Apple’s huge 12.9 inch iPad Pro goes on sale Wednesday, November 11th. According to thenextweb.com, Apple says it will take a few more days for it to show up in the Apple stores. They claim it will be huge for productivity, with the Apple Pencil and Smart Keyboard, and it will need to be with competition from the hot Microsoft Surface Book. Base price starts at $799 for 32 Gigs wi-fi only, $1079 for 128 Gigs, wi-fi and cellular. Oh…and for all that productivity, plan to hand over another $99 for the pencil and $169 for the Smart Keyboard!
A problem is showing up on the newest Google flagship smartphone, the Nexus 6P. Businessinsider.com, 9to5google.com, and others report that the so-called ‘periscope’ panel of camera glass across the top is spontaneously cracking for some owners…NOT from a drop. Some users have said they’ve heard the glass snap while the phone is laying on a table, leaving a little pile of glass shavings under it. The phone launched in late September, and is made by Huawei. No comment so far from Google.
Microsoft temporarily shut down preorders for the new Surface Book combo laptop/tablet, but they’re back online. That’s the good news, if you want one of the powerful new devices. The down side? Cnet.com reports that ship times have slipped to between 6 and 8 weeks…two months! If you really want to get one sooner, some vendors…including frys.com have shorter ship times, or you can roll the dice and show up at a Microsoft store October 26th. Best Buy will carry the Surface Book, but their website only says ‘coming soon.’
Since the introduction of larger screened iPhones, China has rocketed to being Apple’s biggest market. TechCrunch.com says that App Annie’s analysis shows that China led all countries in absolute growth 3rd quarter of this year, both measured by app downloads and revenue. Google Play still has more downloads than Apple’s App store in China, but iOS App Store revenue is 80% higher than Google Play! Most of that action is in social video apps and games.
Today in New York, Microsoft showed their latest and greatest in Lumia phones, Surface Tablets, Microsoft Band 2, Xbox, and Hololens. First off, a new custom Halo 5 Xbox with a Terabyte of storage…that’s out October 20th for $499. The Hololens will have what Microsoft calls Console Class Graphics. It puts virtual game enemies right in your room, and is untethered…no wires, phones, or PC connection needed. According to theverge.com, Microsoft is taking applications for a Hololens development kit, and it should be out 1st quarter of next year for $3000.
Microsoft Band 2 is more circular, and has a curved Gorilla Glass 3 OLED screen. It has Built in GPS, UV monitoring, sleep and calorie tracking, a barometer to track elevation, and Cortana elevation. For golf, it knows if you’re putting, doing practice swings, or crushing the ball down the fairway! It works across iOS, Android, and Windows. It’s $249, and out October 30th. Trick or Treat!
The Lumia 5.2 inch 950 and 5.7 950 XL smartphones feature adaptive antenna tech, octacore and hexacore processors, and liquid cooling tech. There’s a 20 megapixel camera, better image stabilization, triple LED flash, and a dedicated camera button. 32 gigs of storage and USB C connector. They recharge to 50% in 30 minutes. The new Lumias run full Windows 10, and will be out in November starting at $549 for the 950 and $649 for the 950 XL.
The Surface Pro 4 tablet will have a fingerprint sensor on the keyboard and a larger GLASS trackpad. It has a 12.3 inch display, and thinner cover. It gets a hybrid cooling system and 6th generation Intel Core processor, with 16 gigs or RAM and 1 terabyte of storage. Microsoft claims Surface 4 is 30% faster than Surface 3, and 50% faster than a Macbook Air. The pen attaches magnetically to the side…it doesn’t need charging for a year! Double click one end and it launches One note…hold the ‘eraser’ button and it launches Cortana. Preorders open October 7th and it starts at $899.
New to the lineup is a 13.5 inch laptop they’ve dubbed Microsoft Surface Book. The display detaches into a tablet, which they claim is the thinnest and lightest Intel Core i7 tablet. The whole thing is 1.6 lbs, and 7.7 millimeters thick. It starts at $1499. Preorders start October 7th, and it’s available October 26th.