In unveiling new Pixel 2 phones this week, Google proved that it can keep pace with Apple in terms of features. But can it really break out from the iPhone maker’s shadow in sales—where it counts most?
Google on Wednesday announced two new smartphones, the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL. The phones, competitors to Apple’s iPhone 8 and iPhone X, come with 5- and 6-inch screens, respectively, and have thin bezels around their displays, making them look similar to the iPhone X. They also come with high-end cameras, and can run sophisticated apps, thanks to their Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processors.
The Internet’s response to the Pixel 2s was generally positive. But not even Alphabet’s Google could sidestep concerns that while Pixel 2s may be good steps forward, they’re no match for the premium iPhone X that Apple will have in stores next month.
But enough about Google. Read on for all of the Apple news from the past week:
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- KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo this week said that Apple’s Face ID technology, a facial scanner that it’s included in its upcoming iPhone X and is verify a person’s identity and allow access to its software, is two years ahead of facial scanners in rival devices like Samsung’s Galaxy S8 and Galaxy Note 8. Face ID’s ability to scan faces in 3D rather than 2D like in Samsung devices, alone, makes it a winner because Apple’s technology can more accurately identify people, Kuo said.
- Apple CEO Tim Cook on Thursday remembered late co-founder Steve Jobs on the sixth anniversary of his death. In a tweet, Cook quoted Jobs and said that his words are still inspiring people around the world. Apple design chief Jony Ive also remembered Jobs this week.
- Apple’s new Apple Park headquarters cost the company a significant sum to build, according to contractor-seeking service BuildZoom, which analyzed the iPhone maker’s building permits. BuildZoom estimates that Apple paid at least $1.2 billion to build the 15 biggest buildings on the campus, including its 2.8-million-square-foot Ring office building and 1,000-seat Steve Jobs Theater. The report follows rumors that Apple spent $5 billion on the campus, including building construction and acquiring the land.
- Apple this week unveiled several new emoji it will make available in its iOS 11.1 update for iPhones and iPads. The digital characters will include an “I love you” gesture based on the American Sign Language sign. Apple will also add a woman wearing a headscarf and an emoji representing breastfeeding, among others.
- Apple announced that it has hired Katherine Adams as its general counsel and senior vice president of its legal and global security group. Adams is taking over for Bruce Sewell, who is retiring from the general counsel post after eight years with the company.
- Wireless carriers are offering few deals on Apple’s new iPhone 8, causing fewer customers to switch carriers in search for a better deal, according to market analysts. That stands in contrast to past years when carriers offered bigger deals on Apple’s new smartphones.
One more thing…A new report this week from Consumer Intelligence Research Partners (CIRP) found that people who own Amazon Echo smart home hubs are more likely to own iPhones than Android devices. They also prefer iPads to Android tablets.