Tag - Softbank
Apple's newest iPhones aren't just popular in Japan, they account for each of the top 10 selling smartphone slots in that country. This according to BCN Rankings, which charts the top selling devices in Japan from week to week. The week ending November 4 marked the first time in history that one smartphone brand had taken all of the spots in BCN's top 10.
Sprint's first full-quarter earnings report after the completion of SoftBank's takeover and the acquisition of Clearwire gives it good news and bad news in equal measure, with the carrier's revenues rising to $7.3 billion compared to the $7.2 billion in the previous quarter. Operating losses at the company have shrunk to $398 million, an improvement on last quarter's $874 million loss, though it is still a greater loss than the $231 million in the same period last year.
National carrier Sprint is letting go of 800 employees from its customer support section, the first major reduction in staff since Softbank acquired a majority stake in the carrier in July. Most staff affected by the change have already been warned about the loss of jobs, with the remainder of the employee cull apparently being informed next month.
Apple will ship the high-end iPhone 5S and the mid-tier iPhone 5C to Japan on September 20, says local business publication Nikkei. The site moreover backs numerous recent reports that the 5S will have a gold color option, although it's still uncertain how it will fit in or replace current slate and silver models. In terms of carrier support, it's believed that SoftBank and KDDI will carry both new phones at launch, once again leaving NTT DoCoMo behind.
Sprint has recorded high revenues in its latest quarterly results, though it is not plain sailing for the carrier. While it has achieved $7.2 billion in earnings for the period, an increase of eight percent compared to last year and a minor drop compared to the $8.8 billion in the previous quarter, it still managed to make a loss overall.
John Paulson's firm is the largest outside investor in T-Mobile, and the hedge fund manager said recently that the carrier could be ripe for a takeover by either of two other wireless industry players. Bloomberg reported earlier this week that Paulson sees both Sprint and Dish Network as potential suitors for the fourth-largest wireless carrier in the United States. Paulson's musings on the matter went out in the form of a letter to Paulson & Co. clients this week.
Sprint Nextel Corporation and SoftBank today announced the completion of their contentious merger with the revelation that SoftBank has invested approximately $21.6 billion in Sprint, consisting of approximately $16.6 billion to be distributed to Sprint stockholders and an aggregate $5 billion of new capital to strengthen Sprint's balance sheet. Sprint stockholders voted to approve the transaction at a special meeting of stockholders held on June 25, 2013.
Sprint has received approval from Clearwire shareholders to acquire the rest of the company, on top of its existing share ownership. The proposal, increased to $5 per share before the shareholder's vote, will allow Sprint to buy the remainder of the company that it does not already own, ahead of the expected closure of the Sprint-Softbank acquisition deal.
As expected, the FCC has officially given the green light to the Softbank purchase of Sprint and the corresponding Sprint purchase of ClearWire. The statement from acting FCC chairwoman Mignon Clyburn said that the deal serves the public interest and will "accelerate the deployment of mobile broadband services and enhance competition."
The Federal Communications Commission will allow for the acquisition of Sprint by Softbank, according to a report. Members of the Commission have apparently voted on the purchase with two out of three commissioners voting for the deal, and all but effectively completes the $21.6 billion deal between the two carriers.
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Cirrus creates Lightning-headphone dev kit
Apple supplier Cirrus Logic has introduced a MFi-compliant new development kit for companies interested in using Cirrus' chips to create Lightning-based headphones, which -- regardless of whether rumors about Apple dropping the analog headphone jack in its iPhone this fall -- can offer advantages to music-loving iOS device users. The kit mentions some of the advantages of an all-digital headset or headphone connector, including higher-bitrate support, a more customizable experience, and support for power and data transfer into headphone hardware. Several companies already make Lightning headphones, and Apple has supported the concept since June 2014. http://bit.ly/29giiZj
Apple Store app offers Procreate Pocket
The Apple Store app for iPhone, which periodically rewards users with free app gifts, is now offering the iPhone "Pocket" version of drawing app Procreate for those who have the free Apple Store app until July 28. Users who have redeemed the offer by navigating to the "Stores" tab of the app and swiping past the "iPhone Upgrade Program" banner to the "Procreate" banner have noted that only the limited Pocket (iPhone) version of the app is available free, even if the Apple Store app is installed and the offer redeemed on an iPad. The Pocket version currently sells for $3 on the iOS App Store. [32.4MB]
Porsche adds CarPlay to 2017 Panamera
Porsche has added a fifth model of vehicle to its CarPlay-supported lineup, announcing that the 2017 Panamera -- which will arrive in the US in January -- will include Apple's infotainment technology, and be seen on a giant 12.3-inch touchscreen as part of an all-new Porsche Communication Management system. The luxury sedan starts at $99,900 for the 4S model, and scales up to the Panamera Turbo, which sells for $146,900. Other vehicles that currently support CarPlay include the 2016 911 and the 2017 models of Macan, 718 Boxster, and 718 Cayman. The company did not mention support for Google's corresponding Android Auto in its announcement. http://bit.ly/295ZQ94
Apple employees testing wheelchair features
New features included in the forthcoming watchOS 3 are being tested by Apple retail store employees, including a new activity-tracking feature that has been designed with wheelchair users in mind. The move is slightly unusual in that, while retail employees have previously been used to test pre-release versions of OS X and iOS, this marks the first time they've been included in the otherwise developer-only watchOS betas. The company is said to have gone to great lengths to modify the activity tracker for wheelchair users, including changing the "time to stand" notification to "time to roll" and including two wheelchair-centric workout apps. http://bit.ly/2955JDa
SanDisk reveals two 256GB microSDXC cards
SanDisk has introduced two 256GB microSDXC cards. Arriving in August for $150, the Ultra microSDXC UHS-I Premium Edition card offers transfer speeds of up to 95MB/s for reading data. The Extreme microSDXC UHS-I card can read at a fast 100MB/s and write at up to 90MB/s, and will be shipping sometime in the fourth quarter for $200. http://bit.ly/294Q1If
Apple's third-quarter results due July 26
Apple has advised it will be issuing its third-quarter results on July 26, with a conference call to answer investor and analyst queries about the earnings set to take place later that day. The stream of the call will go live at 2pm PT (5pm ET) via Apple's investor site, with the results themselves expected to be released roughly 30 minutes before the call commences. Apple's guidance for the quarter put revenue at between $41 billion and $43 billion. http://apple.co/1oi1Pbm
Twitter stickers slowly roll out to users
Twitter has introduced "stickers," allowing users to add extra graphical elements to their photos before uploading them to the micro-blogging service. A library of hundreds of accessories, props, and emoji will be available to use as stickers, which can be resized, rotated, and placed anywhere on the photograph. Images with stickers will also become searchable with viewers able to select a sticker to see how others use the same graphic in their own posts. Twitter advises stickers will be rolling out to users over the next few weeks, and will work on both the mobile apps and through the browser. http://bit.ly/29bbwUE