Spillikins # 605. The war against Apple is gaining momentum


It seems that corporations are taking their revenge during the quarantine, some have fallen off the chain. But this is good, since there are a lot of events, just have time to turn your head. There will be several significant announcements in the coming week, at least they are interesting from the point of view of technologies in devices, so it is worth looking at what will be in them, follow our publications. Finally, to clear up the blockage from the announced devices from Samsung, reviews of almost all new items will be released.

It seems that he wrote several dozen materials about Huawei and the trade war, laid out what is happening in all details, but you still have to return to this topic. In a separate article I will tell you why it is unlikely that Huawei smartphones will disappear from the market, and this is not at all because the company purchased processors before March 2021 and will release its devices on them. Huawei will continue to have access to processors, and some of them will even be cheaper than today. How is this possible? You will read it in the week.

But, in order not to turn into a semblance of LG, which so loves to give announcements for new announcements, let’s start our release. Go!


  1. Нападки на Apple продолжаются — PR от Epic Games и Facebook
  2. TikTok готов к продаже, но Китай против — следующий раунд переговоров
  3. Front invisible cameras – goodbye notch in the screen
  4. Retail store from Amazon, new prototype of the future
  5. Другой формат телевизора — вертикальный The Sero

Нападки на Apple продолжаются — PR от Epic Games и Facebook

Epic Games vs. Apple continues, although, more precisely, it must be said that this story is developing, and the battle has erupted serious. On August 17, Apple announced that it would delete the Epic Games developer account for violating the App Store rules, and also disable the Unreal Engine, which runs dozens of different games, for example, the same PUBG. The developer went to court to impose a temporary ban on account deletion, as well as a ban on Unreal Engine. This is an interim measure that allows you to save all the software, as Epic Games found that their rights were violated.

The first court hearing on Epic Games’ claim will only take place on September 28, 2020, but the first interim measures hearing has already passed. Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers acted wisely, she obliged Apple to maintain support for the Unreal Engine, since third companies that use it cannot be responsible for the dispute between Epic Games and Apple, but decided to return the developer access to the App Store there is no need. According to the judge, Epic Games deliberately violated the terms of the contract with Apple, it was also added that the developer independently created the situation, while not incurring “irreparable damage.” But at the same time, the damage to the gaming industry and Epic Games is assessed as significant, the judge emphasized. From a curious announcement of what we will face in court. Gonzalez believes that Apple has a monopoly on the iOS app market as it completely controls that market. And during the hearings, this will become a central part of the proceedings, partly it supports the point of view of Epic Games, which does not mean that the company will automatically win the court. The proceedings will be complex and lengthy, they can drag on for several years, such cases are not resolved instantly.

Epic Games’ lawyer said in court that the developers are leaving Unreal Engine, this is something that is already happening in practice. After the court’s decision, it is possible that the process will stop, but at the time of the hearing this was exactly the case. This can be considered a serious loss for Epic Games, as with the decrease in the number of those who release games on their engine, the cost of development for the company will rise sharply.

Spillikins # 605. The war against Apple is gaining momentum

Epic Games’ App Store account was deleted on August 28. The company has lost access to development tools for both iOS and computers; it cannot change anything in its applications. Let me remind you that on the 27th, a new season (season 4, chapter 2) started with Marvel heroes, it is not available on Apple devices. There is no way to play the new game.

The hashtag FreeFortnite is gaining popularity on social networks, although it is impossible to argue that this has become something out of the ordinary. Unfortunately, it’s almost impossible to find up-to-date statistics on the number of Fortnite users. In court documents, Epic Games indicates 350 million accounts that are registered in the system. But the number of accounts says nothing about the number of people playing. The latest official figures come in August 2018, when the number of players was announced at 78.3 million. In April 2020, 3.3 billion hours were spent in the game, this is also the official statistics. The problem is that there are no transparent statistics, but indirect signs indicate that the peak of popularity for Fortnite has passed, which does not mean the end of the story, the game remains a big event. In addition to the fact that Fortnite is played, concerts are held inside the game world, which attract millions of people. In February 2019, performer Marshmello gathered an audience of 10.7 million people watching his performance. It is possible that the effect of novelty played a role, since the concert itself was rather plain, but, as always, this is just my opinion. However, look at this performance for yourself.

It is possible that Fortnite’s problems pushed Epic Games to war with Apple, as you know, the war will forgive any problems, and if you win, the acquisitions will be obvious. But Epic Games’ call to contact Apple support over Fortnite issues looks like an attempt to create problems for the company. Moreover, a deliberate attempt in which the corporation will be forced to spend resources on mass circulation. I think this could play against Epic Games in court. Quickly scanned Apple forums regarding Fortnite and game issues, not too many hits.

Spillikins # 605. The war against Apple is gaining momentum

On Twitter, there are also speeches on this topic with the corresponding hashtag, but it cannot be said that they have swept the entire planet.

Spillikins # 605. The war against Apple is gaining momentumSpillikins # 605. The war against Apple is gaining momentumSpillikins # 605. The war against Apple is gaining momentum

In the current state, Fortnite on Apple devices (already installed games) offers very meager opportunities, without updates it is not so interesting to play, the game has lost its appeal. Many players have used their computers to continue playing, someone is threatening to switch to Android (I don’t think that this factor alone is capable of prompting a person to make such a transition). Customers can return the money they paid for Fortnite, but here you should contact the App Store if you paid there.

At the moment, Epic Games’ losses are obvious, cutting off access for the developer, Apple has reduced the number of players, there is no doubt about that. To what extent, that is the question, the answer to which we will see only in the framework of legal proceedings. Let me remind you that Apple is defending its business model and will fight to the death; they simply have no other choice. But attacks on the corporation have become a fashionable topic this season, for example, Facebook decided to add fuel to the fire. At the beginning of the month, the social network launched an option for conducting paid classes online, it can also be presentations, or whatever. This is a kind of support for small businesses, Facebook does not take a penny from these payments, there is no commission at the moment. At the same time, it is on iOS, the same 30% that Apple collects. Facebook decided to emphasize this separately, but faced with the fact that Apple was forbidden to mention this, as “information for users is insignificant.” As for me, this is just significant and shows how Apple is eager for other people’s money and is trying to charge for any action on its platform. Look at the picture from Facebook, how it was and how it became.

Spillikins # 605. The war against Apple is gaining momentum

Apple doesn’t want ordinary customers to know that they pay Apple a commission for every action, which in most cases is a third of the payment! To say that these are extortionate prices can be with a light heart. And the fact that many companies today are beginning to oppose this approach is a fact. The same US Congress is clearly going to use antitrust laws to make the App Store transparent and, possibly, create a mechanism for installing applications, bypassing Apple (as is done in Android). The year promises to be a lot of fun, and the Epic Games versus Apple litigation could set a precedent. I don’t think Epic Games will win unconditionally, it will be extremely difficult to do. But the fact that the company will breach Apple’s defenses, that they have launched a wave of uncomfortable questions to the corporation, is undoubtedly. And before the release of a new generation of iPhone, these questions may be quite critical for Apple, they have every iPhone sold on their account. We will continue to watch this epic battle between the two companies, the series promises to be interesting.

extracurricular reading:

TikTok готов к продаже, но Китай против — следующий раунд переговоров

The US attacks on TikTok not only continue, the story has taken on a fundamentally different level. The owners of the company have already come to terms with the fact that business in the United States and a number of other countries will have to be sold, in fact, this is a racket from the US government. Against this background, the CEO of the company Kevin Mayer (Kevin Mayer) left his post, rumors claim that he was excluded from the negotiations on the sale of the application. The term of the ban, which was designated in the United States, ends on September 15, exactly before this moment the deal should be concluded. The difficulty is that TikTok’s algorithms are too tightly integrated for different countries, as a result, it will be difficult to separate the platform. You can read about the beginning of the story with us.

The main contender for the purchase is Microsoft, allegedly it signed a non-binding agreement even before Donald Trump’s speech, where he announced a ban on TikTok. It is impossible to verify this point, just as the fact that Microsoft is clearly working closely with it, it is difficult to assume anything else. Today we are talking about the fact that Microsoft will buy the TikTok business in the US, Australia, Canada and New Zealand. Walmart wants to participate in the deal, and they want to enrich the application with various offers of services and goods, as ByteDance did in China.

Suddenly, Oracle has wedged itself into a potential deal, and its proposal looks at least fresh. The app was valued at $ 10 billion, the same amount will be given in the company’s shares, plus 50% of the income from TikTok will go to ByteDance. It is not clear only what kind of geography we are talking about, it is only the United States or all the countries listed above.

The carve-up of TikTok was gaining momentum, as if they could sit quietly in China, as they take away the company they consider to be the flagship in social networks outside their home market. But China unexpectedly and for the first time in 12 years updated its export rules, in particular, the Ministry of Commerce, added AI algorithms to the list of technologies licensed for export, as well as “recommendations based on the analysis of user data.” The latter describes as accurately as possible what TikTok is, it’s not just a variety of content, but algorithms that try to show each user exactly what they like. How much can TikTok cost without such algorithms? This is an open question, but clearly less. Now the Chinese authorities have a switch in their hands, with which they can block any deal with TikTok. You will not envy ByteDance, since the company is caught between a rock and a hard place, any step brings the owners of the company to the political plane. This story is no longer about business, but about whether the US can use pressure to take away Chinese property by paying something for an application and service, or everything will move to another level of confrontation. TikTok can be banned only for iOS owners (we cut it out of the app store and that’s it), but on Android users can install and use it. The blocking attempts will lead to widespread use of VPN services, which will put the situation into a stalemate. But I don’t think it will come to this, most likely, China’s actions are aimed at raising the cost of TikTok, not giving away the application as cheaply as it might otherwise have happened. This is also a policy that increasingly interferes with ordinary, day-to-day business.

Front invisible cameras – goodbye notch in the screen

The struggle for the maximum display area in a smartphone led to the fact that it was necessary to place the front camera somewhere. Initially, these were cutouts in the upper part, depending on their shape, they were called V, O, U-shaped, but then a piece of the screen was eaten off. Many people did not like this, but the beginning of this was laid by the iPhone X, in which the block from the front camera and sensors banged into the display. Apple still cannot abandon this block and use it everywhere, although this solution looks at least outdated.

At the moment, most Android smartphone manufacturers in the mid and high price segments use cameras that have become part of the screen.

Spillikins # 605. The war against Apple is gaining momentum

There are tons of people out there who are also annoyed that the camera is eating away at a piece of the screen, even if it is invisible most of the time. The next evolutionary step for cameras was to place them under the screen, but so that the picture on it does not change, that is, you do not see the camera at all. In theory, this is possible, since the switched off display, when there is no picture on it, has little effect on the picture, it can be taken. The problem is that the display itself in this place may have minor artifacts – brightness, sharpness of points, and so on. Experiments in this direction have been going on for several years, but only now the technology has become available for mass use.

The first company to launch a smartphone with such a camera is ZTE, their model ZTE Axon 20 5G will be announced on September 1. The front-facing camera has a 32-megapixel resolution, which is usual for current devices. But it is completely hidden behind the screen. This was highlighted well in the teaser. Subscribers of our Telegram channel have seen this video, you can watch it at the link.

What looks great in advertising doesn’t always turn out to be the same in real life. ZTE said that the seven-layer screen needed to be placed in a new material that would have sufficient transparency for the camera.

Spillikins # 605. The war against Apple is gaining momentum

The first picture taken with the front camera has already appeared, it does not impress, but it is possible that this is only a prototype, there is little to wait, and soon we will see how this smartphone takes pictures.

Spillikins # 605. The war against Apple is gaining momentum

Even if ZTE does not make this technology mainstream, you can be sure that other companies will bring their solutions to the market. For example, before the announcement of ZTE, Xiaomi decided to remind that they also have something similar. In 2021, there will be flagships from Xiaomi, in which the camera will be hidden in exactly the same way. Xiaomi says that this is the third generation of technology.

Spillikins # 605. The war against Apple is gaining momentum

Almost any camera under the screen will be based on exactly the same principle of operation. And here the transparency of the material, the quality of the module itself, its luminosity come to the fore. In Samsung, the first device with such technology should appear in 2021, in 2022 there will be many such models on the market, the technology will become generally available. But initially it is intended only for flagships and smartphones above average, since the price of the screen, although not drastically, changes. I wonder what is more important to you, the quality of the picture taken with the front camera or not seeing it on the screen at all?

Retail store from Amazon, new prototype of the future

Amazon started experimenting with standard stores a few years ago. The first format was small Amazon Go stores, in which shoppers log in with their smartphone and Amazon account, and cameras track what they type in their carts. You don’t have to pay at the exit, as the money will be debited from your account. The small format of shops near the home and office, ready-made food – all this made the experiment rather narrow, but visionary. This is what stores were supposed to be in the future, simple and understandable, with a minimum number of live people and the need to communicate at the checkout. I remember how many discussions this story caused then. In Russia, such developments are underway and are in a fairly advanced phase, no worse than what Amazon is doing, but no one publicly announces this. The technology needs to be rolled out to large retail chains at the same time, and these are thousands of stores. Therefore, we simply continue to do this in submarine mode, turn ordinary stores into the most robotic ones. And, of course, this is a way to save on salespeople salaries, as the automatic store is much cheaper in the long run. Although this raises the question of wages and how expensive a smart store system is. Amazon clearly wants to automate the maximum number of stores worldwide, and sees this as a new growth point for their business. Here you can sell not only software, but also customization, as well as your clouds, which automatically receive downloads by new clients, which until recently did not use cloud storage at all.

Amazon bought Whole Foods, these are supermarkets with various food and large areas, where the company decided to study the business of selling food. The existing retail chain operates independently, but the first Amazon Fresh store is in Woodland Hills, California.

Spillikins # 605. The war against Apple is gaining momentum

It is curious that the stores will apparently be called simply Fresh, Amazon’s participation in them at the name level will be hidden. For the first few weeks, this store will operate in a pilot mode; it will be impossible to enter it from the street. But then it will open to everyone without exception.

The changes compared to regular stores are not that great, it is a complete rejection of the Amazon Go concept that we saw earlier. On an area of ​​3500 square meters, various departments are located: fruits, vegetables, fish, meat, cooking, ready-made products. This is a familiar American supermarket where you can buy whatever you want.

The first thing that catches your eye is Amazon Alexa, the voice assistant plays the role of an assistant, the corresponding stations hang on the walls, which can tell you where to look for the goods you need. This is a large store automation, it doesn’t cost a lot of money, but it makes navigation easier.

Spillikins # 605. The war against Apple is gaining momentum

Fresh has ditched camera systems that track your purchases. I think that here we are talking about a problem of scale, there are usually hundreds of customers in such stores and it is rather difficult to track everything, expensive, productive systems are required. Amazon decided to act differently, the store is an ordinary supermarket, real people work here, there are cash desks where you can pay in the usual manner. But there is also one important change – digital carts.

Spillikins # 605. The war against Apple is gaining momentum

This cart holds two shopping bags, and you can log in with a QR code from your Amazon app. There is a QR code scanner in the cart, it looks at you, as well as a small screen. On it you can see everything that you added to the cart.

Most of the products can be added to your cart without scanning the QR code separately, the built-in cameras must read the code themselves. When you bring the product, the camera reads it, and then the basket will sound that everything is in order. If the product has not been read, but you put it down, the orange light will turn on. Scales are built into the basket, they must determine the weight of the goods and calculate the total weight of your purchases, this is an additional check.

I have great doubts that the scales in the basket can last a long time, this is a problematic element of the entire system, usually such scales quickly fail. It’s good that the same fruits can be weighed right in the cart, but I think that this option will quickly be removed from circulation due to errors.

Непонятным моментом остается то, как много ошибок будет при сканировании, когда вы добавляете товары, я бы не рассчитывал, что все будет работать безболезненно, считать так преждевременно, так как технология делает первые шаги. И поэтому цифровые тележки соседствуют с обычными, это пилотный проект, в котором будут набивать шишки, а покупателям оставят выбор — пользоваться чем-то новым или привычно старым.

For those who use the digital cart, the only thing left to do is to use a special line, the money will be debited from the card linked to the Amazon account, and the receipt will be sent to the mail. Everything sounds simple, similar to how it is implemented in Amazon Go.

Now about the unpleasant moments. You can activate only one cart, you cannot take two at once, or you need to go with someone to the store. One cart assumes daily purchases, since a large number of products cannot be trivially placed in it, such a restriction was made deliberately, these are the conditions of the pilot. We see Amazon experimenting with technology, trying to tie it to real life and how people buy products. And also this is an attempt to reduce the cost of your approach, to make it as simple as possible. Surprisingly, Russian companies have traveled a much greater distance along this road than Amazon.

In Russia today, several companies are engaged in the development of automatic payment systems for goods, I am sure that they do not even know about each other. Various retail chains, lack of public pilots to discuss. Immediately after the quarantine was lifted, I visited one of the pilot stores (it is closed to the public), where they are testing the possibility of automatic payment for goods. The principle is similar to what Amazon has, it is linking your bank card to the application (a large Russian bank is involved here, its interest is understandable). Initially, Amazon Go used cameras, but there were many bugs and this path was abandoned. Now there are two options – pay at an automatic checkout, where you can scan the code, or weigh, or scan the product on your phone and place it in the cart. The second option seems to me almost ideal, you do not need to invent anything, you just read the goods and add them to your cart. But they could not answer the question of what to do with the theft (the scales are just needed in the Amazon cart for such a struggle). Unfortunately, no one can answer how quickly such a format can appear in real life, everything rests on many problems, from laws to flaws in the systems themselves. In an ideal world where deception and theft are absent, such systems could work at the very least. In our world, this is hardly possible. And therefore, I have mixed feelings about the future of retail, that automation will undoubtedly take place, but the fact that it will become massive, and sellers will lose their jobs (as well as movers, security guards), seems unlikely to me. It’s impossible to turn every store into a vending machine, it’s too incredible. What do you think?

Другой формат телевизора — вертикальный The Sero

We are not given the full knowledge of the world of children, since they have toys that were difficult to imagine in their childhood. When I was growing up, we had one TV, I remember being very small and a black and white picture on the screen, a large TV box was on a stand in the living room. When I was four years old, this monster was replaced with a color TV, it cost decent money, 650 rubles with a parent’s salary of 200-250 rubles, which was considered good money at that time. Such a colored monster appeared in our house.

Spillikins # 605. The war against Apple is gaining momentum

There was no question of other TVs in the kitchen or in other rooms then. In childhood, there was only one TV, and there was always a struggle for who and what would watch, the only thing that saved us was that there were almost never interesting programs at the same time. On Saturdays, a program was shown in Baku, the name of which I forgot, at ten in the evening they talked a little about the film of such and such a director, and then the film itself was shown. Thus, I was able to watch many films that my peers did not know at all, there were such loopholes in the USSR. The films were excellent, tastefully selected, from comedies to serious films. But now we are talking more about something else, about the fact that many televisions have appeared in our homes: in the kitchen, in the living room, in the bedroom. From the smallest to giants of 100 inches or more. Everything here depends on your budget and the desire to equip the space with additional screens. And the TVs themselves have turned into a kind of computers, you can connect a keyboard and mouse to them, work in a text editor or display a picture from a computer that is left somewhere else. Evolution has affected TV in all aspects.

So when Samsung launched the first TV for young people, I looked at it as an evolution of a variety of form factors. A vertical TV that has become a continuation of the smartphone for the TikTok and Instagram generation, with the ability to integrate with your phone. A toy? Maybe. But this is a toy for the children of those who already have everything that can be imagined in their lives.

Spillikins # 605. The war against Apple is gaining momentum

Depending on the content, the TV rotates to one orientation or another, which looks extremely unusual.

Spillikins # 605. The war against Apple is gaining momentum

Он небольшой, всего 43-дюйма, стоит на полу и предполагается, что люди вокруг будут сидеть на пуфиках или даже на полу. Это для подростков и детей понятный формат. Удивительным для меня стало то, что многие подростки влюбляются в этот форм-фактор, так как телевизор имеет вау-эффект, экран вращается. Обычно телевизор — это неподвижный прямоугольник на стене, тут же он движется и этим сразу выделяется. Второй момент — можно смотреть тот же TikTok на большом экране, что удобно. Можно играть в какую-то игрушку на смартфоне и демонстрировать свой прогресс на экране так, чтобы вам не заглядывали через плечо. Для подростков это идеальный ТВ, который интересен своей необычностью, но цена, конечно, не выглядит доступной для всех — 110 тысяч рублей. Мои домашние подростки, если не в восторге, то в приятном удивлении от этого ТВ. Для меня он кажется излишним, этакое продолжение смартфона. Но удивить однозначно получилось, так как ничего подобного просто не было. И глядя на разнообразную линейку ТВ от Samsung, я вижу, что эксперименты в разнообразии создают очень и очень интересные новые формы, например, тот же The Serif крайне приятен визуально, дизайнерское решение, которое хочется иметь у себя дома (у меня такого телека нет, так как все места заняты обычными панелями).

Spillikins # 605. The war against Apple is gaining momentum

I am slowly writing a review of The Sero, and here I shared my first emotion from using this TV in real life, and not watching it at presentations and exhibitions.

PS Have a good week, so that the sun shines brightly, the mood is vigorous and the autumn blues does not attack you. In a word, so that everything around you is happy and, if possible, brings positive. On the weekend I grabbed the book “Empire of Silence” by Christopher Ruokkio for a minute and was lost to the outside world. A space opera that deserves attention, as it is written in good language, and the plot develops, although not quickly, but draws you into the intricacies of what is happening. I recommend to fans of science fiction, it’s a pity the other two books of the trilogy are not yet available.

And good luck again!

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