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Business, Financial & Legal Posts - Page 73

Germany tells Google to improve customer service or face fines

Google has a nasty habit of not responding to customer support emails, and has an automated system that points you to the Google help forums, which are usually not that helpful.

 

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Apparently Germany is not very happy about this and has told Google to remedy the situation or face the consequences.

 

The Federation of German Consumer Organisations (VZBV) has told Google to sign an undertaking that will revamp their customer service and elicit actual human responses when contacted by users. The VZBV is citing the Germany Telemedia Act, which requires all businesses to have an email in which customers can submit questions to.

Samsung expected to ship 10 million Galaxy S4 phones in first month of sales

Samsung has been quite vocal about its plans to turn the Galaxy S4 into the bestselling smartphone in history. This morning we are learning that the company is expecting to sell over 10 million Galaxy S4 devices in the first month alone.

 

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Citing supply chain sources who are intimately familiar with Samsung's projected sales reports, DigiTimes is reporting that Samsung could ship as many as 30 million Galaxy S4 phones in its first quarter of sales alone, with 10 million of them flying off the shelves in the first month.

 

The company has lined up launches in 50 countries and more than 300 carriers, which will no doubt boost its initial sales numbers. Unlike HTC's One and Apple's iPhone 5, the Galaxy S4 is not expected to see any delays in shipping because Samsung actually manufacturers most of the components in-house, which is a huge advantage over the competition.


Palit and PC Partner overtake ASUS to become the biggest GPU sellers in the world

When people think global graphics card sales, they've always had ASUS stand there, proud, being number one - well, not anymore. Palit Microsystems of Taiwan, and PC Partner of Hong Kong have overtaken the Taiwan-based company, pushing ASUS into the number there position according to "industry sources" of DigiTimes.

 

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Palit and PC Partner both have large numbers of sub-brands, which have helped them get to that coveted number one position. Palit own quite a number of other brands around the world, a few of which might surprise you, DigiTimes reports that they own "Galaxy, Yuan, Gainward, Vvikoo, XpertVision and Daytona". PC Partner, make their graphics cards in sub-brands, and concentrates in AMD Radeon GPUs under the Sapphire brand, and NVIDIA GPUs under the Zotac brand.

Hulu sale rumors continue, new reports point to the company hiring a firm to help them with the sale

The sale of Hulu has been something that has been talked about for a while now, but we might just be a step closer to it happening now. Reuters is now reporting that the online movie and TV streaming company have hired the help of financial services firm Guggenheim Partners.

 

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Guggenheim Partners will be advising Hulu, but are also interested in making a bid in the company which could lead to a conflict of interest. To steer around this possible, and probable conflict of interest, the company have created a separate Guggenheim Digital Media unit in January that is being headed by former Yahoo CEO and News Corp executive Ross Levinsohn, who is reportedly interested in a deal with the company.

Google Q1 2013 numbers are strong, revenues are up 31% from last year

While Apple's share price continues to tumble - I'm sure there's a better word for that... nosedive? - Google Q1 2013 earnings are in, and what a report they have to share with the world. A break down of the numbers is below:

 

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  • $13.97 billion in revenue for the quarter, up 31-percent year-over-year
  • $3.48 billion in operating income, up slightly y-o-y but down as a percentage of revenue
  • Google-owned sites represented $8.64 billion of those revenues
  • Google Network (partner sites) represented $3.26 billion of revenue
  • Motorola posted $1.02 billion in revenues, 7-percent of Google's total
  • Motorola ended with an operating loss of $271 million for Q1

 

The total revenue for the quarter being $13.97 billion, sees a huge 31% increase year-over-year. Motorola are still posting a loss, but I think we'll see the last of those in the coming months, and by this time next year we should see Motorola hopefully making all of Google's hardware.

CISPA gets passed by the House, will allow businesses to share customers' personal information

While America still reels over the Boston Marathon bombings and the fertilizer plant explosion near Waco in Texas, the House of Representatives have passed the cybersecurity bill CISPA (Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act).

 

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CISPA was passed by a 288-127 vote, receiving support from 92 democrats. From here, it will move to the Senate, then to President Obama's desk. CISPA, if you're not already familiar, will allow private businesses to share customers' personal information with any government entity, giving the government, and entities like the NSA, some serious power.

 

The way laws like this get passed, is by people who throw their hands in the air claiming that not letting something like CISPA pass, is because there are threats to "US economic security". Because, you know, there aren't any other issues with the US' economy right now. Mike Rogers, co-author of CISPA and the intelligence committee chairman, argued that cyberattacks and espionage, mostly from China, where an umber of high profile attacks have originated from, are a number one threat to US economic security.

 

On the House floor, Rogers said:

 

We have a constitutional obligation to defend this nation. This is the answer to empower cyber information sharing to protect this nation, to allow those companies to protect themselves and move on to economic prosperity. If you want to take a shot across China's bow, this is the answer.

Continue reading 'CISPA gets passed by the House, will allow businesses to share customers' personal information' (full post)

iPhone sales up just 8% this quarter, can the next iPhone help Apple?

According to an analyst with the ISI Group, Apple have sold around 38 million iPhone's in the last quarter, representing an 8% increase over the same quarter of last year. Brian Marshall, an analyst with ISI Group, said he's sticking with his estimate of 38 million iPhone's for Q1 2013.

 

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Other analysts, such as Brian White of Topeka Capital Markets and Gene Munster of Piper Jaffray, have their bets on lower numbers, with 35 million and 35.5 million, respectively. These two analysts' estimates would have Apple seeing an increase of just 0% or 1% versus each quarter, Q1 2013 and Q1 2012. Most analysts are looking ahead, waiting for Apple's next move, which is rumored to be the iPhone 5S.

 

Personally, I don't think this can save them unless it is a big departure from what we know and love about the iPhone, and in particular, iOS. I hope we see a new premium iPhone (6) with iOS 7, with widgets and a much better UI, oh, and much cheaper than we have now. A 128GB offering would be nice too, maybe even 256GB. Apple could shake the market up again, and they need to considering Samsung are really pushing forward with so many devices being announced and released lately in all shapes and sizes catering to all markets, all over the world.

Rovio brings on Jami Laes as Executive VP of Games

Rovio has brought on a new person to oversee the development of new games. Jami Laes is Rovio's new executive vice president of games and will oversee the Finnish gaming studio's new game development. Laes is no newcomer to the world of games as he has previously worked at EA and Digital Chocolate.

 

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Rovio needs to expand beyond its hit series, Angry Birds, in order to continue as a gaming studio. Laes will play an important roll as the gaming studio works to develop other hit games. After all, there's only so long Angry Birds can be tweaked before people get bored of the game and move to something new.

 

Thinking back, this was a natural next step in my career. I have always been a huge fan of Angry Birds, and it has been great to see the phenomenal success that Rovio has already achieved. Even so, we've only seen a fraction of what can be achieved with great brands like Angry Birds and Bad Piggies, and I wanted to be a part of building that story.

Estimates place Nexus 10 sales lower than Microsoft Surface

Estimated sales numbers for the Nexus 10 aren't very positive. In fact, the estimates place sales of the Nexus 10 below that of the Microsoft Surface, which is widely regarded as a flop product. So, just how bad is it? Estimates suggest that Google has only sold somewhere between 680,000 and one million Nexus 10's.

 

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Neither Samsung or Google provided data regarding tablet sales, but some interesting extrapolations by Ben Evans resulted in those numbers. Since the Nexus 10 features a relatively uncommon screen resolution, Evans was able to use Google's development data for screen sizes. Only 0.1 percent of devices hitting the Play Store featured the resolution present on the Nexus 10.

 

An estimate of 680 million Android users at the end of March was used, though this could be slightly off base. Even still, sales numbers of the Nexus 10 aren't good, especially when compared to Apple's. Apple managed to sell 36.9 million iPads in the second half of 2012 and 10 million iPad minis in Q4 alone.

ReportTT: Apple stops placing orders to Mac components

Reports continue to pour in that seem to show Apple is faltering. The latest report is from the hit-and-miss DigiTimes who say that Apple have stopped placing orders for Mac components amid worse-than-expected PC sales. PC sales declines have hurt all PC manufacturers and Apple appears to be hit as well.

 

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The report cites sources in the "upstream supply chain." These suppliers are worried that shipments might not resume until late May. They say that at the end of 2012, Apple placed aggressive orders, either missing the impact their iPad is having on the PC market or expecting not to be hit by the PC decline.

 

We will know more about how Apple performed this quarter when they release their financial results on Tuesday.

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