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This Week in Technology: Samsung, Apple, and More


Samsung To Build $220M R&D Center

Samsung has started building a new Research and Development center in Vietnam. The building cost $220M, and Samsung expects to complete it by the end of 2022. In addition, the center will employ between 2,200 and 3,000 people. However, officials canceled a groundbreaking ceremony amid concerns of the coronavirus outbreak. A spokesperson confirmed the cancellation but did not provide any more details.

Samsung is Vietnam’s biggest single investor, totaling nearly $17Bn in investments. In addition, Vietnam made $51.38Bn in exported smartphones and spare parts. Most of them were Samsung’s. Vietnam’s government announced the commencement of the building on Monday.

Apple Settles iPhone Slowdown Case

Apple has agreed to settle a long-running class-action case accusing it of deliberately slowing down old phones. Back in 2017, Apple confirmed that it had deliberately slowed down old iPhones as they aged. In a post, it claimed that as batteries aged, their performance decreased. Thus, the slowdown was to prolong the phone’s lifespan.

Immediately, critics took it as proof of planned obsolescence, where manufacturers purposefully harm device performance to push users to a newer model. After that, Apple was hit with a myriad of lawsuits concerning the slowdown. With this new settlement, Apple will pay anywhere between $310M and $500M.

New Documents Show Huawei Role In Shipping Parts To Iran

Newly obtained documents revealed that Chinese tech giant Huawei supplied Iran with prohibited US computer parts. For years, Huawei has denied violating American trade sanctions on Iran. With this new evidence, however, the US could finally pass a campaign to check the power of the biggest telecommunication-producer in the world.

“Due to ongoing legal proceedings, it is not appropriate for Huawei to comment at this time,” a Huawei spokesman said. “Huawei is committed to comply with all applicable laws and regulations in the countries and regions where we operate, including all export control and sanction laws and regulations of the UN, U.S., and EU.”

Amazon Removes Fake Coronavirus Cures

Amazon has removed over one million products claiming to protect or cure people of coronavirus. Plus, it also removed tens of thousands of overpriced products from greedy sellers. “There is no place for price gouging on Amazon,” a spokeswoman said. Recently, the WHO expressed concern about similar Amazon listings, including the fake treatments.

Google Defeats YouTube Censorship Appeal

Google convinced federal courts to reject claims that YouTube illegally censors conservative content. In a 3-0 decision, the Seattle Court of Appeals found that YouTube didn’t have to abide by the First Amendment. Therefore, it could censor topics it deemed unsuitable for audiences. In addition, companies like Facebook and Twitter could also use the same argument in censorship battles.