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Business, Financial & Legal Posts - Page 87

PC market is still in trouble, new projections see the market continue to tumble into 2014

We all know the PC market isn't doing too well, but new projections from the IDC think that we haven't seen the worst of it just yet. According to the IDC's latest numbers, PC shipments will continue to decline, by 7.8% in 2013 and will fall by another 1.2% in 2014.

 

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IDC are projecting that 2014's numbers are a little stronger as companies that continue to use Windows XP will shift to Windows 8 once Microsoft halts support for the older OS next year. The drop in PC sales are of course thanks to the constantly surging numbers for smart devices such as smartphones and tablets. IDC analyst Loren Loverde says:

 

Many users are realizing that everyday computing, such as accessing the Web, connecting to social media, sending emails, as well as using a variety of apps, doesn't require a lot of computing power or local storage. Instead, they are putting a premium on access from a variety of smaller devices with longer battery life, an instant-on function, and intuitive touch-centric interfaces. These users have not necessarily given up on PCs as a platform for computing when a more robust environment is needed, but this takes a smaller share of computing time, and users are making do with older systems.

Dotcom has Hollywood in tears over Mega, movie studios are asking Google to censor Mega

Kim Dotcom has Hollywood's feathers rustled over his new Mega service, with Warner Bros. and NBC Universal asking Google to remove Mega from their search results, claiming that Dotcom's service is hosting copyrighted material on its servers.

 

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Dotcom has hit back, as usual, where he responded to the requests in a statement to TorrentFreak, where he said the requests are the same "unreasonable content industry behavior" that he has put up with for years now. Google haven't complied with the movie studio's requests just yet, with the Mega domain continuing to show up in Google search results. Dotcom does note that a lot of these requests are actually false alarms, which happen from an automated and abusive system:

 

During the Megaupload days over 20% of all takedown notices were bogus. We analysed big samples of notices and most were automated keyword based takedowns that affected a lot of legitimate files. The abuse of the takedown system is so severe that no service provider can rely on takedown notices for a fair repeat infringer policy.

Former AMD Exec: Xbox One APU worth over $3 billion to AMD

AMD has reason to be celebrating being in all three next-generation gaming consoles. According to a former AMD executive, the Microsoft Xbox One deal is worth $3 billion alone. Add to that fact that the PlayStation 4 will likely sell in similar numbers to the Xbox One and you can see that this was a major deal for AMD.

 

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With computer sales floundering, having this semi-new market available will help the chipmaker. AMD has been unable to compete with Intel directly using only performance, so hopefully this cash infusion will boost their CPU abilities and GPU abilities. Bob Feldstein, former AMD Corporate Vice President of Business Development (now with NVIDIA as VP of Technology):

 

This required the coordination of multiple functional teams within AMD, as well as regular customer meetings with leadership teams responsible for handling the challenges of complex, multi-year deals. This project is valued at $3+B.

 

It remains to be seen if this will be enough to turn the company around. However, as of late the company has been bringing talent back from other companies, which could indicate a resurgence.

Foxconn could soon be making their own devices, wants to move away from contract manufacturing

Foxconn within a few years could be a completely different company, with unnamed sources talking to The Wall Street Journal saying that Foxconn is "is moving aggressively to add new clients and is looking at ways to diversify beyond contract manufacturing".

 

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This move also includes "reviewing plans to sell its own brand of electronics accessories to improve profit margins". We don't know if the Foxconn made devices would compete with the likes of Samsung Apple, but this would definitely be an avenue I'm sure they're looking at right now.

Samsung sees success in China, a record 12.5 million smartphones sold in Q1 2013

Samsung have reached the top dog spot for China's smartphone sales for Q1 2013, selling a record 12.5 million smartphones in the three-month period according to Strategy Analytics.

 

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This is the first time the South Korean company has sold over 10 million units in a single quarter, and when compared to their main rival, Apple, they beat them by a long shot. Apple sold just 6.1 million iPhone's in the three-month period, allowing Samsung to secure the number one smartphone vendor in China award for the fifth quarter in a row.

ReportTT: EU investigating Apple over anti-competitive practices with the iPhone

Apple is reportedly being investigated by the European Union over anti-competitive practices in relation to its iPhone range of devices. According to the Financial Times, The European Commission has sent out a nine-page questionnaire to various telecommunications firms in Europe and has begun the preliminary proceedings of the investigation.

 

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The telecommunications companies must return the questionnaire by June 17. Their answers will be used to decide whether a full investigation is warranted. If the companies admit that Apple was favored over rivals, Apple could face significant fines.

 

Apple could also be in trouble if they disable features of the product within the EU area because this breaches EU law. Such issues include blocking access to 4G networks in Europe.

 

Apple maintains that it has done nothing wrong.

Samsung spends $25 million to create a US display patent firm

Samsung has spent invested $25 million to start a US-based display patent firm. The firm was quietly launched in March in Washington D.C. and will help Samsung protect its patents in the United States. According to the Korea Times, the new firm is known as Intellectual Keystone Technology (IKT).

 

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The company will allow Samsung to better protect its intellectual property, something we've seen Apple doing in the Apple v Samsung lawsuit. Samsung's screens are seen on a wide variety of devices, so its important that Samsung not lose its patents or have them infringed upon as it would be a major hit to the business.

 

A Samsung Display spokesperson said, "Samsung recently established IKT. Patents are a good source of innovation and we also need to protect our intellectual property by strengthening our patent-related business."

 

Should we expect to see an uptick in patent litigation? It's certainly possible, though for right now it appears Samsung is just working on amassing patents.

ReportTT: Google facing new antitrust probe over display ads

The problem with being one of the biggest companies in the world is you can't catch a break. Just after an antitrust investigation into Google was completed, reports of a new investigation over different allegations have emerged. Google is reportedly being investigated by the FTC over allegations of using its online display-advertising market to curb competition.

 

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The inquiry is just beginning and may not expand into a full-fledged investigation. Center to the probe is whether Google is using its large adverting network to push companies to use other services the company offers. This can prove illegal under antitrust laws if not done properly.

 

A large portion of Google's advertising tools and network came from the acquisition of DoubleClick in 2007. At the time, the FTC said, "We will closely watch these markets and, should Google engage in unlawful tying or other anticompetitive conduct, the commission intends to act quickly." It looks like the commission now feels the company is being anticompetitive.

 

TweakTown will follow this and keep our readers up on the latest.

Samsung to hold "Premiere" launch event in London on June 20th

Samsung has been on a roll lately with new product launches and this coming June 20th should be no exception. The company will hold a launch event at London's Earls Court 2 in which we can expect to see "several" Galaxy and ATIV devices unveiled.

 

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The Galaxy brand of products needs no introduction, but many of our readers may not have heard of the ATIV brand, which is Samsung's Windows Phone line of smartphones and tablets. While not much info is available on what we might see added to the ATIV line, we most likely will see the Galaxy S4 Mini, Galaxy Active and a new Galaxy Tablet unveiled at the event.

 

This event comes at the end of what is shaping up to be a very busy month in the tech industry. With Computex 2013 taking place between June 4th and 8th, E3 happening on June 11th until June 13, and Apple's WWDC taking place on June 10th till 14th, the tech media world is going to be in a frenzy with all of the news stories being released.

 

As always, TweakTown will be on top of everything, with journalists on the ground at Computex and E3, as well as live blogs taking place for these events. So, keep your browsers open to TweakTown for up to the minute coverage of everything happening in June.

ReportTT: Google considering Waze buyout

Rumors have made the rounds that Facebook is interested in the social mapping service. According to a Bloomberg report, Google may also be considering a Waze buyout. This is good news for Waze as the two companies would likely enter into a bidding war; it's not such great news for the companies themselves as the price will go up.

 

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The report states that Google and others have approached Waze since the news of Facebook's talks were made public. Waze is reportedly seeking in excess of $1 billion, so it's very possible that talks fall through and Waze remains an independent company. Greg Sterlin, an analyst at Opus Research, suggests that Google may acquire Waze to prevent competition or add social features to its own Maps product:

 

If they put a lot of effort behind it and really try to develop a social mapping product, it could be something significantly differentiated from what Google is offering and could grow into a competitor for Google Maps.

 

We're still a good distance away from Waze being acquired as the acquisition would likely undergo scrutiny from the FTC and other government groups. If Waze does enter into an acquisition deal, you'll be able to read about it here on TweakTown.

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