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The European Commission has approved Western Digital to acquire Hitachi's hard drive business in a cash and stock transaction valued at $4.3 billion. Once the deal is finalized, Western Digital should cover roughly 50-percent of the market, but not until some requirements are met.
Requirements? Well, Western Digital will have to sell off some of its hard-disk drive production assets to a smaller competitor. The idea behind these requirements [in the eyes of the European Commission] is to ensure that competition in the industry is "fully restored before the merger is implemented."
At it stands right now, Apple is currently the second-largest PC vendor worldwide, with Hewlett Packard sitting firmly in first place. But, come to end of 2012, this could very well change. Research outfit Canalys, says Apple's share of the PC market has grown 6-percent in the past twelve months alone.
What is driving this growth? The super-famous iPad, which Canalys considers a personal computer. Canalys Analysis (say that three times fast) Tim Coulling says:
Apple has seen its PC market share expand from 9 percent to 15 percent in just four quarters, though iPad shipments in its core market - the United States - are likely to come under pressure in Q4 due to the launch of the Fire and Nook at extremely competitive price points. HP and Apple will fight for top position in Q4.
With the iPad 3 set to include a high-res 2048x1536 display, it will just make the iPad 3 an even tastier option. Canalys estimates global PC shipments to reach 415 million in 2011, a 15-percent year-over-year increase, thanks largely to the Apple iPad. What I'd like to know is, is this what the "2012 is the end of the world" is going to be... Apple, of all companies, as the number one PC vendor worldwide?
Apple have started sending teaser posters around as announcements of their Black Friday holiday sale for this Friday, November 25th. The first teaser appeared on the Australian online store and will most likely be floating its way around the world by now.
The special one-day Apple shopping event. This Friday, November 25.
Mark your calendar now, and come back to the Apple Online Store for the special one-day event. You'll discover amazing iPad, iPod and Mac gifts for everyone on your list.
Apple's Black Friday discounts aren't usually too bad, but are small when compared to other retailers. Last year, Apple offered $101 discounts on their iMac, MacBook Pro and MacBook Air lines, with $11-$41 discounts on the iPods and iPads. Not bad, but not great, either.
Apple lead Google by a fairly large margin when it comes to revenue generated by apps, with numbers from Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster suggesting Android-based users are conservative when it comes to shopping on the Android Market.
The analysis shows that Android users seem to shy away from purchasing commercial apps, when compared to iPhone and iPad users who have purchased 12 times more paid apps per device. 13.5-percent of iOS customers purchase apps whilst just 1.3-percent of Android users opt for non-free software on their devices.
Those numbers mean nothing unless we're talking dollars, right? The Android Market generated just shy of $350 million in gross revenue, where Apple's App Store pulled in an impressive near-$5 billion. Both companies take a 30-percent cut of these totals, which is very impressive as they're just hosting them.
Microsoft Chairman and co-founder, Bill Gates, has donned his suit, put his hands on his hips and walked into court on Monday in a billion-dollar antitrust lawsuit against Microsoft over Windows 95. Yes, Windows 95.
Microsoft did attempt to get the billion-dollar antitrust case dismissed by a federal court, but failed. Bill Gates was forced to take the witness stand on Monday to defend Microsoft. Novell filed the antitrust lawsuit and are attacking Microsoft over Word Perfect. Novell originally sued Microsoft in 2004, claiming that Microsoft violated U.S. antitrust laws and harmed Novell's range of software products.
Novell has provided an Exhibit of an e-mail from 1994, which was from former Microsoft CEO and chairman Bill Gates to his software development teams. Gates started his testimony with a history of Microsoft (or a commercial) by saying "We thought everybody would have a personal computer on every desk and in every home."
I found this video on my stumbles through the [sometimes] strange corners of the Internet, where YouTube user 'n0w1kn0w' posted a video with the title "You have 30 days to pay me $5,000,000...", the video is below, watch it first and then read more below:
Now, it starts off all boring - at one point I thought he was building a mobile bomb that he was going to place in some Government building and then keep it there for 30 days waiting for his $5,000,000, but then the video gets quite serious with n0w1kn0w visiting a pyramid in Egypt, and rolling his remote control car into it.
iiNet have just made their acquisition of Canberra-based TransACT official. The deal included iiNet scooping up the company for $60 million, and TransACT happy with the deal as they were reportedly keen to sell because of the impending rollout of the National Broadband Network (NBN).
iiNet CEO Michael Malone was quoted:
iiNet's acquisition of TransACT represents an attractive strategic opportunity to build scale in the ACT market quickly and efficiently. In particular, TransACT's experienced and passionate management team will allow iiNet to grow its presence in the SME, corporate and government market segments, a key growth area for the Company. We are also excited about the strong existing relationship between TransACT and ActewAGL, the leading utility provider in the region, and the resulting growth opportunities for both companies.
The on-going flooding problem in Thailand is only getting worse for the technology industry, with hard drive pricing skyrocketing past what most people would have been able to dream of two weeks ago. People are expecting pricing to rebound soon, but they are wrong, very wrong.
Seagate CEO Stephen Luczo was talking to Bloomberg, where he labels "nonsense" estimates that drive production will return to "pre-flood levels" by next summer. He adds:
This is going to take a lot longer than people are assuming, until the end of 2012 at least. And by then, demand will have gone up.
Another year of inflated prices, where they could really go anywhere from here? Not good for consumers, or those companies who are building cloud-based super servers such as Apple, Google, Microsoft, Amazon, Facebook, etc.
Well, it's finally settled. Rambus was dealt with a pretty big defeat on Wednesday, as a San Francisco jury rejected its claim in a $4 billion antitrust lawsuit against Micron Technology and Hynix Semiconductor. The IP licensing company lost more than 60-percent of its market value following the ruling, where investors' fear that the company won't be able to sustain its business model.
If you didn't know, the case revolved around allegations that Micron, Hynix and others had engaged in price-fixing to keep Rambus' RDRAM memory technology from gaining widespread adoption. If you remember, Intel used RDRAM with the Pentium III and 820 chipset, as well as the Pentium 4 and 850 chipset. If you remember that, you'll also remember how it was quite expensive at the time and DDR ram was just too much of a bully for RDRAM to take off.
The Australian retail market has always been a funny thing, something available online for say $19.99 (like the t-shirt I'm wearing) is $49.99 here in stores, if not more. It's ridiculous and it seems that even a powerhouse retailer like JB Hi-Fi is feeling that pinch.
Today they very quietly launched an online-only direct sales model, at first just selling DSLR cameras and accessories. These prices won't be offered in-store, with only the online store the only way to take advantage of the super-cheap pricing. The store is dubbed "direct import" and offers DSLR camera, lenses, flashes and grips. Funnily enough, it's undercutting its own bricks and mortar JB Hi-Fi stores in the process.