Huawei Plans Charging for 5G Patents; Samsung to Delay Galaxy Note Refresh; UK Uber Drivers Now Employees; Foxconn May or May not Make EVs in Wisconsin

Since the US blocked Huawei with sanctions that cut the company off from Android and mobile chips, the company has been looking to make up for the loss. According to zdnet.com, Huawei is looking at charging Apple and Samsung a ‘reasonable’ fee for using Huawei 5G patents in their smartphones. Jason Ding, head of Huawei’s intellectual property rights department, says it will probably amount to about $2.50 per phone. It’s likely Apple and Samsung will just eat that amount. For comparison, Dolby used to charge about $2 bucks decades ago for the Dolby System in cassette players and use of the Double D symbol, so Huawei’s fee doesn’t seem excessive. Huawei owns a massive number of 5G patents, and both Samsung and Apple probably use over 30 of them in their phones. 

Samsung has warned that it is being seriously affected by the worldwide chip shortage. Bloomberg.com reports that the shortage means Samsung is considering putting off introduction of a refreshed Galaxy Note…one of its best-selling models. Samsung CEO Koh Dong-jin claims that any delay or cancelling of the Note might really be geared towards streamlining their line. The car industry has already taking quite a hit from the chip shortage. Samsung, TSMC, and Qualcomm are all working to clear the chip shortage, and hope supplies will be back to normal by the middle of this year. 

Despite the successful campaign to get a proposition (Prop. 22)…at the cost of some $200 million bucks…in California to overturn AB5, which characterized Uber and Lyft drivers and others as employees, Uber has taken a loss in that regard in the UK, and will have to classify drivers as employees. Theverge.com says they will have to pay some 70,000 drivers minimum wage as employees, and give them holiday time and a pension plan beginning today. The reason? Uber lost an appeal in the British Supreme Court. Uber and companies like it have long argued that classifying drivers too rigidly would make it harder for them to work when they wanted, and that flexibility was just as, if not more, important than benefits and other protections afforded by more official employment status. In an op ed, Uber’s CEO called employment laws ‘outdated.’ 

Foxconn has said it is considering using its yet to be used Wisconsin facility to make its 1st electric vehicle. According to electrek.co, the maker of iPhones and more for Apple and the Nintendo Switch has developed a platform of open-sourced hardware and software for building EVs. In the past month, Fisker announced plans to work with Foxconn to build and EV. They plan to be producing in 2023. Foxconn projects it can crank out about 250,000 vehicles a year. Considering that the company has had the Wisconsin location for several years, and has yet to really do much with it, take their talk or building EVs there with a grain of salt….or a whole salt shaker. 



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