We know HTC aren't doing well, but it looks like the problem it is going through is continuing. The Taiwanese manufacturer has posted up its preliminary unaudited financial results for Q3 2013, posting an operating loss of $101 million.
This is the first operating loss in HTC's history, but take a look at the break down in its Q3 2013 financials:
- Total revenues of $1.6 billion (NT$47.05 billion)
- Operating loss before tax of $119.4 million (NT$3.50 billion)
- Operating loss after tax of $101.3 million (NT$2.97 billion)
- Earnings per share after tax of -$0.12 (-NT$3.58)
A new startup is looking to be the defacto place coders and developers visit to search for existing code examples. The brainchild of Yash Kumar, a former software engineer at Amazon, has launched a new company called Runnable. The startup is dedicated to making all of the open source code, and existing code examples easily findable.
The company has launched a website that aggregates APIs, scripts, and other reusable bits of code, which is said to greatly speed up the research and discovery process. Runnable says its users can search for specific code or APIs, upload and share their own code, and even search code by the language it was written in. Basically if you are a fan of 3D printing, Runnable is very much like Thingiverse.
Apple currently enjoys swimming through its $147 billion pile of cash, with Moody estimating that Apple's massive pile of cash represents around 10% of the $1.48 trillion in cash held by non-financial American companies.
This is a huge number, something that should make your head spin. Apple's cash reserves have actually grown since the end of last year, by around 9.5%. Apple has been spending billions of dollars in the meantime, with its cash pile still nearly double that of Microsoft's.
BlackBerry continue to hurt, even after it announces it is retreating out of the consumer handset market. It is being reported that the 4,500 layoffs the Canadian phone maker is doing, will cost them $400 million.
This is four times the initial estimates, something we're finding out thanks to the regulatory filing that BlackBerry filed last week. The company also says that it "plans to unload factories, manufacturing gear and property." This all sounds like BlackBerry landed on Mayfair loaded with a hotel, and is now mortgaging everything it's got to not just sink.
BlackBerry reported last week its second quarter earnings, which saw a 49% year-over-year drop in revenues.
Before today, you probably haven't heard of Flutter, who are a startup company working on gesture recognition technology. Well, neither did I, but the startup has been acquired by Google.
Flutter's gesture recognition technology focused on getting it working with a standard camera interface, such as webcams. Currently, Flutter only ships a Windows and Mac app, with this software continuing to work even though it has been acquired by Google. Google must see a future in the company, hence the acquisition that might help it with its future in gesture technology.
Anyone who has been following the Bitcoin saga, will likely have ran across reports that the virtual currency is fueling the online drug trade. For anyone who doubted this, today's seizure of Silk Road proves just how closely connected the two really were. Reports suggest as much as $1 billion of Bitcoin transactions occurred as a direct result of Silk Road.
Today as news began to spread about Silk Road being shut down by the FBI, the price of Bitcoins dropped from $130 down to just over $85. Analyst are speculating that the selloff was the direct result of Silk Roads seizure, and indicated that many users felt uncertain about the future of the virtual currency. There could potentially be millions of Bitcoins that are frozen in limbo as a result of the seizure, and they will most likely never be claimed by their owners. At the time of this writing, the Bitcoin price had rebounded to about $120.
While I first broke the news that Amazon CEO, Jeff Bezos, had purchased The Washington Post, the sale was not finalized until this week. Yesterday the announcement came that the $250 million acquisition had been finalized, and that Bezos was now the sole owner of the near 80-year old company.
While $250 million sounds like a lot of money to spend on a business which many consider a dying medium, Bezos has plenty of cash to spare. He founded Amazon.com back in 1994 and has since became one of the wealthiest men in the world. Bezos says that he plans to turn the post around and once again lead it to profit. Bezos commented that he will remain at the helm of Amazon, and that he will visit the Post from time to time, but will remain devoted to Amazon for the foreseeable future.
You've probably heard of Tom Clancy, as he's a best-selling author, but most gamers would know him thanks to his work on game franchises like Ghost Recon and Splinter Cell. Clancy died last night in hospital.
The New York Times has confirmed the news unfortunately, directly from Clancy's publisher. Clancy back in 1996 helped create a game development studio called Red Storm Entertainment, where a bunch of games were made. The developer was scooped up by Ubisoft, who took the best franchises and continued making them under Clancy's name, such as Splinter Cell.
A new report from Reuters says that three of Microsoft's biggest shareholders think that the company's founder, Bill Gates, should step down from his seat on the board. The shareholders suggest that Gates may prevent current CEO, Steve Ballmer's, replacement from bringing forth new innovation to the company.
The report from Reuters reads:
The three investors are concerned that Gates' presence on the board effectively blocks the adoption of new strategies and would limit the power of a new chief executive to make substantial changes. In particular, they point to Gates' role on the special committee searching for Ballmer's successor.
They are also worried that Gates - who spends most of his time on his philanthropic foundation - wields power out of proportion to his declining shareholding.
While it is a bit of a stretch, many think that Ballmer was chosen as CEO because he was good friends with Gates, and that Gates could keep control of the company through Ballmer. Personally, I think that Gates has a right to sit on the board, and it is his duty to continue to advise the direction of the company he founded so many years ago.
The Galaxy Note range of phablets from Samsung has been uber successful, after most in the industry didn't think a smartphone that big could really make it. Samsung broke tradition, and it worked, handsomely for them.
It looks like Samsung is seeing great success from the Galaxy Note range of smartphones, with the South Korean giant confirming it has sold over 40 million Galaxy Note handsets across the world. This includes over 10 million Galaxy Note units, and over 30 million Note II devices. This doesn't include the Galaxy Note-branded tablets, and is exclusive to the Galaxy Note smartphones.
It looks like another Japanese giant is experiencing trouble, with Toshiba looking to reduce its TV staff by up to 50%. The company will also stop production at two of its three overseas factories before the end of this fiscal year.
Toshiba has said it will also increase outsourced production to 70%, up from 40%, and reduce the amount of its global staff in the TV division by 3,000 with two-thirds of these positions held overseas. Toshiba hasn't penciled in which two factories would be closed, but we should find that out soon enough.
Toshiba has been experiencing losses in its TV division for over two years now, which is blamed on a slowdown in Europe and a drop in domestic demand for its TVs. I'm sure the huge competition from Samsung doesn't help, either.
Twitch.tv, everyone's favorite social video game footage sharing site, has just announced that its series C round of funding has been a massive success. The company managed to raise $20 million thanks to efforts led by Thrive Capital, Take-Two Interactive, and WestSummit Capital.
At the moment, Twitch sees more than 45 million monthly visitors, and with the upcoming release of next-gen consoles, we expect to see that number rise significantly. While no mention has been made with how the company will use the funds, we would imagine that some of it will go towards beefing up its servers, as well as improving on its services offered to gamers who live stream their gameplay to the site.
BlackBerry is quite quickly circling the sink, ready to be sucked into it, but before then it looks like Google is acquiring a bunch of ex-BlackBerry engineers.
Reuters reports that Google's Motorola Mobility division is setting up a new hub in Waterloo, Ontario - BlackBerry's hometown. The company is looking to take in people who have backgrounds in engineering and computer science. Even with BlackBerry starting to fade, Waterloo is a massive hub of talent thanks to the University of Waterloo's top-notch computer science program.
The Engineering Director at Motorola Canada, Derek Phillips, has told Reuters that Motorola is looking to "get just as many people who are interested to come out and hire as many people as we can."
After a massive 13-year ban on gaming consoles, it looks like China is about to open the flood gates to all consoles. Rewinding the clock back to 2000, we saw the country put a ban on gaming consoles because of the influence violent and mature games could have on the youth of China.
We heard about the Shanghai free-trade zone, which the console ban being lifted is all a part of. In order for gaming consoles to be sold in China, game developers and console retailers will need to set up shop in the free-trade zone in Shanghai, pending official approval they can sell their products to the mainland market.
Microsoft has already sprinted to the market, striking a deal with Chinese company BesTV in order to develop games in the free-trade zone. The free-trade zone is opening up in Shanghai on September 29, which should see billions upon billions of dollars being pumped into the industry.
The partnership between headphone manufacturer Beats and handset giant HTC has finally came to an end. This morning, Beats announced that it has bought back the remaining stake held by HTC for $265 million. The two companies partnered up back in 2011, when HTC picked up a 50.1 percent controlling interest for $300 million.
Just a year later, Beats bought back half of that stake for $150 million. With today's buyback, HTC has profited over $115 million from the deal, not including any royalties and unseen payments that have taken place. No reason was given for the split, but with HTC in financial trouble, we are sure that the sudden influx of cash is a welcomed one.
It looks like 3M, the company behind the Post-It note (you know, the one from Romy & Michele's High School Reunion) has been working with Evernote, the note-taking provider, to make sure that sticky notes continue to be used in this digital age we live in.
As of today, any photo taken with the new Post-it Note camera feature in Evernote for iOS 7 will digitize any Post-It Note in real life, and create a file that can be shared with anyone, anywhere. Captured Post-Its can also be categorized by color. So, for example, a green Post-It Note could be used as a homework reminder, while a yellow note could be a shopping list.
Captured notes are searched through the cloud-based platform, making it easier to keep track of your various notes.
Motorola has opened an engineering hub right down the road from BlackBerry's global headquarters in Kitchener-Waterloo, Canada. This is an obvious move to quickly acquire some of the amazing engineering talent that BlackBerry will be laying off in the coming weeks.
While no specific mention of BlackBerry employees was made, Derek Philips, engineering director for Motorola Canada, said, "We're always looking for places where there's lots of opportunity for growth and it's not always easy to find places that have significant tech talent in a variety of areas, but especially mobile."
In my opinion, I feel that this is a good move for both Google/Motorola and those who worked at BlackBerry. The engineers will be able to find work in their field, and Motorola will be able to hire on some amazing talent who can help take their phones to the next level.
Today, eBay has announced that it will be acquiring the mobile payments platform Braintree for a staggering $800 million in cash. The deal will includes Braintree's payment app Venmo, and the company's CEO, Bill Ready, will report directly to PayPal president David Marcus.
The rest of the Braintree staff will stay on in their current positions and business will continue as usual. For now, Braintree will operate as a separate company under eBay ownership. This acquisition is an interesting one, and at the moment, I am not sure if the buyout was to eliminate competition or acquire some IP that eBay did not want to license.
Google has pushed out same-day delivery to the general public in the Bay Area peninsula, which spans from San Francisco to San Jose. The service is called Google Shopping Express.
Shopping can browser inventory through a web-based shopping portal, or through a new mobile app that will soon be made available to iOS and Android devices. Google will be working with participating retailers like smaller local retailers and grocers, as well as bigger retailers such as Target, Walgreens and REI.
The Mountain View-based giant is offering a promotion for free unlimited delivery for six months, with standard pricing set at $5 per store, per order.
Today, Samsung announced that it has created the all new Samsung Solutions Exchange, a new portal that helps developers usher in a new era of Android for the enterprise. Samsung says that the Exchange will feature an all-new App Store specifically designed for business related apps and will also feature a device software development kit that includes more than 1000 "enterprise APIs."
Samsung hopes that this new initiative will help build a strong Android presence in the business and enterprise market, which at the moment is still dominated by Apple and BlackBerry. Samsung says that the new Solutions Exchange will provide a place for developers to connect with businesses who need cutting edge enterprise-grade applications for Samsung's line of smartphones.
"This engagement model is truly an industry first, aimed at achieving shared value across our rapidly growing ecosystem of enterprise customers, sales channels and alliances," Samsung VP Timothy Wagner said in a statement. "We are launching the Samsung Solutions Exchange as a way to help our end customers accelerate their business success."
HTC is having enough troubles at the moment, but it looks like the knife is slowly being twisted by another struggling phone manufacturer: Nokia. On Monday afternoon, the US International Trade Commission found that several HTC smartphones infringed on two Nokia-owned patents.
In regards to a third patent, HTC were found innocent, thankfully. But an injunction preventing the Taiwanese manufacturer from importing several of its smartphones could be issued. This wouldn't affect HTC's latest smartphones, but we could see the HTC Amaze 4G, Inspire 4G, Flyer, Jetstream, Radar 4G, Rezound and Sensation 4G soon banned from sale on US soil.
Nokia issued a statement, where it said: "Nokia is pleased that the initial determination of the ITC confirmed that HTC has infringed two of our patents."