Acquisition helps BlackBerry bolster cross-platform enterprise services
BlackBerry has attempted to bolster its enterprise services, by acquiring a competitor in the mobile security business. Good Technology is being bought by the mobile phone producer for $425 million in cash, with the purchase expected to help Blackberry shore up its own enterprise messaging and security platform by using Good's knowledge of iOS, Windows, and Android management and applications security.
Bonhams to auction early working model, expects $500,000 or more
Bonhams in New York City will auction another rare, fully-working Apple I computer said to be in "fantastic" condition in October, said to be one of the first 50 hand-constructed by Steve Wozniak and one of only six or seven units known to still be functioning. A number of the few remaining working units have been turned over at auction in recent years: Bonhams is expecting to fetch $500,000 or more for this latest unit, but others have sold for much more.
Apple avoids $533 million in penalties awarded by East Texas patent jury
US District Court Judge Rodney Gilstrap has denied Apple a chance at a new trial to clear its name from charges that it willfully infringed on patents owned by patent troll Smartflash last February, but has decided to retain the dismissal of the original $532.9 million awarded to the company for damages, clearing the way for a damages retrial later this month. Judge Gilstrap reversed the jury's award, but not its findings of infringement, after he determined his own instructions on calculating royalties may have confused the jury.
New recruits may be involved in alleged 'Project Titan' work
Apple has recently hired some further new engineers from Testla Motors and others with automotive backgrounds, fueling rumors of further work in vehicle electronics (with less credible reports claiming Apple is working on its own car). Among the recent hires, who may or many not be working on the same projects, are a technologist involved with automotive algorithms, two engineers from Tesla, and a former operations manager at India's Tata Motors.
Award part of pre-arranged performance compensation package
[Updated with filing info for Eddy Cue] A pair of filings with the US Securities and Exchange Commission has revealed that Apple CEO Tim Cook and SVP of Internet Software and Services Eddy Cue have been awarded a total of 910,000 shares of AAPL stock for differing reasons. In the case of Cook, the company's performance relative to other companies in the S&P 500 over the last two years merited the award. The combined gross value of the stock is nearly $94 million at current prices.
Requires vents to release small amount of water vapor, runs for a week
Users of smartphones are always complaining -- despite huge advancements in battery technology over the past few years -- about the need to recharge devices frequently. A new form factor from British firm Intelligent Energy could potentially change this to only having to recharge a phone on a weekly, rather than daily, basis. The company has placed a hydrogen fuel-cell battery into an iPhone 6 as a proof-of-concept, with only tiny changes to the casing for the device.
CEO seeks to reassure investors on China market strength, Apple growth
Apple CEO Tim Cook, who has previously demonstrated a fondness for CNBC stock showman Jim Cramer, sent the host an email that Cramer subsequently made public in which Cook reassures Cramer and his audience that current worries about the Chinese economy (which have taken a substantive toll on the entire stock market, including Apple's stock) are fleeting, and that Apple's growth in the country continues apace.
Australian bond orders pass $1.2B in under 2 hours
Apple has launched a corporate bond sale in Australia managed by Goldman Sachs, Commonwealth Bank, and Deutsche Bank, marking its first such sale in Australian dollars. Launched as a "benchmark-sized" sale, one which would usually involve raising somewhere between AU$500 million and AU$1 billion ($365 million and $730 million) , the orders for this particular sale reached AU$1.2 billion ($877 million) within just two hours of being available to purchase.
Alphabet umbrella company headed by Sergey, Brin, with Pichai as Google CEO
Google has announced a major restructuring of its business, starting with it being under the control of a new holding company called Alphabet. In a letter to shareholders, also posted to the Google Blog and on the new organization's website, Google founder Larry Page writes that the change is being made in order to make the company "cleaner and more accountable" as a "collection of companies" headed up by Google itself.
Nokia sells Here mapping arm to car manufacturers for $3.1B
Nokia is selling its mapping business to a collection of German car manufacturers. The Here mapping arm is being picked up by Audi, BMW, and Daimler for €2.8 billion ($3.1 billion,) with the technology likely to be used in in-car navigation systems and to help self-driving research being performed by each of the manufacturers. Despite the sale, the Here team advises that the mobile app version will still be available, as it is likely to help car-based mapping systems and other markets.
Chinese maker Huawei overtakes Microsoft as Lumia sales drop by 50 percent
A new study by Strategy Analytics has confirmed Apple CEO Tim Cook's claim that iPhone sales were up a staggering 35 percent year-over-year, making Apple the smartphone maker with the second-highest mobile phone shipments overall, including "feature phones." The remaining-but-shrinking market for low-end smartphones and feature phones is what keeps Samsung in first, but Apple's marketshare rose to 10.9 percent share, compared to last year's 8.2 percent.
Reverses $63M loss from previous quarter, 8.3M devices sold
T-Mobile has managed to post a net profit of $361 million for the most recent quarter, reversing a $63 million loss from the previous quarter and almost reaching the $391 million it brought in for the same period last year. In its successful quarter, the carrier reports total revenue of $8.2 billion, up year-on-year by 14 percent, with the per-share loss of $0.09 from last quarter being switched for an earnings per share of $0.42.
Strong semiconductor results countered by poor Samsung Galaxy S6 sales
Samsung has endured yet another poor showing in its latest quarterly financial results, confirming warnings the manufacturer issued earlier this month. The Korean electronics giant achieved sales of 48.54 trillion won ($4.1 billion) in the second quarter, up from the previous quarter by 1.42 trillion won or 3 percent, but a drop from the 52.35 trillion won brought in for the same period last year, a fact reflected in other areas of the results.
Apple part of 13 companies taking the American Business Act on Climate pledge
On Monday, Apple was announced to be part of 13 companies joining a White House initiative headed by Secretary of State John Kerry, taking a new pledge called the American Business Act on Climate Change plege. Apple, which has already invested extensively in renewable energy resources and other environmental initiatives, joins tech companies Google and Microsoft in the project, which aims to reduce carbon pollution by six billion tons by 2030.
PCs outsold by iOS devices, AT&T/DirecTV merger, AAPL vs AMZN and more
Another interesting week at MacNN brings us plenty to talk about on Episode 25 of The MacNN Podcast, ranging from the FCC approval of the AT&T/DirecTV deal for no clear reason (but with a bunch of conditions), to our new column "My Stupid Fault." We also include a full report on Apple's fiscal Q3 and the uncalled-for drop in the stock, the results of our testing of Apple's new third-party SSD Trim support, and more.
Company must grow FTTP, provide low-income broadband, among others
The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has conditionally granted approval of the transfer of control of licenses and authorizations from DirecTV to AT&T. The approval will allow AT&T to acquire DirecTV, and merge the two companies into one combined entity. However, the FCC has put numerous conditions on the deal, requiring AT&T to change many of its more anti-consumer practices and policies.
Investors react to Amazon result, passes Walmart market cap
Amazon has managed to achieve a surprise profit in the last quarter, with an operating income of $464 million and a net income of $92 million, amid skyrocketing sales. Both of these figures are a reversal of the operating and net losses of $15 million and $126 million for the same period last year, with the diluted earnings per share of $0.19 compared to the second quarter of 2014's $0.27 loss.
Quarterly results largely positive for AT&T
AT&T achieved consolidated revenues of $33.0 billion for the last quarter, a year-on-year increase of 1.4 percent, according to the carrier's latest financial report. The earnings per share is also up to $0.69, up from $0.61 for the same period last year, with AT&T beating the $0.63 EPS expected by analysts despite meeting expectations on revenue, in what could be described as an overall positive quarterly report.
Takes second place in profits, added $200B to market value
Fortune has published its annual Global 500 company rankings, again placing Apple at 15th place worldwide, behind mostly oil companies, two car companies, arch-rival Samsung, and the top choice Walmart. The survey, which analyses company performance from March to March for the magazine's "fiscal year" figures, pegged Apple's revenue at $182.8 billion, with profits at $39.5 billion -- up seven and six percent, respectively.
Region continues to offset normal summer sales doldrums
Although Apple's conference call with analysts on Tuesday was light on new information, a few facts and figures about China -- Apple's fastest-growing sales region by revenue, and currently buying more iPhones than the US -- came to light. In the most recent quarter, Apple's "greater China" revenues (which include Hong Kong, Singapore, Macau and Taiwan) jumped 112 percent from the year-ago quarter, to $13.2 billion. That's right, more than double. In a year.
CEO specifically debunks recent report of declining sales
Although Apple has declined once again to provide sales numbers on the Apple Watch in order to avoid giving valuable information away to competitors, CEO Tim Cook took time out Tuesday's conference call with analysts to specifically challenge a recent report by Slice Intelligence that claimed that Watch sales were declining, and had fallen 90 percent since its debut weekend. Cook said that in fact, sales in June were the highest yet.
Operating loss of $2.1B caused through $7.5B Nokia acquisition, other charges
Microsoft endured an operating loss of $2.1 billion for the most recent quarter, the software giant has revealed in its last financial results before the launch of Windows 10. The heavy loss, which works out to be a loss per share of $0.40, is largely accounted for by the $7.5 billion impairment charge relating to its acquisition of Nokia, and a restructuring charges of $780 million and $160 million, though the rest of the financials appears to be more positive for the company.
Foreign sales dominate as Apple shatters fiscal Q3 records
The enduring popularity of the iPhone 6 line -- particularly in developing and rapid-growing markets such as China -- has allowed Apple to again beat quarterly best-ever records with its most recent fiscal Q3 report. The company sold more than 47.5 million iPhones, lower than analyst predictions, but which represents 35 percent year-over-year growth. Macs sold 4.7 million units, another record for a fiscal Q3 and up seven percent year-over-year.
Live, up to the minute breakdown of Tim Cook and company's earnings call
While we're not expecting another question about an Apple television set, that doesn't mean that we can't cover the earnings announcement anyway! Starting at 5:00 EDST, join the MacNN team for a live breakdown of figures given by Cook and company, as well as the follow-up question and answer session. The live page found here is now closed, but still available for perusal.
Restructuring effort at Blackberry prompts more job losses
Two major employers in the tech industry are preparing to make significant cuts to its employee numbers in the near future, according to reports. BlackBerry will be shedding staff as it attempts to turn its financial fortunes around, while Qualcomm is reportedly planning to cull a considerable number of positions as part of a review of its current strategy, with up to ten percent of its workforce potentially facing the sack.
Customer retention percentages, growth eclipse T-Mobile's
Reporting second-quarter 2015 results today, Verizon announced double-digit percentage growth in year-over-year quarterly earnings. More importantly, the company posted 1.1 million net retail postpaid connections added with customer "churn," or turnover, of 0.90 percent -- the lowest in three years. Additionally, the wireless division of the company now has 109.5 million total retail connections, with 103.7 million total retail postpaid connections.
Holiday buildup for Microsoft, Sony will help -- but not enough
At the end of last week, chip manufacturer AMD announced revenue for the second quarter of 2015 of $942 million, an operating loss of $137 million, and a net loss of $181 million, or $0.23 per share. Despite claiming that the company is on track, AMD CEO and President Dr. Lisa Su pointed responsibility for the worsening financial condition of the company on "near-term challenges in our PC processor business due to lower-than-expected consumer demand."
Purchase of chip producer may face scrutiny by US government over security fears
An alleged offer by a company backed by the Chinese government to acquire US chip producer Micron Technology faces a considerable uphill battle before it can go ahead. Tsinghua Unigroup is reportedly proposing to acquire Micron, producer of NAND and DRAM and a RAM supplier to Apple, with the supposedly low reported price of $23 billion and concerns by regulators and US lawmakers likely to torpedo the potential sale to the Chinese company for the foreseeable future.
Fortune polls Wall Street and indie analysts for latest guesstimate
As it does every quarter, a collection of analysts from traditional Wall Street as well as independent firms have been rounded up by Fortune's Philip Elmer-Dewitt to put together a consensus estimate on Apple's iPhone sales for the fiscal third quarter for the company, which ended on June 30. While results will be officially reported by Apple in a week's time, the consensus already sets a record-breaking 49.4 million units marker for the quarter.
Analyst says sell-through figures put iPhone at 50 percent share
In a general report full of praise for Apple's smartphone performance and raising stock expectations, Canaccord Genuity analyst T. Michael Walkley has told clients that the sell-through -- as opposed to shipment figures as given by Android makers -- put Apple's iPhone as the top-selling model at all four major US carriers, accounting for half of all smartphone sales. Canaccord is also raising its stock target price for AAPL to $160, maintaining its "buy" rating, and raising earnings-per-share estimates.
New trial to determine damages to patent troll set for September 14
A federal judge in the notoriously patent-friendly Eastern District of Texas has suspended a jury's award of half a billion dollars to a non-practicing patent entity (colloquially known as a patent troll) who sued Apple after reviewing his own instructions to the jury which may have created a "skewed damages horizon" that they responded to with the large award. The change does not reverse the overall finding that Apple infringed on Smartflash's patents, or a possible future patent invalidity finding, but a new damages-only trial is now set for September 14.
Loss of 7,800 Microsoft jobs, $7.8B impairment charge confirmed
Microsoft has revealed it is planning to majorly restructure its phone hardware business, in order to "better focus and align resources." An email sent out to staff by CEO Satya Nadella advises that the restructuring effort will also mean layoffs, with up to 7,800 positions at risk in its phone business in the coming months, as well as recording an impairment charge of approximately $7.6 billion in its next set of financial results.
Galaxy S6 Edge supply issues said to have affected Samsung finances
Samsung has warned it is highly likely to miss expectations in its upcoming quarterly financial report, expected to be issued towards the end of this month. The South Korean electronics giant is expecting to report that its consolidated operating profit for the quarter will be down four percent compared to the same quarter, bringing it down to 6.9 trillion won ($6.1 billion), and continuing a trend of bad luck for the manufacturer.
Company reports initial loss will result from merger
Digital money transfer providers PayPal and Xoom have announced a definitive agreement under which PayPal will acquire Xoom for $25 per share in cash or an approximate $890 million enterprise value. The transaction represents a premium of 32 percent over Xoom's three-month volume-weighted average price and was unanimously approved by the Boards of Directors of both companies, as well as the Board of eBay, PayPal's parent company (for the time being).
First QuickTime update in nearly three months focuses on security
In addition to an avalanche of updates ranging from major to security-patches-only, Apple has released QuickTime 7.7.7 for Windows, the first update to the multimedia technology since early April. The update fixes a clutch of security issues with the QT Media Foundation, which could allow a maliciously-crafted file to lead to an unexpected application termination or arbitrary code execution. The root cause of the issue, multiple memory corruption issues, were addressed through improved memory handling.
Microsoft hands technology licenses, collected data to Uber
Uber is significantly bolstering its mapping operations and research, by acquiring technology and staff from Microsoft for an as-yet undisclosed amount. Map-related assets from Bing are being passed on to the app-based taxi firm, reports TechCrunch, with approximately 100 employees also being transferred over as part of the purchase, in yet another navigation-related acquisition from the transport company.
Split expected to occur on July 8
Online auction giant eBay today announced that its board of directors has approved the completion of the previously announced separation of eBay and PayPal into independent publicly traded companies. The separation will occur through a pro rata distribution of all of the stock of eBay's subsidiary PayPal Holdings to eBay stockholders. The stock distribution still awaits necessary regulatory approvals, both in the US and overseas.
Deal puts advocates for Net Neutrality, Open Internet under Verizon control
As predicted by Verizon when it announced the deal, Verizon Communications and AOL today announced the successful completion of Verizon's tender offer to purchase all outstanding shares of AOL for $50 per share in cash. As a result, AOL shares will no longer be traded on the New York Stock Exchange, and AOL is now a wholly owned subsidiary of Verizon. The sale includes AOL properties like Engadget, The Huffington Post, and Tech Crunch -- all staunch defenders of Net Neutrality and the US Federal Communication Commission's Open Internet regulation.
Apple recalls, in-depth E3 game announcement coverage, more
As you might expect from a podcast with our title, most episode tend to lean heavily on the Apple-related news of the week, though we generally make sure to spend at least a little time on other big tech stories outside Apple's sphere. To celebrate our 20th episode, and because the big event was this week, we spend the majority of our time on the E3 gaming conference and its many announcements. Fear not, regular listeners, there's still Apple news a-plenty!
Speculation about merger consideration by Asus
HTC is not entertaining the prospect of being acquired by Asus, following recent reports suggesting such a transaction could be on the way. The smartphone producer has been forced to comment following reported comments made by Asus chairman Johnny Shih about the potential purchase, but HTC claims it will not be considering any acquisition attempts by the computer manufacturer in the near future.
Complaint similar to 2011 investigation against Apple, publishers
The European Commission has opened a formal antitrust investigation into Amazon's business practices around e-book distribution and sales. The Commission will in particular investigate certain clauses included in Amazon's contracts with publishers that require publishers to inform Amazon about more favorable or alternative terms offered to competitors.
Latest Microsoft acquisition follows recent pattern of productivity app purchases
Microsoft is continuing its productivity app acquisition spree, with yet another purchase. 6Wunderkinder, the Berlin-based development team behind to-do list app Wunderlist, has been acquired by the software giant, in what is potentially a move for Microsoft to either add features from the app to its own Office productivity suite or simply rebrand it, in a similar manner to two previous app purchases in the last six months.
Formative stage merger talks could be beneficial to both T-Mobile, Dish
Dish Network is in discussions with T-Mobile over a potential merger, a report claims. According to sources of the Wall Street Journal, the two companies are said to be at the "formative stage" of the merger talks, with the potential purchase price still yet to be decided upon, but the eventual structure of the combined company has already apparently been sorted out, with Dish CEO Charlie Ergen becoming chairman and T-Mobile CEO and President John Legere becoming the CEO.
Combined company expects to pull down $15 billion in annual revenue
Avago Technologies Limited and Broadcom Corporation today announced that they have entered into an agreement under which Avago will acquire Broadcom in a cash and stock transaction that values the combined company at $37 billion. Upon completion of the acquisition, the combined company is expecting to generate combined annual revenues of approximately $15 billion.
The newest hardware, trends in industry, and possible Photoshop errors are our topics
Thanks to a combination of the Memorial Day weekend in the US (and bank holiday long weekend in the UK) along with continent-spanning long travel days for your MacNN editor, the process of putting the final touches on this week's episode of the growing-nicely and award-eligible MacNN Podcast was delayed by a couple of days, for which we apologize. As usual, we spent time on the weekend reviewing the top tech stories of the week, and bringing you our analysis.
New Time Warner Cable acquisition follows failed attempt by Comcast
Time Warner Cable has become the subject of another acquisition, barely a month after the attempted merger between TWC and Comcast failed. This time, Charter is the potential suitor to the cable company, with it providing $100 in cash and half a share of the "New Charter" parent company in exchange for each TWC share, a price that effectively values Time Warner Cable at approximately $55 billion.
Uncertain number of positions in smartphone software and app development lost
Earlier this month BlackBerry CEO, John Chen, said he believed the company was on track to be profitable again. At the time, Chen stated that design was key in the company's efforts to continue selling handsets while capitalizing on the fact that services were the primary source of income. Possibly contrary to Chen's remarks, BlackBerry has announced plans to cut employees from the device side, primarily from the smartphone software and application development area.
Company continues to collect navigation- and map-based companies
On Sunday, Apple confirmed that it had acquired precision global positioning company Coherent Navigation, a small business that worked on military-grade precision navigation systems, robotics, and autonomous navigation technology. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Coherent, which was founded in 2008, "focused on creating commercial navigation services based on partnerships with companies like Boeing and Iridium, the satellite network operator," according to the former CEO's LinkedIn page.
New spec includes 4k, object-based sound compatibility
The Blu-ray Disc Association yesterday announced completion of the Ultra HD Blu-ray specification. In addition to delivering content in up to 3840x2160 resolution, the Ultra HD Blu-ray format enables delivery of a significantly expanded color range and allows for the delivery of high dynamic range and high frame rate content.
May strike deal with Alibaba ahead of long-stalled Union Pay to move forward
[Updated with Tuesday meetings information] In a move to underscore the importance of the rapidly-growing Chinese market, Apple CEO Tim Cook has opened a social media account on Sino Weibo, and has told the Chinese press that negotiations with regional banks and credit card partners in China to bring Apple Pay to the country continue. The iPhone maker has had trouble reaching an accord with UnionPay, the largest credit-card issuer in the country, but may be bypassing the stalemate by striking a deal with Alibaba.