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Business, Financial & Legal Posts - Page 103

Samsung dominates the iPhone when it comes to phone subsidies

Samsung have done quite well for themselves over the last couple of years, fighting against the near-invincible iPhone. How does it compare to Apple in regards to phone subsidies, something Apple usually have the most control over?

 

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Samsung are actually out and ahead, according to market research firm ABI Research and their latest report. They've said that the average implied carrier subsidy for a Samsung smartphone in the US is around 84%. What this means is that phone carriers cover 84% of the up-front costs of a Samsung phone when a consumer buys one on a contract.

 

The carrier then makes the money back on the two-year contract you've just signed through various fees and monthly charges. HTC see a subsidy of around 80%, with the iPhone sitting at 74%. ABI analyst, Stuart Carlaw, says: "Samsung continues to squeeze its competitors at every turn. The Samsung [Galaxy S4] is now considered on a par with Apple's iPhone 5. Coupled with better subsidy, the breadth of its device portfolio, increasingly savvy marketing, and its excellence in channel execution, it is little wonder Samsung is dominating the mobile handset market from top to bottom."

Gamers in Sweden get slapped with 'LAN party tax', costs organizers thousands for a 'permit' to hook PC's together for fun

My fondest memories as a kid growing up was growing up through the network area of connecting PC's together for some Quake, Duke Nukem, Command & Conquer and good old file sharing - but those days could be ending in Sweden, where there is now a "LAN party tax".

 

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From now on, organizers of LAN parties will have to pay a fee of up to $5,000 so that they can receive a "permit" that will allow them to connect together PC's or gaming consoles. The ruling was made legal by the Gambling Board, who are the supervisory authority for gaming and lottery and in accordance with the liberal government's revised slot machine regulation of last year.

 

Now video games fall under this umbrella, and LAN gamers and organizers are only going to suffer. General Counsel at the Gaming Board, Johan Rohr, has said that "in the eyes of the law, these are slot machines." Not only will the LAN organizers be slapped with a fee for the "permit", but they could also be up for paying extra for an inspection fee if the Gambling Board decide to check the party out.

 

What do you think of these laws? Are they utterly ridiculous or what?!

RumorTT: TSMC will become Apple's main supplier of in-house A-series processors

Just what will Apple do to get their A-series processors pumped out in enough quantity to keep up with consumer demand on their next-gen iPhone and iPad? Well, you ask for Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) to lend a hand.

 

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The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Apple are working with TSMC, which will see the Taiwanese company become the lead supplier of Apple's in-house designed A-series processors, with a ramp up expected in early 2014 with 20nm SoC processors. TSMC have been an Apple supplier for years, but have had trouble keeping up with Apple's strong standards on increasing the speed, power and quality of their processors.

 

The WSJ has said that the two companies have been talking about a deal since 2010, where at the time Samsung was Apple's exclusive supplier of A-series processors, but this will change as Apple wants to distance themselves from their main competitor.

BlackBerry misses its sales mark, shares decline more than 27%

BlackBerry reported its earnings and sales figures today. Unfortunately for the company, those numbers were lower than expectations. Because of this underwhelming performance, BlackBerry shares declined by over 27 percent today. The price per share for BlackBerry now sits at around $10.46, or the lowest they have been since November of last year.

 

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Many analysts expected BlackBerry to sell around 3.5 million BB10 devices this quarter. Instead, the company managed to sell just 2.7 million. To put this figure in perspective, Nokia sold nearly double the amount of devices as BlackBerry, which still isn't saying much. BlackBerry sat at an operating loss of $84 million, or 16 cents per share. This is quite a bit better than this quarter last year in which BlackBerry lost of $500 million. Revenue was also up 9 percent to $3.1 billion.

 

BlackBerry still has quite a bit to do if they want to stick around. Some have called for the company to split its hardware and software business, something that the company says it isn't planning to do. Do you think BlackBerry has a chance at sticking around?

Yelp files suit against business selling fake reviews

Yelp has become the de facto service for customer reviews on local businesses, and as with any user submitted review service, fake reviews have began to pop up. While some of these reviews are made by the business owners themselves others are made by companies who are paid by the business owners to flood their pages with good reviews.

 

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This trickery can lead to a business seeing a major rise in customers if enough good reviews pop up during a certain period of time. Yelp attempts to remove most of these fake reviews but new ones are added just as quickly as the old ones are taken down, and now yelp has decided to attempt to put a stop via the legal system.

 

The company has filed a lawsuit against BuyOnlineReview.net which is the owner of BuyYelpReview.com. The complaint which was filed last week looks to shut down both sides through a court injunction as well as complete reimbursement of Yelp's legal fees and three times the amount of revenue either site made from selling fake Yelp reviews.

Uber lands its private car service in Taipei Taiwan, second launch in Asia this week

Uber continues its ingress into Asia today as it rolled out its popular private car service in Taipei, Taiwan. Earlier this week, the company made its Asia debut by launching in Seoul, Korea along with three other cities in the region.

 

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This year Uber has raised more than 55 million in funding from investors alone and usually launches a test phase "soft launch" before fully rolling out the service. Over the next 4 to 6 weeks Uber will begin to transition from this test phase into the fully operational service in both Seoul and Taipei.

 

Whether you're out on the town in the Xinyi , go shopping on Zhong Shan Bei Road, or have dinner in Dongqu, Uber (@Uber_TPE) will get you where you need to be in comfort and style, typhoon or shine. The base fare is NT$126, with a rolling charge of NT$30 per kilometer (when travelling over 18km/h) or NT$16.50 per minute (when travelling below that speed - aka affected by traffic jams). The minimum fare is NT$230 and the full Taipei pricing can be found here.

Microsoft are happy being number three in mobile, aren't afraid of BlackBerry

The mobile war continues, with iOS and Android taking the lead but number three and four positions are taken up by the oldies, Microsoft and BlackBerry.

 

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During an interview with The Verge, Senior Windows Phone Product Manager,e Larry Liberman, said that Microsoft's mobile OS platform is "solidly the third ecosystem right now. That's a huge announcement in some respects". Global market share is different, where they're tied with BlackBerry.

 

Microsoft aren't worried though, where Lieberman adds: "I don't think they can bring to the table some of the things we have. The fact like we're delivering across such a different set of price points to such a large audience."

T-Mobile invites press to New York press event on July 10, claims "our boldest moves yet"

T-Mobile has sent out invitations to a New York press event taking place on July 10. T-Mobile hasn't given any sort of indication of what they will be unveiling, however, the invitation does state that this is "Our boldest moves yet" which seems to indicate they will be doing more than one thing at the press event.

 

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We'll be sure to let you know what T-Mobile unveils, announces, or otherwise makes known at the July 10 event. Doors open at 2pm EST, so you can expect news to start coming shortly after that.

 

This event could possibly relate to its Uncarrier plans, with rumors of a phase two taking place July 14. It could also be to announce the Xperia Z, currently rumored to be coming on July 17.

Judge denies Apple's request to include GALAXY S4 in patent lawsuit

Apple's motion to add the new Samsung GALAXY S4 to an ongoing patent lawsuit was rejected by a judge. The courts seem to be getting tired of the continual battles between Apple and others. The judge, US Magistrate Judge Paul S Grewal, noted that an additional product would be a "tax on the court's resources."

 

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Each time these parties appear in the courtroom, they consume considerable amounts of the court's time and energy, which takes time way from other parties who also require and are entitled to the court's attention.

 

Apple has said that the judge's rejecting of the GALAXY S4 would require the company to file another lawsuit. It doesn't appear that Apple plans to quit its ongoing legal assault of Samsung anytime soon. Apple has so far been successful in the United States, though legal battles around the world have been mixed.

Apple applies for patent on a combo SD/USB port

Apple has applied for a patent on a combination SD/USB port which could be used to save space on the ever-shrinking MacBook Pro and Air. This would allow more ports to be added to a system. The patent offers USB and SD cards as the example, but it could easily be applied to other connectors.

 

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Apple explains it in technical speak:

 

The input port includes an outer wall defining a receiving aperture, a substrate positioned within the receiving aperture. A first set of contacts is positioned on the substrate at a first depth into the receiving aperture and a second set of contacts is positioned on a first surface of the outer wall at a second depth into the receiving aperture. The first set of contacts is configured to communicate with a first connector and the second set of contacts is configured to communicate with a second connector.

 

Whether or not something like this would come to fruition depends on if Apple can develop the technology behind combining ports. It's a rather difficult problem due to different form-factors, connections, and other factors.

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