Samsung Revealing Foldable Galaxy F; Amazon Drops Free Ship Minimum for Holidays, Apple- 5G by 2020; 7-11 Test Driving Cashier Free Checkout

The annual Samsung Developer Conference is coming up Wednesday, November 7th. After the last round of top line Galaxy phones only got a slight facelift, and sales have dragged, Samsung is finally going to drop its bombshell folding phone, the Galaxy F this week. Bgr.com says the Samsung folder will have a large 7.3 inch OLED screen when opened up, and a second 4.6 inch OLED screen on the outside that you can use as a regular smartphone. The clamshell design will allow a phablet to be carried in a normal pocket or purse. The actual Galaxy F will probably ship next year, but a lot of details will be revealed Wednesday…stay tuned.

Amazon is giving out an early Christmas present…free shipping without a minimum purchase for everyone…not just Prime members. According to arstechnica.com, you can start making those holiday orders today, and your bargains will all ship free until Christmas. Normally, Amazon requires a $25 minimum for free shipping if you don’t have Prime. Target also has waived its $35 minimum for free shipping over the holidays…Walmart is holding the line so far, still requiring a $35 minimum sale for free shipping.

Apple is shooting for 2020 for its first 5G iPhone. Macrumors.com reports that the 5G phones will use exclusively Intel chips for the higher speed cellular operation. Those chips, the 8161, will be 10 nanometer. Apple is already down to 7 with its latest mobile CPU chips.

It’s one thing for Amazon to open it’s ‘Go’ stores that are cashier and line free. Walmart has been experimenting with it as well, but now, in a major add to the push for no checkout lines, 7-11 is trialing cashier free checkout. Theverge.com says the company is installing scan-and-go tech in 14 Dallas area stores this week. Customers can scan the bar code on their items, then pay with their phone, card, Apple Pay or Google Pay. You’ll need the 7-11 app to skip the cashier lines, and cashiers will still be on hand to handle hot food…and alcohol…which requires an ID check.

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Walmart to Rain on Amazon’s ‘Prime Day’ Parade

Wednesday is Prime Day, Amazon’s way of honoring itself on it’s 20th anniversary with a sale. Now, cnet.com reports that Walmart will jump in and offer an online sale, too…plus, cut the minimum order for free shipping from $50 to $35. the giant big box retailer also mocked Amazon online for charging $99 a year for free 2-day shipping. Walmart has been testing a $50 a year rival to Amazon Prime, but it’s for 3-day free shipping, not two. The huge retailer will cut prices on 2000 items on Wednesday to compete with Amazon’s Prime Day.

Something to look forward to in Apple’s iOS 9…you may rarely use the home screen. Businessinsider.com has been test driving the upcoming OS, and found that most of the time you can use the new ‘Siri Suggestions’ screen. You get to it by swiping left from the home screen, and it ‘predicts’ what you want to use. Basically, it is a screen of your most recently used apps, and people you’ve called or texted. I have over 100 apps on my iPhone 6, but use about 8 of them more than any others, so Siri Suggests may be the only screen I use most of the time.


Apple TV Confirmed As the Hub for HomeKit

As Moscone Center in San Francisco is being readied for Apple’s World Wide Developers Conference next week, more keeps leaking out. This week, several early HomeKit devices from 3rd parties rolled out, and now thenextweb.com reports that…as expected…you’ll need Apple TV to remotely control HomeKit gadgets. Apple has posted a setup page to help people configure the system. If you already have Apple TV, it needs to be 3rd generation or later with software version 7 or newer.

Amazon has rolled out free shipping on small and light products…that is, ones that weigh less than 8 ounces. According to geekwire.com, ‘Fulfillment by Amazon Small and Light’ will also focus on items that cost less than 10 bucks. No more $35 minimum purchase requirement or Prime membership for free shipping of these small and light items. It won’t be free TWO Day shipping though…expect your items in 4 to 8 days.


‘Googlemobiles’ Will Be On The Loose This Summer

Don’t look now…but look later! ‘Googlemobiles’ will be hitting the public pavement in Mountain View this summer. Yes, according to the official google blog, self-driving Google cars will be tooling around…albeit with a safety driver aboard, and limited to 25 miles per hour. Google notes that 94% of crashes are caused by human error. The second generation Google cars still look like a VW Beetle that’s been hit with an ugly stick, but there’s plenty of time to get the styling right later after self driving is perfected.

Amazon may be working on making its Prime membership more valuable to members. Cnet.com reports that they have been reaching out to third party merchants, looking into letting them shop goods directly to customers, instead of drop shipping the goods to Amazon first. This would make a lot more goods in on the free two day shipping, and also expand the selection of goods available to you that way. It’s likely that the reports that Walmart is going to test free 3 day shipping this summer for a $50 annual fee is pushing Amazon to sweeten their Prime membership, which is $100.