Seagate have been rumored to be looking at scooping up an SSD maker, where it piled up into a RumorTT post regarding Seagate acquiring OCZ. The news flared up again this week with tech blog side the Bright Side of News reporting that the deal between the companies was "done". But, it appears that it is not actually done and that Seagate might not acquire OCZ at all, at least, not right now.
Since the BSN post, OCZ shares jumped up 30-percent on Friday, and up 66-percent since mid-July all based on speculation that Seagate were to acquire the company. But, it looks like those highs are over, and OCZ's share prices are falling back down to more reasonable levels. OCZ shares topped at $7.60, and have now dropped to $6.36. On Thursday, the prices were hovering at around $5.40 a share.
After the Court of Justice of the European Union ruled that software downloads can be resold, GameStop has started looking into options for reselling downloadable games. While it's not clear if GameStop is doing this because of the ruling, it is likely the cause of their exploration into options regarding the matter.
GameStop would like to add this to its business as reselling used games is a big portion of its revenue. In 2011, GameStop managed $2.6 billion in used game sales alone, a number which has steadily increased since 2002's $300 million. Curiously enough, used game sales still make up roughly the same percentage of revenue. In 2002 that number was 22% and in 2011 the number rose to only 27%.
Game developers and publishers don't like the used game market as it cuts into their sales. As they receive no cut from any of the sales, each used game sale is roughly a lost sale to them. Not every used game sale would have been a new sale, however. They'd be happy if used game sales would completely cease to exist.
Apple acquired Authentic, who is a leading provider of mobile and network security for the tidy sum of $356 million last week. Under the deal, Authentic are set to become a wholly owned subsidiary of Apple.
Shares of Authentic closed at $5.07 on the 27th of July, with Apple paying a 58-percent premium on this valuation at $8 per share. This means that share holders of Authentic would've had a nice surprise for the weekend just gone. Authentic are best known for producing fingerprint sensors, NFC chips and security software for mobiles.
Authentic has some big customers in their pockets, such as Samsung, HP, Fujitsu, Dell and Lenovo. Apple seem to have secured a firm which deals in security, after the many many stories of their OS being not as secure as they're previously stated. We should hopefully see the effects of Apple's latest acquisition in the coming years.
Considering Apple's next major market is mainland China, with a population of over one billion people, its strange to hear that Apple has just a very small portion of Chinese customers. The news has also leaked that Apple's revenues in the market have slipped.
In the third quarter of this fiscal year, Apple's sales have experienced a drop when compared to the two previous quarters, with a big portion of this decline coming from their iPhone. Revenue for the third quarter in Greater China came to $5.7 billion, which is a total of 16-percent of Apple's total revenues. Considering revenues were up 48-percent from the same quarter last year, it had fallen by a sharp 27-percent from the previous quarter.
Increased competition from companies such as Samsung as well as domestic Chinese smartphones brands, the iPhones momentum has been slowing down over the past few months according to Li Yi, the secretary of China Mobile Internet Industry Alliance. Apple have sold 26 million iPhones last quarter, down a very sharp 26-percent, something I noted on last week. These sales figures were below what was expected by Wall St analysts.
Hunan-based SSD developer and manufacturer, RunCore, have announced they just recently began construction of a brand new state-of-the-art SSD production facility in Changsha's Junzhou New District in Hunan province.
The investment from RunCore is at around $31 million, with the new production facility compromising of more than 360,000 square meters. The first construction phase is set to be completed by the end of this year, and shjould offer the room for the first four new SSD production lines. In the first phase, RunCore will gain production capacity increases of around 400,000 units per year, worth just over $50 million.
Within the next three years, the entire facility should be polished up and finished, and will offer RunCore one of the most advanced production capabilities in the industry. At this time, RunCore hope to have an annual production valued at $156 million.
It's that time again. Everyone is reporting their Q2 financial result to the world and Samsung didn't want to be left out. The world's largest TV and mobile phone manufacturer reported a massive $5.9 billion in profit for the second quarter. Laptops and desktop monitors haven't been doing as well lately, but the Galaxy S III and Note have been boosting sales.
Incredibly, over half (62%) of Samsung's profit came from mobile phone sales, a large portion of which were made up of Samsung's flagship device, the Galaxy S III. Seven million Galaxy S III smartphones were shipped during the second quarter and analysts are expecting that number to increase to around 20 million in the third quarter.
Analysts are also expecting that the upcoming Apple iPhone 5 will put some water on Samsung's hot streak. Furthermore, Samsung is experiencing competition in the low-end smartphone market. Samsung is also coming up against a lawsuit with Apple in California, where Apple has reportedly requested $2.5 billion in damages.
It seems as though Facebook just can't catch a break. So far in premarket trading, Facebook stock has fallen 12.8% to land at $23.40. If Facebook can't get its stuff together and the stock stays near that level, it will be Facebook's lowest closing yet. As of right now, Facebook's lowest closing is at $25.52.
The reason behind this drop is actually fairly simple. Facebook had a disappointing showing in the second quarter. While Facebook met analysts expectations, meeting low expectations isn't something to be proud of. They managed a $157 million loss on $1.2 billion in revenue. This time last year, they posted a $240 million profit.
This latest stock drop comes just two months after the social networking giant went public. The initial public offering was listed at $38, nearly $15 higher than the current stock price. Investors haven't seen the stock at $38, or anywhere near that, since the first day of trading. It doesn't appear to be coming around anytime soon, either.
With the US government continuing to meddle in issues with the Internet, some of the biggest sites in the world including Google, Facebook, Amazon and eBay have teamed up to form the Internet Association.
The group is set to launch in Washington this September, coordinating the big powerhouses of the Internet in order to provide a unified message to lawmakers in the US. There are more to join, with these members being announced at the launch itself. Former adviser to the chairman of the House of Representatives Energy and Commerce Committee, Michael Beckerman, is taking the lead, where he said that the goal of the group is to educate legislators about the Internet.
With political lobbying being a huge cash cow, with $3.3 billion spent on it last year alone according to the Center for Responsive Politics. Google is one of the biggest spenders, splashing $5.4 million this year so far, with Facebook just throwing $650k into the ring.
Court rules that Apple won't need to publish a notice on its UK website that Samsung didn't copy its iPad design
One week ago we reported that a judge ordered Apple to publish a notice on their UK website and British newspapers that the courts ruling stated that Samsung did not copy Apple's iPad designs.
But now, Bloomberg is reporting that a London court has ruled today that Apple do not need to immediately publish a notice on its UK website that Samsung didn't copy their iPad design.
This new order is stayed until the appeal against the ruling in October. Personally, I don't think it's fair. Apple go after Samsung, Samsung have their hardware pulled from shelves hours afterward. Samsung successfully have a court rule that their design didn't copy the iPad, and Apple get away with it until October.
Facebook posted their Q2 finance reports, where the social network saw $1.18 billion in revenue for the company's first disclosures since its IPO went live in May.
Most of the revenue came from advertising, which raked in $992 million, a 28-percent increase over the same quarter last year. Facebook also posted a $743 million loss for the quarter, compared to the $407 million profit from the same quarter in 2011.
Facebook was expected to outspend its income for Q2, as $1.3 billion in share-based compensation and payroll tax expenses were finally realized. Facebook CEO and mastermind, Mark Zuckerberg said:
Our goal is to help every person stay connected and every product they use be a great social experience. That's why we're so focused on investing in our priorities of mobile, platform and social ads to help people have these experiences with their friends.
If you thought Apple's 26 million iPhone shipments during the second quarter of 2012 was impressive, just wait until you hear how many Samsung shipped. Juniper Research says that Samsung managed to double that number to 52.1 million smartphones shipped in the second quarter of 2012, quite the impressive number.
Total shipments of smartphones during the same period totaled 132.9 million, according to estimates. This means that with Samsung and Apple's shipments combined, they make up more than half of the total smartphone shipments. Samsung's sales numbers were likely boosted significantly by the Galaxy S III which sold 10 million units in just 2 months.
To get a feeling for just how well the top two manufacturers are doing, Nokia shipped just 10.2 million in the second quarter. RIM managed only 7.4 million shipments. It's likely Apple will gain some ground on Samsung with the release of the iPhone 5, but at the same time it is unlikely that Samsung will sit idly by.
If Western Digital's financial results reported today are anything to go by, it would appear that the hard drive company has recovered nicely from the flooding that put a majority of its manufacturing capacity underwater less than a year ago. Western Digital managed to pull in $4.7 billion dollars this quarter, Q4 2012.
For the entire 2012 financial year, WD managed to pull in $12.5 billion. These results are large increases over the same periods last year. Net income rose to $1.6 billion, more than double what it was for fiscal year 2011. These financials now include Hitachi, which likely contributed a large portion to enterprise drive shipments that WD achieved last year.
Even more interesting is that WD has again shipped more laptop drives than desktop drives. During Q4 2012, Western Digital shipped 21.2 million desktop drives and 32.8 million notebook models. The difference between these categories has never been this high before and previously desktop drives outsold laptop models.
AOL reported their Q2 earnings report, seeing revenues of $531 million. This makes it AOL's lowest total revenue decline in seven years, with a 2-percent year-on-year decrease.
AOL's legacy income, such as mobile carrier revenues and subscriptions continued to fall, but it was offset by growth in international display advertising and third-party network revenues. Operating income was boosted by the $96 million AOL made from licensing patents to Microsoft.
But, AOL have insisted that its EIBDA grew regardless of this deal with Microsoft, saying that "excluding those items, the remaining Q2 2012 Adjusted OIBDA of $94.6 million reflects an increase of $18 million year-over-year." AOL chairman and CEO, Tim Armstrong said:
Today's results represent a significant milestone for AOL as we returned to Adjusted OIBDA growth for the first time in four years. The strong results and consumer performance we announced today are clear signs our strategic and operating efforts are translating into significant financial progress.
Zynga didn't have high estimates from analysts, but the company didn't even meet those. The company releases their Q2 earnings report, which showed revenue of $332 million, and lost $22.8 million, or 3 cents per share. Analysts predicted Zynga would pull in 5 cents per share on revenue of $344 million.
Zynga have said they have 72 million daily active users, up from 59 million in the previous quarter, and 306 million monthly active users, up from 228 million. Bookings on the other hand, were $302 million, up 12-percent from the same time last year, but a sequential decline of around 9-percent from the previous quarter.
The company has now lowered its outlook going into the rest of 2012 based on delays in launching new games, a faster decline in existing web games due in part to a more challenging environment on the Facebook web platform, and reduced expectations for Draw Something." Zynga are projecting $1.15 billion to $1.225 billion in bookings for the remainder of 2012.
Think back to that deal closed back in May when Google acquired Motorola Mobility for $12.4 billion. Well, in an SEC filing, Google explains just how it valued Motorola's worth and in that we find that Google valued "patents and developed technology" at $5.5 billion, the largest portion of the acquisition.
Other amounts of money were much smaller than the $5.5 billion: $2.9 billion of the purchase price for Motorola's cash, $730 million went to customer relationships, and $670 million to other net assets. The remaining $2.6 billion was for goodwill, or the value of the company above and beyond its assets.
Google from the beginning has said that the acquisition was to acquire the patents that Motorola held. It would appear that they wanted the patents so much that they were willing to pay a $7 billion premium to get their hands on them. Google reported Motorola's financials for the first time last week and they contributed over $1.25 billion to revenue. However, the mobile firm reported a $233 million operating loss.
Birmingham City University students, get ready. Sony Computer Entertainment Europe has once again teamed up with that university to offer the chance to students to win a scholarship. The scholarship, if won, will see the student having half of the fees paid to attend the Gamer Camp Pro, which is a master's degree program with a gaming focus.
Furthermore, the students will then get a six-month placement in one of Sony's UK development studios. They'll even be paid for that, too! In order to have a chance to win, students must be signed up for Gamer Camp by August 9 and be automatically entered. The cheaper Nano version will work. Winners will be selected by interview from the initial pool of perspective candidates.
"We are delighted to offer PlayStation Academic Scholarships in partnership with Gamer Camp: Pro for the second year running." said SCEE's Dr. Maria Stukoff. "It's a great opportunity for the next generation of British videogame talent to acquire professional development skills before they embark into a competitive industry."
"Having an active and influential partner in Sony Computer Entertainment Europe is a massive benefit to the Gamer Camp programme," says Gamer Camp co- founder Guy Wilday. "Access to Sony development hardware, experienced industry support and these PlayStation Academic Scholarships provides Gamer Camp students with an unparalleled educational opportunity.
ARM Holdings, who supplies microchips to Apple for their iPhone and iPads, Samsung's Galaxy line of smart devices, and now Microsoft's Windows 8 devices, has reported strong earnings for Q2.
The company had reported $213 million in earnings, which beat analysts' estimates of $206 million. Net profits was up 48-percent to $61.2 million, compared to $41.3 million this time last year. Next quarter's profits should be even better, as the company has said they have a "record order backlog", but have warned that macroeconomic uncertainties may impact what happens in Q4.
ARM noted in a statement that "Macroeconomic uncertainty may impact consumer confidence, and some analysts have become less confident in the semiconductor industry outlook in the second half". ARM did note that they expect overall revenues for 2012 to be in line with market expectations. They are heading for full-year revenues of $860 million.
This quarter was not that great for Apple and their until now, invincible iPhone. Today, coincidentally, the same day as their Q3 2012 report, the company has alleged that the only way Samsung could compete in the smartphone market was by... wait for it... "copying Apple".
Apple also allege that "Samsung's infringing sales have enabled Samsung to overtake Apple as the largest manufacturer of smartphones in the world". Apple then "conservatively estimates" that they are somehow entitled to $2 billion for unjust enrichment, $500 million in lost profits, and $25 million in reasonable royalty damages. The total being $2,525,000,000.
Could it be because Apple saw a huge dent in iPhone sales, dropping from last quarters 35 million to this quarters 26 million? Apple blame it on rumors of the new iPhone, I blame it on increased competition and their stagnation of releases. The iPhone 4S was just an S in the name for Siri, and didn't see much of a change.
Samsung have inked a deal with Gorilla Glass maker Corning, which will see the two companies build a jointly-owned TFT-LCD glass factory in China that will cost $600 million.
The two companies inked a "memorandum of understanding" with the Wuxi New District government in China for the new $600 million facility, which is set to take over some of the manufacturing heavy lifting from factories based in South Korea.
Back in 1995, the companies set up Samsung Corning Precision Glass, which has seen Corning gaining significant footing in the mobile market, with their biggest feat seeing their Gorilla Glass on the first iPhone from Apple, and since, many many more smart devices. The new factory will produce TFT-LCD glass, which is used in most mobile devices and more.
Apple released their Q3 2012 numbers, where we saw 26 million iPhones sold, but it was a huge drop from the previous quarter which saw 35.1 million sold. Why the gigantic, sudden drop?
Well, Apple are blaming rumors of the next-generation iPhone, causing a negative impact on sales. After years of beating Wall Street forecasts, Apple failed to meet analyst expectations for its latest fiscal quarter. CFO Peter Oppenheimer was pressed by analysts about this, where he cited the strong US dollar, economic conditions and ongoing rumors as its biggest challenges. He noted:
We're reading the same rumors and speculation that you are about a new iPhone.
But, can people really swallow that a third of Apple customers are patiently waiting for a new iPhone? Could it be that Samsung have a better specced device, and are constantly increasing in sales, hitting 10 million Galaxy S III sales within two months. If Apple are saying that people are waiting for the new iPhone, that would mean we should see a spike of around 9 million above this quarters iPhone sales, yes? So "Q1 2013" for Apple should see them back to 35 million, or more.
Consumer rights groups in two countries appear to be ready to take Blizzard to court over the launch of Diablo III and the problems associated with it. In Europe, the Federation of Consumer Organisations is leading the charge against Blizzard and wants them to add something on the box to the effect that you have to be online to play the game.
Blizzard has until July 27 to comply with the request or the Federation of Consumer Organisations has threatened to take them to court. In South Korea, the South Korean courts have already fined Blizzard £4,500 for not refunding Korean customers after all of the launch issues experienced. That amount of money isn't a big deal, or even a blip on the radar, for Blizzard.
The fine in South Korea, as small as it was, came about after quite a bit of work. Reports claim that Blizzard's offices in Seoul were raided. While these are the only legal issues facing Blizzard at the moment, there are still plenty of other issues that Blizzard needs to work out with Diablo III, even though it launched over two months ago.