And it was on free trial for 90 of those days).
- ~$1.8B was raised, around $350M is left from reports.
A fairly sad official announcement from Quibi HQ capped off the venture, which said it was winding down, and included the following quote:
- “And yet, Quibi is not succeeding. Likely for one of two reasons: because the idea itself wasn’t strong enough to justify a standalone streaming service or because of our timing.
- “Unfortunately, we will never know but we suspect it’s been a combination of the two. The circumstances of launching during a pandemic is something we could have never imagined but other businesses have faced these unprecedented challenges and have found their way through it. We were not able to do so.”
The true Quibi post-mortems, via later books or documentaries, will be interesting.
- An interesting defense of the product, although more on the nuances of advertising, influence, and content distribution was mounted by Peter Kafka at Recode, noting “It was no Facebook, Twitter, or YouTube. Which isn’t a terrible thing.”
2. Oops: Apple revealed Qualcomm’s own 5G modem roadmap and naming convention (Android Authority).
3. You might not need “Hey Google” to use Google Assistant on Smart Displays, with ultrasound potentially being used to activate the device (Android Authority).
4. Ahead of the reveal, HUAWEI Mate 40 Pro: Everything we know so far (Android Authority).
5. Indian smartphone shipments reach record high in Q3 2020, after lockdown lows (Android Authority).
6. Jony Ive is bringing his design talents to… Airbnb. Reminder, Ive was key in the iOS 7 refresh, which gave the iPhone a much more modern look (The Verge).
7. Car design is about to change forever, and apparently, the design of the future is a …skateboard? (FastCo).
8. Tesla produced and delivered a record number of cars this quarter, but growth isn’t exactly a rocketship as competitors line up (Engadget).
9. Also, here’s even more detail showing how hard autonomous driving is: Watching unlisted driving videos from GM’s Cruise autonomous cars reveals some alarming behavior (Jalopnik).
10. Stunning images show NASA’s OSIRIS-REx spacecraft stirring up rocks on an asteroid (The Verge).
11. What even is friction, anyway? (Wired).
12. Diabolical ironclad beetles inspire tougher joints for engineering applications (Nature).
13. Banksy’s ‘Show me the Monet’ painting sold for $9.81 million at auction. The auction lasted eight minutes (The Guardian).
14. People are sharing the weirdest photos they found in real estate listings. I’ve lived in a place with the shower in the kitchen. It was…ok (deMilked).
15. ELI5: “What do washers actually *do* in the fastening process?” (r/explainlikeimfive).
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