Dates for Galaxy S8 Release; Apple- 5 Groups Working on Wireless Charging; Tesla Formulating All-in-One Pricing & More Gigafactories

Samsung had originally wanted to show the Galaxy S8 at Mobile World Congress, but the Note 7 mess threw a wrench into that plan. Now, bgr.com says they will show the latest handset on March 29th, and likely preorders in the US will begin on April 13th. Competitor LG WILL show their new G6 model at MWC, and it will go on sale March 10th.

Apple reportedly has 5 groups working on wireless charging. There has been speculation for months about the iPhone 8 getting that feature, but disagreement about whether it would be inductive charging…which other phones have…or a longer range system. According to macrumors.com, they have also been testing 10 different versions of the iPhone 8. It’s likely things are pretty well finalized, and Apple did join the Wireless Power Consortium, which pushes the Qi inductive system. They may be looking to the across the room charging systems for future iPhones.

Tesla is working on formulating all-in-one pricing for their cars, which would include lifetime insurance and maintenance. Thenextweb.com reports that the insurance would come from traditional insurers. Tesla feels that with their autopilot and future self-driving, the accident rate would be low enough to make this work financially. Their electric cars have far less mechanical systems to maintain already. Also, Elon Musk wrote to shareholders that they may be looking at adding 3 more Gigafactories. The first one is in Reno, and they call the solar plant in New York Gigafactory 2.


Uber Snags NASA Engineer in Look at Flying Taxis; LG G6 Gets US Drop Date; Rumor-Apple VR Headset This Year

Uber has hired a former NASA engineer named Mark Moore for its Uber Elevate flying taxi project. According to thenextweb.com, Moore worked on feasibility of short haul helicopter type vehicles for urban flight while at NASA. It seems like a crazy wild idea, but hey….could happen, and would that ever revolutionize transportation!

It’s already been known that LG would show its G6 smartphone at Mobile World Congress February 26th. Now, venturebeat.com says it will launch in the US on April 7th, after rolling out in Korea March 9th. The April 7th drop date will give LG a head start on Samsung, which plans to launch the Galaxy S8 April 21st. Word is, the G6 will be the first non-Google phone to launch with Google Assistant.

Augmented and virtual reality evangelist Robert Scoble is saying Apple’s partnership with Carl Zeiss on smart glasses may put an Apple VR headset in the hands of consumers as soon as the middle of this year, or at the latest, next year! Appleinsider.com reports that he claims multiple sources at ‘the highest levels’. Scoble says he expects a very lightweight pair of glasses, with the electronics living elsewhere on the body, like in an iPhone or some other wearable. Zeiss already sells the VR One Plus, which is a headset that holds a user’s smartphone and converts it to a VR or AR system. Scoble is pretty optimistic on the timing…others Apple watchers, like KGI Securities, have said it will be another year and a half before Apple rolls out such a product.


iPhone 8 May Have Facial Recognition; LG Will Probably Show New Flagship at Mobil World Conference

Another analyst has predicted that Apple will bake facial and gesture recognition into iPhone 8, along with the Touch ID fingerprint biometrics. According to macrumors.com, the facial recognition will be powered by both a laser sensor and infrared sensor that will live near the front facing camera. This would not only increase security, but are steps towards augmented reality. Apple’s Tim Cook has strongly hinted that Apple is heavily involved in developing AR.

LG will host an event at Mobile World Congress next month, and likely roll out their latest flagship phone, the G6. 9to5google.com reports that LG has struggled to take market share from Samsung or Apple, but hopes to claw a percent or two with the 5.7 inch screen with multi-window support. They will have a ‘heat pipe’ cooling system to cool the battery, in a little shade throwing to Samsung.