Technology Bulletin

    • Drone Market Economics Don't Add Up
    • Sep 3, 2019
    • "Drones promised to radically change multiple industries from agriculture to logistics. Many start-ups and even more established companies are now finding ... View More
      "Drones promised to radically change multiple industries from agriculture to logistics. Many start-ups and even more established companies are now finding it hard to make money. Drones can revolutionize agriculture, but farms are heavily integrated operations that work at the system level. Providing detailed analytics of soil condition or plant health is helpful, but only if the response is equally nuanced. Many farms are not ready for this level of innovation yet. In logistics, issues of payload, utilization rates, and stifling regulations mean that drones are still mostly at the vision and proof of concept stage. Drones can work well in multiple situations, but the flight path ahead remains turbulent." - Peter Richardson (Source: Bloomberg)
    • Launch of Commercial CBRS Services in US Imminent
    • Sep 3, 2019
    • "September should herald the start of commercial services in the 3.5 MHz Citizens Broadband Radio Services (CBRS) spectrum band in the US. The CBRS band is... View More
      "September should herald the start of commercial services in the 3.5 MHz Citizens Broadband Radio Services (CBRS) spectrum band in the US. The CBRS band is a 150 MHz slice of spectrum available for use on a shared and unlicensed basis. Critically, it will allow a wide range of different types of companies from cable companies and fixed telecom operators to private enterprises to develop their own private LTE networks without the involvement of the big mobile operators. Companies eyeing opportunities in this band include Amazon and Google as well as many private enterprises looking to use the spectrum to build LTE and 5G private networks for IoT and IIoT applications. The CBRS spectrum could ultimately enable Amazon, Google, and others to build out an IoT platform that would completely bypass the incumbent mobile operators. Mobile operators are also heavily engaged as the spectrum would enable them to increase network speeds and capacity by combining transmission in the CBRS spectrum with other licensed spectrum bands via carrier aggregation technology. In fact, Verizon is already selling CBRS-capable handsets. The formal launch of services in the General Authorized Users (GAA) category is expected to occur on September 18th in selected locations following completion of all interference tests." - Gareth Owen (Source: GlobeNewsWire)
    • Apple Products Under Pricing Pressure as New 15% T...
    • Sep 3, 2019
    • "A fresh 15% tariff on Chinese imports came into effect just after midnight on Sunday, September 1. This will apply to hundreds of household goods and cons... View More
      "A fresh 15% tariff on Chinese imports came into effect just after midnight on Sunday, September 1. This will apply to hundreds of household goods and consumer tech products. One of the big-names which faces an immediate impact is Apple, as most of its iPhone, iPad, Watch are Chinese imports. Though the company is looking for new locations like Vietnam and India to reduce dependency on China for manufacturing, it will not be able to move immediately. The additional import duty will likely pass on to the consumer in the US. In the past, the company had passed on additional tariffs to consumers in India when full smartphone imports faced a 20% additional import duty. This is likely to affect its volumes in the home market, which is already facing slow growth for new smartphone sales." - Pavel Naiya (Source: Tech Crunch)
    • Domino's Pizza Expanding Deliveries With Electric...
    • Aug 27, 2019
    • "Domino’s has announced increasing the use of custom-made delivery e-bikes in the US. These e-bikes, a variation of Rad Power Bikes, with speeds up t... View More
      "Domino’s has announced increasing the use of custom-made delivery e-bikes in the US. These e-bikes, a variation of Rad Power Bikes, with speeds up to 30 KMPH and have a range of 40 – 65 KM. The e-bikes have soft-sided cargo spaces, to carry up to 12 pizzas, fitted in the front and rear. After testing in Houston, Miami and New York last year, (some franchises have been using bikes for years), Domino's will now utilize e-bikes in Miami, Salt Lake City, Baltimore and Houston. With urban challenges of traffic, parking and overcrowding, food delivery companies are looking at the advantages offered by e-bikes. A social benefit is that such e-bikes do not require any driving license which opens up a wider category of prospective workers." - Vinay Piparsania (Source: Auto Blog)
    • Yandex Ramps up Testing; Anticipates 10x Growth i...
    • Aug 27, 2019
    • "Speeding up its testing, Yandex - Russia’s answer to Google - plans to enhance its fleet of autonomous cars up to 1,000 within the next few years. Y... View More
      "Speeding up its testing, Yandex - Russia’s answer to Google - plans to enhance its fleet of autonomous cars up to 1,000 within the next few years. Yandex currently has a test fleet of 90 cars, 35 of which are operating on Moscow’s roads with an engineer present, proving out algorithms under development. Looking to lead the autonomous race, Yandex is closing the gap on its autonomous driving software and catching up with Google’s Waymo." - Vinay Piparsania (Source: Reuters)
    • JLR Exploring 3D HUD
    • Aug 27, 2019
    • "JLR, in collaboration with the University of Cambridge, has developed concepts for 3D head-up displays (HUDs) showing road information and personalized 3D... View More
      "JLR, in collaboration with the University of Cambridge, has developed concepts for 3D head-up displays (HUDs) showing road information and personalized 3D infotainment information. Most of the commercial head-up displays (HUDs) are 2D with some colors while 3D HUDs are still rare due to their high costs. Advancements in Augmented and Virtual Reality (AR and VR) are encouraging automakers to introduce colorful 3D HUDs, which can communicate more intuitively with drivers. Counterpoint expects this trend to continue in coming years, and 3D HUDs technology will eventually transfer from luxury to mass-produced cars in the long-term with economies of scale." - Aman Madhok   (Source: Auto Blog) "JLR, in collaboration with the University of Cambridge, has developed concepts for 3D head-up displays (HUDs) showing road information and personalized 3D infotainment information. Most of the commercial head-up displays (HUDs) are 2D with some colors while 3D HUDs are still rare due to their high costs. Advancements in Augmented and Virtual Reality (AR and VR) are encouraging automakers to introduce colorful 3D HUDs, which can communicate more intuitively with drivers. Counterpoint expects this trend to continue in coming years, and 3D HUDs technology will eventually transfer from luxury to mass-produced cars in the long-term with economies of scale." - Aman Madhok  
    • China, U.S. Trade War- What It’s Doing to America...
    • Aug 27, 2019
    • "With the trade war between the US and China likely to escalate, auto OEMs need to brace themselves for higher volatility and burgeoning costs. While US au... View More
      "With the trade war between the US and China likely to escalate, auto OEMs need to brace themselves for higher volatility and burgeoning costs. While US automakers Ford and Tesla are already facing the brunt, German companies Mercedes-Benz and BMW, that have plants in Alabama and South Carolina, also face a heavy blow. Estimates suggest the trade war has already cost BMW €300 million (roughly US$333 million) in 2018. General Motors, which produces locally in China, too has been hit by levies on its auto parts. The bigger anxiety for GM and companies with few exports to China, however, are retaliatory measures on parts made in China for US vehicles. The additional tariffs are prompting Daimler to consider assembling some SUVs in South East Asia, as BMW does with the X5 for export into China. Tesla remains focused on getting its new plant in Shanghai running by the end of this year and is betting on its Model 3. With tariffs kicking-in in December, the impact will depend on how quickly Tesla can commission its local manufacturing." - Vinay Piparsania (Source: Automotive News)
    • BYD Net Profit Triples, Driven by EV Boom
    • Aug 27, 2019
    • "BYD posted impressive results in H1 2019, tripling its net profit as compared to H1 2018 to RMB 1.45 billion (approx. US$205 million). The revenues d... View More
      "BYD posted impressive results in H1 2019, tripling its net profit as compared to H1 2018 to RMB 1.45 billion (approx. US$205 million). The revenues during the period grew by 14.1% to reach RMB 59.2 billion (approx. US$8.2 billion). BYD’s strategy of promoting battery electric vehicles (BEVs) and phasing out ICE vehicles is in sync with China government’s plan to promote BEVs. The company sold 145,653 EVs, up 94.5%, compared to 82,419 ICE vehicles, down 44.9% compared to last year. EV sales in China grew 49.6% during H1 2019, before falling 4.7% in July, due to subsidy cuts. Subsidy cuts will continue to put profit and sales pressure on BYD during the rest of the year. However, long term EV growth estimates for the country and BYD remains positive." - Aman Madhok (Source: Reuters)
    • Mexico Will Soon Impose Tax on Digital Platforms R...
    • Aug 20, 2019
    • "The Mexican House of Representatives is discussing and finalizing a proposal to add a 3% tax on digital platforms. This tax aims at companies like Google,... View More
      "The Mexican House of Representatives is discussing and finalizing a proposal to add a 3% tax on digital platforms. This tax aims at companies like Google, Facebook, and Amazon that earn revenues from advertising. Companies like Netflix, WhatsApp, and Spotify might get an exemption because the tax is not intended to have the consumer to have to pay more for the service. The tax will also not include startups with annual revenue less than 200 million Mexican pesos (roughly US$ 10 million). This tax could generate yearly around 10 billion Mexican pesos (roughly US$ 505 million). Mexico and Chile are among the last countries, from the top five LATAM countries, to go after taxing digital platform revenues. Argentina (21%) and Colombia (19%) have already passed the law, in 2018, that levy a VAT tax on all digital platforms that charge for services. In Brazil, taxes vary by state." - Tina Lu (Source: Xataka)
    • OnePlus' New Smart TV Will Simply be Called OnePlu...
    • Aug 20, 2019
    • "OnePlus has confirmed its smart TV plans and revealed the logo for its upcoming OnePlus TV. TVs is an important segment and a natural extension for smartp... View More
      "OnePlus has confirmed its smart TV plans and revealed the logo for its upcoming OnePlus TV. TVs is an important segment and a natural extension for smartphone brands looking to expand in different product categories targeting consumers’ daily screen timeshare across various form-factors. This will help them lock in users and be more aggressive in content partnerships across entertainment, gaming and other verticals to drive user experience. However, the TV market will be different in terms of smartphones when compared to slow upgrade rates, the total cost of ownership and after-sales services over the years." - Tarun Pathak (Source: News 18)  

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