Monthly Archives: March 2012

Chris Nuttall

Tivo has lowered the monthly subscription to its DVR service, a move that may be aimed at stemming subscriber losses.

The company dropped its monthly service fee for its machines from $20, with a one-year commitment, to $15. It also raised the price of its entry-level Premiere digital video recorder from $100 to $150 as it increased its capacity from 45 hours of HD video recording to 75. 

Can a company still be lovable when it has $100bn in the bank? For Apple, this is starting to become a serious question. The maker of iPhones and iPads arouses some of the warmest feelings among consumers of any brand in the world, thanks to a string of breakthrough gadgets and classy marketing. Something changes, though, when the underdog comes out on top – and there’s nothing like unrivalled corporate wealth to drive the point home.

Steve Jobs was fond of saying that he wanted to sail with the pirates, not the navy. In any popularity contest between the establishment and the lovable rogues, the latter always win hands down. But what happens when the pirates have made off with all the gold?

 

Tim Bradshaw

Although Angry Birds, by Rovio of Finland, is the best-known videogame to come out of Scandinavia, it has a close rival in Sweden’s Minecraft - a game Sean Parker loved so much he flew all its developers to London for a party. 

HP Omni 27 AiO pfeatures

Last week I wrote about the new iPad, which Apple sees as the poster child of a post-PC world. Can the PC fight back? New contenders from the leading manufacturers – Hewlett-Packard, Lenovo and Dell – are staking their claims.

 

Chris Nuttall

Broadcom is set to make indoor navigation easier and our online lives faster with two developments – the networking chipmaker is launching a new location-finding platform and acquiring the Israeli fibre-optics company BroadLink for $195m.

On a visit to San Francisco, Scott McGregor, chief executive (pictured), discussed the new moves and the prospects for a company that claims 99.9 per cent of all internet traffic and 100 per cent of smartphone data goes across at least one Broadcom chip. Highlights after the jump: 

Chris Nuttall

Apple must be wondering whether it was worth the improvements, particularly the addition of 4G LTE, to the new version of its iPad.

The extra mobile connectivity has earned the company plenty of criticism, despite it offering the opportunity to enjoy, at least theoretically, 73 megabits-per-second 4G speeds for the same price as the old single-megabit 3G models. 

Richard Waters

Is Zynga hopelessly exposed to the hit-driven nature of the games business, or do its scale and business model give it a sustainable competitive edge?

Depending on your point of view, its acquisition on Wednesday of OMGPOP, maker of the red-hot game Draw Something, could be used to support either side of this argument. 

Maija Palmer

There is no doubt that Arm Holdings, the UK chip designer, plays in the big league now. The Cambridge-based company’s designs are in most smartphones, and in coveted Apple products such as the iPad.

So it is appropriate that they have a weighty name for their new chairman. Sir John Buchanan, knighted in the recent New Year’s honours list, is chairman of Smith  and Nephew, which makes artificial knees and hips.  

Behind Monday’s headlines of Misys’s board accepting a £1.27bn cash bid from Vista Equity Partners, the perennial takeover target also updated the market on recent trading – and the figures were not exactly glowing.

Third-quarter revenues fell by 12 per cent year-on-year fall to £89m, which the London-based group attributed to customers procrastinating over software licence purchases. 

Chris Nuttall

Apple has announced plans to pay a dividend and institute a share buyback  programme as it deals with a cash mountain that has grown to more than $100bn.

The maker of the iPhone and iPad said it would begin with a quarterly dividend of $2.65 a share, sometime in its fiscal fourth quarter, which begins on July 1.  A $10bn share buyback would begin in its next fiscal year, starting September 30 and be executed over three years.

Apple held a conference call to discuss the moves (it also revealed a record weekend of sales for the new iPad). Our live blog on that, and the reaction to it, is after the jump.