Monthly Archives: January 2014

Are we seeing the emergence of a grand alliance between Google and Samsung for Android mobile devices, similar to the Microsoft-Intel alliance for Windows personal computers? It looks like that from events this week:

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This just in from Facebook – it’s entered the news business, with an app called Paper. Read more

Richard Waters

For all those confused about Google’s intentions in hardware, things just got much clearer.

No, it doesn’t see itself as the next Apple. And yes, it does understand the responsibilities that come with running an ecosystem if it wants to keep allies like Samsung onside. Read more

Tim Bradshaw

Mark Zuckerberg’s push to make Facebook a mobile-first company seems to have paid off. Wednesday’s fourth-quarter earnings revealed that it now makes more than half of its advertising revenues from mobile devices, beating Wall Street’s forecasts and sending its stock up as much as 12 per cent in after-hours trading.
Hannah Kuchler and Tim Bradshaw reported from the earnings call as Zuck and his team talked about the opportunities in personalisation, messaging and artificial intelligence. 

Have we been taking too many tablets?

It seems markets are reaching saturation point with growth in the category slowing to 28 per cent year-on-year in the fourth quarter – down from 87 per cent a year earlier. Read more

US politicians are swinging from Vines at President Obama for the first time in their reaction to last night’s State of the Union speech. Read more

Tim Bradshaw

Hardware is hard, so the saying goes. Raising millions of dollars on Kickstarter or Indiegogo can create as many problems as it solves. So the recent explosion in hardware start-ups has produced a crop of incubator and accelerator programmes, such as Lemnos Labs and Haxlr8r. The latest, Highway 1, is a new project from Liam Casey’s PCH International, which typically handles supply chains for rather larger electronics companies such as Apple and Beats Electronics. Read more

Richard Waters

The interests of bondholders do not usually make it very far up the list of concerns of most tech executives. Thanks to the industry’s cash mountain (as we reported in our series on corporate cash last week) it’s been more a case of how to keep restless shareholders happy.

But all of that could soon change if debt levels continue to rise at current rates, according to a report from Richard Lane at Moody’s. Read more

The rollout of Apple’s iPhone by China Mobile to 300 cities this year is going to be slower than many analysts expected – contributing to its outlook disappointing on Monday and its shares falling more than 7 per cent at the open today.

But new estimates for the rollout of 4G services promise rich pickings for Apple later in 2014 and beyond. Read more

Apple doesn’t do down-market.

We’ve always known this about the premium device maker, but its first quarter results hammered home how this is becoming a problem for the iPhone creator. Read more

Richard Waters

Silicon Valley may have tried to wash its hands of Tom Perkins over his claim that criticism of the wealthiest 1 per cent bears comparison with Nazi persecution of the Jews.

But, even as he apologised for the comment on Monday, that didn’t stop the former venture capitalist from claiming to speak for Silicon Valley as he warned of the dangers of a populist backlash against the massive wealth being created in the tech industry. Read more

Richard Waters

Forget the formal estimates: what Wall Street was really hoping for from Apple’s latest quarter was an acceleration in growth that would blow away the “official” forecasts.

The figures released on Monday failed to impress. At 51m, the number of iPhones sold in the quarter came in 2m short of estimates, though the 26m iPads topped most estimates. Within minutes, Apple’s shares had slipped more than 5 per cent.

Read below for our coverage of the earnings report and the company’s analyst call.

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Tim Bradshaw

Expectations are high that Apple can go back to its old forecast-busting ways when it reports earnings for its December quarter on Monday.

“Investors think that Q1 is going to be a blow-out and the Q2 guide is quite strong,” said analysts at Berenberg in a note after meetings with shareholders last week.

While the iPhone and iPad both look set to turn in double-digit percentage growth rates, falling prices and margins could minimise revenue and earnings growth.

Here’s what to expect after the markets close in New York: Read more

Forecast that a market is going to grow by a third, investors start to salivate. Tell them it is smartphones and mouths go dry. There was a time when owning Samsung or Apple and shorting BlackBerry or HTC was an easy trade. But things got harder a year or two ago; competition appears to be eroding high-end handset profits.

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Robert Cookson

For a company that distributes content to more than 390m web users each month, Outbrain has so far maintained a relatively low profile outside the worlds of online publishing and marketing.

But the fast-growing Israeli start-up is attracting an increasing amount of attention, having installed its content recommendation engine on more than 100,000 websites including 700 “premium publishers” such as The Independent, CNN and Rolling Stone. It is reported to be gearing up for an IPO that could value the company at $1bnRead more

Are phablets more phabtastic now that Apple appears to be showing an interest?

The signs are that a product of unwieldy phone size and ugly monicker is winning at least some admirers. Read more

Eric Schmidt (c) Getty Images

On Thursday Eric Schmidt gave a fascinating talk on technological innovation, in which he warned that broad range of jobs that once seemed beyond the reach of automation are in danger of being wiped out by technological advances.

I raised two questions to neither of which in my view did I receive a good answer.

First, we see IT everywhere, except in the productivity statistics. It is really quite hard to reconcile the idea of a dramatic technology revolution with stagnant or near-stagnant productivity in high-income countries.

What is going on? Is most of the revolution in household production? Or is GDP even more mis-measured than usual?

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Robert Cookson

Criteo has started delivering personalised advertising within mobile apps, a big shift for the $2bn technology group that built its business on targeting ads within web browsers on desktops.

The Nasdaq-listed company is one of many ad tech groups rushing to bring techniques that are common on the web to the nascent but fast-growing market for targeted, real-time advertising in apps. Read more

It was a skunkworks project that whiffed for Intel’s incoming chief executive.

Now the world’s biggest chipmaker has announced the sale of its nascent internet TV service to the communications-provider-with-big-TV-ambitions Verizon. Read more

It sounds improbable. Dogged by closed borders with Turkey and Azerbaijan, a narrow export base, pervasive monopolies and an over-reliance on remittances from abroad, Armenia’s economic future poses plenty of questions. Could one answer come in the shape of a tablet?

In December, Technology and Science Dynamics Inc/ArmtabTechnologies Company, an American-Armenian joint-venture, announced the first tablet and smartphone made-in-Armenia. Both Android-run, the ArmTab and the ArmPhone were designed in Yerevan and will be assembled in Hong Kong and the US. The producer said the devices, available for wholesale in a few weeks and to retailers in late 2014, were aimed mainly at the regional markets.

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