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BlackBerry is drowning, and has been for a while, but diving out of the consumer market because of a $1 billion loss on a single smartphone is a big move. What can help the Canadian phone maker now?
Well, co-founder of BlackBerry, Mike Lazaridis, who stepped down from his co-CEO role in 2012, has reportedly approached more than one private equity firm about putting in a bid for BlackBerry. This all comes from a report on The New York Times, who says that talks are simply preliminary right now. Lazaridis might not make an offer, but it would definitely put a big spin on the situation.
Big industry players like Huawei and Lenovo have reportedly been linked to business talks, but nothing is confirmed right now. We'll have more as it happens.
A collective of companies who support the Qi wireless charging standard joined forces to become the Wireless Power Consortium, but industry heavyweight Qualcomm stayed out of it until now.
Qualcomm has become a member of the Wireless Power Consortium, which includes over 170 companies who are behind the standard. Considering Qualcomm is a founding member of the WPC's competing wireless charging standard, Alliance for Wireless Power - or A4WP - which has just 60 members. Qualcomm is knee-deep in A4WP, so it's an interesting move to say the least.
Could Qualcomm be wanting to bring the two groups together? Qi seems the bigger of the two, with companies like HTC, Samsung, LG, Nokia, Sony and now Qualcomm all on board. We should see what Qualcomm were up to joining the WPC in the next couple of months.
BlackBerry is about to cut 4,500 staff from its books, which represents the 40% layoff numbers we heard a couple of days ago now. But the news gets worse: BlackBerry is leaving the consumer market.
This is something we've been expecting here at TweakTown, but the news is quite sudden. This all comes from the failure that is the BlackBerry Z10 smartphone, which has cost the Canadian phone maker $1 billion in losses in the last quarter alone. BlackBerry says it will take a "primarily non-cash, pre-tax charge against inventory and supply commitments in the second quarter of approximately $930 million to $960 million" due to the Z10.
In the second quarter of this year, BlackBerry shipped only 3.7 million smartphones, most of which were running BlackBerry 7, not the company's BB10 OS that ships on the Z10. BlackBerry didn't reveal how many BB10-based devices it sold in the quarter, which should give us a hint in where those numbers must lie.
Starting next year, the leading American television ratings company, Nielsen, will finally step into the digital age where they will count people watching TV on smart devices.
Nielsen will use a special set-top box that plugs into the televisions of its 10,000 volunteers across the United States, which will monitor what those 10,000 Americans watch. Until September 2014, Nielsen's count doesn't include anyone using digital devices to watch TV, this includes services such as Hulu.
Nielsen's Senior VP of Global Audience Measurement, Eric Solomon has said: "Networks are starving for a number they can publish that really represents their audience not just on TV but across all platforms. I think it will start changing the narrative that 'people are not watching TV shows.' It's that they're watching on different platforms."
You know that saying of eating your own words? It looks like Tim Cook is going to get very full, very soon. Apple CEO, Tim Cook, sat down with Bloomberg Businessweek, enjoying a joint interview with head of design, Jony Ive and software chief Craig Federighi.
One of the topics discussed was Microsoft's recent acquisition of Nokia's Devices and Services division, where Tim Cook said "everybody is trying to adopt Apple's strategy. We're not looking for external validation of our strategy, but I think it does suggest that there's a lot of copying, kind of, on the strategy and that people have recognized that importance."
Ironically, Cook says that everyone should have their eyes on Nokia, as he thinks that the company is the perfect example "to everyone in business that you have to keep innovating and that to not innovate is to die."
Nokia's Stephen Elop will receive a very nice paycheck as soon as the acquisition of Nokia is completed by Microsoft. Elop will reportedly cash in to the tune of $25.4 million as payout for stepping down as the CEO when Microsoft announced that it would be buying Nokia.
The pay will include cash and early vesting of stock awards with Nokia only being responsible for 30 percent of the value. Microsoft will be taking care the remaining 70 percent and will see Elop transfer over to Microsoft and head up its Devices and Services business when the deal closes. That is, however, if Elop is not chosen to fill Steve Ballmer's seat when he retires later this year.
A new report out today from the Wall Street Journal suggest that BlackBerry is in the midst of planning a massive layoffs the could see up to 40% of its workforce lose their jobs. This new report comes just hours after the company launched its new five-inch smartphone, the Z30.
The layoffs would reportedly come before the year's end , and would most likely finalized during the middle of the holiday season. The Wall Street Journal says that thousands of employees will likely lose their jobs in the cut, and that the layoffs will span across the entire company. BlackBerry seemingly confirmed the rumor when it told the Wall Street Journal, "Organizational moves will continue to occur to ensure we have the right people in the right roles to drive new opportunities in mobile computing."
Former executive VP of EA Sports, Andrew Wilson, has just stepped into the shoes of the company's CEO position. Wilson took to EA's official website, breaking the news himself, and took some time to discuss EA's future.
He said: "From my start at EA in Australia back in 2000, through stops in Asia, Europe and now North America, I've worked with people in this company who have consistently amazed and inspired me. It's my passion for our people and the great products we all impact that gives me such excitement for our future. I hope you all feel the same level of energy and optimism that I do as we embark on this journey together."
Wilson believes that the path EA is currently walking, is the right one, which includes exploring online gaming, digital revenue streams and continuing to make high-quality AAA games, such as Battlefield 4. One of his additional goals is to instill "a culture of execution that will drive profitable growth."
Early this morning just before Wall Street opened for trading, Microsoft announced that it would be buying back $40 billion of its own stock as well as increasing its quarterly dividend by 22 percent. This announcement comes on the heels of the company's previous $40 billion buyback program that will expire at the end of this month.
Microsoft said that its quarterly dividend will rise to $0.28 per share, which is up from the $0.23 per share it paid last quarter. Unlike the last buyback initiative, there is no expiration date for the new program, which means the buyback could take a while to complete. Shortly after the announcement, Microsoft stock opened about $0.60 per share higher than at closing on Monday at about $32.75 per share. At the time of this writing, it is down to about $33 per share, which is an increase of 0.7 percent over its closing numbers Monday, and is actually lower than what the stock closed at on Friday.
Today, the tech startup Bump announced that it has been acquired by Google in what industry analysts say is a deal worth between $30 million and $60 million. Bump was the first app that allowed users to "bump" their iPhones together to automagically transfer files from one phone to the other.
The original app has been downloaded over 100 million times. In the years, the company has expanded to feature a group photo sharing app called Flock. While the price tag of $30 million seems to be a home run for the company, it had already raised about $20 million from backers including Sequoia Capital, making the deal not so sweet.
"Bump and Flock will continue to work as they always have for now," Bump CEO David Lieb wrote in a blog post today. With the company now being owned by Google, it leaves many industry insiders to believe that we will see deep integration of Bump's IP into Android 5.0
"The Bump team has demonstrated a strong ability to quickly build and develop products that users love, and we think they'll be a great fit at Google," said a Google representative. Google declined to comment further on where it will integrate the Bump team at Google.