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Apple's stock continues to fall as more and more reports of decreased demand roll in. Today, Apple's stock dropped by almost 6 percent, slipping to under $400 for the first time since December 2011. Apple stock has since rallied slightly and is back at $401.70 at the time of writing.
A major contributor to today's decrease in value is a report by DigiTimes stating that iPad mini shipments could be down by as much as 30 percent quarter-over-quarter. Another contributor is Cirrus Logic, supplier of the audio chips in Apple products, failed to meet expectations, leading many investors to believe Apple's demand is also down.
We'll know just how bad Apple performed when they release their financial results next week.
During Intel's first quarter earnings call, Intel CEO Paul Otellini said that Windows 8 touch devices including laptops will see a massive price drop in the coming months when the company releases its new quad-core Bay Trail chip. He said that new innovative designs will allow future touch devices to sink into the $200 price range.
"If you look at touch-enabled Intel-based notebooks that are ultra-thin using [Bay Trail] processors. Those prices are going to be down to as low as $200... Bay Trail is going to be a great product in that segment of the market and enable stunning performance relative to what the competition can bring."
Being billed as the most powerful Atom processor ever, Bay Trail is a complete redesign of the Atom micro architecture and is said to bring Atom chips closer to the performance levels of mainstream Intel processors.
According to a couple of venture capitalists, Apple's reputation is beginning to change and their employees aren't willing to stick around. One investor said: "More generally there is a growing level of dissatisfaction among Apple executives and employees, and a greater willingness to explore leaving".
Another VC told Business Insider that his firm has seen a big uptick in resumes coming in from current Apple employees. Business Insider's source spoke with some of these job-seekers, where they said that the startups are paying more, and that "Apple culture has started to change with the new leadership on top".
A month ago, top Apple reporter and analyst John Gruber of Daring Fireball said that retention has become "the single biggest problem that Apple faces, and almost nobody is talking about it". He added:
I think if there's going to be a problem coming up with big new things I think it's more likely a draining of really bright engineering and design talent at the rank and file level.
Microsoft comes to an agreement with Hon Hai over Microsoft's patents for Android and Chrome devices
Microsoft holds patents that are hurting other companies making products based on Android and Chrome, but now Foxconn's parent company, Hon Hai, has licensed Microsoft's patents for Google's operating systems.
Hon Hai makes many Apple products, and between their many subsidiaries, they are responsible for the manufacturing of 40% of consumer electronic devices in the world. The deal they struck with Microsoft will see them enjoy the licenses of patents for phones, tablets and TVs and will see Microsoft receive royalty payments.
We know the PC industry is in a state of pain, but it looks like the largest chipmaker is hurting, too. Intel have just posted their latest earnings report, revealing that their quarterly profits for Q1 2013 are down 25% year-over-year.
For Q1 2013, Intel made $2.045 billion in profits, down from $2.738 billion last year. Intel CEO, Paul Otellini, said in a statement:
Amidst market softness, Intel performed well in the first quarter and I'm excited about what lies ahead for the company. We shipped our next-generation PC microprocessors, introduced a new family of products for micro-servers, and will ship our new tablet and smartphone microprocessors this quarter.
Beijing-based firm open position for a 'chief porn identification officer', offering $32k a year for the position
A Beijing-based third-party Internet security company called Anquan, are looking for a "chief porn identification officer", a position they posted on their Weibo account.
The company was started in 2010, with the goal to "combat bad information on the internet" and promote greater control of porn on the web. Anquan have big partners in Baidu and Tencent, as well as government agencies that regulate the Internet in China. Here's a translated version of the job post:
Job Location: Beijing
Salary: 200,000 RMB/year [$32,348.40 annually]
Job Responsibilities: Quickly and accurately identifying pornographic and obscene websites.
- 1. Research and study pornographic videos and images, formulate criteria for determining obscenity.
- 2. Deploy courseware on the standards of obscenity determination, and study materials such as educational videos on pornography.
- 3. Manage and rate pornographic resources (including BT seeds, images, and online videos).
Eric Schmidt has said that the total number of Android activations are set to cross the one billion threshold in "six to nine months." Currently, Android devices are being activated at the rate of about 1.5 million per day, an impressive rate that will likely continue to increase as more developing markets start demanding smartphones.
"Android is by far the primary vehicle by which people are going to see smartphones," Schmidt said.
Schmidt remained somewhat secretive about future Android plans. In regards to the promotion of Sundar Pichai, he added, "Don't confuse organization design and product design." In other words, don't have your heart set on Chrome OS and Android OS becoming one in the same.
A total of one billion Android device activations is quite the accomplishment. It goes to show how popular the Android platform is and how it helps to have an operating system that can be used across a wide range of devices, much like Windows.
Google has managed to negotiate deals with HBO and Cinemax so that customers who are using the Google Fiber TV bundle package can now add on HBO and Cinemax--for a price. Any Google Fiber TV customer can add the new HBO package for $20/month (tax not included). This package includes HBO, HBO2, HBO Signature, HBO Family, HBO Latino, HBO Comedy, and HBO Zone.
Cinemax fans will be able to get the new Cinemax package for just $10/month (again, tax not included). The Cinemax package includes Max, MoreMax, ActionMax, ThrillerMax, WMax, @Max, 5-StarMax, and OuterMax. If you're a serious TV watcher, Google rolled out a new "premium package" that will set you back $40/month.
The premium package comes with STARZ, Showtime, HBO, and Cinemax.
You can sign up for these packages starting now. If you already have Fiber service installed in your home, you can call customer service 24/7 at 866-777-7550 to have any of these packages added.
Apple has discovered that a "very small number" of Apple TVs might have issues with WiFi. Because of this, Apple has opened up a replacement program, authorizing Apple Authorized Service Providers or Apple themselves to replace faulty third-generation Apple TV devices for up to two years from the purchase date.
The issues include the device not being able to locate a network, join a network, or being unable to maintain a steady connection to a network. To be eligible for a replacement, your serial number must fall within the range provided by Apple. This means the last four characters must be DRHN and the third and fourth characters must be one of the following:
H9, HC, HD, HF, HG, HH, HJ, HK, HL, HM, HN, HP, HQ, HR, HT, HV, HW, HX, J1, J2, J3, J4, J5, J6, J7, J8, or J9
You might not remember when a former Rochdale Securities trader was arrested last December or why he was arrested, but today he plead guilty to wire fraud and conspiracy after making an unauthorized purchase of $1 billion in Apple stock that led to the demise of Rochdale Securities.
David Miller's lawyer:
What happened here was out of character for a kind and generous family man who has lived an otherwise law-abiding and good life. He deeply regrets what he has done and the harm it has caused to other people, including the former principals and employees at Rochdale.
David Miller ordered 1.625 million shares of Apple stock, telling Rochdale that the trade was for a customer. That customer had, in fact, only ordered just 1,625 shares of Apple stock. After the stock fell in price, Rochdale lost about $5.3 million.
The SEC has filed a civil fraud lawsuit against Miller. It's not clear what the SEC hopes to gain from the civil lawsuit.