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.
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.
AOL purchase provides Verizon with major online advertising, publishing business
Verizon has signed a deal to acquire AOL, the telecoms company has revealed. The purchase will see Verizon paying out $50 per share of AOL stock, a transaction estimated to be worth $4.4 billion, which the company claims will help its LTE wireless video and "over-the-top video strategy," along with helping it support Verizon's Internet of Things (IoT) platforms.
Google Play adds option to pre-register for Android apps
Android users are now able to pre-register for apps due for release in the near future on Google Play. According to Android Central, Glu Media's Terminator Genisys: Revolution game currently gives the option to sign up for an alert when the app is released, allowing them to buy it as soon as it becomes available. The same system also allows users who have registered their interest to unregister, if they no longer want a release alert for the app.
Uber allegedly joins fight to acquire Nokia mapping arm
Uber has apparently placed a bid to acquire the Here mapping arm of Nokia, according to a report. The New York Times claims the company has placed a bid in the region of $3 billion for the mapping technology, though it still has competition from other sources, including a collection of German car manufacturers working with Baidu, as well as another offer from an unnamed private equity firm.
Company has more cash than most US industry sectors combine, Moody's finds
Apple, which is closing in on holding some $200 billion in cash, is well known for being one of the richest companies on the planet. A new report from Moody's Investors Service release on Thursday notes that the iPhone maker actually held more cash on hand at the end of 2014 -- when it had $178 billion -- than most US industrial sectors put together, surpassed only by the whole of the tech sector, the financial sector and the medical industry.
Spent $99M in two consecutive quarters on costs associated with TWC purchase
Comcast's failed attempt to acquire Time Warner Cable cost the cable company a considerable amount of money, according to analysis of its earnings reports. While the transaction would have cost $45.2 billion if it did indeed go through, Comcast has apparently spent at least $336 million to get the purchase moving over the last five quarters, before it ended.
Multinational tax haven ruling will wait to prevent sacrificing the rule of law
Europe's anti-trust agency, the European Commission (EC) will miss its own internal deadline for a ruling on the tax probe it has underway against Apple, Starbucks, and Amazon. Citing the need for justice and accuracy in its ruling, EC chief Margrethe Vestager said that "we will not sacrifice the rule of law or the quality of our work to speed up the process."
Stylus technology could help Microsoft improve handwriting input in apps
Microsoft has acquired the technology behind the Surface Pen used in the Microsoft Surface Pro 3 and Surface 3. The acquisition from Israel-based patent holder N-trig allows Microsoft to invest in improvements to the stylus, as well as making it harder for other tablet manufacturers to use the same technology in newer tablets, without Microsoft's agreement.
Commission may demand back taxes avoided due to Irish corporate tax laws
Apple has filed its latest quarterly report with the US government, and in so doing noted that an ongoing European Commission investigation of Ireland and its government's corporate tax rate could "require Ireland to recover from the company past taxes covering a period of up to 10 years reflective of the disallowed state aid," calling that potential amount "material." While difficult to gauge, the eventual impact could be in the billions for Apple.
Mobile plummet may be halted by Galaxy S6 launch
Samsung has posted its quarterly earnings statement, missing analysts' and Wall Street estimates by nearly eight percent. The company reported income of 4.63 trillion won ($4.35 billion), notably lower than its 7.49 trillion won ($7.04 billion) it posted the same time last year, and the 5.35 trillion won ($5.03 billion) it posted last quarter. The vast majority of the declining profits came from what appears to be a struggling mobile division of the company pre-Galaxy S6 release, posting 2.74 trillion won ($2.58 billion) in profit, down from 6.43 trillion ($6.04 billion) won this time in 2014.