When it comes to engineer salaries, it looks as though Google are the leaders in yet another category. With increased competition such as Facebook, the Mountain View-based company want to continue being one of the best places to work, offering above-average salaries for engineers according to a new study from job listings and information site, Glassdoor, reports the Wall Street Journal.
The study shows that Google's software engineers earn an average base salary of $128,336 compared to Facebook's $123,626, Apple's $114,413 and eBay and Zynga with $108,809 and $105,568, respectively. Facebook and Zynga have noticed the value of employee equity stakes drop following their IPO launches, where base salary makes a more important stance in terms of overall compensation.
Google on the other hand make the base salary a key selling point, where across-the-board last year the search giant gave all employees a 10% pay rise. Glassdoor found that the national average for a software engineer's base salary was around $92,648.
An analyst believes that the iPad mini will end up causing a reduction in sales of the regular, full-size iPad of up to 1 million units in the fourth quarter as customers opt for a cheaper and smaller model. The idea is that one out of every five iPad mini sales will be a sale that would have gone to the 9.7-inch older brother.
Cannibalizing your own company's sales is never a good idea, however, it is predicted that Apple's overall tablet sales will continue to grow, despite 20 percent of sales being cannibalized. Gene Munster, an analyst for Piper Jaffray, expects the iPad mini to boost Apple's sales from 21 million to 25 million for the fourth quarter.
He further estimates that Apple will sell 95 million tablets in 2013, thanks to the iPad mini. This is up from his previously predicted 86.5 million tablets. Munster expects 25 percent of those sales to be the iPad mini, which he thinks will start at $249 to $299. It's not clear how this will affect profit, though I'd assume there is less profit on the mini as opposed to the full-size iPad.
It looks like the News Corp. owned IGN Entertainment is to be sold off, after News Corp. failed to sell the company, according to people involved with both sides of negotiations, reports The Wall Street Journal. The media company is now launching the formal sales process of IGN.
News Corp. originally purchased IGN in 2005 for $650 million which includes websites such as IGN.com, GameSpy.com and TeamXbox.com with a few of those sites already sold. IGN is expected to receive around $100 million in the sales process, a huge loss compared to the $650 million purchase price in 2005. IGN have looked for help with investment bank Allen & Co. after multiple attempts at finding a partner failed.
Things aren't looking good for News Corp. who purchased MySpace six years ago for $580 million, selling it off last year for a pittance at just $35 million. The media company have been focusing more on digitizing their journalism properties, after some of their biggest digital acquisitions were overtaken by faster-moving rivals. IGN's chief executive Roy Bahat resigned from the company in August, saying in an email to his staff:
It has become clear that now is the time to refresh the process of looking at strategic options for this business.
Back in August we reported on a story where the China Labor Watch were looking into Foxconn for employing children under the age of 16 at their factories, which is of course very illegal. China's legal working age is 16, and now the investigation has found that Foxconn did employee children under the age of 16.
Because Foxconn are a serious partner of Apple with production of most iDevices being made in the factories of Foxconn, Apple too have been taking flack for the underage issues. To this day the Cupertino-based company continue to be mixed into the issues of Foxconn's poor working conditions, riots, protests and even suicides.
The workers at Foxconn found from the investigation were as young as just 14, not only breaking Chinese labor laws, but Foxconn's own internal policies as well. Foxconn has said that they've now corrected the issue, and will take measures so that this type of misemployment never happens again. The China Labor Watch blamed the iDevice maker for turning a blind eye and not sufficiently vetting its workers, but it could be that Foxconn isn't entirely at fault here.
Intel reports their Q3 revenue of $13.5 billion, a "tough economic environment" is to blame for the dip year-on-year
Intel have reported their Q3 earnings, raking in a total of $13.5 billion in revenue for the three months. Intel's Q3 earnings show a dip year-on-year, but still beat analysts' expectations. The global downturn on PC sales can attribute to the drop. Intel CEO Paul Otellini has said in a statement:
Our third-quarter results reflected a continuing tough economic environment.
During their investor call, the chipmaker didn't really touch down on their new Android-based devices, but they did say that progress is happening. Intel touched down on the launch of the 2.0GHz Motorola RAZR i for example. Intel also talked about the current transitioning that the global computing market which we're currently experiencing.
Intel didn't mention any OEM's that they would be working with in 2013, but we know that Intel have a multi-year, multi-device partnership with the Google-owned Motorola.
RumorTT: Amazon to acquire Texas Instruments' OMAP chip division, could we see the Kindle Phone soon?
It looks like we could see an Amazon Kindle Phone sooner, rather than later if the latest rumors hot off the press are to be believed. Rumor has it that Amazon are deep in "advanced negotiations" with Texas Instruments, where they're attempting to buy their smartphone and tablet oriented OMAP chip division.
The man behind the story, Assaf Gilad has said that Amazon is hoping to acquire Texas Instruments' high-end processor division so that they can have more control over the chips that get baked into their Kindle Fire products.
We also have the rumors of a Kindle smartphone, which this would surely help get going, and quick. At the moment, Texas Instruments are having issues competing with the bigger players in the market like Qualcomm, Intel and NVIDIA. This means that if the retail giant were to buy Texas Instruments' processor division, it would put Amazon into the same strength as Samsung and Apple.
We reported a little earlier on that Apple had taken one of Samsung's chip designers, but now news has arrived from AllThingsD that the iDevice maker has hired major Amazon executive and president search technologist, William Stasior.
Stasior will take over their Siri unit, according to their sources, and up until now Stasior has been in charge of Amazon's search and search advertising unit, A9. Stasior, a former AltaVista executive co-founded the independent company and has run it since Udi Manber left for Google.
With Stasior now at the wheel of Siri, the voice-activated personal assistant should get some much-needed guidance. Siri has lost some of the talent who created it, with Adam Cheyer leaving. Cheyer co-founded the voice recognition company prior to their acquisition by Apple in 2008, and CEO Dag Kittlaus left in October 2011.
Apple are looking to expand their retail arm prowess in China, with the third store in Beijing opening this week. Apple will also open up a sixth store in China on Saturday, on the historic Wangfujing Street.
Wangfujing has over 100 years of history and has been labeled in the some in China as "China's No. 1 street". Apple's first retail store in China opened up in Beijing in the busy Sanlitun area of the city. A second store was opened in 2010 on the west side of town in Xidan. Earlier this year CEO Tim Cook was spotted in the Xidan Joy City store during a business trip in Beijing.
China has over 1.3 billion residents, so it would make perfect sense to start ramping up their retail presence in the country. Apple had actually planned on opening 25 stores in China by the end of 2012, but this has been more difficult than expected for the Cupertino-based iDevice maker.
Apple are looking to make a shift on their reliance on South Korean firms, such as Samsung, with news arriving that they could partner up with TMSC on their 20nm process.
J.T. Hsu of Citigroup reportedly told the China Economic News that Apple have been looking at TMSC, researching the possible use of the manufacturing arm's 20nm process for future quad-core processors. Hsu also teased that preliminary production may begin as soon as next month, with volume production expected to begin near the end of 2013.
Apple need to rely on Samsung for a lot of their chip production, even though the company's are involved in patent lawsuits. Business has to continue, chips need to be created and money needs to be made.
ZTE, the Chinese telecommunications equipment maker is set to post a loss of $279.2 million for the first nine months of 2012. This is according to preliminary results announcement ZTE made on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange on Sunday.
ZTE's revenues have been slammed by a bad economy, and the Chinese company's money has not been helped by their constant problems with legislators and regulators both in the US and EU. ZTE's preliminary results announcement predicts that its loss will be somewhere between $263.3 and $279.2 million.
ZTE's operating revenue for the quarter ending September 30 is down 13% year-over-year. The company also reported lower overall gross profit margins for the first nine months of 2012 leading up to September 30. The company also noted that they were currently under investigation by the US Department of Commerse and Department of Justice over their dealings with Iran.
CNBC are reporting that Softbank are looking to take a 70% stake in Sprint, which will cost them a hefty $20 billion. Citing people familiar with the matter, Softbank will purchase $8 billion in shares directly from Sprint.
The additional $12 billion will come from stock at $5.25 per share from other shareholders. The firm will net Sprint $3 billion which the telco could use to regain control of Clearwire.
Softbank's cash could also go toward Sprint's ongoing LTE rollout, which is set to speed up 20 markets in the near future. We should hear more details on the mammoth deal tomorrow.
Microsoft's ongoing patent infringement lawsuit against Motorola just got a whole lot more interesting, where they've added Google to the case. This will now be very interesting here on out, as Google are the ones making Android that go in their competitors phones.
Microsoft have claimed that adding Google to their existing lawsuit is because they are relying partly on data that Motorola says rests in the hands of Google, who recently acquired the phone maker.
The claims from Microsoft state that there's a method for mobile devices to obtain a map from a database and location data from a separate database before overlaying both sets of information. Microsoft claim that the Google Maps app on Motorola's Android-based devices violates a patent that the Redmond-based company holds on this particular function.
Google replied to the expansion of Microsoft's patent lawsuit saying that while it would like to "focus on innovation, not litigation", the Mountain View-based company are prepared to "vigorously defend against any amended complaint Microsoft files". Game on, in other words.
Apple settle with Swiss Federal Railways SBB over the use of the railway station clock on the iPad and iPhone
Apple have reached an agreement with the Swiss Federal Railways SBB, where the Cupertino-based company will have the right to use the SBB station clock on iOS-based devices. The two company's have reached a license agreement over the iconic clock.
In order for Apple to use the SBB station clock on iOS-based devices, the Swiss Federal Railways SBB and Apple reached, agreed and signed a license agreement. The iconic Railway station clock was built in 1944 by engineer and designer Hand Hilfiker.
Hilfiker designed the clock for the SBB, and is iconic for both the Railway, and the country. Apple have agreed to pay an undisclosed sum to the SBB for the use of the clock, where we'll probably never know just how much the Cupertino-based company paid to copy someone else's design. Clocks do have a rounded design...
AMD didn't report strong earnings in the last quarter, and now sources are telling AllThingsD that the CPU and GPU maker could reduce their workforce by as much as 30%. AllThingsD cite sources familiar with the company's plans that AMD will announce next week that they would slice between 20-30% of their employees, which could see up to 3,300 jobs disappear.
The sources have said that the cuts would affect employees in the engineering and sales departments, which have until now, been unaffected by previous rounds of cuts. The AllThingsD's sources also state something a little frightening for the company, that these cuts in the engineering and sales departments could be bad enough that it would force AMD to scale back some of their product offerings.
AMD are set to announce their quarterly earnings on October 18, but the announcement of the employee cuts could be announced a week later on October 25. AMD CEO Rory Read is rumored to have bought in a team of business consultants from McKinsey & Company and BCG to advice the struggling chipmaker. AllThingsD's sources claims that the mood over at team red is not great right now, with employees having feared cuts for a while now, with the source saying "there are a lot of nervous people, and not a lot of getting done right now".
The numbers were not nice to the gaming industry for the month of September. Research firm NPD Group released numbers that showed the industry slumped as a whole by 24 percent, when compared to the same period last year. Total sales for September, including game discs, consoles, and accessories, amounted to $848.3 million, a far cry from the $1.1 billion during the same period last year.
Looking component by component, the hardware sector suffered the biggest decline compared to last year. Sales of consoles declined roughly 39 percent to $210.9 million. Software, which makes up the largest component of gaming industry sales, declined 18 percent to $497.4 million, down from $609.7 million year-over-year.
Accessories were the least affected, declining only 11 percent. They totaled $139.9 million for the month of September. Microsoft wouldn't let this new bring them down, however, as they announced that the Xbox 360 is still the top selling console for the 21st month in a row.
The WiiU, due out in November, might be able to boost slumping sales. "In mid-September, Nintendo revealed launch details regarding the Wii U," NPD analyst Liam Callahan said yesterday in a statement. "The new console will launch on November 18 and has the potential to reinvigorate retail sales of hardware."
It's important to note that NPD's numbers do not include digital sales.
It's not exactly a pretty scene over at OCZ Technology Group Inc right now as their stock continues to plunge towards being worthless. On Wednesday morning, the stock plunged a massive 42 percent to $1.88, down from a close of $3.15 the day prior. Today, the stock has taken another dive, though not quite as large.
At the beginning of today's trading, OCZ's stock was valued at $1.84. It has now dived nearly 22 percent to $1.46, at the time of writing. But why is OCZ's stock in the toilet all of a sudden? Well, it stems from OCZ delaying the filing of its financial results for the second quarter for fiscal year 2013.
In the press release detailing the delay, OCZ warned investors that the second quarter revenue would be "materially lower" than the guidance released on September 5, 2012. This decrease is blamed upon "the impact of customer incentive programs." The company now expects to report a "significant net loss."
How come nobody saw this coming? Well, some did. If you look to the previous quarter, OCZ claimed they were making 30 percent margins, though there was basically no way this was possible, considering they were selling drives much cheaper than the competition when all rebates and customer incentives were factored in.
If the current estimates are true, there are over seven billion people on Earth. According to the UN telecom agency, there are around 6 billion cell phone subscriptions, which works out to around one for 86 of every 100 people.
The International Telecommunication Union said on Thursday that China takes a huge chunk out of those users, representing 1 billion subscribers alone. India is close in second place, where they're expected to cross the 1 billion milestone later this year.
The Geneva-based agency says that 2.3 billion people, or roughly one third of the estimated 7 billion on Earth, were using the Internet by the end of 2011. The ITU has also said that 70% of people who use the Internet live in wealthier, industrialized countries, compared to just 24% who live in poorer, developing nations.
DigiTimes is reporting that upstream component makers are concerned that the PC replacement trend that is expected to spark when Windows 8 drops in two weeks time may not actually happen this year at all.
They're estimating that it will begin in the first quarter of 2013, according to DigiTimes' "sources from upstream supply chain". They say:
Since an operating system usually needs to have serious debugging after launch, the sources believe consumers may hold back their new PC purchases until some time later and their actions would impact demand for Windows 8-based systems in the fourth quarter.
Component makers do have "high hopes" that Windows 8 will bring increased growth. But I'm sure that if you look at the market, the 'replace your desktop PC' days are over. Throw an SSD into a 2-3 year old machine and it's like new. There have to be some serious changes to the standard desktop PC before I can see huge growth coming from Windows 8. Such as a serious drop in the price of touchscreen-based LCD screens.
Eric Schmidt, Google chairman and former CEO of the company spoke with AllThingsD yesterday where he talked of the Apple vs. Android war, saying that it is the industry's "defining content" and that Google are currently ahead in this David vs. Goliath battle.
The former Google CEO points out that there are four times as many Android-based phones than there are iPhone's, with up to 1.3 million activations per day. With this momentum, the Mountain View-based company are set to reach the enormous one billion mobile devices activated.
Schmidt does state that the resulting fight between Apple and Google will only benefit the consumer, and when talking about Apple Maps he has said that Apple are now discovering that "maps are really hard", and that "Apple should've kept our maps... They're better". The Google chairman also cited something he called the "gang of four" which consists of Facebook, Amazon, Apple and Google which are "all different, all competitors, [and] all making enormous investments".
Schmidt also kept Microsoft off that list, and called the omission of the Windows maker "deliberate". He added that the Redmond-based company is a "well-run company", but they have not released any "state-of-the-art products" in any market yet.
Apple has s suffered another loss of sorts as one of the post-trial sales bans instituted by Judge Koh has been overturned by an appeals court. The federal appeals court ruled that Apple would not suffer significant harm by the infringement that was found during the trial, and as such removed the sales ban.
The Next Web put it beautifully when they described Samsung's arguments: "Samsung argued, somewhat humiliatingly, that the sales of the Galaxy Nexus were so poor that they didn't pose a threat to Apple's iPhone and that the unified search feature was not essential to the success of its device. The appeals court apparently agrees."
An excerpt of the official order:
…it may very well be that the accused product would sell almost as well without incorporating the patented feature. And in that case, even if the competitive injury that results from selling the accused device is substantial, the harm that flows from the alleged infringement (the only harm that should count) is not.
The ruling that contributed the most to the ban was in regards to patent 8086604, which deals with a unified search method. The idea here is that the Galaxy Nexus would sell nearly as well, if not as well, as it is currently even if it didn't implement the infringing feature. It seems like Samsung keeps getting more and more reason to launch an appeal.
OCZ, a maker of popular solid state drives, lost their CEO recently, but not to fear as the Board of Directors has picked a new replacement from its Board of Directors. Enter Ralph Schmitt, the former CEO of PLX Technologies up until Monday. Tuesday morning, the new OCZ CEO held a conference call and laid out his plans.
"Our actions will be based on innovation, quality, and profitability. Our focus will be to further penetrate OEMs and the enterprise market," he said on the conference call. "OCZ is committed to supporting our customers. We have already made great strides in discontinuing value products and non-core products. Focusing strategy on enterprise. We have lost credibility but we will win it back. We will focus on predictable, sustainable, & profitable results, but this will not happen overnight."
OCZ is planning to trim away at its value offerings as a company of its size just can't have as many as they do. Along with this, OCZ had offered customer incentives that were also too big. The CEO is looking to make the company profitable and work on its image.