The arrangement that has Xiaomi is buying 1,500 patents from Microsoft so it can bulk up its intellectual property vault to fend off attacks as it moves into other countries means more smartphone competition is on the way. The same transaction means after failing repeatedly to break into the smartphone market itself, Microsoft is embracing the Asset Lite business model by monetizing parts its patent library. As we’ve seen from Qualcomm and others, margins on royalties tend to be sky high.
The transaction addresses a key weakness facing Xiaomi, which is seeking to sell its devices in countries outside its home market but has been hindered by its relative lack of intellectual property to fend off lawsuits.
The deal reflects Xiaomi’s efforts to acquire the intellectual property it needs to one day sell its devices beyond developing markets. One of its ultimate goals is to sell its phones in the U.S.
For Microsoft, the move is the latest in a yearslong push to collect royalties from electronics makers who use Google Inc.’s Android operating system, which Microsoft says uses some of its technology.
Source: Xiaomi to buy 1,500 patents from Microsoft — FT.com
Granted Venezuela is an extreme case, but it shows how an economy can grind to a halt when nearly everything – “food, medicine, electricity, toilet paper, condoms — you name it” is becoming scarce.
Venezuela faces a shortage of nearly every kind: food, medicine, electricity and toiletries. The scarcity reflects Venezuela’s spiraling economy and humanitarian crisis.
Source: Venezuela crisis: no butter and bread for weeks – May. 31, 2016
Mobility, computing power and sensors becoming woven into the very fabric of our lives offers another aspect to our Connected Society investing theme. It also makes life look that much more like something from Minority Report and Back to the Future.
The metal-based conductive fibers are fully washable and sewed into the denim, and a button-sized piece of removable hardware called the “smart tag” allows the jacket to connect to your phone or tablet via Bluetooth. Gesture controls and specific functions can be customized with the help of a companion app, but there’s no word yet as to whether that app will be immediately available for non-Android users.
Among the tasks the jacket can perform: offering up suggestions for nearby coffee shops (or other types of venues), providing an ETA to your destination, and changing tracks on your playlist. All of the info is conveyed by audio, so you’re not distracted by screens.
Source: Google and Levi’s Are Now Making Connected Jean Jackets – Bloomberg
With smartphone growth slowing, carriers are turning to cars for growth. Another sign the Connected Society is moving past smartphones.
With the U.S. smartphone market saturated, most of the growth in the cellular industry is actually coming from other kinds of devices including tablets, machine-to-machine connections and lots and lots of cars.In the first quarter, for example, the major carriers actually added more connected cars as new accounts than they did phones.That doesn’t mean there weren’t a lot of phones sold, though, but most smartphones went to existing customers. When it comes to new accounts added, so-called “net adds,” things were fairly split among cars, tablets, phones and industrial connections, according to a new report from industry consultant Chetan Sharma.
Source: A third of new cellular customers last quarter were cars – Recode