Here's a look at Friday's noteworthy tech news:
European tech stocks hammered following 'Brexit' vote
As one would expect, continental tech names have been especially hard-hit after the U.K. voted to leave the E.U. As of 2:30 p.m. ET, Nokia (NOK) - Get Report was down 8.3%, SAP (SAP) - Get Report was down 7.5%, Ericsson (ERIC) - Get Report was falling 6.6%, and chipmakers NXP Semi (NXPI) - Get Report and STMicroelectronics (STM) - Get Report are down 7.2% and 8.3%, respectively. U.K.-based ARM Holdings (ARMH) , whose CPU core designs are licensed to dozens of chipmakers worldwide, was outperforming, with shares down just 1.4%.
Aside from the impact of European economic turmoil on local sales, worries abound regarding spillover effects such as the impact of Brexit on labor markets, trade agreements and regulatory complications. Some British tech firms are already thinking about relocating. One silver lining: The selloff in the euro that has followed the vote makes exports cheaper.
Jim Cramer thinks NXP's selloff spells a buying opportunity, and cites the company's growing chip sales within Internet of Things (IoT) end-markets. Though NXP does have healthy European exposure, the company also counts Apple (AAPL) - Get Report, Samsung (SSNLF) , and major U.S. and Asian automakers as key clients. Separately, Canaccord's Matt Ramsay argues ARM could be hurt as a stronger dollar impacts the royalties it derives from the U.K/Europe.
Dan Taitz, an exec at online video software firm Penthera, tells Light Reading that Netflix will begin allowing users to download some TV shows and movies for offline viewing. "My expectation is that by the end of the year, Netflix will be launching download-to-go as an option for their customers."
CEO Reed Hastings has already said Netflix could support offline viewing, while suggesting the move would be done to improve the user experience in foreign markets where Netflix is dealing with "an uneven set of networks. Netflix is dealing with a lot more such places after having expanded into 130 additional countries in January, including India, Russia, South Korea, and Vietnam.
But the feature could also appeal to users in developed markets who want to watch Netflix while on flights, or who simply don't want to burn through their mobile data buckets while away from home. It would also remove a competitive advantage for Amazon's (AMZN) - Get Report Prime Video, which began supporting offline viewing last year.
Adding download support could increase Netflix's already-voracious appetite for telecom capacity. Telecom equipment firm Sandvine estimates Netflix single-handedly accounts for 35.15% of downstream U.S. Internet traffic during peak hours, easily surpassing Alphabet's (GOOGL) - Get Report YouTube (17.53%) and Amazon (4.26%). Content delivery network (CDN) owners Level 3 and Limelight handle some of Netflix's traffic; however, Netflix has been steadily migrating traffic to an internal CDN.
Sixteen months after Qualcomm settled a Chinese antitrust probe for $975 million and agreed to grant special royalty terms to local phone vendors for the use of its numerous 3G and 4G patents, the company is suing one of those local OEMs, Meizu, for allegedly refusing to "negotiate in good faith and enter into a license agreement" on the same terms offered to peers. Qualcomm notes more than 100 other firms have agreed to those terms, with the list including major OEMs such as Lenovo, ZTE, and Xiaomi.
Qualcomm wants a Beijing intellectual property court to grant a ruling declaring that the terms the company has given to other Chinese OEMs should form the basis of a deal with Meizu. While Meizu is a small fish -- IDC estimates the company had just a 0.4% global smartphone share in Q1 -- the fact that Qualcomm is willing to take this matter to court shows its confidence Chinese authorities won't oppose its efforts to use legal means to collect royalties from phone vendors that are playing hardball.
Qualcomm is down 5.4% as of the time of this article, but that has much to do with the broad market selloff that has followed the Brexit vote. Both Qualcomm's chip and licensing businesses have sizable European exposure.