Magic Leap’s AR headsets will start at around $1,000

Magic Leap is spilling more and more of its secrets as it gets nearer to releasing its first mixed reality headset this year. At Recode's annual Code Media conference, Magic Leap chief Rony Abovitz has revealed the company's plans to release not one,…
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Reddit audiophiles test HomePod, say it sounds better than $1,000 speaker

Enlarge / Apple’s new HomePod speaker retails for $ 350. (credit: Apple)

Apple released its much-hyped HomePod speaker to the masses last week, and the general consensus among early reviews is that it sounds superb for a relatively small device. But most of those reviews seem to have avoided making precise measurements of the HomePod’s audio output, instead relying on personal experience to give generalized impressions.

That’s not a total disaster: a general rule for speaker testing is that while it’s good to stamp out any outside factor that may cause a skewed result, making definitive, “objective” claims is difficult. A speaker’s sound largely depends on the room in which it’s placed. Its proximity to walls, the surface on which it’s rested, whether or not you have a carpet—all of this can alter what sounds make it to your ears and thus how you perceive its performance. And no two people’s rooms are entirely alike.

But having some proper measurements is important. Reddit user WinterCharm, whose real name is Fouzan Alam, has made just that in a truly massive review for the site’s “r/audiophile” sub. And if his results are to be believed, those early reviews may be underselling the HomePod’s sonic abilities. After a series of tests with a calibrated microphone in an untreated room, Alam found the HomePod to sound better than the KEF X300A, a generally well-regarded bookshelf speaker that retails for $ 999.

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apple – Ars Technica

Oxford English Dictionary adds Ransomware, EULA and 1000 other new words

The Oxford English Dictionary added 1,100 new entries in its January 2018 update. Wordsmiths the world over now have the official go-ahead to use ransomware, EULA, and mansplain, which should make life easier for misogynistic IT security experts. Tech terms like e-address (who says that?) and esc (not to be confused with ESC, even though they’re the same thing) made the list, but for once it wasn’t all about OMGs and LOLs. The clear star of the January update is the word “ransomware,” which after being on a lot of computers in 2017 deserves a spot in the “definitive record…

This story continues at The Next Web
The Next Web

$1,000 iPhone X was called crazy – now people are worried iPhone prices won’t keep rising

iPhone X Price

Talk about “damned if you do, damned if you don’t.” Apple unveiled the tenth-anniversary iPhone X last September, and people lost their minds when the company said it would charge $ 999 for the entry-level model and a whopping $ 1,149 for the version with 256GB of storage. Despite the prominence of smartphone financing plans in the United States and several other top smartphone markets around the world, some industry watchers were appalled, and they said a price tag above $ 1,000 was far too much to charge for the redesigned iPhone.

Apple doesn’t break down its iPhone sales by model, so we’ll never know exactly how many iPhone X units were sold during the holiday quarter. We’ll certainly get a few hints when Apple reports its holiday-quarter results on Thursday, particularly when analysts begin to dissect iPhone unit sales and ASPs. Ahead of Apple’s earnings report though, one industry watcher has expressed concern about Apple’s future performance. Doom and gloom is nothing new for Apple, of course, but one point in the analyst’s note is of particular interest: After all the hubbub Apple’s $ 1,000+ iPhone X caused, there are now worries that Apple’s iPhones prices will not continue to rise.

With just a day to go until Apple reports its fiscal first-quarter earnings, everyone seems to be coming out of the woodwork with a hot take. We’ve covered a few different points of view, and now the latest comes from BMO Capital Markets analyst Tim Long.

Long isn’t overly concerned with Apple’s holiday quarter and instead looks ahead to the March quarter, where he sees trouble brewing. “We expect a meaningful guide lower when the company reports on Thursday night, on the order of $ 5-6 billion compared to consensus revenue estimates,” the analyst wrote in a note to clients seen by BGR.

The Street’s consensus for Apple’s fiscal second-quarter revenue guidance is currently about $ 45.5 billion, and Long had issued a $ 46 billion estimate. He has now revised that guess down to just $ 39.9 billion for the March quarter, which cutting his rating on Apple shares to Market Perform from his earlier Outperform rating. Beyond the second quarter, Long sees problems down the road, largely because Apple will not continue to increase the price of its iPhones, which means ASPs won’t continue to climb.

“Following 10 years where ASPs have generally moved higher, we believe prices will plateau as with the rest of the industry,” Long wrote.

He continued, “Apple has done a good job of moving ASPs higher despite others in the industry flat-lining. We estimate that about 30% of iPhones will be priced over $ 900 this year, but we do not expect this figure to go any higher, particularly as only 12% of smartphones globally sell for over $ 600.”

Of note, Apple is widely expected to release three new iPhone models this September, including a larger “iPhone X Plus” that is priced higher than Apple’s current iPhone X model. While Long makes no mention of it, he apparently isn’t impressed with what he’s heard about Apple’s 2018 iPhone lineup so far.

“We still view the iPhone base as growing, and the devices are on average getting older. However, without a compelling product cycle in September, we may see a slow upgrade cycle once again,” the analyst wrote. “The recent stock reaction reminds us of early 2016, but later that year many investors started looking towards OLED and the 10-year anniversary phone, which drove the stock higher. No such product is on the horizon now.”

Long also believes Apple won’t see any growth this year in the key China market, and he revised his full-year revenue estimate down to $ 161 billion from his earlier $ 176.88 billion estimate.

Apple – BGR