Samsung Will Have 5G Phone in 2019; Apple-All New AirPods, But No 5G Phone Until 2020; Amazon Testing King Sized Amazon Go Store

Samsung is partnering with Verizon to bring a 5G smartphone to the US in the middle of 2019! Cnet.com reports that they will show off a concept handset this week at the Qualcomm Snapdragon Tech Summit in Hawaii. 5G is expected to significantly boost the speed, coverage, and responsiveness of wireless networks. Phones will upload and download data at anywhere from 10 to 100 times faster than the 4G network we have today! Samsung has not said if the phone will be exclusive to Verizon, and did note that they will continue to work with other wireless partners.

Over at Apple, the word is that it will be at least 2020 before a 5G iPhone will be in peoples’ hands. According to macrumors.com, Apple will hold off a bit instead of being on the leading edge…which they have done before when new generations of wireless capability rolled out. Bloomberg points out that there has often been poor coverage when a new layer of connectivity rolls out, with phones often having to drop back to the old tech, or jumping back and forth between the two systems. Besides Samsung, Huawei and Oppo will also put out 5G smartphones next year…although neither of those two are really factors in the US market like Samsung is. Part of the delay for Apple may be the ongoing litigation with Qualcomm. Apple is partnering with Intel on 5G chips, and those won’t be out in time to get phones to market in 2019.

There will be all-new AirPods in 2020, but prior to that, Apple will release wireless charging AirPods early next year. 9to5mac.com picked up a report from well known Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo that says the wireless model will also include yet to be disclosed upgrades, but that the total revamp will be set for a 2020 release.

Amazon is reported to be testing out a large-sized Amazon-Go type store, sans cashiers, in Seattle. Geekwire.com says it is set up to look more like a traditional grocery store. Now what grocery store could it be designed like…oh, yeah…Whole Foods, which Amazon owns! They are particularly working on seeing if the system that tracks what shoppers grab off the shelves works well with the higher ceilings and bigger spaces with vastly more products. It remains to be seen when or if the tech will reach Whole Foods or other stores. Amazon has said in the past they have no plans to add the tech to Whole Foods stores…but such claims are often made, then things change. We do know Amazon is planning opening up to 3,000 Amazon Go stores by 2021.

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Apple’s Back to School Freebie- ‘Music to Your Ears’

Yes, it’s time for Apple’s annual back to school promotion, and this year, Cupertino is giving away a free pair of Beats Solo2 headphones to students and teachers that buy a Mac through their education program…literally music to your ears! Theverge.com notes that the headphones usually go for $200, and that for an additional $100 bucks, you can upgrade to wireless ones. The deal’s good on iMac, MacBook, MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, and Mac Pros through September 18th.

The latest iteration of the Motorola Moto X should roll out next Tuesday. 9to5google.com says leaked pictures indicate a 5.5 inch screen and a front facing flash for selfies. It’s also rumored to have a fingerprint sensor integrated into the bottom speaker, and there may be a version with dual SIM cards to allow for multiple numbers.


Big Savings on Moto 360 Smart Watch

Motorola’s next generation smartwatch has been spotted in the wild, and should be out shortly. Now, engadget.com says the Moto 360 has dropped to $165 at Google’s store. It’s a great looking and working Android smartwatch at 85 bucks off the regular price.

Techcrunch.com reports that Apple has patented a system that uses contextual information like current time zone, ringer silence status, battery life, location and cell network strength to let friends know you’re available for calls. Yes, it IS opt-in!

Google said last month that it was planning a small wireless service that would operate like existing carriers. According to business insider.com, you’d pay a flat rate for talk and text, and pay by the gigabyte, and could switch phones without a sim card.


Google Wireless….IF You Have the Right Phone

Google may kick off it’s rumored wireless service as soon as the end of the month. Bgr.com says the system will switch from Wi-Fi to cellular like any other, but there’s one HUGE drawback…it will only be available initially on the latest Nexus 6 smartphone. No price point has been revealed, but expect it to be very competitive…with the usual caveat that you’ll give up a bit more privacy to Google if you sign up!

We know Samsung is including wireless charging in the Galaxy S6 and S6 edge. Now, the CEO of Powermat, says their wireless charging standard will come baked in to all future Samsung smartphones that feature wireless charging. CNET.com reports that Samsung is also including the wireless standard from the Wireless Power Consortium for now. Powermat is what you see at Starbucks.

One of the big concerns of smart watches is battery life, and that goes for the Apple Watch to be hitting wrists next month. According to 9to5mac.com, The Reserve Strap will come to the rescue…recharging the watch as you wear it. It will extend the battery life to 125% of normal, and preorders are open now on their website…but it’s $249…just a hundred less than the actual Apple Watch!