By admin - November 6th, 2017
Apple promised to reimagine everything about its flagship device. It might just have pulled it off. Andrew Tolve reports.
In the news
iPhone diehards the world round flocked to their local Apple stores for iPhone X launch day. In Manhattan there were so many people that the line stretched a city block and on across Madison Avenue from sunup to sundown — a welcome sight for Apple after the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus failed to draw large crowds last month. The difference is that the iPhone X promises to be Apple’s most radical update to its flagship device in years. The home button is gone, as is the TouchID fingerprint scanner. In its place is a new feature called faceID, and all it needs is one peek at your mug to open the device. The screen is OLED, nearly bezel-less and beautiful (every review online gushes about the colors). Oh, and there’s a new feature called Animoji that allows you to create talking emojis; a TrueDepth camera captures the movements of your face and fuses it into a panda bear, a robot, a bunny or a number of other cartoonish renderings. Whether all of this adds up to the whopping price tag of $999 is up to you to answer.
In the money
Another fiscal quarter brought another round of dreary news for the tablet market. Tablet growth declined 5.4% year over year in Q32017 according to preliminary data from IDC’s "Worldwide Quarterly Tablet Tracker." That marks the twelfth consecutive quarter of annual decline. Apple, Samsung and Amazon remain the top three vendors (in that order) with Apple cementing its lead thanks to its new lower-priced iPad.
Uber finally has some good news to celebrate: business in the US grew 15% between March and September (according to analytics company Second Measure), despite several #deleteUber campaigns and a complete overhaul of its senior leadership. The ridesharing giant also launched its own credit card, the Uber Visa, that gives riders 2% cash back on all Uber rides. The card offers a number of other perks as well, like 2% cash back on all purchases you make on your phone and 4% cash back on every dollar spent at restaurants.
In other news
Sprint and T-Mobile called off a potential mega-merger that would have combined the third and fourth largest telecoms in the US into a viable contender to Verizon and AT&T. But Sprint parent company SoftBank and T-Mobile parent company Deutsche Bank couldn’t figure out how to share control of the new company so they scrapped it. Sprint's stock plunged in the wake of the break down. Comcast and DISH Network are also rumored to be interested in a Sprint acquisition.
Samsung launched the Enterprise Edition of its Galaxy Note8 smartphone. The phone comes with all the standard features of the Note8 consumer phone but tacks on IT-friendly features like “PC-class” monthly security updates and enterprise device management. The phone also comes unlocked, meaning that companies can choose whichever carrier they please. Pricing starts at $994.
Amazon added an augmented reality feature called Amazon View to its mobile app. The feature lets you see what online products would look like in your home by overlaying a virtual image onto a live image captured via the camera on your phone. The feature works on any iPhone back to the 6S so long as it’s operating on iOS11. An Android version is coming soon.
The holiday season is almost upon us, which means it’s time for the annual rollout of new e-readers. Amazon is celebrating the 10-year anniversary of the Kindle with the new Kindle Oasis, a sleek, aluminum-backed, 7-inch wide and fully waterproof device that starts at $250. Barnes & Noble, meanwhile, debuted the Nook GlowLight 3, which offers a cool white surface for daytime reading and a soft orange surface for bedside perusing. Price is $120.
Finally, mobile learning platform Fingerprint announced that it’s adding 1,500 videos to its portfolio of safe mobile apps and games for kids — a move necessitated by the fact that kids under 12 are consuming video content on smartphones and tablets at record level these days. Videos will include Sesame Street, Animal Planet, Bill Nye and Inspector Gadget among others.
The Mobile Digest is a biweekly lowdown on the world of mobile, combining Open Mobile Media analysis with information from industry press releases.
Andrew Tolve is a regular contributor to Open Mobile Media.