CELLPHONES

Apple sets date for rollout

Apple’s faithful fans and investors won’t have to wait much longer to see what the iPhone maker has in store next.

The company sent out invitations Thursday to set Sept. 12 as the date for an annual post-Labor Day showcase.

As usual, the famously secretive Apple didn’t say what’s on tap, but this is typically when the company unveils new iPhones.

Much of the anticipation is swirling around whether Apple will show off a dramatically different type of iPhone with a sleeker and even bigger screen to celebrate the device’s 10th anniversary. Even if a fancier version is unveiled, Apple will also likely announce upgrades to last year’s iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus.

RETAIL

Same-day deliveries growing

Macy’s and Best Buy are expanding their same-day delivery offers as they try to be more competitive with online leader Amazon.

The nation’s largest consumer electronics chain, Best Buy, says it will expand to 27 metropolitan markets from 13 starting next week. That number should reach nearly 40 cities by the winter holidays. In a separate announcement, Macy’s Inc. says it will offer same-day delivery in 15 additional markets for a total of 33 areas.

Macy’s is working with Menlo Park, California-based startup Deliv, backed by United Parcel Service, while Best Buy is now working with two companies including its original partner Deliv to handle the deliveries. Best Buy declined to name the new partner since it’s still finalizing the deal. Macy’s fee for the service is $8, while Best Buy has cut its fee to $5.99 per order from $14.99.

SOLAR ENERGY

Tesla begins tile production

Tesla Inc. is starting production of the cells for its solar roof tiles at its factory in Buffalo, N.Y.

The company has already begun installing its solar roofs, which look like regular roofs but are made of glass tiles. But until now, it has been making them on a small scale near its vehicle factory in Fremont, Calif.

Tesla’s chief technical officer, JB Straubel, says the company now has several hundred workers and machinery installed in its 1.2 million-square-foot factory in Buffalo.

The Buffalo plant was originally begun by Silevo, a solar panel startup, on the site of an old steel mill. Solar panel maker SolarCity Corp. bought Silevo in 2014. Then Tesla acquired SolarCity for around $2 billion late last year. SolarCity was run by cousins of Tesla CEO Elon Musk, who sat on SolarCity’s board.

REAL ESTATE

Pending home sales decline

Fewer people signed contracts to buy homes in July, the fourth decline in the past five months.

The National Association of Realtors says that its pending home sales index fell 0.8 percent in July to 109.1. The index has slipped 1.3 percent over the past 12 months.

The decline suggests that the shortage of homes listed for sale is beginning to stall home-buying. The dwindling number of properties for sale is causing prices to rise faster than wages, hurting affordability.

Compiled from staff and wire reports.