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The iPhone X is expected to sell out fast–Jefferson Graham has tips on how to navigate the pre-order sales process on #TalkingTech.
You can leave the tent in the closet.
There’s no need to camp out outside Apple Stores to nab an elusive iPhone X, the new flagship device from the iconic smartphone maker.
There may be a few available units here and there, but not many expected. Pre-orders began this week, and Apple sold out its initial shipments within minutes.
There is now a five- to six-week backlog to get deliveries of the new phone, which starts at a record- setting $999. Analysts suggest that if you really want the phone, just put in your pre-order now and wait.
(Talking Tech was up at midnight Pacific, with the rest of the Apple fans, putting in our pre-order. The first five minutes found websites and an Apple app that couldn’t be accessed, presumably due to high demand. When we finally broke through, at 12:07 PT, we got in our order, and the promise of one- to two-week delivery.)
So you really want a shiny new iPhone and want it now? This week, I argued that maybe it was worth taking a second look at Apple’s wallflower of a phone, the iPhone 8, which has many of the same features of X and virtually the same camera (except for two minor additions.)
And for those of you who haven’t put in your pre-orders yet, you should read here for tips on navigating your way through. (Download the Apple Store app now.)
Meanwhile, if you just have to nab that elusive iPhone X now, there are ways. It will just cost you. You can always visit auction site eBay, where savvy re-sellers are already hawking units for as much as $3,500.
In other tech news this week
—E-tailer Amazon dominated the headlines. First, it said that 238 cities in North America had submitted bids to woo the company to their communities to build a second headquarters and bring those 50,000 new jobs. Then, the company introduced a way-out new concept. To fight off the trend of stolen packages left on the door step, Amazon has a new $250 security camera and smart lock for sale, with a twist. Install them, and give Amazon the digital keys to your home. The delivery person will open the door when you’re not home, drop off the package, and be filmed while doing so, for your peace of mind. Who’s ready to sign up?
Finally, Amazon threw a bone to app developers, offering them tools to make money with its highly popular Alexa-connected speaker, by offering subscriptions to premium “skills.” The first app maker to give it a try is the Jeopardy game, offering additional clues for $1.99 monthly.
—Enjoy life in Hawaii. A new law went effect this week banning cellphone gazing while you cross the street. First offenses will draw a fine of $35, with multiple offenses costing “smartphone zombies” as much as $99.
—TV on YouTube. Remember when we watched TV in the living room, and caught clips of our favorite shows on YouTube later, maybe on the desktop or laptop, or eventually the smartphone? That’s changing. Google, which owns YouTube, said that some 100 hours of TV are being watched daily on YouTube now, via streaming devices like Roku, Apple TV and Amazon Fire. And it adds that the number has shot up 70% in the last year.
TV is clearly a big priority for YouTube. Any World Series watcher would be hard pressed to have missed that YouTube was one of the sponsors of the baseball showdown, touting its YouTube TV service, a cutting-the-cord offering with a select number of channels for $40 monthly.
— Speaking of Google, the Internet giant scrambled to save face after several critics complained of “burn in” on the new Pixel 2 XL smartphones—ghosted logos or images from a previous screen which continue as you navigate elsewhere. Google says the display is consistent with that of other OLED screens, but said it would attempt software updates and offer consumers a 2-year warranty instead of the traditional 12 month.
Your tech week in audio
Cardhop — Michael Simmons explains why the world needs another app for curating contacts.
The Future of Money — We visited the Money2020 convention in Las Vegas, where all sorts of new ways to pay for goods were on display, such as jewelry that connects to your credit card, biometrics and even selfie authentication. (Check out our video report from Money2020 here.)
iPhone X pre-sale tips. How to get your hands on the new phone as soon as possible,
Chipped update. Remember Three Square Market, the company that implants microchips in employees? What’s next for them? How about starting cars with the flick of a wrist and identifying handguns?
No iPhone X, so why not the iPhone 8? Sure the iPhone X sounds like a must have phone for the early adopters in all of us. But what if, feature for feature, the seemingly ho-hum iPhone 8 is actually the one for you?
That’s it for this week. Can we interest you in a little guitar music for your weekend enjoyment? We’ll be back next weekend with another edition of the Talking Tech newsletter. Why not make it easy on yourself by subscribing? In the meantime, you can catch the Talking Tech podcast daily on iTunes and Stitcher, and follow me on Twitter (@jeffersongraham) and Facebook.