June 2, 2023

Shock, shock, smartphone gross sales are down once more. Based on the tech analyst agency IDC, cellphone gross sales have declined by almost 15 % yr over yr within the first quarter of 2023. It is a continuation of a slide that started final yr; gross sales have been declining for the previous a number of fiscal quarters.

A lot of the slowdown is probably going as a result of a confluence of pandemic-related financial components like  chaotic provide traces and skyrocketing inflation. However one other facet that would clarify why fewer persons are shopping for telephones is that, for probably the most half, telephones are completely fantastic. Fashionable smartphones have plateaued, each when it comes to their design and the capabilities of their software program, and the way forward for telephones is more likely to contain gradual, iterative enhancements slightly than massive leaps that warrant quicker upgrades.

The response from smartphone producers to this gross sales slippage, a minimum of on the floor, has been a powerful “that is fantastic.” Firms aren’t going to cease rolling out new gadgets on a yearly foundation anytime quickly. They’re additionally making an attempt to generate curiosity and hype by making an attempt out new type components. Google is reportedly planning to announce a $1,700 folding Pixel cellphone at its IO occasion on Might 10 that it hopes will get individuals jazzed up about its telephones.

Right here’s some extra tech information.

An Apple a Day

Apple’s been within the health-tracking recreation for a whereas now. In 2020, the corporate launched Apple Health+, its slick Peloton competitor service that syncs with its bestselling Apple Watch. Now Apple appears to be planning an growth of the service, powered by machine intelligence.

Based on Mark Gurman at Bloomberg, Apple is broadening its digital well being providers to incorporate customized health teaching and emotion monitoring. The providers may additionally emerge in a brand new model of the Well being app on the iPad. The AI-powered portion of the app is alleged to have the ability to take information out of your wearables and make well being solutions all through the day, like when to train and how you can eat more healthy.

Apple’s temper monitor and another well being options are anticipated to be introduced throughout Apple’s Worldwide Developer Convention in early June. The teaching options probably gained’t be rolling out till later this yr.

Halo Finite

In un-health information, Amazon has determined to shut down its Halo product line. Meaning the tip of Amazon’s Halo health trackers and alarm clocks that monitor your sleep. Halo gadgets had been by no means large within the health market, however they had been quirky—and creepy. The health trackers had been pitched as having the ability to monitor almost each facet of the particular person carrying them, together with monitoring your feelings and scanning your physique fats. Amazon says that its Halo gadgets will cease engaged on July 31, however the firm will supply refunds to anybody who bought a Halo gadget prior to now yr.

Amazon has been eager to lower prices throughout its operations. It trimmed its Echo choices in November and has laid off staff in its human assets, cloud computing, and drones divisions. However don’t let the Halo shutdown idiot you: the corporate continues to be very a lot considering well being. (Particularly all that candy, candy affected person information.) Amazon is plowing forward with its Amazon Clinic telehealth service, and in February it accomplished its acquisition of One Medical, a main well being care supplier.

Gadget Lab Bro-dcast

Balls. Roughly half the individuals on this planet have gotten ’em, however the ugly sacks are typically pointedly ignored in a lot of well mannered society. Just lately, dozens of corporations have began to capitalize on the scrotum, promoting ball cleaning liquids, lotions, and deodorants for the gonads. Firms have lengthy exploited societal magnificence requirements to promote merchandise to ladies, and now it’s the males’s flip. Largely, the advertising has labored, turning males’s grooming merchandise right into a $70 billion trade in just some years.

This week on the Gadget Lab podcast, WIRED’s fact-checker-in-chief Zak Jason joins the present for a balls-to-the-wall dialog about his expertise with scrotum sprays and the broad world of males’s magnificence merchandise.

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