Last week, rumours started swirling about a possible partnership between Apple and Hyundai Motor Company as the tech giant seeks a foothold in the auto industry. Regardless of whether or not the partnership holds, Hyundai Motor Company received both a reputation and stock market boost (up 19%) from these negotiations. Apple has been trying to break into the auto industry for seven years now, starting in 2014 the highly secretive "Project Titan." Though Apple hired a number of ex-Tesla executives to head the project, production likely won’t happen until at least 2024, with self-driving tech estimated for 2027. When Apple debuts its first car, how will this impact Tesla and its position as the leading high-tech EV manufacturer? Moreover, will Apple beat Tesla’s race to make sustainable, reliable self-driving technology? At Altio, we know that competition drives innovation so we are quite excited about the potential advances to come out of this race.
In the wake of last week’s insurrection at the US Capitol, tech giants took a stand by removing Donald Trump from their platforms. Taking place amidst of fiery debates over tech regulation around the world, this self-regulation by tech companies may only have fuelled the fires for governments already seeking greater regulation on tech. In fact, European commissioner Thierry Breton called the bans the “9/11 moment of social media,” using this momentum to propel his advocacy for digital regulations and “globally coherent principles.” Similarly, Poland has already drafted a law to make censorship of social media accounts illegal, with the prime minister comparing it to country’s communist era. Is self-regulation enough or have we reached the end of Big Tech autonomy?
At the CES 2021, LG teased a first look at its rollable phone concept, with a resizable display can go from 6.7in to 7.8in with the tap of a finger. The LG Rollable is another iteration from the LG Explorer Project, an initiative to reimagine smartphones. The project has already released the swivelling Wing smartphone, which reminds us of the oh-so-popular sliding keyboard phones that we all had in the late 2000s. In fact, the project is reminiscent of the diverse smartphone ecosystem of that time, where phones were developed in every shape, size, and colour. The last few years have been dominated by sleek, large-screens that are indistinguishable from one another. So in this regard, we appreciate the innovation that LG is attempting. However, the Explorer Project seems to emphasise form over function. Without significant changes to the operating system and increases in capabilities, the novelty factor of rollable and foldable tech will remain just that: a novelty. It’s likely that rollable tech will follow the same fate as their predecessors of foldable tech with disappointing sales and overvalued price tags.