Top Pixels Not Selling; Samsung Wrap Around Phone Display; Foxconn MicroLED Screens for iPhones; Amazon In Car Delivery Adds Ford-Lincoln CarsPosted: April 30, 2019
A big reason Google seems to be working on its mid-priced Pixel phones…the top line models aren’t really moving…even with deep discounts. Cnet.com reports that the Pixel 3 at $799 has been trimmed to $599, and the 3XL at $899 backed off to $699, but they are still soft sellers. The sluggish sales are through Verizon, Google’s Fi, and even include unlocked versions. Earlier in April, Google even offered a 50% discount on the Pixel 3 if bought on Google Fi. The cheaper line of Pixel 3a phones will run a slower Snapdragon processor, start at 32GB of storage instead of 64, and be plastic instead of glass. Google is hoping the less pricey handsets coming out as a mid-range line will jump start Pixel business.
The Galaxy Fold is on hold with screen problems, but that hasn’t slowed Samsung down. According to bgr.com, a patent just granted to the company indicates they may be working on a ‘wrap around’ display for a smartphone. The front side would have the main screen, the back one (nearly as large) would be the secondary, and on the edge would be a small screen for notifications. A big benefit of the secondary screen would be allowing removal of the front selfie camera, and increasing the size of the front screen. To shoot a selfie, you would just flip the phone to the other side with the camera, frame yourself and shoot! Apparently, a couple of Chinese phone makers have already done this. Another interesting feature: you could activate a screen by hovering your hand over it…or hovering a stylus. No word on when the 3 screen phone might become reality.
It’s been reported for years…even before Apple caved and put OLED screens into iPhones….that the company eventually wanted to go to MicroLED. Now, macrumors.com says Foxconn is aggressively investing in that tech. MicroLED has many of the advantages OLED has over LCD displays, including improved color accuracy, contrast ratio, faster response times, true blacks, and self-lit pixels. The MicroLED panels are thinner, brighter, and more energy efficient than OLED, though. They also have a longer life span than the OLED panels, and should be resistant to burn-in issues. Apple has been interested in MicroLED since 2014, now it looks like they could be moving to them in the next year or two. Taiwan Semiconductor has also been working on the tech for Apple.
Amazon is adding Ford and Lincoln cars to those that will allow customers to have packages delivered to their trunks…joining General Motors and Volvo. Theverge.com reports that initially, the service is limited to 50 US cities, and to vehicles that connect to Ford’s connected cloud service. It will only be offered to Prime customers, and the package size is limited to under 50 lbs, no bigger than 26×21/16, and can’t require a signature. Also, the item or items can’t be valued at over $1300 or come from a third party seller. If you are game, you need both Amazon Key and a FordPass, and will have to add your car to the Amazon Key app. If you are one of those who never remotely considered Amazon in-home delivery (or anyone else’s in-home delivery), you will probably want to take a pass on this service.