Elon Musk says he's 'optimistic' Mars ship will make first trips in 2019


Elon Musk says he’s making “great progress” toward his goal of getting to Mars by 2022. 

Speaking during a last-minute appearance at SXSW, Musk said he thinks SpaceX’s Mars ship will be ready for its first trips in less than a year.

“In the short term, Mars is really about getting the space ship built, and we’re making great progress,” he said.

He predicted that the ship would be ready to take to the skies next year — albeit for short flights only.

“We are building the first ship, the first interplanetary ship right now, and I think we will be able to do short flights, short sort of up and down flights, probably sometime in the first half of next year,” he said. Read more…

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Xiaomi plans to enter the US market by 2018's end or by early 2019

Xiaomi has been planning to start selling its smartphones in the United States for many years now, but the Chinese company never found the right moment to make such an important move.

It appears that this year Xiaomi is closer than ever to an expansion into the US smartphone market. A new report from Wall Street Journal cites Xiaomi’s Chairman Lei Jun, who said his company plans “to start entering the market by end 2018, or by early 2019.”

Xiaomi is the fourth largest handset maker in China and has already successfully launched its smartphones in India and other countries in Southeast …

Sprint CEO Claure: Sprint to offer nationwide 5G service by the first half of 2019

Sprint announced yesterday that it will be launching its mobile 5G network nationwide during the first half of 2019. If the carrier does live up to its promise, Sprint will be offering its customers the next generation of wireless service coast to coast before T-Mobile. The latter has said that it will start offering next generation wireless in 2019 with nationwide service ready by 2020.

Sprint has been hoarding 160MHz of high-frequency 2.5GHz spectrum in the top 100 markets, which it plans on using for 5G. Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure says that half of Sprint’s cell towers currently feature …

ZTE to release a 5G-ready smartphone in the US by early 2019

ZTE is dead serious about its mobile business in the United States. After pledging to expand its foldable smartphone portfolio in the country, ZTE has just announced another premiere for the company.

ZTE’s chief executive officer, Lixin Cheng recently confirmed in an interview with Bloomberg that his company plans to launch a smartphone with 5G capabilities in the United States at the end of 2018 or in early 2019.

Obviously, ZTE might change these plans depending on how the 5G network coverage and equipment evolve in the coming months. ZTE’s Cheng said that …

Saudi Arabia swooning over Apple, first Apple Store in the country might open in 2019

According to Reuters, Apple might finally open up an Apple Store in Saudi Arabia in 2019 following a government agreement expected to be signed sometime in February 2018. Surprisingly, the initiative is on Saudi Arabia’s part which has been making it next for impossible for tech companies and Apple in particular to do business locally for years due to multiple hurdles imposed by the conservative muslim kingdom, which also happens to be one of the richest countries in the world thanks to its vast oil reserves. 
However, it’s in Saudi Arabia’s interest …

Sprint to offer 5G service and devices by 2019

Earlier tonight, we told you that the the 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) had announced new hardware standards for the Non-Standalone 3GPP 5G NR specs. Included in that list is Sprint’s 2.5GHz spectrum. Sprint has more than 160MHz of this spectrum available, giving it the largest block of 5G airwaves in the states with a frequency under 6GHz. The carrier’s focus when it comes to 5G is mobile, and to that end it is working with chip maker Qualcomm and telecom company SoftBank.

Sprint says that it hopes to start offering commercial 5G service and compatible devices for 5G by 2019. …

Apple is planning on adding a rear-facing 3D-scanning camera for the 2019 iPhone models

Currently, Apple offers 3D-sensing only on the front-facing TrueDepth Camera found on the Apple iPhone X. There is speculation that all three of Apple’s 2018 releases will include the front-facing TrueDepth camera along with next year’s iPad Plus. But a report published today indicates that by 2019, Apple has plans to offer 3D-sensing on the rear-facing iPhone camera as well. And the company is working on new technology that would be used instead of the currently employed dot projector that uses 30,000 laser dots to map a face.

The system being worked on for the rear-facing 3D-sensing …

HP Elite X3 to reach its End of Life on Nov 1? HP says no, phone to run through 2019

The HP Elite x3 has had the best specs of any Windows 10 Mobile powered handset since the device was launched last December. Now, there is talk that the Elite x3 will go EOL on November 1st. For those of you unaccustomed to playing alphabet soup, EOL stands for ‘End of Life’ and it means that the phone will no longer be sold after that date. The report, out of Germany, would give the phone 5 more weeks on the shelves before getting pulled for good.

The problem here isn’t just HP’s fault. Microsoft’s decision to stop working on Windows 10 Mobile prevented HP from updating the Elite x3. According …

Qualcomm CEO Mollenkopf now sees a 2019 launch for 5G service in the U.S.

Qualcomm CEO Steve Mollenkopf says that mobile internet speeds will hit incredible new records in 2019 as 5G service becomes real in that year. While the executive said that most in the industry pick 2020 as the the launch year for the next generation of mobile wireless service, “people are pulling us faster.” According to Mollenkopf, that means “You’ll see 5G in 2019 for sure.”

Some of the demand for 5G is being driven by mobile device users seeking an improved video experience. 5G service is expected to deliver data speeds as much as 100 times the current rate. With 5G, video files that …