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This afternoon, the Wall Street Journal has reported that last week BlackBerry executives met with officials from Facebook in order to gauge interest in a potential acquisition bid for the Canadian smartphone maker. The details are unclear at the moment, and no one is really clear if Facebook is serious about buying the failing company or not.
With BlackBerry jockeying for a sale by the end of November, Facebook could stand to buy the company at a very good price and turn it around into a Facebook branded smartphone manufacturer. Mark Zuckerberg has expressed on many occasions that the key to the social network's continued success is to get it onto as many smartphones as possible. What better way to do that than to own a smartphone company?
When Microsoft announced that it would be acquiring the Finnish smartphone manufacturer Nokia, many analyst asked why Redmond would buy a company that some saw as a slowly dying giant. Today Nokia released their third quarter financial results, and it appears that the landscape has changed for Nokia and Microsoft.
During the last quarter Nokia managed to sell 14.7 million phones, of which 8.8 million were Lumia devices running Microsoft's Windows Phone operating system. During the second quarter of 2013, Nokia only managed to push out 11.7 million phones total which means that 3 million more phones went out the door in Q3. Virtually all of the company's sales growth came from North America, which means that Microsoft stands to do well in 2014 with its new smartphone division if they can keep the momentum up.Additionally, operating profits were at $162 million on a total revenue of $7.8 billion.
If there's a company capable of making a tremendous return, stomping its foot down firmly into the ground to claim victory, it's AMD. The chipmaker has finally returned to profitability after numerous years of bad results.
AMD posted a Q3 revenue of $1.46 billion, representing a 15% year-over-year increase, and a net income of $48 million - or 4c per share. Moving onto the non-GAAP basis, AMD posted a net income of $31 million, with this figure including $22 million in restructuring charges. If AMD didn't have to take that restructuring charge, it would've enjoyed earnings of 6c per share.
The 'experts' over on Wall Street expected the company to report Q3 earnings of 2c per share on revenue of $1.41 billion. AMD CEO, Rory Read, said that the company's turnaround is part of its strategic transformation it talked about years ago: "We achieved 26 percent sequential revenue growth driven by our semi-custom business and remain committed to generating approximately 50 percent of revenue from high-growth markets over the next two years. Developing industry-leading technology remains at our core, and we are in the middle of a multi-year journey to redefine AMD as a leader across a more diverse set of growth markets."
At the time of writing, AMD's shares were down 0.6% to $3.32 a piece.
This afternoon, Apple made its earnings report for quarter 4 2013 public and while things look good for Apple, gross margins are down year over year. During its earnings call to investors, Apple said that it managed to earn $7.5 billion in profit on $37.5 billion in revenue.
Year over year, revenue is up about $1.5 billion, but the company saw its margin slip from 40-percent to 37-percent. The Cupertino based company also announced that i managed to sell 33.8 million iPhones during the quarter, which was undoubtedly bolstered thanks to the iPhone 5S and 5C being released last month. iPad sales remained stagnant with about 14 million being sold in Q4. Apple said that it's Mac devices managed $5.62 billion in revenue with 4.6 million devices being sold.
One of the more interesting things to come from the weekend of news is that Google is building itself a gigantic floating data center, which is being constructed in the San Francisco bay.
It's a four-story tall building, which sits on some shipping containers. CNET donned its detective hat and took a look, snapping the picture above. Why would the search giant be building a data center on the water? Well, what do data centers require the most? Cooling. It needs to keep all of those servers cool, where the body of water around it being the perfect spot.
But, saltwater is a different ballgame, so Google would require a desalination or filtering plant to use the water appropriately - which I'm sure it has planned.
Update: We've had an e-mail from a Qualcomm representative who says that Anand is still with the company, serving as Senior Vice President where he is "exploring certain enterprise-related initiatives."
When Apple launched its iPhone 5S last month with the A7 processor rocking inside, most people rolled their eyes thinking "why?" Well, one of those people was Qualcomm representative Anand Chandrasekher, who called the A7 processor a "gimmick."
Chandrasekher is no longer with Qualcomm, with the company stating in a statement to CNET: "Anand Chandrasekher, is moving to a new role leading our exploration of certain enterprise related initiatives...Anand will continue to report to Steve Mollenkopf, COO and President of Qualcomm. This will be effective immediately."
Well, it looks like Qualcomm wasn't happy with his statement, so much so that it got rid of him. I guess when the future of mobile processors is 64-bit, and you go and insult it, you get laughed at and kicked out of the company. It wasn't long ago that we reported that Chandrasekher said 8-core processors for smartphones are dumb, if you didn't remember.
Even though LG is finally seeing some success with its smartphones, the South Korean company actually bled some money this quarter selling its handsets. LG posted its Q3 earnings, with a -2.6% operating margin.
The company shipped over 12 million handsets, which provided it with a nice $2.75 billion in mobile sales and an even better 24% year-over-year in mobile sales. LG says it is still losing money in its mobile division due to "increased competition and higher marketing investments." Looking into the future, LG says it "plans to focus on increasing sales of new premium products such as the LG G2 smartphone during the peak holiday season as well as maximizing 3G and mid-tier mass devices such as the L II Series and F Series."
While other companies seem to be struggling to post massive profits and keep their share prices high - I'm talking about Apple, folks - its biggest competitor has just posted another record high in operating profits.
Samsung has just posted its earnings for the Q3 period, with profits of $9.6 billion setting a new record high for the South Korean giant. The increased profits are thanks to its cheaper Galaxy smartphones, as well as profits from its memory side of things - such as Flash storage and RAM. Samsung has seen increased demand for its chips in the upcoming next-gen consoles, smartphones, servers, PCs and much more.
The company is seeing less profits on its TVs as prices continue to drop, but sales of its 60-inch and higher TVs are said to be growing.
Microsoft has been somewhat struggling with its Surface tablets, but that hasn't stopped the company from posting an impressive Q1 earnings report. From $18.5 billion in revenue, the Redmond-based giant took a nice $5.2 billion in net profits home.
The company pegs most of this success in the growth of its corporate-focused Commercial group. Unfortunately, the Devices and Consumer division isn't doing so well, with Windows revenue from PC makers down a sharp 7%, but search ad revenue climbed an impressive 47%. The Surface line of slates from Microsoft saw revenue increases quarter-over-quarter to $400 million.
With Windows 8.1 launching just recently, Microsoft has netted $113 million in pre-order revenue, which could see a surge in PC sales in the coming quarter. We're also set to see the Surface 2, Surface 2 Pro and Xbox One sales make a huge increase in revenue for the company in the coming months.
Two marketing firms representing Samsung have been caught red-handed hiring writers to post good reviews about its products while at the same time giving HTC products a bad review. This practice violates Taiwan Fair Trade Rules and has ended up costing the electronics giant $340,000 USD in fines from the Taiwanese government.
The two firms who were the actual offending parties have been fined more than $100,000 each themselves for their participation in the violation. This is not the first time something like this has happened either. Earlier this year, Samsung was caught up in a similar scandal where 3rd party firms were hiring developers to promote Samsung on StackOverflow.