The economy is still looking pretty bleak. Even with companies posting strong quarters, those same companies are axing jobs in order to remain nimble and profitable. That's something that shouldn't be happening, yet it is and its a sign of our economy's state. PayPal is the latest to join the businesses who fit this description.
PayPal has announced that around 325 jobs will be cut as David Marcus, PayPal's president who took over seven months ago, continues a major shakeup of the organization of PayPal. The majority of these cuts will be coming out of PayPal's product and technology units as PayPal merges nine product-development teams into one.
325 employees makes up roughly 3 percent of PayPal's workforce. eBay will be taking a fourth-quarter pretax charge of nearly $15 million. "The intent is to simplify and speed up how products are developed. PayPal expects to continue its strong global growth momentum and leadership through online merchant expansion and share of checkout, by driving payments innovation at point-of-sale retail for large, medium, and small businesses, and by engaging consumers online and offline with payments products and experiences that offer choice, flexibility, simplicity, and security," eBay said in a statement.
Search giant Google are currently testing out a service that would see their e-commerce services receiving same-day delivery on products they purchase. The same-day delivery service is being tested out in San Francisco, where users affiliated with Google are able to get products from at least one national apparel chain.
If Google go ahead with the same-day delivery service, they would be competing with huge retail giants like Amazon, Wal-Mart and eBay, which are all looking to go down the same same-day delivery path.
The New York Times' Bits Blog talks about the details of the unannounced Google service, where according to the report, the Mountain View-based company doesn't plan on opening up warehouses, or begin a new shipping service, but will instead work with retailers and delivery companies. A bunch of national chains, along with San Francisco-based retailers, are currently part of the testing.
Not many people like the paywalls to giant media publications, but the New York Times and Wall Street Journal have both just taken down their respective paywalls in preparation for Hurricane Sandy.
The Wall Street Journal's Digital Network managing editor, Raju Narisetti, announced the decision through a tweet posted on Sunday afternoon, saying that the site would be "open to all visitors" starting Monday.
The Times' assistant managing editor, Jim Roberts, said that his paper would follow suit, allowing free access to storm-related coverage on The Times' website and mobile apps. NYT spokesperson Eileen Murphy also confirmed the decision in an e-mail to Poynter, explaining that the paywall would be brought down on Sunday afternoon.
Bulgarian blogger and digital rights activist, Bogomil Shopova, recently purchased 1.1 million Facebook users' data, including names, IDs and e-mail accounts. Shopova has said that he has no intentions of spamming or hacking those on the list, but is using the acquisition of data to highlight just how easy it was to gather personal information from Facebook.
Where would you buy the data to 1.1 million Facebook accounts in the first place? Well, I thought that too, but Shopova reportedly found the data for sale on the social market website Gigbucks. The seller went by the username "mertem", claimed that the data had been collected through third-party Facebook applications, consisting mostly of active accounts in the US, Canada, Europe and the UK.
The advertisement for the data stated it had "great potential" if you were offering a Facebook, Twitter of other social media-related product or service. Forbes has been told by a Facebook spokesperson that they were looking into the security breach. The representative said that the social network had dedicated security engineers that take aggressive action on reports such as this.
Samsung really hit Q3 with a home run, shipping an estimated 56.3 million devices worldwide, according to IDC's latest numbers. Out of the total 179.7 million units shipped during the quarter, Samsung represented a nice 31.3% chunk of that.
Quarter-on-quarter, the numbers are also impressive, up 22.7% from last year. Year-on-year, the South Korean giant is up 100.4%, showing just how far they've come in twelve months.
Comparing this to their main competitor, Apple, they did very well. Apple only shipped 26.9 million iPhones in the last quarter, taking just 15% of the market. Quarter-over-quarter for Apple wasn't too bad, seeing a rise from last year of 13.8% of the smartphone market share. IDC's numbers point to Apple shipments being around 15%, up from 13.8% last year, and Android is pushing 70%.
179.7 million smartphones shipped last quarter, a huge 45% gain over twelve months ago.
Google's huge event for October 29 was to be held in NYC in around 24-or-so hours, but it has been cancelled due to Hurricane Sandy, which is currently swirling around the east coast of the United States and is threatening to make landfall in the New York and New Jersey areas by Monday.
Google are playing it safe and cancelling the event, stating:
We are canceling our Monday morning event in New York due to Hurricane Sandy. We will let you know our plans as soon as we know more. Stay safe and dry, The Android Team.
The Mountain View-based search giant haven't revealed a replacement date for the event, so we'll have to wait for now. We were to expect multiple things teased and unveiled at the event, LG's Nexus 4, the Samsung-built Nexus 10 tablet running a 2560x1600-pixel display, Android 4.2 and more.
Apple's stock is not having a good day as investors are punishing the company for performing worse than expectations. Don't get me wrong, they had an incredible quarter--just like always--but it was below analyst expectations in some regards. Furthermore, investors are worried about the supply shortage that Apple has been experiencing in regards to the iPhone and iPad mini.
The stock has since recovered from the low point seen above, but it is still in the low $600s. This is the first time that Apple stock has been below $600 since July. The fact that iPhones are still in a "significant state of backlog" is casting fears that it could impact sales, though Tim Cook disagrees.
The iPad mini went up for preorder this morning and had already sold out of some models and subsequently pushed shipping time back. Tim Cook says he is "pleased with the current volume of output" and believes that the component shortages would not hold back sales. However, he expects the new iMac to be significantly constrained for the next quarter.
According to Strategy Analytics' latest report, market share for Android-based tablets have risen considerably. The report states that Android-based tablets now consume 41% of the total tablet market share, or just under 25 million units.
This means that year-over-year, we're looking at double the tablets sold, with market share increasing by 12%. This growth comes at the expense of Apple's iOS platform, whose market share has dropped from 65% to 56% year-over-year.
A large number of these tablet sales were from retail giant and device maker Amazon, a main competitor of Google. What do you think of these numbers? It's good to see Google making some waves in the market, and Apple seeing a drop, as it will only [hopefully] push them to innovate more and stop being stagnant in the market.
Apple may have posted their Q4 results, seeing a tidy $8.2 billion in profits, but Samsung are not so far behind them, posting $7.4 billion profit in the past quarter just gone. The South Korean company told investors to expect $7.28 billion in profits, but beat this reaching $7.4 billion.
The ever-so-popular Galaxy S III shipments have been increased "significantly due to global expansion", according to Samsung. Smartphones weren't the only thing that pushed Samsung to enjoy a great quarter, with consumer electronic sales also seeing a nice spike, achieving "industry leading profitability" in the TV market. Samsung cited growth in both the consumer space, as well as the sales of OLED panels for televisions, tablets and high-end smartphones.
Samsung's semiconductor sales didn't do so well, dropping 8% thanks to the dropping PC demand across the world. The company expects demand for PC DRAM and other high value-added chip products to continue to remain weak, but notes that the sector is still profitable, and may increase as new products are released.
TSMC have something to be happy about right now, posting a record third quarter profit. The company posted a net profit of 49.3 billion New Taiwan dollars ($1.69 billion), which is a 62% jump year-over-year, and beating over 24 analysts' expectations.
TSMC-powered smartphones and tablet demand continue to expand, even in an economy which isn't doing so well. TSMC's flagship 28nm technology has given them an advantage over the competition, and the company has said that is directly responsible for doubling chip shipments in Q3. TSMC have said that chips built on the 28nm process accounted for 13% of total wafer revenue.
Morris Chang, TMSC Chairman, says that the future will be a little dull, expecting revenue to fall in the final three months of 2012. Chipmakers like Intel are scaling their productions back in the fourth quarter, citing reduced demand. Even with Q4 not looking so good, TSMC are optimistic about 2013 and the future, where Chang believes that TSMC will continue to outgrow the semiconductor industry in the coming years, as they has positioned themselves well in the smart device markets.
Here we are again, three months later and we have Apple's Q4 financial results to share with you. Not long after the Cupertino-based company unveiled their new iPad mini, fourth-generation iPad and refreshed Macs, their Q4 financial results are surprising in more ways than one.
Apple posted a revenue of $35.97 billion with a net income of $8.2 billion, up from $28.27 billion and $6.62 billion this time last year. Apple's earnings fell short of analysts' expectations of $8.75 per share, reaching just $8.67 per share. Apple reportedly lowered their forecast for the first quarter of fiscal 2013 from diluted earnings per share of $15.49 on revenue of $55 billion to $11.75 on revenue of $52 billion.
Analysts are pegging this on continuing supply problems, but I have a different idea. During the quarter, Apple sold just 26.9 million iPhones, 14 million iPads, 5.3 million iPods and 4.9 million Macs. iPhone shipments beat analysts' expectations by over 500,000 units, but fell short of analysts' expectations on iPad shipments by around 1 million units.
Are your fingers fatter in the morning or is there another reason you accidentally click more often in the morning hours?
Accidental clicks are a big problem for advertisers as they have to pay for a click that yields them nothing. It's a problem that people have been dealing with since the introduction of mobile advertising. The general thought is the smaller the screen, the more likely you are to accidentally click that tantalizing banner ad.
But is that the only factor? Probably not. How often are you surfing Facebook while driving? You might accidentally click on an ad then, not due to the small screen, but due to you being distracted with driving. GoldSpot is a mobile ad network that has taken a look into the problem of accidental clicks and they have a bit of insight to offer.
They figure that roughly four in 10 clicks on conventional banner ads are accidental. For rich media ads, the number drops to 13 percent, probably due to them being more noticeable as an ad. GoldSpot also believes accidental clicks are more likely to happen in the morning or evening, as you can see in the chart above.
No, I don't think our fingers are fatter in the morning. I figure it's because we're distracted by getting ready, driving, or possibly can't see the screen because we are just waking up. Of course, during the day and fully awake, the accidental clicks drop way off. They pick back up in the evening as people are possibly going to bed or driving home.
Investors were a bit upset with Google's financial performance, even though AdWords, the main business that Google offers, is going as strong as ever, if not stronger. A study conducted by WordStream attempts to quantify just how well AdWords, Google's advertising portion of business, is doing and the numbers are impressive.
The study believes that Google was making $100 million per day from AdWords during the third quarter. The numbers are even more impressive that Microsoft's Windows 8 testing numbers: Google served 5.5 billion impressions per day on its search pages alone. The Google Display Network showed 25.6 billion a day.
However, even with these growing display numbers, the click-through-rate (CTR) has dropped from Q2 to Q3. However, displays have gone up, offsetting the decline in CTR. The CTR rate for Google Search came in at 3.5 percent, resulting in 192 million clicks being paid for. On the Display Network, the number is an even lower 0.18 percent, resulting in 45.8 million paid clicks.
The search number declined 12.4 percent from Q2, but display numbers increased 13.8 percent in the same period.
Zynga aren't having the best year, with their Q3 2012 numbers rolling in and seeing large revenues of $316 million, beating analysts' low expectations of $300 million or so, but the company have lost $160 million in the first nine months of this year.
The the last three months, Zynga have lost $52 million, even with their better-than-expected Q3 2012 revenue. The company recently announced a $200 million stock buyback and a new partnership with UK-based real-money online gambling site, bwin.party. This saw Zynga's stock driving upward in after-hours trading, rising 13.67%.
But, they look to be short-term gains, with the company struggling in the last few months. Zynga are losing millions of gamers, are in lawsuits, had a write-down of OMGPOP, and have also seen corporate talent walking out the door. CEO and founder of Zynga, Mark Pincus, has said in a statement:
While the last several months have been challenging for us, Zynga remains well positioned to capitalize on the growth of social gaming. We're implementing a number of steps to drive long-term growth and profitability. The successful launches of FarmVille 2 and ChefVille in the third quarter demonstrate that when we develop great games, our large player audience engages. It's more clear than ever that along with search, shop, and share, play is a fundamental pillar of the Internet, and Zynga continues to be the leader.
Facebook have unveiled the final Instagram purchase information in their 10-Q. The social network have stated that the final purchase of Instagram will sit in its accounting as $521 million. This figure came about by adding $300 million in cash that Facebook promised, as well as the 12 million vested shares of Class B common stock.
This common stock was given to "non-employee stockholders", such as investors, but not the staff itself. Facebook have issued 11 million un-vested shares to Instagram's employees, including founders. These shares will vest over a three-year period which have an "aggregate fair value of $194 million". Adding the $521 million and $194 million together, we find ourselves at $715 million.
We did see a $1 billion number floating about when this news hit the wire, but the stock of Facebook has slumped, considerably, since that time.
Nintendo recently found itself in some hot water over accusations that underage workers were employed by Foxconn and working at factories where Nintendo has the Wii U manufactured. This is against the policy that Nintendo requires its partners to agree and abide by, so they were quick to launch an investigation.
Today, they have released a statement regarding the results of that investigation. They found that Foxconn had employed under-aged interns to manufacture the Wii U. Foxconn has accepted complete responsibility for the incident and has "moved quickly to ensure that all affected individuals no longer work at Foxconn."
It's not just Apple who are being affected by the working conditions at Foxconn. Nintendo has been brought into the fray, but has acted quickly to rectify the issue.
The European Union is heavy on protecting consumers, and sometimes it seems as though they may overstep what is necessary and prudent. In this case, that line probably hasn't been crossed, and I'm sure you'll agree with them that Microsoft should give users a choice of which browser to install.
Unfortunately for Microsoft, it would appear that they breached the European Union's order that they offer multiple browsers to select from. The EU has now charged Microsoft for breaching an agreement made three years prior. In that agreement, Microsoft had made the concession to allow users to pick a browser upon the install of Windows 7.
The EU charges that even now, three years later, users still are not presented with the choice of browser. This charge applies to Windows 7 copies sold after February 2011. Microsoft claims a bug caused the choice screen to not display, but that it is, in fact, in the software. The EU competition commissioner Joaquin Almunia warned Microsoft should expect a fine, if found breaking the agreement.
This fine could be as high as 10 percent of Microsoft's earnings. This would be on top of the estimated €1.7 billion already spent fighting the EU.
Social networking site Facebook may now boast over 1 billion monthly active users, but what do those users actually give the social network in terms of profits? Well, the social network has beaten analyst expectations in their second earnings report after going public.
Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected Facebook to earn $0.11 per share on sales of $1.23 billion, but the social network reported third quarter earnings of $0.12 per share on revenues of $1.62 billion, and increase of 32% from their $954 million in the same quarter of 2011. Advertising remains the king of Facebook, as their main source of income, bringing in 86% of total revenue. Mark Zuckerberg, CEO and Facebook founder said:
As proud as I am that a billion people use Facebook each month, I'm also really happy that over 600 million people now share and connect on Facebook every month using mobile devices. People who use our mobile products are more engaged, and we believe we can increase engagement even further as we continue to introduce new products and improve our platform. At the same time, we are deeply integrating monetization into our product teams in order to build a stronger, more valuable company.
Struggling phone maker, Nokia, have announced that they will be issuing a new slew of convertible bonds that the company hopes will generate around $980 million. Nokia have posted losses for six consecutive quarters and is still going through their cash reserves.
Timo Ihamuotila, Nokia's Executive Vice President and CFO, has said that Nokia's actions have been:
Designed to further strengthen our financial position and liquidity profile while allowing us to benefit from the current attractive long-term financing opportunities in the convertible bond market.
The net proceeds generated from the $980 million of bonds is set to become the phone maker's shares in 2017, which will help the company manage their capital structure, as well as addressing their upcoming debt, all while maintaining existing assets.
The second hand gaming business can obviously be quite serious, with two North Carolina men found guilty of murder over a used Xbox 360 console. In Christmas of 2009, Justen Jarel King and Christopher Andrew Alexander headed to the house of Jason Lee Smith and roommate Emanuel Gantlin in Fayetteville, NC.
Gantlin had purchased an Xbox 360 console from Alexander, but now wanted the console back. So Alexander took King with him and headed to Smith's home, found the Xbox 360 and then started to disconnect the cables from the TV.
King pulled out a gun, cocked it, and it fired - hitting Smith in the chest. Smith didn't survive the shot to the chest and died. Both King and Alexander have pleaded guilty to second degree murder with King sentenced to more than 13 years in prison, while Alexander will see 10 years behind bars.
In a surprising move, Telstra have reportedly just purchased Adelaide-based Adam Internet in a deal that could be worth $50 million. The telco announced this morning that they had entered into an agreement to acquire the Adelaide-based ISP, but didn't disclose the exact amount of money on the table.
Adam Internet currently employ 200 staff and have over 80,000 customers, who should be all unaffected by the deal. Adam Internet would continue to operate as a stand-alone subsidiary of Telstra. Adam Internet's executive chairman, Greg Hicks, will stay on as a consultant to the company for twelve months if the deal goes through. Hicks said that Adam and Telstra "shared customer service philosophy was a pivotal reason behind today's announcement". He adds:
This agreement will help cement a strong future for the Adam brand, our people, and our customers and represent the next stage of Adam's growth. Adam will continue to provide excellent value-for-money broadband that doesn't compromise on service. The message for potential new customers is that, with Telstra behind it, Adam will be expanding nationally.