5 of the biggest things that happened in February
A lot’s been happening in the world of tech this month. If you’ve been working too hard to notice and haven’t been able to keep on top, don’t worry – here’s your chance.
This is what we at HubHub consider to be the biggest news in tech in February 2020, in case you missed it.
Mobile World Cancelled
The world’s biggest phone conference Mobile World Congress (MWC) – which takes place in Barcelona every year – was called off after multiple tech giants such as Sony and Nokia dropped out amid fears of spreading the coronavirus. The impact has been huge, with some of the globe’s most renowned phone makers cancelling or postponing their respective launches, with a knock-on effect across the entire industry.
While it has only been in the news since January, the virus is already having a profound effect on the tech world. Many of Apple’s stores and factories closed in China this month, with the iPhone maker expected to put the announcement of its upcoming iPhone SE replacement on hold, too.
Flip phones are back
Despite MWC never officially getting off the ground, that didn’t stop most Asian phone manufacturers from launching their devices, as planned, via a digital feed.
Just before the conference was due to start, Korean tech giant Samsung launched the Galaxy S20 flagship phone alongside the new Galaxy Flip Z – a modern twist on a retro classic but with an innovative foldable 6.7-inch AMOLED screen and multi-tasking abilities.
Just days later, controversial Chinese brand Huawei unveiled the Mate Xs, a successor to its first-ever foldable smartphone released last year. Boasting an 8-inch unfolded display, it transforms to a 6.6-inch phone when folded back into standard smartphone mode. Although it won’t run Google apps thanks to the Huawei ban imposed on US software companies.
Meanwhile, Japanese phone maker Sony unwrapped the Xperia 1 II, a 5G handset that reintroduces the 3.5mm jack, which Sony said offers better audio quality than wireless the alternative.
Big Tech under scrutiny
Retail behemoth Amazon saw its shares jump 7.4% at the start of the month, propelling the firm into the $1 trillion market value space for just a moment, before it closed just short, valued at $995.9 billion for end of day trading. This came not long after other Big Tech brands hit landmark results, with Apple hitting the 1.5 billion user mark and Facebook announcing it had climbed to 2.5 billion monthly active users.
By no coincidence, the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) ordered Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google and Microsoft to turn over information about past acquisitions just over a week later, broadening its review of the power of big tech companies. The FTC said it had requested information about hundreds of smaller deals made by the five tech companies over the past decade that weren’t required to be reported to regulators by law. It’s hoped it could provide insights into antitrust abuses.
One for all
Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) passed a common charger resolution for portable devices in a bid to make it possible for consumers to use a single charger for all smartphone and tablet models. This might mean that Apple users might soon need to wave goodbye to their lightning jacks in Europe. The idea, the MEPs said, is to encourage consumers to re-use the cables they already own. Whether the rule will apply to the UK now it has left the EU, however, is yet to be seen.
New emojis incoming
Unicode – a non-profit organisation based in California who’s responsible for choosing the emojis for Apple and Android devices – has revealed that 62 new emojis that will be hitting all smartphones and tablets later this year. The new additions range from the transgender flag to an accordion and even a dodo. When exactly we will see the new emojis is yet to be announced but it’s rumoured we might see them in the second half of the year.
Freelance journalist & copywriter
Lee’s been writing about London’s buzzing tech scene for over eight years. Kick-starting his journalism career in the technology industry at The INQUIRER in 2012, he found his voice in the innovations space, focusing on the latest advances in tech and how they are affecting society.
These days, he’s a freelance journalist and copywriter. He covers news, features and reviews for a host of national print and online lifestyle titles such as GQ, Esquire, Shortlist, Men’s Health, Wired, The Metro, and The Mirror. He specialises in health and fitness innovations, and how the latest tech developments can improve wellbeing.