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Winners and Losers: Galaxy S23 upgrades, but iPad wait goes on

OPINION: It’s been another hectic week in the tech world, with the industry’s key names among the headlines. Here are this week’s winners and losers.

There are plenty of contenders for the honours this week. There were strong rumours of a Pixel 9 Pro XL, which would actually a huge win for lovers of smaller phones. In more good news for Android fans, Google reckons the messaging divide will finally be bridged by autumn, when Apple brings RCS to iMessage.

Apple, as always, has been in the news. It confirmed the WWDC 2024 date and promissed it’ll be “Absolutely Incredible” No prizes for guessing that’s a huge hint pertaining to the forthcoming AI-based features in iOS 18 and beyond. However, it wasn’t all good news for Apple fans, as you’ll read below.

AirPods Pro 2 with USB-C for under £200

AirPods Pro 2 with USB-C for under £200

AirPods Pro 2 are still at the top of the tree when it comes to Apple-friendly noise cancelling buds. They’re down to £199 again for a limited time in Currys’ Easter weekend sale.

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Then came a leak suggesting the Xbox Series X is getting a disc-less edition that might lower the price point of Microsoft’s top console for those who play digital games only. We’re not sure whether it’s a win or a loss at the moment, considering the demand isn’t that great for the S or the X models and this one simply would simply bridge those.

There was also a big win for TV shoppers with the news Vizio is launching an 86-INCH 4K TV for under $1,000, but it’s a big fat L for Brits who don’t get Vizio tellies.

Keep reading to see who tops the winner and loser podium this week…


Winner: Samsung

Owners of Samsung’s 2023 flagships and foldables had a great week with One UI 6.1 beginning its rollout. The upgraded custom user interface that sits atop Android 14 will bring many of the S24 range’s top software features to last year’s models.

Giving the S23 Series (including the S23 SE), Galaxy Z Fold/Flip 5 models and the Galaxy Tab S9 a new lease on life are plenty of the Galaxy AI features that headlined the 2024 models.

Those include Chat Assist, which can translate messages into 13 different languages, as well as recommendations for composing messages in the tone you wish to convey. It’ll also offer grammar suggestions when writing.

There’s also a new Generative Edit photography feature, which enables users to “resize or fill in the background of a shot after removing an object, like when a person walks into the frame,” according to Samsung.

The S24’s Live Translate feature, which will translate voice calls in real time while providing live caption transcripts, is also coming to devices farther down the trough. Google’s Circle to Search tool is a useful way to leverage Google without typing in commands, and it’ll now be available on the S23 range and others.

So, this is much more than a fresh lick of paint for the S23 Series. It brings a host of genuine improvements that’ll make the 2023 range feel brand new again.

The iPad Pro M2 standing up

Loser: Apple 

For the second week in a row, Apple takes the inausicious honour. Last week the company was sued, this week we learned its next iPads may have been delayed.

It’s been around 18 months since Apple launched a new iPad, but that was expected to change in the first three months of 2024. That certainly isn’t going to be the case now and it mightn’t be for at least another month, according to a well-connected Apple reporter.

The reliable Bloomberg reporter Mark Gurman reckons the release date for new iPad Pro and iPad Air models has slipped into early May because Apple is still finalising the software for the new models.

Gurman had been among those banging the drum about a Q1 release, so it’s plausible that information wasn’t on the money and Apple was always looking at a spring release.

However, that doesn’t make it any less frustrating for those who’ve been waiting years for Apple to slap OLED tech within a revamped iPad Pro, or offer a massive 12.9-inch iPad Air.

With no new iPads during the entirety of 2023, it’s no surprise that Apple reported a year-on-year fall in iPad revenue of 25%, when the company last went public with its earnings, in February.

That new iPad Pro, reported to be powered by the M3 chip with a revamped Apple Pencil and and Magic Keyboard sounds like just the ticket to revive the category… if only Apple could get it out the door.

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