UK inventor James Dyson to launch electric car by 2020

LONDON (Reuters) – James Dyson, billionaire inventor of the bagless vacuum cleaner, said on Tuesday his company was building an electric car which will launch by 2020, the latest firm to challenge traditional carmakers in a burgeoning market.

Tesla has already shaken up the sector around the world and Dyson said it would now spend 2 billion pounds ($ 2.7 billion) on solid-state battery technology and vehicle design.

Dyson had been developing new battery and electric motor technology for its vacuum cleaners and other products for the past 20 years, he said.

“Battery technology is very important to Dyson, electric motors are very important to Dyson, environmental control is very important to us,” Dyson, aged 71, said at his company’s flagship shop on London’s Oxford Street.

“I have been developing these technologies consistently because I could see that one day we could do a car.”

Dyson told staff in an email that the company finally had the opportunity to bring all its technologies together into a single product.

“Competition for new technology in the automotive industry is fierce and we must do everything we can to keep the specifics of our vehicle confidential,” he added.

Dyson said a 400-strong team of engineers had already spent 2-1/2 years working on the secret project in Malmesbury, Wiltshire, developing the batteries that will power the in-house designed electric motor for the car.

The firm has yet to decide on where the vehicle would be manufactured, although it has ruled out working with any existing auto companies, Dyson said.

Last year, the government said in a report it was helping to fund a new battery electric vehicle at the firm, which will secure 174 million pounds ($ 233 million) of investment in the area and create over 500 jobs.

The entry was quickly changed and Dyson declined to comment at the time in a sign of the secrecy shrouding the project.

Dyson said the firm needed to make the announcement on Tuesday because it was becoming hard to talk to subcontractors, government and potential new employees.

Writing by Paul Sandle and Costas Pitas; editing by Stephen Addison

Our Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

Tech

Apple's iPhone 8 launch in Sydney sees bleak turnout

SYDNEY (Reuters) – Apple Inc’s (AAPL.O) iPhone 8 launch in Sydney, one of the first cities to access the product in Australia, saw a bleak turnout as fans held out for the soon-to-be-released premium iPhone X.

Hundreds of people usually gather at Apple’s Sydney city store with queues winding down the town’s main street, George Street, when there is a new product release. On Friday, there were fewer than 30 people lining up before the store opened, according to a Reuters witness.

Mazen Kourouche, the first in queue after lining up 11 days outside the store so that he could buy and review the product on YouTube, said there were modest refinements.

“(It) is pretty similar to the iPhone 7 but it shoots 4k 60 frames per second and it’s got a new glass back instead of the metal which is apparently more durable,” he told Reuters. “There aren’t too many new features to this one.”

Poor reviews of the iPhone 8, which comes 10 years after Apple released the first version of the revolutionary phone, drove down shares of the company to near two-month lows of $ 152.75 on Thursday, as investors worried pre-orders for the device had come in well below previous launches.

The iPhone 8 will only cater to those who want a new version but do not want to pay a hefty $ 999 for the iPhone X, said iTWire.com’s technology editor Alex Zaharov-Reutt, who did not line up for the launch.

“Yes there is a new iPhone coming in a couple of months and plenty of people would want that,” he said.

The iPhone X is a glass and stainless steel device with an edge-to-edge display that Chief Executive Tim Cook has called “the biggest leap forward since the original iPhone”.

Reporting by Paulina Duran, Jill Gralow and James Redmayne in SYDNEY; Editing by Himani Sarkar

Our Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

Tech

In pictures: Apple faithful already forming lines in front of Friday’s iPhone 6s launch

Yes, it’s that time again, when the Apple faithful/crazy line up way early to buy the next version of the iPhone, this time the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus.

This year, people are standing out in the elements — and sleeping there overnight — to buy a phone that looks identical to the one they already have, but with, um, an updated camera and a new kind of screen press.

Here are the lines, in cities around the world.

New York

Above: Waiting in line in NYC (Eli Blumenthal ‏@eliblumenthal)

Above: Apple fans line up at the “Church of Apple” in New York to buy an iPhone 6s.

Image Credit: Eli Blumenthal ‏@eliblumenthal

San Francisco

Above: (Justin E. Harris @envisionwithj)

Periscoper Justin Harris reported that around 16 people were already camped out at the downtown San Francisco Apple Store Thursday night. Check it out here.

Boston

Above: (Image: MacRumors)

Hamburg, Germany

Above: “Oh man wie arm ist das denn. Wegen einem Telefon?” (Daniel Knott ‏@dnlkntt )

Sydney, Australia

Above: Marcus Barsum waits outside the Apple store in central Sydney Thursday. (Reuters/David Gray)

Above: This buyer, a media exec in Australia, sent a robot proxy to wait in the line. (photo: Mashable)



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24 hours of the new iPhone 6S launch: Follow live

Andrew Burton/Getty Images

For Apple fans, nothing is bigger than iPhone launch day.

Every year, lining up at stores for the new iPhone is a major event for the Apple faithful. And this year’s release of the iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus is no exception.

But the mold has changed. While people still line up, an iPhone launch in 2015 looks a lot different than it did in 2007. Mashable will be reporting ’round the clock from Sydney, Singapore, London, New York City, San Francisco and Los Angeles to capture the glorious anticipation. Read more…

Sydney > Singapore > London > New York >
San Francisco > LA

More about Iphone, Apple, Apple Store, Marketing, and Tech


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