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Let's face it, Apple has more money than they know what to do with. Before their stock buy-back program, they had right around $100 billion in cash. Apple already has the record for most profitable quarter among technology companies, so what is next for the giant? One analyst believes they could become the most profitable publicly traded companies.
"In CY12, we believe Apple is poised to generate the highest annual net income of any publicly traded company ever," White wrote. "On average, we estimate Apple's net income in CY12 will be over 6x higher than the three tech companies on an individual basis (when at a $500 billion market cap) or 1.9x the aggregate profit of these three companies combined. When including all five companies, we estimate Apple's net income in CY12 will be 4x higher than the average."
So why the huge increase in value? White is citing a new iPhone with a 4" screen launching in the third quarter, an "iPad mini" that is set to launch sometime in September, and an upcoming HDTV made by Apple. White has confirmed his buy recommendation along with a price target $1,111, which is about double the current price of $572 (as of opening bell Monday).
Bret Taylor was Facebook's chief technology officer, but won't be for much longer. The CTO was in charge of both platform and mobile development at Facebook. Once he's gone, two of his underlings will take over his two posts, with Mike Vernal taking on platform development and Cory Ondreijka going after mobile.
Taylor is an ex-Google employee, too, leaving the company in 2007 where he founded FriendFeed. Facebook acquired FriendFeed in 2009, and two years later he was donned as CTO of Facebook. Taylor spoke to AllThingsD saying that the time he spent with Facebook "has been among the most fulfilling times of my career".
With the troubled IPO and problems the social networking are having at the moment, one would think this is quite a bad time for Taylor to leave, but his departure is no surprise to Facebook management. Taylor has always said that he "had always been upfront with Mark [Zuckerberg] that I eventually wanted to do another start-up, and we felt now is the best time after the IPO and the launch of some recent things for me to do that".
Late last week, a federal Jury convicted Rajat Kumar Gupta of trading inside information in a case that involves industry heavy weights Intel, Apple, and others. He was up on six possible charges, with prosecutors securing four charges, Gupta being acquitted of two.
Gupta was previously a director at Goldman Sachs and Proctor & Gamble, and is the biggest figure yet to be caught in the government's efforts to stop the flow of information into Wall Street. The ex-director of Goldman Sachs was convicted on three counts of securities fraud and one count of conspiracy for passing along confidential boardroom information about Goldman Sachs to a hedge fund, as well as confidential information on Intel and Apple.
Armed with the information, the hedge fund earned millions of dollars, but its founder is now serving time following an insider trading conviction last year. Gupta was acquitted on two securities fraud charges. Gupta faces up to five years in prison for the conspiracy charges, and up to 20 years for each of the three securities fraud convictions.
In the continuing MegaUpload saga, a US federal judge has ordered that the FBI being copying all 150TB of seized Dotcom data. It's not clear whether or not the information will be handed over now, as requested by Dotcom's lawyers, but it will have to be handed over if Dotcom and the other executives ever stand trial in the US.
Lawyers for the FBI are complaining that they will be unable to copy the 150TB of data in the 21-day time period given by the judge. To give an estimate of size, they had said it took 10 days to copy only 29TB of data. The judge didn't care and said that the Government had "ample means" to do the work. " ... [T]he expense involved in copying must be dwarfed by the other costs of an investigative and prosecutorial operation of this size."
The judge reiterated that if the defendants come to the United States like the prosecutors were trying for, then the copying of data would not have been a waste of time. Justice Winkelmann has ordered another two-day hearing to determine whether or not the data will be released to Dotcom, or his lawyers, while he remains in New Zealand. More as it continues.
HTC have now confirmed they want to finalise the acquisition of S3 Graphics, where they would get a huge injection of patents. HTC have publicly admitted they see S3 Graphics 270-patent portfolio as an asset. HTC general counsel, Grace Lei, spoke at the annual shareholders' general meeting where they labeled the S3 portfolio as "valid and strong" following the "cautious assessment".
It was only in July last year that HTC scooped up VIA's $300 million stake in S3, with the acquisition of S3 by HTC seen as a great move to improve their graphics processing technology. Apple have the great ability of being capable of customizing its processors, but HTC is believed to view S3 as key to achieving equivalent capabilities.
S3's products are mostly PC-bound, but the company's graphics performance and power-efficiency heritage is considered potentially advantageous in this mobile efficient world.
It's been expected by many analysts and fanboys alike that AMD would eventually either produce their own ARM-type chip or license one of ARM's creations. Today, AMD has finally done one of those options by licensing the ARM Cortex-A5. The Cortex-A5 will find its way into AMD's APU line of CPUs.
It's not actually the processing functions of the Cortex-A5 that AMD is after, however. This is the unexpected part. Instead, AMD is looking to use the security features that ARM has been working on for some time. Dubbed TrustZone, ARM has produced hardware and software which make data transfers and transactions more secure.
The Cortex-A5 was chosen as it is the smallest of ARM's chips and will take up only a marginal amount of space on one of AMD's APUs. If produced on the 28nm process, it is expected the A5 will add about 10-15mm2 of die size. The A5 will take care of all of the security functions for securing online transactions.
"With AMD's support for, and inclusion in, the expanding TrustZone ecosystem, consumers and businesses can rest assured their data and content are secured by an industry-standard security solution that spans a multitude of devices and operating systems," said Wolfe. "This example of AMD's ambidextrous strategy, which leverages our history of x86 and graphics innovation while also embracing other technologies and intellectual property, will help drive a more secure computing experience for our consumer and businesses customers."
If you were among the many who thought that Microsoft would be lowering the price for Windows RT to tablet OEMs so they could produce a lower priced tablet, you would be wrong. It turns out that Microsoft is looking to charge somewhere between $80-95 for an OEM Windows RT license to be used on a tablet.
This is actually slightly unexpected do to the fact the tablet market is growing quickly and Android allows for lower cost tablets. True, it can't do quite as much as a Windows RT tablet would be capable of, but the fact remains that it does most of what people want from a tablet. Couple that with the fact that the iPad can be had for $399 and Windows tablets aren't going to be very competitive.
It would appear as though Intel and Microsoft have decided to focus more on Ultrabooks because with this pricing, the tablets will probably sell for $549-799 and the premium ones could be as high as $899, as much as an Ultrabook. The $549-799 is right where Intel's target spot is for Ultrabooks, so it's likely the tablets won't do very well.
The world is becoming more and more connected and more and more devices are joining the internet. This fundamental idea is the driving force behind the need to change to IPv6. Now even smart meters are connected to some sort of network through which they transmit usage data back to the power company.
An EU watchdog is concerned about the privacy of the data that is being reported back. Due to the massive amounts of data being reported, it's easy to see when people are home or not by watching the power usage. Not only that, but the meter can even report back what medical devices are in use in the house.
It's of the utmost concern to Privacy International, a group claiming that proposed safeguards do not go far enough. The major fear appears to be regarding the ability to deduce if someone is home or not, but there are plenty more complaints about the sheer amount of data being collected.
Third-party companies could theoretically learn about consumers' sleeping patterns, when they watch TV, use certain tools or devices, or even what medical device they may use. "Information about energy usage can have high commercial value," according to the EDPS report. The US has similar devices, and as far as I know, without any of the safeguards in place in the EU.
Verizon had previously announced that shared data would be coming to the network. At that time, they had not announced exactly when or how the new system would work. Today, some new details have surfaced about the cost and when the actual system will go live. Depending on your data usage, this new system could be a good or a bad thing.
The pricing, seen above, seems reasonable. It's not bad until you start tacking on additional devices. For a smartphone, you have to pay an additional $40. A regular phone sees you shelling out $30 for data. A hotspot? $20. A tablet, which is what I really see this shared data as being used for, is $10 extra a month.
The new plans become available on June 28 and Verizon is hoping they tempt you away from your current unlimited plan. My advice? Don't give up your unlimited plan if you use more than 1-2GB of data. The new plans are interesting, but a bit overpriced. I think if the prices came down, then they would be a better value and see more adopters.
Apple has announced that the App Store has surpassed 30 billion downloads and that Apple has paid out $5 billion to developers. The store currently operates in 120 countries and Apple is now adding 32 more. They have 400 million credit cards on record, more than any other store in the world.