A realistic guide to the current crop of tech rumors | Tech News
It’s fun to speculate about tech rumors, especially when they apply to the products we use every day. But, every rumor is different. Some are likely true, while others are little more than desperate clickbait. On this page, we plan to keep a running tab of the most popular rumors in the tech world and contextualize them so you don’t get your hopes up—and then feel sad when they don’t pan out.
The iPhone will ditch the Lightning port and go totally USB-C
In 2011, Apple introduced the Lightning connector to replace the typical 30-pin connector previously used in iPads, iPods, and iPhones. Now, a report from Digitimes suggests another shift is coming in 2019, this time to USB-C.
Gutcheck: The sources on this rumor are anonymous and seem flimsy. It seems unlikely, but it’s not totally impossible. The 30-pin connector had a run of roughly 11 years, almost twice as long as Lightning has been around. USB-C adoption has also been spotty across the industry. If anything, we would like for this one to be false, if only
Google’s Pixel 3 phones will have a screen notch and glass back
The Google Pixel 2 phones are some of our favorite Android devices on the market, but we’re coming up on time for the new version. Some purported photos of the new device popped up on an Android forum that agree with a Bloomberg report about the upcoming phone.
Gutcheck: This form wouldn’t come as a surprise, especially in a time when screen notches are all the rage on just about every new handset.
Apple is working on a new version of the cheapest iPhone, the SE
Back in March of 2016, Apple introduced the iPhone SE, which had a 4-inch screen and cost just $399 for the 16GB model. In 2017, Apple bumped up the storage options and dropped the price for the introductory to $349. More than a year has passed since its update, so rumors abound about new hardware for people who want an iPhone with this kind of smaller screen.
Gutcheck: With Apple’s WWDC event coming up in the next couple weeks, it wouldn’t be overly surprising to see a new SE pop up with an updated form-factor and some faster hardware inside.
Microsoft may introduce a cheaper Surface tablet this year
Bloomberg has reported that Microsoft is planning a $400 version of the Surface tablet that’s designed to compete directly with Apple’s latest iPad iteration. Checking in around $400, the rumored tablet would have a 10-inch screen and rounded corners to make it feel more like a tablet and less like half of a laptop.
Gutcheck: As Micorosoft continues its push into the education market, it would make sense for the company to bring a product like this to market, though we would expect some caution. Microsoft had a previous version called the Surface RT back in 2012 and it didn’t sell very well. We wouldn’t be surprised to see this before the end of the year.
Google is working on a Pixel Watch wearable device
You already have a variety of options if you want to wear an Android device on your wrist, but according to prolific leaker of mobile devices, Evan Blass, Google is now working on a flagship smart watch to coincide with the release of the upcoming Pixel 3 smartphones.
Gutcheck This seems like a likely move for Google. Rumors have existed for years that the company would release a high-end watch to show off what its WearOS software can do. The latest version of the SnapDragon Wear processor also seems like a natural fit for this kind of high-end device to launch before the end of the year. The fall timeline would make sense since it will likely compete with whatever the next Apple Watch update brings.
Tesla is working on a Model Y car for 2020 that will fix some of its manufacturing problems
Tesla’s Model 3 has been a real pain for Elon Musk as the company tries to ramp up production to meet the demand and cut down on the 9-month waitlist. The Model Y would introduce even more automation into the production process and help reduce the amount of wiring in the car to churn them out faster.
Gutcheck According to Musk, the Model Y is currently in the prototype phase and should start rolling out in 2020. However, we have heard timeline predictions from musk before. It will be a while before we find out how close to reality this ride really is.
YouTube is working on an app for kids that won’t use the algorithm
Buzzfeed originally reported that YouTube is working on an app that will focus on videos that are appropriate for kids and safe from things like conspiracy content. Rather than relying on an AI algorithm to serve videos, recommendations would come from human beings who can tell when something is bonkers.
Gutcheck YouTube has had trouble in the past with people targeting kids with inappropriate and downright gross content, so a move like this makes a lot of sense. It’s especially likely now that the Facebook testimony has many people on-edge about privacy online.
Apple is moving away from Intel chips in its laptops by 2020
Bloomberg is reporting that Apple hopes to phase out Intel’s chips and replace them with its own hardware. The new chips may or may not come from the Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Ltd., which makes Apple’s other custom processors.
Gutcheck: The source is reliable, but there’s no official word.
Months of rumors have swirled on this topic, but the Bloomberg report is the most formidable so far as the company has a strong track record for information like this.
Apple is working on a VR headset for self-driving cars
A patent application showing a VR system for inside self-driving cars showed up in Apple’s arsenal of intellectual property. It could help entertain passengers (and fight off motion sickness) who would otherwise be bored as a robot drives them around.
Gutcheck: The patent is real, but the product may never arrive.
There are lots of patents out there that never become reality, but this one does sound like a promising idea. People have to do something since they’re not driving, and VR could possibly be effective at reducing nausea if used in the right way
There could be a folding iPhone by 2020
CNBC reported on findings from Bank of America Merrill Lynch. The source backs up the claim saying they talked to several manufacturers in China.
Gutcheck: It’s possible, especially since other manufacturers have tried the tech.
Both Lenovo and Samsung have already shown phones that fold or bend in one way or another, so the concept isn’t that far outside the realm of possibility. Of course, Apple is tight-lipped on the subject, but OLED display tech could make it happen. But the fact remains– do we need to fold our phones?
Waymo is building a self-driving car with Honda
Waymo CEO, John Krafcik gave a statement at a trade show for the automotive industry about the company’s plans to develop a self-driving vehicle with Honda. The idea is to build something self-driving from the ground up, rather than retro-fitting production vehicles with sensors.
Gutcheck: The deal is happening, but the car is a long way off.
The companies are still ironing out many details about the vehicle, including fundamental pieces like whether or not it will have pedals or a steering wheel, but the project is underway.
Palm phones are coming back on Verizon
Android police credits an anonymous source with news about a potential Palm rebirth later this year. The phone will reportedly come from manufacturer TCL who confirmed the development last year.
Gutcheck: The phone is still reportedly happening, but the timeline remains unclear.
It’s an anonymous source for now, so we wouldn’t bet on it, but it’s not outside the realm of possibility.
Samsung is working on a Bixby smart speaker and it will be out in 2018
Last year, Samsung confirmed that this product was in the works, but the release date was still nebulous. Recently, the Wall Street Journal reported that we should expect it some time in the second half of 2018.
Gutcheck: The project is real, but the timeline has shifted.
We have official confirmation from the company that this thing is happening, but we’re still unclear as to its release date. If you’re clamoring for a speaker with Bixby built in, you’ll have to keep a look out for a pleasant surprise.
Spotify could make hardware for listening to music
The genesis of this rumor comes from a job listing in 2017 regarding the company’s desire to build a “category-defining product.” The rumor was dormant for a while, but popped back up again in recent weeks, likely because the company had its IPO on April 3.
Gutcheck: Spotify has been working on hardware, but we don’t know when or if it will land on shelves.
There’s a current job description, but this time it explicitly mentions the fact that Spotify is working on physical products. It’s not out of the question that they never actually come to market, but it seems very likely that there is work in progress.