MarketLine Blog

Posts about Technology

Behind the Digital Iron Curtain: Rise of Chinese Silicon Valley

MarketLine

After a long period of rapid, double digit growth, the Chinese economy entered a more sustainable phase of development, based on innovation and consumption. Given the large population of 1.3 billion in China, the explosive growth of smartphone users, e-commerce, and online content consumption and creation led to a digital revolution in almost all industries and business sectors. While the Chinese Communist Party is trying to match its social control in the real world with the virtual world, which becomes more and more restrictive, the country’s internet is thriving and… Read more

Toshiba NAND business sale: Suitable sale is becoming increasingly difficult to achieve

MarketLine

A major problem Toshiba has with the sale of the NAND business is the company as a whole is in such a bad financial condition, potential buyers are in a very strong negotiating position. Toshiba has already sold off other profitable parts of the business in order to cover costs resulting from an accounting scandal in which profits were overstated. Now the second largest NAND business in the world is up for sale, prospective buyers are aware that the Japanese technology giant desperately needs a deal, and soon. Downward pressure… Read more

AMD is Ryzen: Chip manufacturer makes a huge play to shake up the processor market

MarketLine

AMD has for a number of years been kicked into the long grass by Intel in producing processors. Whichever way it’s measured, sheer performance, market share, sales figures or reputation, Intel has controlled the desktop and laptop chip processor market. However AMD has been preparing a very significant challenge to fight back. In early 2017 AMD announced the details of its next series of chips and took the market by storm. AMD had found a way to make its chips competitive with the very best Intel chips and even better… Read more

Smart TV devices: TV dongle sales grow, Pay TV subscriptions decline

MarketLine

US Pay TV subscriptions have been in decline over recent years. With advancements in technology and the way some viewers changing the way they watch their favorite TV shows, it is observable that growth in the online streaming services industry presents an opportunity to those like Sky and BT. Additionally, companies like Amazon Video & Netflix reaping in the subscribers worldwide. This has meant a huge surge in popularity for Smart TV devices which host applications allowing them to project their streaming content on pretty much any modern TV. With… Read more

The Digital Age: A Hackers delight

MarketLine

Online storage is a huge leap forward in technology, allowing files to be accessed from anywhere without the need to send them via email. Files can be shared in a much simpler fashion and can be locked to ensure that any changes made are present in a single file as opposed to numerous versions of the file. This online system serves as a backup for companies and customers. A network of banking telecommunications (SWIFT) has been the target of numerous hacking and data leaks over recent years, serving to reduce… Read more

Uber’s Aggression: Battering both competitors and customers into submission, with questionable business practices

MarketLine

Uber has had an astonishing journey. Even for the technology industry where businesses regularly explode into life, Uber’s success story stands almost unparalleled in speed and scope. Estimates of its value vary but some think $70bn could be a plausible valuation for the company, which would make it bigger than some of the very largest automotive manufacturers in the world. However Uber has become a master of some of the dark arts of business, using courts to get its way, avoiding regulation, removing competitors and encouraging a dog eat dog… Read more

Piracy: The social acceptability of theft and its effect on the movie industry

MarketLine

Internet piracy has been around almost as long as the internet itself. Communities exist, consisting of millions of web users, which are dedicated to sourcing, converting and sharing valuable copyrighted material. Some – The Pirate Bay – were the inspiration for political parties. Others – Megaupload – were responsible for accelerating the fortunes of a small group into the billions of dollars. But all major sites have been in the spotlight for a decade, coming and going, constantly switching web hosts from Sweden to Somalia to Costa Rica, managing to… Read more

Nintendo Switch: The Wii U version 2.0

MarketLine

Historically, Nintendo has been the primary supplier of handheld consoles, a tradition it is hoping to carry forward with its new release, the Nintendo Switch, in March 2017. The ideology of Nintendo focuses primarily on its franchises, with Zelda and Mario being two of its best known titles. The Nintendo Switch is up against very fierce competition with mobile gaming, but with the nostalgia value for parents, the Switch is potentially going to profit from this factor and recuperate some of the losses from the Wii U. The advanced technology… Read more

Verizon purchase of Yahoo: Data breach puts deal at risk, but purchase still likely

MarketLine

The theft of confidential information from Yahoo in 2013, although only recently announced, has heaped doubt over the proposed purchase of Yahoo by Verizon. Many predict the final bill will be substantial and worse could follow – the FBI are investigating and could yet cause more problems. A reduced share price caused Verizon to reappraise the sale. For both parties the realization that damage occurring from the data theft has yet to be fully felt is a serious problem, making revaluing Yahoo much harder. Regardless of which route Verizon chooses… Read more

Amazon Go: Newfound technology will give Amazon a major chance in the food & grocery industry, at the cost of future jobs

MarketLine

Late 2015, Amazon Fresh rolled out across the USA in several states and similarly was introduced in the UK mid-2016. Now with the launch of Amazon Go, it is clear that Amazon wants a proportion of the share of the food & grocery market, one of the largest industries in the world it is not being quiet about it. Innovation and technological advances will give Amazon a significant advantage over its competitors emphasizing convenience for the customer. Amazon Go is the tangible version of its online store. A 1,800 square… Read more

Brexit and Trump’s disastrous effect on science

MarketLine

2016 has been a rollercoaster of a year with regards to political incidences. With the UK voting in favor of leaving the EU in June 2016 and then a follow up of the US voting for President-elect Donald Trump in November of the same year, this has led to a degree of uncertainty in the scientific field. With funding at the forefront of scientific research and the advancement of scientific breakthroughs, the future has been thrown into turmoil as the individuals working in both countries, the US and the UK,… Read more

AT&T to buy Time Warner

MarketLine

When business acquisitions on this scale are announced they almost inevitably become political – hence extensive investment in political lobbying. Announcing a buyout, therefore, just weeks before one of the most acrimonious presidential races in living memory concludes gives a difficult birth. Both candidates have already declared their displeasure. Some Senators have also voiced concerns and their intent to heavily scrutinize any proposals that come before them. Exactly why this time should be chosen is unclear: it makes the deal far more politicized than need be the case, raising uncertainties… Read more

Ford’s autonomous cars due for release in 2021

MarketLine

Ford, one of the world’s largest automotive and mobility companies, announced that it will be developing autonomous cars for use by 2021. As part of this goal, Ford will be investing in several startups, continuing its trend of making investments in technology in recent years. For example, Ford’s recent technology investments include Easy Access Door System, Active City Stop, Hands-Free Tailgate, and Active Park Assist. In the announcement, Ford said that it will also be investing in companies developing advanced algorithms, 3D mapping, LiDAR, and radar and camera sensors. These… Read more

SpaceX: turbulent week for Elon Musk

MarketLine

September 01 2016 saw SpaceX (Space Exploration Technologies Corporation) hit the headlines after the explosion of one of its Falcon-9 rockets on the launch pad at Cape Canaveral. The incident, which occurred during a test launch, destroyed the rocket and its cargo – a $200m satellite. The explosion was the latest bad news in a turbulent week for CEO Elon Musk. Shares in Tesla Motors – where Musk is CEO and largest shareholder – dropped 5.3% after it announced it would need to raise additional capital before the end of… Read more

Microsoft: $26.2bn LinkedIn acquisition its largest to date, but deal makes sense

MarketLine

Surrounding this acquisition purchase came many queries questioning the future success of such a transaction. With an alarming price tag attached to the bill, Microsoft acquiring LinkedIn is by far the largest purchase it has made in history. With a pretty poor track record in large acquisitions, (with the exception of Skype of course), it remains to be seen if this one is any different. CEO Satya Nadella has been leading Microsoft since early 2014 and feels it is his job to turn the poor history of buyouts into a… Read more

UK Bookmakers hedge bets with consolidation

MarketLine

July 25 2016 saw the latest move towards consolidation in the UK gambling industry as online bookmaker 888 Holdings Plc (888) and casino operator The Rank Group Plc (Rank) approached longtime incumbent William Hill Plc (William Hill) about a potential merger. The merger would create one of the largest gambling groups in the world and the share prices of all three protagonists responded well to the announcement. UK takeover rules dictate that 888 and Rank now have until August 21 2016 to submit a formal offer. This is somewhat of… Read more

Trouble at Twitter: Profit still elusive

MarketLine

Twitter, the micro-blogging social media platform, is struggling. In a week that reminded us of the cost of missing the boat in the tech world, as Yahoo is sold for $5 billion, a mere 25th of its peak value, Twitter released its Q2 results. What they showed was a platform hampered by virtually stagnant growth, and a company that has yet to make a profit, despite being well on its way to ten years old. Twitter makes its money by charging advertisers to boost the visibility of tweets and videos…. Read more

Uber & Didi Chuxing: Uber gives app in China

MarketLine

Uber’s once seemingly irresistible march to world domination has suffered a setback as it agreed to merge its business operations in China with local competitor Didi Chuxing. Uber had been employing the practices that served it well elsewhere, by engaging in subsidizing of rides and drivers’ income to gain market share. However, in China a domestic ride sharing incumbent made from the merger of Didi and Kuadi in February 2015 (later renamed Didi Chuxing) could match Uber’s financial power, as it drew backing from Chinese internet companies and Apple. The… Read more

Business Process Outsourcing: Strategic Focus

MarketLine

According to Kable’s BPO market opportunity forecast, the overall BPO market was valued at US$135.7 bn in 2014, and is forecast to reach US$181.5 billion in 2019, growing at a CAGR of 6.0% from 2015 to 2019 with constantly increasing demand for KPO services which is primarily driving the whole BPO market. The evolution and maturity of the business process outsourcing segment has given birth to a new wave of global outsourcing in the form of knowledge services outsourcing (KPO). Success in off-shoring business process functions has persuaded many multinationals… Read more

Pet business of the future: A whole different breed

MarketLine

The pet industry in the US is booming, approaching $60bn in revenue. Growth in the market is derived both from increasing pet ownership as well as from increased spending per pet. If people have been willing to buy something for themselves, they are likely to now buy it for pets. There are plenty of opportunities across various segments of the industry, especially in the pet-related services segment which is growing at nearly twice the rate of the overall pet market. People increasingly view their pets as part of the family… Read more

Self-driving to the future

MarketLine

The line between the auto and tech industries is rapidly blurring, with the pursuit of autonomous driving and a shift from car ownership towards car sharing and ride sharing. China is widely viewed as the next frontier for growth and many market players are looking to establish a foothold in this country, which requires significant investment. To keep up with changing market trends, most major auto makers are investing in their own driverless-car technology, which is less costly if done in cooperation with high-tech companies, like Google or Apple. The… Read more

VR: Virtual insanity is what we’re living in

MarketLine

In June 2012, Oculus VR, LLC was founded. Based in California, US, it was formed as a virtual reality technology company, and launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund development of their proposed virtual reality headset device. The company announced that backers who pledged $300 or more would be “rewarded” with the first development release of the headset, which was shipped to them in March 2013 (although the original date was December 2012). The intended amount Oculus wanted to raise was $250,000, but ended up raising over $2.4 million. Thus began… Read more

Billions of test miles to prove driverless tech

MarketLine

As of April 2016, Google is running 23 converted Lexus SUVs and 34 prototype vehicles in autonomous mode on public roads across Kirkland, Mountain View, Phoenix and Austin in the US. It has driven its vehicles a total of 1,564,981 miles in autonomous mode to date, averaging weekly miles of between 10 and 15 thousand. On May 3rd 2016, it was announced that Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and Google will be joining forces to integrate autonomous driving technology into 100 Chrysler Pacifica Minivans, marking the first time that Google has partnered… Read more

Activision Blizzard to seize mobile gaming crown?

MarketLine

US video game publisher Activision Blizzard Inc. has announced a deal to buy mobile game producer King Digital Entertainment Plc (creator of Candy Crush Saga) in a deal worth a reported $5.9bn, over $1bn less than King Digital’s valuation at its 2014 IPO. Activision Blizzard, publisher of global franchises such Call of Duty and World of Warcraft, will pay $18.00 for each of King Digital’s outstanding shares – a 20% premium on the closing share price on 30th October 2015, but still a knockdown price on King Digital’s $22.50 IPO… Read more

Apple’s security flaw and ad-blocking decision highlight two key technology trends

MarketLine

In quick succession, Apple has been subject to some perfect examples of two key current issues in the technology industry. Firstly, much of the free content on the internet is driven by advertising revenues and the long-term implications of using ad-blocking software could see the end of free content provision together with a shift to more and more online subscription services. On the flipside of this, the obtrusive use of data-heavy adverts across websites slows down internet use for consumers and can spoil the browsing experience. Secondly, the battle between… Read more

Driverless Cars: The coming insurrection

MarketLine

The technology required to produce an autonomous vehicle already exists in specific circumstances. The challenge is to make self-driving cars viable in all locations, all conditions and all situations. Incumbent automotive manufacturers, together with major suppliers to the industry, are well along the road towards commercial production having already implemented a number of more basic autonomous driving features. Yet there remain significant barriers to the adoption of autonomous driving, not least of which will be consumer perception. Some of the key concerns in this regard will be skepticism around the… Read more

Cisco poised to capitalize on movement to smart cities

MarketLine

The nascent smart city industry is a potential goldmine for a whole host of players – utility companies, data analytics providers and, perhaps most importantly, providers of communications infrastructure and networks. One company, Cisco, is poised to greatly capitalize on then burgeoning industry as the world moves towards a smart, connected and data driven existence through the Internet of Things (IoT) or, as the company prefers, the “Internet of Everything” (IoE). It is worth noting that there is no hard definition of what constitutes a smart city, but a distinction… Read more

Intel Corporation ready to take on the IoT after failing in mobile

MarketLine

2015 marked the 50th anniversary of Moore’s Law, a famous and remarkably accurate prediction made by the co-founder of Intel Corporation about the pace of technological innovation. The prediction stems from an observation regarding the development of semiconductor devices and has driven the commercial success of Intel. But in 2014, Intel reorganized its business following an abject failure to take part in the smartphone and tablet revolutions amid a simultaneous decline in the consumer PC market. In 2014, the Intel management team finally decided to largely give up on the… Read more

Holistic intelligence and the limits of Big Data

MarketLine

Big Data has been heralded as a ground-breaking technology that will transform the way that businesses operate. As such, major organizations have been quick to understand and implement Big Data analytics in a number of different ways. The most common implementations have to date been limited to internally-focused information, through fairly standardized techniques. There are therefore a number of externally-focused areas in which Big Data technologies could be further utilized, as well as the potential for stretching the industry towards ever more complex analytics. Nevertheless, there must also be some… Read more

Joie de VIVE: Valve announces VR headset

MarketLine

Entertainment software company Valve Corporation has unveiled its new virtual reality (VR) headset, manufactured jointly with smartphone and tablet manufacturer HTC. The product has been announced just in time for the game developers’ conferencing commencing 2-6 March 2015, where it promises to give developers the chance to test the software.  A developer version is being released in spring 2015, with the consumer ready version aiming to be available by the end of the year. Further details are to be released at the conference. Valve is renowned for producing critically acclaimed… Read more