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BlackBerry Ltd. is about to go onto the chopping block and at the last minute it seems that three powerful sources are joining up to make a bid for the struggling Canadian phone maker.
Co-founders of Resarch in Motion, Mike Lazaridis and Doug Fredin are reportedly in talks to make a joint big with Qualcomm and Cerberus Capital Management LP. If this does happen, it could quickly shift the mobile landscape and introduce a strong new competitor for Google and Apple. Qualcomm has loads of cash ready to spend, with $11.5 billion ready, liquid investments and short-term securities as of June 30.
Qualcomm purchasing BlackBerry would be quite the blow to Samsung and Google, who feature Qualcomm-made SoCs in most of their Android-based smartphones and tablets.
Sony has been experiencing a recipe of disaster over the last few years, seeing its TV business all but bow to Samsung, its various movie flops, camera sales drop and its PC business not doing so well.
But... it's smartphone business has seen a 39% increase in sales, thanks to consumers who would usually buy high-end HTC handsets scooping up Xperia handsets instead. Sony is seeing some great sales in its Xperia Z1, which is the only smartphone in Sony's arsenal that can even begin to compete with the mammoth sales of Samsung's Galaxy range of devices.
The next thing Sony has to do is break out into the lucrative US market, which is mainly dominated by Apple and Samsung right now. But, with BlackBerry all but done, HTC continuing to lose its grip, it might be high time that Sony makes its move.
That that Q3 has come and gone, we can look back at smartphone market share and see just how well the current players are doing. Android takes a huge 81.3% of the pie, leaving Apple just 13.4% and the rest of the players a skimp 5.3% to split between themselves.
Comparing this with the same quarter of 2012, Android saw 75% and Apple enjoyed 15.6%. This means that Android has climbed 6.1% while Apple has lost 2.2%, something that should have people wondering what is going on. The numbers are courtesy of Strategy Analytics. Google should continue to claw at that smartphone market share with phones like the Galaxy S4, Note 3 and just-announced Nexus 5.
The IDC has posted up its Q3 tablet market share estimates, where it sees that Apple is sliding once more, with Android-powered slates taking most of its market share away.
Samsung claimed 20.4% of shipments, but ASUS is the surprise jumping from just 4.5% tablet market share last quarter to 7.4% this quarter. Year-over-year gains were also big, but Acer and Lenovo are making strides, too. ASUS were behind the refreshed Nexus 7, which we loved. This time last year Apple was enjoying nearly 40% of the tablet market share, but have slipped to below 30% this quarter.
The next few months should change, with the dominant refreshed and awesomely-priced Nexus 7, but the refreshed iPad, iPad mini, Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2 slates, among others, arriving on consumers' doorsteps.
Facebook has just released its third quarter financial report, and even though its growth slowed, the company's revenue increased. Wall Street analyst predicted earlier that the Facebook would report a revenue of $1.91 billion with an estimated earnings of $0.19 per share, but the social network managed to best those estimates.
Facebook has reported that during the third quarter of 2013 it earned a revenue of $2.02 billion with a per share earnings of $0.25, much higher than analyst had predicted. 41-percent of that $2.02 billion was generated from mobile which is up 10-percent over Q2 2013. Daily active users on the site rose to 728 million which is up from the 699 million Facebook reported last quarter. Monthly active users hit the 1.19 billion mark which is also up from the last quarter.
"We've made good progress growing our community, deepening engagement and delivering strong financial results, especially on mobile," CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in a statement. "The work we've done to make mobile the best Facebook experience is showing good results and provides us with a solid foundation for the future." This quarter that number grew to 49 percent."
The day has come for Dell, which is now a private company. Starting today, Dell has just two shareholders: Michael Dell and Silver Lake Partners. Michael Dell has been attempting to shift his company from being on the share market to a private company for nearly the whole of 2013, with his day of reckoning now here.
After 25 years of being a publicly traded company, it'll be nice to see where Dell goes from here. From here on out, it won't have to worry about impressing shareholders, it can hopefully do some impressive, bold moves to stand out in the industry once again. Michael Dell has already said we can expect a bunch of new tablets from the company.
One of these is the Intel Bay Trail-powered, Windows 8.1-featured Dell Venue 8 Pro, which is priced quite competitively at $299 and is available now for pre-order.
This afternoon, the Wall Street Journal has reported that last week BlackBerry executives met with officials from Facebook in order to gauge interest in a potential acquisition bid for the Canadian smartphone maker. The details are unclear at the moment, and no one is really clear if Facebook is serious about buying the failing company or not.
With BlackBerry jockeying for a sale by the end of November, Facebook could stand to buy the company at a very good price and turn it around into a Facebook branded smartphone manufacturer. Mark Zuckerberg has expressed on many occasions that the key to the social network's continued success is to get it onto as many smartphones as possible. What better way to do that than to own a smartphone company?
When Microsoft announced that it would be acquiring the Finnish smartphone manufacturer Nokia, many analyst asked why Redmond would buy a company that some saw as a slowly dying giant. Today Nokia released their third quarter financial results, and it appears that the landscape has changed for Nokia and Microsoft.
During the last quarter Nokia managed to sell 14.7 million phones, of which 8.8 million were Lumia devices running Microsoft's Windows Phone operating system. During the second quarter of 2013, Nokia only managed to push out 11.7 million phones total which means that 3 million more phones went out the door in Q3. Virtually all of the company's sales growth came from North America, which means that Microsoft stands to do well in 2014 with its new smartphone division if they can keep the momentum up.Additionally, operating profits were at $162 million on a total revenue of $7.8 billion.
If there's a company capable of making a tremendous return, stomping its foot down firmly into the ground to claim victory, it's AMD. The chipmaker has finally returned to profitability after numerous years of bad results.
AMD posted a Q3 revenue of $1.46 billion, representing a 15% year-over-year increase, and a net income of $48 million - or 4c per share. Moving onto the non-GAAP basis, AMD posted a net income of $31 million, with this figure including $22 million in restructuring charges. If AMD didn't have to take that restructuring charge, it would've enjoyed earnings of 6c per share.
The 'experts' over on Wall Street expected the company to report Q3 earnings of 2c per share on revenue of $1.41 billion. AMD CEO, Rory Read, said that the company's turnaround is part of its strategic transformation it talked about years ago: "We achieved 26 percent sequential revenue growth driven by our semi-custom business and remain committed to generating approximately 50 percent of revenue from high-growth markets over the next two years. Developing industry-leading technology remains at our core, and we are in the middle of a multi-year journey to redefine AMD as a leader across a more diverse set of growth markets."
At the time of writing, AMD's shares were down 0.6% to $3.32 a piece.
This afternoon, Apple made its earnings report for quarter 4 2013 public and while things look good for Apple, gross margins are down year over year. During its earnings call to investors, Apple said that it managed to earn $7.5 billion in profit on $37.5 billion in revenue.
Year over year, revenue is up about $1.5 billion, but the company saw its margin slip from 40-percent to 37-percent. The Cupertino based company also announced that i managed to sell 33.8 million iPhones during the quarter, which was undoubtedly bolstered thanks to the iPhone 5S and 5C being released last month. iPad sales remained stagnant with about 14 million being sold in Q4. Apple said that it's Mac devices managed $5.62 billion in revenue with 4.6 million devices being sold.