J.P. Morgan serves up three reasons why stocks are shrugging off fears of higher corporate taxes.
(Bloomberg) -- Huawei Technologies Co. will invest $1 billion on researching self-driving and electric-car technologies, accelerating plans to compete with Tesla Inc. and Xiaomi Corp. in the world’s biggest vehicle arena.Huawei’s autonomous-driving technology has already surpassed Tesla’s in some spheres, for instance by allowing cars to cruise for more than 1,000 kilometers (621 miles) without human intervention, Rotating Chairman Eric Xu told analysts in Shenzhen Monday.The Chinese telecom giant will partner with three automakers initially to make self-driving cars that carry the Huawei name as a sub-brand, said Xu, one of three executives who take turns to fill the post. It will keep its circle of partners small and get its logo onto cars -- not unlike how Intel Corp. calls attention to its microprocessors on PCs -- that adopt its autonomous driving technology, he added. The mobile giant has so far agreed to team up with BAIC Group, Chongqing Changan Automobile Co. and Guangzhou Automobile Group Co.“The smart car business unit receives one of the heaviest investments from Huawei. We will invest more than $1 billion in car component development this year,” Xu said. “China adds 30 million cars each year and the number is growing. Even if we don’t tap the market outside of China, if we can earn an average 10,000 yuan from each car sold in China, that’s already a very big business for Huawei.”Huawei is emerging from its toughest year on record, when Trump-administration sanctions smothered its once leading smartphone business and stymied advances into chipmaking and fifth-generation networking. The Biden White House has shown few signs of letting up, prompting billionaire founder Ren Zhengfei to direct Huawei toward new growth areas such as smart agriculture, health care and electric cars. It hopes for a seat at the table with tech giants vying to define the rapidly evolving fields of connected vehicles, homes and workplaces.Huawei aims to join tech giants from Apple Inc. to Xiaomi in targeting the vehicle industry, betting future cars will grow increasingly green, autonomous and connected. EV sales in China may climb more than 50% this year alone as consumers embrace cleaner automobiles and costs tumble, research firm Canalys estimates. Huawei’s info and entertainment features can already be found in Mercedes-Benz sedans and the firm has teamed up with domestic players such as BAIC BluePark New Energy Technology Co. to develop smart car systems. The first model under its partnership with the Chinese EV maker, the Arcfox αS HBT, will be unveiled at Auto Shanghai in April.“I don’t know if they were bragging, but my team said they can have cars driving on their own without human intervention for 1,000 kilometers. That’s way better than Tesla,” Xu said Monday.But Huawei’s piling into an already crowded arena, where an array of automakers from Tesla to local upstarts Nio Inc. and Xpeng Inc. are battling for a slice of the world’s biggest EV market. Xiaomi -- better known for its affordable gadgets and home appliances from rice cookers to robo-vacuums -- unveiled plans last month to invest about $10 billion over the next decade on manufacturing electric cars. Search giant Baidu Inc. and Geely Automobile Holdings Ltd. are also said to be teaming up to build vehicles.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2021 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- Apple Inc. has been a laggard in the smart-home space, but a versatile new device in early development could change that.The company is working on a product that would combine an Apple TV set-top box with a HomePod speaker and include a camera for video conferencing through a connected TV and other smart-home functions, according to people familiar with the matter, who asked not to be identified discussing internal matters.The device’s other capabilities would include standard Apple TV box functions like watching video and gaming plus smart speaker uses such as playing music and using Apple’s Siri digital assistant. If launched, it would represent Apple’s most ambitious smart-home hardware offering to date.The Cupertino, California-based technology giant is also mulling the launch of a high-end speaker with a touch screen to better compete with market leaders Google and Amazon.com Inc., the people said. Such a device would combine an iPad with a HomePod speaker and also include a camera for video chat. Apple has explored connecting the iPad to the speaker with a robotic arm that can move to follow a user around a room, similar to Amazon’s latest Echo Show gadget.Development of both Apple products is still in the early stages, and the company could decide to launch neither or change key features. The company often works on new concepts and devices without ultimately shipping them. An Apple spokeswoman declined to comment.The new offerings may help revive Apple’s fortunes in the smart-home category. The company held 2% of the TV streaming device market in 2020, according to Strategy Analytics, while the HomePod has had less than 10% of the smart speaker market for most of its existence.In March, Apple discontinued its high-end HomePod, while the Apple TV box hasn’t been updated for more than three years. Last year, the company launched the HomePod mini, which has fared better due to its lower price.Read more: The HomePod Mini Has a Secret Sensor Waiting to Be Switched OnApple combined its HomePod and Apple TV engineering groups in 2020 and unified the underlying software that runs on both devices. That was an early hint that Apple may eventually integrate the hardware lines.A combined speaker and TV box isn’t a product category that Google and Amazon have seriously addressed yet, though Facebook Inc. sells a Portal video chat device that uses a TV as its display and Amazon sells the Fire TV Cube box with a small speaker. Amazon does however lead the Smart Displays category, the term for smart speakers with screens.Amazon first popularized smart speakers with screens in 2017 with the launch of the original Echo Show. Alphabet Inc.’s Google offers 7- and 10-inch versions of its Nest Hub, which pairs the Google Assistant with a speaker and screen. Amazon is also working on a new speaker with a screen for a user’s wall that can serve as a smart home hub. In March, Bloomberg News reported that Apple was exploring new smart speakers with displays and cameras.Apple’s HomeKit software -- which lets third-party devices be controlled by iPhones, iPads and HomePods via an app or Siri -- supports fewer products than rival systems from Amazon and Google. New Apple devices won’t change that alone, but could give both Apple and potential partners new reasons to invest in the larger Apple smart-home ecosystem.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2021 Bloomberg L.P.