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U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross on June 15 announced a new rule ensuring U.S. industry’s ability to more fully contribute to standards-development activities in the telecommunications sector. This action is meant to ensure Huawei’s placement on the Entity List in May 2019 does not prevent American companies from contributing to important standards-developing activities despite Huawei’s pervasive participation in standards-development organizations.

“The United States will not cede leadership in global innovation,” Ross said. “This action recognizes the importance of harnessing American ingenuity to advance and protect our economic and national security. The department is committed to protecting U.S. national security and foreign policy interests by encouraging U.S. industry to fully engage and advocate for U.S. technologies to become international standards.”

Those standards serve as the critical building blocks for technological development by enabling functionality, interoperability and safety, argues Commerce, which adds that U.S. participation and leadership in standard-setting influences the future of 5G, autonomous vehicles, artificial intelligence and other cutting-edge technologies.

Under the new Bureau of Industry and Security rule, technology that would not have required a license to be disclosed to Huawei before the company’s placement on the Entity List can be disclosed for the purpose of standards development in a standards-development body without the need for an export license.

Ingram Micro Partners with Kyocera in Latin America

San Diego, CA – California-based Ingram Micro Inc. and Japan’s Kyocera Communications Inc. have inked a new agreement in which Ingram Micro Mobility will be the distributor of Kyocera mobile phones in the Latin America region.

The new Kyocera DuraForce, an ultra-rugged, waterproof 4G LTE global-ready Android smartphone will be the first Kyocera product to enter the Latin America region via this relationship.

Kyocera “will leverage Ingram Micro’s extensive infrastructure and unique channel capabilities in Latin America, reaching 25,000 value-added resellers (VARs), system integrators and service providers,” according to a joint statement.

DuraForce, recently announced in the U.S. market with AT&T, is the newest device in Kyocera’s rugged smartphone portfolio and underscores Kyocera’s strength in the rugged, waterproof smartphone space.

The Military Standard 810G- and IP68-certified device enables active consumers and workers to use their smartphones more effectively “whether connecting with the corporate office from a construction jobsite or accessing vital medical data to support prescription authorizations in healthcare settings.”

Additionally, DuraForce supports various Push-to-Talk (PTT) services and platforms, and for the non-PTT user, the dedicated button can be reprogrammed for other preferred features or applications.

“Ingram Micro Mobility offers the experience, infrastructure and extensive network of VARs necessary to successfully launch and support Kyocera mobile devices across Latin America,” said Eric Anderson, senior vice president and general manager of global sales and marketing at Kyocera Communications.

“This relationship enables us to provide new handsets like DuraForce and support future devices in more than 40 countries in the region, allowing businesses to realize increased productivity and lower their total cost of ownership through durable devices that will stand up to the toughest environments.”


Apple Plans Broad Global iPhone 6 Distribution

Cupertino, CA – By the end of this month, technology giant Apple Inc. will make its highly popular iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus available in 36 additional countries and territories across Europe, Asia, the Middle East, Latin America and Africa.

Starting with China, India and Monaco this week, the new iPhones will be available in China and 68 other countries and territories by the end of the month, including the initial launch countries.

The distribution campaign is reportedly also on track to make the devices available in more than 115 countries by the end of the year, making this the company’s fastest iPhone rollout ever.

Apple set a new record for first weekend sales of iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, having breached the 10 million mark within just three days of its initial September 9 sales launch in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, Puerto Rico, Singapore, the UK, and the US.

The new iPhones will be available in Israel from Thursday, October 23 and in Czech Republic, French West Indies, Greenland, Malta, Poland, Reunion Island and South Africa the following day. They will be available in Bahrain and Kuwait from Thursday, October 30.

It will be available in further 23 countries – Albania, Bosnia, Croatia, Estonia, Greece, Guam, Hungary, Iceland, Kosovo, Latvia, Lithuania, Macau, Macedonia, Mexico, Moldova, Montenegro, Serbia, South Korea, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Ukraine and Thailand – on October 31.

Cupertino, California-based Apple unveiled the two new larger screen smartphones, iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, last month in San Francisco.

The iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus are both available in 16GB, 64GB, and 128GB versions and feature larger HD (high definition) screens than their predecessors, as well as markedly enhanced performance and power efficiency.


US High Tech Trade Tops $1 Trillion: White Paper

Los Angeles, CA – The trade in US-produced technology goods and services currently tops more than $1 trillion, according to a new industry white paper published by the TechAmerica Foundation (TAF).

Tech imports totaled $351 billion compared to $205 billion in exports in 2013, while tech service exports exceeded imports $303 billion to $161 billion in imports in 2011, the most recent year complete data are available, the group said.

Many of the goods imported into the US “are part of a global supply chain, where US multinational companies create and design tech products in the US and produce the finalized product overseas,” according to the paper.

In these cases, “the bulk of the profit from the products is accrued to the US firm. Often the importation of a technology good represents an ‘intra-company’ transfer as US firms brings their products into the United States for sale from their overseas production facilities,” it added.

The US currently has a tech trade surplus of nearly $5 billion when both tech goods and services are combined, with $501 billion in exports compared with $496 billion in imports.  Goods exports and imports have been fairly flat for the last three years after rebounding as a result of the 2009 global market crash.

“The largest destinations for tech goods go to our closest trading partners, Mexico and Canada, which is a testament to the importance of free trade agreements to the American technology industry,” said Burak Guvensoylar, manager of government affairs at the TAF.

The US has free trade agreements with 20 countries, and is looking to create two new large scale agreements – the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the Transatlantic Trade & Investment Partnership (TTIP).

These new agreements, in addition to the Trade in Services Agreement, and the expansion of the Information Technology Agreement, could expand US free trade markets to 53 countries, “creating significant opportunities for US technology companies” by “increasing market access, eliminating tariffs, strengthening intellectual property rights, and ensuring the movement of data across the globe,” said Guvensoylar.

Telecommunications, Texas Lead the Way

According to the white paper , the US telecommunications sector, in particular, feeds the rate of tech goods and services exports, noted by the 9 percent increase in telecommunications services from 2011-2012 and the 6.6 percent increase in communications goods from 2012-2013.

Other key tech services include systems design, software, research and development, testing, and Internet services such as cloud computing and mobility strategy, it said.

From a state-by-state perspective, Texas continued to build on its status as the leading state by tech goods exports, growing from $45.1 billion in 2012 to $48.2 billion in 2013, a 6.7 percent growth rate, compared to a national growth rate of 0.8 percent.

California is a close second to Texas in revenue of exports, but the state saw a 5.1 percent decline in year-to-year exports. Texas and California combine to account for 44 percent of the country’s overall volume of tech good exports.

The TechAmerica Foundation is a non-profit technology industry research group headquartered in Washington, DC.


Boeing Completes Mexico Satellite Project

El Segundo, CA – Boeing has finished production of a trio of communication satellites for the Mexican government.

The $1 billion contract for the “Mexsat” project was signed in 2011 calling for Boeing to design and manufacture two 702HP geo-mobile satellites and contract with the Virginia-based Orbital Sciences Corp. to build the third, a GEOStar-2.

The Orbital-built satellite was completed in 2012 and was successfully launched atop an Ariane 5 rocket in December of that year.

The development of two ground stations in Iztapalapa and Hermosillo was included in the contract and will serve to relay space-based signals to the satellites once they are deployed to their full 134-foot length.

Both Boeing 702HP satellites are equipped with five solar panel “wings” and an antenna roughly the size of a basketball court.

The company has already provided Mexico with five satellites dating back to 1985 with the last launched in 1998 and still in service.

Boeing said it will launch the first 702HP in early 2015 on a Russian Proton-M rocket with the second set to be sent aloft aboard an Atlas V by 2016.



Motorola To Shutter Texas Assembly Facility

Schaumburg, IL – After less than a year of operations, Motorola’s smartphone manufacturing plant in Fort Worth, Texas has been slated for closure by the end of 2014.

The Fort Worth factory employs about 700 workers who assemble the Moto X smartphones for the US market from parts produced in Asia. The plant is operated by Singapore-based international contract electronics manufacturer Flextronics Ltd.

Motorola was acquired in 2012 for $12.4 billion by Google, which announced earlier this year that it would sell Motorola to Chinese multinational computer technology giant Lenovo for $2.9 billion. The sale is expected to close by the end of the year.

lllinois-based Motorola envisioned that the Texas facility would supply US consumers with Moto X smartphones within five days, substantially faster than could be accomplished by importing them from overseas.

Moto X sales have slumped forcing the company was forced to cut the price of the phone and shoulder decreased profit margins.

The company said that it will continue to make the Moto X in China, Brazil “and other, more affordable locations,” where the costs for labor and shipping aren’t as high.