The possibility of a Twitter IPO has been talked about ever since Facebook filed their own last year. Some you might remember that earlier this month Twitter did indeed file to go public, but under the veil of secrecy thanks to the Jobs Act.
Today, thanks to a report from VentureBeat, we're learning just how much and where the company will file its IPO. In what analysts are describing as an attempt to stay as far away from Facebook as possible, Twitter will most likely go public on the New York Stock Exchange in an IPO valued at $1.5 billion.
That number is quite a bit lower than the $15 billion that some analysts expected, but nevertheless the company will reportedly offer 55 million shares that will sell for around $30 each. What is still uncertain is whether the Twitter IPO will flop like Facebook's did, or if the early investors will become wealthy overnight like those who invested in Google on day one.
When Microsoft first announced it was acquiring smartphone manufacturer Nokia, I knew there was something fishy about the deal. When ex-Microsoft exec and current Nokia CEO Stephen Elop was announced as the new head of Microsoft's Devices and Services division, things began to make sense.
Fast-forward to the announcement that Elop would receive over $25 million as part of a payout in which Microsoft would cover more than half of the cost to see the wheels really start turning in my head. Today, a new report from Forbes says that Nokia has admitted to providing misleading information regarding Elop's compensation.
The original statement issued by Nokia said that Elop's contract and compensation package was "essentially the same" as the company's previous CEO, but after some digging through SEC filings, it was made clear that the board had made fundamental changes in Elop's contract.
In what can only be part of Microsoft's master plan, Elop was entitled to immediate share price performance bonuses in the event of a "change of control" situation. This means that Elop would stand to earn a great deal of money if the company was acquired by someone such as Microsoft.
CNNMoney has called Riot Games the third best medium-sized business in the US. The League of Legends creator was donned with the 'award' from a global research and consulting firm called Great Place to Work.
Great Place to Work assembled its list of top businesses with less than 1,000 business, with candidates being chosen for their "unique cultures" and environments on the same level as CNNMoney's 100 Best Companies to Work For compilation. Riot Games employs 846 people, of which some were plucked at random to talk about Riot Games' culture and programs.
Riot Games' statement reads: "This process gave us the opportunity to share Riot culture and stories, but also gave us a chance to take cultural inventory of where we're at and where we still need to go."
Earlier this year amidst its growing financial troubles, BlackBerry announced its plans to sell off its two Dassault Falcon medium-range private jets. The two smaller jets would be replaced by a a long-range Bombardier Global Express Jet. The Bombardier would cost the company roughly $25 million at a time when the company was already struggling financially.
Fast-forward to the past week when BlackBerry announced that it would be leaving the consumer market space as it planned to lay off 4,500 employees. Today the once king of smartphones announced that it will be selling all three of its private jets, including the two Dassault's that it never managed to get rid of after the Bombardier arrived several months ago. Analysts are suggesting that all three jets could be worth a combined $50-65 million, but that depends on the planes condition, and current market value.
"Several years ago, the company bought two medium-range Dassault aircraft," BlackBerry said in a statement. "Earlier this year the company decided to sell both planes and replace them with one longer-range aircraft. The company considered several options and selected a used Bombardier aircraft, which was eventually delivered in July. In light of the company's current business condition, the company has decided to sell that aircraft along with the two legacy aircraft and will no longer own any planes."
HP and NVIDIA have announced a collaboration that has led to the two companies opening up a joint research facility in Grenoble, France. The new R&D facility that will help software vendors and developers solve high performance computing challenges by using the latest technology from both companies.
The new research and development lab is built around 10 HP Proliant SL250s, SL270s and ML350P Generation 8 servers, all which feature integrated NVIDIA Tesla GPUs. NVIDIA is calling this server CPU and GPU mashup "GPU Computing" and says that it improves performance by handing off compute-intensive task to the GPU while the rest of the code is passed through the CPU.
"The goal of the collaborative centre was to enable solution improvements and spur the adoption of HP systems based on NVIDIA Tesla GPUs for HPC," Philippe Trautmann, EMEA sales director HPC for HP. "HPC systems require huge amounts of compute resources to achieve their expected performance, as well as the expertise to integrate them."
Bloomberg Businessweek enjoyed an interview with Apple CEO Tim Cook last week, where Cook reiterated that he believes the tablet market will overpass the PC market within 2 years.
Cook said: "We're 24 months away from that" which isn't too far away at all. Cook also said that most of this growth in the tablet market in coming from PC makers who are making low-cost Android devices as a 'defensive maneuver.' Cook also used the time to talk smack about Android tablets, which is something he has done on more than one occasion.
Cook said: "I think if I bought [an Android tablet] and used it, and I thought that was a tablet experience, I'm not sure I would ever buy another tablet. The responsiveness isn't there. The basic touch is really off. The app experience is a stretched-out smartphone kind of experience. It's not an optimized experience."
We should expect Twitter to go public in the next couple of months, but according to a report on Reuters, the social networking site might push its IPO before Thanksgiving.
One source has told Reuters that Twitter could raise over $1 billion in its IPO, and while it may sound like a lot, it is less than 1% of Facebook's record-breaking IPO which smashed through $105 billion. We don't know what Twitter will do when it goes public, but we should expect the biggest Twitter apps to go under the knife and come out looking just a little different. Let's just hope this doesn't happen to Twitter, like it did Facebook.
BlackBerry is drowning, and has been for a while, but diving out of the consumer market because of a $1 billion loss on a single smartphone is a big move. What can help the Canadian phone maker now?
Well, co-founder of BlackBerry, Mike Lazaridis, who stepped down from his co-CEO role in 2012, has reportedly approached more than one private equity firm about putting in a bid for BlackBerry. This all comes from a report on The New York Times, who says that talks are simply preliminary right now. Lazaridis might not make an offer, but it would definitely put a big spin on the situation.
Big industry players like Huawei and Lenovo have reportedly been linked to business talks, but nothing is confirmed right now. We'll have more as it happens.
A collective of companies who support the Qi wireless charging standard joined forces to become the Wireless Power Consortium, but industry heavyweight Qualcomm stayed out of it until now.
Qualcomm has become a member of the Wireless Power Consortium, which includes over 170 companies who are behind the standard. Considering Qualcomm is a founding member of the WPC's competing wireless charging standard, Alliance for Wireless Power - or A4WP - which has just 60 members. Qualcomm is knee-deep in A4WP, so it's an interesting move to say the least.
Could Qualcomm be wanting to bring the two groups together? Qi seems the bigger of the two, with companies like HTC, Samsung, LG, Nokia, Sony and now Qualcomm all on board. We should see what Qualcomm were up to joining the WPC in the next couple of months.
BlackBerry is about to cut 4,500 staff from its books, which represents the 40% layoff numbers we heard a couple of days ago now. But the news gets worse: BlackBerry is leaving the consumer market.
This is something we've been expecting here at TweakTown, but the news is quite sudden. This all comes from the failure that is the BlackBerry Z10 smartphone, which has cost the Canadian phone maker $1 billion in losses in the last quarter alone. BlackBerry says it will take a "primarily non-cash, pre-tax charge against inventory and supply commitments in the second quarter of approximately $930 million to $960 million" due to the Z10.
In the second quarter of this year, BlackBerry shipped only 3.7 million smartphones, most of which were running BlackBerry 7, not the company's BB10 OS that ships on the Z10. BlackBerry didn't reveal how many BB10-based devices it sold in the quarter, which should give us a hint in where those numbers must lie.
Starting next year, the leading American television ratings company, Nielsen, will finally step into the digital age where they will count people watching TV on smart devices.
Nielsen will use a special set-top box that plugs into the televisions of its 10,000 volunteers across the United States, which will monitor what those 10,000 Americans watch. Until September 2014, Nielsen's count doesn't include anyone using digital devices to watch TV, this includes services such as Hulu.
Nielsen's Senior VP of Global Audience Measurement, Eric Solomon has said: "Networks are starving for a number they can publish that really represents their audience not just on TV but across all platforms. I think it will start changing the narrative that 'people are not watching TV shows.' It's that they're watching on different platforms."
You know that saying of eating your own words? It looks like Tim Cook is going to get very full, very soon. Apple CEO, Tim Cook, sat down with Bloomberg Businessweek, enjoying a joint interview with head of design, Jony Ive and software chief Craig Federighi.
One of the topics discussed was Microsoft's recent acquisition of Nokia's Devices and Services division, where Tim Cook said "everybody is trying to adopt Apple's strategy. We're not looking for external validation of our strategy, but I think it does suggest that there's a lot of copying, kind of, on the strategy and that people have recognized that importance."
Ironically, Cook says that everyone should have their eyes on Nokia, as he thinks that the company is the perfect example "to everyone in business that you have to keep innovating and that to not innovate is to die."
Nokia's Stephen Elop will receive a very nice paycheck as soon as the acquisition of Nokia is completed by Microsoft. Elop will reportedly cash in to the tune of $25.4 million as payout for stepping down as the CEO when Microsoft announced that it would be buying Nokia.
The pay will include cash and early vesting of stock awards with Nokia only being responsible for 30 percent of the value. Microsoft will be taking care the remaining 70 percent and will see Elop transfer over to Microsoft and head up its Devices and Services business when the deal closes. That is, however, if Elop is not chosen to fill Steve Ballmer's seat when he retires later this year.
A new report out today from the Wall Street Journal suggest that BlackBerry is in the midst of planning a massive layoffs the could see up to 40% of its workforce lose their jobs. This new report comes just hours after the company launched its new five-inch smartphone, the Z30.
The layoffs would reportedly come before the year's end , and would most likely finalized during the middle of the holiday season. The Wall Street Journal says that thousands of employees will likely lose their jobs in the cut, and that the layoffs will span across the entire company. BlackBerry seemingly confirmed the rumor when it told the Wall Street Journal, "Organizational moves will continue to occur to ensure we have the right people in the right roles to drive new opportunities in mobile computing."
Former executive VP of EA Sports, Andrew Wilson, has just stepped into the shoes of the company's CEO position. Wilson took to EA's official website, breaking the news himself, and took some time to discuss EA's future.
He said: "From my start at EA in Australia back in 2000, through stops in Asia, Europe and now North America, I've worked with people in this company who have consistently amazed and inspired me. It's my passion for our people and the great products we all impact that gives me such excitement for our future. I hope you all feel the same level of energy and optimism that I do as we embark on this journey together."
Wilson believes that the path EA is currently walking, is the right one, which includes exploring online gaming, digital revenue streams and continuing to make high-quality AAA games, such as Battlefield 4. One of his additional goals is to instill "a culture of execution that will drive profitable growth."
Early this morning just before Wall Street opened for trading, Microsoft announced that it would be buying back $40 billion of its own stock as well as increasing its quarterly dividend by 22 percent. This announcement comes on the heels of the company's previous $40 billion buyback program that will expire at the end of this month.
Microsoft said that its quarterly dividend will rise to $0.28 per share, which is up from the $0.23 per share it paid last quarter. Unlike the last buyback initiative, there is no expiration date for the new program, which means the buyback could take a while to complete. Shortly after the announcement, Microsoft stock opened about $0.60 per share higher than at closing on Monday at about $32.75 per share. At the time of this writing, it is down to about $33 per share, which is an increase of 0.7 percent over its closing numbers Monday, and is actually lower than what the stock closed at on Friday.
Today, the tech startup Bump announced that it has been acquired by Google in what industry analysts say is a deal worth between $30 million and $60 million. Bump was the first app that allowed users to "bump" their iPhones together to automagically transfer files from one phone to the other.
The original app has been downloaded over 100 million times. In the years, the company has expanded to feature a group photo sharing app called Flock. While the price tag of $30 million seems to be a home run for the company, it had already raised about $20 million from backers including Sequoia Capital, making the deal not so sweet.
"Bump and Flock will continue to work as they always have for now," Bump CEO David Lieb wrote in a blog post today. With the company now being owned by Google, it leaves many industry insiders to believe that we will see deep integration of Bump's IP into Android 5.0
"The Bump team has demonstrated a strong ability to quickly build and develop products that users love, and we think they'll be a great fit at Google," said a Google representative. Google declined to comment further on where it will integrate the Bump team at Google.
Mark Zuckerberg has once again reclaimed the number 20 spot on Forbes 400 Richest Americans list. He previously held the spot back in 2011 but fell to number 36 in 2012 after Facebook's IPO flopped. Zuckerberg is the founder and CEO of Facebook, the world's largest social network.
Last year, Zuckerberg's net worth was reported at $9.4 billion, but in the last year this figure has more than doubled with a newly reported net worth of $19 billion, which landed the number 20 spot on the Forbes list. This new wealth comes after Facebook stock has risen from an all time low of $17.55 in 2012 to an all time high of more than $45 per share last week.
Zuckerberg is among good company with Bill Gates taking the top spot at $72 billion, Jeff Bezos who is ranked number 12 with $27.1 million, and he pushes out Steve Ballmer who is now rated number 21 with a net worth of $18 billion. Other notables on the list include: Google's Larry page at $24.9 billion and his colleague Sergey Brin who is worth a mere $24.4 billion.
It looks like Samsung is putting down $500 million to build a new testing facility in Xi'an, an industrial city in Northwest China. The new facility will see packaging and testing done under its roof, and is the South Korean giants latest investment in a string of investments for its future in the last couple of months.
The new facility will be built in the same city that Samsung built a $7 billion chip plant in last year, on top of the $1.7 billion it spent in 2012 on improving its operations in the manufacturing hub Kunshan. All of these steps that Samsung has made are all part of a $41.4 billion capital expansion that Samsung started last year. The electronics giant has seen gigantic success in the mobile devices segment, and is now packed with cash.
The company is using its flow of cash to invest in its future, which we're constantly seeing. In its Chinese supply chain network, Samsung has over 250 manufacturers, which is definitely saying something. The new factory will begin construction in January next year, and should be finished by the end of 2014.
Microsoft isn't seeing game-changing success with its Windows Phone platform, but this might change in the years coming with its acquisition of Nokia's Device and Services division. In the meantime, the Redmond-based giant is enjoying a new milestone on its Windows Phone Store.
The Windows Phone Store now sees 9 million transactions per day, which is made up from a combination of app and in-app purchases. The news comes from WP Store General Manager, Todd Brix. If we extend it into per-month statistics, we're looking at around 270 million per month, which is an increase of 70 million more downloads per month when compared to the numbers in June. Things are about to change for the Windows Phone Store though.
You'll now start seeing more ads than you will see new ads, with Microsoft issuing unique device IDs to new advertising partners. These new UDIDs won't be linked to specific devices, and the company has said that it won't give out identifiable information. You can opt out of these targeted ads if you choose, by clicking here and having a poke around.
According to Netflix's Vice President of Content Acquisition, Kelly Merryman, the company partly determines which shows it should buy based on the popularity of such shows on file-sharing platforms, which should come as quite the shock.
The video streaming company sees itself as one of the biggest competitors to pirate sites, where Netflix offers a subscription-based model, and pirate sites offering it for free. But, while the pirate sites may offer it for free and make money from ads and other sources, Netflix uses these sites to gain information on which shows are popular, which helps them decide on which content they should acquire for their ever-growing base of customers.
This week, the video streaming giant rolled out its Netflix service to the Netherlands, with Merryman stating: "With the purchase of series, we look at what does well on piracy sites." Mellyman used Prison Break as a prime example, saying that Netflix acquired the rights to the Wentworth Miller starring prison drama because it is heavily pirated locally. Netflix CEO, Reed Hastings, even commented, saying that the company is aware that people download content without permission through pirate sites.
He does add though, that this isn't all bad, because it also creates business for Netflix: "Certainly there's some torrenting that goes on, and that's true around the world, but some of that just creates the demand. Netflix is so much easier than torrenting. You don't have to deal with files, you don't have to download them and move them around. You just click and watch ."