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Even with the release of two flagship smartphones, Samsung is expecting its operating profits to be down this quarter. The company expected to make $6.3 billion for the three-month period, but will most likely end up wrapping up the quarter with $6.1 billion instead.
This is a 4.2% drop to the same period of 2014, but it represents the seventh straight quarter in a row that Samsung has had profit drops, where it is finding it hard to compete against Apple in the high-end market, and Chinese rival Xiaomi in the low and mid-range markets. The Galaxy S6 was meant to represent a big change for Samsung, and while the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 edge were received well by reviewers and consumers, it doesn't look like it was enough to pull Samsung's profits up.
Samsung expected the normal Galaxy S6 to sell four-to-one units compared to the S6 edge, but the S6 edge ended up being the most-wanted out of the two, leading Samsung into shortages. Before it could produce more handsets, stock shortages started happening, which led to Samsung losing many more sales than it could've had. Now the company has more S6 units on hand than it wanted, and can't get them out of the door quick enough, leading the company with the possibility of reducing the price on the S6 to boost sales.
AMD has launched its new first flagship video card in nearly two years, the Radeon R9 Fury X, and even still it's looking down the barrel of yet another quarter of disappointing financial results.
The chipmaker is expected to announce its Q2 results on July 16, with numbers that are said to be lower than even the worst estimates by analysts. AMD's Q2 sales have reportedly underperformed the worst estimates by analysts, and that investors are to expect revenue to be down 8% sequentially.
AMD's total revenue for Q1 was $1.03 billion, down 26.3% from the same period of 2014. If AMD's Q2 results are lower than this, in the $950 million mark, it would be a drop of around 34% from Q2 2014. Why? Well, according to AMD it's because of "weaker than expected consumer PC demand" but with AMD's dropping market share in the discrete GPU market, and NVIDIA securing a large chunk of it after it launched its GeForce GTX 980 late last year, I'd say it was the lack of any new products that saw sales slump, for AMD at least.
Rock band Duran Duran recently described streaming music sites as "the way forward" but it's up to services to find the right balance in monetary support. Of course, the group also recently received the Spotify Lifetime Achievement award during the O2 Silver Clef Awards.
"I think music streaming is the way forward for the future," said Nick Rhodes, Duran Duran keyboardist, in a statement published by the Irish Examiner. "There are a lot of great sites that provide an amazing service to the public, and it's brilliant that music can be accessed like that. They need to sort out the deals properly for all artists and then we'll all be happy."
You can find music from Duran Duran on Spotify and other streaming services.
The latest competitor in the streaming music market, Apple Music, publicly launched on June 30 - and received quite a bit of media attention. The streaming music service and the Beats 1 live radio station may not win over users from Spotify, but will give other music listeners another option - $9.99 per account, or $14.99 for a family plan.
It looks like the service won't be a source of major revenue, and is expected to amount to less than 1 percent - around $1.8 billion - towards Apple's revenue next year.
"Apple Music matters because music is fundamental to the mobile phone experience," Gene Munster, analyst at Piper Jaffra, in a statement published by CNET. "Interestingly, Apple Music will also be available on Android and Windows, which doesn't matter from a revenue standpoint, but could help Apple attract incremental iPhone buyers from competitive platforms."
Prince is only a fan of Jay-Z's Tidal music streaming, as his representatives have asked for his music to be removed from Spotify, Apple Music, and Rdio. It looks like Prince is trying to negotiate new rates for songs played, and streaming services will have to agree before they have access to his music again.
"Prince's publisher has asked all streaming services to remove his catalog," a notification on Prince's Spotify page reads. "We have cooperated with the request, and hope to bring his music back as soon as possible."
The official Prince music channel only has "Breakfast Can Wait" listed, as his team also has been quick to use Web Sheriff to remove music online. Prince has been vocal about artist compensation in regards to music streaming - and is the latest artist to speak out against services offering free listening tiers.
PayPal has just announced that it is acquiring Xoom, a San Francisco-based digital money transfer startup for a huge $890 million.
Xoom has transferred over $7 billion for its 1.3 million customers, and that's just over the last 12 months. Most of this business was done over mobile devices, and between friends and family, so you can see why PayPal would be interested in acquiring a company like Xoom. PayPal wants to see Xoom expand into other markets, with Mexico, India, the Philippines, China and Brazil.
Sony has already said that it wants to lead the smartphone camera sensor market, with the Japanese giant pulling out of most of its other markets, apart from camera sensors and the PlayStation brand.
Now the company is looking to push out new shares, with the new shares to raise the equivalent to 10% of what Sony is worth. With Sony worth around $40 billion, the company will be raising $4 billion, all of which it's going to invest in camera sensors. Sony said in a statement: "In addition to securing funds for active and concentrated investment in businesses that are driving growth. Sony ... aims to secure its ability to make future further investment".
Chief Portfolio Manager Common Assset Management, Takatoshi Itoshima, said: "It's positive that it is investing in the sensor business which is seen promising. But short-term investors may question the strength of its balance sheet, or wonder whether the company could've slashed more of its businesses before raising money from the market".
Rock band AC/DC is now embracing streaming music, allowing its music to be shared on Spotify, Apple Music, and Rdio. The popular band has sold more than 72 million albums in the United States, and apparently hasn't liked the idea of streaming music for quite some time.
AC/DC only started to allow its music to be sold on iTunes just three years ago, so digital change isn't something the band has been quick to embrace. Remember, Metallica, Led Zeppelin and the Beatles all managed to finally come to terms with iTunes - but AC/DC continued to avoid joining the digital revolution.
"When the latest thing comes along, everyone wants to be the first to jump in. But we were hesitant," said Angus Young, AC/DC guitarist, in a statement to the Wall Street Journal last year. "It was only later on that people said, hey, you were pretty clever. We were doing better because people were still buying the physical product."
Spotify offers a free membership and $9.99 per month subscription to its popular music service, but the No. 1 streaming service is effectively cannibalizing the industry, according to Rdio CEO Anthony Bay.
"The idea that giving it away for free leads more people to buy is flawed. You will convert a large number of people who would normally pay for something to the free service," Bay recently told CNBC.
Rdio has a free offer to stream radio stations, $3.99 stripped down tier, and $9.99 per month unlimited version as it offers radio and streaming stations. Unlike Spotify, music listeners don't control the music they listen to - but can purchase songs if they like it. However, Spotify is willing to be patient and wait for free users to upgrade to the paid subscription:
The public launch of Apple Music is just hours away, and it looks like Apple will once again carry the entire weight of the music industry. Years ago, the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) received help from iTunes at a time when music listeners were fully embracing illegal file sharing - and it seems like it could be up to Apple once again.
There is a new fight, one which the RIAA is struggling with, as more music listeners turn to online streaming services while listening to music. Millions of people use legal services such as Pandora, Spotify, Google Play Music, but don't pay.
After a free three-month trial period, users will be forced to pay $9.99 per month for Apple Music - or find a different service.