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How to Invest in Mobile Technology

From texting and social media to shopping and banking online, mobile devices have become central to modern life, and the industry is poised for even more growth moving forward.The mobile device space encompasses items such as mobile phones, handheld compu

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From texting and social media to shopping and banking online, mobile devices have become central to modern life, and the industry is poised for even more growth moving forward.

The mobile device space encompasses items such as mobile phones, handheld computers and other similar personal portable device technologies, articles that many people use on a daily basis.

Here the Investing News Network provides a comprehensive look at mobile technology, including what it is, where it's headed and, of course, ways to invest in it.


Investing in mobile technology: Past, present and future devices


As noted, mobile technology refers to a wide array of devices, encompassing portable phones, handheld computers and everything in between, such as wearables like smart watches.

Since the first handheld mobile device was unveiled in 1973, evolution has been rapid as manufacturers aimed for true portability. Major advances have targeted battery life, size, shape and capabilities.

The launch of Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPhone in 2007 accelerated the move toward touch-only devices, while the company’s iPad created a “revolution” in the tablet arena.

In more recent years, mobile manufacturers have unveiled mobile devices that feature foldable screens with slim bezels, marrying the concept of a tablet and a mobile phone into one single device.

Samsung Electronics (KRX:005930), Huawei, Oppo and Xiaomi (HKEX:1810,OTC Pink:XIACF) have all released foldable phones. Samsung has said that its foldable offering provides fresh ways of multitasking that bring to life “new experiences and possibilities years in the making.” For now, Samsung's foldable phones only fold once, but bi-fold and even tri-fold panels for phones and tablets are in the works.

The trend toward foldable phones could be here to stay, as Apple is also said to be working on a foldable device — it is expected to be out in 2023 as the cellphone giant seeks to compete with Samsung in this space.

Investing in mobile technology: How mobile usage has evolved 


While the first generation of mobile phones offered nothing more than phone calls, technology has evolved in recent years — so much so that phone calls are no longer among the top daily uses of the phone.

A 2017 survey of UK smartphone users conducted by mobiles.co.uk reveals that texting tops the charts in terms of daily mobile phone use. Checking email and Facebook (NASDAQ:FB), taking pictures and reading the news fill out the top five, while online shopping and banking are featured in the top 10 uses of smartphones. Watching videos on Alphabet's (NASDAQ:GOOGL) YouTube rounds out the top 10 at 42 percent.

All in all, it’s not an understatement to say that people live life through their phones — banking, ordering groceries, watching movies, texting friends, dating, sharing photos on social media, tracking health and more.

These seemingly endless possibilities are powered by apps, which have evolved along with the mobile technology industry. According to App Annie’s State of Mobile in 2022 report, consumers spent an average of 4.8 hours on mobile apps in 2021, up 30 percent from 2019. Consumers spent more than US$320,000 in app stores every minute of 2021, up nearly 20 percent from previous records in 2020.

Brands are taking advantage of consumers’ extensive daily use of mobile devices to expand the reach of their advertising campaigns. App Annie's report indicates that advertisers will pour more than US$340 billion into ad spending in 2022, up from US$295 billion in 2021.

The banking industry is just one space where mobile usage has become key and is expected to continue developing. According to research firm KPMG, “digital platforms will become the preferred and dominant business model for banks and financial institutions in the future.”

Chase Bank completed a survey revealing that the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the adoption of mobile banking technology. According to International Banker, innovation in financial technology will rise as more bank customers turn to their phones to deposit checks, transfer funds and make trades.

Investing in mobile technology: What's the outlook for the market?


The International Data Corporation (IDC), a market research company, has forecast that global smartphone sales will grow by a healthy 3.5 percent in 2023 and beyond, "fueled by pent-up demand, declining average sale prices (ASPs), and continued transition from feature phones to smartphones."

But it's worth noting that COVID-19 supply chain and logistical challenges will continue for smartphone manufacturers and distributors. IDC's Nabila Popal noted that shortages are impacting 4G components more than 5G, meaning that sellers focused on 4G devices will have additional difficulties.

"On the positive side, this is expected to accelerate the jump to 5G, which is now forecast to be almost 60 (percent) of worldwide shipments by this time next year, slowing the decline in smartphone ASPs over the forecast period," said Popal, who is the research director for the firm's Mobility and Consumer Device Trackers division.

In its own report, Ericsson (NASDAQ:ERIC) highlights the massive potential of 5G, predicting that investments in the industry will generate an estimated US$619 billion revenue opportunity for telecom operators by 2026.

Research and Markets is calling for the global smartphone market to reach US$795.3 billion by 2027, growing by 9.5 percent annually from 2020. The firm highlights increasing per capita disposable income and growing smartphone adoption in digital platforms during the pandemic as factors contributing to demand.

In terms of apps driving future mobile traffic, Ericsson projects that video apps will continue to dominate the market, and estimates that they will contribute 79 percent of total traffic in 2027.

Statista points out that the most popular mobile internet apps are those that allow consumers to watch movies or videos, check and send email and access social media. "Apps are a very popular way to watch video on the go and the most-downloaded entertainment apps in the Apple App Store are Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX), Tencent Video and Amazon Prime Video," it states on its website.

Investing in mobile technology: ETFs and stocks to consider


With major growth predicted across the mobile market, investors have plenty of opportunities to invest in the sector. Exchange-traded funds (ETFs) and stocks are two common ways of getting exposure.

Mobile ETFs

ETFs are a popular way to enter any given market as they provide exposure to baskets of companies rather than specific stocks. This means they are often a safer bet and a good way initial entry point.

In the telecom space, ETFdb.com lists nine ETFs, including Vanguard Communication Services (ARCA:VOX), Fidelity MSCI Communication (ARCA:FCOM) and iShares Global Telecom ETF (ARCA:IXP).

Mobile stocks

Investors who want to get more specific and are willing to do some research may want to delve into companies themselves — for example, smartphone manufacturers like Samsung Electronics, Apple and Xiaomi, which took the top spots in terms of smartphone shipments for Q3 2021.

Those in the US can also look at the largest telecom companies, like AT&T (NYSE:T) and Verizon (NYSE:VZ), while investors in Canada can look at “popular” companies like Rogers Communications (TSX:RCI.A,TSX:RCI.B,NYSE:RCI), Bell (TSX:BCE,NYSE:BCE), Telus (TSX:T,NYSE:TU) and Shaw Communications (TSXV:SJR.A,TSX:SJR.B,NYSE:SJR).

This is an updated version of an article first published by the Investing News Network in 2019.

Don’t forget to follow us @INN_Technology for real-time news updates!

Securities Disclosure: I, Melissa Pistilli, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.

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After a near 10% rally this week can the Netflix share price make a comeback?

The Netflix share price rallied by nearly 10% (9.6%) this week after co-CEO Ted Sarandos confirmed the film and television streaming market leader is to…

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The Netflix share price rallied by nearly 10% (9.6%) this week after co-CEO Ted Sarandos confirmed the film and television streaming market leader is to introduce a new ad-supported, cheaper subscription. The company also announced it is to lay off another 300 employees, around 4% of its global workforce, in addition to the 150 redundancies last month.

Netflix has been forced into a period of belt-tightening after announcing a 200,000 subscriber-strong net loss over the first quarter of 2022. The U.S. tech giant also ominously forecast expectations for the loss of a further 2 million subscribers over the current quarter that will conclude at the end of this month.

netflix inc

The company has faced increasing sector competition with Paramount+ its latest new rival, joining Amazon Prime, Disney+, HBO Max and a handful of other new streaming platforms jostling for market share. A more competitive environment has combined with a hangover from the subscriber boom Netflix benefitted from over the Covid-19 pandemic and spiralling cost of living crisis.

Despite the strong gains of the past week, Netflix’s share price is still down over 68% for 2022 and 64% in the last 12 months. Stock markets have generally suffered this year with investors switching into risk-off mode in the face of spiralling inflation, rising interest rates, fears of a recession and the geopolitical crisis triggered by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Growth stocks like Netflix whose high valuations were heavily reliant on the value of future revenues have been hit hardest. No recognised member of Wall Street’s Big Tech cabal has escaped punishment this year with even the hugely profitable Apple, Microsoft, Alphabet and Amazon all seeing their valuations slide by between around 20% and 30%.

But all of those other tech companies have diversified revenue streams, bank profits which dwarf those of Netflix and are sitting on huge cash piles. The more narrowly focused Meta Platforms (Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram) which still relies exclusively on ad revenue generated from online advertising on its social media platforms, has also been hit harder, losing half of its value this year.

But among Wall Street’s established, profitable Big Tech stocks, Netflix has suffered the steepest fall in its valuation. But it is still profitable, even if it has taken on significant debt investing in its original content catalogue. And it is still the international market leader by a distance in a growing content streaming market.

justwatch

Source: JustWatch

Even if the competition is hotting up, Netflix still offers subscribers by far the biggest and most diversified catalogue of film and television content available on the market. And the overall value of the video content streaming market is also expected to keep growing strongly for the next several years. Even if annual growth is forecast to drop into the high single figures in future years.

revenue growth

Source: Statista

In that context, there are numerous analysts to have been left with the feeling that while the Netflix share price may well have been over-inflated during the pandemic and due a correction, it has been over-sold. Which could make the stock attractive at its current price of $190.85, compared to the record high of $690.31 reached as recently as October last year.

What’s next for the Netflix share price?

As a company, Netflix is faced with a transition period over the next few years. For the past decade, it has been a high growth company with investors focused on subscriber numbers. The recent dip notwithstanding, it has done exceedingly well on that score, attracting around 220 million paying customers globally.

Netflix established its market-leading position by investing heavily in its content catalogue, first by buying up the rights to popular television shows and films and then pouring hundreds of millions into exclusive content. That investment was necessary to establish a market leading position against its historical rivals Amazon Prime, which benefits from the deeper pockets of its parent company, and Hulu in the USA.

Netflix’s investment in its own exclusive content catalogue also helped compensate for the loss of popular shows like The Office, The Simpsons and Friends. When deals for the rights to these shows and many hit films have ended over the past few years their owners have chosen not to resell them to Netflix. Mainly because they planned or had already launched rival streaming services like Disney+ (The Simpsons) and HBO Max (The Office and Friends).

Netflix will continue to show third party content it acquires the rights to. But with the bulk of the most popular legacy television and film shows now available exclusively on competitor platforms launched by or otherwise associated with rights holders, it will rely ever more heavily on its own exclusive content.

That means continued investment, the expected budget for this year is $17 billion, which will put a strain on profitability. But most analysts expect the company to continue to be a major player in the video streaming sector.

Its strategy to invest in localised content produced specifically for international markets has proven a good one. It has strengthened its offering on big international markets like Japan, South Korea, India and Brazil compared to rivals that exclusively offer English-language content produced with an American audience in mind.

The approach has also produced some of Netflix’s biggest hits across international audiences, like the South Korean dystopian thriller Squid Games and the film Parasite, another Korean production that won the 2020 Academy Award for best picture – the first ever ‘made for streaming’ movie to do so.

Netflix is also, like many of its streaming platform rivals, making a push into sport. It has just lost out to Disney-owned ESPN, the current rights holder, in a bid to acquire the F1 rights for the USA. But having made one big move for prestigious sports rights, even if it ultimately failed, it signals a shift in strategy for a company that hasn’t previously shown an interest in competing for sports audiences.

Over the next year or so, Netflix’s share price is likely to be most influenced by the success of its launch of the planned lower-cost ad-supported subscription. It’s a big call that reverses the trend of the last decade away from linear television programming supported by ad revenue in its pursuit of new growth.

It will take Netflix at least a year or two to roll out a new ad-supported platform globally and in the meanwhile, especially if its forecast of losing another 2 million subscribers this quarter turns out to be accurate, the share price could potentially face further pain. But there is also a suspicion that the stock has generally been oversold and will eventually reclaim some of the huge losses of the past several months.

How much of that loss of share price is reclaimed will most probably rely on take-up of the new ad-supported cheaper membership tier. There is huge potential there with the company estimating around 100 million viewers have been accessing the platform via shared passwords. That’s been clamped down on recently and will continue to be because Netflix is determined to monetise those 100 million viewers contributing nothing to its revenues.

If a big enough chunk of them opt for continued access at the cost of watching ads, the company’s revenue growth could quickly return to healthy levels again. And that could see some strong upside for the Netflix share price in the context of its currently deflated level.

The post After a near 10% rally this week can the Netflix share price make a comeback? first appeared on Trading and Investment News.

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Hedge Fund CIO: How Will The Fed Do QT? Each Crisis Has Increased Markets’ Dependency On Fed Liquidity

Hedge Fund CIO: How Will The Fed Do QT? Each Crisis Has Increased Markets’ Dependency On Fed Liquidity

By Eric Peters, CIO of One River Asset…

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Hedge Fund CIO: How Will The Fed Do QT? Each Crisis Has Increased Markets' Dependency On Fed Liquidity

By Eric Peters, CIO of One River Asset Management

“The Fed is “all in” on re-establishing price stability,” Fed Governor Waller pronounced in pleasantly direct language. “Experience has shown that markets need time to adjust to a turn from accommodation to tightening.”

In response to questions, Waller spoke with blunt determination: “I don’t care what’s causing inflation, it’s too high, it’s my job to get it down. The higher rates and the path that we’re putting them on, it’s going to put downward pressure on demand across all sectors.”

Powell offered his own sober message, “A soft landing is our goal. It is going to be very challenging. It has been made significantly more challenging by the events of the last few months – thinking of the war and of commodities prices and further problems with supply chains.”

New York Fed economists provide a bit more precision, arguing that “the chances of a hard landing are about 80%,” starting in Q4 2022.

Something will break. Something always does.

Digital did and the regulatory landgrab has started in full force. Lagarde, with plenty of serious policy decisions ahead, observed that “crypto assets and DeFi have the potential to pose real risk to financial stability.”

Spain’s Minister of Finance, Montero, announced digital asset owners would need to declare holdings and trading “in anticipation of regulations that would soon be carried out throughout the European Union.”

The East-West divide is clear in policy focus. President Xi is focused on growth, vowing to “strengthen macro-policy adjustment and adopt more effective measures to strive to meet the social and economic development targets for 2022 and minimize the impacts of Covid-19.”

Strains in emerging markets are being managed from within. Sri Lanka’s 22mm people are in the most severe economic crisis in nearly a century and India’s Foreign Secretary Kwatra underlined, “India stands ready to help Sri Lanka through promoting investments, connectivity and strengthening economic linkages,” beyond the $4bln aid already provided.

The East-West center of gravity between global war and peace sits in Kaliningrad, a tiny Russian province pressed between NATO countries. Lithuanian President Nauseda offered that “Russia cannot be stopped by persuasion, cooperation, appeasement or concessions.”

Elevated rhetoric continued when Russia’s Foreign Minister Lavrov drew comparison to Hitler’s war against the Soviet Union. “The EU and NATO are bringing together a contemporary coalition to fight and, to a large extent, wage war against Russia.”

* * *

Liquidity Unknowns I: How much QT is too much QT? We don’t know. There is no tidy math formula, no general equilibrium model, no linear approximation that will tell you. The trouble is, in a world of false precision, everyone wants a number. And policymakers have a hard time saying, “we don’t know,” especially when it’s true. Through the week ending June 22, balances with Federal Reserve Banks – previously known as ‘excess reserves’ – stood at $3.115trln. Powell guided the market that the end point for the Fed balance sheet would shrink another $2.5trln to $3trln. How does that math work?

Unknowns II: Yet again new tools were needed in this cycle. To make sure rates didn’t fall below the Fed’s floor, they needed a broader mechanism to absorb excess liquidity. That mechanism was private sector access to the reverse repo facility. Remember the 2018 period of QT. Excess reserves were $1.9trln before liquidity conditions started to bite in September. Private sector reverse repos were basically zero. Today? $2.5trln. The Fed’s liabilities are acting as the riskless asset to private money funds in a way. The Fed clearly thinks reverse repos will decline. We don’t know. Behavior could drive it up if everyone wants liquidity and wants to face the Fed. As reverse repos rise, excess reserves decline. QT has more liquidity plumbing risk today – tools can turn into weapons.

Unknown III: The risks are different but the strategy with QT is the same – start small, increase gradually, and then let it run. It isn’t the obvious choice. Reducing the pace as liquidity is withdrawn is a more natural path – you typically slow as you approach a stop sign, after all. We will know when the tightening – both in liquidity and interest rates – has gone too far. Weak links will break. Digital plays the role of EM in this cycle – big enough to be noticed, not enough to get policy to stop. Asset deflation, a USD credit crunch, and risks from maturity transformation has led to capital controls with 11 digital intermediaries. As in the Asia Crisis, the ecosystem will respond to gain independence and resilience.

Unknown IV: Digital is the warning sign, not the circuit-breaker. Typical candidates – a rapid rise in the US dollar, EM currency and debt crisis, and banking strain – are just not applicable. After each crisis is a response, and those responses act like a vaccine against future ‘shocks.’ Emerging markets have insulated themselves with large holdings in the US dollar. Currency depreciation forced EM central banks into more orthodox positions well ahead of the Fed, ECB, and BOJ. Banks don’t have the space to make the mistakes of the GFC, with leverage financing pushed to capital markets. But markets have not been weaned from liquidity. To the contrary, each crisis has increased dependency on Fed liquidity.

Unknown V: The adjustment in broader markets is orderly. How else would it be? Disorder is how it ends, not how it starts. “It is like jumping from the 100th floor of a building and saying, ‘so far, so good’ halfway into the drop,” a prolific investor remarked when confronted with “contained” language head of the GFC. Liquidity transformation in traditional markets, the driver of digital weakness, is everywhere. And it is a so-far, so-good story. ETF discounts make the point emphatically. An illiquidity pocket means that ETFs would clear the way closed-end funds do – hunting for a price where a buyer is willing to absorb the liquidity risk. Mortgage ETFs are down 9.7% for the year and trade exactly on net asset value. So far, so good.

Unknown VI: What we can see is rarely the problem. The grandest mismatch resides in private markets. “Prior to the pandemic, many had already grown concerned about public market valuations and were exploring private capital markets in the hopes of addressing lower return projections for their traditional 60/40 portfolios.” Pronouncements like these became the norm. A generation of “J-curve” investors – the pattern of private investments to draw capital and then deliver rapid returns – was born. Everyone wants a liquidity buffer. Nobody has one. And in the everything bubble, to get one you are selling assets in the hole. You sell what you can. You promise never again, even if enticed by the Fed toolkit. Until it happens again.

Tyler Durden Sun, 06/26/2022 - 21:13

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The Sussex researchers who used international collaboration and 3D printing to stem PPE shortages in Nigeria

Researchers at the University of Sussex and their partners in Nigeria used open-source designs and 3D printing to reduce personal protective equipment…

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Researchers at the University of Sussex and their partners in Nigeria used open-source designs and 3D printing to reduce personal protective equipment (PPE) shortages for a community in Nigeria during the Covid-19 pandemic – tells a recently published academic paper.

Credit: Please credit Royhaan Folarin, TReND

Researchers at the University of Sussex and their partners in Nigeria used open-source designs and 3D printing to reduce personal protective equipment (PPE) shortages for a community in Nigeria during the Covid-19 pandemic – tells a recently published academic paper.

In their paper in PLOS Biology, Dr Andre Maia Chagas from the University of Sussex, and Dr. Royhaan Folarin from the Olabisi Onabanjo University (Nigeria), explain how their collaboration led to the production of  over 400 pieces of PPE for the local hospital and surrounding community, including those providing essential and frontline services. This included face masks and face shields, at a time when a global shortage meant it was impossible for these to be sourced by traditional companies. 

In their collaboration, they leveraged existing open-source designs detailing how to manufacture approved PPE. This allowed Nigerian researchers to source, build and use a 3D printer and begin producing and distributing protective equipment for the local community to use. Plus, it was affordable.

One 3D printer operator and one assembler produced on average one face shield in 1 hour 30 minutes, costing 1,200 Naira (£2.38) and one mask in 3 hours 3 minutes costing 2,000 Naira (£3.97). In comparison, at the time of the project, commercially available face shields cost at least 5,000 Naira (£9.92) and reusable masks cost 10,000 Naira (£19.84). 

Dr Maia Chagas, Research Bioengineer at the University of Sussex, said: “Through knowledge sharing, collaboration and technology, we were able to help support a community through a global health crisis. 

“I’m really proud of the tangible difference we made at a critical time for this community. As PPE was in such high demand and stocks were low, prices for surgical masks, respirators and surgical gowns hiked, with issues arising around exports and international distribution. 

“We quickly realized that alternative means of producing and distributing PPE were required. Free and open-source hardware (FOSH) and 3D printing quickly became a viable option.

“We hope that our international collaboration during the pandemic will inspire other innovators to use technology and share knowledge to help address societal problems, which were typically reliant on funding or support from government or large research institutions. 

“With open source designs, knowledge sharing and 3D printing, there is a real opportunity for us to start addressing problems from the ground up, and empower local communities and researchers.”

Dr. Royhaan Folarin, a Neuroscientist and lecturer of anatomical sciences at Olabisi Onabanjo University in Nigeria, said: 

“During the pandemic, we saw the successful printing and donation of PPE in the Czech Republic by Prusa Research and it became a goal for me to use the training I had received in previous TReND in Africa workshops to help impact my immediate community in Nigeria.”

The international collaboration came about as a result of the TReND in Africa network, a charity hosted within Sussex which supports scientific capacity building across Africa. 

After initial use, testers provided feedback commending the innovativeness, usefulness and aesthetics of the PPE and, while the team’s 3D printer was not built for large-scale serial manufacturing, they identified the possibilities for several 3D printers to run in parallel, to reduce relative production time. During the pandemic, this was successfully demonstrated by the company Prusa Research, which produced and shipped 200,000 CE certified face shields. 


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