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This afternoon, Apple made its earnings report for quarter 4 2013 public and while things look good for Apple, gross margins are down year over year. During its earnings call to investors, Apple said that it managed to earn $7.5 billion in profit on $37.5 billion in revenue.
Year over year, revenue is up about $1.5 billion, but the company saw its margin slip from 40-percent to 37-percent. The Cupertino based company also announced that i managed to sell 33.8 million iPhones during the quarter, which was undoubtedly bolstered thanks to the iPhone 5S and 5C being released last month. iPad sales remained stagnant with about 14 million being sold in Q4. Apple said that it's Mac devices managed $5.62 billion in revenue with 4.6 million devices being sold.
One of the more interesting things to come from the weekend of news is that Google is building itself a gigantic floating data center, which is being constructed in the San Francisco bay.
It's a four-story tall building, which sits on some shipping containers. CNET donned its detective hat and took a look, snapping the picture above. Why would the search giant be building a data center on the water? Well, what do data centers require the most? Cooling. It needs to keep all of those servers cool, where the body of water around it being the perfect spot.
But, saltwater is a different ballgame, so Google would require a desalination or filtering plant to use the water appropriately - which I'm sure it has planned.
Update: We've had an e-mail from a Qualcomm representative who says that Anand is still with the company, serving as Senior Vice President where he is "exploring certain enterprise-related initiatives."
When Apple launched its iPhone 5S last month with the A7 processor rocking inside, most people rolled their eyes thinking "why?" Well, one of those people was Qualcomm representative Anand Chandrasekher, who called the A7 processor a "gimmick."
Chandrasekher is no longer with Qualcomm, with the company stating in a statement to CNET: "Anand Chandrasekher, is moving to a new role leading our exploration of certain enterprise related initiatives...Anand will continue to report to Steve Mollenkopf, COO and President of Qualcomm. This will be effective immediately."
Well, it looks like Qualcomm wasn't happy with his statement, so much so that it got rid of him. I guess when the future of mobile processors is 64-bit, and you go and insult it, you get laughed at and kicked out of the company. It wasn't long ago that we reported that Chandrasekher said 8-core processors for smartphones are dumb, if you didn't remember.
Even though LG is finally seeing some success with its smartphones, the South Korean company actually bled some money this quarter selling its handsets. LG posted its Q3 earnings, with a -2.6% operating margin.
The company shipped over 12 million handsets, which provided it with a nice $2.75 billion in mobile sales and an even better 24% year-over-year in mobile sales. LG says it is still losing money in its mobile division due to "increased competition and higher marketing investments." Looking into the future, LG says it "plans to focus on increasing sales of new premium products such as the LG G2 smartphone during the peak holiday season as well as maximizing 3G and mid-tier mass devices such as the L II Series and F Series."
While other companies seem to be struggling to post massive profits and keep their share prices high - I'm talking about Apple, folks - its biggest competitor has just posted another record high in operating profits.
Samsung has just posted its earnings for the Q3 period, with profits of $9.6 billion setting a new record high for the South Korean giant. The increased profits are thanks to its cheaper Galaxy smartphones, as well as profits from its memory side of things - such as Flash storage and RAM. Samsung has seen increased demand for its chips in the upcoming next-gen consoles, smartphones, servers, PCs and much more.
The company is seeing less profits on its TVs as prices continue to drop, but sales of its 60-inch and higher TVs are said to be growing.
Microsoft has been somewhat struggling with its Surface tablets, but that hasn't stopped the company from posting an impressive Q1 earnings report. From $18.5 billion in revenue, the Redmond-based giant took a nice $5.2 billion in net profits home.
The company pegs most of this success in the growth of its corporate-focused Commercial group. Unfortunately, the Devices and Consumer division isn't doing so well, with Windows revenue from PC makers down a sharp 7%, but search ad revenue climbed an impressive 47%. The Surface line of slates from Microsoft saw revenue increases quarter-over-quarter to $400 million.
With Windows 8.1 launching just recently, Microsoft has netted $113 million in pre-order revenue, which could see a surge in PC sales in the coming quarter. We're also set to see the Surface 2, Surface 2 Pro and Xbox One sales make a huge increase in revenue for the company in the coming months.
Two marketing firms representing Samsung have been caught red-handed hiring writers to post good reviews about its products while at the same time giving HTC products a bad review. This practice violates Taiwan Fair Trade Rules and has ended up costing the electronics giant $340,000 USD in fines from the Taiwanese government.
The two firms who were the actual offending parties have been fined more than $100,000 each themselves for their participation in the violation. This is not the first time something like this has happened either. Earlier this year, Samsung was caught up in a similar scandal where 3rd party firms were hiring developers to promote Samsung on StackOverflow.
We know HTC is experiencing issues, with one of those roads it could go down would result in the Taiwanese smartphone manufacturing shutting its doors. But according to the company, it won't be doing so.
HTC issued a statement, where it talked to Reuters and said it was "not shutting down or does it have plans to sell any of its factory assets." This doesn't mean that the company won't be selling itself in pieces to another company, which is where I think it is headed in the coming months.
Reuters even claimed that HTC had already shut down one of its four major production facilities, after one of its reports actually went there and found it abandoned. The Taiwanese manufacturer fired back stating it closed the factory because "like any manufacturer, we do volume planning to optimize our lines, our manufacturing and production facilities."
AT&T posted its Q3 earnings on Wednesday, with some impressive results. The US carrier saw $0.66 earnings per share over a consolidated revenue of a hefty $32.2 billion.
This means the carrier beat Wall Street expectations of $0.65 EPS. AT&T's Q3 results saw an addition of 363,000 more post-paid subscribers, including an additional 178,000 smartphone subscribers. Continued strong wireless performance helped AT&T increase its wireless revenues by 5.2% year-over-year from the same quarter of last year.
It looks like Samsung's Galaxy S4 has been super popular for the South Korean giant, with Samsung CEO JK Shin announcing that the flagship Android-powered smartphone from Samsung has sold over 40 million units.
Considering the Galaxy S4 launched just five months ago, this is a mammoth effort. At the two-month mark, there had been over 20 million Galaxy S4's sold, but now we're talking about double that. Considering the Galaxy S III sold 30 million units in its launch last year, this is a great jump. We should expect Samsung to break through the 50 million unit milestone before 2013 is wrapped up.