Apple Ups iPhone Orders 30%; FTC Demands Amazon, Facebook and Others Explain Collection & Use of Personal Data; Signal Adds Encrypted Group Video Call Support; Snap Launches Bitmoji Paint

We just reported that noted analyst Ming-Chi Kuo predicted a good sized jump in iPhone sales in 2021. Now, according to macrumors.com, picking up a story from Nikkei Asia, we hear that Apple has boosted iPhone orders with its suppliers by 30%, which would amount to 96 million iPhones! There is an additional rumor indicating that at least one of the 2021 iPhones (iPhone 13) will be completely portless…there will be no Lightning port…all charging will be wireless, and everything will come over the air. It will also have a ’shallower notch,’ but it won’t be less wide…just less long, giving slightly more useable screen below it.

The Federal Trade Commission has announced that they are requiring nine tech companies to produce info about how they collect and use data from their users. CNBC.com reports that Amazon, TikTok owner ByteDance, Discord, Facebook and its subsidiary WhatsApp, Reddit, Snap, Twitter and Google-owned YouTube were each sent orders to hand over information about their data practices. The companies have 45 days to respond from the date they received the orders. The FTC also wants to know how they determine how they serve ads to users. The FTC had already field charges last week against Facebook over alleged monopolistic practices. 

Signal is joining the party, adding support for group video calls for up to 5 people. Theverge.com notes, that’s not really enough for larger scale business meetings as take place on Zoom, Bluejeans, MS Teams, and the like, but they are end-to-end encrypted, like all other Signal calls. You can expect Signal to increase the number of call users, though, and they have said they will be doing so soon. The new feature is available on both iOS and Android. 

Snap has launched a new game inside Snapchat called Bitmoji Paint. According to venturebeat.com, it lets hundreds of players simultaneously contribute to a massive collage. Players make their Bitmoji, which then acts in the Paint game. There are 3 modes in the game: move, paint, and map. In the game, players can’t view other players’ Snap IDs. In the Android version, there are also Snap Tokens which allow buying of digital goods in the game app. Snap now claims over 249 million daily active users. 75% of the US 13-35 year old population uses Snap’s platform. 



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