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Apple announce iBooks 2, set to make books magical again

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Jan 20, 2012 10:21 am

Apple SVP Paul Schiller took the stage to unveil something Apple has been cooking up for a while, and a long-rumored "education-centric announcement", which has morphed into iBook 2, where Schiller calls it a "new textbook experience for the iPad".




Roger Rosner, Apple's VP of productivity software has explained how it will work. Textbooks appear on the shelf, you then tap to launch. The books occupy the full screen and can be paired with embedded video content and introductory movies. Multi-touch rears its head and can be used to navigate through the textbook pages and can manipulate integrated 3D models for biology books, for example.


Rotating books allows users to focus on text, and there are built-in, linked glossaries and tablets of content to make navigation simple and accessible, as well as everything is searchable. iBooks 2 also includes highlighting, note-taking and interactive Q&A sections at the end of each chapter, which also provide immediate feedback: no more hunting for a key in a separate book or appendix to see how you did it.


Apple seem to have taken the best ideas from other e-book implementations, software and ideas, and made them magical and revolutionary and called it iBooks 2. There is a dedicated iBookstore category now, where you'll find free samples you can try out before purchasing. The app itself is free, and will be made available any hour now through the App Store.

Continue reading 'Apple announce iBooks 2, set to make books magical again' (full post)

Intel reports record year, $54 billion in annual revenue

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Jan 20, 2012 9:16 am

Intel have today reported a full-year revenue of an astounding $54 billion, with an operating income of $17.5 billion, net income of $12.9 billion, and EPS of $2.39. The thing associated with all of those huge numbers? They're all records. Intel had an amazing year in 2011.




Intel generated approximately $21 billion in cash from operations, paid dividends of $4.1 billion and used $14.1 billion to repurchase 642 million shares of stock. Q4 2011 saw Intel post a revenue of $13.9 billion, operating revenue of $4.6 billion, net income of $3.4 billion and EPS of 64 cents. Q1 2012 has been good so far, with their business outlook mentioning revenue sitting at $12.8 billion, plus or minus $500 billion.


Full-year 2012 details are interesting, with stand-outs like Research & Development (R&D) expected to hit $10.1 billion. With Intel heading into the smartphone market, that $10.1 billion could go a very long way. With their lead bulldozing the CPU competition, Intel don't really even need to release something that much faster to stay on top. But, if they slow down, it might give AMD enough time to catch up.

Continue reading 'Intel reports record year, $54 billion in annual revenue' (full post)

Paradox CEO: Next-generation of consoles will be the last

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Gaming | Posted: Jan 20, 2012 8:27 am

At the Paradox convention, CEO of Paradox, Frederik Wester, said in a speech that he believes the next-generation of consoles will be the last. He made his traditional predictions of the games industry, where he sees a further rise in more digital-focused platforms and distributions. He said:




The next generation of console hardware will probably be the last. I'd be surprised if we see another generation after that.


He also predicted that there will be a further decline in box products, and a rise in 'open' platforms such as the PC, mobile and social networks. Paradox have seem digital revenue increases from 1.5-percent in 2006, to 97-percent in 2011. In the same year, they beat their 2010 statistics with a 75-percent growth in revenue, and a very nice 250-percent growth in profit.

iSuppli: Windows Phone to surpass iOS by 2015

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Jan 20, 2012 7:29 am

In September 2011, IDC and Gartner predicted that Windows Phone would take second position, knocking Apple from their place by 2015. Windows Phone head of marketing Achim Berg called that prediction "conservative". iSuppli have chimed in, predicting that Windows Phone will have a 16.7-percent market share by 2015, while Apple's market share will decline from the current 18-percent to 16.6-percent by 2015.




Overtake generally means to catch up, look over, smile and wave as you go faster, get ahead of them and continue going... but, iSuppli predict by 2015 that Windows Phone will have a 16.7-percent share of the market, and iOS will have 16.6-percent, this is just .1-percentage different. 3 letters, starts with L, ends in L.


What I don't understand from these numbers, is that it doesn't account for the fact that there will be no new entries into the market. Before Apple introduced the iPhone, if you had told me that they'd be where they are today, five years ago, I would've thrown an orange at you and laughed. But now, they are the company to compare to, funnily enough. Right now, I just can't see Windows Phone taking that much market share, but I can see Google dominating the next few years if they continue the path they've taken.


Samsung and HTC are great partners, and by acquiring Motorola Mobility, Google have a much better chance of taking the market by storm than Apple.

Kodak files for chapter 11 bankruptcy protection

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Jan 20, 2012 6:29 am

Eastman Kodak, the 133-year-old iconic American company that invented the handheld camera, have filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. After years of losing profits, and responding slowly to the ever-changing market, bankruptcy seems to be their only way out.




The move follows a long-term restructuring plan by chairman and CEO Antonio Perez, where since 2003, Kodak have closed 13 manufacturing plans, cut its worth force from 145,000 down to 17,000. 15 years ago, Kodak were valued at around $31 billion, its current value? Just $150 million.


Perez has said:


The Board of Directors and the entire senior management team unanimously believe that this is a necessary step and the right thing to do for the future of Kodak. Our goal is to maximize value for stakeholders, including our employees, retirees, creditors, and pension trustees. We are also committed to working with our valued customers.

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Amazon makes more than $100 per Kindle Fire sold

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Jan 20, 2012 5:23 am

Amazon lose money on each Kindle Fire sold, as hardware and manufacturing costs of the Kindle Fire exceed its retail pricing, but somehow, Amazon aren't losing money on it. How does Amazon conduct this sorcery? Well, with every Kindle sold is another annuity revenue stream for the company, further strengthening its core retail business.




According to RBC, each Kindle Fire generates more than $100 in additional income, which makes up for the $2-$3 that Amazon make per device. RBC Capital analyst, Ross Sandler, said in research notes to clients:


Kindle Fire unit economics are likely to be more favorable than consensus expectations, based primarily on frequency of digital goods purchases. Our assumption is that Amazon could sell 3-4 million Kindle Fire units in Q4, and that those units are accretive to company-average operating margin within the first six months of ownership. Our analysis assigns a cumulative lifetime operating income per unit of $136, with a cumulative operating margin of over 20 percent.

Continue reading 'Amazon makes more than $100 per Kindle Fire sold' (full post)

Resident Evil 6 logo and release date leaked, trailer follows soon after

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Gaming | Posted: Jan 20, 2012 4:26 am

Resident Evil 6 has been outed thanks to promotional displays sent to GameStop, where a reader of IGN sent them in. Sources also revealed to IGN that player favorites, Chris Redfield and Leon Kennedy will be playable characters in the next Resident Evil game.




According to the poster, the game arrives on the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 on November 20th, 2012. A PC version should follow soon after. Word is also spreading that there will be unique campaigns for each character, Leon Kennedy and Chris Redfield.


A US trailer was released shortly after the leaks, and wow, does it look epic. Any fan of Resident Evil should be happy with what the trailer shows. But, it is definitely look aged. Detail, character animation and more all look sub-par to me. We really need next-gen consoles with a next-gen Resident Evil. Get me back into a small town, or even a high-rise building, confined with more realism (controlling the unlocking of doors, windows, sprinkler systems, etc) with super-improved physics and physical destruction and I'll put my wallet in the air and shout "HERE, TAKE MY MONEY!"


Microsoft reports record revenue, up 5% to $20.9 billion

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Jan 20, 2012 4:19 am

Google had their turn just before, and now it's Redmond's turn. Microsoft have reported its second quarter 2012 earnings with record revenues of $20.9 billion, a 5-percent increase year-over-year. Microsoft's operating income, net income, and diluted earnings per share for the quarter were $7.99 billion, $6.62 billion, and $0.78 per share, respectively.




Compared to last years results of $8.17 billion, $6.63 billion and $0.77, respectively. The Online Services division, which includes Bing, lost another $458 million and Entertainment, where Xbox lives, as well as Windows operating profits, were also down. COO, Kevin Turner said in a release:


In addition to the continued strength of our commercial business, this holiday season was the strongest in Microsoft history, thanks to good sales execution and compelling products like Xbox 360 and Kinect. We are seeing a lot of excitement for new devices, from Windows 7 Ultrabooks to new Windows Phones, as well as growing anticipation for Windows 8.

Google have activated 250 million Android devices, seen 11 billion apps downloaded from the Android Market

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Jan 20, 2012 3:19 am

Google had their earnings call a little earlier, where they revealed their growth and revenue for Q4 2011. On top of this, Google CEO Larry Page said that there have been more than 250 million Android-based devices activated worldwide.




On top of this insane number, more than 11 billion applications have been downloaded from the Android Market. Considering that back in October of 2011, Apple said they had sold 250 million iOS devices (which include the iPad and iPod Touch), this means that Google have caught up to Apple. Keep in mind that Apple have a two-year head start in the smartphone market.


Google have activated 50 million devices since its last earnings report back in October 2011. It'll be interesting to see where these numbers sit at this time next year, Google have so many handset makers wanting to one-up each other, where Apple just slowly release their products. I think Google will really overtake Apple within 6 months, within 12 months we should see a nice lead.

Google pass $10 billion revenue for Q4 2011

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Jan 20, 2012 2:18 am

Google have released some financial results that might interest some, with Q4 011 and fiscal year ending December 31, 2011 being released. CEO of Google, Larry Page, says:


Google had a really strong quarter ending a great year. Full year revenue was up 29%, and our quarterly revenue blew past the $10 billion mark for the first time. I am super excited about the growth of Android, Gmail, and Google+, which now has 90 million users globally - well over double what I announced just three months ago. By building a meaningful relationship with our users through Google+ we will create amazing experiences across our services. I'm very excited about what we can do in 2012 - there are tremendous opportunities to help users and grow our business.




$10 billion revenue for Q4 is very impressive, up 29-percent. Google reported revenues of $10.58 billion for the quarter ending December 31, 2011, an increase of 25-percent when compared to the same quarter in 2010. Google-owned sites generated revenues of $7.29 billion, or 69-percent of total revenues. This is an increase of 15-percent year-over-year. Google's partner sites generated revenues of $2.88 billion, or 27-percent of revenues. This too is a 15-percent increase year-over-year.


International revenues made outside of the United States came to a total of $5.6 billion, representing 53-percent of total revenues for Q4 2011, compared to 55-percent in the third quarter of 2011, and 52-percent from Q4 2010.

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