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Things are far from good for Volkswagen, with the company now admitting that its emissions scandal has breached out of only diesel vehicles being affected, to petrol-based cars, too.
The German company saw environmental tests failing on its diesel cars, after it was found that it had installed software that would make their cars run cleaner during government testing. Volkswagen said in a statement: "During the course of internal investigations irregularities were found when determining type approval CO2 levels".
The company added: "Based on present knowledge around 800,000 vehicles from the Volkswagen Group could be affected. An initial estimate puts the economic risks at approximately $3.04 billion (€2 billion)". This number could rise much higher, and I think it will, as the problems are continuing for the company in the wake of petrol-powered vehicles being thrown into the mix.
Apple only just reported its best quarter ever, with its main rival Samsung posting its Q3 2015 results. The company didn't do as well as Apple, but it did good enough in the quarter to return to an operating profit, after seven straight quarters of decline.
Samsung posted $6.42 billion in operating profit for Q3, up from the $3.6 billion from the same time last year. The company saw its net profit and sales jumping year-over-year, with its net profiting rising from $3.7 billion in Q3 2014 to $4.8 billion in Q3 2015. As for sales, Samsung saw them lift from $41.7 billion this time last year, to $45.6 billion over the last three months.
The company attributes the revenue increase to its semiconductor and display panel businesses while its operating profits increasing $440 million thanks to a weaker exchange rate between South Korea and other important currencies. Samsung reported a "significant" increase in sales of the Galaxy Note 5, Galaxy S6 edge+, Galaxy A and Galaxy J smartphones. The price reduction on its Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6+ smartphones decreased profits in year-on-year profits.
Just how good has Apple's last three months been? Extremely good. The company released their Q4 results from fiscal year 2015, and it has set yet another record: $51.5 billion in revenue. This is up 22% over the same period of 2014, where it was at $42.1 billion.
The company rode the success of the new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, while the new iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus haven't been out long enough to impact profits. Next quarter should be a big one, of course. For the last three months, Apple sold a little over 48 million iPhones. This is up from the 39.2 million iPhones it sold in Q4 2014, an increase of 22%.
As for the separation of revenue per product, Apple is controlled by the iPhone. The iPhone made up 62.5% of its revenue, while Mac sales contributed 13.4%, iTunes/software/services pulled in 9.9%, the iPad delivered 8.3% and finally, 'other products' made 5.9%. So the iPhone, is extremely important to the company in terms of revenue, something we all knew, but it's great to see these numbers.
In order to help develop and grow the Australian VFX industry, CG Spectrum, a college of digital art and animation, is offering up $500,000 AU worth of scholarships in order to "unearth the next Aussie dev talent."
As seen in a recent media release, this college will be offering these scholarships in unison with PAX Australia, setting out to scope indie developers and sole traders alike at the expo which kicks off this Friday.
The $500,000 AU budget will be spread over 20 scholarships in total, setting out to find developers with a potential for greatness. Said to be conducted "alongside local game development studios," more information on these scholarships can be found here.
Apple has not formally announced its automotive plans, but the company has just hired Jonathan Cohen. Cohen, until recently, had worked at NVIDIA as the Director of Deep Learning, you know - AI.
Cohen's LinkedIn profile mentions that he is working on "software" with Apple, and nothing else. His recent position at NVIDIA had him working on vehicle technology like Drive PX, which is a camera-based autopilot system for cars that is capable of identifying and reacting to specific vehicle types.
With Sony doing incredibly well with its camera sensor business, it should come as no surprise that troubled Japanese rival Toshiba is rumored to be selling its camera sensor business to Sony.
The news is coming from Bloomberg, the Japan Times and Reuters - so we have some credit behind the rumors. Toshiba is rumored to be selling its camera sensor business to Sony for a cool $165 million in order to raise money, but neither side is talking about it just yet. Toshiba has been bleeding customers for its camera sensors, with the latest customer being HTC and the One M9 smartphone with its 20-megapixel snapper.
Last month, Jim Keller left AMD as their CPU architect, with the last of his work being done on the Zen architecture. Keller had helped AMD with their K7 and K8 architectures, which were some of AMD's more golden times in the CPU market.
It's now being rumored that Keller has joined Samsung, where he'll begin work in the mobile processor division. Keller has previously worked on mobile processors, where he helped out on the iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S with Apple's A4 and A5S processors, respectively. The news of Keller joining Samsung is big, as he will be working out of their R&D centers in Austin, Texas.
Keller should further develop Samsung's already great mobile offerings, especially since the South Korean giant is on the forefront of 14nm FinFET technology.
As part of Logitech's second quarter Fiscal Year 2016 report they announced some stellar results, claiming to have acheived the best retail sales growth since 2010.
With Q2 sales being a total of $540 million, Logitech marked a two percent rise compared to last year, matched with a Q2 non-GAAP operating income of $42 million, showing a retail sales performance rise of 12 percent overall.
Logitech president and CEO Bracken P. Darrell is happy with these results, elaborating that his company saw a 9 percent rise in sales though the American market, 7 percent in EMEA and a massive 26 percent in Asia Pacific. In addition to this, Darrell pinpointed that Logitech saw "Gaming, Video Collaboration and Mobile Speakers" all growing by a massive 50 percent each.
Vivendi has just secured itself a 6.6% chunk in Ubisoft, buying a huge $159 million stake in the French studio. Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot has said that "Vivendi and his [sic] chairman" had a reputation for "aggressively pursuing companies within the entertainment sector".
Guillemot said that Vivendi's investment was "unsolicited and unwelcome", where he said: "Our intention is and has always been to remain independent, a value which, for 30 years, has allowed us to innovate, take risks, create beloved franchises for players around the world, and which has helped the company grow into the leader it is today". Guillemot added: "We're going to fight to preserve our independence. We should not let this situation - nor any future actions by Vivendi or others - distract us from our goals. Our best defence is to stay focused on what we have always done best - deliver the most original and memorable gaming experiences".
In an email that GamesIndustry.biz were supplied with, Guillemot explained that a possible takeover of Ubisoft would be "managed by people who don't understand our expertise and what it takes to succeed in this industry".
Western Digital has announced it is acquiring flash memory manufacturer SanDisk in a deal worth $19 billion. Western Digital currently makes HDDs and SSDs for various PCs, laptops, and servers - but this new deal will give them better fighting power against its competition.
Both companies are run from California, with SanDisk being a long-time partner of one of WD's main rivals; Toshiba. This deal struck between WD and SanDisk will reportedly not affect the deal between SanDisk and Toshiba. There needs to be some regulatory sign-offs on the deal, but expect a full announcement sometime next year.