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March 10, 2018 — Russell Holly and Peter Cohen

We feature commentator Russell Holly, managing editor of Mobile Nations, who focuses first on the proposals for “Right to Repair” laws in a number of states, including, most recently, California. What about giving consumers the right to buy genuine OEM parts for their tech gear, such as iPhones, and have access to service manuals? Can Apple and other companies void your warranty because you decided to fix your gear yourself, buy gray market parts, and/or have the repairs done at a shop not authorized by the manufacturer? Gene and Russell also talk at length about Samsung’s Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+ smartphones, recently introduced, and how they might compare with the iPhone X. What about the cameras, and which model delivers the best pictures? Did Samsung improve the quality of its facial and iris recognition features? There’ also talk about the HomePod, which has proven to be somewhat controversial when it comes to its audio signature, with some saying it’s too bassy.

You’ll also hear from commentator/podcaster Peter Cohen, who also focuses on “Right to Repair” and the upsides and downsides. Peter offers his personal experiences as the employee of an authorized Apple dealer some years ago and how it influenced his opinion about whether Apple and other companies need to allow more repair freedom. There’s also a brief discussion about the concept of states’ rights and how it affects customers where such laws vary from state to state. The discussion also focuses on the HomePod and its possible value as a smart speaker. Both Gene and Peter explain, at length, why a HomePod is not on their shopping lists right now, and whether Apple could sell more copies if it loosened its dependence on Apple’s ecosystem when it comes to being able to listen to your stuff.

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