We live at such an exciting period. The smartphone industry is at its most exciting in recent memory, and intense competition means a decent device can be purchased for not a lot of money. At the same time, innovations by future-thinking individuals are ensuring you can do so much more with just a smartphone.
We are already aware of the deal for quite some time and today, it is finally official: Nokia’s well-known HERE mapping and locations services have been purchased by a consortium of German automakers that consisted of Audi, BMW and Daimler. According to the official announcement by Nokia, the consortium agreed to purchase HERE for EUR 2.8 billion which is around RM 11.76 billion.
Rumours of a potential electric vehicle from Apple have surfaced again after the company recently recruited several auto industry veterans. As a consumer electronics manufacturer, Apple would have little use for the expertise that these people bring; unless it is actually building a car.
Waze has begun a limited trial run of its new carpooling service called RideWith. The app aims to match people on similar routes and make it easier to find a carpool to and from work. It is currently only available in Waze’s home country of Israel, but it should be expanding to the rest of the world over time.
“What in the world are we doing here?”
That was a prevailing thought in the early stages of the Future With Ford, which we attended over the course of this week. But as the keynotes and experiential tours passed, we noticed that the group of global journalists invited were not merely from automotive publications: there were people from economic dailies, radio talk shows, other tech media, and even analysts in global trends. One of the keynote speakers was Alexis Ohanian, co-founder of Reddit.
Clearly, this was a different sort of global event.
Members of the Malaysian Taxi Drivers’ Transformation Association (PERS1M) picketed in front of the MyTeksi headquarters in Petaling Jaya to protest against the continued operation of app based ride sharing services like MyTeksi-owned GrabCar and Uber. The taxi drivers claim that these services are taking away their livelihood by offering rides cheaper than taxis.
Vertu is easily the world’s most premium mobile device maker, with prices ranging into thousands of US dollars for a simple phone. Its most recent device, a mobile phone made in conjunction with Bentley, is the ultimate expression of form over function. Which is especially important if you want your electronics to match the aesthetic of your really expensive Bentley.
Nokia may really be preparing to divest itself of the Here maps service. A collective group of German car-makers, supported by Chinese firm Baidu. Here provides maps for a large portion of the automotive industy, and gaining control of it would be a very strategic move for the German manufacturers.