A realistic guide to the current crop of tech rumors
PopSci Staff
at 09:00 AM Apr 5 2018
We wouldn’t put too much stock in this rumor.
Popular Science
Tech // 

Catch up on all the technology gossip without all the hype.


It’s fun to speculate about tech rumors, especially when they apply to the products we use every day. But, every rumor is different. Some are likely true, while others are little more than desperate clickbait. On this page, we plan to keep a running tab of the most popular rumors in the tech world and contextualize them so you don’t get your hopes up—and then feel sad when they don’t pan out.


Samsung’s Note 9 could have a fingerprint reader in the screen

The Korea Herald released a report saying that Samsung is trying to choose the exact fingerprint reader tech it wants to use in its upcoming update to the Galaxy Note smartphone line. It goes on to say that the phone’s announcement will come in late August.

Gutcheck It wouldn’t be surprising since the tech is a hot topic, but there’s no confirmation yet.

The war against screen bezels is currently raging, so it’s never a surprise when manufacturers want to hide things like cameras and fingerprint readers. The tech does exist, but it’s unclear whether Samsung will use it in the upcoming phone. Worth noting that no major phones right now have a fingerprint sensor built into the glass touchscreen yet.


Apple is moving away from Intel chips in its laptops by 2020

Bloomberg is reporting that Apple hopes to phase out Intel’s chips and replace them with its own hardware. The new chips may or may not come from the Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Ltd., which makes Apple’s other custom processors.

Gutcheck: The source is reliable, but there’s no official word.

Months of rumors have swirled on this topic, but the Bloomberg report is the most formidable so far as the company has a strong track record for information like this.

Apple is working on a VR headset for self-driving cars

A patent application showing a VR system for inside self-driving cars showed up in Apple’s arsenal of intellectual property. It could help entertain passengers (and fight off motion sickness) who would otherwise be bored as a robot drives them around.

Gutcheck: The patent is real, but the product may never arrive.

There are lots of patents out there that never become reality, but this one does sound like a promising idea. People have to do something since they’re not driving, and VR could possibly be effective at reducing nausea if used in the right way

There could be a folding iPhone by 2020

CNBC reported on findings from Bank of America Merrill Lynch. The source backs up the claim saying they talked to several manufacturers in China.

Gutcheck: It’s possible, especially since other manufacturers have tried the tech.

Both Lenovo and Samsung have already shown phones that fold or bend in one way or another, so the concept isn’t that far outside the realm of possibility. Of course, Apple is tight-lipped on the subject, but OLED display tech could make it happen. But the fact remains– do we need to fold our phones?


Waymo is building a self-driving car with Honda

Waymo CEO, John Krafcik gave a statement at a trade show for the automotive industry about the company’s plans to develop a self-driving vehicle with Honda. The idea is to build something self-driving from the ground up, rather than retro-fitting production vehicles with sensors.

Gutcheck: The deal is happening, but the car is a long way off.

The companies are still ironing out many details about the vehicle, including fundamental pieces like whether or not it will have pedals or a steering wheel, but the project is underway.

Palm phones are coming back on Verizon

Android police credits an anonymous source with news about a potential Palm rebirth later this year. The phone will reportedly come from manufacturer TCL who confirmed the development last year.

Gutcheck: The phone is still reportedly happening, but the timeline remains unclear.

It’s an anonymous source for now, so we wouldn’t bet on it, but it’s not outside the realm of possibility.

Samsung is working on a Bixby smart speaker and it will be out in 2018

Last year, Samsung confirmed that this product was in the works, but the release date was still nebulous. Recently, the Wall Street Journal reported that we should expect it some time in the second half of 2018.

Gutcheck: The project is real, but the timeline has shifted.

We have official confirmation from the company that this thing is happening, but we’re still unclear as to its release date. If you’re clamoring for a speaker with Bixby built in, you’ll have to keep a look out for a pleasant surprise.


Spotify could make hardware for listening to music

The genesis of this rumor comes from a job listing in 2017 regarding the company’s desire to build a “category-defining product.” The rumor was dormant for a while, but popped back up again in recent weeks, likely because the company had its IPO on April 3.

Gutcheck: Spotify has been working on hardware, but we don’t know when or if it will land on shelves.

There’s a current job description, but this time it explicitly mentions the fact that Spotify is working on physical products. It’s not out of the question that they never actually come to market, but it seems very likely that there is work in progress.

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