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Apple to beef its marketing department up with 300 more people

Apple is on the verge of releasing two new smartphones, the iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C. Both of which are the company's latest push for consumers to hand over their money before the holidays, but what do new products require? Marketing.

 

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The Cupertino-based company is reportedly looking for between 200-300 new marketing employees, which would see a doubling in the amount of its current in-house marketing team. Ad Age reports that when Steve Jobs was CEO, there was a cap of how big the in-house marketing team could grow, but now that he's gone, that cap is too.

 

Apple will continue working with ad agencies, but the new team will be "tackling more projects, doing everything from site design to tutorial videos for Apple products to maintaining a large internal commercial-production facility."

SK Hynix fire not as bad as first thought, one plant re-opened

If you didn't tune in to our first Podcast, you might want to check that out here, where we had Jim Handy from Objective Analysis on the show talking with us about the SK Hynix factory fires.

 

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SK Hynix provided an update today, where it has said that the fab that was damaged by the fire is still being evaluated, but the second fab has been re-opened. The company said in a statement: "Our plan is to resume normal operations with full production capacity in the shortest time by ramping up operations in stages as soon as the damaged facilities are replaced."

 

Handy says that this seems to contradict earlier reports from the company, where it said it would see operations resumed quickly so that production volume wouldn't be impacted in the long-term. SK Hynix has said that it has inventory in Korea, where they said: "We will continue to make every effort to minimize the impact on supply with our inventories of finished products and completely processed wafers as well as production support from our headquarters."

Continue reading 'SK Hynix fire not as bad as first thought, one plant re-opened' (full post)

HTC continues to slide, August revenues don't impress

HTC has been on the downward spiral for quite sometime now, but its latest revenue report for August is quiet disappointing. Even with the HTC One smartphone being a success, the company only made $443.3 million, which is 16% lower than July's numbers.

 

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Even worse, it's the worst they've seen in six months with HTCSource.com reporting that August's numbers are 45% lower than it was at the same time last year. The problem now is bringing the numbers up going into September, which would require a 60% increase in sales which simply isn't going to happen. Do you think HTC will make it until 2014? I see the company being acquired by a bigger player such as Google, rolling it into its Motorola business.

Carl Icahn retreats from Dell takeover battle, says he is done

Carl Icahn has called it quits and given up his fight to take control of Dell Computers. Icahn announced his intent to cease his fight to take over control of Dell in a newsletter he sent out to shareholders earlier today. This leaves the door wide open for Dell CEO Michael Dell to finally take the company private after 14 long months of Icahn's blockade.

 

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Michael Dell, along with private equity firm Silver Lake, will come together to purchase all outstanding shares of the company for $25 billion in an effort to take it private. Dell has agreed to pay $13.75 per share, issuing a one-time dividend to shareholders in exchange for a modification to the way votes are tallied. This new method will ensure that only votes that are actually submitted will count towards the final tally, thus giving Dell and Silver Lake control of the company.

Newegg wins another battle against patent troll Erich Spangenberg

Today, Newegg announced that it has won yet another battle in its ongoing fight against the notorious "patent trolls" Soverain Software and TQP Development. Newegg says that on September 4, 2013, the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals invalidated an additional claim made by Soverian Software LLC on its "Shopping Cart" patent.

 

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Additionally, the court denied Soverain's request for a rehearing of the initial January 22, 2013 decision that invalidated the balance of the asserted claims. As a result of this decision, Newegg says that all patent claims asserted by Soverain have been held invalid for being no more than obvious variations of old patents held by CompuServe technology.

 

Newegg says that it is looking forward to going to trial later this year against TQP Development LLC, a shell company affiliated with the notorious patent troll Erich Spangenberg. Newegg says that it hopes that Spangenberg will allow the patent to be tested by the court system this time around and feels that it will be the end to the "shopping cart" patent for good.

Continue reading 'Newegg wins another battle against patent troll Erich Spangenberg' (full post)

BlackBerry wants to auction itself to the highest bidder

The Wall Street Journal has recently released a report that indicates that BlackBerry is planning to "run a fast auction process" in an effort to get the company under new ownership before the end of November of this year.

 

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The report goes on to say that BlackBerry has narrowed its list of potential buyers and should begin the sale process "soon." No mention was made of who these buyers could be, nor was any asking price quoted in the article.

 

I'm actually hoping that either Apple or Samsung will pick up the troubled company. Either one could take the company's enterprise software, port it to their own operating system, and dominate the corporate smartphone market. I have a hunch that one of the buyers is Samsung and that they could be a strong contender to pick up the company after recent reports that BlackBerry Messenger will hit Galaxy Devices before other Android Handsets.

Lenovo CEO to give $3.25 million of personal bonus away to employees

Today, a new report from Bloomberg suggests that Lenovo CEO, Yang Yuanqing, plans on giving away $3.25 million of his bonus to 10,000 of the company's lowest paid workers. Workers in 20 countries will get the payments, including a facility in Mooresville, North Carolina, where Lenovo's US headquarters is located.

 

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The deal works out to about $325 per employee, which may not sound like much to the US crowd, but $325 is just about the equivalent of one month's pay for the company's workers in China where 85 percent of the company's employees are located. Yang says that he is giving away a significant portion of his annual bonus so that all employees understand the impact they have on making Lenovo the largest PC manufacturer in the world.

 

10,000 workers only work out to about a third of Lenovo's total employees, but Yang has decided to give the payouts to those who earn the least amount, are paid by the hour, or not eligible for commission or other bonuses that would increase their normal rate of pay. The $3.25 million will not affect Mr. Yang, though, as last year he earned 14.6 million and owns roughly 7 percent of the company's stock.

Will Nokia's Stephen Elop replace Ballmer at Microsoft? Some say yes

Nothing stirs up the rumor mill quite like a major corporation purchasing another major corporation shortly after the first corporation's CEO announces his retirement. With this morning's announcement that Microsoft is in the process of purchasing Nokia's Devices and Services business, reports are starting to come in that Nokia boss, Stephen Elop, could land in the CEO chair when Microsoft's Steve Ballmer departs from the company sometime in the next 12 months.

 

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During an interview with the Seattle Times, Ballmer said that Elop will be moved from an external list of possible candidates to an internal list that could fast-track him into becoming the CEO of Microsoft. Ballmer did note that the board will continue to consider all appropriate candidates through the process and that Elop is still merely a candidate. So at the moment, it is still up in the air about who will fill Ballmer's seat when he leaves, but I would say the chances are high that Elop will take the helm and guide Microsoft for the years to come.

Ballmer says Nokia acquisition is a good deal for Microsoft

Microsoft's early morning announcement of its pending acquisition of Nokia has the entire tech world talking this morning, with many speculating about what the future may hold for both companies. Shortly after the official announcement, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer issued a statement to Microsoft employees in the form of a company-wide memo.

 

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The memo mentions that the partnership between Microsoft and Nokia over the last two years has yielded some incredible work and cites the recently released Lumia 1020 41-megapixel Windows Phone as its greatest achievement. Ballmer says that he believes that now is the time for Microsoft to build on this momentum and capitalize on Windows Phone's growing popularity on the Lumia platform.

 

He goes on to say that Microsoft's acquisition of Nokia is a good deal for both companies in that Microsoft is on the receiving end of some incredible talent, technology, and intellectual property. In an article I posted earlier this morning, Ballmer alluded to the fact that he feels that Microsoft can take the Lumia line of smartphones to an entirely new level that was unachievable with Nokia.

Continue reading 'Ballmer says Nokia acquisition is a good deal for Microsoft' (full post)

Microsoft receives less than $10 per Nokia Windows Phone sold

Maybe this is one of the driving forces behind Microsoft's acquisition of Nokia's Services and Devices division today, in that the Redmond-based company isn't even making $10 per Windows Phone-based Nokia device sold.

 

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Part of it's "rationale for the deal", Microsoft revealed that under its current deal with Nokia, it receives less than $10 per phone in software royalties. This would mean that if Windows Phone were to overnight, somehow, with maybe a wish from a genie, become the number one mobile OS in the world and sell millions of handsets through Nokia, it wouldn't exactly equal huge money for Microsoft.

 

So while people might be looking at Microsoft taking a big risk acquiring the Services and Devices division from Nokia, in the long run it obviously hopes it'll help them. Microsoft has also said that Nokia's Windows Phones have a gross profit margin in the range of $40 per phone. The Redmond-based software giant is also signing a rather large cheque to Nokia for "platform support", which is kinda like a bribe so that Nokia goes all-in with Windows Phone instead of Android.

Continue reading 'Microsoft receives less than $10 per Nokia Windows Phone sold' (full post)

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