Apple HomePod manufacturer sees facial recognition eventually coming to smart speakers

The company that assembles Apple’s HomePod smart speaker, Inventec Appliances, said last week that it expects features offered by 3D-sensing cameras to eventually be available on smart speakers. That would include facial and image recognition that could make the product “more convenient and…easier to use,” according to Inventec Appliances president David Ho. The executive did say that he isn’t sure that a smart speaker with AI would be in demand by consumers.

While Ho didn’t mention Apple’s HomePod by name, he did say that Inventec Appliances is also producing a voice enabled smart speaker …


Analyst sees no supercycle for Apple, but predicts strong iPhone X sales

Raymond James’ Apple analyst Tavis McCourt wrote a note to clients today. In his message, McCourt stated that the big supercycle that was supposed to pump up Apple’s revenue and profits thanks to the new innovative 2017 iPhone models, might not take place. But thanks to what he sees as strong Apple iPhone X demand, the analyst expects Apple to report higher earnings next year as the average selling price of the iPhone rises as much as 10% in 2018.

McCourt’s note includes some data not favorable to Apple. He says that 37% of iPhone owners plan to upgrade to a 2017 iPhone over the next 12 …

Cook: Our products are not only for the rich; analyst sees big drop in Apple's stock after tomorrow

Some people complain that Apple manufacturers devices for the rich and wealthy, and that as a result, they are priced out of purchasing Apple products. But if you ask Apple CEO Tim Cook, he will disagree. Speaking to Fortune, Cook points out that an Apple iPad and an Apple iPhone can be purchased for less than $300 each.  “And so these are not for the rich,” said the executive. The Chief Executive also pointed out that with an active installed base of over 1 billion products, Apple couldn’t be manufacturing just for the rich since there aren’t that many rich people in the world. Cook also …

Analyst sees Apple's AR smartglasses becoming bigger than Apple Watch, just as big as the iPad


Earlier this year, we passed along some comments from former analyst Gene Munster, who claimed that Apple iPhone sales will peak in 2019  with Apple’s smartglasses launching the following year. At that point, Munster sees the iPhone getting replaced by the AR powered glasses as the biggest selling product in Apple’s lineup. Another analyst, Bernstein’s Toni Sacconaghi, wrote a note to clients stating that as much as Tim Cook loves AR, it won’t impact Apple’s bottom line until the company produces a pair of smartglasses.

Like Munster before him, Sacconaghi expects Apple Glasses (as …

Ming-Chi Kuo sees only two to four million iPhone 8 units available on launch day

KGI Securities, the brokerage house that employs highly regarded Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, is now telling clients to expect the tenth anniversary iPhone to be unveiled on time this September. KGI says that the handset will be available in black, gold and silver some time next month. However, there will be a very limited number of handsets assembled and ready to go by next month, according to KGI’s report. Ming-Chi Kuo expects that only two to four million iPhone 8 units will be available for purchase on the launch date. While that is certainly a limited number, by the end of the year Apple will …

KGI's Kuo sees in-screen embedded fingerprint scanner debuting on the 2018 Samsung Galaxy Note 9

It has turned out to be one of the biggest technological difficulties of the year, affecting Samsung, Apple and most likely other less well-known smartphone manufacturers. Finding the solution could lead to a shift in more than several million dollars of handset sales. If you haven’t figured out what we are discussing here, it is the placement of a biometric fingerprint scanner embedded under a smartphone display. Such a placement is necessary for manufacturers to offer edge-to-edge “button-less” and “bezel-less” screens without resorting to less popular (read “rear-facing”) solutions.

Samsung …

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 …

Analyst sees iPhone 8 turning Apple into the first trillion dollar company

The most valuable company in the world right now is Apple. Thanks to the success of the Apple iPhone, the company is currently valued at almost $752 billion. According to an analyst at Drexel Hamilton by the name of Brian White, Apple will be the first company in history to be valued at one trillion dollars, The impetus behind this powerful move higher will be the introduction of the 10th anniversary iPhone model currently dubbed the Apple iPhone 8, according to White.

As hard as it is to believe, White notes that Apple is one of the most undervalued companies trading in the U.S. markets. …

IDC sees smartphone shipments growing this year after a slump in 2016


Last year was the worst ever for global smartphone shipments as handset deliveries rose only 2.5% for 2016. According to analytical firm IDC, business will start returning to growth  mode as the number of shipments should rise by 3% this year. That amounts to 1.52 billion units forecast by IDC to be delivered this year. And for 2018, the increase in shipments will reach 4.5%. IDC says that improved economic conditions in emerging markets will partially be responsible for a 50% hike in growth. Another reason will be the extreme popularity of  the tenth anniversary Apple iPhone that …

TCL sees "plenty of interest" in the BlackBerry KEYone

Last December, TCL announced that it worked out a licensing deal with BlackBerry. Basically, BlackBerry provides the software and TCL does all the rest. The latest ‘Berry handset is the BlackBerry KEYone. While BlackBerry has seen its share of the smartphone market drop to a number so low that it can’t be imagined, any rebound could start with the KEYone. This is a gorgeous looking handset featuring a physical keyboard that recalls the fretted QWERTY board on the BlackBerry Bold 9000.

While the physical keyboard is the eye candy here, the one feature that everyone is talking about happens …