Late last year, Western Digital announced its huge $19 billion acquisition of SanDisk, with the company receiving its final regulatory approval today. Once it's complete, WD will become even bigger in the storage industry.
WD acquiring SanDisk will allow the company to have a strong position in the continuously growing NAND storage market, in a time where the demand for mechanical HDDs is falling. SanDisk is the third-largest producer of NAND flash in the world, behind industry giants like Toshiba and Samsung.
SanDisk's President and CEO, Sanjay Mehrotra, said: "We are pleased that the final regulatory approval has been received and we can now proceed with the planned combination with Western Digital. We thank our stakeholders for their support of this transaction and look forward to contributing to the success of Western Digital as it transforms into the leading storage solutions company".
While Google Glass looks to have stalled, Sony looks to be moving forward with wearable eye-tech by registering a patent for some very interesting contact lenses.
According to Futurism, Sony's patent includes the "ability to record and playback images, store them internally, and even autofocus." It's not currently known how far the company has gone into creating real-world applications for such tech (I'd bet not much), but the patent refers to some cutting edge technology such as piezoelectric sensors and tiny electromagnetic induction so I wouldn't expect to see these available to purchase for quite a few years to come. But with tech like this, maybe the future won't be so bad after all.
Twitter's stocks dropped to $13.90 this morning according to Bloomberg, an all-time low since the company's public inception three years ago. It rose slightly to $13.99 later in the day, putting its market cap at $9.7 billion: a significant drop versus last week's $14 billion, which was estimated prior to the release of the company's quarterly results. As of press time, they sit at $14.08.
Things haven't been going well for Twitter lately, between a recent smattering of executive departures and a trend of dropping stock values. Months ago, The New Yorker went so far as to say the end is near for the social media service, while USA Today stated about the same time that it could go on for hundreds of years due in part to its $3 billion cash reserves. We're inclined to think the truth is somewhere in between.
Vivendi has just purchased a larger stake in Ubisoft, where until now they had a 10% stake in Ubisoft, but have recently purchased more - now holding 17.73% of Ubisoft's capital, and 15.66% of voting shares.
The company filed documents this week which were reported on by Reuters, with the company saying that it had "no plans" to try and push for an Ubisoft takeover, nor would it make an offer for Ubisoft's outstanding shares. Rewinding back to 2015, Vivendi increased its hold on Ubisoft from 6.6% to 10%, which Ubisoft said was "unsolicited and unwelcome".
Ubisoft has since met with investors and the Canadian government to "fight to preserve our independence". Vivendi used to own Activision Blizzard, but sold its majority stake in 2012, and then fully in 2013. It still owns around 12% of the company in 2013, and now it has less than 6%.
Wealthy investor Carl Icahn, has pulled his entire investment out of Apple stock. With Icahn being one of Apple's biggest backers, claiming multiple times that Apple stock was undervalued, and offers more to investors than meets the eye - well, Icahn has pulled his stock and it's making headlines.
Just a month ago, Apple stock was trading at $110, and now it's sitting at $93.74 at the time of writing. How much did Icahn hold in Apple stock? Well, he owned around 0.83% of Apple stock - which is a huge portion of stock for a single investor, which was valued at an insane $4.5 billion. Late last year, Icahn sold around $700 million worth of shares, but this time it was a much bigger chunk.
The reason Icahn sold his Apple stock? Apple is facing issues in China, which are struggling to create devices for the middle class - you know, the people who can't afford $1000 smartphones. This is why Apple has shifted into devices like the iPhone SE, but it hasn't been enough. Apple recently reported that their revenue decreased for the first time in 13 years, due to falling iPhone demand across the world.
While the entire gaming market has shifted to mobile and consoles in terms of AAA game development, the PC is still a powerhouse when it comes to profits.
According to Newzoo's latest Global Games Market Report, we have the latest sales numbers on mobile, PC and console gaming. PC gaming is more profitable than console gaming, but mobile gaming blows them both away. Newzoo's Global Games Market Forecast Model projects gamer numbers and revenues per segment, region and screen on a global, regional, and country level. The report also shows the share of paying gamers and average spend in the same granularity.
The company explains in the report: "These projections are analyzed in various ways, comparing year-on-year growth rates, market share, CAGRs and absolute amounts in USD between the regions and segments, as well as the development of specific regions or segments in time. These projections are compared to available third-party sources on a local or global level. Given the pace of the developments in the games industry, Newzoo reviews its conclusions and assumptions every quarter, taking into account newly available data and insights. Before publication of any data, Newzoo also performs validation checks in various ways including comparison against historic internal data, comparison against market figures from alternative sources and validation from several Newzoo clients".
Valve has officially teamed with Bitpay, introducing support for Bitcoin as a payment method on Steam. Gamers can now use digital currency to purchase games and more through Steam, which is pretty damn cool.
Rory Desmond, Director of Business Development, North America and APAC, explained on the official website: "Today we're announcing a new payment integration with software and gaming giant Valve which will bring bitcoin payments to Steam gamers worldwide".
Gamers and PC enthusiasts have long thought of Intel as a PC company thanks in part to sheer longevity, and of course its technically excellent processors. But as the PC market under-performs, Intel is now looking at itself in a new light, one that focuses more on other technology sectors.
The company's chief executive Brian Krzanich made it crystal clear for the first time this week that it's transforming itself "from a PC company to a company that powers the cloud and billions of smart, connected computing devices." Which is only logical, given 40 percent of its revenue and 60 percent of its profit margin now come from sources other than the PC space.
Email privacy had always been a point of contention in nearly all circles. It wasn't until quite recently that most cloud providers started encrypting your messages while just sitting in your inbox, and requests for your email data have been made without search warrants under other executive order authority as well as under the auspices of the older law, the Electronic Communications Privacy Act.
The Email Privacy Act was just passed by the US House of Representatives that would require the use of a warrant when looking at emails, even those that are 180 days or older. This new bill is a much needed update to the Electronic Communications Privacy Act, which required only a more simple subpoena to find older emails. This bill subsequently closes that loophole. This bill may be response to the recent lawsuit from Microsoft regarding the older ECPA, who argue that it violates the Constitution.
Just as with before, the government is not required, and won't, notify you if they're rummaging through your emails though some providers have taken it upon themselves to notify users if they're the subject of an investigation. This bill, however, still has to pass through the Senate, and then be rectified by the President, but with the momentum it already has, it very well could be a much needed update to privacy that doesn't get hung up for political reasons.
After taking 13 years of dominance in their quarterly results, Apple has just reported its fiscal Q2 2016 results, reporting a 16% decline in iPhone sales when compared to the same period of last year.
Apple still pulled $50.6 billion in revenue for the three-month period, down 13% from the $58 billion in the same quarter of 2015. The company did warn the decline was on the way, with company CEO Tim Cook saying that the iPhone 6S upgrades were outpacing those when the iPhone 5S launched.
Even with the decent sales, it wasn't enough to match the "accelerated" upgrade cycle it saw with the iPhone 6 in 2014. Two other major sources of iPhone customers are people switching from Android, and first-time smartphone owners. When it comes to this, Cook says that iPhone business is good. In the last six months, Apple has had more people switching over to iPhones more than any other 6-month period, ever.