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The surge in cloud services revenue secured IBM’s and Microsoft’s earnings, giving us a positive start to this big earnings week for tech. Now comes the hardware crisis, with Tesla and Apple struggling with component shortages.
The electric vehicle pioneer was the first to report on Wednesday evening, warning that its factories “have been operating below capacity for several quarters as [the] the supply chain has become the main limiting factor”, a trend “likely to continue until 2022”. Its shares are down almost 9% so far today.
Despite the limiting factors, Tesla’s volume growth this year is expected to be “comfortably over 50%,” CEO Elon Musk said. Last year, Tesla delivered 936,222 vehicles, an annual gain of 87%.
It also promised the deepest software update in history to “fix” full self-driving technology in 2022 – a claim it has made in previous years without success. Lex investigated liability issues when things go wrong, while Alphaville examines the implications of Musk saying the most important development work at Tesla this year will be on its Optimus robot.
Apple’s earnings call comes after the market closes on Thursday. Three months ago, chief executive Tim Cook blamed “supply constraints” and a slump in getting high-end chips for $6 billion in revenue, reports Patrick McGee. Cook added that “the impact of supply constraints will be greater in the December quarter” – a line interpreted to mean a hit of more than $10 billion.
As we reported on Wednesday, the U.S. Department of Commerce found that manufacturers’ inventories averaged just five days’ supply of chips as demand rose 17% in 2021 from two years earlier. .
“Apple will most likely report another monster quarter, surpassing its previous quarterly revenue record. [last year]says Neil Cybart, an independent analyst at Above Avalon, which forecasts $127 billion in revenue. “However, the reported results could have been even stronger.”
The Internet of (five) things
1. Ocado switches to lighter robots
As Tesla focuses on Optimus, grocery logistics company Ocado has unveiled a range of automation enhancements from lighter robots to improved grocery picking. In FT Magazine, John Gapper tells the twisted story of the battle between Ocado and Norway’s AutoStore over a remote village, a groundbreaking invention and the epic legal battle that followed.
2. Crypto-kickers monster mash
Custodians of crypto assets are attracting billions of dollars from investors, with Fireblocks becoming the highest-valued crypto asset custodian on Thursday after raising $550 million in a new funding round that puts a price tag of $8 billion on the business. Meanwhile, we have more on Meta preparing to drop its Diem crypto project, a UK opinion piece bringing the promotion of crypto assets under the umbrella of financial services regulation, and Martin Sandbu on how the main objection to digital currencies is wrong. Finally, the head of Upbit, South Korea’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, has promised that his non-fungible tokens featuring K-pop stars BTS will be “green” after backlash from concerned young fans. of the environment.
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3. Netflix targeted as tech swoon
Pershing Square, Bill Ackman’s investment group, has bought 3.1 million shares of Netflix in recent days as the hedge fund billionaire seeks to capitalize on a strong sell-off that nearly halved Netflix’s market value. the streaming company over the past few months (Blackstone is also on the lookout for tech bargains). Anna Nicolaou says the Netflix sale unsettled Hollywood after its own efforts to copy the streaming model, though WarnerMedia signed more U.S. subscribers to HBO Max than Netflix added in the fourth quarter.
4. Has the appetite for plant-based meat peaked?
Consumer interest in plant-based meats increased around the IPO of US start-up Beyond Meat in 2019. But sales growth is declining in the US and UK. Investment continues, with $3 billion raised in 2021 – but aren’t the products meeting taste expectations?
5. San Francisco scares away the tech crowd
As the failure to tackle the poverty epidemic persists, start-up founders, engineers and venture capitalists are leaving town. If he wants to reclaim his tech crown, he can’t afford to carry on business as usual, writes Hannah Murphy.
Tech Tools — Loftie Alarm Clock
Designed by a New York start-up, this smart alarm clock has a simple purpose: it aims to banish your phone from the bedroom while you sleep, writes Jamie Waters. Everything about the $149 Bluetooth-enabled device — which plugs into the wall and operates via an app or, more sensibly, by pressing its physical buttons — contributes to a soothing vibe. Its strong point is its sound. It has a host of sound features including a white noise machine, meditation and breathing exercises, gong-infused sound baths and other background comforts including chirping cicadas and a crackling campfire which is sure to make the eyelids drop. Read about it in this roundup of four gadgets to start your day.
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