The maverick of personal computing is looking for its next big thing in spaces like healthcare, AR, and autonomous cars, all while keeping its lead in consumer hardware. With an uphill battle in AI, slowing growth in smartphones, and its fingers in so many pies, can Apple reinvent itself for a third time? Get the detailed analysis on Apple's trove of patents, acquisitions, earnings calls, recent product releases, and organizational structure. In many ways, Apple remains a company made in the image of Steve Jobs: iconoclastic and fiercely product focused. But today, Apple is at a crossroads. Under CEO Tim Cook, Apple's ability to seize on emerging technology raises many new questions. Looking for the next wave, Apple is clearly expanding into augmented reality and wearables with the Apple Watch and AirPods wireless headphones. Apple's HomePod speaker system is poised to expand Siri's footprint into the home and serve as a competitor to Amazon's blockbuster Echo device and accompanying virtual assistant Alexa. But the next "big one" -- a success and growth driver on the scale of the iPhone -- has not yet been determined. Will it be augmented reality, auto, wearables? Apple is famously secretive, and a cloud of hearsay and gossip surrounds the company's every move. Apple is believed to be working on augmented reality headsets, connected car software, transformative healthcare devices and apps, as well as smart home tech, and new machine learning applications. We dug through Apple's trove of patents, acquisitions, earnings calls, recent product releases, and organizational structure for concrete hints at how the company will approach its next self-reinvention. Given Apple's size and prominence, we won't be covering every aspect of its business or rehashing old news. There's strong evidence Apple is once again actively "cannibalizing itself," putting massive resources behind consumer tech that will render its own iPhone obsolete.
It may be a long time before you can own a truly self-driving car. But chipmakers are placing bets that you will. On Tuesday, the Japanese chipmaker Renesas, the second-largest provider of semiconductors for the automotive industry, said it will acquire San Jose based chipmaker Integrated Device Technology (IDT) for $6.7 billion, in part to prepare for autonomous vehicles. IDT has not historically provided chips for cars, but it does have sensor and wireless technologies that could help Renesas compete in the market for chips for autonomous vehicles. "Renesas and IDT have complementary technologies," says Objective Analysis analyst Jim Handy.
Artificial intelligence (AI) has the potential to change not only the face of technology, but produce significant and potentially life-changing gains for investors in the process. If that sounds a little over the top, consider this: a recent study estimated that AI will drive global gross domestic product (GDP) 14% higher by 2030, the equivalent of adding $15.7 trillion in productivity, according to research by PwC. The companies at the forefront of this technological evolution stand the gain the most, even as some face near-term headwinds. With that in mind, we asked three Fool.com Read on to find out why they chose NVIDIA (NASDAQ:NVDA), Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOGL) (NASDAQ:GOOG), and Baidu (NASDAQ:BIDU).
Renesas has announced the acquisition of Integrated Device Technology (IDT) in a deal worth $6.7 billion. On Tuesday, the Tokyo, Japan-based semiconductor manufacturer said the deal will add a number of "complementary product lines" to the Renesas lineup, which will support the firm's growth strategy. The acquisition has been agreed for $49 per IDT share, representing a premium of roughly 29.5 percent over IDT common stock price as of August 30. The all-cash transaction is worth approximately $6.7 billion (733 billion yen). Equity finance will not be raised for the transaction' instead, cash reserves and bank loans will provide the funding required.
One of the biggest challenges facing car companies developing driverless vehicles has little do with sophisticated robotics or laser technology. Instead, they must figure out how to engineer something far more amorphous but no less important: human trust, the kind that is communicated when human drivers and pedestrians make eye contact at a crosswalk. Surveys indicate that large portions of the public harbor deep reservations about the safety of self-driving technology, so Jaguar Land Rover enlisted the help of cognitive psychologists to unpack "how vehicle behaviour affects human confidence in new technology," the British automaker said in a news release. Its solution for answering that question: virtual eyes, a large cartoonish pair that bring to mind the plastic googly eyes you probably glued onto projects in elementary school. The eyes have been fitted to autonomous vehicles known as "intelligent pods."
Intel has acquired a small artificial intelligence startup called Vertex.Ai that will give the company a boost in developing deep learning software tools. News of the deal, first reported by TechCrunch on Thursday, comes after the Santa Clara, Calif.-based company recently disclosed that Xeon processor sales for AI applications reached $1 billion last year. The acquisition price of the Seattle-based startup was not disclosed. The semiconductor giant has made several moves in the past few years in attempt to become a big player in AI applications. This includes acquisitions of structured ASIC maker eASIC, reprogrammable chip maker Altera, autonomous vehicle software maker Mobileye, computer vision provider Movidius, and AI chip maker Nervana Systems.
The San Francisco-based company's second-quarter revenue rose 63% from the prior year to $2.8 billion, while gross bookings, a measure of the overall demand for its ride and delivery services, jumped 41% to about $12 billion, according to a financial statement released by Uber. The company narrowed its loss to $891 million in the second quarter from $1.1 billion a year ago. The loss was, however, wider than the $550 million loss in the first quarter of this year, not including a $3 billion gain from the sales of its southeast Asian and Russian operations. The company is spending more money on new businesses such as food delivery and scooters, according to an Uber spokesman. Mr. Khosrowshahi, who replaced ousted Uber co-founder Travis Kalanick last August, has worked to cut expenses at the ride-hailing company in preparation for an initial public offering.
Uber's efforts to develop self-driving cars also have been bogged down during the past year amid allegations that it stole technology from a Google spinoff and a fatal collision involving one of its robotic cars that ran over a pedestrian in Arizona. And on Tuesday, New York City's mayor signed a bill that would impose a yearlong cap on new licenses for ride-hailing apps and also allow the city to set a minimum wage for drivers. New York is the largest American market for Uber.
Ericsson has announced that it will be investing more in its United States-based 5G operations, with plans to open a new software development centre this year. The new centre will focus on baseband development, and employ over 200 software engineers once opened. It follows the launch of Ericsson's Application Specific Integrated Circuit (ASIC) Design Center in Austin, Texas, at the end of last year to develop and test core microelectronics for 5G radio base stations. "This facility and its employees will further strengthen Ericsson's 5G software development," Ericsson said. "Baseband provides intelligence to the radio access network.