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Sep 6, 2016

Bits | The Business of Technology - September 6, 2016: IPhone Season Is Here, but These Days, Surprises Are Rare

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

The New York Times

The New York Times
The iPhone’s headphone jack is rumored to be on the way out.
The iPhone’s headphone jack is rumored to be on the way out. Richard Drew/Associated Press
It’s September, which means (drumroll) it’s iPhone time.
For many years now, Apple has unveiled its newest iPhone models each September. This year, the event is taking place on Wednesday in San Francisco, prompting the usual frothing at the mouth from fans about what the device will look like and what updated features it might have.
Yet what will be shown will not really be a surprise. An ecosystem of Apple rumormongers, which stretches globally and pounces on any scrap of information, has been trotting out bits and pieces of what to expect for almost a year. Those hints and clues — sometimes flimsy, sometimes accurate — are then amplified by tech sites and social media. Often, the rumors are picked up by mainstream media. Then all of it is fed to a public that is hungry to know if they should buy an iPhone now or resist until a new one is released.
David Streitfeld dissected that chain of events for the iPhone that is set to be revealed on Wednesday, tracing how information about the device leaked to a Japanese website last year and then spread. The upshot is to expect an iPhone that is thinner and has improved cameras, and that has no headphone jack, among other updates.
Interest in iPhones may be helped this year by stumbles from a rival. Last week, Samsung, the world’s biggest maker of smartphones, said it had to recall its Galaxy Note 7 model because of flaws in the battery cell that could result in fires, write Paul Mozur and Su-Hyun Lee. The timing could not have been better for Apple.
Pui-Wing Tam
Will the New Apple iPhone Have a Headphone Jack? Rumormongers Say It Won’t
Apple is expected to unveil the latest model on Wednesday, but if it is indeed missing this basic feature, devotees may be left disenchanted.

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Venture Communism: How China Is Building a Start-Up Boom
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With Occupancy High, Hotels Seek to Avoid Online Booking Services
To attract guests from services like Expedia and Travelocity, hotels offer discounts if travelers book through the hotel’s site.
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Peter Coles, an economist who left Harvard Business School to go to Airbnb, calls Silicon Valley “an absolute candy store for economists.”
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The promise of big data and big paychecks is drawing some of academia’s top economists to study consumer behavior for tech companies like Airbnb, Amazon and Uber.
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Many new drivers quit early on days when their hourly wage is high but work longer when it is low, the opposite of what economic rationality would seem to dictate.

Personal Technology
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Keeping Your Old Phone Alive and Working
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