ProjectBlog: Tech & Telecom news — Apr 30, 2019

Blog: Tech & Telecom news — Apr 30, 2019



A nice analysis at the New York Times tries to heat up the coming Uber IPO by comparing the company with (ultra-successful) Amazon. According to this view, taxi rides would be to Uber what books were for Amazon, and the app is actually a platform that could distribute many other products to their existing customer base (Story)

Spotify presented its 1Q19 results, and they’ve now surpassed the 100m paying users milestone (+32% yoy) and keep growing their base, resisting the Apple Music pressure, and just before Amazon launches a new competitor in this market. They also beat revenue expectations (€1.511bn/Q), but remain unprofitable (Story)

Facebook is starting its annual F8 developer conference today, and all expectations are set on the new details that the company could provide on the shift in strategy that Zuckerberg announced some weeks ago, with privacy and encrypted messaging at the core. More than 12 sessions will be focused on Messenger (Story)


Microsoft Azure is looking to catch up with AWS in enabling hybrid cloud scenarios for clients, and has just “copied” the deal that Amazon signed with VMware in 2016. This will make it possible for companies to use the same VMware virtualization software to manage both internal workloads and IT operations in Azure (Story)


Google could be in problems. In a results season with generally good numbers for digital advertising firms, including Facebook, Twitter and Snap, Alphabet has posted its slowest revenue growth (+17% yoy) since 2015, $1bn short of expectations, and now looks to be under significant competitive and regulatory pressures (Story)


Poor results also for Samsung, affected by the global slowdown in the smartphone market, which this time was not offset by their semiconductors business, as the memory chip market is now also under pressure. They were optimistic on a 2H19 recovery, on stronger chip demand and new (5G) smartphone launches (Story)



The debate on Huawei continues to move into a complex political issue, with the US now warning that they would reconsider current intelligence sharing policies with European allies, if “untrusted” Huawei equipment, potentially “under control of an authoritarian government”, is not removed from their new 5G networks (Story)

SK Telecom announced yesterday a collaboration with 3 Korean cities to use 5G to build “HD maps”, down to centimeter-level resolutions, a potentially useful application for city councils to stop “outsourcing” digital maps (a key element in urban mobility solutions) to consumer internet companies like Google or Apple (Story)


Artificial Intelligence

The World Economic Forum is working to foster AI innovation, while preserving human rights. This includes the creation of local datasets in emerging markets (to avoid algorithmic bias that happens when other data sources are used) and pressure on tech giants to create advisory boards to guide on the ethical use of AI (Story)

A new research paper published yesterday by an MIT team questions the economic efficiency of autonomous taxi fleets like the ones that both Waymo (Alphabet) and Uber aim to develop, and claims that the service would have to be more expensive for consumers than traditional car ownership (Story)

Source: Artificial Intelligence on Medium

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