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As January closes out, we have a peak week for tech earnings, with four of the top five US companies reporting. They are led on Tuesday by Apple, whose shares have soared almost a third since its last earnings report, sending the iPhone maker's valuation to a record $1.4tn for a US company.

For its December quarter covering the big holiday period, analysts predict that slightly lower sales for the iPhone, iPad, Mac and MacBook will be offset by faster growth in services and wearables. Patrick McGee in San Francisco has five things to look out for in the results.

Here's the rest of the tech week ahead:

Monday: The meatless burger company Beyond Meat is set to report fourth-quarter earnings. Last week, Bernstein cut its rating of the stock, warning that the group’s growth potential is mostly baked into its current valuation. 

Tuesday: Boris Johnson is expected to approve a restricted role for Huawei in Britain’s 5G network, at a meeting of the UK's National Security Council, with ministers looking to impose a new cap on the market share the Chinese telecoms company can take in the UK. Business software provider SAP will report on its fourth quarter before the New York market opens. Chipmaker AMD and ecommerce company eBay report after the close.

Wednesday: Facebook is expected to show progress in making money from new areas such as Instagram stories and commerce when it reports earnings after the closing bell. Investors will also focus on its latest monetisation plans for WhatsApp, its digital currency project Libra, and how it will fend off competition from Amazon in advertising and from video app TikTok among younger audiences. Microsoft, Tesla and PayPal also report after hours.

Thursday: South Korea's Samsung Electronics announces detailed fourth-quarter earnings. Samsung suffered from a downturn in its semiconductor business in 2019 and earlier this month, the world’s largest maker of memory chips and smartphones estimated its operating profit for the last three months of 2019 at Won7.1tn ($6.1bn), down 34 per cent from a year earlier. But that was better than the Won6.5tn average estimate of analysts polled by Bloomberg. Amazon and video game publisher Electronic Arts report after the market close.

Friday: South Korean chipmaker SK Hynix and panel maker LG Display both report. Like Samsung, SK Hynix bore the brunt of memory chip woes in 2019, but expects a turnround this year. Meanwhile, LG Display is embarking on a transformation of its business structure to focus on high-tech OLED, after Chinese players caught up on cheap LCD technology. In the UK, broadband provider TalkTalk reports quarterly results.

The Internet of (Five) Things

1. Brexit adds up to maths opportunity
One other big date in the UK this week is Brexit Day on January 31, with Britain leaving the EU at 11pm. But today, Boris Johnson is opening Britain’s doors to the world’s top scientists and mathematicians, creating an uncapped “Global Talent” route into the UK. The new approach aims to show Britain will remain open to highly skilled migrants after Brexit; the new regime replaces the Tier 1 Exceptional Talent route, which had an annual cap of 2,000 people. However, the government is set to scale back a £2.4bn-a-year tax break in the March Budget amid concerns that “entrepreneurs relief”, which allows company owners to pay a reduced levy when selling their businesses, is overly generous to the wealthy.

2. Why big pharma sees a remedy in data and AI 
In a world where big pharma and big tech collide, investors are pouring billions of dollars into companies that offer access to the clinical insights contained in vast troves of anonymised patient records. “The concentration and the sexiness started in discovery but the digital health world has grown exponentially in the past year,” says Niven Narain, co-founder of biotech group Berg.

3. Facebook moderators' PTSD forms
Content moderators working at a European facility for Facebook have been required to sign a form explicitly acknowledging that their job could cause post-traumatic stress disorder, according to documentation and employee confirmation obtained by the Financial Times.

4. Tech worker activism grows
More than 300 Amazon workers have defied the company's communications policy, signing and being quoted in a Medium post published on Sunday by advocacy group Amazon Employees for Climate Justice. Meanwhile, Richard Waters writes on how Google staff came to question its culture.

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5. Sequelitis in Hollywood
Of the top ten grossing films of 2019, all were either franchise entries, sequels, remakes or spin-offs. For streaming services, financing niche films doesn’t present the same problems as for large Hollywood studios. It is almost welcomed by video-on-demand companies, who see it as a way to capture additional subscribers. Here's our chart-tastic look at trends.

Tech Tools — Razr's bumps and lumps

Motorola's revived Razr clamshell handset is now available to pre-order and Engadget reports a sequence of videos has been released to explain the device, revealing some of the peculiarities of early folding-screen phones. A support video “warns users to keep the screen dry, avoid screen protectors, beware of sharp objects and close the phone before tossing it in your pocket. Also, don't assume that efforts to eliminate the usual folding phone crease have resulted in a perfectly flat display”. Motorola tells users that “bumps and lumps are normal” in the plastic screen.

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