Gadget season has arrived - new foldable phones, watches and earphones are coming

Gadget season has arrived – new foldable phones, watches and earphones are coming

Apple, Google, Amazon, Samsung, and other companies are kicking off the busy second half of the year, which is filled with plenty of new gadget launches.

It’s like a clock. Big tech companies are launching the latest products, such as phones, watches, and even robots and security drones, from August through November, to prepare for the holiday shopping rush.

Samsung will launch this next week, on August 10, when it will announce new foldable phones, giving it a chance to entice consumers before Apple holds its own iPhone event in September. New products at Apple’s fall events have a direct impact on the company’s balance sheet. The holiday quarter is usually Apple’s largest. It reported record revenue last year for the three months ending December 25, for example.

Meanwhile, Google has promised to release its upcoming phone with an all-new chip, and its first Apple Watch competitor, later this year. And don’t forget Amazon: It usually announces new Echos and Fire TV products and sometimes throws in a few surprises, like last year’s Astro Robot, at an event that takes place sometime between September and November.

There’s a lot more, so here’s a summary of what to expect.

Samsung

camera iconSamsung Galaxy Z Fold 2 Credits: supplied/CNBC

Here’s what to expectSamsung will launch its next generation of foldable smartphones – teasers have confirmed it – including the Galaxy Z Fold 4 and Galaxy Z Flip 4.

Customers can already book one of these new smartphones, although it hasn’t been announced yet. Some of the main complaints surrounding foldable phones have been the price of the high-end Galaxy Z Fold model and the clear font that cuts out the phone’s screen.

Any price drops or upgrades to make the fold less noticeable will be noticeable. Samsung usually announces new earbuds, tablets, and smartwatches to compete with Apple’s iPads, AirPods, and Apple Watch as well.

Here’s what was launched last August: Last year, Samsung unveiled the Galaxy Z Fold 3, priced at $1,799 (US$2,600) and the Galaxy Z Flip 3 for $1,000. It also announced the Galaxy Buds 2 and Galaxy Watch 4.

apple

Customers pass through a new green Apple iPhone 13 pro digital screen inside the Apple Store on 5th Avenue in Manhattan, in New York, March 18, 2022.
camera iconCustomers pass through a new green Apple iPhone 13 pro digital screen inside the Apple Store on 5th Avenue in Manhattan, in New York, March 18, 2022. Credits: supplied/CNBC

Here’s what to expect:

Apple is said to be planning four iPhone 14 models this year, according to Bloomberg, which said we can expect new features like an always-on display on higher-end Pro models. The same report said that Apple might abandon the 5.4-inch iPhone mini and instead launch an affordable large-screen iPhone with a 6.7-inch screen. This indicates that Apple will release iPhone 14, iPhone 14 with a larger screen, iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max.

Apple is also set to reveal three new variants of the Apple Watch, including a new entry-level SE model, a Standard Series 8, and a rugged version aimed at extreme sports, according to Bloomberg. The AirPods Pro headphones are set to be updated, and there’s still talk of Apple’s first mixed reality headset, but that could come later.

However, Apple’s mixed reality headset will mark the company’s first major product launch since it unveiled the Apple Watch in 2015. The headset will combine elements from virtual and augmented reality, allowing users to put digital content on top of the real world, according to Bloomberg. . The New York Times said in June that Apple was working hard on virtual reality content, enlisting Jon Favreau to develop video content for its headphones.

What I released last September: Last year at a product event, Apple announced two new iPad and iPad mini, Apple Watch Series 7, iPhone 13, iPhone 13 mini and iPhone 13 Pro Max.

The Google

Google Pixel 7 and 7 Pro
camera iconGoogle Pixel 7 and 7 Pro Credits: supplied/CNBC

Although Google doesn’t generate much revenue from its hardware business, it will launch its first smartwatch and Google Pixel 7 as it continues to try to build momentum in the hardware market.

Here’s what to expect: Google announced the gadgets in October years ago. Back in May at its I/O event, Google teased what’s on deck. Its latest Pixel 7 phone will have a second-generation Tensor processor and a glass design with a new aluminum camera band. A larger model of the Pixel 7 Pro will ship with a triple-lens camera. But we don’t know much about what’s new in the phones, like pricing, or what the new cameras and chip are capable of, so expect to hear all about that.

Google has also introduced the Pixel Watch, the company’s first smartwatch, which will be launched later this year. In a May 11 tweet, Google said the watch “features the best that Google has to offer, as well as Fitbit’s health and fitness experiences.” So, expect some kind of linkage software that offers new fitness and health features.

We may see updates for at least one Google Nest product. A recent FCC file by Google described a product they’re working on as a “wireless device,” with communication ports similar to current Nest devices, according to 9to5Google. It hasn’t announced new Nest thermostats or speakers since 2020, so it could be on board.

What she launched last year: Last August, Google announced new Nest cameras and doorbells. Then, in October, Google revealed all the details of its Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro smartphones. These were the first smartphones to run on Google’s Tensor chip instead of a Qualcomm processor.

Amazon

Amazon Echo Show 15
camera iconAmazon Echo Show 15 Credits: supplied/CNBC

Here’s what to expect: Historically, Amazon holds its own hardware event later in the year, when it announces a slew of gadgets, from new Echos (like last year’s Echo Show 15, pictured above) to glasses with Alexa built in and more.

The fourth-generation Echo speakers launched in October 2020, so they’re set to be updated unless Amazon continues to experiment with new form factors. Likewise, Amazon typically announces updates for Fire TV products later in the year.

For the past two years, Amazon’s Ring has been teasing the Ring Always Home Cam, a drone camera for home security. It hasn’t been released yet, so it’s possible we’ll know when it will hit the market.

Here’s what was launched last year: Amazon didn’t have a few surprises in store last year, so this year could be just as exciting. Amazon has launched its home robot Astro, which is still available only by invitation. It also announced its first smart thermostat, the first Amazon-branded TVs, the Echo Show 15, and the new Halo View fitness tracker.

Facebook

This image from Oculus shows what it would be like to run it in an apartment.
camera iconThis image from Oculus shows what it would be like to run it in an apartment. Credits: supplied/CNBC

Here’s what to expect: Meta, formerly known as Facebook, may have a new VR headset on its deck.

Bloomberg reported in July that Meta is preparing to announce the virtual reality Meta Quest Pro set for later this year. It is said to cost over US$1,000 and have a better screen, improved cameras, and improved graphics support.

The Meta Quest 2 is the most popular headset on the market right now. With other players in the race to develop the so-called “metaverse,” Facebook’s parent company will need to keep developing its hardware to stay ahead. And you might want to have something before everything Apple plans.

Here’s what was launched last year: Last September, Facebook unveiled its updated video calling hardware. No new version of Oculus has been released since September 2020.

CNBC

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