Industry Insights

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The smartphone market: Low end meets high demand

A wave of cheap smartphone brands is crashing on shores from Taiwan to the US, buoyed by rising demand, as sales for more expensive models level off. The demand is coming from a huge swath of price-conscious consumers in both emerging and advanced economies who are buying their first smartphones. Last year, shipments of smartphones priced below $80 more than quintupled, and devices priced under $100 comprised one-sixth of the total.

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European CEOs still wary of investing

Europe emerged from the longest recession since the euro’s inception in the second quarter of last year, according to European Union statistics, and analysts forecast earnings at Stoxx 600 companies to climb 9% to 22.92 euros a share in 2014, the most since 2007. And yet, CEOs remain cautious – an attitude being reflected in investments, which are expected to remain flat. Instead, Chief Executive Officers are opting to reward shareholders with higher dividends.

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Data reveal a false sense of cyber security

In the wake of several high-profile breaches, corporate cyber security is top of mind, particularly in America. And yet, despite evidence of widespread compromise, many corporate and IT leaders in the US are confident about their company’s cyber security. A report from risk management firm BitSight Technologies found that of the 460 companies assessed, including a subset of firms in the S&P 500, 82% had an externally observable security compromise in 2013.

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The budding allure of European tech start-ups

The days of European tech entrepreneurs journeying to Silicon Valley to meet with venture-capital firms could be coming to an end. Following a string of other firms, Berlin-based Earlybird Venture Capital has started a $200 million fund aimed at European start-ups. 'We now have more ambitious entrepreneurs in Europe, and we need more ambitious venture capitalists', said LinkedIn co-founder Konstantin Guericke, who recently joined Earlybird.

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The outlook for Oculus

Not long after Facebook acquired WhatsApp for $19 billion, the social media titan moved on to its next conquest, buying Oculus VR, maker of the virtual-reality headset Oculus Rift, for around $2 billion in late March. Founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg, apparently unconcerned that the start-up is less than two years old and has so far sold its headset only to game developers, believes virtual reality is ready for the masses. A contingent of gaming veterans is sceptical.

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Ulf Bergström
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Katarina Brixéus
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Marie W. Corell
(T): +46 8.440.41.91
mcorell@boyden.com

Jessica Grönwall
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jgronwall@boyden.com

Per Z Haeggström
(T): +46 8.440.41.83
phaeggstrom@boyden.com