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Today, Google and the FTC have finally settled a case in which the giant was accused of attempting to ward off competition with its acquisition of Motorola Mobility. The FTC says that following a public comment period, it has approved a modified final order that requires Google to abide by its commitments to license its standard-essential patents on fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory terms.
These Essential Patents are the ones that are based around the technology needed to create smartphones, tablets, laptops, and gaming consoles. These were the areas in which it says Google was attempting to block licensing of its patents on. The commission's vote was 2-1-1, with commissioner Maureen K. Ohlhausen voting no and Commissioner Joshua D. Wright recused.
From the FTC Release:
After considering the 25 public comments that were submitted, the FTC made technical modifications to several provisions in the Order, including those pertaining to the arbitration process established to resolve disputes over FRAND terms. In a letter sent to the commenters, the agency also provided further explanation for the basis and the rationale behind several other provisions in the Google-MMI Order.
Newegg has been denied Motion to Compel Discovery from patent troll, says it will seek further review
Any of my regular readers know that I absolutely, positively, 100 percent hate patent trolls. They do nothing to further innovation and quite frankly, they hurt the US economy more than anything else. Today, Newegg informed us of updates in a pending patent infringement case in which they have been battling a lawsuit filled by the notorious patent troll TQP Development, LLC.
Based in East Texas, TQP has filed hundreds of lawsuits against pretty much every kind of business imaginable over patent infringement. In the case against Newegg, TQP says that Newegg has violated its patent on encryption used on eCommerce websites. Newegg filed a Motion to Compel Discovery of TQP's communications with its patent monetization firm IP Navigation Group, which is associated with yet another patent troll, Erich Spangenberg.
Magistrate Judge Payne of the Eastern District of Texas denied Newegg's Motion on July 23, and said that the communication between TQP and IP Navigation was privileged as "work product" and were to be treated as mental impressions and notes created during litigation. This ruling came even though TQP never argued that its privilege applied to any of its briefs. Additionally, the judge ordered Newegg to pay 50 percent of TQP's reasonable costs and legal fees that occurred as a result of the motion filed by Newegg.
Yesterday, Electronic Arts released its quarterly financial results, and along with that release was a small announcement that during the previous quarter, Apple had became EA's biggest retail partner. The company said that games being sold through the App Store are earning the company more than any other retail outlet. That is pretty big news when you consider that their games are sold on Origin, Steam, and even in Walmart and GameStop.
"Our quarter was notable was for its strong digital sales," EA chief operating officer Peter Moore said in a conference call with investors. "To that end, Apple was EA's biggest retail partner as measured by sales. That is a first." Apple says that EA was the number one global publisher of games in the App Store for the June quarter as well.
Just how are South Korean electronics giant LG faring this year? Well, their Q2 2013 earnings report is out, pointing to profits dropping $139 million compared year-over-year for the same quarter.
LG did ship a record 12.1 million smartphones in the quarter, with an operating profit for their mobile division not doing as well as last quarter. But, it did grow year-over-year to 54.37 million with LG hoping that smartphones like the Optimus L II, Optimus F and the upcoming flagship G2 to continue their record sales.
TV revenue dropped year-over-year, with the South Korean company blaming lower demand and increased competition in the TV space. But we have noticed that Ultra HD and OLED TVs are coming, which should either have an overall positive, or negative effect on LG going into the second half of 2013.
We posted earlier about Apple's record iPhone sales for Q3, among their strong earnings, but iTunes' revenue was also strong. Year-over-year revenue is 25% higher, at $3.9 billion for Apple's Q3 2013.
Last quarter, iTunes pulled in a record $4.1 billion in revenue, so they've seen a slight slump in sales. Maybe this is because streaming services like Spotify are slowly but surely chomping into Apple's digital sales through iTunes? Apple CFO, Peter Oppenheimer, has said that over 1 billion TV episodes have been downloaded since iTunes opened its digital doors to the public.
Each day, iTunes pushes out over 800,000 TV shows and 350,000 movies. Apple are definitely enjoying good times with iTunes, but are those good times coming to an end, slowly? We'll find out over the coming months.
Following both Apple and EA games, AT&T posted their Q2 2013 financial report today with stronger numbers over the same quarter a year ago. During the second quarter, AT&T saw $32.1 billion in total revenue, which is looking pretty good when compared to the same quarter in 2012 in which the company posted $26 billion. Net income for the second quarter totaled $3.8 billion, which amounted to about $0.71 per diluted share.
"This was a solid quarter for revenue and customer additions across our key growth platforms," said Randall Stephenson, AT&T chairman and CEO. "Our 4G LTE network is the fastest and the most reliable in the nation, and deployment is ahead of schedule. That contributed to a step-up in postpaid subscriber gains, and strong mobile data revenue growth of nearly 20 percent. Growth in U-verse and strategic business services also continued to be strong - adding to our momentum."
Today, Apple announced its financial results for the third quarter of 2013. The report says that Apple managed to post a revenue of $35.3 billion with a net profit of $6.9 billion, which equates to $7.47 per diluted share. This means that Apple's profit is down by nearly $2 billion over the same quarter in 2012. The company said that international sales accounted for 57 percent of the quarter's revenue.
The Cupertino based company sold 31.2 million iPhones during the third quarter alongside 14.6 million iPads and 3.8 million Macs. Overall, only the iPhone sales were up as during the same quarter last year Apple managed to sell 17 million iPads and 4 million Macs. The company's Board of Directors declared a cash dividend of $3.05 per share of the company's common stock which will be payable on August 15, 2013 to all shareholders who own stock before the close of business on August 12, 2013.
"We are especially proud of our record June quarter iPhone sales of over 31 million and the strong growth in revenue from iTunes, Software and Services," said Tim Cook, Apple's CEO. "We are really excited about the upcoming releases of iOS 7 and OS X Mavericks, and we are laser-focused and working hard on some amazing new products that we will introduce in the fall and across 2014."
"We generated $7.8 billion in cash flow from operations during the quarter and are pleased to have returned $18.8 billion in cash to shareholders through dividends and share repurchases," added Peter Oppenheimer, Apple's CFO.
Electronic Arts post Q1 2014 financial report, things looking fairly solid for the game publishing giant
EA released its earnings report for Q1 of the fiscal year 2014 today, and the numbers are looking pretty good for the game publishing powerhouse. The company posted a total net revenue of $949 million, which was down about $6 million from the same quarter in 2012. EA said that their gross profit was up $5 million from the previous year at $755 million. Additionally, the company had total operating expenses of $522 million, which brought their net income to $222 million, up $1 million from Q1 of 2012.
"EA had a solid quarter driven by continued digital growth and disciplined cost management," said Executive Chairman Larry Probst. "We are also executing on a clear set of goals for leadership on mobile, PC, current and next generation consoles."
"EA delivered first quarter EPS above our guidance through a combination of revenue growth, phasing of expenses, and cost control," said Chief Financial Officer Blake Jorgensen. "We are reaffirming our annual non-GAAP guidance of $4 billion net revenue and $1.20 earnings per share."
We've seen PC sales stumbling, with so many parts of the machine being blamed - Windows 8, manufacturers, smartphones, the GFC, and more. But, it looks like Apple's Mac business has hit a little bit of a snag, too.
AppleInsider have some numbers from research firm NPD, which forecasts a 5% drop in Mac sales for Q2 2013. The same data has Piper Jaffray analyst, Gene Munster, saying that Mac sales dropped around 5% in the US, and 5% across the world compared to the same quarter of 2012. June was a bad month for Apple, where Mac sales dropped by a staggering 12%.
If NPD's data is correct, this is the third consecutive quarter in a row for stumbling Mac sales. In Q1 2013, Apple saw a 1.7% year-over-year decline in sales, and in Q4 2012, Apple saw a 21% reduction in Mac shipments.
Newlyweds to begin 'Life on Bitcoin' documentary, will live on the digital currency exclusively for three months in the US
I still haven't gotten into Bitcoin myself, mainly because I live in a country that is behind in technology: Australia. But, a couple will be living in Utah after spending ten days on a tropical honeymoon in Costa Rica, purely on Bitcoin.
It's a tough challenge, a pure 90-day challenge dubbed "Married... With Bitcoin." Austin Craig and Beccy Bingham have a tough road ahead of them, with Craig saying to Forbes during an interview: "The goal is to find out how developed the Bitcoin ecosystem is, what needs to change, and how easy it is to use, understand, and explain."
The three-month challenge is being documented in a number of ways - Facebook, Twitter, blogging and YouTube clips as well as a documentary called "Life on Bitcoin." They announced their plans last month on crowdfunding site Kickstarter, where they raised over $72,000 as well as 82 Bitcoins, which are valued at the current valuation of $7,000 or so.