Three Things (5/24)

Wednesday, May 24th 2023


Apples and chips

Apple signed a new multibillion-dollar deal with Broadcom to leverage its 5G components for its suite of devices. The deal smooths out an often tumultuous relationship between the two tech giants but more importantly helps ensure that Apple receives the key resources it needs after supply chain troubles have upended the company’s ability to operate efficiently. 

Although a splashy headline, we think this deal largely maintains the status quo. CEO Tim Cook used this as an opportunity to tout the onshoring of the company’s supply chain: “We’re thrilled to make commitments that harness the ingenuity, creativity and innovative spirit of American manufacturing…all of Apple’s products depend on technology engineered and built here in the United States, and we’ll continue to deepen our investments in the US economy because we have an unshakable belief in America’s future.” (Bloomberg) Spoken like a true politician…

Litigation turns to partnership

Uber announced plans to begin transporting passengers and making deliveries in parts of Arizona using cars outfitted with autonomous driving technology from Alphabet’s Waymo. The partnership unlocks a low cost way for Uber to test demand for autonomous ride sharing while exposing more consumers to Waymo’s technology as the Google sister company ramps up its campaign to build a commercially viable business. 

The move certainly brings autonomous driving closer to the mainstream – if (a big if) the technology can prove to scale safely, it is an undeniable value unlock for both companies. The irony of the announcement: it is the culmination of a bitter dispute over the very technology they’re both bringing to market. What goes around comes around. 

Building in public

Microsoft hosted its annual Build conference on Tuesday and artificial intelligence stole the show. Windows 11 is getting an AI Copilot and Microsoft 360 copilot will now support ChatGPT plug-ins in an effort to make work even more efficient. 

The various announcements center around the company’s commitment to making its AI tools more flexible for more people – what could be an important differentiator compared to peers. Our biggest takeaways centered around the company’s launch of Azure AI Studio: a new capability that will allow developers to connect models like OpenAI’s ChatGPT or GPT-4 with their own proprietary data. Did artificial intelligence just get more intelligent?

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