iPhone XS Max beats Galaxy S10+ in drop tests

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Apple’s flagship phone is tougher than Samsung’s.
Repeatedly smashing both devices to the ground shows Apple’s flagship phone is hardier than Samsung’s.
Photo: PhoneBuff

Apple’s largest phone is tougher than Samsung’s. The iPhone XS Max performed noticeably better than the Galaxy S10+ in a series of drop tests.

The bad news is that neither handset proved particularly resistant to breaking when dropped.

Samsung holiday sales beat iPhone for first time in years

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Samsung Galaxy S9
It seems more people wanted to gift Galaxy phones than iPhones during the holidays.
Photo: Samsung

Apple’s last quarter was so bad the company broke its long-running streak of outselling Samsung during the holiday gift season.

Going back for several years, the maker of the Galaxy line of Android handsets always outsold Apple during the first three quarters, and in total sales for the whole year, but iPhone would came out on top in Q4. Not last quarter.

iPhone XR smokes every Android rival

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iPhone XR performance is stellar, far better than many Android devices that cost more.
iPhone XR performance is stellar, far better than many Android devices that cost more.
Photo: Apple

The new iPhone XR costs at least $250 less than the iPhone XS models but has the same A12 Bionic processor. That gives Apple’s latest significantly faster performance than any of its Android rivals, even the most expensive.

Benchmarks show the XR is 25 percent quicker than Samsung’s fastest, despite costing far less.

Samsung might copy Apple’s homicidal take on headphone jacks

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Here's how much space the Galaxy S9 headphone jack takes up.
Space inside a smartphone is precious; here's how much the Galaxy S9 headphone jack takes up.
Photo: IFIXIT

There were howls of protest when Apple left the 3.5mm headphone jack out of the iPhone 7, but it was really just another example of the company being ahead of the competition. Arch-rival Samsung is reportedly going to be the next to eliminate this single-use port from its flagship phones next year.

Samsung preps rivals for Apple Watch and HomePod

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Samsung Watch and Samsung Home go up against Apple equivalents.
Samsung Galaxy Watch and Galaxy Home go up against Apple equivalents.
Photo: Samsung

Along with its newest smartphone, Samsung just unveiled two more products designed to take on some of Apple’s. The Galaxy Watch isn’t the Korean company’s first Apple Watch competitor, but this is the first time it’s unveiled a HomePod rival.

Apple dominates smartwatch sales, so Samsung faces an uphill battle. Amazon has the lead in smartspeakers though, and Apple has shown it’s not an easy market to break into.

Samsung Galaxy Note 9 prepares to face the 2018 iPhones

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The Galaxy Note 9 will have to face not just the iPhone X, but also the models Apple will launch next month.
The Galaxy Note 9 will have to stand up to not only the iPhone X, but also the models Apple will launch next month.
Photo: Apple/Samsung/MobileFun

This spring’s Galaxy S9 hasn’t sold all that well, so Samsung is pinning its hopes on the Galaxy Note 9, just announced this morning.

This 6.4-inch Android device will have to compete with the iPhone X, and also the new smartphones Apple will introduce in a few weeks. Let’s see how it compares.

iPad’s hot streak shows no sign of cooling

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2018 iPad and Apple Pencil
The 9.7-inch iPad released this fall helped keep Apple on top of the tablet market.
Photo: Ian Fuchs/Cult of Mac

There was a time the glory days of the iPad seemed over. Sales declined quarter after quarter. Then the iPad Pro line debuted, and now Apple has seen six straight quarters of increasing tablet shipments.

That’s not true for rival device makers. Samsung tablets haven’t experienced a quarterly shipment increase since at least 2016.  

Apple vs Samsung patent battle has U.S. Supreme Court confused

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Samsung
Apple vs Samsung is going all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court.
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

U.S. Supreme Court justices appear to be confused over how much Apple’s patented iPhone design should worth.

Lawyers for Apple and Samsung faced off this morning at the nation’s highest court. The two sides argued whether breaking a design patent should be worth most of a product’s profits, or if the thousands of other patents that go into a smartphone should be viewed as equally valuable to the contribution of profits.

Billions of dollars and the future of patent law is at stake in the case that hinges on a law written in 1887. But the justices didn’t give much indication which side they’ll take.

Apple’s endless battle with Samsung could rage on for years

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samsungvapple
Who would've thought such small devices could trigger such a big war?
Photo: Killian Bell/Cult of Mac

Holy timewarp, Batman! Despite already being five years old, the U.S. Department of Justice has suggested that the Samsung vs. Apple patent case could continue to rage for at least a few more years — by recommending that the Supreme Court return the case for yet more examination.

By asking the Supreme Court to overturn an appeals court ruling in favor of Apple, the D.O.J. is basically asking that Apple’s current damages award (which stands at $548 million) be reassessed.