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In a survey taken last month, 43% of all smartphone owners have an Android-based device. But over the last three months, more than half (56%) chose an Android-powered smartphone. The preferences of these so-called "recent acquirers" are important as they are often a leading indicator of where the market is headed. Of course, Apple's iOS remains popular sitting firmly in second place with 28% of all smartphone users and the same percentage among those who recently acquired a new device.
Apple is about to launch their iPhone 5, so things could change. But over in the Android-laden camp, things are also changing. Google are about to launch Ice Cream Sandwich, their next-gen Android OS which is meant to blend their smartphone and tablets OS into a single, dominating OS. Things could swing either way, but right now it seems as though Google are Apple's only competition right now. And while it's "competition", it seems Apple are the ones chasing the tail of Google and they're further down the path than they let you believe.
Were HP lurking eBay looking for a new CEO? It could be a possibility. Former eBay CEO, Meg Whitman, is now the CEO and President of Hewlett-Packard. Current non-executive, Ray Lane, will become executive chairman. Whitman is a well-known executive, will replace HP's current Leo Apotheker, who was prodded out of the company just recently. Whitman is an experienced digital executive, has a large task ahead of her.
HP wants to re-direct itself after numerous strategic gaffes, disappointing financial results and probably the biggest issue, stock that has dropped 47-percent in 11 months since Apotheker was head of the ship. The board of HP is hoping Whitman can turn this all around, with ever-increasing pressure from the competition.
Check out the official press release from HP.
It was the HP CEO yesterday, now Rick Bergman, head of AMD's Products Group has left the company. CEO Rory Read will take over in the meantime. Bergman joined AMD from ATI after the 2006 merger, where he went from Senior VP of AMD's Graphics Product Group to head of the Products Group for AMD when they combined their graphics and microprocessor businesses in May 2009.
Bergman is leaving to "pursue a new opportunity", which shows this is an actual resignation rather than "here's the door". AMD has also announced that Paul Struhsaker, who was Comcast's former Senior VP of Engineering has joined AMD's freshly formed Commercial Business Division. Struhsaker has the task to "oversee product management and roadmap planning for AMD's server, high performance computing and embedded products".
Looks like it's VIA's turn to take a stab at the big Apple with Bloomberg reporting VIA's manoeuvre to have filed a patent lawsuit against them over the processors used in Apple's mobile devices.
More specifically, the patent lawsuit targets Apple's custom ARM-based A4 and A5 processors used in recent iOS devices. Namely, these are the iPad, iPad 2, iPhone 4, iPhone 4 CDMA, iPod touch 4th generation and Apple TV 2nd generation.
Somehow I don't see the outcome being that Apple will be forced to have all iOS devices in the U.S. pulled. I'm sure many competitors are desperate enough that they would have found a way to make that happen long by now if a clear and strong enough basis for it existed.
In any case, this should prove to be an interesting outcome nonetheless.
In a not so surprising move, Sony have released a mandatory update for the PlayStation 3 which includes changes to the terms of service for the PlayStation Network. The changes make it so users who accept it give up the rights to take part in a class-action lawsuit against them.
The new clauses, termed "Binding Individual Arbitration", mandate that any Dispute Resolution Proceedings, whether in arbitration or court, will be conducted on an individual basis only.
Of course, any outstanding class-action lawsuits filed against Sony still stand, inclusive of the class-action suit filed in April over the PSN security breach. But with this new move, it seems Sony is going further to protect themselves from further litigation should they be hacked in the future. According to some analysts, they are within their legal right to pull this move.
AMD has finally done it! They've found a CEO. AMD today named Rory P. Read as their President and CEO. His previous gigs include previously being President and COO for Lenovo and also 23 years with various roles at IBM. He replaces AMD CFO Thomas Seifert, who will return to his previous role) who had been sitting in the throne after the departure of Dirk Meyer. Read says that he's:
Very pleased to be joining AMD at this important time in its history. AMD is a true innovator and is uniquely positioned to lead the industry forward, delivering the next big thing both within the PC ecosystem and beyond.
Acer has posted their first loss in the history of the company, and has also said it will be impossible to break even for the full year. Acer has been a force to be reckoned with in the low-cost notebook market, but the iPad has cut into PC sales more than expected and has hurt their profits, bad. Acer has since refocused on mobile devices to drive growth a first half that saw the departure of its chief executive following a row over the company's strategy and a series of cuts to its shipment forecasts.
Acer shares were down 2.92-percent on Wednesday, ahead of the earnings announcement. Chairman J. T. Wang told an investor conference that the second-quarter was a "correction period" and the losses were more than expected as Acer cleared up excessive inventory and made severance payments for senior management resignations. Wang said "Today I have to say, trying to break even this year becomes impossible."
Yesterday's rumor of Samsung purchasing HP's PC division got people excited, it would be one of the only companies capable of destroying the juggernaut that is Apple, but Samsung have today confirmed that they are not acquiring HP's PC division. Samsung have come out and said it has "no intention of taking over [HP's] personal computer business." It's also worth noting that HP hasn't confirmed plans to exit the PC market just yet. Invetec, another electronics maker, believes that HP is simply extending a feeler and will respond accordingly.
Will the loss of Steve Jobs from Apple be the energy shot that HP needs?
We all know how HP went down in flames last week when they announced they were looking to spin off its PC products division, which sell all HP-branded PC products. Of course, rumors flew thick about who would acquire it and now the rumor that is sticking is that Samsung could be interested in acquiring HP's PC business. Included in this juicy rumor is that Samsung is reported to have contacted Quanta Computer, Compal Electronics and Pegatron Technology, major Taiwan-based OEMs of notebooks, to evaluate the possibility of outsourcing notebook orders.
Samsung have, until now, manufactured their notebooks through OEMs in mainland China and had previously tried to have some manufactured in Taiwan but lucked out. So for Samsung to contact those Taiwan-based manufacturers again, it's fuelling speculation that Samsung is looking to explode into the PC business in a rather large way. If Samsung were to take over HP's PC shipment volume, we're talking about 40 million PCs shipped per year - this is not a small number by any means.
Question: 5 years ago, would you have predicted this? That the juggernauts of the industry to fight like this would be Apple and Samsung? Wow.
Word is now circulating that Dominant VOIP provider, Skype has just agreed to an acquisition of New York based start-up "GroupMe", which has been operating for about a year now.
With GroupMe's recognition primarily stemming from free mobile applications that enable quick and easy group conversations, the acquisition makes sense in that it helps Skype make a firm step toward the increasingly growing business of offering group messaging services via smartphones.
Once the acquisition has been completed, it is said that GroupMe will continue to operate from its New York base (for the time being), working on standalone applications.
Tony Bates, Skype's Chief Executive Officer said :-
Skype and GroupMe have a shared vision of creating applications and experiences that are the daily communications choice for a billion people. We will continue to seek the top talent and technology to make that vision a reality. The GroupMe team has created an incredibly sticky group messaging experience that works across mobile devices and platforms, making this a perfect addition to the voice, video and text products in the Skype family.