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iPhone X sales low, but new iPads on the way, Rosenblatt note says

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“We are not surprised with the quick cooldown of iPhone X sales following Chinese New Year,” Zhang wrote. “Further iPhone X cuts, in our view, suggest the high-end smartphone market upgrade cycle continues to extend. We are seeing similar issues for Samsung’s S9 model since our research suggests that preorders are weak.”

Apple and Samsung, like many tech companies, and rarely release data on new products or unit sales outside of quarterly reports or launch events. But, Zhang wrote, Apple could sell 6 million to 8 million iPad Pro units with more advanced 3-D sensing, as well as new phones in the fall.

A new red iPhone model, lower-end iPhones and a lower-priced HomePod might also be in the works, Zhang said. (Apple has had a partnership with HIV/AIDS organization (RED) for over a decade, and often sells red-colored products to support AIDS research and prevention.)

“Since we expect the overall smartphone market to be flat this year, particularly in the mid-to-high end markets, Apple’s upcoming lower priced iPhone model could drive Apple’s unit growth,” Zhang wrote.

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Bitcoin (BTC) price jumps after El Salvador adopts it as legal tender

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Other cryptocurrencies got a lift as well, and ether and XRP were both trading higher.

Bitcoin is still significantly off of its record high of $64,829.14 that was hit in April.

Bitcoin is known for wild price swings that have prompted critics to suggest it is not suitable to be an effective currency. El Salvador’s case will be closely watched to see how bitcoin might work as a payments mechanism on a country-wide basis.

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Grab, GoTo IPOs could spawn more Southeast Asian unicorns: 500 Startups

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SINGAPORE — The public listings for two of Southeast Asia’s tech giants will likely pave the way for more high-growth businesses to emerge from the region, said venture capital firm 500 Startups.

Contrary to concerns that regional heavyweights may “gobble up” smaller start-ups and stymie innovation, Vishal Harnal told CNBC that “couldn’t be further from the truth.” Rather, he said, the initial public offerings of Grab and GoTo could boost the ecosystem and produce more billion-dollar start-ups.

Singapore-based ride-hailing company Grab announced in April that it would go public through a special purpose acquisition company merger valued at $39.6 billion —  the largest ever blank-check deal. Meanwhile, the newly-merged Indonesia on-demand platform GoTo Group confirmed to CNBC that it would go public this year.

“While there will be (mergers and acquisitions), while these companies will acquire smaller start-ups, they’re going to invest in far more companies than they acquire, and it’s going to lead to a lot more billion-dollar companies — or unicorns — being born as a result of that,” Harnal told “Street Signs Asia” Monday.

They’re going to invest in far more companies than they acquire, and it’s going to lead to a lot more billion-dollar companies.

Vishal Harnal

managing partner, 500 Startups

That’s because the founders of successful companies will have newfound liquidity to invest in the ecosystem, either actively or as angel investors — those who invest in early stage businesses. Meanwhile, staff who have seen their employers grow from seed funding to IPO may be more inclined to build their own companies.

Harnal likened the process to that which played out in China among its famous tech stocks known collectively as BAT – Baidu, Alibaba and Tencent.

A passenger takes a ride on a Gojek motorcycle taxi in Jakarta on May 24, 2018.

Bay Ismoyo | AFP | Getty Images

According to 500 Startups research, out of the nearly 150 active and former unicorns created in China, 40% were invested by BAT companies. In total, BAT companies have invested in 915 tech companies since going public.

In contrast, there was less than half that number of mergers and acquisitions, with just 14 occurring in companies worth more than $1 billion.

“We saw this happening in China with BAT – Baidu, Alibaba, Tencent. Now in Southeast Asia, we’ve got the equivalent, GSG – Grab, Sea and GoTo,” Harshal said, referencing the Singapore-based internet giant Sea Group.

“The more money that companies like GSG spend in educating the ecosystem, in ensuring technology adoption, and investing in expanding the internet economy,” he said. “The more inroads it creates for newer start-ups to build companies and leverage on those companies that now exist.”

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Google health chief David Feinberg: ‘global impact’ is goal

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Google is going after the health sector in a major way, but Google’s health vice president said he’s feeling more pressure to bringits health products to Google-sized scale than to bring immediate revenue to the company.

David Feinberg, who joined Google in a newly-created role as VP of health two years ago, said several times Wednesday that he feels pressure to bring products to scale but that revenue isn’t a part of most of his discussions with Google higher-ups.

“The real pressure is ‘is this really going to help millions of people?’,” Feinberg said at the Wall Street Journal Health Tech virtual conference Wednesday. “Is it Google scale? That’s the pressure.”

However, there’s no doubt the company has a vested interest in healthcare across several business units. For instance, Google Cloud is partnering with HCA Healthcare, a healthcare provider based in Tennessee, to develop algorithms based on patient records in an attempt to improve efficiency and patient outcomes.

The company hired Obama administration official Karen DeSalvo to the company in 2019. She led the company’s Covid-19 efforts and recently announced the company is helping create a device that uses AI to detect skin conditions.

Feinberg, who helped with the exposure notification product with Apple for Covid-19, said the big product the company is focused on is Care Studio, its partnership with Ascension that aims to organize patients’ electronic records for healthcare practitioners.

Feinberg said it can scale health products including using Google’s massive user Android base.

“Yes, there’s even more pressure to have global impact and when I say global impact, we’re not talking about revenue, we’re talking about we have this diabetic retinopathy screening in India and Thailand and how do we scale that tot he rest of the world. We have the ability through Android phones to help people with pregnancy or gestational age or read an x-ray.” He said.

“How do we get that around the world? That’s the pressure, he continued. “It’s a great pressure. Some of our areas we’re thinking of revenue pressure but I’d say that would comes very later in then discussions.” 

Feinberg said in order to bring its products to scale, it needs two things: partnerships and public trust.

The company faces a tough battle against misinformation on properties like YouTube, as well as widespread distrust of how it uses customer data, thanks to its data-driven advertising business model. (Advertising still makes up more than 80% of Alphabet’s overall revenue.) Feinberg said the biggest way he sees combating misinformation online is with “authoritative” information — a strategy YouTube has maintained amid backlash for displaying early vaccine and Covid-19 misinformation.

Watch Now: Google’s health chief on Covid-19 initiative

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