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Business, Financial & Legal Posts - Page 119

Intel in talks with Apple over A series processor chip manufacturing

Reuters is reporting that Apple has approached Intel about taking over the production of its A series of processors. This move would bolster Intel's contract manufacturing business and would lessen Apple's need to keep rival Samsung around.


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The actual date and time the meeting took place is still a bit of a mystery though, with the report citing that the meeting took place sometime within the last year. It is also unclear if any deals were struck or terms made. We are sure that we would have heard something by now if anything was written in stone.


Should this switch in manufacturing take place, you should not expect to see any Clover Trail+ Atom processors in next-generation Apple mobile products. Intel would produce ARM-compatible Apple A series chips for use in its iPad and iPhone lines. Although, an X86 based iPad could spark renewed interest in a lot of techies who have moved on to other OS based tablets.

After just six months with Yahoo, CEO Marissa Mayer receives $1.12 million bonus

After just six months on the job as CEO of Yahoo, Marissa Mayer has received a tidy $1.12 million bonus as part of a compensation package she received when she took the job. Mayer's annual salary is $1 million, and she's also eligible for a $2 million bonus annually, based on meeting certain performance goals set by the Yahoo board.


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Mayer has also received numerous stock and options compensation, which are worth a mammoth $56 million, including $14 million to make up for the fact she left Google and lost wages in the process. Other bonuses are possible, and it all comes down to the results she can provide. Considering Yahoo shares have increased by around 50% since she took control of the company, investors wouldn't be complaining about her bonuses at all.

Samsung confirmed to acquire a 3% stake in Sharp for $112 million

Samsung have invested around $112 million in Sharp, which will see them acquire a 3% stake in the company. Sharp and Samsung have previously done business, but this will solidify that relationship, especially with Sharp struggling right now.


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Sharp make LCD panels for large TVs, as well as small- and medium-sized panels for mobile devices. Samsung will benefit greatly, especially in their affiliate Samsung Display Co. The move will also see Sharp not rely on Apple so much, it could even stop Apple from having exclusive access to next-gen display technology. Sharp have been pushing full steam ahead with their IGZO (indium gallium zinc oxide) display technology, which provides higher pixel density, with lower power consumption for panels being baked into smartphones, tablets and other devices.


The company are hoping that the strong demand for these IGZO panels will help them be a star once again, but until now they've been having issues with low production yields, stopping them from offering the displays into more phones, or having the ability to offer them outside of Japan.

HTC continue to crumble, sales drop even more in February

HTC are continuing to trip over themselves, with February 2013 sales dropping 44% year-over-year, reaching a new three-year low. Looking at the month-over-month numbers, sales have dropped 27%.


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The Taiwanese smartphone maker is hoping that this is the bottom, and that there's only improvements heading into the future with their new flagship One smartphone reaching the market at the end of the month. First quarter results are usually tough for handset makers, who normally enjoy a strong fourth quarter.


But, HTC didn't have a strong fourth quarter, and January wasn't much better. HTC are in some trouble right now, with the competition heating up from Samsung and even LG, let alone the iPhone juggernaut.

Beats' music streaming service gets closer to reality, secures $60 million investment

The online music streaming service market is going to get even more crowded as Beats continues to push forward with plans to launch their own streaming service known as Daisy. We've reported rumors about Beats possibly working with Apple in regards to the latter starting a streaming service, though this looks less likely with the news of Beats securing a $60 million investment.


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The $60 million investment comes from Access Industries, Marc Rowan, James Packer, and some others. The investment will be used to help launch Daisy, which is currently backed by Beats Electronics LLC. Co-founder Jimmy Iovine:


Beats was always about helping people re-discover the magic in the experience of listening to music. Now that we are well along the way to addressing the quality of audio playback with Beats headphones and speakers, Daisy allows us to re-introduce the same magic into the process of music discovery and consumption.


This, coupled with rumors of YouTube possibly launching their own streaming service, could lead to increased competition in the marketplace.

Continue reading 'Beats' music streaming service gets closer to reality, secures $60 million investment' (full post)

Microsoft fined 561 million euros ($732 million US) for browser choice error

Microsoft has been hit with a massive 561 million euro fine, which equates to around $732 million US, for removing the option to pick a different default browser in Windows 7 SP1. Microsoft had previously settled the EU over claims that making Internet Explorer the default browser was anti-competitive.


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Microsoft had agreed to provide the option of several different web browsers when Windows was installed or configured. When the company released Service Pack 1 for Windows 7, the option to select a web browser was removed. Microsoft says that a technical error prevented the option screen from showing.


It took Microsoft 14 months and complaints from the EU to get the problem resolved. The EU has now fined Microsoft over the issue, though it's not as bad as it could have been. EU law allows for the fine to be up to 10 percent of the company's revenue, meaning the fine could have been as high as $7.4 billion.


"We take full responsibility for the technical error that caused this problem and have apologized for it," a Microsoft spokesperson said.

RumorTT: Apple could team up with Beats to finally get its music streaming service off the ground

Apple has been trying for a while now to bring forth its own version of a music streaming service. For the most part, the venture has been stifled by failed royalty negations between artist and record labels.


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We are hearing reports that Apple's Tim Cook has met with Beats Electronics CEO Jimmy Iovine in an effort to discuss all things about music streaming. This meeting comes hot on the announcement by Beats that it will be launching its own subscription streaming service dubbed Daisy.


Apple is keeping things quiet (as usual) about the meeting, only saying that the meeting was "informational" and covered a vast range of topics. With streaming services out there that do a very good job already, is there really a need for an Apple branded subscription based music streaming service?

Five-year-old kid racks up $2500 bill on iPad apps

Five-year-old Danny Kitchen asked his parents for the password to their iPad so that he could download a free game, which turned into a nightmare for the Kitchen's, as Danny racked up a $2500 bill in add-on purchases to his mother's credit card.


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The culprit? Zombies vs. Ninjas, which is definitely a free game, but Danny ordered extra "darts" and "bombs" to battle those nasty zombies, where weapons range right up to $99.99. Danny's mother had no idea what was happening until she noticed 19 e-mails from iTunes in the morning, receipts of her son's purchases.


Sharon didn't think anything of the emails, putting it down to multiple invoices of the one receipt. She ignored it until her credit card company called her regarding the suspicious activity. Sharon told Mashable:


I still find it incredible that he managed to do it. He only had the iPad for ten to 15 minutes, so he could've only done the deed within this amount of time. He thought he wasn't doing anything wrong. He was reprimanded and told off, but he was crying. He realized there were going to be consequences and I said, 'You better run and hide,' and he says, 'But mommy, where shall I hide?' I felt so sorry for him and couldn't be mad.

Continue reading 'Five-year-old kid racks up $2500 bill on iPad apps' (full post)

Google reportedly testing out same-day delivery service with local retailers

Google are looking to expand into yet another area of the market, with Reuters reporting that the Mountain View-based search giant are apparently working with retailers on a same-day delivery service, along the lines of Amazon Prime and eBay Now and local dispatchers like Postmates' GetItNow.


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TechCrunch reported on the story too, where they said the search giant would grab your purchased goods from local retailers, and deliver them to your door through third-party couriers. Google would charge just $64-$69 a year for the service, while Reuters' source said a small fee per purchase might also be tacked on. Either way, it's not expensive - well, not for someone like me in Australia anyway.


Reuters have reported that Google are already testing this out in the Bay Area in "recent weeks".

WiFi Alliance and WiGig join forces, will use their wireless powers for good, not evil

It has been two months since the WiFi Alliance and Wireless Gigabit Alliance shook hands, and planned this adventure, but now the time is here and their powers have been combined. The two companies have been working together on developing and building the 60GHz wireless standard.


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But instead, they've decided that it was better to make the partnership official, in order to get the most out of their work together. Their long-term plans include expanding WiGig's capabilities and implementing a baseline interoperability certification program by early next year. The combined effort could push forward a large growth, with ABI Research forecasting that we'll see annual shipments of 1.8 billion devices sporting both WiFi and WiGig support by 2016.

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