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Business, Financial & Legal Posts - Page 116

Apple continuing to falter, online customer satisfaction drops to lowest point in four years

A new survey of more than 24,000 customers shows that Apple's online customer satisfaction for the Thanksgiving and Christmas shopping season to be the lowest in the past four years. The study, conducted by Forsee, found that Apple scored 80/100, three points lower than 2011. Amazon, at the top spot, scored 88/100.


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The full study can be seen above. The rankings are based upon "appeal of merchandise, website functionality, and the quality of website content."

Apple CEO Tim Cook takes a major hit in compensation for 2012

Apple has released its executive compensation metrics today ahead of its annual shareholder meeting. The biggest surprise is Apple's CEO Tim Cook only received a mere $4.17 million for his services in 2012.


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To most $4.17 million seems like a lot, but when you compare it to his compensation the previous two years, $378 million in 2011, and $58 million in 2010, it looks rather small.


The major difference in compensation is stock options, which cook received in 2010 and 2011. $52 million in 2010 and $376 million in 2011 with no stock options being received in 2012. Most of those stock options are set to vest in 2014, 2016, and 2021 netting Cook a cool $750 million at today's market value. I think it is safe to say that he is not disappointed in his financial statement for 2012.

RumorTT: Apple's Mac mini to be the first US-built computer from Apple

Apple teased us a few weeks ago talking about bringing production of one of their products to the United States, but no one knew which exact product it would be.


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The latest report from DigiTimes seems to think that it will be the Mac mini. Apple have talked about investing over $100 million into bringing Mac production home, and now DigiTimes are reporting that Apple will run their new US-based production lines with the Mac mini.


Foxconn will still be heavily involved as they will be "responsible for handling establishment", according to DigiTimes' sources from the "upstream supply chain". Foxconn has around 15 operating bases within the US and will be looking for new employees when the new year rolls in for their new automated production lines.

EA's stunt backfires, removes real-world gun purchase links from Medal of Honor Warfighter website

With the tragic Newtown, Connecticut shooting just weeks ago, it looks like EA's grand plan of marketing has failed. When EA started their marketing for the latest Medal of Honor Warfighter game, on their website you could go a step further than most games, and buy guns within a few clicks of the MoH website.


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Alongside the weapons you could use in the game on the MoH website, were links to manufacturers who actually sold them. After the Newtown shootings, the Internet went on a stampede and called EA out, where the company were quick to reply that they'd forgotten of the links, sure.


The Warfighter website has been updated and one would think anything related to violence would be removed, but no - we find links to Zero Dark Thirty, the movie based around the SEAL raid on Osama bin Laden's compound. You know, the one where he was shot in the head with a gun.

Continue reading 'EA's stunt backfires, removes real-world gun purchase links from Medal of Honor Warfighter website' (full post)

Apple stock gets bashed over the holidays, at a new 10-month low

The days of $700-plus Apple Inc. (AAPL) stock seem to be well and truly over, but the iDevice maker has seen their stock getting bashed around for a couple of months now. In the last 24 hours, it has reached a new 10-month low of just $513 per share.


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Around six weeks ago we reported that it was dropping big time, and at that stage it had reached $558 - so we're another 10% or so down in the last six weeks alone. On December 14 we reported their stock dropping 4% based on poor iPhone 5 sales in China.


I've expressed my thoughts many times on this, and I don't think we're going to see Apple recover. They've released new devices in all categories, so now all they can do is try and excite the market with something new - but have they burnt bridges in their journey?

Marvell to pay $1.17 billion in damages over patents

Chip maker Marvell has been hit with a huge patent fine, with the company violating two patents that are held by Carnegie Mellon University, which has seen a Pittsburgh federal jury award the University $1,169,140,271 in damages.


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The two patents were issued in 2001 and 2002 and are in relation to techniques of using noise signals to more precisely record data sequences. With Marvell wanting to take on Intel in the huge enterprise data market with their ARM-based chips, this is a huge setback having to shell out over a billion dollars.


The jury also ruled that Marvell violated the patents in question internationally, which will allow Carnegie Mellon to ask the judge to triple the already huge $1.17 billion verdict. Of course, Marvell will appeal the ruling, and they'll most likely make a mess of the case as court records have already shown that the company have demanded a mistrial, with the reason behind this unknown.


You can go through the jury verdict right here if you wish.

25-year AMD veteran leaves, joins Samsung

AMD are already going through tough times, but a 25-year veteran has just jumped ship to Samsung. Michael Goddard's last title with the company was Corporate Vice President for Product Design Engineering and Chief Engineer on Client Products has left the company after a quarter of a century.


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He has been with AMD since 1988, and has changed jobs just this month according to his LinkedIn profile, where he has joined electronics giant Samsung as their Vice President and System Architect at their Austin, Texas-based facility.


In the last couple of months, AMD have seen some 26 executives leave the company - from the higher levels of power, all the way down the ranks. AMD sliced 15% of their workforce this fall and are expected to slash even more jobs when the new year arrives.

Samsung planning on selling half a billion phones in 2013

Samsung is quite the player in the mobile phone market, with an estimated 420 million devices shipped this year. Next year, it's looking to do even better by aiming to move a record 510 million mobile handsets. If Samsung manages this, they will further separate themselves from their bitter rival Apple.


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"Of the 510 million handsets it plans to sell, 390 million are slated as smartphones and 120 million, feature and budget phones," according to an executive from one of Samsung's key suppliers.


"There are some possibilities that smartphone demand will slow in general. But we are seeing new demand for devices using Long Term Evolution (LTE)," said Kim Hyun-joon, an executive at Samsung's telecommunications division.


Gartner had previously predicted that Samsung would sell between 250 million and 300 million smartphones next year.


"Samsung's proven ability to quickly produce and replace a wide range of handsets aimed at several different markets contrasts with Nokia's struggles and Apple's difficulties that are mainly related to parts sourcing problems," said Hwang Min-seong, an analyst at Samsung Securities.

Microsoft's next six retail stores get detailed, see if one will be coming to a mall near you

Microsoft has detailed the planned locations for the first six stores of 2013. The locations are across the United States, ranging from the east coast to the west. Microsoft says 2012 saw 51 stores opened, though that number includes numerous "popup" stores, which featured limited selection for the holidays.


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The next six stores will be located at the following places:


  • The Shops at La Cantera, San Antonio, Texas
  • Dadeland Mall, Miami, Fla.
  • Beachwood Place, Beachwood, Ohio
  • Westfield San Francisco Centre, San Francisco
  • City Creek Center, Salt Lake City
  • St. Louis Galleria, St. Louis


These six new permanent installations will bring Microsoft's store count to 37 across the US and Canada. For comparison, Apple has 250 retail locations in the US, with 140 internationally.

Samsung seeks U.S. sales ban on some Ericsson products

In the seemingly never ending patent wars, Samsung has announced that, last week, it filed a complaint against Ericsson to ban U.S. sales on some of Ericsson's products. This move comes a month after Ericsson sued Samsung in the U.S for patent infringement.


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The company said in a statement that "we have sought to negotiate with Ericsson in good faith. However, Ericsson has proven unwilling to continue such negotiations by making unreasonable claims, which it is now trying to enforce in court."


These recent developments come after 2 years of failed negotiations, and licensing agreements. Twenty-four patent's are involved in the litigation. Ericsson said "the dispute concerns both Ericsson's patented technology that is essential to several telecommunications and networking standards used by Samsung's products as well as other of Ericsson's patented inventions that are frequently implemented in wireless and consumer electronics products."

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