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This day was always coming for Twitter, but for me at least, it kind of struck me by surprise. The social network has said that as of Thursday afternoon, it has confidentially submitted an S-1 to the SEC for a planned IPO.
At the moment, Twitter is valued at around $11 billion, and is able to file confidentially thanks to the JOBS (Jumpstart Our Business Startups) Act. The JOBS Act allows companies to go public without public scrutiny, and is for companies that have has than $1 billion in revenues.
Today Cisco announced that it intends to acquire the solid state memory manufacturer WHIPTAIL for $415 million. Cisco says that this acquisition will strengthen the company's Unified Computing System strategy and enhance application performance by introducing scalable solid state memory into the UCS's fabric computing architecture.
Our good friend, Jim Handy of Objective Analysis was kind enough to send over his take on the whole acquisition and I have posted the entire statement below. Jim says that he feels that this move by Cisco was a good decision and that the price seemed reasonable enough based on other recent acquisitions in the market.
Mike Capps left his position as president of Epic Games last year, and has now joined Remedy Entertainment's board of directors. You might remember Remedy, as the developer behind Quantum Break and the smash hits Max Payne and Alan Wake franchises.
Remedy CEO, Matias Myllyrinne has said: "Like any team, I think a good board is a combination of different kinds of skill sets, and different kinds of strengths that really come together. That's the way, in my experience, the best teams work. Obviously Mike has a tremendous track record in the games industry. He's been very successful and has proven himself over and over again."
In a release earlier today, OCZ Technology announced that it would be expanding its Research and Development center in Orange County, California in an effort to expand its focus on enterprise development of the company's next-generation SSDs. Instead of building a new facility, the company will be moving its R&D division to a larger facility in Irvine, California.
"Orange County, California has a rich base of engineering talent covering semiconductors and storage that makes it a viable location for us to expand our design center," said James Tout, SVP of Global Engineering for OCZ Technology. "With a leading and widely recognized portfolio of SATA, SAS and PCIe-based solid state solutions, we believe that the opening of our new OC-based design center will attract the professional resources and talent we need to create leading-edge, next-generation enterprise products for the storage industry."
On Monday BlackBerry was forced to lay off several dozen members of its US sales team as the company continues its downward spiral amidst massive financial woes. The news came in from the Wall Street Journal which cited information from sources close to the company.
BlackBerry has been on a continued downward slope for several years now, and things took a drastic turn for the worse when the company's new mobile OS, BlackBerry 10, failed to meet industry expectations. The company's flagship smartphones the Z10 and Q10 also failed to compete with their Android, iOS and Windows Phone competitors, which is led to the company putting itself up for sale.
A spokesperson for BlackBerry told the Wall Street Journal that they "Can confirm a small number of employees were laid off" on Monday, but declined to give any further details. It's my opinion that BlackBerry will be sold off to either Samsung or Apple, and will see its hardware division tossed to the side with one of the two companies porting BlackBerry's enterprise software over to their platform in an effort to gain enterprise market dominance.
Following yesterday's launch of Apple's next-generation iPhones, the company saw its stock drop more than 5-percent this morning shortly after the markets opened. The drop saw Apple's stock dipped below $466 per share, and was the direct result of UBS, JP Morgan, Credit Suisse and Bank of America all downgrading their ratings on the company's stock.
Of course a drop in investor confidence was also a major factor as many feel that the so-called "cheaper" iPhone 5C was just not cheap enough. Investors were hoping for a low-end model that would be able to compete with cheaper Android phones in emerging markets such as China. Unfortunately the news that the iPhone 5C would cost Chinese customers more than $700 (roughly two times the monthly salary of those who work in the factories that make the iPhone) was just to astronomically high for most consumers in the country.
"The lower-priced iPhone 5c may not be priced low enough, in our view, which could limit incremental penetration of the midrange smartphone segment," writes Mark Moskowitz, an analyst at JP Morgan. At the time of this writing Apple's stock had dipped to almost a 7-percent drop since closing yesterday.
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.
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 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."
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.
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 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.
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.