Last year was a massive year for smartphones, with over one billion smartphones shipped last year. The International Data Corporation has some data that shows that 1,004.2 million smartphones were shipped last year.
This is an increase of 38.4% from last year, where 725.3 million smartphones were shipped. Of those 1 billion smartphones shipped, Samsung held the lions share with 313.9 million handsets, increasing its market share from 30.3% to 31.3%. Apple took second place with 153.4 million iPhones shipped over the course of 12 months.
Apple's market share slipped however, from 18.7% to 15.3%, even with it posting a record number of iPhones in the last quarter. Huawei, LG, and Lenovo did not mind though, as they scooped up that lost market share. Huawei shipped 48.8 million, LG shipped 47.4 million, and Lenovo pushed out an impressive 45.5 million smartphones in the quarter.
Google and Samsung have just shown how a certain fruit logo company the way it's done in the patent game, by signing a massive deal to license their patent portfolios to one another.
The new deal sees existing intellectual property covered, as well as patents filed over the next ten years.Samsung's Seungho Ahn says "Samsung and Google are showing the rest of the industry that there is more to gain from cooperating than engaging in unnecessary patent disputes". Google's Allen Lo chimed in with "By working together on agreements like this, companies can reduce the potential for litigation and focus instead on innovation".
This is how the industry should be acting, with two of the biggest players cooperating with one another. Samsung is a massive partner for Google, but could be a potential competitor with Tizen on the horizon. Google on the other hand, is simply unstoppable right now with the amount of hardware and services it provides to the world.
After some major slumps in revenue, Apple is back, bigger than ever for its Q1 2014. Revenue reached $57.6 billion, setting a new quarterly record for the company, with profits reaching a nice $13.1 billion.
Device sales are where it gets interesting, with iPhone sales bursting through the 50 million mark - the first time it has ever done so in a quarter. iPad sales also reached a new record, selling over 26 million units. The iPod didn't see the same success, with sales dropping to 6 million, down from 12.7 million at the same time last year.
Apple has seen its share price completely erode from 2012 when we saw it coming - from $700 down to under $400 throughout 2013. At the moment, it is half way back sitting at around $550. Today's earnings report should help Apple claw back some of that much needed increase in stock prices.
BitInstant CEO Charlie Shrem was recently arrested and charged with conspiracy to commit money laundering, accused of funneling funds for the now defunct Silk Road website. Specifically, Shrem and his accused partner, Robert Faiella, allegedly sold more than $1 million in Bitcoin to Silk Road users, with the funds later used to purchase drugs and other illegal goods.
"The charges announced today depict law enforcement's commitment to identifying those who promote the sale of illegal drugs throughout the world," said James Hunt, DEA spokesperson, in a statement. "Hiding behind their computers, both defendants are charged with knowingly contributing to and facilitating anonymous drug sales, earning substantial profits along the way."
Shrem also used Silk Road to order marijuana brownie edibles, with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and Internal Revenue Service lending a hand in the investigation, according to the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York.
This is a major blow to the Bitcoin community, as Shrem has traveled the world to promote the use of Bitcoins for consumers and businesses alike. As federal investigators continue to look for financial backers and supporters of the Silk Road operation, additional high-profile arrests are possible later down the road.
Google has apparently been in a spending mood lately and has been buying up companies that could turn the search giant into one of the largest defense contractors in history. Just a few months ago, we saw Google purchase Boston Dynamics, a company that is responsible for developing the four-legged robotic hell hounds that can run at highway speeds while carrying automated weapons.
Today word is spreading around the internet of yet another Google acquisition involving intelligent technology. Google has reportedly purchased Deepmind, a company specializing in Artificial Intelligence based out of London, England. The purchase is worth a reported $400 million USD, although that figure has not officially been confirmed yet. Deepmind's website says that it works on developing "general purpose" learning algorithms, something that could be used to further Google's research into automated vehicles, Android, or even some of its robots at Boston Dynamics.
It seems like more and more retailers are jumping on the Bitcoin bandwagon every day with the TigerDirect being the latest to start accepting the cryptocurrency. TigerDirect now allows payment via Bitcoins through the payment processor, BitPay, and can be used to purchase more than 200,000 items that TigerDirect stocks.
TigerDirect says that both its desktop and mobile versions of the site accept the virtual currency, and has even listed a handy getting started guide to Bitcoin payments and even Bitcoin mining at the source link provided below. "With individuals building their own high-powered PCs with parts offered on our site to mine Bitcoins, it's a logical fit." Steven Leeds, TigerDirect's marketing chief said in the company's announcement.
This morning HP announced that it has sealed a deal in which Qualcomm will purchase an extensive mobile patent portfolio that includes patents associated with Palm, HP's iPAQ, and Bitfone. In total HP will sell more than 1,400 patents to Qualcomm for an undisclosed sum.
Qualcomm makes about 32-percent of its annual revenue from licensing patents it owns, and this portfolio acquisition from HP will certainly help boost those revenues to an even higher percentage in 2014. In a statement Qualcomm said that the patents include "technologies that include fundamental mobile operating system techniques" and will "enable the company to offer even more value to current and future licensees."
HP says that it will retain a license to all the patents it sold as part of the deal, and it will continue to develop new mobile devices. Unfortunately, no word was given on how this affects LG who purchased WebOS' source code last year, but did not pick up the patent that now belongs to Qualcomm. Qualcomm and HP have a good relationship so I expect things will continue on as normal.
What are Google's plans with digital currency, Bitcoin? Nothing it seems, with the Mountain View-based giant talking to The Next Web, confirming the news that it doesn't have any immediate plans to use Bitcoin.
A Google spokesperson told TNW: "As we continue to work on Google Wallet, we're grateful for a very wide range of suggestions. While we're keen to actively engage with Wallet users to help inform and shape the product, there's no change to our position: we have no current plans regarding Bitcoin".
Google was forced to come out and talk about it after a recent Reddit thread that tackled the digital currency issue, after a Reddit thread was titled "Google confirms their payments team is working to incorporate bitcoin". The user who posted the thread said he had e-mailed Google's Senior Vice President of Social, Vic Gundotra, asking him if the company was going to support Bitcoin.
Gundotra then allegedly forward the email to Sridhar Ramaswamy, Google Wallet's Senior VP, who replied with: "We are working in the payments team to figure out how to incorporate bitcoin into our plans".
The co-founder of Microsoft, Bill Gates, has made quite the prediction in the Gates Foundation's annual letter. Gates has said that there will be "almost no poor countries by 2035."
The Gates Foundation is expected to give away the entire Gates fortune of around $67 billion once the couple has been dead for over 20 years, has published a letter for each of the last dive years, detailing global philanthropic progress. Gates talked with Forbes Magazine's Editor, Randall Lane, where he said there will soon be a point where "you'll have to give a reason why a country is poor."
Gates wrote: "I am optimistic enough about this that I am willing to make a prediction. By 2035, there will be almost no poor countries left in the world. Almost all countries will be what we now call lower-middle income or richer. It will be a remarkable achievement. When I was born, most countries in the world were poor. In the next two decades, desperately poor countries will become the exception rather than the rule. Billions of people will have been lifted out of extreme poverty. The idea that this will happen within my lifetime is simply amazing to me."
The cash-strapped Jamaican bobsleigh team is in dire need of funds to reach the 2014 Sochi Olympic Games, and it looks like they might get there thanks to the crypto-currency, dogecoin.
A fundraising campaign was put together following news over the weekend that Team Jamaica had qualified for the Winter Olympics for the first time since 2002. Winston Watt, who leads Team Jamaica, spent his own money transporting the team to training sessions, but didn't have enough funds to make it to Russia.
Watt then opened a PayPal account, hoping to raise the $40,000 or so required to attend. Dogecoin founders, Liam Butler, Jackson Palmer and Billy Markus, all happen to be fans of the Jamaican bobsleigh team, with Butler telling the Guardian: "As someone who grew up in the '90s, Cool Runnings was the ultimate feel-good movie about underdogs out of their element achieving their dreams. When I was about seven years old, my best friend and I had a billy-cart that his dad built. When we would start our run down his driveway, we would shout out the catchphrase from the movie: 'Feel the rhythm, feel the rhyme, get on up, it's bobsled time!"
New details have emerged on a deal that could see Verizon take ownership of Intel's Internet TV project. Today, two sources have opened up and said that Verizon has agreed to pay less than $200 million for the Internet-TV startup which include about 350 employees moving employment status from Intel to Verizon.
"We will have the opportunity to enhance, expand, accelerate and integrate our delivery of video products and services to better serve audiences on a wide array of devices," Verizon Chief Executive Officer Lowell McAdam said in the statement.
This deal could spell out big bucks for the nations largest mobile device and internet carrier, as it has been trying to dominate the streaming entertainment arena for quite some time now. While official news of the sale will remain silent until quarterly earning reports are released, today's news should have some effect on Intel and Verizon's market prices tomorrow morning.
So... the word "candy" has been trademarked, by the developer behind Candy Crush Saga, King.com. The US Patent and Trademark Office approved it on January 15, with King.com Limited's filing for it all the way back in February of last year.
King.com has been granted exclusive rights to use the word pretty much wherever it wants: apparel, video games, gambling services, amusement parks, computer hardware, and more if its application is approved by the assigned examining attorney. It does get worse, with GameZebo stating that developers even mentioning candy in their titles are being approached by King.com's legal department.
Its legal department makes them prove that their product doesn't infringe on the Candy trademark, or remove their apps for sale. their product doesn't infringe on the Candy trademark, or remove their apps for sale.
Amazon is getting a little scary as we shift into 2014, with a new patent for "anticipatory shipping". This patent will allow the US giant to sent items to shipping hubs in areas where it believes that particular item will sell well.
The new shipping scheme should slice delivery times down, as well as putting Amazon much higher up on the food chain than it already is. The company plans to box, and ship products it expects its consumers will buy preemptively, based on previous searches and purchases, wish lists, and how long the user's cursor hovers over an item online.
Amazon wants to go a step further, by having the products "speculatively shipped to a physical address" without knowing if the customer wants it. This would eventuate in returns of unwanted deliveries, but Amazon is willing to take that risk. Amazon stated in its patent: "Delivering the package to the given customer as a promotional gift may be used to build goodwill."
According to sources of the Wall Street Journal, cloud storage giant Dropbox has just secured itself $250 million in additional funding. A BlackRock investment group is leading the new investment charge, but both Dropbox and BlackRock aren't confirming these reports at the moment.
With the $250 million secured, it would see Dropbox valued at $10 billion. Considering the cloud storage outfit was founded in San Francisco in 2007, and with over 200 million users, it should come as no surprise to see such a giant evaluation. It should see Dropbox better compete with other cloud storage services and the companies behind them, such as Box, SkyDrive, Google Drive and more.
Nintendo had a stellar 2013 with its 3DS console, but overall, sales of its hardware are not impressing anyone. The Japanese gaming giant expects to post an operating loss of 35 billion yen ($335 million) for the year ending March 31, 2014.
It did have a projected operating income of nearly triple that, according to its full-year financial and dividend forecasts. Nintendo projected net sales of 920 billion yen and profit forecast of 55 billion yen for the current financial year. These numbers have been reworked now, dropping to 590 billion yen in sales, and a net loss of 25 billion yen.
Nintendo has said that the operating loss is thanks to a "significantly lower" holiday season of sales than it had originally forecasted. This is mostly due to hardware sales not meeting internal targets, and the year-end sales season "constitutes the highest proportion of the annual sales volume."
Intel did plan on opening up a new plant in Arizona that would've manufactured its 14nm technology, but has been put on hold, indefinitely. The facility was meant to open up at the end of last year, but was put off.
The facility was announced all the way back in 2011, with President Obama visiting the Intel facility in Oregon. Obama highlighted the fact that Intel was manufacturing in the US, and that it was a great thing for the US economy. Intel has shrugged the facility off, with the chipmaker stating that its fab utilization remains at 80%, and that it doesn't need to spend money on a new facility right now.
Intel spokesperson, Chuck Malloy, said: "If we can maintain that 80 percent capacity with the existing space, why spend the additional capital?" Intel will now use its existing fab space in Arizona to spin up its 14 and 22nm processes simultaneously. The new space won't be put to waste, with Intel using it in the future, but Malloy didn't hint at when this might be.
Some parents' kids racked up some massive in-app purchases through iOS-based game, which ended up in a Federal Trade Commission complaint. This complaint has ended with Apple having to hand over $32.5 million.
The FTC's complaint alleges that Apple failed to tell parents that by entering a password, they were allowing single in-app purchases, as well as additional purchases that their children could make without the parent intervening again. FTC chair Edith Ramirez said: "This settlement is a victory for consumers harmed by Apple's unfair billing, and a signal to the business community: whether you're doing business in the mobile arena or the mall down the street, fundamental consumer protections apply. You cannot charge consumers for purchases they did not authorize."
The FTC had received tens of thousands of complaints about unauthorized purchases by parents of children who used their iOS devices. One consumer saw a massive $2,600 bill from a game called Tap Pet Hotel.
Online radio aggregator, Radionomy, has acquired both Winamp and Shoutcast from AOL. A source close to TechCrunch has said that Radionomy paid somewhere between $5 million and $10 million.
The deal included a 12% stake in Radionomy for AOL, too. AOL purchased Nullsoft, the creator of Winamp and Shoutcast, for $80 million back in 1999. So to sell them for close to 10% of that must hurt. Acquiring Winamp and Shoutcast is a boon for Radionomy, as it will make them one of the bigger competitors in the online radio business.
The rise and fall of digital currency Bitcoin, has been interesting to say the least. But now we have Seeking Alpha contributor, Robert Wagner, chiming in with a new piece, calling out the digital currency, where he expects the bubble to pop.
Wagner says that Bitcoin's "first flaw is its very foundation", citing that one of the reasons people wanted a new digital currency was to get away from the central bank, fiat-based dollar. Wagner goes into some incredible detail, which you can read all about right here, but do you agree? Do you think the great Bitcoin crash will happen, soon?
Nest was one of the hottest companies in 2013, and wowed tech insiders world wide with the release of its smart smoke alarms and thermostats. Based in Palo Alto, California, Nest was in the center of silicon valley and had attracted the attention of some of the biggest investors and companies in the business, one of which has just acquired the company.
Google has just announced that it has acquired Nest for a whopping $3.2 billion in cash, which now adds Google's name to yet another market space that directly affects our daily lives. Nest will further Google's push into the so-called "Internet of Things," and will further allow it to continue its growth into the home automation realm.
"We're thrilled to join Google," Fadell, 44, said in a statement. "With their support, Nest will be even better placed to build simple, thoughtful devices that make life easier at home, and that have a positive impact on the world." Google CEO Larry Page said "Fadell and his Nest co-founder Matt Rogers had built a tremendous team that we are excited to welcome into the Google family."
Ford CEO Alan Mulally has confirmed he will remain with the U.S. automaker and not become the next Microsoft CEO, which will be vacated when Steve Ballmer steps down. Last August, Ballmer said he would resign - and leave within 12 months - but is trying to help the company ease into the transition. However, that's going to be difficult when there is uncertainty about the company's short-term stability.
"I would like to end the Microsoft speculation because I have no other plans to do anything other than serve Ford," Mulally told reporters. "You don't have to worry about me leaving."
Microsoft's hunt for Ballmer's replacement has been extremely difficult, as there are only a handful of skilled candidates seeking the job. Microsoft is currently considering both internal and external candidates as the company needs to buckle down and find a new leader.