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Thursday, January 5, 2017

[Special Feature] Silicon Theories - January Edition

The holiday season is over, and the new year is upon us!  And 2016 was a great year for technology and tech enthusiasts.  We will be having a look back at last year soon, and recap some of the best and worst of the last year, but even though its only January, there is still a lot going on for 2017 too - so let's take a peek behind the veil, and hit quickly a few things that are kicking off 2017.
  • The 2017 Consumer Electronics Show is happening this week in Las Vegas - and many major OEMs are touting their latest and greatest at their booths and keynotes at this event.  Companies like LG, Xiaomi, NVIDIA, and even T-Mobile are showing out and showing off what they've got for us next.  And nothing is off the table: NVIDIA talked about bringing Google Assistant to Android TV and Xiaomi announced a phone that will only be available in China.  You might even see things like motorized luggage that doubles as a scooter for getting you around in tight airports.  Now that's entertainment.  We'll take a look at some of the most noteworthy items from CES 2017 after the week's events are over and done with.  Of note though, most of the bigger players like Google, Apple, and Samsung aren't at CES - they have their own major announcement events now.
  • Speaking of Samsung; it sounds like the Note 8 may come out at its normally scheduled launch date in 2017 - why would a mega corporation like Samsung let a little thing like exploding phones stop them from keeping on keeping on?  It's looking like they won't actually, as the latest rumors have them on pace to launch a new Note device in the latter half of 2017.  Its usually an early Q4 launch (after a late August/early September announcement) and we appear to be heading in that direction.  The new Galaxy line of devices is on track for April of 2017 as well, and even losing millions and millions of dollars isn't going to stop Samsung from giving the people what they want.  And what they appear to want, is a Galaxy Note.  One that doesn't halt and catch fire anyway.
  • LG has decided to ditch its modular design in the G5 - in a move that shocked well....no one, LG appears to be ready to move on from the failed experiment that was the modular design of its G-line of phones, the G5.  The concept was interesting; the execution less so.  While even we at Silicon Theory gave credit to LG for trying something new (and praising such performers in the past as the G2 and G3) the G5 was not a stepping stone into a new future for the Korean hardware manufacturer.  The add-on modules dubbed "Friends" were too few in number, not useful enough, and simply not widely enough available to be of any use to anyone.  Perhaps calling them "Acquaintances" would have been more appropriate.  Sometimes being first to the market can be a great thing; other times, its better to wait and let someone else be on the bleeding edge.  Motorola's execution of modularity far outstrips LG's, and is far less invasive (since LG required a battery pull every time you wanted to use a Friend) - now, even Motorola isn't selling a ton of modular phones, so this might be an idea who's time has not yet come.  For anybody.
That's the Theories for this month!  If you have ideas on things you'd like to see discussed in future special features, hit up our inbox at silicontheory@gmail.com


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