Hashtag Trending April 1- Smartphone demand slows; Twitter user sentenced to community service after offensive tweet; Apple’s financial infrastructure

With files from Samira Balsara

The demand for smartphones is slowing, a Twitter user in the U.K was sentenced to community service after making an offensive tweet, and Apple plans to build its own financial infrastructure.

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That’s all the tech news that’s trending right now, welcome to Hashtag Trending. It’s Friday, April 1st, and I’m your host, Tom Li.

The demand for smartphones has been slowing due to geopolitical uncertainties and additional COVID-19 lockdowns in China. According to Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) CEO Mark Liu, customer interest in smartphones is dipping in China. In addition to this, production and material costs are rising which could heighten the cost of smartphones, affecting sales. Liu said that TSMC is not changing its growth targets and is still having trouble meeting customers’ demands with its current capacity. This news comes as rumours this week surfaced regarding Apple’s plan to cut the production of the iPhone SE. Apple allegedly told suppliers that it wants to cut back on ‌iPhone SE‌ production by as much as two to three million units due to “weaker-than-expected demand.”

Source: Mac Rumors

U.K. Twitter user Joseph Kelly has been sentenced to 150 hours of community service for posting an offensive tweet about a British Army officer who raised money for the NHS during the pandemic. The Verge reports that Kelly was found guilty last February and faced possible jail time. His case brought attention to an often-criticized piece of U.K. legislation that allows social media users to be prosecuted for sending “grossly offensive” messages. His defense argued that Kelly didn’t have many followers on Twitter at the time and that he had been drinking before writing the post. Kelly deleted the tweet just 20 minutes after posting it. He was sentenced to 18 months of supervision and 150 hours of unpaid work in the form of a Scottish Community Payback Order (CPO).

Source: The Verge

Apple has plans to build its own in-house technology and infrastructure for financial services, according to a report from Bloomberg. Internally, the plan is codenamed “Breakout,” alluding to the idea of customers “breaking free” from the established players in the financial system. Crucial components of the system include the processing of payments, credit checks, and analysis for potential fraud. In addition, Apple would also include risk evaluation for lending and added functions surrounding customer services, like management of disputes. Apple also plans to incorporate its Apple Pay Later feature into the plan.

Source: Bloomberg

Russia may launch a grim alternative to Instagram this week in which users will post sad pictures of themselves. According to a Reuters report, the aim of this Instagram dupe is to express sadness at the loss of popular services like Instagram. On March 14, Russia restricted access to Instagram and then found its owner Meta guilty of “extremist activities.” Moscow is currently fighting with Big Tech to control information flows after it sent thousands of troops to Ukraine in late February. The blocking of Instagram would affect 80 million users in Russia. And now, domestic Instagram-like alternatives have popped up, the latest called “Grustnogram,” which translates to “Sadgram” in English. The platform’s website reads, “Post sad pictures of yourself, show this to your sad friends, be sad together.” Rather than using Instagram’s heart-shaped button to like a photo, Grstnogram instead offers a broken heart.

Source: Reuters

That’s all the tech news that’s trending right now. Hashtag Trending is a part of the ITWC Podcast network. Add us to your Alexa Flash briefings or your Google Home daily briefing. Make sure to sign up for our Daily IT Wire newsletter to get all the news that matters directly in your inbox every day. Also, catch the next episode of Hashtag Tendances, our weekly Hashtag Trending episode in French, which drops every Thursday morning. If you have a suggestion or a tip, drop us a line in the comments or via email. Thank you for listening, I’m Tom Li.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada
Tom Li
Tom Li
Telecommunication and consumer hardware are Tom's main beats at IT Business. He loves to talk about Canada's network infrastructure, semiconductor products, and of course, anything hot and new in the consumer technology space. You'll also occasionally see his name appended to articles on cloud, security, and SaaS-related news. If you're ever up for a lengthy discussion about the nuances of each of the above sectors or have an upcoming product that people will love, feel free to drop him a line at tli@itwc.ca.

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