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Dyson, Maker Of Vaccums, Investing In Electric Vehicles

February 15, 2018 by  
Filed under Around The Net

Late last year, James Dyson of Dyson vacuum cleaner maker announced that his company would be investing £2 billion to develop an electric car by 2020 and, hopefully, it doesn’t suck.

Dyson on Wednesday provided a few more details including a production target date and some very general technical specs.

Typically, we’d greet this kind of news with a healthy eye roll of skepticism, but the fact is that Dyson is as rich as Croesus (from ancient Greece, very rich) and loves inventing things. Additionally, the word around the campfire is that he already has 400 people working on the project at the Dyson facility in Malmesbury, England.

Dyson has said that its first electric car won’t be cheap and won’t be a sports car. This, in our minds, puts it in direct competition with Tesla’s Model S and Model X. The car was initially set to feature solid-state batteries, technology in which Dyson has been investing heavily lately — specifically with its acquisition of Sakti3, a solid-state battery startup, for $105 million. However, Ann Marie Sastry, the former head of Sakti3 who came to work for Dyson after the acquisition, has departed the company rather suddenly, which may slow down the development schedule for solid-state batteries.

To help put solid-state battery technology in perspective, Toyota is alone in having committed to bringing the technology to market inside of a decade. Porsche has talked about its investment in the technology but hasn’t made any claims as to when it might be available in its vehicles. If Dyson can bring this technology to market first, it will have a huge leg up on more established competitors thanks to solid-state batteries’ higher energy density and quicker recharge times versus standard wet cells.

Based on statements that Dyson made to Reuters, it seems unlikely that the car would be built in the UK.

“Wherever we make the battery, we’ll make the car; that’s logical,” he said. “So we want to be near our suppliers; we want to be in a place that welcomes us and is friendly to us, and where it is logistically most sensible. And we see a very large market for this car in the Far East.”

Based on what we know so far, Dyson’s plan seems not unlike Tesla’s in that it will start with an exclusive and expensive vehicle, using that to develop and possibly fund a second more affordable and advanced car, and so on. Given Tesla’s production troubles with its hotly anticipated Model 3, the EV giant is vulnerable in a way that it hasn’t been previously.

Hopefully, Dyson gets his car developed and brought to market. Competition improves the breed, and the world of EVs has benefited from increased competition already. Also, the potential to see AvE tear a Dyson car apart on YouTube is almost too exciting.

Google Shipped Nearly 4M Pixel Phones, Analyst Says

February 14, 2018 by  
Filed under Mobile

Google won’t reveal the number of Pixel phones it shipped in 2017, but one analyst from the research firm IDC has a number: 3.9 million.

The analyst, IDC Research Director Francisco Jeronimo, said the figure includes both generations of the phone, the Pixel 1 and 2. For comparison, it’s a “tiny portion” compared with the entire 1.5 billion market size for smartphones altogether, Jeronimo said. And it’s just a sliver compared with the 77.3 million iPhones Apple sold in the last quarter alone.

A Google spokeswoman declined to comment.

Though the numbers are small, the good news for Google is that they’re growing. Jeronimo said Google doubled its Pixel sales in the last year.

Google debuted the Pixel, the search giant’s first branded phone, in October 2016, and unveiled the second generation of the device exactly one year later. The company has made a serious investment in hardware. In 2016, Google brought in former Motorola executive Rick Osterloh to lead its hardware division, which includes its Google Home smart speakers, Chromecast streaming devices and Google Wi-Fi routers.

The company also said last year it made a $1 billion investment in hardware maker HTC to bring to Google 2,000 engineers, many of whom worked on the Pixel. And the search giant’s hardware division keeps growing. Last week, Google said it’s folding Nest, the smart device maker, into the Google hardware team, after Nest was spun out into a separate company under Google’s parent Alphabet in 2015.

Tablet Market Still Shrinking

February 14, 2018 by  
Filed under Uncategorized

The market for game-changing, super cool keyboardless netbooks is slumping lower than Donald Trump’s approval rating amongst educated black women.

The tablet, which was once touted by the Tame Apple Press as a technology cure for cancer saw only 46 million units sold in the fourth quarter of 2017. Both brand and white-box tablet shipments had sequential growths in the quarter.

According to Digitimes Research, white box tablet suppliers are expected to cut their shipments for the first quarter of 2018 to lower their inventory levels and the move will undermine the suppliers’ shipments in the quarter.

For the brand tablet segment, despite cutting its price tag, Apple’s efforts to buck the trend of the first-quarter 2018 low season, shipments are unlikely to make much difference..

Worldwide tablet output will fall 30 percent sequentially and 17.1 percent on year to stand at around 32 million units, a new historical low.

In the fourth quarter of 2017, tablet shipments to first tier brand vendors accounted for over 70 percent of the overall worldwide volume, growing more than 10 percent sequentially, meeting Digitimes Research’s forecast thanks to the vendors’ aggressive promotions.

After its strong promotional campaign in the third quarter of 2017, Amazon turned less aggressive about marketing its tablets in the fourth quarter, resulting in a sequential shipment decline for non-Apple first tier brand vendors’ combined shipments in the fourth quarter of 2017.

White box players saw their combined shipments reach more than 12 million units in the fourth quarter of 2017, up 3 percent sequentially, mainly due to strong orders from their overseas clients.

However, compared to the same period a year ago, the overall white-box tablet shipments still slipped 8.7 percent in the fourth quarter of 2017 because of fierce competitions from first-tier brands’ inexpensive models and weakening demand from emerging markets that are gradually reaching saturation.
In the first quarter of 2018, overall tablet shipments from first-tier brand vendors will drop to only around 22.5 million units, down 32 percent sequentially as non-Apple first-tier vendors will not have any new devices for the quarter.

Courtesy-Fud

OLED Display Maker eMagin Gets $10M Boost From Apple, LG

February 13, 2018 by  
Filed under Consumer Electronics

A small firm that produces OLED microdisplays is getting some attention from tech giants with big plans for virtual and augmented reality.

Apple, LG and Valve are making a $10 million investment in eMagin, according to documents filed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission. The Hopewell Junction, New York-based company makes microdisplays used in the military, medical and industrial fields, but it has recently turned its attention to companies building consumer headsets.

“We entered into strategic agreements with multiple Tier One consumer product companies for the design and development of microdisplays for consumer head-mounted devices and, together with these companies, negotiated with mass production manufacturers for higher volume production capabilities,” eMagin said in its filing.

The company’s flagship product is a 2K display with a resolution of 2,048 by 2,048 pixels and a 70 percent fill factor, the percentage of each pixel that can be used to gather light.

The investment, made in the form of a new stock issuance, was expected to be completed before the end of January, according to the filing.

The investment underscores the tech community’s commitment to virtual reality, which promises to transport goggle-wearing users to a computer-generated 3D environment. Augmented reality, meanwhile, overlays digital images on the real world via special headsets.

Apple amped up its AR play in January when it released its ARKit 1.5 to developers. The software, which is part of the upcoming iOS 11.3 release, will pack new features to enable richer apps, including the ability to places items on vertical walls and doors, not just horizontal surfaces like tables.

LG and Valve have also partnered on developing a VR head-mounted display.

Apple and eMagin didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

nVidia AI Base Mercedes Benz In Development

February 13, 2018 by  
Filed under Around The Net

Mercedes has unveiled its new A-Class at the event in Amsterdam last night, which is the first Mercedes car to feature the Mercedes-Benz User Experience (MBUX) infotainment system powered by Nvidia.

While the new Mercedes-Benz A-Class is quite an impressive hatchback which will enter series production this spring, it is also the first car with the new Mercedes-Benz User Experience (MBUX) infotainment system as a standard feature.

Powered by an Nvidia chip, the MBUX is described as a system that combines natural language processing, “silky-smooth” 3D graphics and an augmented reality boosted navigation system, bringing both better intuitive interactive and safety. The MBUX system will be available in three display versions, two 7-inch, 7-inch, and 10.25-inch or two 10.25-inch displays.

Although it looks like two tablets stitched together and placed where the dashboard should go, Nvidia claims that the chip will have more than enough computational capabilities to even support new and future applications. As it is updateable over-the-air and as speech and AI applications evolve, MBUX has the potential to offer much more.

Ola Källenius, board member for group research and Mercedes-Benz car development said that the company’s mission was to take the user experience to a new level and by choosing the best technology available for AI they created a learning system that will better anticipate your preference the longer you use it.

The MBUX also has speech recognition and indirect commands, it will not only understand simple phrases like “raise temperature” but also much more complex ones like the “I’m cold. Make it warmer in here.”

“Natural language with AI will be the preferred method of interacting with the car,” said Georges Massing, Daimler AG’s director of user interaction. “That’s because speech is the easiest — and safest — way to interact.”

The Mercedes-Benz A-Class will be the first car to get the MBUX but similar versions will also be available across its entire vehicle lineup in future.

Courtesy-Fud

Porsche And Audi Planning Joint Electrice Vehicle’s Platform

February 12, 2018 by  
Filed under Uncategorized

Porsche and Audi, Volkswagen’s main luxury car divisions, are making plans to develop a joint platform for electric vehicles that will enable them significantly cut down on costs, German newspapers quoted their chief executives as saying.

“By 2025, we’re facing a low single-digit billion euro sum to develop the architecture,” Audi CEO Rupert Stadler told both the Stuttgarter Zeitung and Stuttgarter Nachrichten.

“If both would act on their own, costs would be 30 percent higher,” Porsche CEO Oliver Blume said, adding Audi was hiring 550 developers for the project and Porsche 300.

From 2021 onwards, both businesses want to bring several models to the streets based on the joint platform, with Stadler saying that would build two sedan cars in Neckarsulm and two sports utility models at its Ingolstadt base.

Porsche’s Blume said the sportscar maker could build its first model based on the joint architecture in Leipzig, where it is already assembling its Macan sport-utility model. “I currently see good chances for Leipzig,” Blume said.

 

Uber Agrees To $245M Settlement With Google’s Waymo

February 12, 2018 by  
Filed under Around The Net

Uber Technologies Inc will shell out $245 million worth of its own shares to Alphabet Inc’s Waymo self-driving vehicle unit to end a legal dispute over trade secrets, allowing Uber’s chief executive to move past one of the company’s most bruising public controversies.

The settlement announcement on Friday brought an abrupt halt to the captivating case just before the fifth day of testimony was to begin at a jury trial in federal court in San Francisco.

In a lawsuit filed last year, Waymo said that one of its former engineers who became chief of Uber’s self-driving car project took with him thousands of confidential documents.

The lawsuit cost Uber precious time in its self-driving car ambition, which is a key to its long-term profitability. Uber fired its self-driving chief after Waymo sued, and it is well behind on its plans to deploy fleets of autonomous cars in one of the most lucrative races in Silicon Valley.

The settlement allows Uber’s chief executive officer, Dara Khosrowshahi, to put another scandal behind the company and move ahead with development of self-driving technology, following the tumultuous leadership by former CEO Travis Kalanick, who testified at the trial on Tuesday and Wednesday.

As part of the deal, Waymo gets a 0.34 percent stake in Uber, worth about $245 million based on Uber’s current $72 billion valuation, a Waymo representative said. The settlement includes an agreement to ensure that Waymo confidential information is not being incorporated into Uber technology, which Waymo has said was its main goal in bringing the lawsuit.

In settlement talks last year, Waymo had sought at least $1 billion from Uber, and wanted an independent monitor to ensure that Uber would not use Waymo technology in the future, Reuters reported. Waymo also asked for an apology. Uber rejected those terms as non-starters.

Waymo had agreed earlier this week to a settlement proposal valued at $500 million, and Khosrowshahi brought the proposal to the Uber board of directors, offering his support.

But Uber’s board rejected those terms on Tuesday, two sources familiar with the discussions said, sending Khosrowshahi and chief legal officer Tony West back to renegotiate.

In the interim, the famously pugnacious Kalanick testified in court, maintaining a calm demeanor as he answered questions about Uber’s soured relationship with Alphabet and his admiration for Anthony Levandowski, the self-driving-car engineer whose actions led to the lawsuit.

After four days of testimony, Waymo had presented little public evidence that Uber used Waymo’s trade secrets.

By late Thursday, Waymo agreed to the $245 million deal, one of the sources said.

In a statement on Friday, Khosrowshahi expressed “regret” for Uber’s actions.

“While we do not believe that any trade secrets made their way from Waymo to Uber, nor do we believe that Uber has used any of Waymo’s proprietary information in its self-driving technology, we are taking steps with Waymo to ensure our Lidar and software represents just our good work,” Khosrowshahi said in a statement.

Ryzen Appears To Be Working For AMD

February 9, 2018 by  
Filed under Computing

Long-standing Intel competitor, Advanced Micro Devices (AMD), appears from its first quarter results to be gnawing at Chipzilla’s ankles.

The Sunnyvale firm seems to be worrying investors in Intel (INTC) by showing better technology than the Santa Clara firm seems to offer.

We won’t know for a little while what the takeup from vendors is likely to be, but early indications – which Fudzilla has reported for quite a while  are that major vendors – like Dell and HP for example – are voting “yes” for AMD by being in the supply chain, commonly called in vendorspeak “the channel”.

Lisa Su, AMD’s CEO, said that her firm’s technology will marmelise Intel during 2018.

It is a question of margins, however.

Intel has a gross margin of nearly 64 percent on its products, while underdog AMD might manage 40 percent. But it is also a question of costs. Chipzilla has an enormous wage bill, while AMD – as always – has been a bit stingy, one might say careful, on every front.

That’s quite a sea change in fortunes – or misfortunes, as Intel might describe it.

Intel seems to have made miss upon miss over the last 10 years or so – particularly on the mobile front –  and has all the symptoms of a company retrenching from its formerly dominant position.  It has reduced staff, which has had an effect on its technology, has cut its PR, which has had an effect on its coverage, and has made several missteps which has forced it into second or third place in terms of “innovation”.

Still, Fudzilla has not really heard from AMD what its mobile strategy is.

Courtesy-Fud

Apple Watch Sets Record For Shipped Devices

February 8, 2018 by  
Filed under Consumer Electronics

The electronics giant, Apple, has shipped 8 million Apple Watches in the fourth quarter of 2017, Canalys research shows, which the firm said is a record for wearables sold by a company during a quarter. Fitbit was the previous record holder, Canalys told CNET, shipping 6.1 million units in the fourth quarter of 2015.

“Apple has won the wearables game,” said Jason Low, senior analyst at Canalys. The company shipped 18 million Watch devices throughout 2017, a 54 percent increase on 2016.

While Android Wear competitors, like the Samsung Gear S3 and Huawei’s Watch 2, are compatible with both Androids and iPhones, Apple’s Watch devices don’t work with Android phones. “Despite innovative designs, such as the rotating bezels and circular screens employed by other vendors, Apple has pulled far ahead as it continues to focus on its core iPhone user base,” Low added.

Apple’s 2017 wearable success is in large part thanks to its September-released Watch Series 3, which added cellular connection — allowing you to make phone calls from your Watch — to the product range. Canalys said the Watch did particularly well in the US, Australia and Japan, where major carriers sold it over the holiday season.

It’s congruent with what Apple CEO Tim Cook said in a call to investors last week. “It was our best quarter ever for the Apple Watch,” he said, “with over 50 percent growth in revenue and units for the fourth quarter in a row and strong double-digit growth in every geographic segment.”

In terms of volume, Apple’s closest competitor is Chinese company Xiaomi and its inexpensive Mi Bands: In 2017’s third quarter, Apple held 23 percent of the market, compared to Xiaomi’s 21 percent. Fitbit wasn’t far behind though, with a market share of 20 percent.

The Demand For iPhone Replacement Batteries Is Strong

February 7, 2018 by  
Filed under Mobile

Apple Inc has seen “strong demand” for replacement iPhone batteries and may offer rebates for phone owners who paid full price for new batteries, the company said in a Feb. 2 letter to U.S. lawmakers.

Apple confirmed in December that software to deal with aging batteries in iPhone 6, iPhone 6s and iPhone SE models could slow down performance. The company apologized and lowered the price of battery replacements for affected models from $79 to $29.

In the letter released Tuesday, amid nagging allegations that it slowed down phones with older batteries as a way to push people into buying new phones, the company said it was considering issuing rebates to consumers who paid full price for replacement batteries.

The letter, released by the U.S. Senate Commerce Committee, also said Apple provided a phone-slowing software update in January 2017 but did not disclose it until a month later.

In the letter, Apple said it had known about battery problems caused by a manufacturing defect as early as fall 2016.

Senator John Thune, a Republican who chairs the committee, said in a statement that “consumers rely on clear and transparent disclosures from manufacturers to understand why their device may experience performance changes.”

Thune said that in discussions with the committee “Apple has acknowledged that its initial disclosures came up short. Apple has also promised the committee some follow-up information, including an answer about additional steps it may take to address customers who purchased a new battery at full price.”

Apple did not immediately comment on Thune’s statement. The company also sent a letter in response to Representative Greg Walden, a Republican who chairs the Committee on Energy and Commerce in the U.S. House of Representatives. Apple told the committee that it would consider extending its reduced-cost battery replacement program beyond 2018 if it can’t find a way to prevent sudden shutdowns in older iPhones without throttling processor speeds.

Last week, the U.S. Department of Justice and the Securities and Exchange Commission said they were investigating whether Apple violated securities laws concerning its disclosures that it slowed older iPhones with flagging batteries, Bloomberg reported.

In a statement last week, Apple said it had “received questions from some government agencies” and was duly responding to them. The company had “never, and would never, do anything to intentionally shorten the life of any Apple product, or degrade the user experience to drive customer upgrades,” the statement said.

Consumers so far have filed some 50 proposed class action lawsuits over Apple’s latest iPhone software update, which they allege caused unexpected shutdowns and hampered the performance of iPhone models of the SE, 6 and 7 lines.

Government agencies in countries ranging from Brazil to France and Italy to South Korea are also investigating Apple following complaints.

Is Dell Going On An Acquisition Spree

February 6, 2018 by  
Filed under Computing

Michael Dell’s private PC empire is continuing to grow, and it seems that he is not happy with what he has.

Soon after buying out all his shareholders and going private, Dell wrote a cheque for EMC and created a considerable computer outfit. But word on the street is that despite a big debt load caused by all these buy-outs, Dell wants to expand further.

The word on the Street is that Dell’s board of directors will meet later this month to consider the most significant shakeup in the company’s history since it acquired data storage provider EMC for $67 billion in 2016, the sources said.

Dell is under pressure to boost its profitability after the EMC deal failed to deliver the cost savings and performance it projected, while higher component costs and a challenging data storage market have eroded its margins.

Dell is reviewing a list of several possible acquisition targets that would boost its cash flow and expand its offerings. Dell is also considering a sale or initial public offering (IPO) of its one of its fast-growing divisions, Pivotal Software. It may consider a transaction with its majority-owned VMware which have gained more than 62 percent in the past year.

Dell also has a security unit, RSA, and a cloud platform called Boomi which could receive the IPO treatment.  Another possibility is that the company could give itself an IPO.

A bright spot in Dell’s business has been its servers, helping its total net revenue growth to $56.7 billion in the nine months from $41.6 billion a year earlier. However, the company’s operating expenses soared from $10 billion to $17.3 billion, leading to an operating loss of $3 billion, up from a $1.6 billion operating loss a year ago.

Private equity firm Silver Lake which helped bankroll Michael Dell’s $24.9 billion deal in 2013 to take the company private and owns about 18 percent of the company is believed to be wanting to cash out of the company.

A stock market listing for Dell would allow Silver Lake to gradually begin winding down its stake. What is more, an IPO of Dell, or divestiture of one or more of its assets, would help it pay down debt faster, saving it money on expensive interest payments, for which it currently pays about $2 billion annually.

Courtesy-Fud

Apple Takes Smartphone Lead Away From Samsung

February 5, 2018 by  
Filed under Mobile

Apple has leaped past Samsung as the world’s leading shipper of smartphones, according to two industry reports.

Though IDC and IHS Markit had differing numbers for the fourth quarter of 2017, the result was the same: Apple handsets surpassed Samsung in shipments for only the second time in history.

“The new models from Apple played a key role in moving Apple ahead of Samsung in Q4,” said Ryan Reith, vice president for IDC’s Mobile Device Tracker report.

According to Apple’s own numbers, it’s selling about 10 iPhone per second — most of which are iPhone X’s.

Apple yesterday announced quarterly revenue of $88.3 billion, an increase of 13% year-over-year — an all-time record. International sales accounted for 65 percent of the quarter’s revenue.

Apple once before surpassed Samsung in handset shipments – in the fourth quarter of 2016. But that was considered an anomaly by analysts at the time.

“Apple had a good holiday quarter [in 2016], but it was also the same time Samsung was going through that whole issue with the Note 7 and the battery issue. So Samsung was having its own issues, while Apple was doing well,” Reith said. “There was no anomaly this quarter. There’s no question [Apple is] gaining traction.”

Apple shipments, Reith said, are driven by holiday sales because their new product release cycle comes just prior to that season.

“There’s a good chance they could see a soft first half of 2018. That’s not because they’re doing anything wrong,” Reith said. “That’s mainly because of the way the fanbase follows their new product. They rush out to buy the new product and then it sort of tapers off a little bit as you get closer to the September announcement for new products.”

While Apple may have passed Samsung, overall smartphone shipments declined 6.3% in the fourth quarter of 2017, and shipments for the whole year decreased just under 1% due to higher-priced “ultra-high-end flagship” models, IDC said.

IHS Markit research saw the market slightly different, with shipments dipping a bit less  (4.5%) from Q3 to Q4 while increasing 3.5% for the year.

Leading the market in the fourth quarter, Apple shipped 77.3 million smartphones, 1.2% fewer than in 2016, according to IHS. Samsung shipped 74.3 million units, down  2.2%.

Apple accounted for 20% of all smartphones shipped in the fourth quarter. Samsung followed at 19%, according to IHS.

IDC also pegged Apple’s shipments at 77.3 million in Q4, but it saw that as a 1.3% decrease year-over-year.

Although demand for the new higher priced iPhone X may not have been as strong as many expected, the overall iPhone lineup appealed to a wider range of consumers in both emerging and developed markets, IDC said. Apple finished second for the full year in 2017 shipping 215.8 million units, up 0.2% from the 215.4 million units shipped in 2016.

“Apple continues to prove that having numerous models at various price points bodes well for bringing smartphone owners to iOS,” IDC said.

Amazon Has Largest Profit Ever

February 2, 2018 by  
Filed under Around The Net

Amazon.com Inc reported a profit near $2 billion, the largest in its history, as the online retailer attracted millions of new customers to its Prime fast-shipping club for the holiday season and as changes to U.S. tax law added to its bottom line.

Shares rose more than 6.4 percent in extended trading, after previously closing down 4 percent on the Nasdaq.

Seattle-based Amazon is using fast shipping, television shows exclusive to its website and forays into new technology, such as its voice-controlled Alexa devices, to win and keep high-spending Prime members. Its $13.7 billion acquisition of Whole Foods Market last year is helping it capture shoppers’ grocery sales, too.

The world’s largest online retailer said net income more than doubled to $1.86 billion, or $3.75 per share in the fourth quarter ended Dec. 31. Its profit received a provisional $789 million boost from the U.S. Republican tax bill passed in December. Analysts on average were expecting just $1.85 per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

“This was another blow-out quarter for Amazon,” said GBH Insights analyst Daniel Ives. “The retail strength was eye-popping as the company had a banner holiday season and looked to capture roughly 50 percent of all e-commerce holiday season sales.”

As expected, the period running from before the U.S. Thanksgiving holiday through New Years was Amazon’s biggest-ever by revenue. Sales rose 38 percent to $60.5 billion in the quarter, beating expectations.

The company’s fast delivery, like its two-hour Prime Now service, has helped win over holiday shoppers eager to avoid the crowds of big box retailers. Prime saw more than 4 million sign-ups in one week alone last quarter, and revenue from subscription fees grew 49 percent to $3.2 billion, Amazon said.

That figure is expected to rise this quarter in part because the company recently raised the fee for month-to-month Prime plans, affecting some 30 percent of subscribers, according to analysts at Cowen & Co. Some 60 million, or close to half of all U.S. households, are estimated to have Prime subscriptions.

Advertising and other revenue rose 62 percent to $1.74 billion.

Perhaps the surprise star of the past quarter was Amazon’s voice aide Alexa, embedded in the company’s Echo speakers and Fire TV players, as well as some cars and house gadgets. Millions of Amazon customers ordered goods by voice with Alexa in the past year, said Brian Olsavsky, Amazon’s chief financial officer, on a call with reporters.

“Our 2017 projections for Alexa were very optimistic, and we far exceeded them,” added Jeff Bezos, Amazon’s founder and chief executive, in a statement. “We don’t see positive surprises of this magnitude very often — expect us to double down.”

Does Qualcomm Have a Bright Future

January 24, 2018 by  
Filed under Computing

The financial future for Qualcomm in FY2019 is bright, according to a statement the company released today.

It estimates that its share profit will fall between $6.75 and $7.50 in fiscal 2019 Non-GAAP earnings per share on revenues of $35 billion to $37 billion.

The forecast sent its share price up as the company believes that Qualcomm is currently dramatically undervalued. This is what Fudzilla was talking about a while ago, as it took a hostile attempt for a takeover for investors to realize that Qualcomm is actually worth more than the Street thought.  

Qualcomm, as Fudzilla has reported before, is rejecting a hostile takeover bid from Broadcom and seems, so far to have fended off the unwanted advances.

Even if the takeover did happen, it could take up to 18 months for regulatory approvals, setting the roadmaps and plans significantly back. The takeover would not benefit Qualcomm shareholders, it is designed to benefit Broadcom shareholders. More importantly, Qualcomm doesn’t need any help to execute the 5G roadmap that is going to create significant revenues for the company in the mobile, PC, IoT and automotive industries. 

The action plan includes plans to continue to grow the Qualcomm core business, a new $1 billion cost reduction program and extend attention to NXP acquisition and peace with Apple. 

The last two are very interesting as Qualcomm told shareholders that even if it doesn’t manage to acquire NXP, it would use the money for a large share repurchase. The shareholders would have a clear win. Having Cristiano as a president brings a confidence that the Apple and any other legal battlers might settle in financial 2019 (September 30 2018). 

Overall, Qualcomm has good chances to grow even further in its core business including mobile phones. It has scored some of the rebellious customers from China including Meizu as a licensee and it is on the verge of entering a connected PC market. This can be a potentially important catalyst as Qualcomm could have much better battery life compared to its Intel competition. Let’s not forget  that Qualcomm SoC have integrated 4G LTE X16 modem with Gigabit LTE support and the upcoming Snapdragon 845 has 1.2 Gbit modem and significantly faster CPU and GPU. 

The company has already announced a phone form factor for 5G designs that will help customers ship 5G enabled phones in 2019. The automotive business unit also managed to win Volkswagen for infotainment in early 2017 and has just announced Jaguar and Land Rover design wins, as well as Honda Accord 2018. It also pulled off a design in China with BYD. 

Qualcomm Low Power Bluetooth SoC QCC5100 will enable earbuds with TrueWireless Stereo, Qualcomm aptX HD audio, Integrated Hybrid Active Noise Cancellation (ANC) and third-party voice assistant services. All that will fit in your ear and play for several hours. Qualcomm scored almost a 100 percent design wins with its Mesh – Self Organizing network technology that you see with many customers as router packs. This magical technology works great with Google routers, Orbi and a few other big names and currently doesn’t have any competition. 

Overall 2018 looks to be a good year for Qualcomm and there is no way how Broadcom can benefit, and therefore the Qualcomm board urges its customers to stay away from Broadcom’s offer.

Courtesy-Fud

Microsoft Takes 1st Place In Top 100 Global Technology Leaders List

January 18, 2018 by  
Filed under Around The Net

Thomson Reuters Corp unveiled its “Top 100 Global Technology Leaders” list with Microsoft Corp in the no. 1 spot, followed by chipmaker Intel Corp and network gear maker Cisco Systems Inc.

The list, which aims to identify the industry’s top financially successful and organizationally sound organizations, features U.S. tech giants such as Apple Inc, Alphabet Inc, International Business Machines Corp and Texas Instruments Inc, among its top 10.

 Microchip maker Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing, German business software giant SAP, and Dublin-based consultant Accenture round out the top 10.  The remaining 90 companies are not ranked, but the list also includes the world’s largest online retailer Amazon.com Inc and social media giant Facebook Inc.

The results are based on a 28-factor algorithm that measures performance across eight benchmarks: financial, management and investor confidence, risk and resilience, legal compliance, innovation, people and social responsibility, environmental impact, and reputation.

The assessment tracks patent activity for technological innovation and sentiment in news and selected social media as the reflection of a company’s public reputation.

The set of tech companies is restricted to those that have at least $1 billion in annual revenue.

According to the list, 45 percent of these 100 tech companies are headquartered in the United States. Japan and Taiwan are tied for second place with 13 companies each, followed by India with five tech leaders on the list.

By continent, North America leads with 47, followed by Asia with 38, Europe with 14 and Australia with one.

The strength of Asia highlights the growth of companies such as Tencent Holdings Ltd, which became the first Asian firm to enter the club of companies worth more than $500 billion, and surpassed Facebook in market value in November.

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