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For the last three years in a row, iDevice maker Apple have been the world's most respected company according to Barron's list. But, this has come to an end, something that we saw coming last year.
The world's most respected company is now Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway, with Disney jumping into the number two position. This has forced Apple from first to third place, with Google and Coca-Cola taking out fourth and fifth place, respectively. Barron's list is made from a poll of professional money managers that has been conducted each year since 2005.
RumorTT: Apple changing things up at Apple Stores in order to prepare for 'an army of new products this fall'
Apple are poised to release some next-gen products later this year, where we should expect a new iPhone, iPad, iOS and more. But 9to5Mac is reporting that Apple CEO, Tim Cook, talked this week with retail employees in San Francisco about overhauling Apple's approach to selling iPhones in Apple stores.
The Apple CEO said that the company is "developing new incentives for both customers buying iPhones and the Apple Stores selling the phones." This includes the back-to-school promotion that "offers a $50 gift card to students purchasing an iPhone." The heads of retail that were at the meeting have told 9to5Mac that Apple are trying to boost their retail operations throughout the summer to prepare for the launch of "an army of new products this fall."
Samsung have just passed the 20 million unit mark with their Galaxy S4, and this dominance will continue with news arriving that the South Korean giant will invest more than $4.5 billion in five new R&D centers in South Korea.
The R&D centers will be built over the next three years, with a $1 billion research center to be opened in southern Seoul in late 2015. At this building, Samsung will hire some 10,000 employees which will focus their efforts on design. Samsung will also build new R&D centers that will work on materials and components, as well as chips and displays.
Just last year alone Samsung spent $10.5 billion on R&D, and compared to their R&D budget in 2011 of just $1.4 billion, there is absolutely no sign of Samsung's dominance slowing down.
It looks like Finnish-based Nokia have finally come to their senses, realizing that they are no longer "the leader in our industry" and have decided to start acting "like a challenger."
Nokia Chief Marketing Officer, Tuula Rytila, spoke with AdAge and said: "It's quite natural, and we're having a lot of fun with it. We want to be more bold in our approach, and [we want] a global brand, as well." Nokia now have the goal of wanting to create a global brand that can appeal to consumers all across the world, including the emerging markets.
I think this news is great, and it's the kind of position Nokia need to take - that they are no longer number one, and they need to take it as if they're coming onto the market for the first time. It could be an exciting few years from Nokia finally.
With all of the NSA PRISM scandal continuing to blow up while Obama enjoys July 4 in Africa, you would think that companies would be marketing toward security and privacy. Well, MasterCard and VISA sure aren't, with Torrent Freak reporting that the payment companies are now blocking payments to VPN providers.
Payment providers like MasterCard, VISA and PayPal are taking action against sites and services that associate themselves with copyright infringement. Swedish payment service provider, Payson, received an e-mail stating that VPN services are no longer allowed to accept VISA and MasterCard due to recent policy change.
The e-mail states: "Payson has restrictions against anonymization (including VPN services). As a result Payson can unfortunately no longer give your customers the option to finance payments via their cards (VISA or MasterCard)." This new policy went into effect on Monday, which has left customers with a two-day solution to find an alternative.
Samsung have acquired Boxee, an Israel- and New York-based streaming media and entertainment startup. Boxee launched their latest product, the Boxee Cloud DVR, which was rebranded to Boxee TV in order to show it is made for streaming over-the-air broadcast HD channels.
Samsung make TV's, so it would make perfect sense for them to scoop up someone with a great UI and traction in the market. The purchase is being reported by numerous Israeli outlets, with The Market reporting it cost Samsung $30 million. I would love to see Boxee become part of Samsung TV's, personally owning one, which would really help Samsung fight against the competitors - and Apple, who will release a TV in the near future.
The South Korean giant have confirmed the news to the New York Times, saying they have "acquired key talent and assets from Boxee."
This aggregate data is the same data that Facebook sells to advertisers to bring in their revenue. There isn't really any damage in AT&T selling this aggregate data, though concerned users can opt out. If you are worried that AT&T's data may not be completely anonymous or are concerned about your privacy, we recommend you take AT&T up on their offer to opt out.
You might be curious as to why AT&T didn't attempt this before. Part of the reason is that the older networking gear was proprietary and the data wasn't easily accessible. This same gear has caught the big data bug and its data is now much more accessible.
Yahoo continues its acquisition binge by acquiring Xobni in a deal estimated to be worth $30 to $40 million, though some have said the deal may be for some $60 million. Just yesterday, Yahoo acquired Qwiki. Before that, Yahoo acquired Tumblr. This latest acquisition could help Yahoo out in revamping its e-mail and social services, something it is currently in the process of doing.
Xobni has stopped taking new paying customers. They've also pulled their Xobni app on BlackBerry and their Smartr Contacts app on Android. Most of Xobni's services are scheduled to be shut down on July 2, 2014, or a year from yesterday. Neither Yahoo or Xobni have stated what they are planning on creating together, but we assume Xobni's technology will be integrated into Yahoo Mail.
Which company do you think Yahoo will acquire next?
Huawei have announced that they're hired ex-Nokia employee Colin Giles, who was with the Finnish company for over 20 years before making the jump to Huawei Technologies.
He will become Huawei's new Executive Vice President for their Consumer Business Group and will be in charge of global marketing, retail and open channel development. Giles' biggest task will be changing the perception of Huawei in Western countries, such as the United States.
Research firm Gartner have pushed out some predictions on the future of global IT spending, where they predict it will reach $3.7 trillion by the end of the year. This would be a 2% year-over-year increase from 2012's total of $3.6 trillion.
While this is a 2% increase, it's down from the 4.1% growth that Gartner estimated just three months ago now. Gartner do have several reasons as to why the predictions are lower, with the biggest factor that the US dollar has decreased in the last couple of months. Most IT hardware manufacturers have HQ's in the US, so spending will be done with the US dollar, hence the reduction.
Mobile devices are also continuing to hit into PC sales, which are expected to drop 10.9% this year. Gartner predicts the other side of the race, estimating a 38.9% increase in tablet sales, and cell phone sales increasing by 9.3%.