We review the latest smartphones when they are released, but that doesn’t mean that you should purchase one of these new phones on the release date. A bit of patience on your part can turn into hundreds of dollars in savings as we now see Google and Samsung offering compelling discounts during Black Friday.
There are plenty of good deals on unlocked phones that you can use on your carrier of choice, but also check your preferred carrier since there are often sales and discounts when you activate phones on that carrier. Make sure to also check out other great tech deals in the ZDNet best of Black Friday post.
Smartphones today are commonly priced from $600 to more than $1,000, so if you can save $100, $200, or more, then you can use those savings to purchase cases, wireless headphones, screen protectors, and cables.
Black Friday 2019: Best smartphone deals
Disclosure: ZDNet may earn a commission from some of the products featured on this page.
Google Pixel 3a and 3a XL ($100 off)
Google shifted its smartphone strategy a bit this year by offering up two value-priced devices as the Google Pixel 3a and 3a XL (see the full ZDNet review). These two phones have some mid-level internal specifications but retain the amazing camera performance found in the more expensive flagship models.
These two Android phones launched at a starting price half that of the Pixel 3 models, $399, and with this Black Friday offer you can shave off another $100 and gift someone one of the best cameraphones ever for just $300.
Google Pixel 4 and 4 XL ($200 off)
The Google Pixel 4 and 4 XL were released just over a month ago, and if you are interested in Google’s latest smartphones, you should always wait a month to see what Google offers up for Black Friday. The new Google Pixel 4 and 4 XL $200 discount started before Black Friday so you can get your new phone at a great savings right now.
Google’s smartphones continue to set the bar for smartphone photography and offer phones that are assured of getting the latest major software and monthly Android security updates on a timely basis. Check out the full ZDNet reviews of Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL to help you with your purchase decision.
Samsung Galaxy S10 models ($200 off, free Galaxy Buds with some models)
The Samsung Galaxy S10 models were released earlier this year, but remain one of the best smartphone options available today. Four models make up the S10 lineup, including the Galaxy S10e, S10, S10 Plus, and S10 5G. Samsung is offering $200 off on each model, with models priced over $339.99 also including a free pair of Galaxy Buds ($129.99 value).
Selected carriers are also offering additional savings on some models while Samsung increased trade-in discounts when you send them an eligible device. There is a range of color options and storage capacities to consider, so configure your preferred model and check out the major savings on a Samsung smartphone.
Samsung Galaxy Note 10 models ($200 off, free Galaxy Buds with some models)
The Samsung Galaxy Note 10 launched in August with three options for consumers. The Note 10, Note 10 Plus, and Note 10 Plus 5G all support the iconic S Pen that is required in Note models, but the size and camera options differentiate these models. Samsung is offering $200 off on each model, with models priced over $309.99 also including a free pair of Galaxy Buds ($129.99 value).
Selected carriers are also offering additional savings on some models while Samsung increased trade-in discounts when you send them an eligible device. There is a range of color options and two storage capacities to consider so configure your preferred model and check out the major savings on a Samsung smartphone.
More Black Friday 2019 smartphone deals
While Google and Samsung have excellent deals on the latest flagship smartphones, there are other great offers worth considering this holiday season. New Apple iPhone 11 models are only available with discounts with carrier activation so check out your preferred carrier for these newest iPhones.
Black Friday 2019 smartphone accessory deals
Most people I see with a smartphone wrap the phone in a case. After buying your new phone, check out these deals on some great cases.
- Totallee thin cases for Apple iPhone, Samsung Galaxy, and Google Pixel phones. Use code BFCM40 for 40% off everything.
- The folks at Nomad have various savings on cases, cables, and more. Take 70%, 50%, 30%, 20%, or 10% off with no coupon code.
- From 27 November until 3 December get 50% off all BodyGuardz products. This includes cases and screen protectors.
Twitter announces ‘Super Follow’ subscriptions – TechCrunch
Twitter reveals its move into paid subscriptions, Australia passes its media bargaining law and Coinbase files its S-1. This is your Daily Crunch for February 25, 2021.
The big story: Twitter announces ‘Super Follow’ subscriptions
Twitter announced its first paid product at an investor event today, showing off screenshots of a feature that will allow users to subscribe to their favorite creators in exchange for things like exclusive content, subscriber-only newsletters and a supporter badge.
The company also announced a feature called Communities, which could compete with Facebook Groups and enable Super Follow networks to interact, plus a Safety Mode for auto-blocking and muting abusive accounts. On top of all that, Twitter said it plans to double revenue by 2023.
Not announced: launch dates for any of these features.
The tech giants
After Facebook’s news flex, Australia passes bargaining code for platforms and publishers — This requires platform giants like Facebook and Google to negotiate to remunerate local news publishers for their content.
New Facebook ad campaign extols the benefits of personalized ads — The sentiments are similar to a campaign that Facebook launched last year in opposition to Apple’s upcoming App Tracking Transparency feature.
Startups, funding and venture capital
Sergey Brin’s airship aims to use world’s biggest mobile hydrogen fuel cell — The Google co-founder’s secretive airship company LTA Research and Exploration is planning to power a huge disaster relief airship with an equally record-breaking hydrogen fuel cell.
Coinbase files to go public in a key listing for the cryptocurrency category — Coinbase’s financials show a company that grew rapidly from 2019 to 2020 while also crossing the threshold into unadjusted profitability.
Boosted by the pandemic, meeting transcription service Otter.ai raises $50M — With convenient timing, Otter.ai added Zoom integration back in April 2020.
Advice and analysis from Extra Crunch
DigitalOcean’s IPO filing shows a two-class cloud market — The company intends to list on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol “DOCN.”
Pilot CEO Waseem Daher tears down his company’s $60M Series C pitch deck — For founders aiming to entice investors, the pitch deck remains the best way to communicate their startup’s progress and potential.
Five takeaways from Coinbase’s S-1 — We dig into Coinbase’s user numbers, its asset mix, its growing subscription incomes, its competitive landscape and who owns what in the company.
(Extra Crunch is our membership program, which helps founders and startup teams get ahead. You can sign up here.)
Paramount+ will cost $4.99 per month with ads — The new streaming service launches on March 4.
Register for TC Sessions: Justice for a conversation on diversity, equity and inclusion in the startup world — This is just one week away!
The Daily Crunch is TechCrunch’s roundup of our biggest and most important stories. If you’d like to get this delivered to your inbox every day at around 3pm Pacific, you can subscribe here.
Twitter plans to double revenue by 2023, reach 315M daily users – TechCrunch
Just ahead of its 2021 virtual investor day on Thursday, Twitter this morning announced its three long-term goals focused on user base and revenue growth, and a faster pace of shipping new features across its platform. The company said it aims to “at least” double its total annual revenue from $3.7 billion in 2020 to $7.5 billion or more in 2023. It also expects to reach at least 315 million mDAUs — that’s Twitter’s self-invented metric for “monetizable” daily active users — by the fourth quarter of 2023.
That would represent a roughly 20% compound annual growth rate from Twitter’s base of 152 million mDAUs reported in the fourth quarter of 2019, the company noted in a new SEC filing.
Active user growth has been difficult for Twitter — the growth tends to be slow or even flat, at times. Per Twitter’s most recent earnings, mDAUs in the fourth quarter 2020 had reached 192 million instead of the 193.5 million expected, for instance. Investors are used to Twitter under-delivering on this metric — or even inventing its own user base metric to hide that its monthly user growth sometimes declines.
In any event, Twitter’s longer-term plans indicate it believes it will finally be able to deliver on user growth — perhaps aided by its investment in new features.
In its filing, Twitter said it would “double development velocity by the end of 2023,” which means doubling the number of features shipped per employee that “directly drive either mDAU or revenue,” it said.
On this front, Twitter has been fairly active in recent months. Late last year, it launched its “stories” feature called Fleets to its global audience. It’s also now testing new features including a Clubhouse rival, Twitter Spaces, and a community-led misinformation debunking effort known as Birdwatch. And it acquired newsletter platform Revue, which is already now integrated on the Twitter website. The company has made smaller acquisitions, as well, to build out product teams, including with social app Squad, stories template maker Chroma Labs, and podcasting app Breaker.
New features may help to attract increased Twitter usage, but revenue growth will also come from diversification beyond advertising. Twitter has spoken several times about its plans to build out a subscription product, which the company said would begin in 2021 but wouldn’t impact Twitter revenue in the near-term. The company has also said it may investigate other areas of monetization, like tipping and various paid consumer-facing features.
Today, Twitter said publicly it plans to reach the $7.5 billion or more target by “growing our audience and gaining advertising market share in both brand and direct response.” But the company did not speak to its plans for subscriptions.
Investors are already responding favorably to Twitter’s announcements this morning. Twitter stock is up by nearly 7% as of the time of writing.
New Facebook ad campaign extols the benefits of personalized ads – TechCrunch
Online advertising can be a “pretty dry topic,” as Facebook’s head of brand marketing Andrew Stirk acknowledged, but with a new campaign of its own, the social networking giant is looking to “bring to life how personalized ads level the playing field” for small businesses.
The Good Ideas Deserve To Be Found campaign will include TV, radio and digital advertising. Individual businesses will also be able to promote it using a new Instagram sticker and the #DeserveToBeFound hashtag on Facebook.
The campaign will highlight specific small businesses on Facebook, including bag and luggage company House of Takura, whose founder Annette Njau spoke about the benefits of digital advertising at a press event yesterday.
“What those platforms allow us to do is, they allow us to tell stories,” Njau said. “I can’t tell this story on TV, I can’t tell this story in a huge magazine because it costs money and I don’t know who will see it.”
These sentiments are similar to a campaign that Facebook launched last year in opposition to Apple’s upcoming App Tracking Transparency feature, where apps will have to ask for permission before sharing user data for third-party ad targeting. In response, Facebook claimed that it was “standing up to Apple for small businesses everywhere,” though the social network also pointed to these changes as one of the “more significant advertising headwinds” that it expects to face this year. (Apple’s Tim Cook, in contrast, has said that these changes provide consumers with the control that they’ve been asking for.)
When asked how this fits into the broader dispute with Apple, Stirk said that while Facebook has been publicly opposed to Apple’s changes, this campaign is part the company’s longer-term support for small business.
“There is a degree of urgency in the fact that … small businesses are hurting right now,” he said.
Head of Facebook Business Products Helen Ma added that this is “very much an extension of the work that we did on the product side at the very start of the COVID period,” which included the launch of the Businesses Nearby section and a #SupportSmallBusiness hashtag.
In addition to launching the campaign today, Facebook is announcing several product changes, including a simplified Ads Manager dashboard, new options for restaurants to provide more information about their dining experiences and more information about personalized ads in Facebook’s Business Resource hub and Instagram’s Professional Dashboard.
The company also said it will continue to waive fees on transactions through Checkouts on Shops through June 2021, and will do the same for fees collected on paid online events until August 2021 at the earliest.
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