In this report I will be outlining three articles that have experienced a
technical change, underwent a merger and have experienced changes due to
brexit. The articles will be of 2018 published from online newspapers.
There are a number of changes to the Smartphone industry
in the coming of 2018, most of which are subtle. With the exception of a touch
ID sensor embedded in the screen of a little known Chinese company Vivo along
with Synaptics who have successfully showcased a prototype at 2018 CES
(Consumer Electronics Show) this January. Synaptics are the one who have
perfected the technology to be implemented in a Smartphone. You would believe
this type of innovation to be achieved by Samsung, Google or Apple by now.
This advancement in the touch id technology will also
enable a great leap into a truly bezel-less display. Although Synaptics are not
the first bring out this technology infact, it was Toshiba back in 2007 who
revealed something similar but took just over 10 years for Synaptics and vivo
to demonstrate the capabilities and possibilities in this year’s CES 2018. Synaptics
are ready to step into the big leagues with the Synaptics Clear ID being twice
as fast as 3D facial recognition. (https://news.sky.com/story/phone-embeds-fingerprint-sensor-within-screen-in-world-first-11208835)
Synaptic are aware of the growing market for fingerprint
preferences in front of a phone but with the Smartphone industry quickly
shifting to the infinity displays they need to make their unit of production
low. We know that Samsung are the kings of display when it comes to the OLED
UHD+ screens. Synaptics have been trying to match Samsung for some years now.
At CES 2018 apart from the breakthrough of touch id the company have also been
developing their OLED display driver ICs displays as their touch ID only works
on an OLED display as it complements the OLED pixels to work.
The Anglo-Dutch oil company Shell will soon be selling
electricity and gas direct to householders in the UK for the first time after
buying one of the county’s biggest energy suppliers, First Utility.
The acquisition of the largest supplier outside of the
“big six” compounds a year of upheaval in the UK energy market, which is
already being transformed by the proposed merger of Npower and SSE and the
imposition of price caps.
Shell has bought First Utility outright for an
undisclosed sum, and will be supplying 825,000 households if the deal completes
as expected at the end of February. Industry figures said the price was likely
in the region of £200m-£300m.
The move is the latest in a buying spree by Shell, which
has acquired two electric car infrastructure firms in recent months as it
diversifies beyond oil and gas.
Mark Gainsborough, its executive vice-president of new
energies, said: “The supply and demand of residential energy is rapidly
changing, driven by new technologies that enable householders to better manage
their energy use, and the need for a low-carbon energy system.”
Experts said the entrance of Shell into UK energy supply
would cause a significant shake-up.
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Robert Buckley, research director at analysts Cornwall
Insight, said: “It clearly is a brand that is an order of magnitude bigger than
any other brand coming to UK energy retail. It’s one that will make any
competition sit up and take note.”
Buckley said it would be a good thing for consumers. “One
of the issues that have come up consistently is having confidence in the brand
you want to switch to, and people will have heard of Shell and have regular
interaction with them through a forecourt,” he said.
First Utility, which launched in 2008 and has grown into
the biggest independent energy supplier in the UK, has recently diversified,
branching out into broadband supply earlier this year.
The company said the takeover by Shell would enable it to
develop new products for customers, including ones relating to electric car
Darren Braham, First’s co-founder, said: “First Utility
has brought significant disruption and competition to the energy market and
this move will help us to capitalise on all the opportunities provided by
digitalisation, decarbonisation and the move to battery technology and electric
Shell is entering a market which is under intense
political scrutiny and faces the biggest change since privatisation with the
introduction of a price cap on default tariffs in early 2019.
Of the biggest energy suppliers, First Utility will be
less affected by the measure because it has the lowest proportion of customers
on tariffs that will be capped – 23% compared to market leader British Gas on
Gainsborough said Shell hoped to increase market share.
“We are moving in with ambition to grow significantly over time,” he said,
adding that the company was undeterred by the threat of price caps. The reality
is the UK is, counter to what many think, it’s a very competitive market for
Gainsborough continued that it was too early to say
whether First Utility would rebrand but in terms of the management team it
would be “business as usual” initially.
Braham said the sector was in flux and Shell’s scale
would help it take advantage of that. “I think there’s a big change in the
market with price caps coming, and the big six are quite vulnerable.”
He added that the company was also looking to expand
internationally to other markets.
Easyjet and countless other airlines have been affected
by brexit and the EU referendum. The biggest impact was the drop of sterling
the past year and profits have declined by over £100m of and pre-tax profits fell
by one sixth to £408m which points to the devaluation of pound after Brexit.
For both historical and most importantly technical
reasons, aviation markets are highly regulated. Airlines rights to offer
services between any two locations in two different countries are governed by
specific agreements between the governments concerned. EasyJet along with British
airways are both UK owned airlines meaning they have full freedom of part of
the European Common Aviation Area (ECAA).
When the UK leaves the EU, without special arrangements
the UK’s membership of the ECAA would lapse and these airlines would lose all
their automatic rights to operate to, from and within the ECAA. Furthermore,
their rights would also lapse on routes that are now governed by agreements
between the third-party country and the EU (such as the EU-US “Open Skies”
However, it is important to note that these rights are reciprocal. USA and
other ECAA carriers would lose their automatic rights to fly to the UK.
The airline industry undergoes extensive regulations related
to their security, safety, environment and air traffic. Most of these rules are
implemented globally and determined by the international Civil Aviation
Organisation (ICAO). Where they aren’t met,
these standards need to be agreed by the two parties establishing traffic
rights. This is to make sure that the aircraft entering their airspace is to
the Aviation standard set by the ICAO; well maintained, safely operated and not
needlessly noisy. They will also uphold that these rules aren’t limiting