# Echo91: rumors about iPhone 12 and how many times Samsung may stumble


  1. Samsung rumors
  2. Apple rumors
  3. Handwritten signature
  4. Results of the GFN year of esports and cloud gaming

Samsung rumors

Rumors have surfaced in the South Korean press that Samsung is considering adding support for the S-Pen stylus to the Galaxy S21, which is the exclusive domain of the Galaxy Note line. But the stylus will not be included in the kit for the Galaxy S21, as there will not be a slot for storing it in the smartphone. As they write, such a strange thing is needed, since Samsung wants to help Galaxy Note fans move to the S-series, because the Galaxy Note 21 will be the last device in the line.

On the one hand, abandoning the Galaxy Note is to some extent justified. Initially, these were to some extent experimental flagships with large screens. Remember even the anecdote was:

– Hello, is it convenient for you to speak?

–No, I have a Galaxy Note.

Today, the Galaxy Note’s screen does not stand out in size, and the presence of a stylus is perhaps the only significant difference from the S-series.

Over the past 1.5 years, in my opinion, Samsung has somehow lost itself in the smartphone market. The company is still innovative, but there is a feeling that the Idea (with a capital letter) is lost. The reasons are clear, this is excessive pressure from competitors, to which Samsung needs to somehow respond, and there are practically no unique tricks left: performance, smoothness of the shells, quality of photography – the rivals are practically in no way inferior.

# Echo91: rumors about iPhone 12 and how many times Samsung may stumble

In my opinion, Samsung made its biggest mistake this year. She released flagship smartphones S and Note series, which were received with hostility by the market. This is evidenced by the decrease in sales by several tens of percent, and the fact that even the brand’s supporters speak much cooler about the devices. This is dangerous because the flagships are usually bought by “technology enthusiasts”, there are not many such people, but they have a positive impact on the perception of Samsung as a whole, becoming to some extent preachers of the brand. At the moment Samsung has stumbled once, it will be forgiven, but if the situation repeats itself, it will be in trouble.

PS An anonymous source commented that the next Galaxy Note will be, the stylus for the Galaxy S21 is an experiment, and the Galaxy Note has been buried in the press for a long time, but these are all just rumors. This comment does not in any way affect the thoughts expressed above.

Apple rumors

Nobody should leave deprived. We’ve talked about Samsung, but Apple will introduce new iPhones soon. And if you believe the rumors, they will show 4 models at once: iPhone 12, iPhone 12 Max, iPhone 12 Pro, iPhone 12 Pro Max in the price range from 649 to 1 dollars and with screens from 099 to 5.4 inches.

# Echo91: rumors about iPhone 12 and how many times Samsung may stumble

If you thought that only Samsung was suffering from falling sales, then Apple is in a difficult situation. Over the past quarters, the company was able to significantly reduce the share of the iPhone in total revenue, formally, as it were, ceased to be a single product company. However, in fact, the iPhone remains an entrance to the Apple ecosystem, all services and subscriptions are tied to it.

Apple’s innovation may have stalled a little in recent years, but what can’t be taken away is business flair. The company could not predict the pandemic, but if you remember, even before the coronavirus there was talk that the world economy was rolling only into a crisis or into a recession. With such an economic forecast, Apple with $ 1000 smartphones would look, to put it mildly, inappropriate. Accordingly, a strategically correct decision was made to expand the model range. New models, new designs (people love new designs!), 5G. Okay, Apple, another year in your pocket, but what’s next?

# Echo91: rumors about iPhone 12 and how many times Samsung may stumble

Handwritten signature

While sitting at one presentation, I heard a respected fellow journalist explain to a PR specialist that he had not signed the NDA because he did not have a printer to print the form he had sent. A fellow journalist sitting next to him, and perhaps even more respected fellow journalist, told how he, with the help of a graphic editor, placed his signature on a transparent background and now uses it. The retrograde of pen professionals, who, in theory, should be at the forefront of progress (because they write about it and are forced to sign an NDA), struck me to the depths of my soul, forcing me to think, and why all these innovations, if the current technologies are not mastered?

It is bitter and even embarrassing that in 2020 such notes have to be taken, but, apparently, we need to share the ways of how to sign a document.

On the other hand, whose cow would bellow, noticed that when I have to write something on the phone, I by inertia look for a piece of paper with a pen, although you can turn on the built-in recording of telephone conversations, you can record it on a laptop, on a second phone, or turn it on speakerphone and voice-to-text recognition. In short, there are a lot of simple options, but somewhere in the subconscious there is a habit of the pre-computer era. This is how our brain works. It is easier for him to force his body to do additional work than to strain himself.

Option # 1 – stylus, finger and touch screens

If you have a Galaxy Note, iPad, or laptop with stylus support, it couldn’t be easier than signing documents. Open Microsoft Word, select the “Drawing” tab, blue color (like a pen), sign, and then save it to PDF. If the document is not a doc, but a PDF, you will need additional software. The Galaxy Note has a built-in ‘Write on PDF’ app. Let’s talk about other platforms further.

A fully working version, documents with such a signature were accepted by everyone – from banks and airlines to PR specialists. In general, you can sign with your finger on the smartphone screen, but here, of course, you will have to practice for 5 minutes to make the signature look natural.

# Echo91: rumors about iPhone 12 and how many times Samsung may stumble

Option number 2 – macOS

If you are a happy owner of macOS, then there will be no problems with the signature. On macOS, the Preview app has an option for signing. In my opinion, it has always existed there. And from my very first “poppy”, when I was still studying at the university, I actively used it. I apologize for the lack of original pictures, but with me only the test HP Zbook G7 Fury (a kick-ass 17-inch workstation with a 4K screen).

There are three signature options on macOS, but all are in Preview. You need to open the application, click on the “Pens” icon, select “Create signature”. The first option involves drawing on the touchpad, the second – when you can use your iPhone’s screen instead of the touchpad. The third is to sign on a piece of paper, and then bring the signature to the webcam. I have not tried to sign on the iPhone, but the first and third methods are working. By the way, my Mac still uses a signature that was made 9 years ago. During this time, I changed several computers, but, apparently, the signature during the “migration” was diligently exported.

# Echo91: rumors about iPhone 12 and how many times Samsung may stumble

Option № 3

Owners of Galaxy Note or macOS are few, most use the Windows operating system. There is no built-in software, but you can download the free Adobe Acrobat Reader DC. The acrobat is a smart program, and when he opened the form, he immediately notified me that he saw a uniform in front of him, and offered to sign. You can use your finger on the touchpad, or you can use a stylus. The only drawback is that the handwritten signature is available only in black (in macOS, the color can be changed). So far, no one has ever refused to accept a document signed in this way. Along the way, if the letterhead contains colored elements, then I do not use file saving, but print to a file in “shades of gray”. Thus, the document begins to be perceived as a photocopy.

# Echo91: rumors about iPhone 12 and how many times Samsung may stumble# Echo91: rumors about iPhone 12 and how many times Samsung may stumble

Results of the GFN year of esports and cloud gaming

Somehow, a year has quietly passed since the launch of the gaming streaming service GFN, based on GeForce Now from Nvidia. The saddest thing is that this year the IgroMir exhibition was virtual, and in the past, due to the abundance of work, I did not have time to attend the exhibition: first I worked in the parking lot in front of Crocus, and then went to the neighboring building for the GFN presentation. Have you lost a lot? A philosophical question, but I want to believe that next year everything will return to normal and it will be possible to ask Canon or Nikon for a good camera and rejoice at the achievements in the field of cosplay and costume design.

However, let’s not get distracted. In the article about the launch of the service, it was criticized – it is both expensive and will not take off. A year later, you can see the results. Over the year, GFN has introduced RTX ray tracing, a technology that accelerates frame rates while enhancing DLSS 2.0 graphics, and NVIDIA Freestyle and NVIDIA Highlights for capturing gaming moments. In September 2020, the monthly audience of the GFN service was 110 thousand people, and a total of 550 thousand people tried GFN (these figures were confirmed by the press service of the service). There is an interesting figure that GFN takes 12% of the total number of services based on GeForce Now in the world.

Let’s try to understand – a good result or not.

According to PWC, the Russian video game market is ranked 11th in the world and 5th in Europe. According to Steam, Russian has an 11% share of the platform, behind only English and Chinese. Estimates of the number of gamers in Russia vary – from 30 to 50 million people. It may seem that wherever you spit, you will still hit the gamer. There is a subtle point here that the largest segment of the Russian games market is casual and social games. These games account for 60% of the $ 2.1 billion total. For example, statistics company AppAnnie estimated that Color Bumb 2019D and Homescapes were the most popular mobile games in 3. These are free games that make money by showing ads between levels.

# Echo91: rumors about iPhone 12 and how many times Samsung may stumble# Echo91: rumors about iPhone 12 and how many times Samsung may stumble

PCs and consoles account for only 32.6% of the market, or $ 708 million. And about 20 million people prefer to watch streams of games.

Since March 23, GFN has canceled subscription fees as part of support due to the pandemic, making its service free. GFN promises that the service will remain free until the end of the year. As noted in the GFN itself, the experience turned out to be successful: the number of users increased 6 times, the number of gaming sessions – 3 times.

Another interesting point is that GFN started to sell its franchise, involving mobile operators. For example, there is cloud gaming from Beeline and MTS on the market.

The situation is quite difficult to assess. On the one hand, by providing a completely free subscription, GFN introduces the product, along the way trying to stake out the minds of potential buyers, because sooner or later Google Stadia and xCloud from Microsoft, which is now more correctly called Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, will come to the market. By the way, you should not count on a quick arrival, since such services need a powerful infrastructure, that is, data centers that will be located not too far from the players.

On the other hand, 550 thousand people is the maximum audience that could be gathered in almost ideal conditions of self-isolation, when people, apart from the Internet, had no entertainment. This situation will continue until the end of the year, as many still work remotely, and travel borders are closed. The idea to support people by giving free access is certainly good, but the habit of playing for free can play a cruel joke. So the future of GFN is vague, despite the fact that formally at the moment GFN is the only high-quality game streaming service in Russia.

About the streaming market, Microsoft and Sony

I will note that I still adhere to the position that Microsoft will be the leader in streaming, because the company is the only one who has implemented the Netflix format in the games market. Buy a subscription and get access to over a hundred games.

Microsoft’s situation is rather unique, as the company owns not only cloud technology, but also infrastructure and content. And obviously this is a significantly better position than GFN and Google, which only own technology / infrastructure.

There has been a recent online discussion about how Microsoft bought Bethesda, but in fact Microsoft acquired all of ZeniMax Media. Based on previous purchases, Microsoft now has 21 game studios and hits such as The Elder Scrolls, Doom, Fallout, Dishonored, Wolfenstein, Minecraft, Wasteland, Bard’s Tale, Obsidian Games, etc. And we must not forget that along the way, Microsoft still has interests and leverage in many studios, although formally they are also independent developers.

Microsoft’s approach is absolutely correct as the company tries to create its own unique niche above the current PC-console gaming market. After the implementation of the plan, the conditional competition with Sony for Microsoft will be irrelevant. The result is a situation similar to the one that was during the “Game of Thrones” from the HBO service. Everyone watched the show, but this did not affect the number of Netflix subscriptions. After the show ended, many have unsubscribed from HBO. Despite subsequent successful releases, HBO has not yet succeeded in creating another masterpiece, similar in scale to the influence of “Game”. By the way, Sony understands the state of affairs, and at the end of August there was news that Sony was considering releasing its exclusives on the PC. As noted in the 2020 report, the development of porting games to PC will be closely scrutinized. I do not know what decision the company will come to, but it is unlikely that Sony will be able to beat Microsoft in a foreign field.


There are rumors about the introduction of a new quarantine, the coronavirus has not gone anywhere. Be careful not to pick your nose with dirty hands. And everything will be fine (or not).

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