Elon Musk, CEO for SpaceX, speaks during the International Astronautical Congress in Guadalajara, Mexico, on Sept. 27, 2016.
Elon Musk is making rocket launches mundane and that could be worth tens of billions of dollars.
SpaceX could become a $50 billion juggernaut through its launch of a satellite broadband network, a team of Morgan Stanley analysts wrote in a report Thursday.
The private space company on Wednesday launched its 15th rocket this year, and the second this week. More importantly, the Falcon 9 rocket launch was the third time SpaceX reused the first stage booster, and with each of these so-called “flight-proven” launches, it should be easier to attract new customers.
Morgan Stanley says SpaceX developing reusable rockets is “an elevator to low Earth orbit.”
“When Elisha Otis demonstrated the safety elevator in 1854, the public may have struggled to comprehend the impact on architecture and city design. Roughly 20 years later, every multistory building in New York, Boston, and Chicago was constructed around a central elevator shaft,” Morgan Stanley said. “It all comes down to SpaceX.”
Reducing the cost to launch a satellite to about $60 million, from the $200 million that United Launch Alliance charged through most of the last decade, was a monumental breakthrough. SpaceX is trying to reduce its cost to $5 million per mission, and Morgan Stanley says the launch business “generates limited operating income.”
The cash cow, to Morgan Stanley, is the SpaceX plan to launch a satellite broadband network in two years and send humans to Mars in seven.
“The goal of the satellite internet business is to generate enough cash to be able to go to Mars” the research firm said, adding that it believes Musk is serious about his goal of planetary expansion.
SpaceX has denied that it is preparing an initial public offering, but Morgan Stanley says the prospect should not be counted out. Upcoming projects will require significant amounts of money. “It seems reasonable to us to consider whether the company could look to access capital in the public markets,” the analysts said.
With “substantial room to increase the investment in space,” Morgan Stanley says that “public investors will start to pay more attention to space when or if SpaceX decides to IPO.”
A key reason for Apple’s outperformance this year was investor anticipation for a big upgrade cycle from this year’s more innovative iPhone models.
Now one Wall Street firm says the so-called “supercycle” may not happen, but strong demand for the $1,000 iPhone X will boost the company’s earnings next year instead.
The iPhone X will be available Nov. 3 at a base model price of $999, while the iPhone 8 launched last week. Raymond James reiterated its outperform rating for Apple shares, predicting better profitability and average selling prices for iPhones next year.
“Our September consumer survey suggests no evidence of an accelerated upgrade cycle for the 8 or X, but it does suggest a surprising demand for the X over the 8 given the price differential and lack of killer app,” Tavis McCourt wrote in a note to clients Tuesday.
“Therefore, we view the recent pullback as a trading opportunity.”
Apple shares rose 1.4 percent in early trading Tuesday after the report.
The company has lost approximately $50 billion in market value since it announced its latest line of products on Sept. 12. Despite recent weakness this month, Apple is still one of the market’s best-performing large-cap stocks so far this year. Its shares have rallied 30 percent through Friday versus the S&P 500’s 12 percent gain.
McCourt said 37 percent of iPhone owners plan to upgrade in the next 12 months versus a 44 percent average in the previous three years, according to the firm’s surveys. In addition, only 14 percent of iPhone owners plan to upgrade in the next three months versus 15 percent last year and 17 percent in 2015.
“The data suggests that this year’s refresh may not drive the proverbial ‘supercycle’ that many have predicted,” he wrote.
As a result, the analyst lowered his fiscal 2018 iPhone unit sales forecast to 240 million from 260 million.
However, he said there was big positive news in the survey. McCourt cited how 46 percent of the upgrading consumers plan to buy the more expensive iPhone X. He predicts the better product mix will benefit Apple’s gross profit margins by 2 percentage points in fiscal 2018 and increase the average selling price for its iPhone business by 10 percent next year.
Consequently, he raised his earnings per share estimate for Apple’s fiscal 2018 to $10.85 from $10.50.
McCourt also increased his price target for Apple shares to $180 from $170, which is 20 percent higher than Friday’s close.
“We still expect the trading peak [for Apple shares] to occur in 1H18, likely the March quarter, as historically the shares have peaked in the quarters of maximum y/y growth,” he wrote.
The company did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Sony Corp.’s gaming chief Andrew House sees limited global potential for handheld gaming in the age of smartphones, saying that the company doesn’t have any concrete plans to take on Nintendo Co.’s Switch.
“The Nintendo device is a hybrid device and that’s a different approach and strategy,” House said in an interview at last week’s Tokyo Game Show. “We have not seen that as being a huge market opportunity,” he said, referring to handheld gaming outside of Japan and Asia, where Sony still sells the Vita portable device.
Sony’s focus for now is to deliver more products and services for the living room, including virtual-reality and non-gaming entertainment such as TV shows and music, with the PlayStation 4 console serving as a key digital entertainment hub. Although Sony has been selling portable gaming machines for more than a decade, they haven’t caught on and no updates for the Vita were announced at the show. Since taking the helm in 2012, Chief Executive Officer Kazuo Hirai has pushed the Tokyo-based company to be more focused on fewer products.
“The Vita experience was that outside of Japan and Asia, there was not a huge demand,” House said. “The lifestyle shift toward the dominance of smartphones as the single key device that is always with you, was the determining factor.”
Some game developers had been anticipating a new Vita device, the latest iteration of the PlayStation PSP handheld gaming machine that was introduced in 2004. While the PSP has sold well, shipments of portable machines have been steadily declining, according to data from Sony and Vgchartz.
“Developers who create games for PS4 and Vita will stop working on Vita” without an update, said Hideki Yasuda, an analyst at Ace Research Institute. “Then they’ll develop for the PS4 and Switch.”
Most publishers prefer to create games for multiple platforms, so that they have a larger potential market of buyers regardless of whether they own the PlayStation, Microsoft Corp.’s Xbox or personal computers.
“Naturally, to reach as many people as possible, we’d prefer to release our products on various devices,” said Takayuki Kurumada, a spokesman for gaming company Konami Holdings Corp. “Games are becoming multifaceted and being played in various ways at various places.”
House is essentially betting that smartphones are well on their way to becoming the main portable gaming platform for most people. That’s why Sony last year established its own studio to create mobile games. The unit, called ForwardWorks, is doing “fantastic,” House said.
With the Switch, which debuted in March, Nintendo is betting that there’s going to be a robust market for a hybrid console-portable gadget that lets people play games in their living room or on the go. So far, it’s been a success, with sales on track with the Kyoto-based company’s forecasts and helping to add about $21 billion to its market value this year.
Still, the verdict is out on whether the Switch will become a mainstream device. Tsunekazu Ishiharu, the head of Pokemon Co. and one of Nintendo’s closest partners, said in a recent interview that the device, although an important platform, still has prove that it can last.
So far, though, House says he hasn’t seen any signs of the Switch having an impact on Sony’s sales of content or hardware.
“That draws me to the conclusion that they’ve really been additive to the business in the last year or so,” House said. “The folks at Nintendo have their strategy and that’s great. We remain focused around a highly connected gaming experience and also coupled with having a great range of other entertainment experiences so you can reach multiple people on the big screen in the household.”
SYDNEY/TOKYO (Reuters) – Apple Inc’s (AAPL.O) launch of iPhone 8 kicked off in a less lively mood in Asia, versus previous debuts, as fans held out for the premium iPhone X due out in early November.
Hundreds of people usually gather at Apple’s Sydney city store with queues winding down the town’s main street, George Street, when there is a new product release. But there were fewer than 30 people lining up before the store opened on Friday, according to a Reuters witness.
While the number of people queuing up outside Apple stores have dropped over the years with many opting for online purchases, the weak turnout for the latest iPhone has partly been due to poor reviews.
Mazen Kourouche, who was first in queue after lining up 11 days outside the store so he could buy and review the product on YouTube, said there were modest refinements.
“(It) is pretty similar to the iPhone 7 but it shoots 4k 60 frames per second and it’s got a new glass back instead of the metal which is apparently more durable,” he told Reuters. “There aren’t too many new features to this one.”
In China, a loyal Apple customer said the improved camera was one of the reasons she purchased the new device.
Apple customers camp outside of Sydney’s flagship Apple store on the first day the iPhone 8 went on sale in Sydney, Australia, September 22, 2017. AAP/Joel Carrett/via REUTERS
“I waited until midnight to watch the launch event with my boyfriend to learn what’s new with this iPhone. Its photograph function is pretty good. So I think I must change with no hesitation,” said 29-year-old consumer Ta Na in Shanghai.
Mentions of iPhone 8 and iPhone X on popular Chinese social media platform Weibo, an indicator of consumer interest, were less than levels seen before the previous two launches.
Poor reviews of the iPhone 8, which comes 10 years after Apple released the first version of the revolutionary phone, drove down shares of the company to near two-month lows of $152.75 on Thursday, as investors worried pre-orders for the device had come in well below previous launches.
The iPhone 8 will only cater to those who want a new version but do not want to pay a hefty $999 for the iPhone X, said iTWire.com’s technology editor Alex Zaharov-Reutt, who did not line up for the launch.
The iPhone X is a glass and stainless steel device with an edge-to-edge display that Chief Executive Tim Cook has called “the biggest leap forward since the original iPhone”.
“I think it’ll be more lively with more people with the iPhone X,” said Ray Yokoyama, after buying an iPhone 8 in Tokyo.
Reporting by Paulina Duran, Jill Gralow and James Redmayne in SYDNEY, Teppei Kasai in TOKYO, Jiang Xihao in SHANGHAI, Joyce Zhou in Beijing, and Pak Yiu in Hong Kong; Editing by Miyoung Kim and Himani Sarkar
Shentong Robot Schooling Group Co Ltd (8206.HK) are getting monitored this week as the Schaff Craze Cycle degrees have proven a reliable uptrend over the program of the previous 5 investing sessions. If the degrees breach the vital 70 stage, a industry reversal will be possible, according to this sign.
The Schaff indicator, produced by Doug Schaff in 2008, behaves in a way like an oscillator, determining overbought and oversold situations in the industry. These scenarios are then made use of to trade cost reversals. A modification of the simple overbought or oversold trade setup is the addition of the 100-period exponential transferring typical, which is made use of by institutional traders as a extremely potent help-resistance tool. The Stochastics oscillator is made use of to add confirmation to the trade entry.
Oversold values are to 20 and buyers may well glimpse to buy dips in up tendencies when the sign line crosses up from underneath 20 to above 20. Overbought values are 70 to 100 and buyers may well glimpse to provide rallies in downtrends when the sign line crosses down from above 80 to underneath 80.
Looking at shares from some extra technological standpoints, Shentong Robot Schooling Group Co Ltd (8206.HK) presently has a 14-working day Commodity Channel Index (CCI) of 30.50. Generally, the CCI oscillates above and underneath a zero line. Ordinary oscillations are inclined to stay in the selection of -100 to +100. A CCI looking at of +100 might symbolize overbought situations, while readings around -100 might suggest oversold territory. Although the CCI indicator was made for commodities, it has turn into a well-liked tool for equity evaluation as nicely.
We can also do some further more technological examination on the inventory. At the time of creating, the 14-working day ADX for Shentong Robot Schooling Group Co Ltd (8206.HK) is 11.25. Lots of technological chart analysts feel that an ADX worth over 25 would counsel a powerful craze. A looking at beneath 20 would suggest no craze, and a looking at from 20-25 would counsel that there is no clear craze sign. The ADX is usually plotted along with two other directional motion indicator traces, the In addition Directional Indicator (+DI) and Minus Directional Indicator (-DI). Some analysts feel that the ADX is a single of the best craze energy indicators out there.
Fascinated buyers might be observing the Williams Percent Vary or Williams %R. Williams %R is a well-liked technological indicator produced by Larry Williams to assist recognize overbought and oversold circumstances. Buyers will generally use Williams %R in conjunction with other craze indicators to assist location feasible inventory turning points. Shentong Robot Schooling Group Co Ltd (8206.HK)’s Williams Percent Vary or 14 working day Williams %R at present sits at -41.67. In common, if the indicator goes above -20, the inventory might be considered overbought. Alternately, if the indicator goes underneath -80, this might position to the inventory getting oversold.
Monitoring other technological indicators, the 14-working day RSI is presently standing at 49.13, the 7-working day sits at 51.15, and the 3-working day is resting at 56.35 for Shentong Robot Schooling Group Co Ltd (8206.HK). The Relative Strength Index (RSI) is an normally employed momentum oscillator that is made use of to measure the speed and improve of inventory cost actions. When charted, the RSI can serve as a visual implies to keep an eye on historic and existing energy or weak point in a specific industry. This measurement is primarily based on closing rates over a unique period of time. As a momentum oscillator, the RSI operates in a established selection. This selection falls on a scale among and 100. If the RSI is nearer to 100, this might suggest a period of more robust momentum. On the flip facet, an RSI around might sign weaker momentum. The RSI was originally produced by J. Welles Wilder which was launched in his 1978 ebook “New Principles in Technological Trading Systems”.
For further more assessment, we can choose a glimpse at a different well-liked technological indicator. In terms of transferring averages, the 200-working day is at present at .47, the 50-working day is .41, and the 7-working day is resting at .40. Transferring averages are a well-liked investing tool among the buyers. Transferring averages can be made use of to assist filter out the working day to working day sound produced by other components. MA’s might be made use of to recognize uptrends or downtrends, and they can be a notable indicator for detecting a shift in momentum for a particular inventory. Lots of traders will use transferring averages for diverse durations of time in conjunction with other indicators to assist gauge upcoming inventory cost motion.
As shortly as an person decides what they want out of their investments, they can commence formulating the best way to achieve these ambitions. The time horizon for just about every trader might be diverse. Fluctuations in the financial markets can have a significant outcome on shorter-term investments. Buyers that will need a specific amount of dollars in a shorter amount of time might be wanting to develop a inventory industry strategy with a little bit significantly less risk involved. On the other conclude of the spectrum, a youthful trader with a for a longer period time horizon may well be capable to research for shares with a higher likely for advancement that might entail a great deal far more risk. The volatility of today’s markets can test the nerves of any trader. Comprehending volatility and industry fluctuations can assist the trader gauge their risk tolerance in the markets.
Tropical Depression Sanvu has strengthened into a tropical storm in the Northwestern Pacific Ocean and NASA’s Aqua satellite gathered temperature data on the storm’s cloud tops using infrared light.
The Atmospheric Infrared or AIRS instrument aboard NASA’s Aqua satellite captured infrared data on Tropical Storm Sanvu Aug. 29 at 0335 UTC (Aug. 28 at 11:35 p.m. EDT). Infrared data provides temperature information to scientists. Cloud top temperatures are an important factor when it comes to determining the strength of storms. The higher the cloud tops, the colder and the stronger the storms.
The image showed that the area of coldest cloud tops had expanded since the previous day. Coldest temperatures were as cold as or colder than minus 63 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 53 degrees Celsius). Those storms were around the center of circulation and in a thick feeder band of thunderstorms extending southwest of the center. NASA research has shown that storms with cloud tops that cold, reached high into the troposphere and had the ability to generate heavy rain. The image did reveal that the tropical storm was being affected by southwesterly vertical wind shear as clouds are being pushed northeast of the center.
At 11 a.m. EDT (1500 UTC) on Aug. 28 the center of Sanvu was located near 24.4 degrees north latitude and 146.5 degrees east longitude. That puts Sanvu’s center about 315 nautical miles east of Iwo To Island, Japan. Maximum sustained winds were near 45 knots (51.7 mph/83.3 kph). Sanvu was moving to the north-northwest at 15 knots (17.2 mph/27.7 kph).
The Joint Typhoon Warning Center expects Sanvu to move in a northeasterly direction and intensify to typhoon status by Aug. 31, before weakening again.
Disclaimer: AAAS and EurekAlert! are not responsible for the accuracy of news releases posted to EurekAlert! by contributing institutions or for the use of any information through the EurekAlert system.
On Monday, Aug. 28 at 7 a.m. CDT the National Hurricane Center said the center of Harvey is emerging into the Gulf of Mexico. A NASA animation of imagery from NOAA’s GOES East satellite shows Harvey as it lingered over southeastern Texas over the weekend of Aug. 26 and 27 and moving back toward the Gulf of Mexico on Aug. 28.
The National Hurricane Center noted “life-threatening flooding continues over southeastern Texas.” NHC stressed that people should never attempt to travel into flooded roadways.
Taking Harvey’s Temperature
The Atmospheric Infrared or AIRS instrument aboard NASA’s Aqua satellite captured infrared data on Harvey on Aug. 28 at 4:29 a.m. EDT (0829 UTC). Infrared data provides temperature information to scientists. The image showed that the coldest cloud tops and strongest storms stretched from southeastern Texas to Louisiana and into the Gulf of Mexico. Cloud top temperatures in those areas were colder than minus 63 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 53 degrees Celsius). NASA research has shown that storms with cloud tops that cold, reached high into the troposphere and had the ability to generate heavy rain.
Satellite Animation Shows Harvey’s Movement
An animation of NOAA’s GOES East satellite visible and infrared imagery from 9:15 a.m. CDT (1315 UTC), Aug. 26 to 9:30 a.m. CDT (1330 UTC), Aug. 28 was created at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. The animation showed Hurricane Harvey transitioning to a tropical storm at 1 p.m. CDT (1700 UTC) on Aug. 26 and slowly emerging in the Gulf of Mexico on Aug. 28.
NOAA manages the GOES series of satellites, and NASA uses the satellite data to create images and animations. The animation was created by the NASA/NOAA GOES Project at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland.
Heavy Rainfall and Severe Flooding
NHC noted at 7 a.m. CDT on Monday, Aug. 28 “Harvey is expected to produce additional rainfall accumulations of 15 to 25 inches through Friday over the upper Texas coast and into southwestern Louisiana. Isolated storm totals may reach 50 inches over the upper Texas coast, including the Houston/Galveston metropolitan area. These rains are currently producing catastrophic and life-threatening flooding, and flash flood emergencies are in effect for portions of southeastern Texas.
Elsewhere, Harvey is expected to produce total rain accumulations of 5 to 15 inches farther south into the middle Texas coast, farther west toward the Texas Hill Country, and farther east across south-central Louisiana.
National Weather Service Links for Harvey flooding and rainfall information:
NWS Houston, NWS Lake Charles, NWS Corpus Christi, NWS Austin/San Antonio, Weather Prediction Center
Harvey’s Location at 7 a.m. CDT on Aug. 28
NOAA’s National Hurricane Center said at 7 a.m. CDT (8 a.m. EDT) (1200 UTC), the center of Tropical Storm Harvey was located near 28.6 degrees north latitude and 96.1 degrees west longitude. That’s about 25 miles (40 km) northeast of Port O’Connor, Texas. Harvey was moving toward the southeast near 3 mph (6 kph) and a slow southeastward motion is expected today. A slow northeastward motion is expected to begin on Tuesday. The center of Harvey is emerging off of the middle Texas coast, and it is expected to remain just offshore through Tuesday.
Maximum sustained winds are near 40 mph (65 kph) with higher gusts. Slight re-strengthening is possible later today and Tuesday, Aug. 29. The minimum central pressure estimated from surface observations along the Texas coast is 997 millibars.
Tropical Storm Warnings and Flooding Continues
On Aug. 28, a Tropical Storm Warning was in effect for Mesquite Bay to High Island, Texas. The NHC said “catastrophic and life-threatening flooding continues in southeastern Texas, and flash flood emergencies are in effect for portions of this area.”
Interests elsewhere along the upper Texas coast and in southwestern Louisiana should continue to monitor the progress of Harvey.
For updated forecasts, visit: http://www.nhc.noaa.gov
Disclaimer: AAAS and EurekAlert! are not responsible for the accuracy of news releases posted to EurekAlert! by contributing institutions or for the use of any information through the EurekAlert system.
Walt Disney Co.’s Bob Iger is ready to embrace the cord cutter.
Disney, the world’s largest entertainment company, outlined plans Tuesday to sell some of its premiere content directly to consumers online starting next year. It’ll offer live sports and animated films including “Toy Story 4,” sidestepping partners from Netflix Inc. to pay-TV providers like Comcast Corp. and DirecTV.
“If you look at Disney’s businesses, except for the theme parks, virtually all of the businesses touch consumers through third parties, everything from big box retailers to the owners of motion-picture theaters,” Disney’s chief executive officer said in an interview on Bloomberg TV. “This is an opportunity to reach the consumer directly.”
The need for Disney to act was underscored by the company’s fiscal third-quarter financial results, which were also announced Tuesday. Sales and profit fell because of weakness in the company’s big cable TV division, especially ESPN, where subscribers and ad sales shrank. Still, Iger’s decision shocked investors, sending shares of both Disney and Netflix lower in late trading.
Disney’s plans include a new online ESPN service next year that would broadcast more than 10,000 live sporting events, including major league baseball, hockey, soccer and tennis for what Iger called a “reasonable” monthly fee. In 2019, the company will launch a Disney video service, featuring live-action films, Disney Channel TV shows and Pixar movies.
In the process, the Burbank, California-based company said it’s ending a deal to offer its newest films online through Netflix, the video-streaming pioneer. That will stop in 2019. Consumers, Iger said, are moving rapidly online and Disney needs to move with them.
Shares of Disney fell 3.8 percent to $102.92 in extended trading. Netflix, which is losing a key supplier, was down 4.6 percent to $172.95.
Iger, 66, has shown a willingness make big bets in the past. To revive the company’s flagging film business, he spent $15.2 billion over almost a decade buying a trove of movie ideas: Pixar Animation, Marvel Entertainment’s cast of comic superheroes and Lucasfilm’s “Star Wars” franchise.
Now, he’s focusing on Disney’s biggest business, television, where cord cutters and cord shavers threaten two crucial sources of revenue — advertising and subscriber fees.
In the third quarter ended July 1, Disney reported a rare drop in sales and profit. Earnings at the company’s TV networks slumped 22 percent amid higher-costs for sports programming, as well as a drop in subscribers and weak ad sales at its flagship ESPN channel. While profit of $1.58 a share beat analysts’ estimates, revenue declined slightly and missed projections.
“We looked at the sub losses of 3 percent as the high end,” Edward Jones analyst Robin Diedrich said in an interview. “We’re not seeing the tailing off that we expected. This is continuing to happen.”
The immediate fallout for Netflix looks minimal, though investors may fear other Hollywood studios will move against the company and further restrict what they sell to the online service. Netflix will spend more than $6 billion on programming in 2017, much of it from other media outlets, and has a long term budget of $15.7 billion, with a significant portion dedicated to the company’s own original productions.
Netflix has lost content before, including pictures from Sony, Paramount, MGM and Lions Gate. Yet its subscribers have continued to grow and the company has successfully expanded its streaming service worldwide.
“U.S. Netflix members will have access to Disney films on the service through the end of 2019, including all new films that are shown theatrically through the end of 2018,” Los Gatos, California-based Netflix said in a statement. “We continue to do business with the Walt Disney Company on many fronts, including our ongoing relationship with Marvel TV.”
Disney already has its toes in direct-to-consumer businesses. For two years, the company has offered Disney Life, an online video service in the U.K. featuring classic films and TV. As part of Tuesday’s announcement, Iger said Disney would pay $1.58 billion to buy an additional 42 percent of BamTech, an arm of Major League Baseball that provides streaming services for everything from ball games to World Wrestling Entertainment Inc.
Disney will let viewers watch what Iger called a “Netflix of sports” via a single ESPN app. Some will be cable customers who watch ESPN and ESPN2 over the web. Others will be monthly subscribers for just the new online sports programming. Some day, Disney could seamlessly offer all of its traditional TV channels online for a monthly fee, he said.
To some degree, Disney’s CEO is taking a page from other entertainment executives, such as CBS Corp.’s Les Moonves and Time Warner Inc.’s Jeff Bewkes, who have have launched direct-to-consumer subscription services such as CBS All Access and HBO Now. But few have the characters and sports licenses that Disney has accumulated and the potential to sell those to customers around the world.
“Disney has great content that crosses generations,” said Trip Miller, a shareholder at Gullane Capital Partners in Memphis. “There is no doubt my grandchildren will consume Disney content that we consumed as children. They are just going to be consuming it a different way.”
Iger knows his plans and remarks will likely anger big distributors such as Comcast Corp.’s Brian Roberts and Randall Stephenson of AT&T Inc., which owns DirecTV. He acknowledged that on Bloomberg TV Tuesday.
“My guess is distributors will look at this probably more as a threat than anything else,” Iger said. “It’s not intended to be that. We are reacting to the marketplace.”
Santa Clara, California-based Nvidia Corp. sees Israeli talent and innovation as an integral part of its activities as the $98 billion firm completes its transition from maker of processors for gaming and computer graphics to leader in artificial intelligence and visual computing technologies.
“Nvidia is a real deep technology company and Israel is a very deep technology country, so it is a perfect fit and perfect match,” said Jeff Herbst, VP of business development at the firm, which has seen its share price surge almost 200 percent in the past 12 months on the Nasdaq.
Nvidia has been active in Israel for the past eight years, both selling its processors locally and buying stakes in startups. The company has invested some “tens of millions of dollars” in three startups over the past five years: Zebra Medical, the maker of a medical imaging insight software using artificial intelligence; Deep Instinct, which uses deep learning to predict cyber-threats; and Rocketick, a simulation and chip testing company which was then bought by Cadence in 2016 for a reported $40 million.
Now Nvidia has set up a new 20-person research and development team in Israel and is looking for new offices in Tel Aviv and for 15-100 additional workers in the near future, Herbst said in an interview with The Times of Israel.
Jeff Herbst, VP of business development at Nvidia Corp. (Courtesy)
The idea is to both tap into local technologies and talent in Israel and teach local developers and entrepreneurs how to integrate and use Nvidia’s processors in the products they create.
“We want to be able to support and be the central platform for the ecosystem of companies large and small in Israel that do advanced development of technology,” Herbst said. “The more applications that we have that work on our platform, the more platforms we can sell and the more products we can sell. It is extremely symbiotic.”
The R&D team will be working on developing deep learning and AI technologies and graphics that will feed into Nvidia’s other platforms for autonomous driving, data centers, financial and healthcare applications and security applications, he said.
Nvidia is “making a transition from being a gaming company to artificial intelligence and visual computing company, he said. “And Israel is going to become the hub, or one of the hubs, for developing artificial intelligence technology that goes into all these various verticals that we are interested in.”
Artificial intelligence is only just taking off as a field, but is growing at a compounded annual rate of almost 63 percent since 2016 and is expected to be a $16 billion market by 2022, according to MarketsandMarkets, a research firm. Industries globally will have to adapt to computers taking over tasks traditionally done by humans, and the race is on for who will lead this technological transformation. Companies like Nvidia, Intel Corp., Samsung Electronics and Qualcomm Corp. are all competing for a piece of that lucrative space.
Tapping into Israel’s talent pool
Israel is a “hotbed of talent,” said Herbst, and is globally known for its abilities and research into artificial intelligence, high-performance computing and computer vision, both in academia and on the ground, said Herbst.
“We want to tap into that pool of talent,” he said. That pool, incidentally, has been tapped by rival Intel since 1974.
Intel employs some 10,00 workers in Israel, making it the nation’s largest privately held employer and exporter. Some 60 percent of its employees work in R&D. The US giant in June said it was expanding its cybersecurity operations in Israel and in March it made a $15.3 billion deal to acquire Mobileye, a Jerusalem-based maker of automotive technology.
Intel has “been great for Israel and some of the best work for Intel has been done in Israel,” said Herbst. “That is why we know there is great talent here. We are not going to try and compete with them in terms of being as big as they are in Israel. We will do it on our own terms and as it makes sense, but the fact of the matter is we want to tap into the same pool of talent that they have known about for many years.”
Nvidia is “growing extremely rapidly right now” he said, doubling the number of its employees at the firm in the last few years. “So, we have to find talent everywhere around the world.”
In October Nvidia is planning to host a major conference focused on Artificial Intelligence and its graphics processing unit (GPU) processors in Tel Aviv. Its CEO Jensen Huang will be the keynote speaker at the event, which will hold a startup competition to choose the leading local firm in artificial intelligence.
“It is going to be a premier artificial intelligence conference here and a signal to Israel that we are ready to ramp up our activities,” Herbst said. “AI is affecting every area of business, life, social interactions, technology, so the market will continue to grow and we are going to continue our leadership position by developing the ecosystem as quickly as possible and help solve the world’s toughest problems, whether this is automotive, health, finance or security. This is such a big area, and I think Israel will play a big part of it.”
BEFORE WE get deep into this month’s split of operating system market share, as ever delivered by the good people at Net Applications’ Netmarketshare service (and thus by saying so, we fulfil our licensing commitment to analyse the crap out of it) let’s have a quick look at the overarching figures. Hang on – this won’t take long.
Basically, Windows, however much we moan about it, has a 91.45 percent share of the market, which is up year-on-year from 89.79. Meanwhile, Mac is down to 6.02 percent – a year ago, that was 7.87, and Linux is at 2.53, up from 2.23.
Why are we telling you all this now? It’s a sort of prologue to next month, when we’ll have a full breakdown of the stats for the two years since Windows 10 launched. But the point is – Windows has gone up slightly. Mac has tanked significantly. Linux has held steady. But let’s remember, there’s iOS, Android and Chrome OS to consider now.
And as we often point out, Windows 10’s success is a fallacy because if Linux figures included everything that wasn’t a laptop or desktop as Windows figures do, we’d be looking at a much more even contest.
On 29 July 2015, Windows 10 was released officially. That’s why we’re holding off the big analysis till next month, because it was only around for two days of July. So business as usual for now.
And speaking of business as usual, it’s been a ruddy boring month with nothing getting even close to a one percent move. Not exactly prime time for new computer buying in any case, but still. Sigh. We should just note – Vista has fallen below 0.5 percent so we won’t mention it again unless something amazing happens.
MacOS 10.10 is now also at negligible levels and so we’ve kicked it into the “Mac OS other” category and brought in the new MacOS 10.3 Beta. Which seems like a good place to start.
So, yes, let’s do Mac first for a change. MacOS 10.12, the current edition, has a tiny gain to 3.52 percent (0.03) while 10.11 drops to 1.17 (-0.06). The new Mac OS 10.13 Beta comes in at 0.02, and other versions of Mac are now at 1.4 percent, which adjusting for the rejigging of the figures is still actually (+0.02). Meh. Margins for error etc.
Linux. 2.53 (+0.17). Yay.
So Windows then. And it’s all sort of a bit encouraging for Microsoft. Windows 7 is down (a bit) to 48.91 (-0.18). Windows 10 is the highest mover this month to 27.63 (+0.83) and Windows XP is down by almost the same amount to 6.1 (-0.84). Meanwhile, Windows 8.x is almost obliterated now. It has just 7.9 percent of the market left (-0.13), so we can surely expect to see it go the levels of Vista by the time that its End of Life comes around.
Damn, we weren’t going to mention Vista.
Next month: two years on – how is Windows 10 doing? No, really. Has it hit the two billion devices it promised? (clue: no). µ