Investment firms believe Apple sold well north of 54 million units
Two investment analyst firms, Barclays Capital and UBS, have issued their first predictions on the number of iPhones Apple is likely to sell in its fiscal second quarter, which concludes at the end of March. The firms disagree on the exact number of units, but are within 10 percent of each other, ranging from 54 million to 58 million units. UBS' Evidence Lab is predicting higher numbers, but Wall Street estimates remain conservative.
Microsoft simplifies student enrollment process for free Office 365 subscription
Microsoft is offering a simpler way for students around the world to check their eligibility for a free Office 365 license. While free subscriptions have been around for a while, it typically involved a lengthy process to check for eligibility. Now, students and teachers need to just sign up with a valid school email address to receive their subscription, which includes installation of Office apps on up to five computers and up to five mobile devices, as well as 1TB of OneDrive storage.
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.
Cisco expected to fetch far less than $500 million on the sale
According to industry sources, Cisco Systems has hired Barclays to find a buyer for its home networking division Linksys. Reportedly, Cisco is planning on divesting itself of the home router manufacturer as part of its strategy to exit consumer-level businesses while expanding in technology services, and other corporate solutions.
Pegatron and Foxconn tasked with manufacturing
Contract manufacturers may be preparing to build more than 10 million mini iPad tablets in the fourth quarter, according to Barclays analysts. Most of the new tablets are expected to be produced by veteran iPad maker Foxconn, while Pegatron is said to be tasked with manufacturing approximately three million units.
Company expected to focus on software ecosystem
Apple may be relying on the popularity of its iPad, iPhone and Mac hardware to help monetize a "fully integrated TV ecosystem," according to an investor note circulated by Barclays analyst Ben Reitzes. Amid rampant rumors surrounding a new Apple set-top box, the analyst emphasizes that the company is likely aiming to create a software-driven ecosystem, "not just hardware," even if necessary partnerships with content providers have yet to be inked.
Barclays tries ad hoc NFC payment tech
Barclays on Wednesday night brought out a mobile payment system that's independent of any one platform. Paytag is a small, plastic add-on that users can stick to a phone, or any object, that lets it make NFC payments at a supporting store. Those with a Barclaycard Visa can pay for goods worth up to £15 ($24) now, with an extension to £20 ($32) in June.
Google said looking for Motorola set-top buyer
Google is already looking to sell the set-top box business it will get as part of the $12.5 billion buy of Motorola Mobility, the New York Post claimed. In August, during the announcement of the purchase, the plan was to make the business work under Google's tutelage. Cable operators have been slow to buy Motorola set-tops ever since the Google buy was announced.
US carriers to use NFC on phones for payment
Three of the larger US carriers are developing a smartphone-based alternative to a traditional credit or debit payment, sources claimed on Monday. AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon are developing a Near Field Communication system like Japan's FeliCa. Buyers would swipe a phone with an NFC chip near a reader to pay for goods at stores rather than use a card.