ZTE can now have a celebratory drink, announcing they're become the fourth biggest smartphone manufacturer in the world as of Q3 2012. Hitting fourth place is a huge thing, as they've just taken it from struggling phone maker, HTC.
ZTE shipped just 7.5 million handsets in Q3, and while it might not compete with the likes of Apple and Samsung, being in fourth place is still an achievement in itself. In Q3 2012, ZTE were only 0.1% ahead of RIM, so things may change early next year if BlackBerry 10 is successful for yet another struggling phone maker, Research in Motion.
Things will change rapidly in the coming months, with Google going full steam ahead with Nexus-branded devices such as the amazing $299 Nexus 4, Apple's iPhone 5 is now here, Microsoft's Windows Phone 8 has just officially launched, and we're sure to see a Galaxy S IV in early-2013, too.
Samsung has finally added the iPhone 5 to their infringement lawsuit, with the South Korean company claiming that all LTE-capable devices that Apple sells are in violation of eight patents the company owns. The lawsuit is already considered weak, as some of Samsung's LTE patents would be considered "standards-essential" and subject to FRAND regulations.
Samsung did threaten to "immediately sue" Apple if the new iPhone was LTE-capable, but at the time were unaware that Apple had already launched LTE-capable iPads a few months earlier. How Samsung would not know this, perplexes me, completely. Apple has maintained their stance, stating that they buy their LTE radios from Qualcomm, who has a full license for the patents and therefore that license extends to its customers.
The biggest issue for Samsung is if their LTE patents will be considered standards-essential when tested in court. The company is now at risk of having some patents ruled FRAND-eligible, which would weaken their portfolio. Worse, is if some of their patents are considered invalid, but Samsung are said to own around 12.2% of all LTE patents. Qualcomm and Nokia both hold equal, or larger stakes in the technology.
In a sea of bad quarterly earnings reports from competitors, ASUS are standing strong with some positive third quarter results this week. The Taiwanese maker of just about everything these days reported a revenue of $3.8 billion with a net income of $230 million.
Revenue saw a rise of 9% year-over-year, with net income boosting up by around 43% in the same period. Revenue is up 18%, with net income up 39%, sequentially. Expectations were lower than this, with over 12 analysts expecting net income to reach just $185 million, meaning ASUS beat analysts' expectations by over 10%. Where is this surge coming from, you aks? Tablets.
ASUS have been able to successfully glide over from the sinking netbook market to the ever-expanding and super-popular tablet market. If we look back to Q2, ASUS shipped 800,000 tablets - fast forward to Q3 and we're looking at tablet shipments hitting 2.3 million, a meteoric rise. Shipment increases can be credited to the great Nexus 7 tablet which ASUS co-developed with Google. ASUS didn't give the goss on just how many Nexus 7's shipped, but it would have to be a chunk of that 2.3 million.
In 2006, mega giant media company Disney acquired Pixar, the makers of huge hits like Toy Story and Up, and have just now announced that they've acquired Lucasfilm. You might know Lucasfilm, they're quite well known for, well, Star Wars among others.
Lucasfilm are also responsible for the Indiana Jones series, and the deal includes other Lucasfilm properties such as Industrial Light & Magic and Skywalker Sound. This news isn't the finish yet, as the press release for the announcement also includes news that there will be yet another Star Wars movie.
Disney is aiming for a 2015 release for Star Wars: Episode 7 and that its "long term plan is to release a new Star Wars feature film every two to three years". I guess I should get around to watching the Star Wars movies then, huh?
Attendees of the Build conference will likely be happy they decided to attend this year as Microsoft has used the conference as a place to hand out free 32GB Surface RTs and touch covers. Every attendee will receive the aforementioned Surface RT and cover, along with 100GB of free SkyDrive storage.
Microsoft appears to be following in the footsteps of Google, as the latter company is known for giving away hardware to I/O attendees. Microsoft is looking to make Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 a success, and to do so will need to make sure software and apps are available for the fledgling Windows Store.
Ballmer has promised to do lots of advertising for the new Windows 8, Windows Phone 8, and Surface products. "We will do our best work and you won't be able to pick up a newspaper or turn on your TV without seeing our ads." This way developers will have a large audience of potential customers to sell their work to.
Microsoft has come out of the first weekend of selling Windows 8 with some pretty good numbers. Steve Ballmer has announced that Microsoft has sold over 4 million Windows 8 upgrades so far. This is impressive and is almost keeping pace with the numbers that the iPhone 5 achieved in its first weekend.
Important to note is that these numbers do not include sales to partners who have purchased the operating system to pre-install on systems heading out the door new. These numbers are only counting those users who have purchased an upgrade of their own volition and out of their own interest in using the new operating system.
It's actually a good thing that system builder numbers are not included as these would be a poor way to judge consumer demand. If these were included, the number would be artificially high as the partners are just buying the operating system so as to offer the latest and greatest to their customers.
Shortly after Samsung held a launch device for their 5.5-inch phablet, the Galaxy Note II, a shipment of the smartphones were stolen from an airport in Kuala Lumpur, reports The Chosun Ilbo. The theft happened on October 20, just after the Note II launch event with news leaking out shortly after.
Samsung have now confirmed the theft has taken place, and put a monetary amount on the shipment: around $1 million. Police are investigating the theft, but the chance of recovering the stolen smartphones will be extremely low.
Samsung's Malaysian division has also weighed in on the matter, stating that they will not be offering warranty on the stolen smartphones.
The economy is still looking pretty bleak. Even with companies posting strong quarters, those same companies are axing jobs in order to remain nimble and profitable. That's something that shouldn't be happening, yet it is and its a sign of our economy's state. PayPal is the latest to join the businesses who fit this description.
PayPal has announced that around 325 jobs will be cut as David Marcus, PayPal's president who took over seven months ago, continues a major shakeup of the organization of PayPal. The majority of these cuts will be coming out of PayPal's product and technology units as PayPal merges nine product-development teams into one.
325 employees makes up roughly 3 percent of PayPal's workforce. eBay will be taking a fourth-quarter pretax charge of nearly $15 million. "The intent is to simplify and speed up how products are developed. PayPal expects to continue its strong global growth momentum and leadership through online merchant expansion and share of checkout, by driving payments innovation at point-of-sale retail for large, medium, and small businesses, and by engaging consumers online and offline with payments products and experiences that offer choice, flexibility, simplicity, and security," eBay said in a statement.
Search giant Google are currently testing out a service that would see their e-commerce services receiving same-day delivery on products they purchase. The same-day delivery service is being tested out in San Francisco, where users affiliated with Google are able to get products from at least one national apparel chain.
If Google go ahead with the same-day delivery service, they would be competing with huge retail giants like Amazon, Wal-Mart and eBay, which are all looking to go down the same same-day delivery path.
The New York Times' Bits Blog talks about the details of the unannounced Google service, where according to the report, the Mountain View-based company doesn't plan on opening up warehouses, or begin a new shipping service, but will instead work with retailers and delivery companies. A bunch of national chains, along with San Francisco-based retailers, are currently part of the testing.
Not many people like the paywalls to giant media publications, but the New York Times and Wall Street Journal have both just taken down their respective paywalls in preparation for Hurricane Sandy.
The Wall Street Journal's Digital Network managing editor, Raju Narisetti, announced the decision through a tweet posted on Sunday afternoon, saying that the site would be "open to all visitors" starting Monday.
The Times' assistant managing editor, Jim Roberts, said that his paper would follow suit, allowing free access to storm-related coverage on The Times' website and mobile apps. NYT spokesperson Eileen Murphy also confirmed the decision in an e-mail to Poynter, explaining that the paywall would be brought down on Sunday afternoon.
Bulgarian blogger and digital rights activist, Bogomil Shopova, recently purchased 1.1 million Facebook users' data, including names, IDs and e-mail accounts. Shopova has said that he has no intentions of spamming or hacking those on the list, but is using the acquisition of data to highlight just how easy it was to gather personal information from Facebook.
Where would you buy the data to 1.1 million Facebook accounts in the first place? Well, I thought that too, but Shopova reportedly found the data for sale on the social market website Gigbucks. The seller went by the username "mertem", claimed that the data had been collected through third-party Facebook applications, consisting mostly of active accounts in the US, Canada, Europe and the UK.
The advertisement for the data stated it had "great potential" if you were offering a Facebook, Twitter of other social media-related product or service. Forbes has been told by a Facebook spokesperson that they were looking into the security breach. The representative said that the social network had dedicated security engineers that take aggressive action on reports such as this.
Samsung really hit Q3 with a home run, shipping an estimated 56.3 million devices worldwide, according to IDC's latest numbers. Out of the total 179.7 million units shipped during the quarter, Samsung represented a nice 31.3% chunk of that.
Quarter-on-quarter, the numbers are also impressive, up 22.7% from last year. Year-on-year, the South Korean giant is up 100.4%, showing just how far they've come in twelve months.
Comparing this to their main competitor, Apple, they did very well. Apple only shipped 26.9 million iPhones in the last quarter, taking just 15% of the market. Quarter-over-quarter for Apple wasn't too bad, seeing a rise from last year of 13.8% of the smartphone market share. IDC's numbers point to Apple shipments being around 15%, up from 13.8% last year, and Android is pushing 70%.
179.7 million smartphones shipped last quarter, a huge 45% gain over twelve months ago.
Google's huge event for October 29 was to be held in NYC in around 24-or-so hours, but it has been cancelled due to Hurricane Sandy, which is currently swirling around the east coast of the United States and is threatening to make landfall in the New York and New Jersey areas by Monday.
Google are playing it safe and cancelling the event, stating:
We are canceling our Monday morning event in New York due to Hurricane Sandy. We will let you know our plans as soon as we know more. Stay safe and dry, The Android Team.
The Mountain View-based search giant haven't revealed a replacement date for the event, so we'll have to wait for now. We were to expect multiple things teased and unveiled at the event, LG's Nexus 4, the Samsung-built Nexus 10 tablet running a 2560x1600-pixel display, Android 4.2 and more.
Apple's stock is not having a good day as investors are punishing the company for performing worse than expectations. Don't get me wrong, they had an incredible quarter--just like always--but it was below analyst expectations in some regards. Furthermore, investors are worried about the supply shortage that Apple has been experiencing in regards to the iPhone and iPad mini.
The stock has since recovered from the low point seen above, but it is still in the low $600s. This is the first time that Apple stock has been below $600 since July. The fact that iPhones are still in a "significant state of backlog" is casting fears that it could impact sales, though Tim Cook disagrees.
The iPad mini went up for preorder this morning and had already sold out of some models and subsequently pushed shipping time back. Tim Cook says he is "pleased with the current volume of output" and believes that the component shortages would not hold back sales. However, he expects the new iMac to be significantly constrained for the next quarter.
According to Strategy Analytics' latest report, market share for Android-based tablets have risen considerably. The report states that Android-based tablets now consume 41% of the total tablet market share, or just under 25 million units.
This means that year-over-year, we're looking at double the tablets sold, with market share increasing by 12%. This growth comes at the expense of Apple's iOS platform, whose market share has dropped from 65% to 56% year-over-year.
A large number of these tablet sales were from retail giant and device maker Amazon, a main competitor of Google. What do you think of these numbers? It's good to see Google making some waves in the market, and Apple seeing a drop, as it will only [hopefully] push them to innovate more and stop being stagnant in the market.
Apple may have posted their Q4 results, seeing a tidy $8.2 billion in profits, but Samsung are not so far behind them, posting $7.4 billion profit in the past quarter just gone. The South Korean company told investors to expect $7.28 billion in profits, but beat this reaching $7.4 billion.
The ever-so-popular Galaxy S III shipments have been increased "significantly due to global expansion", according to Samsung. Smartphones weren't the only thing that pushed Samsung to enjoy a great quarter, with consumer electronic sales also seeing a nice spike, achieving "industry leading profitability" in the TV market. Samsung cited growth in both the consumer space, as well as the sales of OLED panels for televisions, tablets and high-end smartphones.
Samsung's semiconductor sales didn't do so well, dropping 8% thanks to the dropping PC demand across the world. The company expects demand for PC DRAM and other high value-added chip products to continue to remain weak, but notes that the sector is still profitable, and may increase as new products are released.
TSMC have something to be happy about right now, posting a record third quarter profit. The company posted a net profit of 49.3 billion New Taiwan dollars ($1.69 billion), which is a 62% jump year-over-year, and beating over 24 analysts' expectations.
TSMC-powered smartphones and tablet demand continue to expand, even in an economy which isn't doing so well. TSMC's flagship 28nm technology has given them an advantage over the competition, and the company has said that is directly responsible for doubling chip shipments in Q3. TSMC have said that chips built on the 28nm process accounted for 13% of total wafer revenue.
Morris Chang, TMSC Chairman, says that the future will be a little dull, expecting revenue to fall in the final three months of 2012. Chipmakers like Intel are scaling their productions back in the fourth quarter, citing reduced demand. Even with Q4 not looking so good, TSMC are optimistic about 2013 and the future, where Chang believes that TSMC will continue to outgrow the semiconductor industry in the coming years, as they has positioned themselves well in the smart device markets.
Here we are again, three months later and we have Apple's Q4 financial results to share with you. Not long after the Cupertino-based company unveiled their new iPad mini, fourth-generation iPad and refreshed Macs, their Q4 financial results are surprising in more ways than one.
Apple posted a revenue of $35.97 billion with a net income of $8.2 billion, up from $28.27 billion and $6.62 billion this time last year. Apple's earnings fell short of analysts' expectations of $8.75 per share, reaching just $8.67 per share. Apple reportedly lowered their forecast for the first quarter of fiscal 2013 from diluted earnings per share of $15.49 on revenue of $55 billion to $11.75 on revenue of $52 billion.
Analysts are pegging this on continuing supply problems, but I have a different idea. During the quarter, Apple sold just 26.9 million iPhones, 14 million iPads, 5.3 million iPods and 4.9 million Macs. iPhone shipments beat analysts' expectations by over 500,000 units, but fell short of analysts' expectations on iPad shipments by around 1 million units.
Are your fingers fatter in the morning or is there another reason you accidentally click more often in the morning hours?
Accidental clicks are a big problem for advertisers as they have to pay for a click that yields them nothing. It's a problem that people have been dealing with since the introduction of mobile advertising. The general thought is the smaller the screen, the more likely you are to accidentally click that tantalizing banner ad.
But is that the only factor? Probably not. How often are you surfing Facebook while driving? You might accidentally click on an ad then, not due to the small screen, but due to you being distracted with driving. GoldSpot is a mobile ad network that has taken a look into the problem of accidental clicks and they have a bit of insight to offer.
They figure that roughly four in 10 clicks on conventional banner ads are accidental. For rich media ads, the number drops to 13 percent, probably due to them being more noticeable as an ad. GoldSpot also believes accidental clicks are more likely to happen in the morning or evening, as you can see in the chart above.
No, I don't think our fingers are fatter in the morning. I figure it's because we're distracted by getting ready, driving, or possibly can't see the screen because we are just waking up. Of course, during the day and fully awake, the accidental clicks drop way off. They pick back up in the evening as people are possibly going to bed or driving home.
Investors were a bit upset with Google's financial performance, even though AdWords, the main business that Google offers, is going as strong as ever, if not stronger. A study conducted by WordStream attempts to quantify just how well AdWords, Google's advertising portion of business, is doing and the numbers are impressive.
The study believes that Google was making $100 million per day from AdWords during the third quarter. The numbers are even more impressive that Microsoft's Windows 8 testing numbers: Google served 5.5 billion impressions per day on its search pages alone. The Google Display Network showed 25.6 billion a day.
However, even with these growing display numbers, the click-through-rate (CTR) has dropped from Q2 to Q3. However, displays have gone up, offsetting the decline in CTR. The CTR rate for Google Search came in at 3.5 percent, resulting in 192 million clicks being paid for. On the Display Network, the number is an even lower 0.18 percent, resulting in 45.8 million paid clicks.
The search number declined 12.4 percent from Q2, but display numbers increased 13.8 percent in the same period.
Zynga aren't having the best year, with their Q3 2012 numbers rolling in and seeing large revenues of $316 million, beating analysts' low expectations of $300 million or so, but the company have lost $160 million in the first nine months of this year.
The the last three months, Zynga have lost $52 million, even with their better-than-expected Q3 2012 revenue. The company recently announced a $200 million stock buyback and a new partnership with UK-based real-money online gambling site, bwin.party. This saw Zynga's stock driving upward in after-hours trading, rising 13.67%.
But, they look to be short-term gains, with the company struggling in the last few months. Zynga are losing millions of gamers, are in lawsuits, had a write-down of OMGPOP, and have also seen corporate talent walking out the door. CEO and founder of Zynga, Mark Pincus, has said in a statement:
While the last several months have been challenging for us, Zynga remains well positioned to capitalize on the growth of social gaming. We're implementing a number of steps to drive long-term growth and profitability. The successful launches of FarmVille 2 and ChefVille in the third quarter demonstrate that when we develop great games, our large player audience engages. It's more clear than ever that along with search, shop, and share, play is a fundamental pillar of the Internet, and Zynga continues to be the leader.