Monthly Archives: December 2010

Tim Bradshaw

There was much wailing and gnashing of teeth this week about some dismal iPad magazine app sales figures from the US Audit Bureau of Circulation.

Apple’s wonder-tablet was a contributing factor in the FT’s awarding Steve Jobs its person of the year and has been a huge success. But that success doesn’t seem to have rubbed off on traditional media companies just yet. 

Richard Waters

One hazard of new mass-market consumer technologies is that they make geeks of us all. So it is with Skype, which has just come up with an exhaustive account of its spectacular pre-Christmas crash. But the implications go much further than the technical. With an IPO on the cards, this has not come at a good time. 

I have been trying to pin down what makes me uneasy about Groupon, the online coupon business that has just been valued at $6.4bn in its latest round of funding, which involves raising $950m in cash.

Actually, I think the reason is right there – that Groupon has been carelessly described as a social media business like Facebook and Twitter but at its heart, it is a sales-intensive local advertising operation that is costly to build. 

In 1467, Peter Schöffer and Johann Fust published a translation of St Augustine’s The Art Of Preaching. They were old colleagues of Johannes Gutenberg, the pioneer of modern printing. But their true claim to fame is that they were the first commercially successful printers, and this success stemmed in part from their relentless innovation with the world’s newest communications technology: the book.  

Chris Nuttall

Like Santa, I’ve been making a list, and checking it twice, of gadgets of the year, both naughty and nice. My hot and not lists for 2010 were the subject of this week’s Personal Technology column in the FT’s Business Life section. Links to previous fuller reviews are in this online version. 

When Steve Jobs walked on to the stage at San Francisco’s Yerba Buena Center in January, it capped the most remarkable comeback in modern business history. 

Chris Nuttall

With big companies like Google and Walmart wanting to provide the TV interface of the future, it makes sense for the smaller players in the living room to pool their resources. Hence, Rovi’s announcement that it will acquire Sonic Solutions for $720m, after Sonic itself acquired DivX in June. 

Every time a new category of mobile device emerges, network operators have sought to grab a bigger slice of the pie by cutting out branded manufacturers and selling their own-branded gadgets. The first Android-based smartphone, for example, was manufactured by Taiwan’s HTC but was better known as the T-Mobile G1.

It was therefore only a matter of time before this dynamic was extended to tablets. Taiwan’s Vibo Telecom, a 3G operator with 1.8 million subscribers, was among the first to take that step when it launched its 7-inch, Android-based Vibo Vpad this month. 

Tim Bradshaw

“Mark Zuckerberg” and “vacation” aren’t phrases that most people would normally associate.

The Facebook founder is known for working long hours; a two-month “lockdown” over the summer kept developers in the office for extended periods while new products – such as Mail – were created.

So it shouldn’t be surprising that when Mr Zuckerberg takes holiday to China, it isn’t all temple visits and cocktails

Joseph Menn

After giving millions of users a good 24 hours to express their anger and frustration at wide reports of a plan to kill off web bookmarking service Delicious, Yahoo got around to explaining that there was no need to panic.

A leaked internal presentation had showed on Thursday that Yahoo was planning to “sunset” some services, including Delicious, and Yahoo statements to the press that it was “cutting our investment in underperforming or off-strategy products” encouraged the idea that this meant Delicious was doomed.