So many electrons, so little space
Apple is grappling with two issues related to the iPhone: a bug that’s shutting down iPhone 6 models, and an iPhone 7 that seems to have caught fire spontaneously. According to Fortune, Apple’s latest iOS firmware update, 10.2.1., has remedied the problem in more than 80 percent of the affected phones. Apple said the shutdown issue isn’t a “safety issue” but they want to solve the problem, so update your iPhone as needed.
The other issue, this smoldering iPhone 7, is a bit different. Twitter user Bree posted the video of her smoking iPhone after she says her boyfriend saw smoke coming from the phone as it made a squealing sound. She told Gizmodo that he tossed the phone into the bathroom where it “blew up.” Apple reacted swiftly to the post as it went viral, replacing her phone and saying they are looking into the incident as well as testing the damaged phone.
The phone was in a case and was reportedly charging up when the incident took place. Battery problems with power-hungry smartphones and other tech gear is big concern, and if the iPhone 7 were to be subjected to the same recall and restrictions as the Samsung Note 7, it could be a crushing blow to Apple. So far, there are no reports of other similar incidents with the iPhone 7.d
Lawyers, take the wheel
Silicon Valley lawyers are about to be very busy as the first big lawsuits over self-driving car technologies get underway. Waymo, which is part of Google, is suing Uber, claiming an ex-employee now at self-driving semi-truck startup Otto – which Uber just bought – made off with thousands of downloaded files before leaving the company, and is now using them at Otto.
Meanwhile, Tesla is suing Google’s former self-driving car project leader, who also used to work at Tesla on the Autopilot self-driving system. The lawsuit alleges that Sterling Anderson formed self-driving tech startup Aurora Innovation while still working for Tesla. Tesla claims he didn’t return hard drives full of data from Tesla’s program when he left the company, and that he tried to poach numerous engineers away from Tesla. Aurora says the lawsuit is “meritless.”
It’s raining anything but plain phones in Spain
Mobile World Congress starts next week in Barcelona, and the show has grown from a niche gathering of mobile phone industry insiders to a full-blown tech fiesta. As smartphones and smartphone makers multiply, competition is almost as fierce as the drive to innovate, and we’re looking forward to seeing what surprises lay in store for this year. While details about the Samsung Galaxy S8 and LG G6 are well-known, we may get our first looks at them at the show.
But overshadowing everything is the looming spectre of the iPhone 8, or iPhone X, a new superphone from Apple designed to make a splash on the 10th anniversary of the original iPhone. It’s not expected to arrive until September as usual, but that doesn’t mean the endless rumors and new hints about it aren’t keeping everyone else on their toes this year. Be sure to check back next week for our in-depth coverage of this year’s Mobile World Congress.