Business, Financial & Legal News - Page 247
Apple are definitely on their way toward quite an amazing milestone: becoming the world's first $1 trillion company, according to a Wall Street analyst. Brian White from Topeka Capital Markets recently predicted that Apple stock would push past the $1,000 per share barrier in the next twelve months, which would tip the company very close to the $1 trillion mark.
Apple stock has been quite popular over the last few years, with no signs of it stopping. Share prices topped Google's for the first time last week, a milestone that the late Steve Jobs was rumored to be working toward. How could Apple hit $1,000 in share value? Well, it's not that hard at all, really.
Apple's new iPhone could really boost their value, a new iPad that smashes the previous third-gen iPad, iOS 6.0, new MacBooks, iMacs, they're all coming this year alone. On top of this, Apple is opening up in the Chinese market, which is until now, nearly untapped for Apple. It's a huge market, and sure to boost their share prices considerably as iDevices start flooding into the hands of China-based customers.
Former Intel engineer, newly-hired AMD employee, pleads guilty to stealing sensitive Intel documents
Biswamohan Pani, a former Intel engineer and newly-hired AMD employee has plead guilty to fraud that is centered around the theft of sensitive Intel documents. The stolen information is considered to be worth approximately $1 billion, which includes chip-related design and manufacturing data.
It's thought that Pani intended to use the information for career advancement, but AMD has denied any knowledge of Pani's wrongdoing, and has fully cooperated with federal investigators. Pani had previously worked at Intel's Hudson-based chip making plant located in Massachusetts before submitting his resignation on May 29, 2008. Pani's last day at Intel was June 11, but little did Intel know he had actually begun working at AMD on June 2, while simultaneously retaining access to Intel's network.
It is thought that during this time, Pani had been downloading sensitive documents that held information on Intel's manufacturing and chip designs. Corporate espionage and intellectual property theft, in the form of trade secrets, schematics, or other proprietary information can be extremely lucrative in the right hands. Investigators have found no links between Pani and AMD.
With all the fanfare that Apple often brings to a financial discussion, it's odd to hear the words "Apple" and "downgrade" in the same sentence. But those two words found themselves together in a sentence released by BTIG Research's Walter Piecyk when he downgraded Apple's rating on the company's shares from "buy" to "neutral."
And why shouldn't he? There is plenty for investors to be worried about in the company. First, they no longer have Steve Jobs. Old news I know, but it still has an effect on the company's future. More importantly, though, is that wireless carriers are getting fed up with the subsidies that they give to new iPhone buyers.
Carriers are taking a cut in their profit margins while Apple continually earns larger and larger portions. Take a look at AT&T: in 2010, AT&T's margin was over 44% but now are hovering around only 30%. "We expect post-paid wireless operators to remain firm in their plan to stunt the pace of phone upgrades in 2012 and we expect to see some initial evidence of their success in the current quarter," Piecyk said.
The insanely popular photo app and social sharing site Instagram has been aquired by none other than Facebook for a sum somewhere around $1 billion in cash and shares. CEO Kevin Systrom confirms that the service is not going anywhere and will continue to run as-is for now.
Zuckerberg confirms the acquisition and says that the Facebook team will be "able to work even more closely with the Instagram team to also offer the best experiences for sharing beautiful mobile photos with people based on your interests." This purchase comes with some incredible statistics.
This deal took place roughly 551 days after Instagram's launch meaning that they made $1B in value in less than 2 years. That's simply incredible. But there's more. This incredible company only has 13 employees! Also, with a valuation of $1 billion, that means each Instagram user is worth approximately $33 a piece.
In stark contrast to the bleak news regarding HTC's financials, Samsung has reported record profits today as the first-quarter revenue is reported. Samsung close to doubled its profits from this time last year by bringing in $5.1 billion in profits which is up from $2.95 billion last year.
The figures have been helped along by the sales of the hot Galaxy lines of smartphones and tablets. The two main devices that aided these record profits have been the Galaxy S2 and the Galaxy Note. Sales of TVs, such as my own, have also helped propel the figures into the record setting range. "Sales of new models of smartphones, such as the Note, were better than expected," analyst James Strong told Bloomberg.
"They have a good line-up of new products, so they will be able to keep the momentum alive for two or three quarters, at least." Another analyst speculates that Samsung shipped 44 million smartphones during the first 3 months of the year. This would make Samsung the biggest manufacturer in the world for that time period.
A Foxconn recruiter has let slip in an interview with World Business Satellite via TV-Tokyo that Foxconn are hiring 18,000 new employees to help manufacture the next-generation iPhone. The representative continued, saying that he believes the new iPhone could go on sale as early as June this year.
You can actually see the conversation here, (fast-forward to around the 7:10 mark) and although its spoken in Chinese, the translation is said to be in Japanese. The recruiter says it "seems" like it will go on sale in June, not it "will" go on sale in June. But, in the land of Apple, nothing is 100-percent until they say so.
Another thing to consider is that the camera in the video is off in the distance, so it is completely possible they didn't know they were being filmed, and was simply talking about the product, or something else, or trying to get new workers in the door. Who knows. A launch in a few months would mean the last release from Apple, the iPhone 4S, has only enjoyed 8 or 9 months on the market, but Apple will need to combat any release from Samsung, like the GALAXY S III, if they don't want to see their market share slowly erode away.
If you're living in Dubai, or plan on travelling there, you might want to not use social networking sites Twitter and Facebook, as the Dubai Police are keeping tabs on Twitter and Facebook to catch out 'culprits' who criticize the UAE. Dubai Chief of Police has called for legal action against Twitter, for users who do so.
Emirates 24/7 reports that the Dubai Police are keeping a 24-hour watch on both Twitter and Facebook, according to statements made Major Salem Obaid Salmeen, Deputy Director of Anti-Electronic Crimes of Dubai Police's Criminal Investigations Department. Salmeen says:
These electronic patrols are detecting and tracking all topics and materials written and presented on these websites.
Facebook is playing the Yahoo vs. Facebook lawsuit by the book. Facebook, in its turn, has counter sued Yahoo for infringing on 10 of its patents. This move was predicted by Erin-Michael Gill, the chief intellectual property officer for MDB Capital. "Facebook is following the playbook," he said. "They're doing exactly what potentially Facebook investors would expect them to do. They're leveraging the IP that they've acquiring the past few years. They're putting their best assets on the table and now can engage in negotiations from a far stronger position."
Ted Ullyot, Facebook's General Counsel, said, "From the outset, we said we would defend ourselves vigorously against Yahoo's lawsuit, and today we filed our answer as well as counter-claims against Yahoo for infringing ten of Facebook's patents.... While we are asserting patent claims of our own, we do so in response to Yahoo's short-sighted decision to attack one of its partners and prioritize litigation over innovation."
Yahoo has sued Facebook because Yahoo has been unable to keep up in the changing landscape of the modern internet. They used to be an internet pioneer, but have fallen behind with the times. They are losing the search wars to Google. The counterclaim paints a different picture. Facebook is claiming that they are the damaged party. They want the court to dismiss Yahoo's case and award Facebook damages.
A new law in the state of Arizona could make my favorite pastime illegal. No, I'm not a cyber bully, I'm an internet troll. The new law has implications that could turn every chat room and comment section on the web illegal. The law is set to make just about any annoying, harassing or offensive online comment, reply or message illegal in the state of Arizona.
If I were to continue being a troll after the passing, I could be fined $250,000 and put in jail for 6 months. The bill takes an older telephone bill regarding these issues and just updates it to read "electronic or digital communications." No one took the time to consider the differences in the media, such as, you know, the internet doesn't sit there ringing at you. You actually have to voluntarily seek out the internet.
Media Coalition has sent a formal request to the governor after realizing the potential dangers the bill has. They did a great job of capturing the issue in just a few paragraphs:
A new study from Canaccord Genuity is claiming that Apple and Samsung account for a combined 95-percent of all handset profits in Q4 2011. Apple accounts for 80-percent of profits, while the company behind the GALAXY range of handsets, Samsung, takes 15-percent. The remaining 5-percent is left to all of the other manufacturers.
This leave companies such as Research in Motion (RIM), HTC and Nokia with just 5-percent of the profits, considering they were at once time all top dogs of the market, this is a big change and I'm sure it's hard to swallow for these companies. CNET reports that Apple's iPhone is outselling all other phones combined at AT&T and Sprint, and with Verizon Wireless they are even with all Android phones available.
Samsung has seen incredible success with their GALAXY S range of phones, with the GALAXY S II selling 20 million units in 2011. The GALAXY S III is the most anticipated phone ahead of its official announcement, and Samsung's GALAXY Note has been selling quite well, even if it is half way between a tablet and smartphone. I'm predicting this market share will change with HTC dishing out their One series, and the GALAXY S III should be Samsung's home run this year.