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The days for BlackBerry just keep getting darker and darker as sales and revenue continue to slump for the once king of smartphones. Today, the Wall Street Journal reported that BlackBerry had fired its vice president of US sales, Richard Piasentin, late last month and said that more layoffs are coming across middle management in the sales and support divisions.
This news comes shortly after CEO Thorsten Heins wooed shareholders at a meeting on Thursday which resulted in BlackBerry shares rising 3 percent just hours after the meeting was over. This new report of layoffs will stack on top of the 5000 BlackBerry workers let go during the previous fiscal year of 2012.
July 5 was the deadline for all bidding proposals to buy the content streaming service Hulu. The date was set by the Board of Directors after bids were received from everyone including Yahoo, AT&T and the Chernin Group in recent weeks. Today, we found out that both DirecTV and Time Warner Cable also submitted their bids before the deadline was up.
DirecTV apparently placed a bid to acquire the company as a whole, while Time Warner Cable reportedly offered up a proposal to become an investor alongside the service's current owners: Walt Disney Co., 21st Century Fox Inc., and Comcast.
No word on how much each bid was for, but with Yahoo's bid around $1.1 billion, we can assume that similar offers were in the same ballpark. It looks like Hulu will get purchased by someone, and let's all hope that the service actually improves over the current state it is in.
By now everyone on the planet has heard about Don Mattrick, the former Xbox chief at Microsoft, leaving the company to head up Zynga. A new report from Bloomberg is claiming that back in 2010, the then Xbox Executive tried to purchase Zynga when it was at the top of its game.
The report claims that back in 2010, Mattrick held negotiations with then Zynga CEO and founder Mark Pincus about Microsoft acquiring the company or even purchasing major titles like Farmville. The negotiations clearly fell through and here we are three years later with Mattrick now heading up the company he once tried to buy.
It's rumored that Mattrick left Microsoft because of the massive restructuring that is underway which will consolidate several departments into one, such as Windows Phone and Windows merging into a single entity. Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer has now taken over full control of the Xbox division and rumors are forming that point to that being a permanent thing.
It's no secret that Apple and Microsoft both want to become king of the content delivery world. With Apple pushing Apple TV and Microsoft building its next-gen console, the Xbox One, around the home theatre experience, it is very clear that the next few years will be all about who can capitalize on this new and emerging market.
This morning, it appears that Sony has plans to toss its own hat into the content delivery market with its upcoming Playstation 4. We are learning that Sony has officially re-trademarked a new brand named "Playstation TV." This could mean that the PS4 will have similar functionality to the Xbox One or it could mean that Sony is just scooping up anything related to its IP in the event that it wants to head down that road in the future.
Additionally, this trademark is nothing new as Sony has actually held it since 2006, but let it expire earlier this year. Whether or not the lapse in ownership was intentional is still up in the air, but we are sure that Sony is planning something along the lines of content delivery.
Shazam, the app known for its music tagging abilities, has received $40 million in funding from America Movil, the largest wireless carrier in the Americas. This funding will be used to make a bigger push into Latin America though partnerships and other initiatives.
Shazam is looking to partner with Latin American wireless companies to pre-install Shazam on the devices they sell. This will help gain new users and drive further use and engagement. Shazam boasts a user base of more than 350 million people and an active user count of 70 million.
Shazam chairman Andrew Fisher says that these numbers are due to a much faster app that allows users to quickly tag songs in a TV show or commercial. Shazam sees more than 10 million tags per day.
Samsung have just had a record quarter, where they're estimated to have pulled in their highest-ever revenue and profits for a quarter - estimated at $49.9 billion and $8.3 billion, respectively.
This huge profit from Samsung is a 47% year-on-year increase, and represents a 54% growth compared to last year. But, Reuters is reporting that investors were hoping to see profits closer to $8.89 billion, which means Samsung's early estimates are 6.4% below expectations. We should have the full earning results later this month, where everything will be laid out in front of us.
Reuters and Bloomberg are blaming the lower than expected profits on the "disappointing sales" of the Galaxy S4, which has sold over 20 million units in two months. But, this is coming at the expense of increased marketing costs and distribution channels weren't justified in investors' eyes as the S4 still couldn't compete with the iPhone 5 launch numbers.
Danny Bowman, former Sprint executive, has been scooped up by Samsung. Bowman has become the Chief Sales and Operations Officer at Samsung Telecommunications America, as of Tuesday.
Bowman will also be in charge of operator sales and operations, and will help out with Samsung's long-term strategic initiatives. Before landing the gig at Samsung, Bowman was an employee of Sprint for quite some time, and was one of several executives who Sprint let go early last year as part of the company's restructuring plan.
For the last three years in a row, iDevice maker Apple have been the world's most respected company according to Barron's list. But, this has come to an end, something that we saw coming last year.
The world's most respected company is now Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway, with Disney jumping into the number two position. This has forced Apple from first to third place, with Google and Coca-Cola taking out fourth and fifth place, respectively. Barron's list is made from a poll of professional money managers that has been conducted each year since 2005.
RumorTT: Apple changing things up at Apple Stores in order to prepare for 'an army of new products this fall'
Apple are poised to release some next-gen products later this year, where we should expect a new iPhone, iPad, iOS and more. But 9to5Mac is reporting that Apple CEO, Tim Cook, talked this week with retail employees in San Francisco about overhauling Apple's approach to selling iPhones in Apple stores.
The Apple CEO said that the company is "developing new incentives for both customers buying iPhones and the Apple Stores selling the phones." This includes the back-to-school promotion that "offers a $50 gift card to students purchasing an iPhone." The heads of retail that were at the meeting have told 9to5Mac that Apple are trying to boost their retail operations throughout the summer to prepare for the launch of "an army of new products this fall."
Samsung have just passed the 20 million unit mark with their Galaxy S4, and this dominance will continue with news arriving that the South Korean giant will invest more than $4.5 billion in five new R&D centers in South Korea.
The R&D centers will be built over the next three years, with a $1 billion research center to be opened in southern Seoul in late 2015. At this building, Samsung will hire some 10,000 employees which will focus their efforts on design. Samsung will also build new R&D centers that will work on materials and components, as well as chips and displays.
Just last year alone Samsung spent $10.5 billion on R&D, and compared to their R&D budget in 2011 of just $1.4 billion, there is absolutely no sign of Samsung's dominance slowing down.