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We were right: The iPhone 12 doesn’t come with an AC adaptor or earbuds



Ohhh, we called it. And it actually happened: the iPhone 12 isn’t going to come with an AC adaptor or earbuds. There’s only one thing left to say: fuck you, Apple.

Yep, at today’s Event, the Cupertino-based company confirmed that the iPhone 12 and other models will not ship with a charger, coming only with a cable instead. And, as you could’ve probably guessed by now, this is not a good thing.

I wrote about this before, so if you want an in-depth discussion on the topic, go and read that. Still, I feel we can sum up some of the pertinent points here.

Apple removing chargers from the default models of its phones is totally fine in itself. A lot of unnecessary e-waste is created from these accessories.

The company said this’ll reduce up to 2M metric tons of carbon emissions each year, something that equates to 450,000 cars. This is obviously fantastic for the environment. I’m not taking that away from the company at all.

There’s a huge caveat though: removing something from a product is fine, as long as that’s reflected in the price.

But, oh, what’s this? You can’t “opt-out” of the charger and earbuds, and then get a bit of money off your brand new iPhone 12? Oh, what a surprise!

It’s almost as though Apple is greenwashing the decision to remove a charger, while it’s actually doing it simply to earn it some more cash.

The perfect moment in the presentation about this was when Apple said that the smaller box could increase the number of products the company could get in a shipping container.

new iphone box
Better for the environment? Or just better for Apple’s profit margins?

Never overlook the fact that Apple is a massive corporation doing its best to make as much money as possible. This doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy its products — look at me, I’m totally fucking obsessed with them — but you should always be aware that it makes decisions on a financial level.

The only time it makes moral decisions over monetary ones is where the latter is in danger from the former.

One more note: if anyone out there is telling you Apple removing the charger and earbuds from the iPhone 12 and not compensating the consumer is totally cool, they cannot be trusted. Ignore their opinion. They are a bootlicker.

Anyway, Apple is the first major phone manufacturer to remove the AC adaptor and earbuds. Be prepared for all others to follow suite soon.

And don’t hold your breath for any compensation.

For more gear, gadget, and hardware news and reviews, follow Plugged on Twitter and Flipboard.

Published October 13, 2020 — 17:54 UTC


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WhatsApp might soon let you make calls from its desktop app



Video calls have increased due to the coronavirus pandemic, and companies such as Facebook and Zoom have taken full advantage of that. Earlier in the year, WhatsApp increased the group call limit from four to eight people. Now, it seems like the chat app will soon introduce the calling feature on its desktop app.

According to renowned WhatsApp sleuth WABetaInfo, the company has started creating the feature in one of its test builds. The under-development feature includes support for voice and video calls for both individual contacts and groups.

[Read: Google Assistant displays get a new UI, a dark theme, and more features]

Screenshots posted by WABetaInfo suggest that when you’ll call someone through the WhatsApp desktop app, a new window will open up with controls to manage the call.

Credit: WABetaInfo
WhatsApp for desktop call window

It’s important to note that you can already make video calls to people through WhatsApp for desktop if you use the shortcut to create Facebook Messenger Rooms. However, the upcoming functionality will bank on WhatsApp’s own infrastructure to make calls.

Since it’s an under-development feature, we don’t know when WhatsApp will roll out support for calls on its desktop app. We’ll keep an eye out for you when this feature becomes available to everyone.


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Intel agrees to sell its NAND business to SK Hynix for $9 billion



SK Hynix, one of the world’s largest chip makers, announced today it will pay $9 billion for Intel’s flash memory business. Intel said it will use proceeds from the deal to focus on artificial intelligence, 5G and edge computing.

“For Intel, this transaction will allow us to to further prioritize our investments in differentiated technology where we can play a bigger role in the success of our customers and deliver attractive returns to our stockholders,” said Intel chief executive officer Bob Swan in the announcement.

The Wall Street Journal first reported earlier this week that the two companies were nearing an agreement, which will turn SK Hynix into one of the world’s largest NAND memory makers, second only to Samsung Electronics.

The deal with SK Hynix is the latest one Intel has made so it can double down on developing technology for 5G network infrastructure. Last year, Intel sold the majority of its modem business to Apple for about $1 billion, with Swan saying that the time that the deal would allow Intel to “[put] our full effort into 5G where it most closely aligns with the needs of our global customer base.”

Once the deal is approved and closes, Seoul-based SK Hynix will take over Intel’s NAND SSD and NAND component and wafer businesses, and its NAND foundry in Dalian, China. Intel will hold onto its Optane business, which makes SSD memory modules. The companies said regulatory approval is expected by late 2021, and a final closing of all assets, including Intel’s NAND-related intellectual property, will take place in March 2025.

Until the final closing takes places, Intel will continue to manufacture NAND wafers at the Dalian foundry and retain all IP related to the manufacturing and design of its NAND flash wafers.

As the Wall Street Journal noted, the Dalian facility is Intel’s only major foundry in China, which means selling it to SK Hynix will dramatically reduce its presence there as the United States government puts trade restrictions on Chinese technology.

In the announcement, Intel said it plans to use proceeds from the sale to “advance its long-term growth priorities, including artificial intelligence, 5G networking and the intelligent, autonomous edge.”

During the six-month period ending on June 27, 2020, NAND business represented about $2.8 billion of revenue for its Non-volatile Memory Solutions Group (NSG), and contributed about $600 million to the division’s operating income. According to the Wall Street Journal, this made up the majority of Intel’s total memory sales during that period, which was about $3 billion.

SK Hynix CEO Seok-Hee Lee said the deal will allow the South Korean company to “optimize our business structure, expanding our innovative portfolio in the NAND flash market segment, which will be comparable with what we achieved in DRAM.”


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LG’s rollable TV finally goes on sale for $87,000



LG has announced that its world-first rollable TV is finally going on sale, albeit in limited fashion. The 65-inch LG Signature OLED R is now available at seven consumer electronics store throughout South Korea and will cost 100 million won, or more than $87,000.

The Signature OLED R is built around a flexible OLED panel that LG describes with characteristic restraint as “the most innovative development in television technology in decades.” Because of its flexible nature, it can retract partially or fully into its base, adapting to different aspect ratios or hiding the panel completely when not in use.

“LG’s exquisite creation liberates users from the limitations of the wall, enabling owners to curate their living environment without having to permanently set aside space for a large, black screen that is only useful when turned on,” the company says in a statement. Buyers will be able to choose between four colors for the wool speaker cover, and the aluminum base can be personalized with an engraving.

Unsurprisingly for such an ambitious product, the Signature OLED R has faced a difficult path to market. LG Display first showed off a rollable TV prototype at CES 2018, and Bloomberg later reported that the display would make its way into a shipping product the next year. LG did indeed bring a commercial rollable TV to the next CES with plans to release it in spring 2019, but it never actually went on sale.


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