Happy Thursday. Aaron standing in today for Adam, who is traveling to Canada.
With the Computex trade show going on in Taiwan this week, we’re certainly being treated to a flood of announcements from the formerly forlorn state known as the personal computer market.
I got a chance to speak with Gregory Bryant ahead of the show. He’s the 25-year Intel veteran who was thrust to the top of the chip giant’s PC business just a few weeks ago. The head of Intel’s server chip unit, Diane Bryant, had to take a lengthy leave of absence and the company tapped Navin Shenoy, who had only been running PC chips for a year, to fill in for her, creating the opening.
Bryant is so bullish on PCs in 2017 you might never know that the industry sold only 260 million units last year, down 26% since 2011. He’s also very bullish on Intel, telling me they are “really the only company that can power every segment of this emerging smart connected world all the way from the cloud through the network to the edge devices and kind of everything in between.” The 1.5 billion smartphone buyers last year (triple the number from 2011) would probably beg to differ.
Taking stock. In earnings land, Wednesday was a day for reports from some of the tech companies oriented towards the corporate market. Box said revenue grew 30% to $117 million, more than Wall Street expected. Same story at security expert Palo Alto Networks, where revenue rose 25%. Not so for Hewlett Packard Enterprise, which saw revenue decline 22% to $9.9 billion.
Moving in the right direction. Results also came on Wednesday for a very large but not yet public company: Uber. The Wall Street Journal reported that first quarter revenue of $3.4 billion was up 18% from the prior quarter and its net loss declined 29% to $708 million. Oh, and head of finance Gautam Gupta is leaving.
The future of TV. Netflix CEO Reed Hastings repeated his analysis that traditional cable TV “is all going to move to the Internet-it’s all going to be on-demand.” But maybe some people in cable land were finally listening. Discovery Communications CEO David Zaslav said his industry needs to develop an $8 Internet TV bundle to compete with Hastings. David Marchese at New York magazine has a deeper read about how show creators are handling the changes.
John Podesta needs a time machine. Google announced it would better protect Gmail users from hackers with new anti-phishing security checks.
Lots of loot. Rumors have been flying about what new hardware Apple might introduce at its upcoming developer conference, WWDC. According to Mac Rumors, the haul could include new MacBook and MacBook Pro models along with a refreshed iPad Pro.
MOAR data. Don’t have time to review all 355 slides in Mary Meeker’s annual state of the Internet report? Fortune’s Leena Rao has pulled some highlights, including that global Internet advertising is finally expected to pass TV spending in the next six months and 20% of mobile searches were made using a voice query in 2016. The full report is also online at Kleiner Perkins web site.
Look, up in the sky. Masayoshi Son, CEO of SoftBank Group, had a vision to combine his OneWeb satellite Internet startup with longtime player Intelsat SA. But Intelsat’s bondholders wouldn’t go along.
FOOD FOR THOUGHT
Andy Rubin got lots of attention this week, including from Data Sheet, for his new smartphone. But Eric Limer at Popular Mechanics tried to cut through Rubin’s rhetoric and analyze just how essential the Essential Phone might be. His conclusion? Not very.
What is maybe more noteworthy is the ways it is like other phones out there: It’s a $700 rectangular screen with a camera that (probably) runs vanilla Android. In fact, it’s quite an awful lot like Google’s Pixel, though prettier and without the headphone jack. The things that make it ‘special’ are unproven at best, meaningless at worst.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
How Microsoft Is Sowing the Seeds of an Augmented Reality Future by Jonathan Vanian
Trump’s Fake Twitter Following Climbs, Sparking Fears of a Bot War by Mathew Ingram
Google’s Secret Wireless Plan to Test at Nascar Races by Aaron Pressman
Why Apple Could Be to Blame for Nintendo Switch Shortage by Don Reisinger
Uber Burned a Whole Lot of Money to Make UberPool Work by Polina Marinova
BEFORE YOU GO
Technology has been a boon for people with many kinds of disabilities. Now researchers at MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory are combining cutting edge techniques from 3D cameras and image recognition software to build an automated navigation system for the visually impaired. To see a prototype of the amazing system in action, check out the video MIT has posted.