Next iPhones-Smaller Then No Notches; Amazon Expands Discounted Prime; Cam Makers Partner for Easier Smartcams; Brits Refine Laws for Self-Driving Cars

The latest word, which comes from Korea’s ET News by way of, is that the next iPhones will have a notably smaller notch for the TrueDepth camera system. This will apparently be true for all 3 models expected in the fall. In addition to that, a sketchier rumor says Apple will be able to ditch the notch entirely in 2019!

Amazon already discounts Prime for people with an EBT card to $5.99 a month, instead of $12.99. Now, according to, they will expand this program to people on Medicaid, too. Users will still get free 2 day shipping, Prime Video, etc. Amazon says they plan to add other ways for people on assistance to qualify for the discount moving forward. The 2 day delivery for people on Medicaid is especially interesting since Amazon is looking to get into the prescription business.

Smartcams can bee cool to have for checking on kids, pets, or just for home security, but some can be a pain to set up, and even more so to get to work with other kinds, and with various systems. Now, Sony, Nikon, iPhone maker Foxconn, as well as others, are working together to make it possible for you to monitor video streams from different cams through a unified interface. reports that the makers are devising a specification called NICE so the footage from various cams can be split into scenes, indexed, made searchable and scannable in thumbnails, and more easily stashed in cloud storage. If all works out, there should be NICE cams and related products on the market by 2019.

Self-driving cars are gearing up to hit the roads, and like in the US, the Brits are trying to get things ready. says regulators in the United Kingdom are shooting for 2021 as the year driverless cars without a safety operator can be rolling on the roads there. A number of issues have to be worked out, including who is the responsible party if there’s no driver, and how to allocate civil and criminal responsibility where there is shared control through some human-machine interface. If things go as planned, car makers may not have to worry one day about building right hand drive cars for the UK and a number of former British colonies that still drive on the left side of the road.


Google Tested a Pixel 2 Wake to Shoot Feature; Broadcom Offers to Buy Qualcomm; Foxconn Added as Apple Watch Supplier; Tesla Invite To Truck Reveal is Out

It hasn’t been activated yet, but has discovered a wake to shoot gesture that activates the camera. Basically, when you pick it up and hold it in either landscape or portrait picture mode, the camera app opens. It will work whether the phone is asleep or locked. The feature requires specific hardware. It’s not known if Google has held off due to concerns of launching the cam by mistake or couldn’t finish some work before launch, but let’s hope it comes in the future!

An offer is in the works that will be the biggest tech deal ever. Broadcom has proposed buying rival Qualcomm for $130 billion. According to, this would make Broadcom the third largest maker of chips and components for smartphones behind Intel and Samsung. It also might make the Qualcomm vs Apple lawsuit go away. As we reported last week, Apple is looking at ditching Qualcomm completely over that, and Apple is one of Qualcomm’s biggest customers that throws off most of the modem division’s revenue. The merger would have to be approved by shareholders and the Department of Justice due to antitrust concerns.

Foxconn is apparently supplying System in Package tech for Apple Watch next year. reports that Quanta Computer was the original sole assembler of the smartwatch, and Apple added Compal Electronics this year, but only for older generation watches. Like many huge companies, Apple likes to have 2 or more suppliers for major components, to avoid getting gouged on price and unexpected supply chain jam ups.

The invite is out, and so’s the date. Tesla will preview its electric big rig on November 16th, in Hawthorne, CA. at 7 in the evening. notes that the twilight shot of the truck is from the right front quarter…the only other tease pic we’ve seen was from the front…yep…it just looks like the outline of a more zoomy big rig.

New ARM Chip Will Be a Big Boost to Samsung Phones; Apple Working on Flexible Touch Displays; Base iPhone 7 Gets a Simple, Big Upgrade

ARM will have new chips out in time for next year’s flagship smartphones like those from Samsung that will boost performance by 30% while giving 30% better power efficiency. says ARM claims you will be able to run a phone’s chip at full speed for the duration of a movie, game, or VR experience! It’s the Cortex-A73 computing processor and Mali-G71 graphics processor. The graphics processor gives 50% higher performance with 20% energy savings. Samsung and a couple others have already licensed the tech…no word about Apple, but they’ve used ARM in the past.

An Apple supplier, TPK…which is a division of Foxconn, has a silver nanowire tech rolling out that will allow for flexible touch screens. Since Foxconn is the major supplier of iOS devices like the iPhone and iPad, notes that there’s a high probability that you’ll be seeing these everywhere in the next 2-5 years. More to the point, TPK says they expect their clients to launch flexible touch panel devices in the 2nd half of 2016! If they’re talking about Apple, a folding 7 inch tablet or display that wraps around your arm will be one hell of a ‘one more thing! Stay tuned!

One of the most boring, yet important tidbits has just dropped about the iPhone 7… reports it will finally ship with 32 gigs of memory instead of the nearly useless 16 gigs in the base phone. No more cheapskate Apple buyers whining about having to delete pictures and songs from their iPhones anymore!

Closer to Flying Car; ‘More Complex iPhone 7 Production Starting


Lilium Aviation of Germany is working on an electric short haul private jet that could bring us closer to George Jetson’s flying car. According to BBC, it’s 100% electric, can fly 310 miles at 248 miles per hour, and has a ceiling of 9900 ft. It recharges overnight from a regular electrical outlet. It can land and take off from a back yard, and instead of one motor, has the redundancy of 36 small ducted fan motors.The 320Kw battery pack puts out 435 horsepower. It qualifies as a Light Sport Aircraft, so only requires 20-30 hours of training, and takes off and lands autonomously. Lilium has already flown a smaller prototype and is building a full sized one. They hope to be production ready by the end of 2018!

New leaks about the iPhone 7…despite talk that it will be practically an iPhone 6S, it is reported to be more complex to build…perhaps little change cosmetically, but some new and interesting features under the hood. reports that both Foxconn and Pegatron have started hiring a month earlier than usual for a new model. Also, new leaked images show the antenna stripes at the top and bottom…no longer crossing the back, and a new pinhole between the camera lens and flash may be for laser autofocus…a feature LG has had for a couple years.

Moto’s Modular Capable Flagships Coming; Foxconn to Build Big iPhone Plant in India

Pictures leaked out a while back of Motorola’s 2 Moto X flagships with what looked like fairly large speaker holes on the metal back, and a protruding camera lens. According to, there’s more to it than that. The Vertex and Vector Thin will accommodate modular backplates you can swap out that add functionality. There will be at least 6 at launch counting the plain cover. The others have: stereo speakers; a battery pack; a camera grip with flash and optical zoom; a pico projector; and a rugged cover with wide angle lens attachment. The camera lens will sit flush with the backplates…which Motorola calls Amps….attached. So far, no pricing on either the phones or the Amps.

The Economic Times of India says Foxconn is close to a deal to build a 10 billion dollar iPhone manufacturing plant there. reports it will sit on 1200 acres, and be up and running in about 18 months. This is only one of 10-12 manufacturing plants Foxconn hopes to open in India by 2020. Apple sales were up 56% year over year in India.

Apple May Have Added 2nd Supplier for 4 Inch iPhone; Zillow Ups Game for Video Walkthroughs of Homes for Sale

Apple has been using 2 suppliers for iPhone 6S production, and it looks like they are doing the same for the upcoming 4 inch iPhone 5se. Foxconn, Apple’s long time main supplier will build the new small model, and Wistron will make some as well. Apparently Apple started working with Wistron in February of 2015 on this. says that Wistron will join Foxconn in building the 5.5 inch iPhone 7 Plus this fall, while Foxconn and Pegatron will crank out the 4.7 inch iPhone 7 models.

Zillow Group has announced a new feature to apps that lets agents and homeowners shoot and post video walkthroughs. According to, the idea is to make video walkthroughs more common on its Zillow and Trulia sites, in addition to the photo galleries posted with home listings. Agents can shoot and upload videos through the Premier Agent App. There’s no sound in the 2 minute clips, and they plan to add baked in video stabilization for smooth, consistent videos. Homeowners and photographers can create video walkthroughs via the Zillow Real Estate App, for approval by the agent before uploading. No word on when the video feature goes live yet.

Thoughts On The Coming Apple Electric Car

It was all over the tech news yesterday, and first reported by the Wall St. Journal, that Apple had put it’s Project Titan…their car project…on the front burner, and want an Apple car on the road by 2019. Google has spoken out couple times, underscoring that they are NOT planning to actually build a Google self-driving car, but will partner with car makers. Apple’s electric car project, by the way, will apparently not be self-driving. Apple will not be building their own car. As snarked, who is going to build it…it won’t be Foxconn! I predict that Apple will have to partner with one or more actual car maker. Right now, it takes a car maker a minimum of 4 years to get a model out, and they have the actual plants and equipment to build cars at scale. Apple doesn’t, and can’t possibly be ready to produce them by 2019. Even an electric with no EPA emission requirements will still have to meet federal standards in various countries for safety. Which manufacturer or manufacturers will they partner with, and will it be sold from present dealerships or out of Apple branded car stores, like Tesla is doing? Stay tuned.

From Microsoft’s Office blog, comes something that’s NOT vaporware…Office 2016 for Windows and Office 2016 for Mac are available now to everyone. The Windows version is more tightly integrated with both Windows 10 and Office 365, and subscribers can get more frequent updates with new features and improvements. Microsoft says the Mac version had been out since July for 365 subscribers, but now is a one-time purchase option open to all with several new and enhanced Office 365 services. As is typical for Office and Microsoft products, the features and even pricing are beyond the time constraints we have here.