[Image: Google driverless cars get vote of confidence from US regulators, see below.]
We present a snapshot of the daily global Bloomberg TMT briefs from Bloomberg’s Chris Lowe, the company’s global technology, media and telco specialist. His daily brief highlights the TMT industry across Europe, Asia and the USA, and looks at companies (including start-ups), markets and tech trends. These are just some excerpts which are relevant to our own focus on innovation, ecosystems, technology trends, and economic development.
ARM: analysts believe that royalty growth will slow with challenged smartphone market in 2016 and as v8 product cycle boost wanes. Server and PC opportunities are negligible for company as x86 ecosystem barriers are too high.
CYBERUPDATE: Rather amusingly, a toilet has been hacked. See ‘Hackers take control of a toilet using bog-standard computer skills’. Panasonic’s top internet security expert researchers managed to hack their way into a Bluetooth-enabled Japanese toilet, which allow users to control various functions using a smartphone. They could take control of the toilet, allowing them to flush it at an awkward moment or even surprise people unexpectedly!
TSMC: will be the exclusive supplier of A10 processors for Apple’s next iPhones, to be released later this year, the Electronic Times cites. The Taiwanese contract chipmaker edges out Samsung, which made a portion of the A9 processors for current iPhones. TSMC will make the chips using its 10-nanometer technology. Samsung declined to comment on the report.
AT&T: AT&T, like Verizon, will begin testing 5G this year as US looks to keep its lead in mobile: see article in re/code.
TESLA: said the Model 3 would be unveiled March 31, with a price tag of roughly $35,000 before incentives, and that it will start production and deliveries in late 2017. It will be an electric alternative to small luxury cars from Audi and BMW rather than a competitor to the Chevy Bolt. GM will sell the Bolt, which will go more than 200 miles on a single battery charge, for as low as $30,000 after tax credits.
FACEBOOK: The biggest news of the week as Mark Zuckerberg distances himself from board member Marc Andreessen, who claimed that Indian authorities were wrong to block the social media giant’s free Internet service and suggesting the country would be in better shape if the British were still in charge! The remarks were widely lambasted and elicited a sharply worded rebuke. See BBC article.
GOOGLE: great vote of confidence from US regulators as they attempt to speed through President Obama’s leaving gift to the tech sector: autonomous cars. Google’s AI system has been acknowledged as a driver by federal regulators, a step toward compliance that would help the tech giant’s self-driving cars hit US roads. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration agrees with Google that its cars will not have a ‘driver’ in the traditional sense that vehicles have had drivers during the last more than 100 years, the agency said in a Feb. 4 letter to Chris Urmson, director of the company’s self-driving car project.
Trends in focus
Digital tech is hot and here are some super recommendations from Forbes – 5 to healthcare tech startups to watch in 2016: Oscar Health, Pager, Hometeam, MedWand, WellDoc. See article here.
This article in the New York Review of Books highlights a growing phenomenon: we are hopelessly hooked (addicted to smartphones). Three quarters of 18-24 year-olds say that they reach for their phones immediately upon waking up in the morning. Once out of bed, we check our phones 221 times a day—an average of every 4.3 minutes—according to a UK study.
UK DIGITAL INDUSTRY
A new report says the UK’s digital industries growing 32 percent faster than wider economy. See the Telegraph article here.
Research commissioned by Charlotte Street Capital – investors in early-stage technology businesses – has ranked Wayra UK, part of Telefónica, number one in the first independent performance index for accelerators in the UK. The survey asked start-ups who have participated in UK accelerator and incubator programmes how they would rate programmes for follow-on funding, exposure to investors and business development support offered during an accelerator programme. Wayra UK was placed first in business development support and follow on funding categories, and second in the exposure to investors category (also see The Next Silicon Valley’s article on the rise of the corporate accelerator).
VC in focus
Karma Ventures has launched a new €40m series-A European fund. It has added technical experts, Ahti Heinla and Jaan Tallinn (founding engineers at Skype) as exclusive advisors to the new fund, thus giving the new fund unparalleled experience to delve into investments and distinguish between what is a good idea and a great tech idea. Jaan invested in and advised on Deepmind – which was brought by Google last year. Karma Ventures first close receives investment from Ambient Sound Investments (who invested in Wahanda and Mendely), and the Baltic Innovation Fund (an initiative from the Republic of Estonia, the Republic of Latvia, the Republic of Lithuania and the European Investment Fund).
If you would like to subscribe to Bloomberg’s Chris Lowe’s TMT daily briefs, get in touch with us via our contact page.