Audi and Daimler separately announce connected car alliances with Baidu

Daimler also teams up with Qualcomm for in-car technology enhancements

Reuters

SHANGHAI (Reuters) - German carmaker Daimler is to make software from web services company Baidu available in its Chinese Mercedes-Benz cars as part of a trend of deepening ties between carmakers and consumer technology companies.

Carmakers are seeking to extend information and entertainment services available in vehicles, as well as smartphone compatibility, in an era of increasingly congested traffic.

Not so fast: connected cars could cause data traffic jams

One in five vehicles worldwide will have some form of wireless network connection by 2020

Reuters

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Traffic jams in the future could cause potentially dangerous data snarl-ups as cars packed with entertainment, safety and navigation features vie for airwaves with smartphones, tablets and networked features in other vehicles, according to a study.

By 2024, mobile networks will see machine-to-machine (M2M) connections jump 10-fold to 2.3 billion from 250 million in 2014. Half these links will be automotive, said the study published on Thursday by Machina Research.

Mobile Commerce, Payments, NFC/RFID and Big Data

The role of Near Field Communication (NFC) in mobile payments continues to divide the industry

There has been an explosion in mobile payment service launches, joint ventures, and partnerships in the past two to three years.  Merchants are starting to appreciate the benefits that mobile payments can bring, with major chains including Starbucks and McDonald’s launching services on a national basis.

Enel offers to help build Italy's fibre broadband network

Move could bring utility company into conflict with Telecom Italia

Reuters

MILAN/ROME (Reuters) - Italian power utility Enel has written to the Italian communications regulator offering to help with building a nationwide ultrafast broadband telecoms network, a move that could bring it into conflict with Telecom Italia.

Enel, which is controlled by the Italian government, wrote a letter to the regulator on April 14 saying its domestic network could be used to help install fibre optic cables more cheaply.

Microsoft opens door to Android, Apple phone apps

Marks a radical shift in strategy for the world's biggest software company

Reuters

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Microsoft Corp is making it easier for apps written for rival Google Inc's Android and Apple Inc's iOS systems to work on Windows phones, in a bid to attract users to its unpopular mobile devices, the company's operating systems chief said on Wednesday.

The move marks a radical shift in strategy for the world's biggest software company, which still dominates the personal computer market but has failed to get any real traction on tablets and phones, partly because of a lack of apps.

Cars to be fitted with automatic emergency calling from mid-2018

Some members EU Parliament say the proposal does not go far enough to protect drivers' privacy

Reuters

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - All cars and light vans in Europe will have to be fitted with automatic emergency calling devices from April 2018 under new rules approved by European Union lawmakers on Tuesday, which could cut road deaths by 10 percent a year.

The so-called eCall device will automatically alert the nearest emergency centre in the event of a crash by calling the EU-wide emergency number 112, which will give authorities information such as the exact location and time of the crash and the number of passengers in the vehicle.

Arris to buy British set-top box maker Pace in $2.1 billion deal

Deal comes as OTT disrupts traditional video service industry

Reuters

(Reuters) - Network gear maker Arris Group Inc said it would buy British set-top box maker Pace Plc in a $2.1 billion cash-and-stock deal to expand its operations outside North America.

The deal, which involves the creation of a new company that will be incorporated in the UK, will help Arris reduce corporate taxes.

Arris said the deal will reduce its non-GAAP tax rate to about 26-28 percent. The company's tax rate was 36.8 percent in 2014.

Nokia close to buying Alcatel's mobile networks unit: Les Echos

The French business daily said an announcement could come 'quickly'

Reuters

PARIS (Reuters) - Finland's Nokia Oyj is close to a deal to buy Alcatel-Lucent's mobile networks unit to boost its core business especially in the United States and China, Les Echos newspaper reported on Monday.


The French business daily said an announcement could come "quickly," citing a source close to the matter. The paper said meetings between managers at the two companies had increased since January.


Alcatel and Nokia declined to comment.

GM to earn $350 million over three years from 4G technology in cars

CFO Stevens says OnStar's 4G LTE connection is an 'untapped, under-appreciated opportunity'

Reuters

DETROIT (Reuters) - General Motors Co will generate $350 million in improved profit over the three years to 2018 from its rollout of 4G LTE mobile broadband in its cars and trucks, the No. 1 U.S. automaker's chief financial officer said on Wednesday.

Chuck Stevens, speaking at a Bank of America Merrill Lynch conference, called GM's OnStar 4G LTE connection an "untapped, under-appreciated opportunity."

4G LTE is a wireless connection that allows faster flow of data and developing better in-car technology is critical to automakers like GM to attract younger, tech-savvy buyers.

Teardown of new Samsung Galaxy smartphone suggests deeper loss for Qualcomm

In-house semiconductor business to source more parts, including modem and power management IC chips

Reuters

SEOUL/SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Samsung Electronics Co Ltd used more of its own chips to power the new Galaxy S6 smartphone than it did for the predecessor S5, according to an early teardown report, in a blow to U.S. chip supplier Qualcomm Inc.

Samsung is not only using its own Exynos mobile processor, as had been widely reported, but also decided to rely on its in-house semiconductor business to source other parts, including the modem and power management integrated circuit chips, Ottawa-based consultancy Chipworks said in a web posting dated April 2.

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