If Western Digital's financial results reported today are anything to go by, it would appear that the hard drive company has recovered nicely from the flooding that put a majority of its manufacturing capacity underwater less than a year ago. Western Digital managed to pull in $4.7 billion dollars this quarter, Q4 2012.
For the entire 2012 financial year, WD managed to pull in $12.5 billion. These results are large increases over the same periods last year. Net income rose to $1.6 billion, more than double what it was for fiscal year 2011. These financials now include Hitachi, which likely contributed a large portion to enterprise drive shipments that WD achieved last year.
Even more interesting is that WD has again shipped more laptop drives than desktop drives. During Q4 2012, Western Digital shipped 21.2 million desktop drives and 32.8 million notebook models. The difference between these categories has never been this high before and previously desktop drives outsold laptop models.
AOL reported their Q2 earnings report, seeing revenues of $531 million. This makes it AOL's lowest total revenue decline in seven years, with a 2-percent year-on-year decrease.
AOL's legacy income, such as mobile carrier revenues and subscriptions continued to fall, but it was offset by growth in international display advertising and third-party network revenues. Operating income was boosted by the $96 million AOL made from licensing patents to Microsoft.
But, AOL have insisted that its EIBDA grew regardless of this deal with Microsoft, saying that "excluding those items, the remaining Q2 2012 Adjusted OIBDA of $94.6 million reflects an increase of $18 million year-over-year." AOL chairman and CEO, Tim Armstrong said:
Today's results represent a significant milestone for AOL as we returned to Adjusted OIBDA growth for the first time in four years. The strong results and consumer performance we announced today are clear signs our strategic and operating efforts are translating into significant financial progress.
Zynga didn't have high estimates from analysts, but the company didn't even meet those. The company releases their Q2 earnings report, which showed revenue of $332 million, and lost $22.8 million, or 3 cents per share. Analysts predicted Zynga would pull in 5 cents per share on revenue of $344 million.
Zynga have said they have 72 million daily active users, up from 59 million in the previous quarter, and 306 million monthly active users, up from 228 million. Bookings on the other hand, were $302 million, up 12-percent from the same time last year, but a sequential decline of around 9-percent from the previous quarter.
The company has now lowered its outlook going into the rest of 2012 based on delays in launching new games, a faster decline in existing web games due in part to a more challenging environment on the Facebook web platform, and reduced expectations for Draw Something." Zynga are projecting $1.15 billion to $1.225 billion in bookings for the remainder of 2012.
Think back to that deal closed back in May when Google acquired Motorola Mobility for $12.4 billion. Well, in an SEC filing, Google explains just how it valued Motorola's worth and in that we find that Google valued "patents and developed technology" at $5.5 billion, the largest portion of the acquisition.
Other amounts of money were much smaller than the $5.5 billion: $2.9 billion of the purchase price for Motorola's cash, $730 million went to customer relationships, and $670 million to other net assets. The remaining $2.6 billion was for goodwill, or the value of the company above and beyond its assets.
Google from the beginning has said that the acquisition was to acquire the patents that Motorola held. It would appear that they wanted the patents so much that they were willing to pay a $7 billion premium to get their hands on them. Google reported Motorola's financials for the first time last week and they contributed over $1.25 billion to revenue. However, the mobile firm reported a $233 million operating loss.
Birmingham City University students, get ready. Sony Computer Entertainment Europe has once again teamed up with that university to offer the chance to students to win a scholarship. The scholarship, if won, will see the student having half of the fees paid to attend the Gamer Camp Pro, which is a master's degree program with a gaming focus.
Furthermore, the students will then get a six-month placement in one of Sony's UK development studios. They'll even be paid for that, too! In order to have a chance to win, students must be signed up for Gamer Camp by August 9 and be automatically entered. The cheaper Nano version will work. Winners will be selected by interview from the initial pool of perspective candidates.
"We are delighted to offer PlayStation Academic Scholarships in partnership with Gamer Camp: Pro for the second year running." said SCEE's Dr. Maria Stukoff. "It's a great opportunity for the next generation of British videogame talent to acquire professional development skills before they embark into a competitive industry."
"Having an active and influential partner in Sony Computer Entertainment Europe is a massive benefit to the Gamer Camp programme," says Gamer Camp co- founder Guy Wilday. "Access to Sony development hardware, experienced industry support and these PlayStation Academic Scholarships provides Gamer Camp students with an unparalleled educational opportunity.
ARM Holdings, who supplies microchips to Apple for their iPhone and iPads, Samsung's Galaxy line of smart devices, and now Microsoft's Windows 8 devices, has reported strong earnings for Q2.
The company had reported $213 million in earnings, which beat analysts' estimates of $206 million. Net profits was up 48-percent to $61.2 million, compared to $41.3 million this time last year. Next quarter's profits should be even better, as the company has said they have a "record order backlog", but have warned that macroeconomic uncertainties may impact what happens in Q4.
ARM noted in a statement that "Macroeconomic uncertainty may impact consumer confidence, and some analysts have become less confident in the semiconductor industry outlook in the second half". ARM did note that they expect overall revenues for 2012 to be in line with market expectations. They are heading for full-year revenues of $860 million.
This quarter was not that great for Apple and their until now, invincible iPhone. Today, coincidentally, the same day as their Q3 2012 report, the company has alleged that the only way Samsung could compete in the smartphone market was by... wait for it... "copying Apple".
Apple also allege that "Samsung's infringing sales have enabled Samsung to overtake Apple as the largest manufacturer of smartphones in the world". Apple then "conservatively estimates" that they are somehow entitled to $2 billion for unjust enrichment, $500 million in lost profits, and $25 million in reasonable royalty damages. The total being $2,525,000,000.
Could it be because Apple saw a huge dent in iPhone sales, dropping from last quarters 35 million to this quarters 26 million? Apple blame it on rumors of the new iPhone, I blame it on increased competition and their stagnation of releases. The iPhone 4S was just an S in the name for Siri, and didn't see much of a change.
Samsung have inked a deal with Gorilla Glass maker Corning, which will see the two companies build a jointly-owned TFT-LCD glass factory in China that will cost $600 million.
The two companies inked a "memorandum of understanding" with the Wuxi New District government in China for the new $600 million facility, which is set to take over some of the manufacturing heavy lifting from factories based in South Korea.
Back in 1995, the companies set up Samsung Corning Precision Glass, which has seen Corning gaining significant footing in the mobile market, with their biggest feat seeing their Gorilla Glass on the first iPhone from Apple, and since, many many more smart devices. The new factory will produce TFT-LCD glass, which is used in most mobile devices and more.
Apple released their Q3 2012 numbers, where we saw 26 million iPhones sold, but it was a huge drop from the previous quarter which saw 35.1 million sold. Why the gigantic, sudden drop?
Well, Apple are blaming rumors of the next-generation iPhone, causing a negative impact on sales. After years of beating Wall Street forecasts, Apple failed to meet analyst expectations for its latest fiscal quarter. CFO Peter Oppenheimer was pressed by analysts about this, where he cited the strong US dollar, economic conditions and ongoing rumors as its biggest challenges. He noted:
We're reading the same rumors and speculation that you are about a new iPhone.
But, can people really swallow that a third of Apple customers are patiently waiting for a new iPhone? Could it be that Samsung have a better specced device, and are constantly increasing in sales, hitting 10 million Galaxy S III sales within two months. If Apple are saying that people are waiting for the new iPhone, that would mean we should see a spike of around 9 million above this quarters iPhone sales, yes? So "Q1 2013" for Apple should see them back to 35 million, or more.
Consumer rights groups in two countries appear to be ready to take Blizzard to court over the launch of Diablo III and the problems associated with it. In Europe, the Federation of Consumer Organisations is leading the charge against Blizzard and wants them to add something on the box to the effect that you have to be online to play the game.
Blizzard has until July 27 to comply with the request or the Federation of Consumer Organisations has threatened to take them to court. In South Korea, the South Korean courts have already fined Blizzard £4,500 for not refunding Korean customers after all of the launch issues experienced. That amount of money isn't a big deal, or even a blip on the radar, for Blizzard.
The fine in South Korea, as small as it was, came about after quite a bit of work. Reports claim that Blizzard's offices in Seoul were raided. While these are the only legal issues facing Blizzard at the moment, there are still plenty of other issues that Blizzard needs to work out with Diablo III, even though it launched over two months ago.
Apple has reported its third quarter earnings and sales numbers and they are pretty darn promising. In the last three months, Apple managed to push a large number of iDevices. The iPad fared the best with 17 million units sold, up from 11.8 million last quarter. The iPhone didn't do as well, but still managed an impressive 26 million.
The iPhone's 26 million was down from last quarters 35.1 million, but was up 28% from last year's Q3 numbers. These numbers confirm analysts expectations that the iPhone would see a decline while the iPad would see significant growth. The decrease in iPhone sales is a bit troublesome for the company as that is where the majority of their revenue and profit are.
The iPad managed an impressive 83% increase year-over-year and a 44% increase over the second quarter. iPod sales were down again and it appears to be quickly becoming a niche product as more and more users snap up smartphones and use them as an MP3 player. With 6.8 million sales, it most likely is still the most popular MP3/MP4 player on the market.
Mac sales fell short of analysts expectations and only managed 4 million units. This is a bit interesting as it was a quarter containing a major model upgrade--the MacBook Pro with Retina display. Supply levels have been limited, however, and this is likely the cause of these lower sales numbers.
Netflix have just announced their new chief marketing officer, Kelly Bennett. Bennett previous held a position as an executive over at Warner Bros. Netflix have just shuffled the CMO position after six months, after Leslie Kilgore left.
Kilgore sat on the CMO throne for over 12 years, and stepped down from the position just this past January. Bennett enjoyed nearly a decade over at Warner Bros. where he worked at the pictures group, where he was VP of Interactive, Worldwide Marketing. He led international online campaigns for Warner Bros. movies.
Before that gig, he ran digital marketing for the studio in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. This means that Bennett could be just the thing to spice things up for Netflix not only in the US, but internationally.
AMD's gaming executive leaves, joins NVIDIA - he was the man behind AMD's home-run of having tech in all three next-gen consoles
All three next-gen consoles: Nintendo's Wii U, Microsoft's Xbox Next/720 (or whatever they end up calling it) and Sony's PlayStation 4 will all sport AMD GPUs, CPUs or APUs, or a mixture. This is thanks to Bob Feldstein, who up until just recently worked for AMD.
Feldstein has just changed his flag colors, from red, to green. He's joined the ranks of NVIDIA as their vice president of technology licensing at NVIDIA. His position at AMD was as their corporate vice president of business development, as well as leading the company's Botson Design Center, which focused on design engineering for various AMD chips.
Feldstein's work has been said to be instrumental in helping AMD grow into new markets, especially with their tech being in the three next-gen consoles. This means that Feldstein and his work has been a big reason as to how AMD won big contracts away from NVIDIA. NVIDIA spokesman Bob Sherbin said in a statement that Feldstein is "an experienced technology licensing person" and that NVIDIA hired him "to help us think through current and possible future technology licensing projects".
It looks as though the Proview settlement isn't just over, with the law firm who represented the company in its Chinese trademark case against Apple is suing the company.
Grandall law firm have filed a suit against Proview, where they're claiming its 4-percent commission from the $60 million settlement. Sina Tech are the ones who broke the news, and according to Proview's founder Yang Rongshan, who called Grandall's legal complaint "nonsense" and said that his company would refrain from "bickering" over the settlement.
Yang claims that Proview is not currently under "normal operations" and is therefore not obligated to prioritize the legal fees. Proview filed for bankruptcy protection back in 2009, and is said to have owed as much as $400 million to a number of creditors, including some of China's largest banks.
It looks like some internal cat fights between HTC and Beats have caused the partnership to go a little sour, with a company note to investors, HTC have announced that they've agreed to let Beats buy back 25-percent of its total shares from HTC. HTC have said:
HTC and Beats today announced a realignment of their business agreement that provides Beats with more flexibility for global expansion while maintaining HTC's major stake and commercial exclusivity in mobile.
Under the terms of the agreement, the founding members of Beats will buy back 25% of its total shares for a total of approximately 75% ownership, with HTC remaining the largest outside shareholder with approximately 25%.
Over the last year, HTC and Beats have made great progress in sound innovation, product integration and brand awareness with successes like the HTC One. HTC and Beats will continue to work closely, including a joint global marketing campaign later this year.
We should see how this fares for HTC in the coming months, they did just recently acquire streaming music service MOG.
Well, ain't this a big rumor! The water cooler has been hot over the weekend, with talks that storage giant Seagate would acquire OCZ. According to Fudzilla's "unnamed industry sources", Seagate could purchase OCZ and would be willing to pay over $308.5 million.
Considering that Seagate is worth $11 billion, it is but a drop in the ocean to purchase one of the best SSD makers in the business right now. If the deal were to go through, OCZ would continue as its own brand within Seagate, even possibly continuing to operate as a separate company.
Another buyer rumored to be eyeing OCZ is Micron. Since the rumor starting flying, OCZ's shares have had a very nice surge of around 22-percent, increasing their market cap by $68 million. We reached out to OCZ and had the following response regarding the rumor:
We can't comment on market rumors.
Microsoft have just released their Q4 2012 earnings report, where they had a record Q4 revenue of $18.06 billion, but took a hit with a net loss of $492 million for the past three months. This time last year, Microsoft were enjoying a net profit of $5.87 billion.
But, the net loss is due to the collapsed aQuantive deal, costing the Redmond-based company a hefty $6.2 billion. Microsoft is looking up, though, as Windows 8 is nearly here, and they know that it will be a great time for them in the next two quarters. A big part of that ballooned revenue is thanks to Microsoft's Business and Servers divisions, which saw growths of 7- and 13-percent, respectively.
The Entertainment and Devices division grew year-over-year thanks to Skype, and saw $1.78 billion of the total revenue thanks to their good work. Microsoft also released their year-end financials, with revenues up $3.76 billion from 2011. Even with the aQuantive arrow to the knee, Microsoft still managed to post a net income of $16.98 billion for the year.
US District Judge Lucy Koh of the Northern District of California ordered Apple CEO Tim Cook, as well as the top-ranking Samsung executives Choi Gee-sung and Shin Jong-kyun on July 16, where they met in the US to discuss putting an end to the on-going patent lawsuits that are being fought across the world.
The US jury trial was scheduled for July 30, but The Korea Times reports that the two technology leaders met early. This is the second time in two months that they've met, with Samsung Electronics' COO Lee Jay-yong also reported to have scheduled talks with Cook while the Apple CEO was attending the Sun Valley Media Conference between July 10 to July 14.
Where it gets more interesting, is that an 'unnamed Samsung official' told the Korean news website that Samsung placed an added importance on the meeting as they were "very important business partners", in which they very much are. This is thanks to large orders for processors, LCDs and memory components that are using in Apple's iDevices. Samsung provided a whopping $7.8 billion in parts for Apple devices in 2012, meaning that Apple is Samsung's largest customer.
Both companies are headed back to the court halls in California in just over a week, meaning we should know what the second round of talks means for not only the companies, but us, the mere mortal consumers.
Nokia gets kicked in the guts this quarter, $1 billion operating loss, just 600k Lumia phones sold in the US
Nokia posted their financial results for Q2 2012, where they're reported a $1 billion operating loss on $9.21 billion in net sales. It's not as bad as it good be, but it's not great business, either. Analysts expected Nokia to have sold 4 million Windows Phone-based Lumia phones in Q2.
4 million sold would've been roughly double the sales from the previous quarter, which is what they achieved, but they didn't see great success in the US. Nokia sold just 600,000 Lumia's in the US over the quarter. Nokia managed to sell 10.2 million smartphones in the quarter, down 14-percent from last year.
Feature phone Q2 volumes increased 4-percent quarter-on quarter, and year-on-year to reach 73 million units. Nokia ended Q2 with gross cash of $11.6 billion, and net cash of $5.2 billion. Share prices aren't doing well, where they continue to decline, and the company was forced to announce they'd be getting rid of 10,000 more employees by the end of 2013, as well as closing more facilities.
Apple has to publish notice on their website, and magazines, that Samsung didn't copy iPad in the U.K.
We all know the on-going patent war between Samsung and Apple is keeping the entire industry talking, but this latest news is just icing on the cake for Samsung. Apple has been ordered by a judge to publish a notice on its U.K.-based website, as well as British newspapers notifying people that the ruling stated that Samsung didn't copy iPad designs.
This notice is said to outline the July 9 London court decision that Samsung's Galaxy tablets didn't infringe on Apple's registered iPad designs, Just Colin Birss said yesterday. Birss added that this notice should be posted on Apple's U.K. homepage for six months, as well as having it published in several newspapers and magazines to correct any impression that Samsung copied Apple's iPad. Richard Hacon, a lawyer for Apple told the court that this order means Apple will have to publish "an advertisement" for Samsung, and that "no company likes to refer to a rival on its website".
If anyone sees an advertisement or notice in a British newspaper, please do drop us an e-mail!
Foxconn are set to expand into Indonesia, where the company plans to built a new $1 billion facility. The move will create 1 million new jobs in the region, where the average monthly wage is just $100 per month. The company is discussing plans with the Indonesian Ministry of Industry.
Foxconn already have manufacturing plants in Brazil, and more famously, China, where they assemble electronic goods for some of the world's biggest technology companies, such as Apple. Foxconn said in a statement that the company was attracted to Indonesia over Malaysia and Vietnam due to its high rate of economic growth, of around 6-percent per year. It has also been noted that the region is "sorely in need" of formal jobs.
A Foxconn representative said in a statement:
We are looking forward to establish a new manufacturing plant in Indonesia, although nothing is finalised yet. This will help us in manufacturing good quality products and make them available in the markets at lower prices. With this, Indonesians will also get better employment opportunities. We will continue our efforts in establishing more manufacturing plants across the globe.