Purchase valued at $12.5 billion, with Google retaining most of the patents
Lenovo has completed the acquisition of Motorola Mobile from Google. The deal, according to Lenovo, makes the combined company the "world's third largest maker of smartphones." Motorola is a now wholly owned subsidiary of Lenovo, and will remain headquartered in Chicago. Lenovo is expecting profitability to return between four and six quarters from now.
Chinese maker challenging Samsung with low-end models, vaults into third place
A new report from IDC again places Apple and Samsung at the top of the heap for smartphone manufacturers as it has for years now -- but there is nonetheless notable change in the air. Samsung saw a significant drop in shipments for its smartphones, dropping 8.5 percent from the year-ago quarter. Apple, in second place, saw a 16.1 percent increase in shipments. Though Samsung was dominant with 78.1 million units shipped, a new challenger from China is beating the Korean company on its home turf of low-end smartphones.
Company lost $461M before bankruptcy filing, says it had to assume all risks
Daniel Squiller, the COO of GT Advanced Technologies who was among those slowly selling off his holdings in company over the course of 2014, has told the bankruptcy court that the company lost $461 million before it finally filed for bankruptcy, which he characterized as a last-resort measure to get out of "unsustainable" contracts with Apple. Squiller painted a picture that claimed that GT Advanced assumed all the risk in their joint venture, while Apple took none.
Company cuts around 638 jobs in Seattle, 'almost all' of the jobs cuts completed
News of Microsoft's last large wave of layoffs hit today, with the company cutting an additional 3,000 jobs to reach its goal of 18,000. The final significant wave is larger than the number of positions released in September, but they continue to be spread across various parts of the company. Microsoft had set out to reduce its worldwide workforce by 14 percent with the layoff plan, beginning with nearly 12,500 employees of Nokia in July.
Pair blame attacks on 'challenging the status quo'
CurrentC governing company Merchant Customer Exchange (MCX) held a conference call a bit earlier today. The company's lead executives took turns defending the company against some claims related to fines for merchants abandoning CurrentC, and also tried to explain away the email data breach it had suffered.
HP uses thermal inkjet arrays to create detailed, colored 3D-printed objects
At the same time as unveiling the Sprout PC under its "Blended Reality" ecosystem, HP reveals it is looking to improve its standing in industry by creating 3D printers which use a new printing process. The company's 3D Multi Jet Fusion technology is said to be able to print out physical objects up to ten times faster than currently-available 3D printing methods, while at the same time making the printing process cheaper, and creating more detailed and durable objects.
Prospect still dependent on passing through sanction limits
Apple is talking to Iranian distributors about the possibility of selling the iPhone in the country, sources tell the Wall Street Journal. Senior Apple executives have reportedly met with the distributors at the former party's London headquarters. If the iPhone does become available in Iran, it will be through premium resellers, rather than Apple itself, which has no direct footprint to speak of. "Over a dozen" Apple employees -- including technical and marketing staff -- have been involved in the recent efforts, the Journal adds.
Could trigger retail war
(Updated with news of CurrentC hack) Retailers partnering with MCX on the upcoming CurrentC mobile payment system are contractually obligated to use CurrentC exclusively, according to the New York Times. Several of the retailers say that if they break their contracts, there are steep fines in place. This will block several popular payment platforms, namely Apple Pay, Softcard, and Google Wallet.
'Limited time promotion' sees Verizon, Netflix coexisting
Surprisingly given the public animosity between the two companies, Verizon has begun offering a year of video streaming service Netflix to some of its new customers. Customers who sign up for FiOS Internet and television bundles in the immediate vicinity of New York City are being offered the deal. Packages including a year of Netflix start at $80 a month and include a free year of Netflix.
Company beats projections, monthly users up only 2.2 percent from last quarter
Facebook released its third quarter results for the 2014 fiscal year, announcing that $3.2 billion in revenue was pulled in for the period ending September 30. The company beat Wall Street projections of an earnings per share (EPS) of $0.40 on $3.12 billion in revenue. While Facebook beat the EPS on diluted non-GAAP figures by three cents, the company posted only a $0.30 EPS under GAAP.
Apple failing to acknowledge video defect, suit says
Following up on earlier talk, lawfirm Whitfield Bryson & Mason has filed a class-action lawsuit against Apple on behalf of owners of the 2011 MacBook Pro. For some time, users of the laptop have been complaining about visual artifacts, blank screens, and/or crashes, which appear to be linked to problems with AMD graphics hardware. Apple, though, hasn't offered to fix affected systems outside of warranty coverage without charging high fees, and using replacement parts that may cause the exact same trouble.
Court challenges by broadcasters push auction date back from the middle of 2015
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced that it is delaying the upcoming 2015 incentive spectrum auction until at least early 2016. In a post from Gary Epstein, the chair of the FCC's Incentive Task Force, he said that recent court filings by broadcasters are causing the agency to push back the auction for spectrum previously assigned to television broadcasts.
Apple could ask for millions or billions in claims, supplier says
GT Advanced Technologies has to settle legal disputes with Apple because "protracted litigation against one of the largest corporations in the world with over $100 billion of cash would be challenging and expensive," according to a court filing submitted late Monday night. Lawyers for the bankrupt sapphire supplier say that Apple is threatening to hit it with "numerous liquidated damages provisions in the Apple Agreements pursuant to which Apple would likely assert millions, if not billions, of dollars in secured and unsecured claims against certain of the Debtors."
Mostly grandfathered plans hit by throttling, speeds cut to dial-up
The US Federal Trade Commission has launched a suit against AT&T for its admitted throttling of unlimited wireless data users. The FTC claims that AT&T has implemented the up to 90 percent slower data speeds on over 3.5 million customers a total of more than 25 million times since implementation on October 1, 2011.
Advertising-free subscriptions for YouTube may surface in the future
YouTube's music subscription service "Music Key" is still in development, CEO Susan Wojcicki has confirmed, though it may not be the only subscription option the service will provide its users. A monthly payment to remove pre-roll and other forms of advertising from YouTube is being considered, but other subscription schemes are apparently being considered.
Claims public, business response to service 'overwhelmingly positive'
Apple has issued a formal response to CVS and Rite Aid blocking Apple Pay at their stores. "The feedback we are getting from customers and retailers about Apple Pay is overwhelmingly positive and enthusiastic," the company says. "We are working to get as many merchants as possible to support this convenient, secure and private payment option for consumers. Many retailers have already seen the benefits and are delighting their customers at over 220,000 locations."
Sensitive customer data stored openly on servers prompts FCC fine
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has levied a total of $10 million in fines against two carriers, for improperly storing customer data. TerraCom and YourTel America have both been hit with the fines for "lax data security practices" which allegedly left the personal data of approximately 305,000 customers in public view on unsecured servers.
Would bring tech beyond world of Apple Pay
Apple is hunting for new partnerships that will let it diversify the use of the NFC chip in the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, a new report claims. At the moment the chip is meant exclusively for retail Apple Pay transactions, particularly since the related API hasn't been opened to third-party developers. Apple is allegedly negotiating with companies like HID Global and Cubic regarding purposes such as building security and public transit ticketing.
Legere explains how each carrier approaches the use of the iPad SIM card
In light of the news that AT&T is locking down the Apple SIM card if used in its network, T-Mobile CEO comment on the complex relationship between carriers and the SIM. Legere issued a "tweetstorm" explaining how each of the four major carriers in the United States approaches the technology differently.
System blocking Google, Apple efforts; allows others to pass through
CVS has ceased accepting Near-Field Communication (NFC) payments from Apple Pay and Google Wallet at its stores, US-wide. The pharmacy issued the instructions to stores earlier this week, with shutdowns continuing through the weekend. CVS has mirrored Rite Aid, which shut down its terminals earlier this week. Both CVS and Rite Aid are about to join the nascent and poorly-regarded MCX CurrentC NFC and barcode payment solution, and the move is widely seen as an effort to squeeze out both Google's and Apple's payment solutions.
Twitpic still shuttering, service in 'read only' mode for now
With time ticking down before the permanent shutdown of Twitpic, the company has announced that it has agreed to an acquisition offer by Twitter itself. The arrangement keeps the domain and photo archive accumulated by the service intact, and this keeps "the photos and links alive for the time being" according to a blog post announcing the deal. The service is not completely rescued, however, as the service is still shutting down ultimately, and in "read-only mode" for now.
Pichai now running most Google products, Page expects move to boost innovation
Google CEO Larry Page sent a memo to Google staffers yesterday, reorganizing the upper echelons of management, and stepping back somewhat from his daily duties. In the memo, Page transfers a number of divisions that previously reported directly to him over to Android chief Sundar Pichai. Pichai is currently responsible for Android, Chrome, and Google Apps. Now under his purview are research, maps, Google+, search, ad products, and company infrastructure. Page will continue to run access, energy, Nest, Calico, Google X, legal, finance, and corporate development.
Will replace bank-sponsored system with competing mobile wallet platform next year
Following reader complaints of Rite-Aid stores no longer accepting Apple Pay or Google Wallet payments (following a brief period where both worked properly) and a "cone of silence" from PR representatives, leaked documents have revealed that the reversal by Rite-Aid on accepting NFC-based payments was deliberate, and that it may never accept Apple Pay, since it is planning to go with a rival mobile payments platform -- sometime next year.
Beats Music expected to be rebuilt, integrated into iTunes
Sales at Apple's iTunes Store have fallen between 13 and 14 percent in 2014 so far, sources tell the Wall Street Journal. That represents a steepening decline, coming in the wake of a 2.1 percent dip in 2013. The trend is believed to be connected to the music industry's overall swing away from downloads, and towards streaming subscription services like Pandora and Spotify.
Service would help shoppers make better decisions about online purchases
Former Apple retail chief Ron Johnson, along with his former Apple colleague Jerry McDougal and former Apple creative director Tom Suiter have teamed up in a new retail-oriented startup endeavor called Enjoy, promising to help consumers spend more wisely instead of just aiming for the cheapest price. The company, which launches next year, will help consumers make smarter choices on buying, such as educating shoppers on the finer points of a camera to promote the best overall value.
Nationwide preliminary injunction granted, company exploring further options for survival
Aereo was dealt another blow in its battle to survive today thanks to a New York court. US District Judge Alison Nathan ruled in favor of broadcasters in a 17-page decision, putting a nationwide preliminary injunction in place against the startup. As a result, Aereo can no longer operate its "Watch Now" system that allowed television programs to be rebroadcasted over the Internet.
Surface revenue increases 122 percent, commercial revenue up 10 percent
Microsoft beat analyst expectations for the first quarter of 2015 today, posting $23.20 billion in revenue with a diluted earnings per share (EPS) of $0.54. Analysts expected the company to post EPS of $0.50 on $22.02 billion in revenue. Strong sales in consumer hardware and a 10 percent growth in the commercial sector were responsible for the boost in revenue.
Wall Street expecting Amazon to rein in ambitions, turn a profit
Amazon.com today announced financial results for its third quarter that ended on September 30. Net sales increased 20 percent to $20.58 billion in the third quarter, compared with $17.09 billion in the third quarter of 2013. Despite the increase, Amazon's net loss was $437 million in the third quarter, or $0.95 per diluted share, compared with net loss of $41 million, or $0.09 per diluted share in the same time period of of 2013.
Move comes as the company looks to strengthen services on a global scale
Xiaomi announced this week that it's taking steps to strengthen its services across the globe after an expanded server infrastructure effort started earlier in the year. As a part of the server expansion, the company said that data from international users of Xiaomi products is being transferred out of the central data centers in Beijing.
Proposed Internet tax could help Hungary with national budget deficit
Internet providers in Hungary may find their costs will increase, as the government mulls a possible tax on Internet traffic. A draft tax bill for 2015 has been submitted to the country's parliament, one which would require companies to pay for data transfers, as the country attempts to deal with a national budget deficit in alternative ways.
Factory will require government investment
Apple's chief assembly partner, Foxconn, is hoping to gain orders for iPhone displays by building a new factory in Zhengzhou, China, sources tell the Wall Street Journal. The company is allegedly in talks with Zhengzhou's government about getting financial help for the factory, which could cost up to 35 billion yuan, or about $5.7 billion. One of the topics under discussion is how much money local government would have to invest in the project.
Former sapphire supplier will keep control of Mesa assets
(Updated with Apple response, hints at future initiatives) GT has confirmed its split with Apple via a press release, offering further details on the terms. "GT will be released from all exclusivity obligations under its various agreements with Apple," the statement explains. "GT will retain ownership of all production, ancillary and inventory assets located in Mesa [Arizona] and Apple is provided with a mechanism for recovering its $439 million pre-payment made to GT over a period of up to four years without interest, solely from a portion of the proceeds from ASF sales.
Man arrested in April for violating weapons laws convicted for printing two firearms
In what could be the first conviction for making a firearm with a desktop 3D printer, a former Japanese college employee was sentenced to almost two years in jail earlier this week after being arrested earlier this year. The 28-year-old man was convicted for printing at least two functional and lethal firearms, capable of firing bullets -- in violation of Japan's strict gun laws.
Company directly refers to plaintiff as 'patent troll,' calls for continued patent reform
Non-practicing entity GPNE, which had tried to sue Apple over alleged infringement of expired pager-related 3G wireless patents, has come away completely empty-handed after a jury exonerated Apple of all charges. The firm, which has attempted to sue or sued most other big-name tech firms over the same or similar patents, had sought $94 million in damages (which Apple had referred to as an "attempt to extort money" from the iPhone maker), but was awarded nothing.
Carrier pulls $33 billion in revenue, added over 2 million mobile, broadband customers
AT&T's quarterly results fell short of industry projections when the company announced $32.9 billion in revenue for the third quarter of 2014. The resulting earnings per share (EPS) was $0.63, missing the projected $0.64 EPS on $33.25 billion in revenue. While the company may have missed projections, it announced that it picked up more than two million mobile and broadband customers.
Confidential programming agreements requested in early October source of the delay
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has stopped its "180-day informal time clock" in the review of the merger proposals for Comcast and Time Warner Cable, as well as AT&T and DirectTV. The reason for the stoppage involves the modified joint protective orders that the FCC created at the beginning of October, which content companies are now using to bar outside sources from reading confidential programming agreements.
Unity founder David Helgason remaining with the company
Cross-platform game development engine designers Unity Technologies has named a new chief executive. John Riccitiello, the prior chief of EA, is the new head of the company, with David Helgason stepping down. Helgason will continue with the company, and is planning on focusing on improving relationships with developers as well as "working with some insanely talented people here at Unity."
Sale of Alababa Group shares generate $6.3 billion, mobile now material
Yahoo released its third quarter financial results for 2014, stating that it pulled in approximately $1.15 billion in revenue to beat estimates. Analysts estimated that Yahoo would produce $1.04 billion in revenue, with an earnings per share of $0.30. While the revenue is good news for the company, it's due in large part to the $6.3 billion net of tax the company generated from the sale of shares of the Alibaba Group.
If approved, GT will sell sapphire furnaces to pay back Apple loan
After much bickering in court during bankruptcy proceedings that took Apple and Wall Street by surprise, former sapphire supplier GT Advanced Technologies has worked out an agreement with the iPhone maker that will let it pursue its plan of winding down operations at its Mesa, Arizona plant and laying off nearly 700 employees. Though Apple had initially said it would work to preserve the jobs involved, the deal instead offers incentives to certain employees to help wind down the plant, and provides a way for GT to pay back the money it owes Apple.
Judge dismisses appeal over High Court ruling, assets won't be made public
In the legal battle between file-sharing entrepreneur Kim Dotcom and Hollywood movie studios, a judge has dismissed an appeal that could have saved the Megaupload founder from detailing his current financial assets. The dismissal upholds a July decision, forcing Dotcom to turn over an affidavit for his worldwide assets to the Hollywood studios suing him for copyright infringement in a civil suit.
Social media changes mark first official move away from Nokia banner to Microsoft Lumia
Microsoft is making the shift away from the Nokia brand name official, as it's confirmed that the company is shifting to Microsoft Lumia for future devices. The change in names was first brought up back in September as part of an alleged leak of an internal document that dropped the Nokia name, along with mentions of Windows Phone from devices.
Demand may have pushed up schedule
A loyalty program for Apple Pay may be ready to go in time for the holidays, says Bank Innovation. Some retail sources had previously suggested this was unlikely, in part because of doubt about the prospects of a large shift in customer behavior happening right before the holiday season. Real-world market demand may be pushing up the timetable for a loyalty offering, however.
Unknown number of victims, data taken from PA, NY, NJ
Office supply store Staples appears to be the latest victim of a breach of customer payment information. The company issued a brief statement saying that they were looking into the matter, after several banks reported fraudulent activity with a pattern pointing to the source being Staples stores in the northeastern US.
Odin System-on-Chip may appear in LG G3 variant this week
LG may be getting close to launching its first smartphone using its own application processor, a rumor claims. The device, allegedly being prepared for its unveiling as early as this week, will apparently use the "Odin" System-on-Chip, a move which could bring LG in line with long-time competitor Samsung in developing and using its own processors on devices.
Continued growth in wireless boosting dropping wired profits
Cellular carrier Verizon today reported double-digit, year-over-year percentage growth in reported and adjusted earnings per share for the 10th time in the past 11 quarters. Verizon reported $0.89 in earnings per share in third-quarter 2014, compared with $0.78 per share in third-quarter 2013. Total revenues for the company were $21.8 billion in third-quarter 2014, up seven percent year over year.
Cook announces new trip to Beijing for worker meeting that will be posted online
As is his habit, Apple CEO Tim Cook on Monday released a company-wide memo to employees recapping much of the sales and growth data from the analyst conference call given earlier that afternoon. He referred to the expectation-beating results as "Apple's highest September quarter revenue ever, and our strongest growth rate in seven quarters," adding that this was made possible "by your hard work and dedication." He also noted the big jump in Mac sales, beating industry averages significantly.
Deal allows IBM to focus on research, GlobalFoundries to produce IBM server chips
IBM is getting out of the chip manufacturing, with the company transferring the bulk of its semiconductor business to GlobalFoundries. However, rather than IBM getting a large cash influx from selling the chip division, the company is paying GlobalFoundries $1.5 billion over three years in cash and capital to take the commercial semiconductor business.
Emerging markets, price cuts, back to school seen as key factors
In what CEO Tim Cook called the "best ever" quarter for the Mac, Apple's Mac lineup overall jumped a remarkable 25 percent in a single quarter to 5.52 million units. Making the event more noteworthy is the fact that the growth was achieved prior to any notable refreshes. Instead, what appears to be driving the increase in Mac sales is volume in emerging markets, such as China - where Macs were up 54 percent year-over-year. Price cuts and great back-to-school sales also contributed to the jump.
No mandatory recall taking place as long as small adjustments made by company
Fitbit offered a statement last week on the findings of an investigation into the Force fitness wristband. The company decided to voluntarily pull the device from store shelves in February 2014, as it was thought to be causing rashes on the wrists of users. CEO James Park took to the company's webpage to give an update on the independent testing and other findings from medical experts, confirming what was believed in the preliminary tests in February.
Initiative adds EMV support to government channels, more identity theft protections, reporting
Last week US President Barack Obama signed an executive order that will help consumers that a victims of identity theft, as well as speed up the adoption of the Europay, MasterCard, and Visa (EMV) chip standard for credit and debit cards. In the executive order signed by the president, parts of the federal government will be adopting EMV measures, as well as strengthening the public's ability to monitor financial health or seek help when necessary.