AWT News Update: July 21, 2017

Image via T-Mobile

Image via T-Mobile

Steve's back from a short hiatus; many thanks to Dennis for filling in with a non-verbal podcast of sorts! What do we have for you today?

  • Don't care about the upcoming iPhone 8 but would like an iPhone 7 or 7 Plus? T-Mobile has an amazing deal on the existing iPhones as part of a trade-in plan.
  • We've already told you that South Korea's LG Chem will be making iPhone batteries in the future, but did you know that the former supplier is allegedly working on electric car batteries with Apple?
  • Google Play Music subscribers can now take advantage of their music in CarPlay-equipped automobiles

The text version of the podcast can be viewed below. To listen to the podcast here, click the play button on the player below. Apple News readers need to visit Apple World Today in order to listen to the podcast.

Text Version

This is Steve Sande for Apple World Today, and you’re listening to the AWT News Update for July 21st, 2017. I apologize for not having a podcast for the past several days — I’ve been spending a lot of time moving my elderly parents to a new apartment and that’s kept me from getting a lot of work done. 

Do you have an iPhone 6, 6 Plus, 6s or 6s Plus? Are you interested in getting an iPhone 7 or 7 Plus to replace it, and you don’t care about the new iPhone models coming later this year? You might want to take a look at a special promotion being touted by T-Mobile, which started today and discounts new iPhones up to $400 if you trade in a qualified iPhone. You’ll get that iPhone 7 or 7 Plus at $300 off the regular price and you can then get a discount of an extra $100 if you purchase a 256GB model. As an example, let’s say you have one of the eligible phones and you trade it in. You could get a 256GB iPhone 7 — normally $849 — for only $449 by combining those two offers. The promotion is available only in stores, not online, and you can’t combine this with other limited time offers. If you’re not thrilled about waiting for months for an iPhone 8 and paying a premium price for it, this is a good chance to upgrade to an impressive iPhone 7 or 7 Plus for less.

The iPhone 8 still isn’t out, but now we’re hearing rumors that Apple has chosen an LG subsidiary — LG Chem — as the exclusive supplier of L-shaped two-cell batteries that will be used in next year’s iPhone model. LG has apparently pumped hundreds of billions of won — that’s perhaps in the several billion dollar range — into new battery manufacturing facilities that will start production in early 2018. The new battery is expected to have faster charging speeds and higher capacity in a smaller device. The new battery extends to one side at the bottom forming an L shape, and it allows Apple engineers to maximize internal space and put a Plus-sized battery pack into a smaller form factor device. The loser in all of this is China’s Amperex Technology Limited, which has made iPhone batteries for Apple since 2013. However, it appears that Amperex might be working on — are you ready for this? — automotive batteries for electric cars with Apple. 

So, you’re a subscriber to Google Play Music but you use Apple’s CarPlay in your car. Up until now, you were outta luck if you wanted to listen to your tunes in your otherwise connected car. Now the Play Music app has been updated with a CarPlay app so you can listen to Google’s music service as you drive. Update to the latest version of the app, then connect to your car with Wi-Fi or Lightning and you should see the app icon on one of your CarPlay home screens. At this point, CarPlay-supported apps are mostly available from music providers, including Apple Music, Pandora, Slacker, Spotify and now Play Music. 

That’s all for today ; I’ll be back Monday afternoon with another edition of the AWT News Update.