What is Wi-Fi 6?
Later this year, routers, PCs and smartphones will support Wi-Fi 6. Wi-Fi 6 is also know as 802.11ax, but the wise people at the Wi-Fi Alliance have decided to take on consumer friendly naming, so future versions will be incremental numbers. This version is better in several ways: it is up to four times faster, it can serve many more devices simultaneously, and it can connect to devices as far away as a football field. Wired
dis-rup-shun: This Wi-Fi upgrade is coming at an important time. We are all extremely dependent on Wi-Fi and are daily reminded of its failures. Wi-Fi is simultaneously loved and hated. Supporting more devices more reliably is critical to keeping consumers generally happy with technology. With 5G coming this year, all the buzz will be about the newer, faster cellular standard and Wi-Fi will be seen as yesterday’s technology. The Wi-Fi Alliance was wise to keep the standard on the front page.
Apple caves to demands for third party repairs
After announcing new iPhone battery lock software which precluded third parties from replacing batteries, Apple has changed its tact and initiated a program to certify third parties to perform repairs. This is in response to backlash over its restrictive policy. CNBC
dis-rup-shun: Apple has been seeking to differentiate itself from other Big Tech companies by doing good. It has taken the high road on data privacy in order to distance itself from Google and Facebook. Its policy of discouraging third party repairs was bad for small businesses and bad for consumers, and was an “evil empire” move. Kudos to Apple for changing its stance.
Google moves Pixel phone production from China to Vietnam
Google is equipping a former Nokia factory in Vietnam to be a smartphone factory, as production costs, and, of course, tariffs can be avoided by relocating out of China. ZDNet
dis-rup-shun: If the trade war endures beyond another year, we can expect it to reshape some Asian economies that will be beneficiaries of production moves. This evolution will strengthen a number of economies that will be even more attractive global trading partners, will force Chinese factories to be more competitive, and will increase the political stability of the region.
Best Buy online sales up 17%
Best Buy’s Q2 results are mixed, but online sales increased 17% over last quarter. Same store sales were up 1.6%. ZDNet
dis-rup-shun: Despite the domination by Amazon of online sales, both Best Buy and Target have posted online sales growth. Why are these brands succeeding online? In the case of Target, the company is blending online and in-store experiences. Best Buy may be benefiting from consumers’ increasing confidence and convenience of online shopping. The Amazon Effect, a term generally describing the destruction of brick and mortar retailing, may also be the cause of an increase in online shopping across brands.