Welcome to this week’s edition of “The Week in Tech,” where we recap some of the most interesting technology and mobile stories from the past week.
This week we cover the pre-order records broken by the iPhone 6, Google’s launch of low-cost Android One, Amazon’s announcement of new tablets and e-readers, and Larry Ellison’s passing of the Oracle torch.
iPhone 6 breaks pre-order records
Apple’s hype machine has done it again.
The Cupertino company announced on Monday that the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus garnered over four million pre-orders in the first 24 hours, which doubled the number of pre-orders placed in the first day for the iPhone 5 two years ago.
Many Apple fanboys and fangirls will receive their shiny new phones today, but because demand exceeds supply, some may not receive their phones until October. The new iPhones will be available today in stores as well, and as usual, people have been waiting in line.
My rough estimate: about 125 people now waiting in line at Upper West Side Apple Store for iPhone & growing. pic.twitter.com/qhA2ij40hE
— Ed Baig (@edbaig) September 18, 2014
Google launches Android One
While Apple targets the upper crust, Google is doing quite the opposite with its launch of Android One, a $105 smartphone, in India.
Google has partnered with hardware manufacturers Micromax, Karbonn, and Spice, chip maker MediaTek, and mobile service provider Airtel to ensure that the cost of both the phone and mobile connectivity stays low.
Only about 1.75 billion people in the world own smartphones, so Google is trying to equip the “next 5 billion people” with smartphones and connect them to the Internet. Entry-level smartphones are still pretty expensive but Google hopes to reach the citizens of countries like India, Philippines, and Indonesia with cheaper but good-quality phones.
Amazon launches six new e-readers and tablets
Not to be outdone, Amazon announced six new e-reader and tablets to expand even further into hardware.
The new products include:
- Improved Fire HD tablets in both 6- and 7-inch displays
- Fire HD Kid’s edition tablet, which has in-depth parental controls and is supposed to be “kid-proof”
- Fire HDX, which is a high-end tablet that competes with the Apple iPad and Samsung Galaxy tablets.
- A new Kindle, now with a touchscreen, for $79.
- The Kindle Voyage, a high-end Kindle with high resolution and contrast and the ability to turn pages without lifting a finger.
Amazon is launching all this new hardware to reach as many people in as many places as possible to grow its e-commerce ecosystem and continue its big move into media and entertainment.
Larry Ellison steps down as CEO of Oracle
Larry Ellison, the brash, outspoken billionaire founder of enterprise software giant Oracle, has announced that he will step down as CEO but remain co-chairman and Chief Technology Officer.
This is truly the end of an era but the company should be in good hands. Co-presidents Mark Hurd, former CEO of HP, and Safra Catz will now be co-CEOs, with Hurd handling sales and Catz overseeing the financial operations.
Ellison has been CEO of Oracle for 37 years, ending an epic run of leading one of the world’s most famous technology companies. He’ll focus more on technology and engineering aspects of the company, which he says is one of his true passions.
What do you think of these stories? Have you read other interesting mobile and technology stories this week that are worth mentioning? Feel free to add your thoughts to the comments.