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This Week's Chitter Chatter - Apple Pay, Sony Xperia Z5 (x3) and HTC Aero
Let's start this week with good news for iPhone 6 owners - from 1st September, the limit for purchases using Apple Pay and other contactless payments increased from £20 to £30. This will make payment for a wider range of services available using the Apple Pay system and will be convenient for transactions which were previously just over that £20 limit such as cinema tickets, a round of drinks in the pub or a basket of groceries. Currently the US doesn't have an upper limit on Apple Pay transactions, and payments using an iPhone are more secure than those using a contactless bank card, so it remains to be seen whether the £30 limit will be removed at some point in the UK. Watch this space.
While excitement is building for the arrival of the new iPhones (the 6S and 6S Plus), Sony has stolen a little bit of Apple's thunder by launching not one, not two, but three (!!) new smartphones. We'll have full reviews soon but in summary, there's a Sony Xperia Z5, a Z5 Premium and a Z5 Compact. The specs are pretty similar but the main variation is the size - with the Z5 Compact sporting a 4.6 inch screen, the Z5 a 5.2 inc screen and the Z5 Premium a 5.5 inch screen. Two things are notable about the launch - the fact the 'smaller' Z5 Compact boasts high send specs (most manufacturers put slower processors, less powerful cameras etc in their smaller phones) for those who want high performance with a smaller handset, and the fact that the Z5 Premium has the highest resolution screen on the market (a ridiculously sharp 4k). More coming soon.
Whilst we're on the subject of new smartphones, we may as well tell you about the new offering from HTC. A few months ago, HTC announced that they would be releasing a new premium smartphone in October to boost their mobile phone business. Reports and images leaked online suggest that the new HTC smartphone could be called Aero or the HTC A9 and it will sport a stylish metallic design with a curved glass screen. There's speculation that the HTC Aero will come with a 5.2-inch Quad HD display and it could be one of the first smartphones to boast a deca-core processor (10 processor cores - most phones have 4 or 8) and 4GB of RAM (most phones have 2-3GB). HTC' new handset is also rumoured to feature a large 3500mAh battery. We'll bring you more on the HTC Aero as we get it.
And finally, Facebook celebrated a new record achievement on the 27th August when an incredible one billion people logged into their Facebook accounts. That one billion figure represents almost 15 per cent of the world's population! Facebook was set up by Mark Zuckerberg just 11 years ago in February 2004 who was then studying Psychology at Harvard University, it was then rolled out to other universities in the Boston area and the following year was available to US high school students. It reached UK universities in October 2005 before being offered to anyone who had an email address from September 2006. How the world has changed in such a short time....