Samsung is in talks with Apple about supplying OLED displays for a 16-inch MacBook Pro and future iPad Pro models, according to Korean site The Elec, which does not have a proven track record in terms of Apple rumors.
We first heard about a potential 16-inch to 16.5-inch MacBook Pro from well-known analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who said the notebook will launch at some point in 2019 with an "all-new design," but he did not comment on which display technology the notebook will use or share any other details.
Little else is known about the rumored 16-inch MacBook Pro or new iPad Pro models at this time. Apple surprised us earlier this week with new 2019 MacBook Pro models, but the only changes are faster processors and a "new material" added to the keyboard for improved reliability — hopefully, at least.
Given this week's MacBook Pro refresh, it is reasonable to assume that Apple will not release the rumored 16-inch MacBook Pro until at least the fall. Or, if the 16-inch MacBook Pro has been delayed internally, then perhaps it won't debut until an event next year such as WWDC 2020 in June. It is too early to say.
When iOS 12.3 and tvOS 12.3 launched earlier this week with the updated TV app that Apple first teased at its March event, Samsung also rolled out support for both AirPlay 2 and the new TV app, making it the first third-party company to launch these features.
We have a Samsung TV set (the 2018 Q6F) that's compatible with the new Apple offerings, so we thought we'd check them out to give MacRumors readers a look at how Apple features work on third-party television sets.
After installing a firmware update, Apple-compatible Samsung TV sets will have an Apple TV app, which is going to be unique to Samsung TVs for the foreseeable future. Other TV sets are gaining Apple features like AirPlay 2, but it's only Samsung that has a TV app option for now.
The TV app on a Samsung TV looks almost identical to the TV app on the Apple TV, offering up a "Watch Now" feature that keeps track of the movies and the TV shows you're watching, plus content recommendations ranging from suggestions based on what you've watched to new content to trending content.
The "Channels" feature that's new to the TV app is available on Samsung TVs, allowing users to subscribe to services like HBO, Starz, Showtime, and more right within the TV app. Channels content can be watched right within the TV app without the need to open up another app.
There are dedicated sections for "Watch Now," Movies, TV Shows, Kids, Library, Search, and Settings, and the app offers up access to all of the iTunes content that you've previously purchased. You can also purchase or rent new movies within the app.
Apple content on the Samsung TV works with other Samsung Smart TV services, including the Universal Guide, Bixby, and Search.
Compatible Samsung TVs also now work with AirPlay 2, which means you can AirPlay content to them much like you would to a TV connected to an Apple TV set-top box.
You can AirPlay music to the TV, AirPlay content from apps like YouTube, or AirPlay TV shows and movies. AirPlay functionality works from within apps or through the Control Center where AirPlay options are located.
In our testing, the Apple TV and AirPlay 2 features on the Samsung TV set worked flawlessly, and were much like using an Apple TV set-top box. The experience was similar enough that it's easy to forget you're interacting with a Samsung Smart TV rather than an Apple TV box.
There are quite a few Samsung TVs from 2018 and 2019 that are compatible with AirPlay 2 and the TV app, with a list available below:
These TV sets can access AirPlay 2 and the TV app right now, with a firmware update required on 2018 TV models.
Other TV manufacturers like Vizio, Sony, and LG are also implementing similar features and will begin supporting AirPlay 2 and HomeKit later this year. Vizio is already beta testing AirPlay 2 and HomeKit features, as demonstrated in the video below.
While Vizio, Sony, and LG all plan to support HomeKit, which will let you use Siri voice commands and the Home app to control your TV, Samsung is not implementing this feature and Samsung TVs won't be an available option in the Home app.
Samsung has instead added the TV app, which Vizio, Sony, and LG have not announced support for.
The Samsung Galaxy S10 and the new OnePlus 7 Pro are both flagship smartphones that are designed to compete with the iPhone XS Max, and to see how their LTE chips compare, PCMag teamed up with Cellular Insights to test the signal strength of the new devices.
Apple's iPhone XS Max is equipped with an XMM7560 modem chip from Intel, while the Galaxy S10 and the OnePlus 7 Pro are using Qualcomm's X24 modem, which theoretically offers better performance.
iPhone XS Max in blue, OnePlus 7 Pro in orange, Samsung Galaxy S10 in gray, and LG V40 in yellow
The Intel XMM7560 modem in the iPhone XS Max supports supports 5-carrier aggregation but offers 1Gb/s maximum theoretical data transfer speeds, while the Qualcomm X24 in the Galaxy S10 has max theoretical speeds of 2Gb/s (it uses 7-carrier aggregation) and the OnePlus 7 Pro has max theoretical speeds of 1.2Gb/s (lower because it uses 5-carrier aggregation like the iPhone).
In testing on LTE band 4 with good signal, there wasn't a lot of difference in performance between the iPhone XS Max, the newer smartphones from Samsung and OnePlus, and the LG V40, which PCMag added in because it was 2018's best performing phone in terms of cellular speed.
All of the smartphones performed similarly, but the Samsung Galaxy S10 did see some of the slowest speeds, and at peak signal, the iPhone XS came in behind the OnePlus 7 Pro and the LG V40.
In a test with poorer LTE signal, the iPhone XS Max saw the slowest speeds and was outperformed by all of the Qualcomm chips. The iPhone XS Max was quite a bit slower than the Galaxy S10 and the OnePlus 7 Pro specifically.
Apple and Qualcomm recently settled a vicious legal battle which had seen Apple refusing to use Qualcomm chips. Because of the dispute, Apple used Intel chips in the 2018 iPhones, and is expected to continue to use Intel chips for the 2019 iPhones.
Though the legal battle is over, Apple isn't likely to have time to swap over to Qualcomm modem chips for the 2019 iPhones, and Intel has confirmed that it's going to continue to supply 4G chips to meet its current obligations.
With the launch of iOS 12.3, both AirPlay 2 and the new Apple TV app are available on compatible Smart TVs, Samsung announced today.
All 2019 Samsung Smart TVs and select 2018 TV models with a firmware update will be able to access Apple TV channels and iTunes movies and TV shows through the TV app and will support AirPlay 2. Samsung says that the TV app offers content in more than 100 countries, while AirPlay 2 is available in 176 countries.
On compatible Samsung TVs with the Smart TV platform, users are able to select the Apple TV app icon to access their Apple content. With the Channels feature in the Apple TV app, Samsung users can subscribe to services like HBO, Showtime, Starz, and more, and watch content from those services directly in the Apple TV app.
Samsung users will also have access to more than 100,000 TV shows and movies to buy or rent from iTunes, including content that's available in 4K HDR.
"For the last decade, Samsung has been at the forefront of offering the broadest selection of content available to consumers on our Smart TV platform," said Won-Jin Lee, Executive Vice President, Visual Display Business at Samsung Electronics. "As the first TV manufacturer to integrate the Apple TV app on a Smart TV platform, Samsung continues to offer our customers incredible value and access to the Apple TV app experience on the largest screens available today."
The TV app available on Samsung Smart TVs will allow Apple customers who are already in the Apple ecosystem to access their previously purchased content without needing to have an Apple TV set-top box, which is a first.
All iTunes content and other content from an iPhone, iPad, or Mac can also be AirPlayed right to a Samsung TV for the first time, making it easier to get content from Apple devices to the TV. Samsung TVs compatible with AirPlay 2 and the TV app are listed below:
- Samsung FHD/HD 4, 5 Series (2018)
- Samsung QLED 4K Q6, Q7, Q8, Q9 Series (2018 & 2019)
- Samsung QLED 8K Q9 Series (2019)
- Samsung The Frame Series (2018 & 2019)
- Samsung The Serif Series (2019)
- Samsung UHD 6, 7, 8 Series (2018 & 2019)
Samsung says that the Apple TV app will "work seamlessly" with other Smart TV services, including Universal Guide, Bixby, and Search for a consistent experience across Samsung's platform.
Samsung is the only TV manufacturer that's getting the TV app at the current time, but other smart TVs are gaining AirPlay 2 support. It's likely we'll be hearing about AirPlay 2 compatibility from Vizio, LG, and Sony now that iOS 12.3 with AirPlay 2 support and the new Apple TV app has officially launched.
Other TV sets are also expected to integrate with HomeKit, allowing users to control them via Siri commands and through the Home app, but this is not a feature that is coming to Samsung TVs.
Samsung on Tuesday acknowledged that it is unable to provide a firm release date for its Galaxy Fold smartphone and has contacted pre-order customers in the United States to apologize for the delay (via Reuters).
"If we do not hear from you and we have not shipped by May 31st, your order will be canceled automatically," the South Korean tech giant's U.S. subsidiary told Galaxy Fold pre-order customers in an email late on Monday, which was confirmed by a Samsung spokeswoman.
In a statement given to Reuters, Samsung said that U.S. regulations required the company to notify customers that pre-orders would be canceled if the product did not ship by May 31.
The South Korean company originally planned to roll out its $1,980 foldable phone on April 26, but was forced to delay the launch after several units sent out to reviewers broke during testing.
After recalling the review units, Samsung contacted pre-order customers on April 22, saying it would announce a new release date "in the coming weeks" and would take measures to strengthen the display protection. The device's screen was shown to be vulnerable to debris ingress, thanks to an iFixit teardown that was later removed at Samsung's request.
The development is the latest in a series of embarrassing events for Samsung, whose hybrid tablet/smartphone was supposed to demonstrate the company leading innovation in the mobile space. Still, at least the device in its current state won't get into the hands of thousands of customers around the world, which would likely have turned into a larger problem.
Samsung has said it plans to make at least 1 million Galaxy Fold handsets in the first year of production, compared to the total 300 million phones it produces annually on average. It originally closed pre-orders for the device early because of "high demand."
iFixit has decided to pull its revealing Samsung Galaxy Fold teardown. The decision is said to have been made after Samsung indirectly requested its removal from the website, which published the teardown on Wednesday. iFixit provided the following statement on its blog:
We were provided our Galaxy Fold unit by a trusted partner. Samsung has requested, through that partner, that iFixit remove its teardown. We are under no obligation to remove our analysis, legal or otherwise. But out of respect for this partner, whom we consider an ally in making devices more repairable, we are choosing to withdraw our story until we can purchase a Galaxy Fold at retail.
It's unclear why Samsung wanted the teardown removed, but a few possibilities come to mind. Perhaps the company intends to make significant changes to the design of the Galaxy Fold before it's officially launched, and it doesn't want a teardown on the web of a device that's substantially different to the one that eventually goes to market. Or maybe it was simply taking action against a partner that hadn't been given the authority to provide the device to iFixit in the first place.
Another interpretation, offered by The Verge's Dieter Bohn, is that Samsung didn't appreciate the bad press that came with the teardown, after it exposed the design flaw allowing debris to ingress behind the display, which presumably caused so many review units to break, and led Samsung to recall them and then delay the device's launch. Whatever the reason, it doesn't look terribly good for the company.
Samsung has yet to offer a new release date for the Galaxy Fold. In an email sent on Wednesday to pre-order customers about the delayed launch, Samsung said that it will update customers with more specific shipping information in two weeks. In the meantime, anyone still interested in checking out iFixit's teardown can find it on the Internet Archive's Wayback Machine.
iFixit today published its teardown of Samsung's Galaxy Fold, offering more details on a potential flaw in the device, which has now been delayed following reports of several broken review units.
Essentially, it looks as though Samsung was so focused on perfecting the folding mechanism on the smartphone/tablet hybrid that it made a major oversight: providing adequate protection against the ingress of debris between the OLED screen and the chassis bezel.
To achieve the fold, the thin bezel that surrounds (and protects) the screen leaves a gap where the two halves meet... This 7 mm gap doesn't seem like a huge deal, but it leaves the display exposed—so should something accidentally enter, it's curtains for the screen. (Oops.)
When closed, the screen is protected—but the spine is flanked by massive gaps that our opening picks hop right into. These gaps are less likely to cause immediate screen damage, but will definitely attract dirt.
As iFixit notes, it will be interesting to see how future folding designs will overcome these weaknesses - if indeed they have a future. Following Samsung, Huawei and Xiaomi revealed that they too will launch folding smartphones, and there are signs Apple is looking into the possibility of a foldable iPhone. Apple has filed several patent applications related to folding phones that variously fold inward, outward, and both inward and outward.
Potential point of entry for debris ingress (Image: iFixit)
Many reviewers experienced multiple issues while testing the device, including a random bulge appearing on the display, as well as flickering and failing screens. In many cases, the issues were enough to make the $1,980 device completely unusable.
In an email to pre-order customers about the delayed launch, Samsung said that it will update customers with more specific shipping information in two weeks. "Your pre-order guarantees your place in the queue for this innovative technology," the company promised.
One day after Samsung said it was delaying the public launch of the Galaxy Fold smartphone, the company has now announced that it will be retrieving all Galaxy Fold devices that were distributed to reviewers (via Reuters). For many reviewers, the Galaxy Fold proved to be an unreliable smartphone as the display experienced multiple issues while being tested.
These issues included a random bulge appearing on the display, as well as flickering and failing screens. In many cases, the issues were enough to make the Galaxy Fold devices completely unusable. Now, Samsung will retrieve these units and prepare for the re-launch of the smartphone at an unspecified date in the future. The Galaxy Fold was originally set to launch on April 26.
“On the bright side, we have an opportunity to nail down this issue and fix it before selling the phones to a massive audience, so they won’t have same complaints,” said a Samsung employee, speaking on condition of anonymity.
In a few cases, reviewers removed a protective layer on the smartphone's screen that looked similar to plastic films that are meant to be peeled off of displays after you open a device. For the Galaxy Fold, this layer is not meant to be removed, leading to some of the display issues.
Still, not every reviewer with a broken Galaxy Fold removed the plastic film, suggesting that there are multiple issues with the device that Samsung will have to address before a wide launch to the public. In an email to pre-order customers about the delayed launch, Samsung said that it will update customers with more specific shipping information in two weeks. "Your pre-order guarantees your place in the queue for this innovative technology," the company promised.
When it does launch, the Galaxy Fold will be available for $1,980.
Samsung initially said it remained committed to launching the Galaxy Fold on April 26, but the rollout is now expected in the "coming weeks." The company has yet to confirm the delay, but it wouldn't be surprising given that at least some of the folding smartphones appear to have a serious hardware issue.
Galaxy Fold launch events in Hong Kong and Shanghai have already been postponed, according to Engadget's Richard Lai.
Samsung earlier confirmed that it would "thoroughly inspect" the affected devices to determine the cause, but it has yet to provide an explanation. Samsung also cautioned that removing the protective layer on the display could cause damage, but some displays failed even with the protective layer in place.
The delay would be an embarrassing mishap for a smartphone that starts at $1,980, but the right move before the Galaxy Fold gets into the hands of thousands of customers around the world and potentially turned into a larger problem.
Samsung this week provided reviewers with Galaxy Fold devices for some hands-on time, and it appears the folding smartphone may be suffering from some serious flaws. Three of the reviewers who received a Galaxy Fold have already experienced failures, all of which focus on the display.
The Verge's Dieter Bohn says that his Galaxy Fold device broke after a random bulge appeared on the display, perhaps from a piece of debris that had gotten into the hinge. The debris, or whatever the bulge was, pressed into the display hard enough to break it.
Broken Galaxy Fold OLED display via The Verge
Bohn says that he did not mistreat the phone, doing "normal phone stuff" like putting it in a pocket and opening and closing the hinge.
It's a distressing thing to discover just two days after receiving my review unit. More distressing is that the bulge eventually pressed sharply enough into the screen to break it. You can see the telltale lines of a broken OLED converging on the spot where the bulge is.
Similarly, CNBC's Steve Kovach shared a video of his review unit displaying a flickering, failing screen after just a single day of use.
In Gurman's case, he says that there was a protective layer on the screen that is not supposed to be removed, but this was not communicated to him. He took it off, which may have contributed to the problem. Well-known YouTuber Marques Brownlee says that he did the same thing because there was no warning in the box.
The phone comes with this protective layer/film. Samsung says you are not supposed to remove it. I removed it, not knowing you’re not supposed to (consumers won’t know either). It appeared removable in the left corner, so I took it off. I believe this contributed to the problem. pic.twitter.com/fU646D2zpY
Not all of the reviewers with broken units removed the plastic film, however, so there are clearly multiple issues impacting the Galaxy Fold. Three broken review units that failed within a day or two does not bode well for the device at all. It's not known if reviewers received a bad batch of the device or if units going out to customers will experience the same issues, but anyone considering a purchase should be aware of these failures.
Samsung's Galaxy Fold costs a whopping $1,980, which is a sensationally high price even for a device that works. Right now, Samsung is accepting pre-orders for the Galaxy Fold on carrier sites, and the first retail units are expected to be available to customers on April 26.