Deal likely to be halted by US regulators, but effort will be made anyhow
In a television interview with PBS's Charlie Rose, Sprint chairman Masayoshi Son declared that he was interested in buying T-Mobile. Citing "steps and details" that have yet to be negotiated, the executive claimed that he "would like to have the real fight, OK? Not the pseudo fight, the real fight" with competitors AT&T and Verizon.
Installment plans, recent price plan changes not worrying Verizon
Offering customers smartphone subsidies should not be abandoned by carriers, the Chief Financial Officer of Verizon has advised, with other aggressive promotional strategies apparently being viewed in a similar way. Speaking at a Deutsche Bank technology conference, Fran Shammo suggests carriers should not keep attempting to undercut their opponents in an effort to gain more subscribers, claiming "We're not going to buy customers. You have to earn customers."
Patent purchase to end legal dispute leaves Twitter with 956 patents in total
Twitter paid a hefty sum to acquire a collection of patents from IBM, a Securities and Exchange Commission filing reveals. The January payment, which saw Twitter take ownership of 900 patents, was worth $36 million and also ceased the legal action brought against the micro-blogging firm for alleged patent infringement, though it will certainly not be the last it faces.
May be supplying tech related to Retina displays
A company specializing in image processing semiconductors and software, Pixelworks, has revealed itself as an official Apple supplier through a new filing with the SEC. In 2013 Apple is said to have accounted for more than 10 percent of Pixelworks revenue. The news has sent the latter company's share price surging, boosting it by about 53 to 54 percent in Thursday trading, or more than $2.58 per share.
Majority of shares due to vest in three intervals through 2018
Newly-published SEC filings reveal that on Wednesday, Apple awarded six top executives 35,780 restricted stock units each. Recipients include senior VP of Operations Jeffrey Williams; general counsel Bruce Sewell; senior VP of Worldwide Marketing Phil Schiller; senior VP of Hardware Engineering Dan Riccio; senior VP of Software Engineering Craig Federighi; and finally, senior VP of Internet Software and services Eddy Cue.
Practice is perfectly legal, admits government, but abused
Apple's practice over the past decade of funnelling all of its foreign profits through its international sales office in Cork, Ireland has allowed it to skip out on taxes in some other countries on billions of dollars in profits, according to an audit done by the Australian Financial Review. In Australia, Apple has paid only $200 million on ten years' worth of profits, totally nearly AUS $9 billion, the report said.
Move likely used to bolster nationwide cell offerings by Dish
The first round of FCC wireless bandwidth auctions has concluded, with the Dish Network purchasing all of the 1,900MHz license nearly uncontested. With nearly no competition, Dish shelled out $1.6 billion for the acquisition under the cover of a shell company, as expected.
Health tracker manufacturer reportedly bought by Intel
Intel has picked up health tracker producer Basis Science, beating off competition from Apple and Google, according to a report. The acquisition, yet to be confirmed by either company, is said by multiple sources to be worth $100 million or $150 million, and extends Intel's wearables portfolio from the SD card-sized Edison computer and the combined headset and smartphone combination known as Jarvis.
Nadella calls leadership consolidation 'go-forward approach'
Adding to a previous shuffle, Microsoft has made public a pair of high-profile executive departures as new CEO Satya Nadella takes the helm of the company. Tony Bates, the ex-CEO of Skype, and Chief Marketing Officer and Executive Vice President of Marketing Tami Reller will be "pursuing other interests outside the company."
Joins controversial financial firm
Apple's chief financial officer, Peter Oppenheimer, has joined the board of directors for financial firm Goldman Sachs, according to the latter's website. The appointment won't affect Oppenheimer's status at Apple, but is somewhat unusual in that the position isn't related to product interests. CEO Tim Cook, for example, is the on the Nike board; Internet head Eddy Cue is on the board of Ferrari, which was recently announced as a CarPlay partner.
Conservative group's proposal questioned costs of environmental initiatives, more
A shareholder questioner from a conservative front group, the National Center for Public Policy Research (NCPPR), who questioned Apple's humanitarian policies of worker education, services for the disabled, and particularly environmental initiatives -- and also demanded that the company commit to only policies and projects that were explicitly profitable -- was sternly rebuked by Apple CEO Tim Cook in an unusually direct exchange.
Move intended to maintain competitiveness in consumer electronics market
Sony Electronics today announced plans to restructure its organization, including a heavy cut in US retail presence in order to maintain what the company calls "competitiveness in an evolving consumer electronics market." In the next few months, Sony will lay off 1,000 employees across all of its sites, including the personnel attached to 20 US Sony Stores.
Suggests firms are underestimating potential
Institutional investment in Apple stock is at a five-year low, notes Morgan Stanley analyst Katy Huberty. She notes that based on data since 2009, the top 30 shareholders of large-cap companies normally own between 30 and 50 percent of a company's shares. Whereas corporations like Amazon and Google are approaching records for their levels of institutional ownership, Apple is at its lowest top-30 ownership level since 2009, sitting at 30 percent. That compares with a five-year average of 36 percent and a peak of 40 percent, also in 2009.
Move follows six months of severe austerity programs
Beleaguered Korean electronics manufacturer Pantech is seeking help to restructure and modify its debt. The company contacted its creditors earlier this week, hoping that it can either stop or slow its payments and keep the company alive, even after a year that saw Qualcomm and Samsung each buy 10 percent of the company.
Crisis strategy draft 'more or less' legitimate, confirmed by Mt. Gox CEO
While the Mt. Gox "crisis strategy draft" seems to actually be legitimate, further doubt on the future survivability of shuttered BitCoin exchange has been cast by both US and Japanese regulatory agencies and law enforcement. Departments from both countries have either already issued subpoenas, or are starting to look into the facts leading up to and surrounding the recent shutdown, which could cost users and the company itself over $350 million.
Judge didn't see any compelling evidence supporting shareholders
US District Judge Jeffrey White in San Francisco has dismissed a shareholders' lawsuit against game developing house Zynga. The suit alleged that Zynga misled prospective purchasers of its stock, in both the leadup to the inital public offering and through a series of difficult quarters financially.
Drop attributed to spending to increase user base
T-Mobile today reported fourth quarter and full year 2013 results, claiming that its "Un-carrier strategy is successfully delivering results." T-Mobile reported more than 1.6 million total net customer additions with 981,000 total branded net customer additions for the quarter, including branded postpaid net additions of 869,000 and branded prepaid net additions of 112,000. For the full year 2013 T-Mobile added more than 4.4 million total customers and more than 2 million branded postpaid customers.
Xbox One's Titanfall Special Edition Bundle now available for pre-order
Multiplayer game Titanfall is now available for pre-order as part of a special edition console bundle, according to Xbox One's blog. Titanfall will utilize new patty and chat improvements that have been in development for Xbox One, as well as multiplayer alerts for matches while users are watching TV, and more. In light of the game's upcoming launch, Xbox and Titanfall's creators -- Respawn Entertainment and Electronic Arts -- have announced the Xbox One Titanfall Bundle, priced at $500. The bundle includes a digital download of Titanfall, an Xbox One console and Kinect sensor, a wireless controller, a chat headset, and a one month Xbox Live Gold membership. The pre-order has begun, with the bundle available officially March 11.
Best result for Mac growth in holiday quarter in five years, says analyst
Though Apple surprised analysts in fiscal Q4 2012 with an unexpected drop in Mac sales, overall the company has been outpacing the global downturn in PC (desktop and notebook) for at least the past five years. Though demand bounced back to expected levels during the holiday season in 2013, exactly how well Apple did compared to its rivals in the traditional PC space was not precisely known. It has now been revealed that Apple outpaced the industry in Q4 by 25 percent, its best showing in five years.
HP beats street on earnings per share, lost less revenue than expected
Manufacturer HP has posted its quarterly earnings, and the company posted better results than Wall Street expected. While first quarter net revenue of $28.2 billion was down one percent from the prior-year period, net earnings per share (EPS) was $0.74, up from $0.63 in the prior-year period and above the previously-provided outlook of $0.60 to $0.64.
Ignores developing markets, or Apple's other products
There is a tendency among analysts to think of Apple as only "the iPhone maker" and ignore its other products and services, feeling that the fortunes of its most popular and profitable product -- the iPhone -- is the key to the company's overall health, at least in terms of its performance on Wall Street. Barclay's analyst Ben Reitzes told investors in a memo on Thursday that he expects AAPL to stay within a narrow range for the next two years.
Bought up 'entire three-year supply' of 4.5-inch super-tough material
Ubuntu developer Canonical has told investors and analysts in a conference call that part of the reason it had been unable to produce a planned 4.5-inch smartphone running the Linux-based OS was because (in addition to financial issues) Apple had "scooped up" the entire three-year supply" of sapphire screens the company had planned to use. While not a confirmation that Apple plans to create a 4.5-inch display in a future iPhone, the quote seems to reaffirm that Apple is planning to incorporate the practically-unscratchable material in its future products.
Hints, but does not say, that 'conversations' centered around battery tech
Following reports that Apple had secretly met with officials from electric car company Tesla to discuss unspecified partnerships, the CEO Elon Musk commented on the rumors -- but phrased his replies in such a way that suggested either he was uninvolved in the talks (which seems unlikely) or didn't want to make clear what the "conversations" with Apple were actually about. Though confirming the meetings, Musk said little about them.
Hints at future wearable tech, may help provide Apple with ARM chips
During a Reddit "Ask Me Anything" (AMA) session, new Intel CEO Brian Krzanich revealed that the chipmaker's relationship with Apple continued to be "very close," despite Apple using its own ARM-based chip designs in its most popular products, the iPhone and iPad. Intel continues to supply Apple with chips and graphics systems for most of its Mac line, however, and Krzanich said the two companies continue to "grow closer," suggesting potential future partnerships.
WhatsApp to remain independent despite Facebook acquisition
Facebook has announced it will acquire messaging service WhatsApp for $16 billion. The deal, surfacing in an SEC filing, will see Facebook part with $4 billion in cash and $12 billion in shares for the messaging app, though there is an additional $3 billion in restricted stock units for WhatsApp founders and employees that will vest four years after the deal has closed.
Humble Bundle 11 launches with Monaco, Dust, Giana Sisters, Guacamelee
The eleventh Humble Indie Bundle has been launched. This time around, the bundle consists of four titles: fighting game Guacamelee! Gold Edition, quest game Dust: An Elysian Tail, platformer Giana Sisters: Twisted Dreams, and puzzle-platformer The Swapper. In addition, puzzle title Antichamber and heist game Monaco are unlocked for users that pay more than the average purchase price. All six titles are compatible with Linux, Windows, and OS X.
Wearable fitness tracker could be purchased for under $100M
Fitness tracker producer Basis Science could be acquired by a major technology company in the near future, according to rumors. A report claims the wearable device manufacturer behind the Basis B1 fitness tracker is in talks with Apple and Google, with a further claim of discussions with Microsoft and Samsung over a possible sale, though not necessarily for a high price.
New conditions in India High Court appealed, should not affect purchase
The $7.2 billion acquisition of Nokia's phone business by Microsoft is still going ahead, and is still expected to complete sometime this quarter, the company has announced in a statement. The transfer of Nokia's Devices and Services division to Microsoft will continue, with the phone manufacturer claiming its tax issues in India will not delay Microsoft's purchase at all.
Skype competitor purchased by Japanese e-commerce giant
Japanese retailer Rakuten has acquired Cyprus-based VoIP and messaging service Viber. The purchase, worth a total of $900 million, will see the Japanese Internet giant take control of Skype's biggest competitor, with the company claiming the purchase of Viber "perfectly complements Rakuten's strategy in the digital space" in its bid to become the "world's No.1 Internet services company."
Cable company deal covers 30 million subscribers, could complete by end of 2014
Comcast has announced it will acquire Time Warner Cable, confirming earlier reports. The purchase will see Comcast acquire 100 percent of TWC's 284.9 million shares, worth approximately $45.2 billion, with the stock-for-stock transaction exchanging each TWC share for approximately 2.875 CMCSA (Comcast) shares, or effectively $158.52 per TWC share.
Deal offers $159 per share for buyout
Reports of a finalized deal between Time Warner Cable and Comcast have begun to circulate. According to CNBC reporter David Faber, Comcast will be offering $159 per share to purchase Time Warner Cable. Any deal would be subject to Federal Communications scrutiny, and would likely take over a year to finalize.
Company posts gains in desktops, laptops despite industry contraction
The Lenovo Group today announced results for its third fiscal quarter that ended December 31. Quarterly revenue was $10.8 billion, a 15 percent increase year-over-year, passing the $10 billion milestone for the first time ever. Third quarter profit grew, with pre-tax income increasing 30 percent year-over-year to $321 million, while earnings also grew 30 percent year-over-year to $265 million. Lenovo shipped 32.6 million devices in the quarter, or nearly five devices every second.
Smart appliance manufacturer purchase finalized by Google
Google has completed its acquisition of smart digital thermostat and smoke detector manufacturer Nest. A filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission shows the purchase of the hardware producer has been finalized and ended on February 7th, with the high-profile acquisition costing Google $3.2 billion in cash. Former iPod designer Tony Fadell will continue to lead the company, reporting to Larry Page.
Including losses from others, Samsung and Apple take 120 percent
In a report that paints a grim picture for mobile phone stock investors, Raymond James analyst Tavis McCourt has told clients that "the great moderation of device growth is upon us," excluding China. McCourt believes non-Chinese vendors will see "little to no growth this year," and also pointed out that Apple and Samsung will continue to take more than 100 percent of the profits in the industry (possible when one includes losses from other vendors as negative profit).
If it were independent, iTunes would rank 130th on Fortune 500
A new analysis of Apple's iTunes and iTunes-related businesses (music sales, video sales and streaming, e-books and most importantly apps) by Asymco's Horace Dediu has revealed that it is, on its own, one of the world's most valuable businesses -- and would be ranked at 130 on the Fortune 500 if taken separately from the rest of Apple. In addition, Dediu says that iTunes' revenue is about half that of Google's search business, and growing slightly faster.
Sprint claims 53.9M subscribers, 5.6M smartphone sales
Sprint's latest quarterly results show it has suffered a loss of $1.04 billion, an improvement on last year's $1.32 billion loss, under its second quarter of ownership by SoftBank. Revenue from the carrier enjoyed a year-on-year increase from $9 billion to $9.14 billion in the fourth quarter, also up from its third-quarter results, giving it a full-year revenue of $35.5 billion.
Andrew Bocking exits BlackBerry in latest executive change
The Executive Vice President in control of BBM at BlackBerry has left the company. The reasons behind the high-level departure of Andrew Bocking from the company are unclear, with some debate as to whether he was fired from his position by management at the phone manufacturer, or if he left on his own accord to a new opportunity at another company.
Mac sales average $1,300 even as PC sales slip; share still growing
Analyst Charlie Wolf of Needham & Company has sent a memo to investors noting that while the rest of the PC industry continues to experience an unprecedented dip in sales and profit, the Mac -- Apple's often-neglected-by-analysts entry in the traditional PC market -- has held steady on both its average selling price and in terms of continuing, albeit modest, growth. The average price of a Mac is around $1,300 and has remained constant for many quarters, a fact Wolf had previously thought would decline as tablets such as the iPad picked up in popularity.
Apple's own expanded buyback 'so close' to fulfilling goals, investor says
Investor Carl Icahn is dropping efforts to get Apple to pay for an extended share buyback program, which would've cost the company an extra $50 billion in 2014, according to a newly-published open letter. "We [Icahn's investment firm] see no reason to persist with our non-binding proposal, especially when the company is already so close to fulfilling our requested repurchase target," Icahn writes. The quote makes reference to Apple's recent $14 billion buyback, which took advantage of an 8 percent drop in Apple's share value following first-quarter results.
Report could sway critical vote happening later this month
Proxy advisory firm Institutional Shareholder Services has released a new report, recommending Apple shareholders vote against investor Carl Icahn's proposal for an extended share buyback, which would cost the company an extra $50 billion in 2014. "Shareholders may wish to support the current proposal, at least in part, to signal to the board their sense of urgency about the lack of resolution on this issue of excess cash," the report reads. "At the same time, however, the board has taken clear and strong measures in the past two years - including establishing (and then increasing) a significant dividend, authorizing (and then increasing) a sizable share buyback, and creating a cadence of annual communication to investors about additional measures it will take."
Fourth quarter results of 2013 show year-on-year decline in revenue
HTC will be moving towards offering more lower-specification devices in the future, the company has revealed. The move toward mid-range smartphones comes at the same time as the company announced its results for the fourth quarter of 2013, as well as an estimate for the first quarter of 2014 suggesting it will see another drop in revenues.
Sale or partnership considered for poorly performing IBM department
According to sources familiar with the matter, IBM is pondering a sale of its semiconductor manufacturing facilities and business. The poorly-performing unit makes chips for IBM's own servers, as well as a limited amount of chips for other companies, with the major consumer of the chips being Nintendo, which uses POWER chips in its current Wii-U console.
HTC paying Nokia, pair will combine forces to work on LTE portfolio
Nokia and HTC have entered into a patent and technology collaboration agreement and, as a result, have settled all pending patent litigation between them worldwide. HTC will make payments to Nokia, and the collaboration will involve HTC's LTE patent portfolio. The companies say they will also explore future technology collaboration opportunities. The full terms of the agreement have not been disclosed.
Cook eager to show investors that company is confident in future
Just two weeks after it reported its fiscal Q1 2014 results -- which set records in many areas but disappointed iPhone-focused investors -- Apple CEO Tim Cook has revealed in an interview that the company has repurchased another $14 billion of its own stock , on top of over $40 billion spent on buybacks over the past year. Some $12 billion of the new purchase was part of the regular buyback program, with another $2 billion bought separately on the open market.
Patent troll sued end users of networking gear, settlement prevents further action
Networking hardware manufacturer Cisco has struck a deal with non-practicing entity Innovatio IP Ventures to settle a suit and protect commercial and potentially home users of its hardware. Together with Netgear and Motorola, have agreed to pay IP Ventures 3.2 cents for 85 million pieces of network gear, netting the patent troll $2.7 million.
Sony estimated to cull 5,000 jobs by end of financial year
Sony has confirmed it will be selling off its PC business, affecting approximately 5,000 employees in the process, in order to concentrate on its mobile business. At the same time, it has revealed it will attempt to spin off its television arm into a separate unit, as part of an aggressive reform strategy the company initially announced in April 2012.
Trial to be rescheduled, likely in 2015
The long-running smartphone patent court duel between Google's Motorola Mobility and non-practicing entity Intellectual Ventures was declared a mistrial earlier today. A two-week long trial resulted in a hung jury in the Wilmington, Delaware venue, with Judge Sue Robinson making the ruling.
No financial details of the deal or quantity of licensed patents revealed
Electronics giant Samsung and networking purveyor Cisco have entered into a broad patent agreement. The signing of the deal, the third such omnibus deal by the Korean manufacturer in a week, gives each company access to a wide swath of existing patents held by the other, in addition to future filings for the next decade.
Icahn, CalPERS at odds over buyback strategy ahead of shareholders' meeting
The close of the market today, which saw Apple's stock rise $3.80 to close at $512.59, marked the beginning of the company's "ex-dividend" period, where no new trades of AAPL will be included in dividend calculations. Shareholders of record will receive $3.05 per share beginning Thursday, February 13, with the annual shareholders' meeting scheduled to take place two weeks later. The question of how Apple manages its enormous cash hoard has become something of a public spat between two large-volume investors, Carl Icahn and the California Public Employees' Retirement System (CalPERS).
Revenue per user climbing, but not enough to stem tide of red ink
Twitter today announced financial results for the fourth quarter and fiscal year. The microblogging service posted revenue of $243 million, up 116 percent from the year-ago-quarter, with a net loss of $511 million. On the year, the company posted $665 million in revenue, with a net loss of $645 million. On the results, which included slowing subscriber growth, Twitter stock took a beating, falling 17 percent to $54.40, eradicating millions of dollars from the company's worth in hours.