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Business, Financial & Legal Posts - Page 10

Apple: Just 21% of Apple Music testers have left the service so far

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Aug 21, 2015 5:25 pm

After reports that Apple Music members are jumping ship, Apple has issued a statement saying just 21 percent of users have stopped using the streaming music service.




The MusicWatch survey indicated around 48 percent of people testing the service are jumping ship. In its survey of 5,000 users, 28 percent are Spotify Premium members, 11 percent use Spotify free users, and six percent listen to ad-supported Pandora.


In late July, it was reported Apple Music had 10 million users - and Apple reported 11 million users in early August - are currently enjoying a free three-month trial of the new streaming service. Spotify has 20 million paid subscribers and about 55 million free users.

Continue reading 'Apple: Just 21% of Apple Music testers have left the service so far' (full post)

Samsung will begin making HBM early next year

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Aug 21, 2015 2:58 am

It looks like the High Bandwidth Memory game is about to receive a very big new player in the form of Samsung, with the South Korean electronics giant announcing at IDF 2015 that it will begin mass production of HBM early next year.




Right now HBM1 is limited to just 4GB and 512GB/sec, but HBM2 will be capable of driving far past 8GB and sitting at around 1TB/sec memory bandwidth. We should expect new video cards to feature up to 48GB of HBM2, with consumer cards most likely sitting at around 8-12GB of HBM2. With NVIDIA dominating the GPU market share with no signs of slowing down, next year is going to be one of the biggest for GPUs.


HBM2 is going to usher in more changes in the next 12-18 months than I think most people can even predict, especially when we begin seeing professional video cards (think video professionals, servers and the like) with GPUs packing 48GB of HBM2 with up to 1.5TB/sec of memory bandwidth. Even the fastest GeForce cards right now only feature 334GB/sec of memory bandwidth, while the HBM1-powered Fury X from AMD packing 512GB/sec bandwidth.

AMD continues to cut spending on R&D, down 40% in the last five years

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Aug 19, 2015 2:17 am

Riding back on the news that AMD has lost a considerable chunk of the discrete GPU market this quarter, this news of AMD spending less and less on research and development is not good to hear.




AMD shares dropped 13% last Monday without any new information or reasoning behind the huge dip in share prices, but it could be a result of NVIDIA's better than expected financials, or it could be the fact that AMD has lost more market share to NVIDIA, even after the release of its first next-gen GPU in nearly two years.


Furthermore, AMD has been scaling back R&D spending over the last five years, with Pacific Crest analyst Mike McConnell chiming in, with the following: "When I talk to investors about AMD, there's some concern - I mean, we've seen a decline by close to 40% versus levels we were at in the beginning of the decade". AMD CTO Mark Papermaster has said that the PC market is shrinking, and that AMD is putting less R&D effort into that part of the business.


Papermaster said: "So it is on that next generation of CPUs starting with Zen. It is on successive generations of our graphics core next." With particular reference to its APU and GCN designs Papermaster boasted that a lot of investments have paid off in getting its APUs adopted for its game console wins. Furthermore the AMD CTO asserted that "we have a very strong roadmap for that Graphics Core Next IP going forward".

LG bets the farm on OLED displays, investing over $8.5 billion

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Aug 18, 2015 3:28 am

LG has just committed a rather large $8.5 billion into developing OLED technology over the next three years, where it wants to see OLED panels in everything from TVs to wearables.




The company has said that the investment is a goal for them to "pioneer this untapped OLED market" and to "keep the competitors at bay". The investment into OLED production will benefit LG in the long run, as the competition in the TV and display space against Samsung heats up over the next couple of years.

Australian Senate could force Google, Apple to declare tax payments

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Aug 17, 2015 1:28 am

In the next 24 hours, we're going to find out if Apple and Google will be forced to declare how much tax they pay in Australia annually, with the Australian Senate committee pushing in new recommendations.




These recommendations are lengthy, with 18 of them in total, including that all companies should annually disclose how much money they've made in Australia. Not only that, but how much tax they paid, tax deductions, and other government write-offs. One of the bigger points of these 18 recommendations, is naming and shaming companies that dodge tax.


Labor senator Sam Dastyari said that one of the key issues was transparency, adding that every dollar avoided "is a dollar that's not going to a hospital, a school or an institution of welfare that's needed in this country. Right now, the laws as they currently stand mean that Australia's worst tax offenders are able to hide behind privacy provisions. It's time we named them, and we shamed them and it's time that we actually gave the Australian public an opportunity to know who these companies are, to know the practices they're engaging in, to not allow them to hide behind what currently exists as privacy provisions".

Continue reading 'Australian Senate could force Google, Apple to declare tax payments' (full post)

TSMC kicks off volume production of 16nm chips 'as expected'

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Aug 16, 2015 6:23 am

The time has come: TSMC has announced that its "16nm [chips] smoothly entered volume production as expected". The Taiwanese chipmaker told investors that it had started 16nm volume production after a report said that Apple was reducing the amount of orders it was sending TSMC's way.




Instead of Apple going to TSMC, the iPhone giant would instead send the orders to its largest rival; Samsung, as well as GlobalFoundries. The first production runs of the 16nm node will be for Apple's SoCs according to the latest rumors, while other companies are waiting in line. This includes NVIDIA, LG, Freescale Semiconductor, Avago, LG, and MediaTek. AMD is reportedly not on the list, but this could be wrong, with the company reportedly preparing its Zen CPU architecture, as well as its Arctic Islands GPU architecture that will be made on the 16nm process.


TSMC has also teased that it will soon begin ramping up "an enhanced version of 16nm chips, or 16 FinFET+ chips, in the third quarter and that production would reach a high volume in the same quarter". This is what NVIDIA is waiting for, especially for its gigantic and surely super-powered next-gen Pascal-based GP100 GPU. NVIDIA's GP100 chip is absolutely mammoth, with a rumored 17 billion transistors and up to 32GB of HBM2.

HTC announces 15% reduction of its global workforce

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Aug 14, 2015 1:35 am

It's not a secret that HTC is struggling right now, but the Taiwanese smartphone manufacturer has just announced that it will be culling 15% of its workforce after continued struggles with sales.




The company just released its Q2 results, with a forecast for Q3 that is even worse than the previous three months. Cher Wang, CEO of HTC, said: "Now, as we diversify beyond smartphones, we need a flexible and dynamic organization to ensure we can take advantage of all of the exciting opportunities in the connected lifestyle space".


Personally, I think HTC has a future in VR headsets if it can successfully launch and sell considerable units of its upcoming Vive headset, something it collaborated with Valve on. But, it's a risk, as anything is, and HTC isn't in the position for more continued losses.

StumbleUpon fails to secure funding, will cut 70% of its workforce

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Aug 12, 2015 8:10 am

StumbleUpon has failed to secure itself additional funding, which will see the company laying off 70% of its workforce, cutting numbers from 100 to around 30 employees.




Employees were reportedly made aware of the changes last week, with those that are looking at the door to be finishing up this week. The ones that are sticking around, are mostly sales and engineering, according to VentureBeat. Their source has said that it's hard for StumbleUpon to compete against the onslaught of social networks.

Report: $21.8 billion in lost ad revenue in 2015 due to ad blockers

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Aug 11, 2015 11:22 am

A new report from PageFair says that there has been a 41% spike in the use of ad blockers over the last 12 months, something that will cost the industry around $21.8 billion in lost advertising revenue in 2015 alone.




The report warns that ad-blocking software is a large threat to the future of free content on the web, with PageFair's 'The cost of ad blocking' study saying that close to 200 million monthly Internet users are now using ad-blocking browser extensions. The report continued, saying that sites targeting "young, technically savvy, or more male audiences" are the ones that are most effected when it comes to ad blockers.


In the United States, around 45 million monthly active users use ad-blocking software, but that pales in comparison to Europe's 77 million users. Greece tops them all with 36.7% of the Internet population using ad-blocking software of some sort. Co-founder and Chief Executive of PageFair, Sean Blanchfield said: "It is tragic that ad block users are inadvertently inflicting multi-billion dollar losses on the very websites they most enjoy. With ad blocking going mobile, there's an eminent threat that the business model that has supported the open web for two decades is going to collapse".

Google shaking things up, so please say hello to Alphabet

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Aug 10, 2015 9:38 pm

Google has filed paperwork with the Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) in its plan to rebrand the public holding company as Alphabet Inc. The decision was made as Google looks to create a new operating structure, but that doesn't mean Google's businesses will suddenly disappear.




Services such as its search, maps, apps, YouTube, ads and Android will be listed as "Google business" under Alphabet. However, the company has branched out into a number of other business ventures, which will be better organized under Alphabet.


Expect the changes to be rolled out over the next few months, as current Google investors should be able to receive a detailed outlook how each business is operating.

Continue reading 'Google shaking things up, so please say hello to Alphabet' (full post)

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