TechDigest daily roundup: Apple becomes world’s first $3 trillion company


Apple has become the world’s first company to be valued at $3 trillion as Wall Street bet that the iPhone juggernaut’s record run during the pandemic would carry on. Shares climbed by up to 3pc on the first trading day of the new year to send the company’s market value past the milestone. It crossed the threshold less than four years after becoming the first publicly-listed trillion-dollar company, and just 16 months after hitting the $2 trillion mark.  Separately, Tesla shares surged after the company smashed Wall Street production forecasts. Telegraph 

Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes has been convicted of defrauding investors after a months-long landmark trial in California. Prosecutors said Holmes knowingly lied about technology she said could detect diseases with a few drops of blood. Jurors found Holmes guilty of conspiracy to commit fraud against investors and three charges of wire fraud. She denied the charges, which carry a maximum prison term of 20 years each. Holmes was not taken into custody, with no date confirmed yet for sentencing and a further hearing scheduled next week. BBC 

Many people will have banged a battery-powered TV remote on the brink of dying against a table hoping to revive it. But there may now be a more elegant approach. Samsung, the South Korean electronics company, has decided to do away with replaceable batteries altogether and has created a remote control that is powered through radio waves and solar energy. The device, made in part from recycled plastic, can charge itself by collecting radio waves from WiFi routers in a house — up to 40 metres away — and convert this into energy, in what is known as RF (radio frequency) harvesting. The Times

Image: Mercedes-Benz

Mercedes-Benz (DAIGn.DE) on Monday took the wraps off its battery-powered VISION EQXX prototype which it says will have a range of more than 1,000 kilometres (km) per charge, taking a big stride in its electric vehicle (EV) ambitions. Daimler, soon to be rebranded Mercedes-Benz, announced plans in 2021 to invest more than 40 billion euros ($45 billion) by 2030 to take on Tesla (TSLA.O) in an all-electric car market, including building eight battery plants. From 2025, all its new vehicle platforms will only make EVs, it has said. Reuters 

Is anyone going to CES this year? A long-simmering question in the tech world will finally get its answer as the influential gadget show returns to the Las Vegas Strip after a hiatus caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. “We know it will be a smaller show this year, for obvious reasons,” said Jean Foster, senior vice president at the Consumer Technology Association, the event’s organizer. Several huge tech companies have abandoned plans to attend in person. The latest sign of its dwindling size was Friday’s announcement that CES will run one day shorter than originally planned. AP News 

Tesla has been criticised for opening a new showroom in Xinjiang, the Chinese region where authorities are accused of widespread abuse against Uyghur Muslims. The US-based electric car maker, led by Elon Musk, announced the opening in Urumqi, Xinjiang’s capital, on Friday, declaring on social media: “Let’s start Xinjiang’s all-electric journey.” But the move drew fire from US Republican senator Marco Rubio as well as the Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations. Sky News 

Chris Price
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