TweakTown NewsRefine News by Category:
2013 has been one heck of a year for BlackBerry. In the span of just eleven months, the company has launched its next-gen OS and devices, almost went out of business, and seen its CEO resign after no one wanted to buy the company. Today it appears that BlackBerry is attempting to make the changes necessary to turn the company around.
This morning, BlackBerry announced that its Chief Operating Officer, Kristian Tear, and Cheif Marketing Officer, Frank Boulben will no longer be part of the company. Additionally, the company's Chief Financial Officer, Brian Bidulka, will be exiting the company and will be replaced by James Yersh, a long time BlackBerry Exec. Finally, the announcement says that Roger Marti, a member of BlackBerry's board of directors, will be resigning from the Canadian smartphone manufacturer as well.
This major shakeup in management is widely seen as something that should have happen many months ago when BlackBerry first began to circle the drain. Following the ousting of CEO Thorsten Heins, today's announcement should do well to restore some investors faith in the company. With a fresh injection of $1 billion from FairFax Financial, BlackBerry just might manage to turn things around in 2014.
Samsung seems to be struggling in Japan against its biggest rival, Apple. The Korea Herald reports that Samsung's share in the Japanese smartphone space dropped again last quarter, which makes four quarters in a row of decline.
In the last quarter, Samsung sold just one million u nits, while Apple sold close to four times that. Rewinding back twelve months, Samsung was pushing around 1.9 million units a quarter, but each quarter it has dropped significantly. The South Korean electronics giant is now placed fourth in the Japanese market, with Sony coming in second. Apple is currently holding the number one spot in the market.
We thought it had happened last week, but now Apple has confirmed it has acquired PrimeSense. The company works on motion control devices, so this should be an interesting next few years for the iPhone maker.
Apple confirmed the acquisition with AllThingsD, where it said that it does buy smaller companies "from time to time". The company reportedly handed over around $360 million for the deal, which should cement Apple's future in the motion control space. I did think that Apple would use the tech for its Mac range of devices, which I think we'll begin to see teased in the first half of 2014.
According to Corrinne Yu's LinkedIn page, the Halo 4 Principal Engine Programmer has left Microsoft's Halo team, and joined the developer of The Last of Us and Uncharted, Naughty Dog.
What makes this more interesting, is that she is really leaving Microsoft, for its key rival in the console space, Sony. Yu worked as the Principal Engine Programmer with 343 Industries for five years, and before that she worked at Gearbox Software as its Director of Technology. Yu has some experience under her belt, including Halo 4, Borderlands and I don't want to mention it, but I have to: Aliens: Colonial Marines.
I'm sure Katie Couric was yelling out 'yahoo' when she received the call from search giant Yahoo, regarding a job offer as the role of "global news anchor" for the company.
Couric will host a high-profile interview show for the company, according to sources of All Things D. The deal has reportedly been months in the making, with Couric and Yahoo in talks since August. ABC apparently owns the rights to Couric's digital output, as per her contract. All Things D's source have said that Couric's show will include exclusive interviews with a bunch of high-profile celebrities, and business executives.
Couric was intrigued by the idea of a web-only show after she attended a Yahoo advertising event in the Caribbean last fall. The bigger bet here is from Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer, as she continues to provide reasons for people to visit Yahoo. Couric, though, is a big fish, and should bring in a slew of new viewers.
Update: It seems that there wasn't 'someone' or a company that purchased these Bitcoins, but rather a transfer of Bitcoins. It could be that Bitstamp possibly moved its own funds around, which made this look (to a Bitcoin novice like myself) a massive transfer worth $150 million, and thus, major news - but it looks like it was not. Apologies.
Bitcoins have been going up and down in price, where we saw it rise past $600 in value just a few days ago, but now the price is beginning to stabilize. Bitcoin has been making the mainstream headlines quite a lot, but this latest transaction should see much more attention paid to the digital currency.
Someone in Germany must have quite a lot of cash on-hand, as they just acquired over 194,000 Bitcoins... which has a value of approximately $150 million. Yes, $150,000,000 in Bitcoins. Even the richest people around don't just have $150 million in cash to just spend, so are we looking at a central bank or government scooping up all these Bitcoins?
Also remember, that Germany has recently recognized Bitcoins as a "unit of account" which means it can be used for private transactions. This means that the German government can now tax owners of Bitcoins, and this new $150 million transaction will have quite the tax bill, won't it? Whatever has happened, and whoever has bought these Bitcoins, some serious money just changed hands.
A federal judge has awarded Apple with $290 million in patent damages from Samsung, which gives Apple a total of over $900 million that will be sucked out of Samsung's bank accounts.
The patent case saw a six-woman, two-man jury hearing the case last week, where Apple claimed Samsung copied its technologies from the iPad and iPhone. Apple argued that Samsung owed them nearly $380 million in damages from lost profits, and from profits Samsung enjoyed while selling the devices that were infringing on Apple's patents, as well as royalties.
Samsung didn't stand there defenseless, so it bit back, claiming that Apple inflated the value of their patents. The South Korean giant also reiterated the important of consumer choice, concluding that damages should not exceed $52 million. The jury ended up deciding that Samsung was indeed guilty of patent infringement on 13 smartphones and tablets, including features like pinch-to-zoom, and bounce back.
Over the past few months Acer has been in a bit of a downward slide and in recent weeks we have seen both the company CEO and Chairman of the Board, J.T. Wang, and its President, Jim Wong resign their positions. This is the direct result of the $20 million operational loss and 20-percent slump in sales the company reported for Q3 2013.
Now it appears that the company's founder will be returning to its helm after more than eight years of retirement. Stan Shih retired from Acer in 2004 just as it was beginning to grow into a netbook monster with its line of eeePC line. Shih will take on the role of chairman and acting corporate president based on a press released issued by Acer today.
"Due to the situation that now faces Acer and my personal social responsibilities, I must stand up and take the rein without salary," Shih said in a statement. "I will honor and complete all the public affairs and event engagements that I have committed to, but I will also fully support Acer's ICT device business and carry out the company transformation. In addition, George Huang who is one of my co-founding partners of Acer will join with me and the management team to lead our company at this time."
Just today Microsoft announced they have opened their Microsoft Store on eBay in the US. The eBay Microsoft Store will offer Microsoft accessories as well as first-party Microsoft products. This will assumingly increase sales of new products. Unlike Apple, Microsoft only has 81 retail stores. eBay has 142 million active users globally and this partnership just might just give Microsoft their boost in sales.
Microsoft guarantees their new eBay store can offer "the same safe online shopping experience, return policy and free shipping from the Microsoft Store on eBay that they've come to expect on microsoftstore.com." The launch of the new Microsoft eBay store will be just in time for the holidays.
Just two weeks ago we were reporting on OCZ's stock taking a nosedive to below $0.18 per share before rebounding back to the $0.70 level. The stock seemed to level off there, and some of us thought that the company may be able to pull itself out of the hole it fell into months ago. Unfortunately, that does not appear to be the case.
A new rumor has just came across my news desk unveiling that OCZ laid off 15-percent of its workforce last week. The rumor was not clear as to which divisions were the hardest hit, or if any high-salary employees were caught up in the layoffs. OCZ's stock is down more than $0.10 today since Friday when it closed at about $0.70 per share. Unlike the last nosedive, there are not rebounding spikes and if the pattern continues, OCZ could be back in the sub $0.20 per share range by Friday.