CMA investigating Vodafone/Three merger, Google Pixel 8 Pro can now measure body temperature


The proposed merger between Vodafone and Three is to be investigated by the UK’s competition watchdog. The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) will look into whether the deal could harm consumers by leading to reduced choice or higher prices. The combined group would be the UK’s biggest mobile network with about 27 million customers. The firms said the deal would result in an additional investment of £11bn in the UK. “We strongly believe that the proposed merger of Vodafone and Three will significantly enhance competition,” said Vodafone UK chief executive Ahmed Essam. BBC

Apple is to allow EU customers to download apps without going through its own store, as the iPhone maker adapts to new Brussels laws. Under the changes, the US tech company will also give iPhone users a range of browsers to choose from as their default, allow the use of alternative payment systems to Apple Pay, and permit the installation of alternatives to its App Store, which could theoretically include the Google Play store. But there is a catch: for the first time, developers who take advantage of the option will be charged a flat fee per installation. Guardian 

Image: Google

The Google Pixel 8 Pro is now able to measure body temperature. Previously the phone’s temperature sensor was only able to scan objects while Google awaited FDA approval for the body temperature functionality – that approval has now been granted. The sensor was one of the features touted at the Pixel 8 Pro’s announcement back in October. But at the phone’s launch, the sensor could only take the temperature of objects not humans. Now, body temperature measurement is one of the new updates included in the latest feature drop, with Google referring to it as a “medical-grade feature”. Tech Radar 

Elon Musk has often described production of Tesla’s first mass-market car as “excruciating”. As his electric car company struggled to ramp up manufacturing of the Model 3, the billionaire barely left the factory floor, working 120-hour weeks and sleeping in his office. “Model 3 production was three years of hell, some of the really worst years of my life, frankly,” he noted on Wednesday. Yet now, with Tesla facing a range of new threats, Musk is preparing to do it all over again. The entrepreneur and his company have promised a new, even cheaper car. And it is one he hopes will finally carry a symbolically important price tag of $30,000 (£23,600), Telegraph 

Canalys posted a report on smartphone sales in China for the last quarter and the full calendar year of 2023. According to the analysis, companies shipped 5% fewer devices compared with 2022, which was already the worst year in a decade.

Canalys: Huawei regains traction in China as market drops to a new low

The Q4 period showed signs of recovery with only a 1% decline, or 73.9 million in total. Huawei was the “dark horse” as it emerged to fourth place and almost doubled its shipments compared to the same time last year. GSM Arena 

Some more industry news has broken this week, and this time it relates to Microsoft’s Xbox division, which last year finalised its acquisition of Activision Blizzard and has in recent times reiterated its support for Nintendo platforms. In a message from the Xbox and Microsoft gaming boss Phil Spencer (via IGN), it’s been revealed 1,900 roles out of 22,000 in total across the team have been axed. This includes many roles within ZeniMax (Bethesda) and Activision Blizzard. The reasoning behind this is so the leadership of the business aligns on a “strategy and an execution plan with a sustainable cost structure” that will support the whole of the growing business. NintendoLife 

Chris Price
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