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Weekly Highlights: No iCar From Apple, Sony Teases Cloud-Based Cable Service And More

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The 2014 Consumer Electronics Show kicked off the second week of January, but some of the biggest stories had nothing to do with the show.

For example, Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) acquired a one-man startup called SnappyLabs. At the same time, Global Equities Research analyst Trip Chowdhry speculated that Apple will not go further into the automobile market.

Apple may have been a CES no-show, but Sony (NYSE: SNE) used the event to promote its latest game console, PlayStation 4, along with two new services. One of them could provide a cloud-based alternative to cable.

Ford (NYSE: F) and Domino's Pizza (NYSE: DPZ) teamed up to allow customers to order pizzas seamlessly while driving.

Samsung's (OTC: SSNLF) automotive future was teased by analysts.

Gartner (NYSE: IT) revealed its 2014 sales predictions for mobile devices.

And IBM (NYSE: IBM) announced that it would pour more than $1 billion into the new Watson Group.

Disclosure: At the time of this writing, Louis Bedigian had no position in the equities mentioned in this slideshow.

Posted-In: Apple CES Consumer Electronics Show domino's pizza FordNews Rumors Tech Best of Benzinga

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    No iCar (Or Major Car Features) From Apple

    No iCar (Or Major Car Features) From Apple

    Global Equities Research analyst Trip Chowdhry does not think that Google's Open Automotive Alliance will lure Apple deeper into the automotive space.

    "Apple has no interest in the car market," Chowdhry told Benzinga. "Not really. That [does not] fit their business model."

    In other words, don't expect Apple to tentatively build cool features into future vehicles. As cool as an "iCar" may be, it isn't going to happen.

    Instead, Apple will continue to use automobiles to bolster the popularity of its existing slate of iDevices.

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    Ford And Domino's Teamed Up For Faster Pizza Orders

    Ford And Domino's Teamed Up For Faster Pizza Orders

    Ford and Domino's Pizza teamed up this week to create a new app for SYNC AppLink.

    The app allows customers to place an order (hands-free!) by using the restaurant's database of pre-saved favorites.

    "We've been looking to expand into the purchase category for sometime," Julius Marchwicki, global product manager for Ford SYNC AppLink, told Benzinga.

    "Domino's kind of fits the purchase category consideration."

    Image Source: Wikimedia Commons
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    Sony Plans To Test Its Cloud-Based Cable TV Service

    Sony Plans To Test Its Cloud-Based Cable TV Service

    Sony, famous for the PlayStation brand, Spider-Man movies and countless TV series, wants to launch a cloud-based cable TV service.

    The online-only service will offer a variety of familiar features (live TV, on-demand options, DVR, etc.). But unlike cable, subscribers won't be able to access it without an Internet connection.

    Sony will test the new service in 2014.

    The Japanese tech giant also plans to begin testing its streaming game service, PlayStation Now, this year. That service is scheduled to launch in North America this summer, followed by other territories in the distant future.

    Image Source: Wikimedia Commons
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    Apple May Not Care About Cars, But Samsung Most Certainly Does

    Apple May Not Care About Cars, But Samsung Most Certainly Does

    Samsung is looking to expand its presence in automobiles.

    This initiative could include windows that are made of transparent flat panel displays, along with sensors to monitor the health of the driver.

    Image Source: Wikimedia Commons
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    Pirates Took A Bite Out Of Beyonce's New Album

    Pirates Took A Bite Out Of Beyonce's New Album

    Beyonce is one of the most successful recording artists in America. Like so many others, she is a major target for piracy.

    Pirates downloaded 240,000 illegal copies of her new, self-titled album during its first week of availability.

    This may sound extreme, but Gregory Mead, the CEO of Semetric (a data insight and analytics company that focuses on music, video games, movies and TV), told Benzinga that Beyonce's rate of Piracy was "not that bad."

    "The general trend line is a big spike on release and then it just goes down," Mead told Benzinga.

    "I have a very strong feeling that the number of shares will gradually decline over time. It'll decay. That's the common trend we see with all major releases. I wouldn't say it will peak any higher."

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    Apple 'Snapped' Up Its First 2014 Acquisition

    Apple 'Snapped' Up Its First 2014 Acquisition

    Apple loves startups almost as much as Yahoo.

    The Cupertino, California-based tech giant made its first 2014 acquisition earlier this week.

    This one, a one-man shop called SnappyLabs, might be the smallest company Apple has ever acquired.

    SnappyLabs produced SnappyCam, a cheap app that enhances the iPhone's camera software.

    Apple is expected to integrate SnappyCam's features into future versions of iOS.

    Image Source: Wikimedia Commons
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    Mobile Device Sales To Rise 7%

    Mobile Device Sales To Rise 7%

    How popular are mobile devices?

    Gartner thinks that sales of all mobile devices (phones, tablets, etc.) will increase by seven percent in 2014.

    By comparison, mobile device sales rose only four percent between 2012 and 2013.

    Gartner expects mobile phones, feature phones and smartphones to dominate with combined annual unit sales of nearly 1.9 billion.

    Image Source: Wikimedia Commons
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    IBM Investing More Than $1 Billion In New Watson Group

    IBM Investing More Than $1 Billion In New Watson Group

    Some tech companies invest in startups. Others invest in their own technology.

    IBM will spend more than $1 billion on its new Watson Group.

    The group will focus on R&D and IBM's goal to bring "cloud-delivered cognitive applications and services" to the market.

    Image Source: Wikimedia Commons
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    Bye-Bye, PC

    Bye-Bye, PC

    Where were PCs at the 2014 Consumer Electronics Show?

    Attendees have hard a difficult time answering that question.

    In the wake of falling PC sales and the growth of tablets, tech companies are afraid to spend money developing and promoting new PCs.

    There were several Steam Machines (pre-built PCs designed for gamers) at CES. But traditional PCs are slowly becoming a rare, nearly extinct species.

    Image Source: Wikimedia Commons
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