Week in Tech: Curved Phones and Fingerprint Readers
BY John Brandon
Lots of cool smartphone news this week. Plus: What to expect from Apple's next product unveiling.
Each Monday, I cover the tech trends, gadgets, business services, and apps of note. The goal is to highlight not just consumer flash-in-the-pan ideas, but real developments that could impact your business. Post in the comments if you spot other essential headlines!
1. A new MacBook Pro is coming.
Mark your calendar for yet another Apple event--this time, likely an announcement about the latest MacBook Pro. If your company runs on Mac laptops, this is big news because the Pro is the flagship product with the fastest processor and latest bells and whistles. My guess: the biggest news will be some price drops to compete with a bevy of Windows 8 models.
2. The dawn of the smartphone fingerprint reader.
In case you missed the news, the new iPhone 5S has a fingerprint reader built into the Home button. Now, HTC has announced the HTC One Max will have a biometric scanner for your fingertip as well--this time, on the back of the device near the camera. The phone will sport a massive 5.9-inch display and runs on Android. Cool trick at parties: you’ll be able to flip up on the screen with your thumb and read your fingerprint from behind.
3. Smartwatch sales to hit 75 million units by 2016.
Digitimes Research is reporting that the smartwatch market could hit a high of 76 million units by 2016 if Apple releases the iWatch soon. If it does, it’s a major opportunity for start-ups to make apps for the new Samsung Galaxy Gear, Pebble, and rumored Apple version. As with any new technology, it all depends on whether it is truly innovative and if it becomes ubiquitous enough to become a trend.
4. Curved phones on the horizon.
On the heels of an official announcement from Samsung about a curved-display smartphone, news has leaked about an LG model, the awkwardly named LG G Flex. I’m all for flexible readers like those on display in the sci-fi movie "Minority Report." For one thing, flex phones would fit in a cramped travel bag easier and maybe even fit better in a pants pocket. Well, better than a phablet anyway. Even Microsoft has now joined that party.