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Things aren't looking so great for Activision Blizzard. The company revealed today that World of Warcraft saw its subscriber base decline by 1.3 million over the past three months. For the period from January to March, the World of Warcraft subscriber count dropped from 9.6 million to 8.3 million.
CEO Bobby Kotick:
Though the majority of our subscriber decline occurred mainly in the East, where we have more subscribers and lower revenue per subscriber, we saw declines in the West as well. We believe in the long-term value of this franchise and will continue to commit substantial resources to World of Warcraft.
Activision Blizzard reported net revenues of $1.32 billion and earnings-per-share of $0.40. These beat their guidance of $1.16 billion and EPS of $0.29.
Apple is attempting to put its hands on Android source code records held by Google. The company asked U.S. Magistrate Judge Paul S. Grewal to force Google to turn over documents in relation to Android. Apple asserts that Google is improperly withholding information about search terms used to turn up documents requested by Apple.
According to Mark Lyon, a lawyer for Apple, "It's a question of transparency. We have concerns that they're not doing a full search." Matthew Warren, a Google lawyer also representing Samsung, argues that Apple is not entitled to the search terms as it may lead to "future discovery that we don't think they're entitled to" and give Apple "ideas about how to proceed that they wouldn't have had."
This is just the latest battle between Samsung and Apple. The lawsuit, 12-cv-630, involves newer smartphones produced by both companies, including the iPhone 5 and Galaxy S 3. We're sure there will be plenty more arguing between the companies before we get any meaningful resolution.
It's looking as though Facebook and HTC may have crafted a device that isn't selling too well, if a recent price drop is any indicator. AT&T has dropped the new two-year contract price to just $0.99, or basically free. The regular price has also seen a reduction of $100, settling to a new price of just $350.99 off contract.
We can't draw a complete conclusion on just how well the device is selling as no sales numbers have been released. However, a price drop this early into a product's life cycle certainly doesn't bode well for future performance. It's possible that making Facebook Home available on other Android devices, devices with better specs, may have hurt HTC's ability to sell the First.
This morning T-Mobile posted its Q1 earnings report and things looked about par for the course for the pre-merger T-Mobile. The company saw a revenue loss of about seven percent. The company did, however, gain subscribers to the tune of over half a million new users closing out the quarter with about 34 million subscribers in total.
The no contract giant was also quick to note that it had sold more than 500,000 iPhone's since it began carrying them on April 12th. While that number pales in comparison to ATT or Verizon, the iPhone's coming out of T-Mobile are not tied to a two year agreement like other retailers.
T-Mobile CEO John Legere had the following to say about the Q1 results:
"Our first quarter operating metrics and financial results are showing positive impact from the changes we began making in the fourth quarter. Branded customer net additions turned positive for the first time since the first quarter of 2009 and our postpaid business has demonstrated significant improvement.
We ended the quarter with strong operational momentum, which is continuing into the second quarter, driven by the successful launch of our Un-carrier 'Simple Choice' service plan and the introduction of the iPhone into our device line-up. Things only get more exciting from here, having brought T-Mobile USA and MetroPCS together to create the wireless industry's value leader and premier challenger."
Every now and again you have to take a step back and go, "Do I really belong on this planet?" This is certainly one of those moments. Police in Michigan say a woman set up a fake Facebook account so she could stalk...herself. That's right, she stalked herself and sent herself nasty messages. Better yet, she blamed them on her ex's new girlfriend.
The ABC report, embedded above, does a great job of explaining the story, but I'll add some details. According to Kent Country Sheriff's Detective Jason Russo, police investigated where the messages were coming from and it led back to her computer. She also confessed that she resorted to these actions because she couldn't get over the relationship.
Evidence shows that Nelson used her computer to set up false Facebook accounts using Kevin Haarsma's personal information. Nelson used this account to make it appear that she was being stalked and harassed by Kevin's new girlfriend by posting threatening messages.
This is the world we live in, folks.
ReportTT: Next iPhone's display will be going into production next month; Sharp, LG, and Japan Display producing them
Nikkan is reporting that the displays going into the next iPhone will go into production next month. According to the report, Sharp, LG, and Japan Display will be the companies responsible for producing the displays used in the next-generation iPhone.
It looks as though the device will be similar to the current iPhone 5 in shape and capabilities. If the next iPhone is launched under the S nomenclature, we expect it to come with an upgraded camera, processor, and not much else. We also continue to hear rumors that the device will be available in a multitude of colors.
If display production does start in June, it would line up with a projected launch date in late August to September. Of course, reports are just that: reports. This could prove to be an inaccurate report and the iPhone could launch before or after the projected time frame.
According to Business Insider, Google is planning to open retail stores specifically to sell Google Glass. This comes via a second-hand source who knows someone working with Sergey Brin to plan the Glass stores. In many ways, these stores make sense. People are going to
want need to try Glass out before putting $1,500 down for their own pair.
These retail stores would focus solely on Glass. It's important that users be able to try Glass out and have it set up properly. Much like Apple's One-to-One training, Google's retail installations would help configure Glass for each user and give them an in-depth explanation of how to work it all.
As with all rumors, we encourage you to approach this with a bit of skepticism.
Syria, a country currently engaged in a large civil war, has dropped off of the Internet...again. This isn't the first time Syria has had its Internet connectivity drop to near zero. It's widely suspected that this latest Internet disconnect has been caused by the Syrian government.
The outage has been ongoing since around 2:45pm ET. Almost four hours later, Syria still doesn't have connectivity. The only people who seem to still have access to the web are activists who can afford a satellite Internet link, which isn't many. Google's Transparency Report is documenting the outage.
Electronic Arts has reported its fourth-quarter earnings. EA did fairly well, meeting some analyst predictions. The gaming company reported fourth-quarter revenues of $1.04 billion, exactly matching predictions by analysts. However, its earnings-per-share were not quite as high as analysts predicted.
EA reported earnings-per-share of $0.55. Analysts expected the gaming giant to report EPS of $0.58. Interestingly, this miss hasn't hurt EA's stock price. In fact, EA's stock price has increased by about seven percent in after-hours trading. This is probably a result of EA's strong mobile performance and the multi-year exclusive Star Wars contract signed with Disney yesterday.
EA executive chairman Larry Probst:
As we enter a new fiscal year, EA is well-positioned for dynamic growth on next generation consoles, PCs, and mobile platforms. With world-class games, a rapidly growing digital business, and top-notch creative talent, we are excited about EA's strategy for FY 2014 and beyond.
According to a CNet report, Nicole Wong, Twitter's current legal director, has been tapped to become the White House's first chief privacy officer. Prior to joining Twitter, Wong served as a vice president and deputy general counsel for Google. She, along with her team, reviewed products before they launched, checking for privacy, copyright, and removal request compliance.
She has experience in the field of privacy and will report to Todd Park, the chief technology officer for President Obama. Wong's law degree was earned at the University of California at Berkeley. After earning her degree, she made partner at Perkins Coie law firm.
Twitter was rated 3.5/4 stars by the EFF in their latest "Who has your back?" survey.