Amazon is betting that Whole Foods Market shoppers will pick up Echo digital assistants and other gadgets along with the fixings for their holiday meals this season. The e-commerce giant is also promoting its electronics in other brick-and-mortar outlets, from its own 13 bookstores to select Kohl's locations, in its push to keep its lead in voice-activated tech.
It's anticipated that 1.43 billion smartphones will be shipped globally in 2017, resulting in 5% growth year-over-year, per Digitimes Research. In 2018, shipment growth is expected to be slightly lower, at 4.8%, with more than 1.5 billion units shipped, the report also notes.
Of the consumers who have Amazon Echo and Google Home devices, about 57% report using the virtual assistant option multiple times per day, based on a Dashbot study. Most individuals access the assistants for music, information, and weather updates, the survey also indicated.
Apple is reportedly paying $30 million to buy Vrvana, a Canadian company that created the Totem, an augmented reality headset, per TechCrunch. The purchase appears to support the rumor that Apple is working toward releasing an augmented reality headset in 2020, though the company has declined to comment.
Retailers this year are elongating their Black Friday discounts to as much as a week lasting through Cyber Monday, according to Shopify's Satish Kanwar. The trend of self-gifting appears to be picking up, with consumers grabbing November bargains for themselves and waiting until December to shop for friends and family.
Car shoppers can now get a showroom-like experience of BMW's X2 model thanks to Snapchat's new "augmented trial" lens. The automaker said it's looking to engage a younger audience with the augmented reality option.
Apple's Swift programming language is catching on quickly with developers, and Google has updated its Fuchsia operating system in response to support Swift. Fuchsia already supports apps composed in Google's Dart and Go languages, as well as in C/C++.
Amazon will release a (RED)-branded Echo to raise money for the global fight against AIDS. The limited-edition version is expected to be available Dec. 6, and the company will donate $10 of the purchase price, $99.99, to the Global Fund for every device bought.
The release of the iPhone X and iPhone 8 led to Apple gaining 72% of smartphone profits in the third quarter, per data from Canaccord Genuity. The company also noted that Apple is doing well globally and should see 635 million installed devices by 2017's end.
Drivers will be able to get live updates on a rider's location with a new feature on Uber's app. Another update is a gift option with which riders can order an Uber for a guest even if the guest has no smartphone.
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