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Eric Schmidt has said that the total number of Android activations are set to cross the one billion threshold in "six to nine months." Currently, Android devices are being activated at the rate of about 1.5 million per day, an impressive rate that will likely continue to increase as more developing markets start demanding smartphones.
"Android is by far the primary vehicle by which people are going to see smartphones," Schmidt said.
Schmidt remained somewhat secretive about future Android plans. In regards to the promotion of Sundar Pichai, he added, "Don't confuse organization design and product design." In other words, don't have your heart set on Chrome OS and Android OS becoming one in the same.
A total of one billion Android device activations is quite the accomplishment. It goes to show how popular the Android platform is and how it helps to have an operating system that can be used across a wide range of devices, much like Windows.
Google has managed to negotiate deals with HBO and Cinemax so that customers who are using the Google Fiber TV bundle package can now add on HBO and Cinemax--for a price. Any Google Fiber TV customer can add the new HBO package for $20/month (tax not included). This package includes HBO, HBO2, HBO Signature, HBO Family, HBO Latino, HBO Comedy, and HBO Zone.
Cinemax fans will be able to get the new Cinemax package for just $10/month (again, tax not included). The Cinemax package includes Max, MoreMax, ActionMax, ThrillerMax, WMax, @Max, 5-StarMax, and OuterMax. If you're a serious TV watcher, Google rolled out a new "premium package" that will set you back $40/month.
The premium package comes with STARZ, Showtime, HBO, and Cinemax.
You can sign up for these packages starting now. If you already have Fiber service installed in your home, you can call customer service 24/7 at 866-777-7550 to have any of these packages added.
Apple has discovered that a "very small number" of Apple TVs might have issues with WiFi. Because of this, Apple has opened up a replacement program, authorizing Apple Authorized Service Providers or Apple themselves to replace faulty third-generation Apple TV devices for up to two years from the purchase date.
The issues include the device not being able to locate a network, join a network, or being unable to maintain a steady connection to a network. To be eligible for a replacement, your serial number must fall within the range provided by Apple. This means the last four characters must be DRHN and the third and fourth characters must be one of the following:
H9, HC, HD, HF, HG, HH, HJ, HK, HL, HM, HN, HP, HQ, HR, HT, HV, HW, HX, J1, J2, J3, J4, J5, J6, J7, J8, or J9
You might not remember when a former Rochdale Securities trader was arrested last December or why he was arrested, but today he plead guilty to wire fraud and conspiracy after making an unauthorized purchase of $1 billion in Apple stock that led to the demise of Rochdale Securities.
David Miller's lawyer:
What happened here was out of character for a kind and generous family man who has lived an otherwise law-abiding and good life. He deeply regrets what he has done and the harm it has caused to other people, including the former principals and employees at Rochdale.
David Miller ordered 1.625 million shares of Apple stock, telling Rochdale that the trade was for a customer. That customer had, in fact, only ordered just 1,625 shares of Apple stock. After the stock fell in price, Rochdale lost about $5.3 million.
The SEC has filed a civil fraud lawsuit against Miller. It's not clear what the SEC hopes to gain from the civil lawsuit.
OCZ has received a letter from the NASDAQ stock exchange explaining that they will be delisted from the stock exchange if they do not disclose financial earnings. OCZ is able to request a stay of delisting which will then have to be approved by the NASDAQ Listing Qualifications Panel.
We all know OCZ has been in a bit of financial trouble and has laid off a large portion of its staff. It also delayed reporting its financial earnings and has still not reported earnings for the quarters ending August 31, 2012, November 30, 2012.
OCZ says that they have made substantial progress towards completing the required financial documentation.
Bloomberg is reporting that Foxconn has once again started hiring for their plant in Zhengzhou, the plant where Apple's iPhone is produced. Workers have apparently been recruited for the last month after Apple requested an increase in capacity at the plant. The workers will be constructing both existing models and new ones.
The Wall Street Journal said that Foxconn has been hiring about 10,000 people per week since the end of March. Foxconn noted that Zhengzhou currently employs around 250,000-300,000 people, though they wouldn't say how many have been added during this most recent hiring binge.
If Apple has asked for increased capacity, you can imagine that Apple is working on ramping up production for the latest iPhone. Apple needs to get the iPhone released fairly soon to compete with the next-gen HTC One and Samsung Galaxy S4.
Dish Network has submitted a proposal to Sprint's Board of Directors that aims to see the two companies merge. Dish has offered up $25.5 billion for Sprint, which is higher than the offer on the table by SoftBank. "DISH is offering Sprint shareholders a total consideration of $25.5 billion, consisting of $17.3 billion in cash and $8.2 billion in stock."
Charlie Ergen, Chairman of DISH Network:
The DISH proposal clearly presents Sprint shareholders with a superior alternative to the pending SoftBank proposal. Sprint shareholders will benefit from a higher price with more cash while also creating the opportunity to participate more meaningfully in a combined DISH/Sprint with a significantly-enhanced strategic position and substantial synergies that are not attainable through the pending SoftBank proposal.
Dish expects growth opportunities of around $37 billion and $11 billion in cost savings. Now Sprint will have to decide whether to take SoftBank's deal or Dish Network's deal. Both have their own benefits: SoftBank has lots of cash and Dish has lots of spectrum reserve. We'll let you know when Sprint comes to a decision.
Foursquare have just announced a new injection of funding from loans from new and current investors to the tune of $41 million. This has put the company in the position of now quickly trying to generate actual revenue and move away from the simple social check-in app they are now.
The money hasn't come from investors handing cash over to Foursquare for shares, but instead new investor Silver Lake Waterman led the financing with something that is being called a multi-year loan. Existing Foursquare investors offered loans that will convert to equity if the company's valuation rises, these investors are Andreessen Horowitz, O'Reilly AlphaTech Ventures, Spark Capital and Union Square Ventures.
This means, in reality, that Foursquare have checked themselves into a very hard place. They will now indirectly be forced to create revenue, to continue their interest and principal payments on their Silver Lake loan or risk default. Creating a steady income is going to be hard for Foursquare, as right now they're without such a cash flow.
I still maintain that they'll get acquired soon enough, and I'm surprised it hasn't happened sooner.
It looks like we should expect some changes from T-Mobile and Dish Network, where Bloomberg has reported that Dish Network's chairman, Charlie Ergen, has 'informally approached' T-Mobile's parent company about a possible merger deal.
Dish Network is reportedly interested in a deal with T-Mobile so they can bundle wireless services with their satellite TV offerings. The parent company, Deutsche Telekom, announced a sweetened bid for MetroPCD at around the same time the merger talks happened. Deutsche Telekom might consider Dish's proposal, but only after the transaction with MetroPCS closes, and after verifying that another, and separate, deal with Sprint isn't going to go ahead. This is all coming from people "close to the situation", according to Bloomberg.
According to market intelligence firm ABI Research, tablet sales are set to create $64 billion worth of sales this year - up 28% year-over-year. Over the course of 2013, there are set to be approximately 150 million tablets sold, up 38% year-over-year.
Since 2010, Apple has been the tablet champion - where last year's shipments saw 60% of tablets purchased by customers come with iOS while Google's Android OS sat at 37%. The remaining 3% of the market was divided up to Windows (in its many flavors), BlackBerry Tablet OS and unidentified OS implementations.
It should be an interesting year, to see if Apple can hold onto that 60% of the tablet market, or whether they'll see those numbers erode away as people move toward Android-based slates.