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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.
The makers of Gorilla Glass have just signed an agreement with Samsung to see the South Korean electronics giant secure a 7.4% stake in the company. Corning and Samsung have been involved in each others worlds for the past 40 or so years through equity investments, product development and commercialization initiatives.
The agreement will see Corning securing Samsung's 43% stake in their Samsung Corning Precision Materials joint venture for $1.9 billion, as well as minority investors for around $300 million. Samsung will slap down a $400 million investment in Corning, which would see them acquire 7.4% of the company at today's share prices.
We should expect the deal to close early next year, and will see the two sign a 10-year LCD display glass supply agreement that will add a hefty $2 billion to Corning's annual sales.
If you thought that Apple's Tim Cook, Microsoft's Steve Ballmer, or even Google's Larry Page held the top spot for highest paid CEO in North America, you are sadly mistaken. Today a report released by GMI Ratings shows that in fact, it is Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg who claims the #1 spot as highest paid CEO.
During the last fiscal year Zuckerberg received a total compensation of just over $2.28 billion, most of which came from share options when Facebook completed its IPO in which Zuckerberg exercised 60 million stock options that he was given in 2005 and vested in 2010. This landed him more than $2.7 billion in profit when the IPO launched at $38 per share.
If a new report is correct, BlackBerry's knight in shining armor could be coming out of the far east. A new report from Digital Trends is suggesting that Lenovo is seriously considering purchasing BlackBerry as a whole. This deal would provide Lenovo a cheap and easy entry point into the US smartphone market, something it has been eyeballing for sometime now.
While Fairfax Financial has experienced issues securing the $4.7 billion it would need to purchase the company, Lenovo would have no such issues and could offer up cash on very short notice. The only thing standing in the way of the deal would be BlackBerry's co-founders Mike Lazaridis and Douglas Fredin who are also considering buying the company. The Wall Street Journal has reported that Lenovo has signed a nondisclosure agreement that allows them to look at BlackBerry's books, so this offer could be more serious than originally thought.
Google is on a path of serious domination, with its stock prices hitting nearly $1000 a piece after it had reported a large increase in mobile and video advertising that helped the Mountain View-based giant increase its quarterly revenue up 23%.
The company has seen paid clicks increase 26% in the last three months ending on September 30, which represents the highest rate of growth in the past year. There's an offset though, with an 8% fall in average cost-per-click. J.P. Morgan analysts said "We view solid paid clicks growth to be a good indicator of demand, driven by the continued shift to mobile." The analysts expected a huge 21.5% growth.
Comparing this to Apple in 2012, who were poised to become the first company to be worth $1 trillion, it has certainly fallen from grace. Google is now positioned to be a serious contender as one of the most powerful, valuable companies in the world.
Huawei is set to build a new R&D center in the UK, where the Chinese telco giant will spend around $200 million on it as part of its $2 billion investment plans. At the moment, Huawei employ around 80 R&D staff in its office in Ipswitch, with this number ballooning out to 300 once the new R&D offices are opened in 2017.
This is big news as it pushes Huawei to be bigger and bigger, with the Chinese company now the biggest telecommunications equipment maker in the world, where it employs over 150,000 people across the world. Over the next couple of years Huawei will employ an additional 5,500 people throughout Europe as it focuses on making inroads into Europe after the US accused it of having strong ties with Chinese military and the government.
Sony has some great devices, but it looks like those in the two biggest smartphone markets in the world, China and the United States, won't be markets that Sony will be concentrating on going into the future.
The Japanese electronics giant will instead focus its business to markets where it is strong, which is Europe and Japan. Sony does not have any plans for "the world's two largest smartphone markets, China and the United States." Sony CEO, Kazuo Hirai, says: "Those two are the most important areas for us and we'll put substantial resources there. But not yet for the U.S. and China."
The US market is a hard one, and even harder for Sony as T-Mobile is the only major US carrier to offer consumers Sony smartphones. Moving to China, where "homegrown brands" like ZTE, Huawei and Xiaomi are making leaps and bounds, even in front of global superstar Apple and its iPhone.
Following in Google's footsteps, Apple is looking to gain from BlackBerry's ongoing demise. Unlike Google who opened up an engineering hub just down the road from BlackBerry, Apple is looking to poach employees from the failing company via LinkedIn.
Just days after BlackBerry announced that it would be laying off more than 4500 employees, Apple began sending out invitations via LinkedIn to a recruitment event that was being held just 15-minutes down the road from BlackBerry headquarters. Normally poaching employees is frowned upon, but with BlackBerry now resuming talks of being split up and sold off, I am sure that these engineers see these acts from Google and Apple as a blessing.
BlackBerry's board of directors have once again resumed talks of breaking the company up into pieces and selling things off to the highest bidder. The breakup talks have resumed after Fairfax Financial announced that it has failed to secure capital to fund the $4.7 billion needed to purchase the company.
A breakup sale might actually turn out to be more beneficial for BlackBerry as the company's patents are estimated to be worth over $3 billion alone, the rest of the company could be sold for another $2 or $3 billion as companies like Apple, Microsoft, and Samsung could buy bits and pieces to strengthen their grip on the smartphone market.
HP CEO, Meg Whitman, told analysts on Wednesday that the company she steers, has been "a little late to the game" when it comes down to shifting from the traditional PC to the mobile market.
Whitman added that Microsoft and Intel have gone from longtime partners of HP, to "outright competitors." She said that HP is moving, very aggressively, to diversify behind traditional PCs, which are looking like a dead end for HP. She said: "Wintel-based devices are being aggressively displaced by ARM-based PCs and mobile devices. PCs are declining while tablets are growing... Current long-running partners such as Intel and Microsoft are becoming outright competitors."