Browser startup Vivaldi says it needs 5 million users to turn profit

Vivaldi

OSLO (By Joachim Dagenborg, Reuters) — Internet browser Vivaldi, which launched last week, must attract five million monthly users to become profitable, its founder and chief executive said in a Reuters interview.

The introduction of Vivaldi version 1.0 follows a 15-month development that cost veteran software maker Jon von Tetzchner around 50 million crowns ($6.07 million) of his own money.

Offering a wide range of personalized settings and bookmark functions, the Oslo-based browser hopes to lure some of the web’s most demanding users away from global brands like Google Chrome, Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari and Opera.

“A few years ago everyone started simplifying their browsers and they removed many of the features that the so-called power users wanted. This is the segment we are targeting”, von Tetzchner said.

“We have many more features and personalization options than any other browser in the market. Most of these features are new and totally unique for Vivaldi,” he added.

Named after the 18th-century composer Antonio Vivaldi, the name hints at von Tetzchner’s previous role as co-founder and long-time head of browser and mobile phone software firm Opera, which he left in 2011.

Opera is now the subject of an ongoing $1.28 billion takeover by a group of Chinese firms.

“After I left they decided to focus on a totally different user segment, and that opened up a space in the market,” von Tetzchner said. “We only need five million monthly users to make money and I’m confident that we will get there.”

Vivaldi has been downloaded several million times since the launch of a test version early last year, but von Tetzchner declined to say how many of those had become regular users.

Holding 90 percent of the company’s shares, and with employees also owning small stakes, von Tetzchner plans to stay firmly in control.

“Several of the most well-known venture capital groups, prominent names, have called me up wanting to take part in this company, but I have politely turned them down,” he said.

“One of the things I learned during my Opera years is how important it is to keep control of the company. I’m fortunate to be able to do that this time around.”

Vivaldi has also partnered with several content providers including Bing, Yahoo and Yandex and is in talks with Alphabet, von Tetzchner said.

($1 = 8.2381 Norwegian crowns)

(Editing by Terje Solsvik)


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Browser startup Vivaldi says it needs 5 million users to turn profit

Vivaldi

OSLO (By Joachim Dagenborg, Reuters) — Internet browser Vivaldi, which launched last week, must attract five million monthly users to become profitable, its founder and chief executive said in a Reuters interview.

The introduction of Vivaldi version 1.0 follows a 15-month development that cost veteran software maker Jon von Tetzchner around 50 million crowns ($6.07 million) of his own money.

Offering a wide range of personalized settings and bookmark functions, the Oslo-based browser hopes to lure some of the web’s most demanding users away from global brands like Google Chrome, Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari and Opera.

“A few years ago everyone started simplifying their browsers and they removed many of the features that the so-called power users wanted. This is the segment we are targeting”, von Tetzchner said.

“We have many more features and personalization options than any other browser in the market. Most of these features are new and totally unique for Vivaldi,” he added.

Named after the 18th-century composer Antonio Vivaldi, the name hints at von Tetzchner’s previous role as co-founder and long-time head of browser and mobile phone software firm Opera, which he left in 2011.

Opera is now the subject of an ongoing $1.28 billion takeover by a group of Chinese firms.

“After I left they decided to focus on a totally different user segment, and that opened up a space in the market,” von Tetzchner said. “We only need five million monthly users to make money and I’m confident that we will get there.”

Vivaldi has been downloaded several million times since the launch of a test version early last year, but von Tetzchner declined to say how many of those had become regular users.

Holding 90 percent of the company’s shares, and with employees also owning small stakes, von Tetzchner plans to stay firmly in control.

“Several of the most well-known venture capital groups, prominent names, have called me up wanting to take part in this company, but I have politely turned them down,” he said.

“One of the things I learned during my Opera years is how important it is to keep control of the company. I’m fortunate to be able to do that this time around.”

Vivaldi has also partnered with several content providers including Bing, Yahoo and Yandex and is in talks with Alphabet, von Tetzchner said.

($1 = 8.2381 Norwegian crowns)

(Editing by Terje Solsvik)


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Browser startup Vivaldi says it needs 5 million users to turn profit

Vivaldi

OSLO (By Joachim Dagenborg, Reuters) – Internet browser Vivaldi, which launched last week, must attract five million monthly users to become profitable, its founder and chief executive said in a Reuters interview.

The introduction of Vivaldi version 1.0 follows a 15-month development that cost veteran software maker Jon von Tetzchner around 50 million crowns ($6.07 million) of his own money.

Offering a wide range of personalized settings and bookmark functions, the Oslo-based browser hopes to lure some of the web’s most demanding users away from global brands like Google Chrome, Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari and Opera.

“A few years ago everyone started simplifying their browsers and they removed many of the features that the so-called power users wanted. This is the segment we are targeting”, von Tetzchner said.

“We have many more features and personalization options than any other browser in the market. Most of these features are new and totally unique for Vivaldi,” he added.

Named after the 18th-century composer Antonio Vivaldi, the name hints at von Tetzchner’s previous role as co-founder and long-time head of browser and mobile phone software firm Opera, which he left in 2011.

Opera is now the subject of an ongoing $1.28 billion takeover by a group of Chinese firms.

“After I left they decided to focus on a totally different user segment, and that opened up a space in the market,” von Tetzchner said. “We only need five million monthly users to make money and I’m confident that we will get there.”

Vivaldi has been downloaded several million times since the launch of a test version early last year, but von Tetzchner declined to say how many of those had become regular users.

Holding 90 percent of the company’s shares, and with employees also owning small stakes, von Tetzchner plans to stay firmly in control.

“Several of the most well-known venture capital groups, prominent names, have called me up wanting to take part in this company, but I have politely turned them down,” he said.

“One of the things I learned during my Opera years is how important it is to keep control of the company. I’m fortunate to be able to do that this time around.”

Vivaldi has also partnered with several content providers including Bing, Yahoo and Yandex and is in talks with Alphabet, von Tetzchner said.

($1 = 8.2381 Norwegian crowns)

(Editing by Terje Solsvik)


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Browser startup Vivaldi says it needs 5 million users to turn profit

Vivaldi

OSLO (By Joachim Dagenborg, Reuters) — Internet browser Vivaldi, which launched last week, must attract five million monthly users to become profitable, its founder and chief executive said in a Reuters interview.

The introduction of Vivaldi version 1.0 follows a 15-month development that cost veteran software maker Jon von Tetzchner around 50 million crowns ($6.07 million) of his own money.

Offering a wide range of personalized settings and bookmark functions, the Oslo-based browser hopes to lure some of the web’s most demanding users away from global brands like Google Chrome, Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari and Opera.

“A few years ago everyone started simplifying their browsers and they removed many of the features that the so-called power users wanted. This is the segment we are targeting”, von Tetzchner said.

“We have many more features and personalization options than any other browser in the market. Most of these features are new and totally unique for Vivaldi,” he added.

Named after the 18th-century composer Antonio Vivaldi, the name hints at von Tetzchner’s previous role as co-founder and long-time head of browser and mobile phone software firm Opera, which he left in 2011.

Opera is now the subject of an ongoing $1.28 billion takeover by a group of Chinese firms.

“After I left they decided to focus on a totally different user segment, and that opened up a space in the market,” von Tetzchner said. “We only need five million monthly users to make money and I’m confident that we will get there.”

Vivaldi has been downloaded several million times since the launch of a test version early last year, but von Tetzchner declined to say how many of those had become regular users.

Holding 90 percent of the company’s shares, and with employees also owning small stakes, von Tetzchner plans to stay firmly in control.

“Several of the most well-known venture capital groups, prominent names, have called me up wanting to take part in this company, but I have politely turned them down,” he said.

“One of the things I learned during my Opera years is how important it is to keep control of the company. I’m fortunate to be able to do that this time around.”

Vivaldi has also partnered with several content providers including Bing, Yahoo and Yandex and is in talks with Alphabet, von Tetzchner said.

($1 = 8.2381 Norwegian crowns)

(Editing by Terje Solsvik)


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Browser startup Vivaldi says it needs 5 million users to turn profit

Vivaldi

OSLO (By Joachim Dagenborg, Reuters) — Internet browser Vivaldi, which launched last week, must attract five million monthly users to become profitable, its founder and chief executive said in a Reuters interview.

The introduction of Vivaldi version 1.0 follows a 15-month development that cost veteran software maker Jon von Tetzchner around 50 million crowns ($6.07 million) of his own money.

Offering a wide range of personalized settings and bookmark functions, the Oslo-based browser hopes to lure some of the web’s most demanding users away from global brands like Google Chrome, Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari and Opera.

“A few years ago everyone started simplifying their browsers and they removed many of the features that the so-called power users wanted. This is the segment we are targeting”, von Tetzchner said.

“We have many more features and personalization options than any other browser in the market. Most of these features are new and totally unique for Vivaldi,” he added.

Named after the 18th-century composer Antonio Vivaldi, the name hints at von Tetzchner’s previous role as co-founder and long-time head of browser and mobile phone software firm Opera, which he left in 2011.

Opera is now the subject of an ongoing $1.28 billion takeover by a group of Chinese firms.

“After I left they decided to focus on a totally different user segment, and that opened up a space in the market,” von Tetzchner said. “We only need five million monthly users to make money and I’m confident that we will get there.”

Vivaldi has been downloaded several million times since the launch of a test version early last year, but von Tetzchner declined to say how many of those had become regular users.

Holding 90 percent of the company’s shares, and with employees also owning small stakes, von Tetzchner plans to stay firmly in control.

“Several of the most well-known venture capital groups, prominent names, have called me up wanting to take part in this company, but I have politely turned them down,” he said.

“One of the things I learned during my Opera years is how important it is to keep control of the company. I’m fortunate to be able to do that this time around.”

Vivaldi has also partnered with several content providers including Bing, Yahoo and Yandex and is in talks with Alphabet, von Tetzchner said.

($1 = 8.2381 Norwegian crowns)

(Editing by Terje Solsvik)


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Browser startup Vivaldi says it needs 5 million users to turn profit

Vivaldi

OSLO (By Joachim Dagenborg, Reuters) — Internet browser Vivaldi, which launched last week, must attract five million monthly users to become profitable, its founder and chief executive said in a Reuters interview.

The introduction of Vivaldi version 1.0 follows a 15-month development that cost veteran software maker Jon von Tetzchner around 50 million crowns ($6.07 million) of his own money.

Offering a wide range of personalized settings and bookmark functions, the Oslo-based browser hopes to lure some of the web’s most demanding users away from global brands like Google Chrome, Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari and Opera.

“A few years ago everyone started simplifying their browsers and they removed many of the features that the so-called power users wanted. This is the segment we are targeting”, von Tetzchner said.

“We have many more features and personalization options than any other browser in the market. Most of these features are new and totally unique for Vivaldi,” he added.

Named after the 18th-century composer Antonio Vivaldi, the name hints at von Tetzchner’s previous role as co-founder and long-time head of browser and mobile phone software firm Opera, which he left in 2011.

Opera is now the subject of an ongoing $1.28 billion takeover by a group of Chinese firms.

“After I left they decided to focus on a totally different user segment, and that opened up a space in the market,” von Tetzchner said. “We only need five million monthly users to make money and I’m confident that we will get there.”

Vivaldi has been downloaded several million times since the launch of a test version early last year, but von Tetzchner declined to say how many of those had become regular users.

Holding 90 percent of the company’s shares, and with employees also owning small stakes, von Tetzchner plans to stay firmly in control.

“Several of the most well-known venture capital groups, prominent names, have called me up wanting to take part in this company, but I have politely turned them down,” he said.

“One of the things I learned during my Opera years is how important it is to keep control of the company. I’m fortunate to be able to do that this time around.”

Vivaldi has also partnered with several content providers including Bing, Yahoo and Yandex and is in talks with Alphabet, von Tetzchner said.

($1 = 8.2381 Norwegian crowns)

(Editing by Terje Solsvik)


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Verizon counting on Armstrong as it prepares Yahoo bid

AOL CEO Tim Armstrong.

(Reuters) – Verizon is the clear favorite in the upcoming bidding for Yahoo’s core Internet business, according to Wall Street analysts, in large part because the telecommunications company’s efforts to become a force in Internet content have gone relatively well under the leadership of AOL Inc Chief Executive Tim Armstrong.

Verizon acquired AOL last June for $4.4 billion – its first big foray into the advertising-supported Internet business – and it is not yet clear how well the unit is performing financially. Subsequent moves, including the takeover of much of Microsoft’s advertising technology business, a deal to buy Millennial Media for about $250 million and the recent launch of the mobile video service go90, are also too recent to assess.

Yet analysts have given the big phone company high marks for allowing AOL to operate independently and folding in other recent acquisitions without much drama. And they said Armstrong seems to be driving Verizon’s recent moves in go90 and recent acquisitions.

“The management puts a lot of faith in Armstrong,” BTIG analyst Walt Piecyk said.

That faith derives in part from the belief that Armstrong did a good job at left-for-dead AOL, especially in assembling a strong set of products to deliver targeted digital ads to customers.

Combining AOL and Yahoo, an idea that has come up many times over the years, could instantly make Yahoo a major player in Internet advertising, with Armstrong – one of the world’s top ad executives – at the helm, analysts said.

Armstrong “has good M&A experience, and a pretty solid ad tech stack,” B. Riley & Co analyst Sameet Sinha said.

Verizon’s hands-off approach that has worked with AOL, though, might not be suitable if the far-bigger Yahoo were taken over. With Yahoo’s struggling business, “the luxury of autonomy is simply not there,” Recon Analytics analyst Roger Entner said.

Verizon, AOL and Yahoo declined to comment.

Start the bidding

Verizon showed interest in Yahoo’s core business as early as December, when Chief Financial Officer Fran Shammo said the company would “see if there is a strategic fit” for Yahoo’s holdings, which include mail, news, sports and advertising technology.

Yahoo, under pressure from activist investors, launched an auction of its core business in February after it shelved plans to spin off its stake in Chinese ecommerce giant Alibaba.

The first round of bidding is slated for next week, and Verizon plans to make a bid, sources familiar with the matter have told Reuters.

Verizon is already working on increasing revenue through its ad-supported mobile video service go90, targeted at millennials and built on video streaming technology acquired from Intel in 2014.

The app, which launched in October, offers videos from Comedy Central and Vice, among others, as well as basketball and football games.

However, analysts cautioned that even a combined Yahoo-AOL would lack the unique data, such as user interests and tastes, that powers its rivals in online ads, chiefly Alphabet’s Google and Facebook.

Armstrong, who made his name leading sales at Google, is highly regarded in the advertising community – in contrast to Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer, another former Google high-flyer, who has been struggling to revive Yahoo. Mayer would likely leave after a Verizon-Yahoo deal, analysts said.

Verizon is not especially interested in Yahoo’s massive stakes in Alibaba and Yahoo Japan, which are worth far more than its core internet business, the sources said.

That could leave an opening for a bidder such as Softbank Group, Yahoo’s partner in Yahoo Japan, which might be able to devise a way to minimize the tax bill that would come with any sale of the Asia investments.

“(Yahoo) is ultimately Verizon’s to lose,” said Robert Peck, Internet analyst at SunTrust Robinson Humphrey. “They’re the leading candidate in this effort and can afford to pay the most because of cost synergies and scale.”

Other players weighing joint or solo bids are media company Time Inc and several private equity firms including Blackstone and KKR, according to sources. The owner of Britain’s Daily Mail newspaper also said this week it is in talks with potential partners to mount a joint bid.

(Reporting by Malathi Nayak; Additional reporting by Jessica Toonkel in New York and Deborah M. Todd in San Francisco; Editing by Jonathan Weber, Eric Effron and Bill Rigby)


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Verizon counting on Armstrong as it prepares Yahoo bid

AOL CEO Tim Armstrong.

(Reuters) – Verizon is the clear favorite in the upcoming bidding for Yahoo’s core Internet business, according to Wall Street analysts, in large part because the telecommunications company’s efforts to become a force in Internet content have gone relatively well under the leadership of AOL Inc Chief Executive Tim Armstrong.

Verizon acquired AOL last June for $4.4 billion – its first big foray into the advertising-supported Internet business – and it is not yet clear how well the unit is performing financially. Subsequent moves, including the takeover of much of Microsoft’s advertising technology business, a deal to buy Millennial Media for about $250 million and the recent launch of the mobile video service go90, are also too recent to assess.

Yet analysts have given the big phone company high marks for allowing AOL to operate independently and folding in other recent acquisitions without much drama. And they said Armstrong seems to be driving Verizon’s recent moves in go90 and recent acquisitions.

“The management puts a lot of faith in Armstrong,” BTIG analyst Walt Piecyk said.

That faith derives in part from the belief that Armstrong did a good job at left-for-dead AOL, especially in assembling a strong set of products to deliver targeted digital ads to customers.

Combining AOL and Yahoo, an idea that has come up many times over the years, could instantly make Yahoo a major player in Internet advertising, with Armstrong – one of the world’s top ad executives – at the helm, analysts said.

Armstrong “has good M&A experience, and a pretty solid ad tech stack,” B. Riley & Co analyst Sameet Sinha said.

Verizon’s hands-off approach that has worked with AOL, though, might not be suitable if the far-bigger Yahoo were taken over. With Yahoo’s struggling business, “the luxury of autonomy is simply not there,” Recon Analytics analyst Roger Entner said.

Verizon, AOL and Yahoo declined to comment.

Start the bidding

Verizon showed interest in Yahoo’s core business as early as December, when Chief Financial Officer Fran Shammo said the company would “see if there is a strategic fit” for Yahoo’s holdings, which include mail, news, sports and advertising technology.

Yahoo, under pressure from activist investors, launched an auction of its core business in February after it shelved plans to spin off its stake in Chinese ecommerce giant Alibaba.

The first round of bidding is slated for next week, and Verizon plans to make a bid, sources familiar with the matter have told Reuters.

Verizon is already working on increasing revenue through its ad-supported mobile video service go90, targeted at millennials and built on video streaming technology acquired from Intel in 2014.

The app, which launched in October, offers videos from Comedy Central and Vice, among others, as well as basketball and football games.

However, analysts cautioned that even a combined Yahoo-AOL would lack the unique data, such as user interests and tastes, that powers its rivals in online ads, chiefly Alphabet’s Google and Facebook.

Armstrong, who made his name leading sales at Google, is highly regarded in the advertising community – in contrast to Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer, another former Google high-flyer, who has been struggling to revive Yahoo. Mayer would likely leave after a Verizon-Yahoo deal, analysts said.

Verizon is not especially interested in Yahoo’s massive stakes in Alibaba and Yahoo Japan, which are worth far more than its core internet business, the sources said.

That could leave an opening for a bidder such as Softbank Group, Yahoo’s partner in Yahoo Japan, which might be able to devise a way to minimize the tax bill that would come with any sale of the Asia investments.

“(Yahoo) is ultimately Verizon’s to lose,” said Robert Peck, Internet analyst at SunTrust Robinson Humphrey. “They’re the leading candidate in this effort and can afford to pay the most because of cost synergies and scale.”

Other players weighing joint or solo bids are media company Time Inc and several private equity firms including Blackstone and KKR, according to sources. The owner of Britain’s Daily Mail newspaper also said this week it is in talks with potential partners to mount a joint bid.

(Reporting by Malathi Nayak; Additional reporting by Jessica Toonkel in New York and Deborah M. Todd in San Francisco; Editing by Jonathan Weber, Eric Effron and Bill Rigby)


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Microsoft sues U.S. government over law banning tech firms from telling customers about search warrants

A Microsoft logo is seen on an office building in New York

(By Sarah McBride, Reuters) — Microsoft Corp has sued the U.S. government for the right to tell its customers when a federal agency is looking at their emails, the latest in a series of clashes over privacy between the technology industry and Washington.

The lawsuit, filed on Wednesday in federal court in the Western District of Washington, argues that the government is violating the U.S. Constitution by preventing Microsoft from notifying thousands of customers about government requests for their emails and other documents.

The government’s actions contravene the Fourth Amendment, which establishes the right for people and businesses to know if the government searches or seizes their property, the suit argues, and the First Amendment right to free speech.

Microsoft’s suit focuses on the storage of data on remote servers, rather than locally on people’s computers, which Microsoft says has provided a new opening for the government to access electronic data.

Using the Electronic Communications Privacy Act, the government is increasingly directing investigations at the parties that store data in the so-called cloud, Microsoft says. The 30-year-old law has long drawn scrutiny from technology companies and privacy advocates who say it was written before the rise of the commercial Internet and is therefore outdated.

“People do not give up their rights when they move their private information from physical storage to the cloud,” Microsoft says in the lawsuit, a copy of which was seen by Reuters. It adds that the government “has exploited the transition to cloud computing as a means of expanding its power to conduct secret investigations.”

The lawsuit represents the newest front in the battle between technology companies and the U.S. government over how much private businesses should assist government surveillance.

By filing the suit, Microsoft is taking a more prominent role in that battle, dominated by Apple Inc in recent months due to the government’s efforts to get the company to write software to unlock an iPhone used by one of the shooters in a December massacre in San Bernardino, California. Apple, backed by big technology companies including Microsoft, had complained that cooperating would turn businesses into arms of the state.

In its complaint, Microsoft says over the past 18 months it has received 5,624 legal orders under the ECPA, of which 2,576 prevented Microsoft from disclosing that the government is seeking customer data through warrants, subpoenas and other requests. Most of the ECPA requests apply to individuals, not companies, and provide no fixed end date to the secrecy provision, Microsoft said.

Microsoft and other companies won the right two years ago to disclose the number of government demands for data they receive. This case goes farther, requesting that it be allowed to notify individual businesses and people that the government is seeking information about them.


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Fingerprint firms unlocking new markets beyond smartphones

Huawei P9: Dual-lenses & Fingerprint Scanner

STOCKHOLM (By Olof Swahnberg, Reuters) – A tap of a finger could soon suffice to identify credit card shoppers and rail commuters, offering areas of new business for specialist companies which have benefited from the use of such technology in smartphones.

Sweden’s Fingerprint Cards (FPC) sees biometric smart cards — those using fingerprint identification — becoming its fastest growing market as early as 2018, having already become the market leader in a crowded sector for supplying such sensors for smartphones.

Others within the industry are not convinced the smart card business will take off so quickly, prompting questions about whether FPC can maintain its runaway rise in valuation.

FPC’s share price surged around 1,600 percent last year as demand for fingerprint sensors in phones soared after Apple, which uses its own in-house supplier, helped to popularize the technology. FPC now has a market value of around $4.1 billion.

Advocates say the technology offers greater security and simplicity when compared to techniques such as using pin codes to confirm identification.

The fingerprint sensor business has a handful of companies supplying significant volumes today, with an equal number planning to enter the market. Three are based in the Nordic region where technology companies have thrived.

Needing to maintain its momentum, FPC says it is in initial talks with potential big customers for smart cards. It declines to name names at this stage.

“Our ambition for smart cards, and all other segments, is that we shall continue to be number one,” FPC’s Chief Executive Jorgen Lantto told Reuters.

Silicon Valley firm Synaptics, the closest rival to FPC in sensors for smartphones, is more cautious on new markets.

“It’s hard for me to project market share in a segment of the market (when) we’re not sure when it’s going to happen,” said Anthony Gioeli, vice president of marketing in the biometrics division of Synaptics.

Sascha Behlendorf, a card systems product manager at Germany’s Giesecke & Devrient, one of the top three smart card makers, expects widespread adoption of biometrics in smart cards could take some five to 10 years.

Range of uses

Gothenburg-based FPC has been around for almost two decades, building a technology business based on an old Swedish fingerprinting patent. That left it well placed when the market expanded and it has also benefited by hiring staff from Nokia and Ericsson as their mobile phone businesses declined.

Analysts say expectations for new markets have helped to underpin the huge leap in valuation for FPC.

However, Carnegie analyst Havard Nilsson this week cut his recommendation for FPC to “sell” from “hold”, citing what he called unwarranted share price appreciation and repeated his target price of 450 crowns. The shares traded at 524 crowns on Thursday.

“Given that smartphones should constitute 60-70 percent of the global addressable market (in 2020), we do not believe new verticals, such as smart cards, will be able to compensate for competitive pressure in consumer electronics,” Nilsson wrote.

He sees earnings per share peaking at 37 crowns in 2018.

Beyond payments, biometric smart cards could be used to allow access to buildings and IT-systems, according to FPC. Keyless entry to cars is another potential major market, as are wearable products such as watches or wristbands serving as a substitute identity card. FPC includes such applications in its forecasts for “other segments” of business.

FPC sees a total addressable market for this part of its business of roughly 100 million sensors in 2017 and around 500 million in 2018. It is the only player so far to make specific forecasts for these new markets.

“We talk to a lot of players and companies come to us. There is substance behind our numbers,” Lantto said, adding that FPC has held talks with a handful of big potential smart card clients since last autumn.

Most suppliers of fingerprint sensors, including FPC, use 3D imaging technology for recognition of a fingerprint, while Next Biometrics in Norway uses heat sensing technology.

IDEX, another Norwegian competitor, roughly shares FPC’s forecasts for segments beyond smartphones for the coming few years, Chief Financial Officer Henrik Knudtzon said.

IDEX, which last summer entered a partnership with an unnamed global payments company for biometric applications, is integrating its sensors into smart cards with partners and expects shipments to start toward the end of this year, Knudtzon said.

(Reporting by Olof Swahnberg; Editing by Eric Auchard and Keith Weir)


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