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By Andreas Cremer BERLIN (Reuters) - More than two years since abandoning electric cars, Audi has returned with the R8 e-tron, in a move that looks more like an attempt to keep its options open than a full conversion to the technology. Audi, the flagship brand of German carmaker Volkswagen , has been reluctant to embrace the technology, arguing it was better to make diesel cars cleaner or focus on hybrids that combine a combustion engine with battery power. It wasn't enough, and Audi dropped the concept in 2012, the year rival Tesla's Model S came out with double the range. Audi came 18th last year in a survey of Europe's 20 top-selling brands' average CO2 output, auto industry forecaster JATO said on Tuesday.
TowerJazz has won a contract from Intel Corp to produce infrared sensors for Intel's 3D cameras, the Israeli chip manufacturer said on Tuesday. The 3D cameras installed on laptops recognize gestures, enabling users to control their computers with hand and head movements. The technology was developed by Intel's Israeli subsidiary close to TowerJazz's manufacturing plant in northern Israel. Avi Strum, general manager of TowerJazz's CMOS image sensor business, said the technology has numerous potential uses, such as the ability for the likes of cooks or car mechanics to operate a computer with gestures rather than having to touch it with dirty hands.
Apple overtook Samsung to become the number one smartphone retailer in the fourth quarter of 2014, knocking the South Korean giant off the top spot for the first time since 2011, according to new figures from Gartner. Worldwide smartphone sales saw a record fourth quarter, totaling 367.5 million units. "Samsung continues to struggle to control its falling smartphone share, which was at its highest in the third quarter of 2013," says Anshul Gupta, principal research analyst at Gartner.
Microsoft on Monday unveiled two more mid-range Lumia devices, which will be available for incredibly low prices. Even though they’re not the Windows Phone flagships we’re still waiting for, doesn’t make them any less interesting. In fact, they might be better smartphone choices than similarly priced Android handsets. FROM EARLIER: Check out Microsoft’s brand new Windows 10-ready affordable Lumia phones The Lumia 640 and Lumia 640 XL aren’t as exciting as the Galaxy S6 edge or the iPhone 6, but they come packed with secret ingredients that might make them more valuable than your average affordable Android handset. Microsoft is smartly bundling these devices with some of its products many smartphone users might need on a regular basis, including, Office, OneDrive
By Faith Hung TAIPEI (Reuters) - Alibaba Group Holding will provide Taiwan with the information required about its business, Executive Chairman Jack Ma said on Tuesday, after the government ordered the Chinese e-commerce giant to withdraw from the island within six months. Ma told reporters in Taipei that Alibaba's mistake was the "lack of sufficient communication" with the Taiwanese authorities. Earlier, the company said it had set up its Taiwan branch in accordance with regulations "at the time". "We fully understand the requests that Taiwan has made this time," Ma told reporters.
By J.R. Wu and Faith Hung TAIPEI (Reuters) - Taiwan has ordered Alibaba Group Holding Ltd to withdraw from the island within six months because the online retailer had violated investment rules required for a Chinese company, an economics ministry official said on Monday. Alibaba has been fined T$120,000 ($3,824) and must withdraw or transfer its holdings from its operation in Taiwan, Emile M.P. Chang, acting executive secretary for the Investment Commission, told Reuters. The commission falls under the Ministry of Economic Affairs and has authority over the review of Chinese investments in Taiwan. China deems Taiwan a renegade province and has not ruled out the use of force to take it back, particularly if the island makes a move toward independence.
By Edward Taylor GENEVA (Reuters) - German car and truck maker Daimler is not afraid of new competitors from the technology and telecoms industries, Chief Executive Dieter Zetsche said on Tuesday. "There is tremendous opportunity in the convergence of the West Coast tech industry and the auto industry with its huge technological depth," Zetsche said at the Geneva auto show. Asked if Daimler would be open to new forms of cooperation with the likes of Apple and Google, Zetsche said they were already cooperating on several levels. "I don't think next year in Geneva we will talk about the Apple and Google car." Daimler was still pushing the electric car, and there may be an opportunity to build a large luxury electric vehicle since Tesla had proved there was a market for it.
By Laurence Frost GENEVA (Reuters) - Aston Martin on Tuesday announced plans for a luxury crossover SUV that may draw more heavily on its partnership with Daimler, as the British sports car maker confirmed moves to raise more capital and expand into new vehicle categories. Aston has secured about 150 million pounds ($230 million) in additional funding, Chief Executive Andy Palmer said in an interview at the Geneva car show before unveiling an electric DBX concept car prefiguring the new vehicle, expected by 2019. Palmer said Aston's main shareholders, private equity groups Investindustrial and Investment Dar of Kuwait, had agreed to back the capital hike and range expansion first reported by Reuters in December. He acknowledged that the future production SUV model could use a four-wheel drive architecture from 5 percent shareholder Daimler, which is already supplying Aston with electronics and V8 engines from its AMG performance division under a 2013 deal.