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Apple Sept. 2019 announcements

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Taking nothing away from the acknowledged superior speed of Apple's A13 chip, much of that sounds like what's been written about the Google Pixel 3, hampered as it is by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 and "only" 4 GB RAM. It's also interesting that Google's $399 Pixel 3a with a less-capable Snapdragon 670 and also only 4 GB of RAM is considered the Pixel 3's photographic equal. The Pixel 3 will shoot 4K video at 30fps, not 60.
Google's Pixel phones don't have all of what Apple calls "Image Signal Processor" (ISP) done on the main SoC. The 845 and 670 have an upside in that the modem is incorporated into the main SoC (where Apple needs to allocate board space to a discrete cellular modem). That allows Google to put in a discrete Pixel Visual Core. If Google pitches large amounts of camera work to the PVC then dropping down to 679 won't make a huge difference.

The other issue is that Qualcomm isn't trying to keep their image or DSP improvements out of the 600 or 700 series — perhaps a bit smaller but are getting the same upgrades the 800 series when new (not a simply process shrink).

It appears the Pixel 4 will also have some supplemental computational chip that does more than just PVC does (perhaps running parts of Project Soli).
 


Wouldn't longer telephoto lenses need to stick out of the phone? Or, take a right angle bend inside the phone, as is done in an Oppo phone and in some Sony cameras. If we can't have a headphone jack then use the space for something beneficial.
The headphone jack space went to haptics (which initially meant no mechanical button to fail but has subsumed 3D Touch now also).

The batteries are bigger in the new iPhone 11 models (partially for the "phone as pad charger" feature, which didn't get turned on).

The camera is at the other end from where they were placing the headphone jack.

The right-angle telelphoto seems like it could be a bigger issue long-term — after being shaken, dropped, etc. for a long while, do they still hold up? They wouldn't have to completely break, just tweak the range of stabilization correction slightly. Earlier problems were the images didn't come out so well (tried on compact cameras in previous generations). Newer iteration of stabilizers and computational clean-up seem to work OK now. Review of Huawei P30 Pro earlier this year:

There are some other new phone cameras that do "retina doubling" in the other direction — 48MP produces 12MP image (use 4 to do 1). Lens "correction" and digital 2-3x zoom is how 'clean' on these new phones with whatever correction Apple applies? The specs say up to 5x (which most likely has noticeable side effects). If they can go from 28mm to 56mm in everyday photos without much of a noticeable impact, then they have covered much of the intermediate subject range.
 


Here are some research links regarding iPhones and alternatives:
iPhone: compare models (Apple) ...​
Let's step back in time to September, 2018...
The Verge said:
Apple iPhone XR hands-on: the new default iPhone
I just spent a few moments playing with the new iPhone XR, which feels like it will be the default iPhone for many people this season. Not only does it have a very similar design to the more expensive iPhone XS model, it has many of the same features for a considerably lower price.
Moving forward to November...
MacWorld said:
iPhone XR review: This iPhone might be the best Apple has ever made
... it’s not much of a stretch to say that the iPhone XR is the greatest iPhone Apple has made to date, with a perfect blend of good, better, and best.
But...
PC Magazine said:
Exclusive: iPhone XS Crushes XR in Cellular Signal Test Results
The iPhone XS and XS Max speed past the XR in our most recent signal test results, showing that XR downloads may stall while their more expensive siblings zip along in the fast lane.... You'll notice from the chart below that the iPhone XS and XS Max have just about the same network performance—the differences aren't big enough to matter. The iPhone XR, on the other hand, looks a lot more like our results from last year's test of the iPhone X, which is also a 2x2 MIMO phone.
I didn't see any reference to antennas or cell phone radios in coverage of the new iPhones. Have to wonder if some of those not-so-great Intel wireless modems are still being used? If the basic iPhone 11, which has been referred to as an updated XR, has improved cellular / WiFi over the old XR? Are answers to those questions somewhere I didn't find in tech specs, or will they have to wait for in-depth testing?

Matters a bit because daughter's iPhone 6 isn't getting iOS 13....
 


Ric Ford

MacInTouch
I didn't see any reference to antennas or cell phone radios in coverage of the new iPhones. Have to wonder if some of those not-so-great Intel wireless modems are still being used?
Great question, and I haven't seen anything about this yet for the iPhone 11 models. The situations to date have been very confusing.

Some related links:
The iPhone X refurbs I'm currently seeing (Model A1865) apparently have Qualcomm modems. It looks like the iPhone 8 Plus refurbs (Model A1864) also have Qualcomm modems.
 


Ric Ford

MacInTouch
Apple uncharacteristically rationalized its product names with the iPhone 11 rollout, and here's some rationale for that decision:
Axel Springer Group said:
How the iPhone XR saved Apple
... Looking at today, it is unsurprising that Apple have set the iPhone XR’s successor as their new default phone. This shows recognition that the average consumer doesn’t entirely understand what an OLED screen is, and why it is worth paying a difference equivalent to a one-night stay at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in London. The XR has been a reminder that mass market consumers are still conscious of price, even for Apple products. The fact that a brand as powerful and as valuable as Apple was unable to convince consumers to go for a higher quality product shows the challenge in consumer education within the technology and telecoms sectors. With this in mind, it will be interesting to see whether the industry will be able to push consumers towards their premium products, particularly with the current rollout of 5G technology.

We anticipate the iPhone 11 will continue the XR’s legacy and remain the bestselling iPhone of this year’s releases. Apple has had to ‘Think Different’ about where it needs to focus in terms of price and product hierarchy. The iPhone 11’s price starting at £729 shows a real focus around the sub £900 price point
 


Great question, and I haven't seen anything about this yet for the iPhone 11 models. The situations to date have been very confusing. ... The iPhone X refurbs I'm currently seeing (Model A1865) apparently have Qualcomm modems. It looks like the iPhone 8 Plus refurbs (Model A1864) also have Qualcomm modems.
Ric, your link,
reveals there's much more going on than whether the phone has an Intel or Qualcomm modem, there's that MIMO 2x2 vs 4x4 antenna. To the end-user, that may matter more than whether they have an Intel or Qualcomm modem. I'm not stopping to look for the reference I remember now, but I believe I read it mattered in both cellular and WiFi(?)

Then there's that matter Apple was reported reducing throughput on phones with Qualcomm modems to keep the Intels from looking bad.

Buy a refurb iPhone X. and the 2 x 2 MIMO is inescapable. If it is true that Apple was slowing Qualcomm phones, has that stopped? Or will it stop with iOS 13? Starting at $679 for 64GB refurb, they don't strike me as bargains.
 


Apple uncharacteristically rationalized its product names with the iPhone 11 rollout, and here's some rationale for that decision:
... Looking at today, it is unsurprising that Apple have set the iPhone XR’s successor as their new default phone. This shows recognition that the average consumer doesn’t entirely understand what an OLED screen is, and why it is worth paying a difference equivalent to a one-night stay at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in London. The XR has been a reminder that mass market consumers are still conscious of price, even for Apple products. The fact that a brand as powerful and as valuable as Apple was unable to convince consumers to go for a higher quality product shows the challenge in consumer education within the technology and telecoms sectors. With this in mind, it will be interesting to see whether the industry will be able to push consumers towards their premium products, particularly with the current rollout of 5G technology.
The counter-explanation is Gruber's theory that the OLED displays can't be made in the quantities required to be used on the most popular phone. Apple purposefully raised the price on the OLED models to depress demand to a point where manufacturing was feasible.

The LCD models don't have that problem, so the price can be lower.
 


Ric Ford

MacInTouch
Ric, your link, iPhone XS Crushes X in LTE Speeds, But Still Falls Short of Qualcomm, reveals there's much more going on than whether the phone has an Intel or Qualcomm modem, there's that MIMO 2x2 vs 4x4 antenna.
Interestingly, the Ubiquity AmpliFi app provides that information, under Client Details for each device. I see that the Verizon iPhone 7 is 1x1 MIMO, like the Apple Watch Series 4, iPhone SE and Roku, while the 2015 MacBook Pro 15" is 3x3 MIMO and the iPad Air is MIMO 2x2.

I haven't noticed any particular reception problems with the iPhones, nor significant WiFi slowdowns in bandwidth tests for either iPhone or MacBook Pro, nor any problems with Rokus.
 


I haven't noticed any particular reception problems with the iPhones, nor significant WiFi slowdowns in bandwidth tests for either iPhone or MacBook Pro, nor any problems with Rokus.
Didn't you recently upgrade to a couple(?) of Ubiquiti access points that are pro-grade equipment? At your home, the punch and proximity of your Ubiquiti access points likely overcomes differences in your devices' antennas and radios. But it can matter:
Matthew Miller said:
Goodbye iPhone XR: Signal strength and size bring me back to the iPhone XS
After six weeks, I realized I just could not put up with the less capable wireless technology that daily made my streaming media pause on my commute and had calls drop without warning.
How-To Geek said:
What is 4×4 MIMO, and Does My Smartphone Need It?
Going from 1×1 MIMO to 4×4 MIMO means quadrupling the theoretical maximum data transfer speed. That’s because each antenna supports a separate data stream up to a maximum theoretical limit. The precise limit varies depending on the wireless networking standing they’re using.... Recent tests have demonstrated that going from 2×2 MIMO to 4×4 MIMO can give you improved wireless signal strength, too.
This additional quote from the How-to Geek article above is important enough to justify emphasis:
What is 4×4 MIMO, and Does My Smartphone Need It?
4×4 MIMO is now common on high-end phones.... However, that only refers to the cellular connection. For example, the iPhone XS and Pixel 3 both have 4×4 MIMO LTE (cellular), but 2×2 MIMO Wi-Fi. Even if you’re connected to a 4×4 MIMO router, you only get 2×2 MIMO WI-Fi speeds. The cellular and Wi-Fi antennas are separate.
 


Ric Ford

MacInTouch
Didn't you recently upgrade to a couple(?) of Ubiquiti access points that are pro-grade equipment? At your home, the punch and proximity of your Ubiquiti access points likely overcomes differences in your devices' antennas and radios. But it can matter...
Rather than buying "pro" Ubiquiti UniFi devices, I got a high-quality "consumer" AmpliFi HD package. Maximum FiOS bandwidth at this location is right around 30Mbps.

I just did a quick Backblaze Bandwidth Check with a 2015 MacBook Pro 15-inch and an iPhone 7 (Model FN8L2LL/A) in the same place, connecting via an AmpliFi MeshPoint on the opposite end of a house from the AmpliFi and FiOS Internet router.

Backblaze Run 1:
DeviceMIMOdownload Mbpsupload MbpsPing (ms.)
iPhone 71x127.620164
2015 MacBook Pro 15"3x316.613.9196

Backblaze Run 2:
DeviceMIMOdownload Mbpsupload MbpsPing (ms.)
iPhone 71x129.628193.8
2015 MacBook Pro 15"3x329.619.4152.5

There are obviously a lot of variables, and very small location changes can have a big effect, but... I wouldn't peg MIMO counts as the big issue in this sort of context.


Let's look at DSLReports Speed Test:

DSLReports Run 1:
DeviceMIMOdownload Mbpsupload Mbps
iPhone 71x127.726.7
2015 MacBook Pro 15"3x327.427.4

DSLReports Run 2:
DeviceMIMOdownload Mbpsupload Mbps
iPhone 71x127.726.4
2015 MacBook Pro 15"3x327.626.7

DSLReports Run 3:
DeviceMIMOdownload Mbpsupload Mbps
iPhone 71x126.924.64
2018 MacBook Pro 13"3x328.725.7


Let's try Verizon Wireless 4G with DSLReports Speed Test:

DeviceMIMOdownload Mbpsupload Mbps
iPhone 71x13.944.11


Consumer Cellular (AT&T) 4G with DSLReports Speed Test:

DeviceMIMOdownload Mbpsupload Mbps
iPhone SE1x119.622.46


Here's a different test setup with DSLReports Speed Test:
In the same room with the Ubiquiti AmpliFi, test the Intel NUC 8 and iPhone 7:

DeviceMIMOdownload Mbpsupload Mbps
iPhone 71x127.86.99
Intel NUC 82x227.326

Change iPhone 7 position (move away from NUC/display):

DeviceMIMOdownload Mbpsupload Mbps
iPhone 71x127.827


Lastly, here's a DSLReports Speed Test with the MacBook Pro hard-wired (Ethernet and power-line adapters) to the Internet router:

DeviceMIMOdownload Mbpsupload Mbps
2015 MacBook Pro 15"hard-wired27.526.8
 


Ric Ford

MacInTouch
The counter-explanation is Gruber's theory that the OLED displays can't be made in the quantities required to be used on the most popular phone. Apple purposefully raised the price on the OLED models to depress demand to a point where manufacturing was feasible.
Except, well, the $399 Google Pixel 3a display is OLED, and I assume they're selling pretty quickly. The Pixel 3, currently $499, has one, too.

And the $349.99 Samsung Galaxy A50 has a Super AMOLED display.
 


I didn't see any reference to antennas or cell phone radios in coverage of the new iPhones. Have to wonder if some of those not-so-great Intel wireless modems are still being used?
It is my understanding that the Intel chips will be used until Apple switches back to Qualcomm 5G as the mainline supplier in the next iteration.

I doubt Apple will have had the time and access to Qualcomm chips, since they made up a few months ago, to go through the iterative process of design, test, manufacture, FCC approval, etc. to get Qualcomm chips back into the mainline series of iPhones. Never mind dealing with all the software details of making the hardware work. Qualcomm is famously prickly re: licensing fees, so I doubt this rapprochement will be without issues, especially since Apple is gearing up to become a radio chip competitor.

We also have to make a distinction re: the type of throttling Apple is engaging in for the phones that used the Qualcomm vs. the Intel radio. As mentioned here, one form of throttling occurred re: maximum download speed to ensure "max. speed parity" between chips. That makes sense from a product parity point of view and by giving Apple access to multiple chip suppliers for buying leverage. Apple is unlikely to reverse that max. speed throttle, ever, due to the likely lawsuits that would follow.

But I also consider those kinds of cellular speed tests kind of pointless. For one, my cell provider (AT&T) is so oversubscribed in most areas that I don't get anything near those speeds. Secondly, even if I were to find a unicorn cell tower with nothing to do and a wide-open backhaul, my cell provider also caps the download speeds (that's a price I pay for being a Cricket customer). Never mind all the links beyond the cell tower that the data has to hop through to get to my phone.

A much more subtle and harder-to-test issue is the actual sensitivity of the overall radio circuit inside the phone. That'll affect not only how well your phone can receive its signal but also how much power it has to use, affecting both speed and power. It's my understanding that despite advances by Intel over the years, the Qualcomm chips are still superior re: sensitivity. But, that superiority has to be couched in the context of design (remember antennagate?). It's not like the iPhone has external antennas like past cell phones.

We see the same thing with other Apple designs. While the Airport Extreme 6th edition featured MIMO 3×3:3, there were no external antennas or antenna ports. Depending on your use case, that could be detrimental (think marina, RV park or like scenarios where vertical coverage is not that beneficial and a wider horizontal coverage via a high-gain antenna would be desirable). But Apple has never aimed for professional use cases, leaving that market to much more expensive commercial providers (i.e. Aruba, Meraki, Ruckus, etc.)

Inside your own home, I suggest the following to maximize Wifi speeds:
  1. Run wired backhauls to every WiFi access point.
  2. Said backhauls should terminate in a gigabit (or faster) switch.
  3. Access points should be sited as close to common use points as possible, to minimize obstructions, signal interference, and so on. This will also reduce the power needs and hence increase battery life of attached phones and other wireless gear.
  4. Access point should also be dispersed to even out the load on each access point, especially in busy environments.
  5. If you have a local server (NAS) and are experiencing throughout issues, consider upgrading its network card to 10GbE, and pair that with a network switch with a 10GbE port or two (I prefer the SFP+ type for versatility). Link aggregation may also help if 10GbE+ is out of budget.
So, while the networks I deal with could live with fewer access points theoretically, I provision them with more to ensure a good signal and a fast connection.
 



It is my understanding that the Intel chips will be used until Apple switches back to Qualcomm 5G as the mainline supplier in the next iteration.
Per one of Ric's links above,
fonearena said:
Apple iPhone 8 and 8 Plus teardown confirms smaller battery, Qualcomm Snapdragon X16 and Intel LTE modems
Like the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus, this year’s teardown also confirms the presence of Intel’s LTE modem in some units....

iPhone 8 (A1863) and iPhone 8 Plus (A1864) units have Qualcomm modem...

The iPhone 8 Plus... model number A1897... has... Intel’s XMM7480 modem...
Apple used both company's modems in the iPhone 8, which remains on sale. It is possible in the months since Apple and Qualcomm buried their legal hatchets in April that Apple could have elected to install Qualcomm modems in the new iPhone 11 models. At least in the iPhone 8, the modems were interchangeable enough to use either in the same phone model.
 


Here's an article about the Apple Watch Series 5's LTPO technology, which was introduced in the Apple Watch Series 4 and touted for saving energy/battery but didn't have an "always on" feature in the Series 4.
I would’ve preferred extended battery life, over “always on”. I often go on long bike rides, and the Series 4 often doesn’t have enough juice to make it through the day. Is there an option to switch off “always on”?
 


Ric Ford

MacInTouch
I often go on long bike rides, and the Series 4 often doesn’t have enough juice to make it through the day.
Are you using a cellular-radio Apple Watch and leaving your iPhone at home?

The Series 4 Apple Watch without cellular seems to have no problem going all day for me (maybe even multiple days). Apple says the Series 5 is similar.
Apple said:
Apple Watch battery

Up to 10 hours indoor workout
Up to 6 hours outdoor workout with GPS
Up to 5 hours outdoor workout with GPS and LTE

Tested with heart rate sensor on during workout sessions.
Indoor workout tested while connected to iPhone via Bluetooth.
Outdoor workout with GPS and outdoor workout with GPS and LTE tested without iPhone.
 


It is possible in the months since Apple and Qualcomm buried their legal hatchets in April that Apple could have elected to install Qualcomm modems in the new iPhone 11 models. At least in the iPhone 8, the modems were interchangeable enough to use either in the same phone model.
Per this Verge article and other sources I’ve read, all iPhone XS/XR use intel modems, due to the former dispute with Qualcomm. It’s one reason I didn’t consider buying a used Xs. That may differ around the world, also.

I would not expect Apple to suddenly start offering Qualcomm chips inside their phones without very good reasons (e.g. in the past, the Verizon-network models had Qualcomm; all models intended for GSM networks used intel chips).

One of the reasons that Apple didn’t like ordering chips from Qualcomm was the 5x higher price vs. Intel modem chips. It’s also why Qualcomm was able to halt iPhone 7 and 8 sales in the EU and China while the xS and XR sales could not be blocked.

I also doubt the motherboards between the Qualcomm and Intel chips were the same, either. They may look similar in shape, have identical mount points and all that, but I very much doubt that the modem processor pinouts are identical.

Every article I’ve read discussing the upcoming iPhone 11 series predicted the continued use of Intel chips. Once iFixit has a tear down documented we’ll have confirmation one way or the other. However, based on precedent, I’d expect the iPhone 11 to continue to use intel chips unless there is a very good reason.
 


Ric Ford

MacInTouch
Is the other shoe soon to drop?
The Verge said:
Disney CEO Bob Iger has resigned from Apple’s board
Disney CEO Bob Iger has resigned from Apple’s board, just a couple of months before both companies are set to launch their independent streaming services. Iger resigned on September 10th, according to a filing from Apple to the US Securities and Exchange Commission. That’s the same day Apple unveiled the launch date and subscription price for Apple TV Plus, which officially made Apple and Disney competitors.
Yahoo Finance said:
Apple has a 'big acquisition' up its sleeve, tech analyst Dan Ives says
... “It’s a content arms race,” Ives said. “Right now, Apple has built a house, they’ve priced it accordingly. They need to fill it with content and we think that’s going to be the next trick up the sleeve for Cook in terms of bigger M&A.”

“We think a big acquisition is on the horizon,” Ives said. On his list of acquisitions (in order); A24 Studio, Lionsgate, Viacom/CBS [CBS], Sony Pictures, MGM Studios, Netflix, and then a potential gaming publisher (that could be incorporated into Apple’s streaming service or a separate gaming subscription service) as a wild card.
 


The issue re inherent conflict with content owners vs. distributors is what my fellow students and I debated back in 2001. We couldn’t see how Netflix would survive in the long term, once they proved the market; big content owners would surely attempt to disintermediate them. And so they did.

But, the trick up Netflix’s sleeve is the sheer amount of customer data they’ve been able to Hoover for the last 20 years. They know what people like to watch, how often, etc., and hence they know what content is likely to provide a handsome payback. Between hiring the right people and lots of money, etc., Netflix has become a content powerhouse with lots of Oscars, Emmys, $$$ to show for it.

Netflix with its analytics is a bit like what Moneyball was to professional athletics: analytics rule! But like the Star Wars and Star Trek series, there are limits to how much audiences want their content regurgitated over and over before it gets stale.
 


Underscoring the likely gamut of underlying iPhone 11 motherboards / enclosures, the Apple LTE page lists all its current iPhone models by region / carrier.

Based on the frequencies listed, the modem circuit components are likely subtly different; less likely, the antenna lengths as integrated into the outer phone body may be shorter or longer to optimize antenna length for dominant frequencies... Multi-frequency tuning circuits are simply amazing these days.

If it were not for different frequency bands being available around the world, I’d also suspect a subtle form of “region locking” to prevent global arbitrage of phones. For example, band 71(600) is available on US and China region phones but absent from rest of world phones.

At least one web site states that all Chinese iPhone 11s are to get dual SIM cards while the rest of the world gets phones with a single physical SIM and a potential electronic one. I wonder if any battery or other compromises had to be made to accommodate said second SIM slot in iPhone 11, especially the smaller non-Max models.
 


Axel Springer Group said:
said:
... the average consumer doesn’t entirely understand what an OLED screen is, and why it is worth paying a difference equivalent to a one-night stay at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in London.
The Axel Springer Group apparently doesn't believe it's possible that people who know exactly what an OLED screen is (like most of us) and have seen it in action could still decide that it's not worth all the extra money.
 


Except, well, the $399 Google Pixel 3a display is OLED, and I assume they're selling pretty quickly. The Pixel 3, currently $499, has one, too. And the $349.99 Samsung Galaxy A50 has a Super AMOLED display.
I don't know about the Google Pixel (who actually manufactures them?), but it is well known that Samsung manufactures their own display panels, which means that Samsung may not be subject to the same economies of scale as Apple. If they can't produce enough displays for the rest of the world, they can cut everybody else's supply and keep enough for their own products' use. Another display manufacturer selling to multiple phone manufacturers (including Apple) may not be able to make such a decision.

And, of course, Samsung and Google do not sell as many units as Apple. So they may not be as supply-chain-restricted.
 


Are you using a cellular-radio Apple Watch and leaving your iPhone at home? The Series 4 Apple Watch without cellular seems to have no problem going all day for me (maybe even multiple days). Apple says the Series 5 is similar.
I don’t have the cellular version, and the specs you posted seem to correlate with my experience. My bike trips often have 3-5 hours of riding, but that’s not the only thing I’m doing, such as stopping for coffee or lunch - which means I’m using the watch for at least another hour or more, easily.

I would need to pack a charger and cord, and charge during lunch or coffee, which means any recovery/resting data would be lost. For bike camping trips, the watch wouldn’t even last half a day, and these types of trips often don’t have places to stop and charge.

There are many bike computers out there that would seem better suited for my rides, but since those are only used while riding, and a watch can be used everyday, I was thinking I could avoid another piece of gear. BTW, my Garmin Fenix 3HR can keep up with my rides, but its older heart rate monitor isn’t the most accurate on the bike, which means I need to use a chest strap sensor.

The Apple Watch has great tech, but a version designed with bikers in mind, instead of just runners and walkers would be nice. Being able to shed a chest strap and a bike computer would help simplify things.
 


Ric Ford

MacInTouch
And, of course, Samsung and Google do not sell as many units as Apple.
FYI:
Wikipedia said:
List of best-selling mobile phones

2018
  • Samsung: 295.0437 million (19% market share)
  • Apple: 209.0484 million (13.4% market share)
  • Huawei: 202.9014 million (13% market share)
  • Xiaomi: 122.3870 million (7.9% market share)
  • OPPO: 118.837.5 million (7.6% market share)
  • Others : 607.0490 million (39% market share)
Talk Android said:
Pixel 3a put some life back in Google’s smartphone business, doubling total Pixel sales year-over-year
... Pixel sales doubled in Q2, partly because of the cheaper Pixel 3a availability, and partly because of new carrier partnerships. The Pixel finally escaped Verizon after all these years.
 


Ric Ford

MacInTouch
I don't know about the Google Pixel (who actually manufactures them?)
The same company that manufactures iPhones for Apple. (HTC was Google's previous manufacturer.)
Wikipedia said:
HTC
After having collaborated with Google on its Pixel smartphone, HTC sold roughly half of its design and research talent, as well as non-exclusive rights to smartphone-related intellectual property, to Google in 2017 for US$1.1 billion.
EDMTunes said:
Google’s New Pixel 3/3XL To Use iPhone Manufacturer
After months of speculation, it appears Google has let the cat is out of the bag. After successful releases of the Pixel and Pixel 2 through an in-house OEM, electronics industry giant Foxconn will handle manufacturing operations for the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL. Foxconn is the Taiwanese group behind Apple’s iPhone, marking a huge shift for Google’s Pixel series.
Wikipedia said:
Pixel 3a
Manufacturer: Foxconn
 


Ric Ford

MacInTouch
The Apple Watch has great tech, but a version designed with bikers in mind, instead of just runners and walkers would be nice.
A friend of mine, who is a huge Apple fan, had to buy a Garmin watch instead of an Apple Watch, because Apple Watch battery life was too short for his triathlons/training.
 


Re OLEDs vs. competing screen technologies, I’d simply add that the marketplace suggests a wide scope of consumer preferences. Otherwise, competing technologies would have had to close up shop a long time ago. Not many suppliers offer CRTs anymore but there are a relatively large number of competing flatscreen technologies at multiple price points, varying capabilities, and so on.

Some folk would rather keep the extra cash in their wallet, others look at the total $$$ delta and decide that over the 10+ year of an appliance, the annual delta is acceptable relative to the extra joy of deeper blacks, wider gamuts, or whatever other consumer utilities they prioritize. Those who replace their appliances more quickly obviously have a shorter depreciation period over which to spread the delta.

Jumping from an iPhone 6 to an 11 ought to be an interesting experience.
 


A friend of mine, who is a huge Apple fan, had to buy a Garmin watch instead of an Apple Watch, because Apple Watch battery life was too short for his triathlons/training.
I did the same thing with Fitbit. I don’t doubt that the Apple Watch is technically superior in just about every possible category, but I just could not see myself remembering to charge it every night. The Charge 3 lasts for about a week.
 


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