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Shazam gets $40 million in funding from America Movil

Shazam, the app known for its music tagging abilities, has received $40 million in funding from America Movil, the largest wireless carrier in the Americas. This funding will be used to make a bigger push into Latin America though partnerships and other initiatives.

 

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Shazam is looking to partner with Latin American wireless companies to pre-install Shazam on the devices they sell. This will help gain new users and drive further use and engagement. Shazam boasts a user base of more than 350 million people and an active user count of 70 million.

 

Shazam chairman Andrew Fisher says that these numbers are due to a much faster app that allows users to quickly tag songs in a TV show or commercial. Shazam sees more than 10 million tags per day.

Samsung's record quarter doesn't impress investors

Samsung have just had a record quarter, where they're estimated to have pulled in their highest-ever revenue and profits for a quarter - estimated at $49.9 billion and $8.3 billion, respectively.

 

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This huge profit from Samsung is a 47% year-on-year increase, and represents a 54% growth compared to last year. But, Reuters is reporting that investors were hoping to see profits closer to $8.89 billion, which means Samsung's early estimates are 6.4% below expectations. We should have the full earning results later this month, where everything will be laid out in front of us.

 

Reuters and Bloomberg are blaming the lower than expected profits on the "disappointing sales" of the Galaxy S4, which has sold over 20 million units in two months. But, this is coming at the expense of increased marketing costs and distribution channels weren't justified in investors' eyes as the S4 still couldn't compete with the iPhone 5 launch numbers.

Continue reading 'Samsung's record quarter doesn't impress investors' (full post)

Samsung hires former Sprint exec to handle their operator sales in the US

Danny Bowman, former Sprint executive, has been scooped up by Samsung. Bowman has become the Chief Sales and Operations Officer at Samsung Telecommunications America, as of Tuesday.

 

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Bowman will also be in charge of operator sales and operations, and will help out with Samsung's long-term strategic initiatives. Before landing the gig at Samsung, Bowman was an employee of Sprint for quite some time, and was one of several executives who Sprint let go early last year as part of the company's restructuring plan.

Apple's fall from grace sees them lose the title of the world's most respected company

For the last three years in a row, iDevice maker Apple have been the world's most respected company according to Barron's list. But, this has come to an end, something that we saw coming last year.

 

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The world's most respected company is now Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway, with Disney jumping into the number two position. This has forced Apple from first to third place, with Google and Coca-Cola taking out fourth and fifth place, respectively. Barron's list is made from a poll of professional money managers that has been conducted each year since 2005.

RumorTT: Apple changing things up at Apple Stores in order to prepare for 'an army of new products this fall'

Apple are poised to release some next-gen products later this year, where we should expect a new iPhone, iPad, iOS and more. But 9to5Mac is reporting that Apple CEO, Tim Cook, talked this week with retail employees in San Francisco about overhauling Apple's approach to selling iPhones in Apple stores.

 

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The Apple CEO said that the company is "developing new incentives for both customers buying iPhones and the Apple Stores selling the phones." This includes the back-to-school promotion that "offers a $50 gift card to students purchasing an iPhone." The heads of retail that were at the meeting have told 9to5Mac that Apple are trying to boost their retail operations throughout the summer to prepare for the launch of "an army of new products this fall."

Samsung's heart is where the home is, will invest $4.5 billion in R&D centers in South Korea

Samsung have just passed the 20 million unit mark with their Galaxy S4, and this dominance will continue with news arriving that the South Korean giant will invest more than $4.5 billion in five new R&D centers in South Korea.

 

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The R&D centers will be built over the next three years, with a $1 billion research center to be opened in southern Seoul in late 2015. At this building, Samsung will hire some 10,000 employees which will focus their efforts on design. Samsung will also build new R&D centers that will work on materials and components, as well as chips and displays.

 

Just last year alone Samsung spent $10.5 billion on R&D, and compared to their R&D budget in 2011 of just $1.4 billion, there is absolutely no sign of Samsung's dominance slowing down.

Nokia to change their marketing strategy, will enjoy their new 'challenger' role in the market

It looks like Finnish-based Nokia have finally come to their senses, realizing that they are no longer "the leader in our industry" and have decided to start acting "like a challenger."

 

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Nokia Chief Marketing Officer, Tuula Rytila, spoke with AdAge and said: "It's quite natural, and we're having a lot of fun with it. We want to be more bold in our approach, and [we want] a global brand, as well." Nokia now have the goal of wanting to create a global brand that can appeal to consumers all across the world, including the emerging markets.

 

I think this news is great, and it's the kind of position Nokia need to take - that they are no longer number one, and they need to take it as if they're coming onto the market for the first time. It could be an exciting few years from Nokia finally.

MasterCard and VISA start blocking payment access to VPN providers

With all of the NSA PRISM scandal continuing to blow up while Obama enjoys July 4 in Africa, you would think that companies would be marketing toward security and privacy. Well, MasterCard and VISA sure aren't, with Torrent Freak reporting that the payment companies are now blocking payments to VPN providers.

 

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Payment providers like MasterCard, VISA and PayPal are taking action against sites and services that associate themselves with copyright infringement. Swedish payment service provider, Payson, received an e-mail stating that VPN services are no longer allowed to accept VISA and MasterCard due to recent policy change.

 

The e-mail states: "Payson has restrictions against anonymization (including VPN services). As a result Payson can unfortunately no longer give your customers the option to finance payments via their cards (VISA or MasterCard)." This new policy went into effect on Monday, which has left customers with a two-day solution to find an alternative.

Samsung acquires Boxee for around $30 million

Samsung have acquired Boxee, an Israel- and New York-based streaming media and entertainment startup. Boxee launched their latest product, the Boxee Cloud DVR, which was rebranded to Boxee TV in order to show it is made for streaming over-the-air broadcast HD channels.

 

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Samsung make TV's, so it would make perfect sense for them to scoop up someone with a great UI and traction in the market. The purchase is being reported by numerous Israeli outlets, with The Market reporting it cost Samsung $30 million. I would love to see Boxee become part of Samsung TV's, personally owning one, which would really help Samsung fight against the competitors - and Apple, who will release a TV in the near future.

 

The South Korean giant have confirmed the news to the New York Times, saying they have "acquired key talent and assets from Boxee."

AT&T amends privacy policy to allow selling of user data

AT&T has issued an update to its privacy policy that would allow the company to sell user data. The collected data would be in aggregate form. Marketers would love this data as it would help them target ads and gain a better understanding as to how users use their device. AT&T is allowing users to opt out of this data collection, which is better than some companies.

 

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This aggregate data is the same data that Facebook sells to advertisers to bring in their revenue. There isn't really any damage in AT&T selling this aggregate data, though concerned users can opt out. If you are worried that AT&T's data may not be completely anonymous or are concerned about your privacy, we recommend you take AT&T up on their offer to opt out.

 

You might be curious as to why AT&T didn't attempt this before. Part of the reason is that the older networking gear was proprietary and the data wasn't easily accessible. This same gear has caught the big data bug and its data is now much more accessible.

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