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Nomura Equity Research's Stuart Jeffrey believes that Apple, Nokia, and BlackBerry will suffer at the hands of Android devices that are good enough. Jeffrey believes these lower cost devices will provide attractive options for emerging markets, making it tougher for the aforementioned companies to enter.
The drivers of our higher growth estimates are ones to which Apple appears to have no exposure, at least not currently. These drivers include: We see APAC driving 70-79% of growth; Apple's 1Q13 APAC share was 13%; "Good enough" Android phones priced at $100 and below are driving most of the growth; Apple has no exposure to this segment; 5" screen sizes are driving the higher-priced market segments, a segment where Apple has no exposure; Local application development in APAC is focused on Android, giving Android a big competitive advantage over Apple.
Jeffrey maintains a Neutral rating on Apple, with a price target of $420. He has, however, lowered his estimates for Nokia to $25.22 billion in revenue and a 1-cent-per-share net loss. BlackBerry's estimates have also been cut to $13.31 billion in revenue and 31 cents per share.
Microsoft's customer satisfaction rating has plummeted to levels it hasn't seen since Windows Vista was the current operating system. Most attribute this fall of satisfaction to Microsoft's new Windows 8 operating system, which has been received by consumers with much discontent.
Windows 8.1 should hopefully help customer satisfaction recover as its rumored the much-loved Start button will be making a return along with an option to boot straight to the desktop mode. Microsoft's ACSI report has consumer satisfaction at 74 out of 100. Shortly after Vista launched, it was just 73 out of 100. In 2011, Microsoft's ACSI was at 78 out of 100 and it quickly dropped to 75 after Windows 8 launched.
David VanAmburg, director of ACSI:
It seems clear that the release of Windows 8 did not give Microsoft a significant bump, as the release of Windows 7 did, nor did it dramatically lower customer satisfaction in a rather short time frame, as the release of Vista did.
One of the issues with PC software appears to be that there is less of it out there now. While productivity software remains in demand -- Office, TurboTax, Acrobat -- with so many households that own PCs relying more and more on their tablets, smartphones and gaming systems for entertainment and recreation, the range of PC software may be shrinking, not a welcome sign for diehards [who are] still very loyal to the traditional PC.
An eagle-eyed ad watcher caught that Microsoft might have done their math wrong, or just completely lied, in their latest round of Windows 8 tablet ads. In the ads, Microsoft tries to portray that an ASUS VivoTab Smart has a larger screen than the iPad 4. While the diagonal measurement of the ASUS is indeed larger, the actual area of the screen is smaller.
Microsoft claims that the ASUS features a 36 percent larger screen. However, the iPad's screen is actually about 3.55 percent larger due to its dimensions. The ipad measures 7.76 by 5.82 inches and the ASUS measures 8.8 by 4.95 inches. Because of the different ratio, the iPad is actually bigger.
Intel's new CEO Brian Krzanich is shaking things up at the chip manufacturing giant. Under his recent reorganization, all of the company's product groups now fall under his direct supervision. Corporate Strategy and Global Manufacturing will now be headed up by company president Renee James. Intel's software division will be controlled by Doug Fisher, and its smartphone division will be headed up by Hermann Eul.
In an internal email to Intel employees, Krzanich said:
"As your CEO, I am committed to making quick, informed decisions. I am committed to being bolder, moving faster and accepting that this means changes will be made knowing that we will listen, learn and then make adjustments in order to keep pace with a rapidly changing industry. Our business faces significant challenges, and we simply must continue to execute while finalizing our future strategy"
During the Xbox One reveal we learned that Microsoft is working tightly with the NFL, but according to an Associated Press source the deal is worth $400 million over five years. Fans of NFL will see Microsoft branding on-field during live games starting this upcoming season.
The deal goes deeper, with coaches and other team officials will be provided Microsoft Surface tablets. There's also the possibility of further technological innovations coming from Microsoft throughout the longevity of the deal.
Are Sony preparing to sell the film rights to Spider-Man and Resident Evil to help their financial position?
Sony are in a bad position right now, but now there are rumors floating around that the Japanese company are thinking about selling the films rights to Spider-Man and Resident Evil. The news comes from The Register who says:
Chief exec Kazuo Hirai told reporters from the Financial Times, Reuters and others that the company's board was discussing the plan to sell a portion of its entertainment biz, suggested last week by the firm's largest investor, Loeb's Third Point hedge fund. [Activist investor Daniel] Loeb said he wants the ailing Japanese firm to spin off 15 to 20 per cent of its film and music division in a public offering to raise money for its electronics and turn the entertainment business into a separately listed firm. The fund manager's suggestions carry new weight after revealing that he had increased Third Point's stake in Sony to $1.1bn.
It does get a little hot after, with Sony Pictures' boss, Amy Pascal, talking to Ain't It Cool News saying that none of this is actually true:
Amy said that she would 'Never ever ever' let go of SPIDER-MAN. She feels the property is directly tied to her legacy and time at SONY. Not just that, she is really thrilled by the work on the new film.
Apple just won't give up its fight with Samsung. Today, Apple filed a motion to include the Galaxy S4 in the latest legal battle because it allegedly violates five of Apple's patents. Two of the patents specifically relate to Google Now, which Apple says violates two patents held for Siri and its related technology.
Also included in the motion are three patents that cover various functions of the Galaxy S4. Patent '502 covers a "graphical user interface using historical lists with field classes." Patent '647 covers a "system and method for performing an action on a structure in computer-generated data." Finally, patent '414 covers "asynchronous data synchronization amongst devices."
Apple determined that the Galaxy S4 product practices many of the same claims already asserted by Apple, and that the Galaxy S4 practices those claims in the same way as the already-accused Samsung devices.
Apple has said that they will remove one of the 22 other devices currently covered in the latest lawsuit if the court permits them to add the Galaxy S4. This trial is set to happen during March 2014, though a hearing for Apple's latest motion is set for June 25, 2013.
On Tuesday, Apple CEO Tim Cook made an appearance in front of Congress to defend the company's recent tax dodging accusations, but not all of the conversation was about taxes. Cook told the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations that Apple will be manufacturing it's US made Mac in Texas.
"We're investing $100 million to build a Mac product line here in the U.S. The product will be assembled in Texas, include components made in Illinois and Florida, and rely on equipment produced in Kentucky and Michigan."
While this is good news, not all is as shiny as it appears. Apple will not be building any in-house manufacturing facilities, but will rely on existing manufacturers who have existing plants in the area. While nothing is official, as AllThingsD pointed out, China based Foxconn does own and operate several manufacturing facilities in Texas.
HTC have been in trouble for a while now, but The Verge has learned that the company's Chief Product Officer, Kouji Kodera, has left the company. Kodera reportedly left last week, and up until his departure he was responsible for HTC's overall product strategy.
Considering HTC just launched their very important One smartphone, this is some very had timing. Kodera isn't the only HTC employee to jump ship, with HTC's Vice President of Global Communications, Jason Gordon, leaving too. Not only that, but Rebecca Rowland who was the Global Retail Marketing Manager, Director of Digital Marketing John Starkweather and Product Strategy Manager Eric Lin.
Also remember what HTC's co-founder and CEO, Peter Chou, said last year? Chou said that if the One isn't a huge success, he would step down as CEO. Are we getting closer to the point where HTC will go into the fetal position and cry? It seems like the time that Chou will step down is getting closer with each passing day, and sale of the Galaxy S4.
Intel have just appointed Mike Bell in charge of their new emergent technology and product trend group, which will include ultra-mobile devices. This new division, according to Intel will be "tasked with turning cool technology and business model innovations into products that shape and lead markets".
Before Bell took on the lead of the new group, he previously let the chipmaker's mobile chip business. Before joining Intel, Bell spent 16 years with Apple, where he actually had a hand in the early work on the iPhone. This new move is part of Intel's internal reorganization by fresh CEO Brian Krzanich.