Apple Plans New Cheap iPhone in 2020; Apple AI Glasses May Be Close; Amazon-Pay At Whole Foods With Your Hand; Nikola Gets Cash Infusion for Fuel-Cell Big Rig; YouTube Dinged $170 Million in FTC Child Privacy Settlement

With the hero iPhones topping $1000, Apple has only had the 2016 version of the iPhone LE as a cheaper model until lately. Now, it appears that Apple may be back with a 4.7 inch screen, cheaper phone by the spring of 2020. Businessinsider.com reports that it will be about the size of the 2017 iPhone 8. The SE was $399 before it was killed off, and the cheapest iPhone right now is the XR at $749. Sources say it will have the same components as the flagship phones, but will run a cheaper LCD screen. Apple hopes the cheaper model will jumpstart sales next spring, after the initial blast of orders of the new flagship phones starts to wind down.

In other Apple news, some code in iOS 13 indicates that Apple’s AR glasses may launch sooner than previously thought. A few insiders now think the Apple Glasses (or whatever they end up being called) may launch some time in 2020.

Amazon is investing in a hand biometric payment system, which it plans to eventually offer at Whole Foods stores. The system would allow shoppers to leave their payment cards…or even phones behind and just have their hand scanned for payment. According to fastcompany.com, Amazon thinks this is ‘less creepy’ than facial recognition. This tech doesn’t even require laying a hand on a scanning terminal, either. The shopper can just wave their hand over the scanner, and it will use computer vision and depth geometry to identify the customer and charge their card on file. It is reportedly much faster than using a traditional debit or credit card, taking 300 milliseconds. Cards generally take about 4 seconds to read. They claim it is already accurate within one ten-thousandth of 1%, but Amazon wants to hit a millionth of 1% before launch. They hope to make the launch in early 2020 at select Whole Foods, then expand to all US locations…depending on how customers and employees do with it.

Since Elon Musk already glommed on to the electrical genius’ last name for his cars, the alt-fuel semi-truck startup had to go with his first name….Nikola. Cnet.com says Nikola has just gotten $250 million towards their fuel cell powered big rigs. The money didn’t come from just anywhere, either. It was from CNH Industrial, which has two subsidiaries that are big players in the commercial vehicle and powertrain market. Their division Iveco operates 28,000 trucks and busses with natural gas engines. The investors and Nikola say hydrogen fuel cell tech is the logical step between diesel rigs and full electric battery rigs. Nikola plans to launch 3 models in Europe by 2022.

Google owned YouTube will cough up $170 million to settle with the FTC and New York Attorney General. The platform had been accused of earning millions by illegally collecting personal info from kids without parental consent. CNBC.com reports that the FTC voted 3-2 for the deal…with the two Democrats on the Commission asserting that it didn’t go far enough to punish YouTube. It’s the third time since 2011 that the FTC has sanctioned Google for privacy violations.

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