- This startup is heading for a greenfield opportunity
- The military has its eye on Starlink…
- Here’s why I’m confident 2021 will be a great year
What an exciting day.
Yesterday, Apple delivered not just one 5G-capable iPhone but four. They are the iPhone 12, iPhone 12 Mini, iPhone 12 Pro, and iPhone 12 Pro Max.
The design reminds me of a sleeker version of my old iPhone 4, which I still have… somewhere.
Yes, the screens are better than ever before… the cameras are improved yet again… the new models are faster and more power-efficient than before…
But those things are table stakes. We expect them. They are not very interesting to talk about.
Here’s what really got me excited.
All four versions of the iPhone 12 are 5G-enabled. And they can use the mmWave band 5G networks that Verizon is building out right now. Others will soon follow.
And we can even see a small “patch” on the right-hand side of the phone. This is where the mmWave antenna is located on the iPhone 12.
Apple’s New iPhone 12
Source: The Verge
Why would Apple make that so obvious? Simple. It doesn’t want us to cover it with our palm, as it will interfere with signal reception from the mmWave 5G networks. This point will be widely misunderstood by journalists who will say “5G doesn’t work well” or “at all.”
But that’s not the case.
It is not a failing of 5G technology. It is simply that the mmWave 5G networks have not been fully built out yet. Since networks are not completed yet, signal levels can be low when a user is at the edge of the transmission radius of a cell tower.
Covering up the mmWave antenna on a phone can mean the difference between receiving a 5G signal or not. Nothing bad happens if an iPhone 12 can’t receive the 5G signal, of course. The phone simply falls back to a 4G or even 3G network. All 5G phones are backward compatible.
The reality is that the phone is ahead of the network build-out. Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile need to catch up…
What else is cool?
Its central processing unit (CPU) and graphics processing unit (GPU) combined are about 50% faster than any other smartphone. That equals faster results and a better experience.
11.8 billion transistors = a supercomputer in your hand
It has the first 5-nanometer CPU in any smartphone in the industry, so it’s faster and more power-efficient
Apple’s A14 chip has a neural engine capable of performing 11 trillion operations per second, and it has up to 70% faster machine-learning accelerators. That means this “supercomputer” can run artificial intelligence (AI)/machine learning software
And here is why I’m going to make a specific recommendation for those ready to upgrade. I really recommend purchasing an iPhone 12 Pro (or Pro Max) because the Pro models include laser imaging, detection, and ranging (LIDAR) technology.
Lidar has the ability to accurately produce a depth map of any room or space that you are in… in just seconds. It is the key technology to unlocking incredibly realistic augmented reality applications, which are going to proliferate when combined with 5G-network connectivity.
This is the future of wireless and mobility, and it is here now. Preorders for the iPhone 12 Pro start this Friday and for the Pro Max on November 6.
We have officially hit the inflection point. And we are well into Phase 2 (devices) of a new generation of wireless technology.
About 250 million 5G-enabled smartphones will be sold this year… and about three times that many in 2021… which will catapult us into Phase 3, the applications that will fully leverage this new technology within the next 12 months.
We have a lot to look forward to.
Now let’s turn to our insights…
A new CRISPR genetic editing startup from a Nobel Prize winner…
A new early stage biotechnology funding round just caught my eye.
A company called Scribe Therapeutics just raised $20 million in its Series A venture capital (VC) round.
Scribe is based in Berkeley, CA. And it won’t surprise regular readers to hear that this company is backed by the new Nobel Prize-winning scientist Jennifer Doudna.
We’ve talked about Doudna several times in these pages. And we discussed her receipt of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for her early work on CRISPR last week.
Scribe’s Series A funding round was led by famous VC firm Andreessen Horowitz. And it came on the back of several grants from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the National Institutes of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS).
Scribe also struck a great partnership with biotech giant Biogen. Biogen will provide $15 million in funding up front and is committed to another $400 million against developmental and commercial milestones.
Given the grant from NINDS, Scribe’s initial focus isn’t a surprise. The partnership will focus on applying CRISPR to treat amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.
Once work on a CRISPR-based treatment for ALS is progressing, Scribe intends to develop CRISPR-based therapies for other neurological disorders as well.
This is a perfect example of why the opportunity for CRISPR-based companies is so massive. There are more than 6000 diseases caused by genetic mutations that have no known cure right now.
It’s a massive greenfield for companies to come in and develop therapies for these different diseases.
And there’s simply no way one company or even a small group of companies can address every disease. That’s why there is so much room for new CRISPR companies in the space.
As for Scribe, its approach is exciting.
The company will work to develop in vivo therapies for ALS and neurological disorders. That means it will develop therapies to be injected directly into the body. And Scribe will pull from the pool of CRISPR enzymes developed by Doudna and her team at UC Berkeley.
The most famous CRISPR enzyme is Cas9, which is what the early CRISPR therapies that have recently entered clinical testing use. But we now know that different CRISPR enzymes will work better for different types of therapies. In other words, there are many tools in the CRISPR toolbox.
And Scribe is going to optimize its CRISPR therapies by applying techniques common in the information technology (IT) industry. In early testing, Scribe is going to test many different changes at the same time. When it finds a good change, it will keep it and run through tests again.
This kind of iterative process works well in IT. I also believe it will lead to far better biotech approaches.
So let’s add Scribe Therapeutics to our early stage watchlist.
This company is using bleeding-edge CRISPR technology to address diseases that have not been tackled yet. And given the relatively modest size of its Series A round, I expect that a much larger Series B round will follow quickly, perhaps as soon as late next year.
Another new application for SpaceX’s Starlink project…
SpaceX’s Starlink division was just awarded a $149 million contract from the U.S. Space Development Agency (SDA), which is a division of the military.
The goal? To launch a satellite network that can monitor missile launches around the world.
This is a big development.
To bring new readers up to speed, Starlink is the satellite constellation SpaceX has been building in low earth orbit. The stated goal is to create a satellite network around the Earth that can provide internet access to anywhere on the planet.
Days ago, Elon Musk announced that the network is almost ready to offer a beta version of its service to those who live in the northern part of the U.S. and the southern part of Canada. I’m on the waitlist to try it out. Hopefully that will happen before the end of this year.
And in addition to internet, I believe that Starlink will ultimately become a global backhaul network for space. It will allow satellites to communicate with base stations on Earth 24 hours a day, uninterrupted.
We last talked about Starlink a couple of weeks ago after new research suggested that its network could be used to revamp our legacy Global Positioning System (GPS).
And now the military wants to use Starlink to monitor missile launches. Clearly, there are many uses for such a robust global satellite network.
The United States already has traditional satellites that can detect and monitor missile launches to a degree. But these satellites don’t have 100% coverage. If a missile travels outside of a satellite’s field of view, the network loses track of it.
And losing track of a dangerous missile is never a good thing.
SpaceX can solve this problem. With its compact satellite design and proven launch system, SpaceX is unmatched in its ability to get satellites into space.
In fact, Starlink is already the largest satellite constellation in the world, with more than 700 satellites in low Earth orbit. And SpaceX plans to blanket the Earth with at least 12,000 satellites… maybe as many as 42,000.
So this is a perfect application for Starlink to take on. The plan is to launch the first satellites for the SDA within the next 24 months.
And this gives SpaceX another big customer in addition to NASA. That bodes well for the success of SpaceX and its Starlink project going forward.
We’re one step closer to a Starlink IPO…
How I know economic growth will be strong in 2021…
One of the best ways to track economic activity is to watch what is happening at Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC).
TSMC is the largest contract semiconductor manufacturer in the world. Many tech companies contract with TSMC to produce their semiconductors.
That includes application-specific chips designed to power 5G and AI, as well as general semis that go into every electronic device.
When we see TSMC receiving large orders, that means there is strong demand for the end products. And because semiconductors go in everything electronic, increased demand typically indicates economic growth.
And that’s exactly what’s happening right now.
TSMC just generated record sales for the second month in a row… by a large margin. The company saw nearly 15% revenue growth over last quarter. And now TSMC is forecasting 20% growth in revenues for the year.
Think about that.
This company is seeing 20% revenue growth amid the COVID-19 pandemic and economic lockdowns. That’s extraordinary.
And it tells us that the world continues to race ahead no matter how governments react to COVID-19.
And get this – TSMC’s demand is so high that it must increase its capital expenditure (CapEx) for this year. That’s incredibly rare. We don’t often see companies announce a CapEx increase like this so late in the calendar year. Usually the budgeting is already locked down, and there won’t be any changes until the next budgetary cycle.
TSMC simply cannot build out manufacturing capacity fast enough to meet customer demand. That tells us that a lot of electronic goods are going into production right now. And that bodes well for strong economic growth next year as these goods hit the market.
We can be sure that much of this demand is tied to 5G.
We’ve talked all year about the race to build out a nationwide 5G network in the United States and other countries around the world.
And with Apple revealing its 5G-enabled iPhone 12 yesterday, we can be sure that much of this demand is for 5G smartphones. We’re about to witness the largest smartphone refresh cycle the world has ever seen.
The bottom line is that we should always get our insights from the data, not the mainstream media.
And based on semiconductor demand, I can say with confidence that 2021 is going to be a great year for the economy and the markets despite all the morass that we’ve seen in 2020.
We have so much to be excited about.
Editor, The Bleeding Edge
P.S. I’ve been on a bit of a mission lately. I’ve been traversing the country, researching technology, and getting a feel for what’s happening with the economy.
This kind of “boots on the ground” research is often where my best investment ideas come from.
And after hitting 10 American cities in the last two weeks and almost 20 cities in the last 20 months, I can say that the U.S. economy is humming.
I’ve lost count of how many airports I’ve flown through, but they are all busy. Almost all of the planes I’ve boarded have been packed.
This suggests that America is getting back to business. And that’s an exciting prospect for the economy and the markets going forward.
As for why I’ve been hitting the road so much recently, it has to do with the fastest-growing tech trend in America and what I believe will be the absolute best tech investment of the next decade. I just needed to see this trend in action for myself to be sure I was right.
And I can say with confidence that my tour of the American heartland confirmed my belief. We are on the cusp of incredible growth in a small subset of the technology sector. This is a story that every serious tech investor needs to understand.
That’s why I’m hosting an event next week that we are calling “Beyond Exponential.” It’s happening on Wednesday, October 21 at 8 p.m. ET.
On that evening, I’ll reveal footage from my American heartland tour and pull back the curtain on the most important growth story of the 2020s. I am also going to share with attendees the one idea I would bet everything on if I were starting over and could only invest $1,000 in one technology.
For readers who are interested, please mark your calendar for October 21 at 8 p.m. ET. Simply go right here to reserve your spot and get more details about the event.
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