Monthly Archives: May 2014

Tim Bradshaw

Image from @tim_cook on Twitter

Even before the ink is dry on his $3bn acquisition of Beats Electronics, Apple chief Tim Cook is still “on the prowl” for more deals.

That was Mr Cook’s phrase when asked in last month’s earnings call whether Apple would consider making large acquisitions, before he had sealed the iPhone maker’s largest ever transaction.

In April, he said that Apple had made 24 acquisitions in the last 18 months. That number has now risen to 27, Mr Cook told the FT on Wednesday, and looks set to keep growing: Read more

Sarah Mishkin

Google’s first ever public report on its diversity is out, and the numbers are not hugely shocking. Women make up less than a third of its workforce globally, while 5 per cent of its US staff are black or Hispanic.

More notable: The fact that Google admits it was in the wrong not to have released this data earlier. Read more

Sarah Mishkin

Famed internet analyst Mary Meeker’s latest prognostications on how the internet is developing were out today. The key — perhaps unsurprisingly — is mobile, and how it’s reshaping what gadgets we buy, what we use them for, and where exactly those users are from.

Here are five key figures from her report: Read more

Hannah Kuchler

It is the week before a major Apple announcement, and like a scrooge before Christmas, Samsung tried to spoil its rival’s party on Wednesday. Read more

By Gautam Malkani

Jimmy Iovine, Tim Cook, Dr. Dre and Eddy Cue at Apple headquarters in Cupertino, California. (Photo by Paul Sakuma Photography)

It was the geeks who made commerce cool. Or at least that’s the popular assumption. Silicon Valley’s tech scene supposedly did for business and entrepreneurism what James Dean did for denim.

Start-up founders became superstars and VC morphed into modern-day A&R. San Francisco’s earlier incarnations as the home of beat writers, hippies and counterculture in general merely reinforced this view.

Apple’s acquisition of Beats by Dr Dre may look like another case in point. But it isn’t. Instead it reminds us that, tech schmeck, business became hip because of hip-hop. Read more

Software may be “eating the world”, in the words of venture capitalist Marc Andreessen, but should some software be given the same moral status as animals or even humans?

In a new paper, Anders Sandberg, a research fellow at Oxford’s Future of Humanity Institute, takes the reader on a whistle-stop tour of the various moral quandaries that may be raised by “brain emulations” – hypothetical software that can replicate the function and structure of a whole animal or human brain. Read more

Maija Palmer

Clive Sinclair’s C5, Tata’s Nano and baby toys come to mind, apparently. Read more

The importance of small and medium-sized enterprises as engines of job creation is a well-established economic fact. In countries such as Italy and Spain, SMEs account for 70-80 per cent of the workforce, and for a similar proportion of all newly created jobs, writes Ferdinando Giugliano.

Much less is known, however, about which kinds of SMEs are better at boosting employment. The SMEs universe is varied, but distinguishing between them is essential for governments to direct their economic policies in an effective way.

 Read more

Hannah Kuchler

Facebook has unveiled a new feature which allows it to takeover a smartphone’s microphone to identify and track what songs a user is listening to and what TV programmes people are watching. Read more

Paul Taylor

How best to judge Microsoft’s next-generation tablet, the Surface Pro 3, which was unveiled by its new chief executive Satya Nadella at an event in New York on Tuesday?

One way would be to compare it to its previous incarnation, which received a more positive critical response for its improved features, but still did not really make a dent in the market share of Apple iOS or Android devices – Microsoft has recorded about $2.64bn in Surface sales so far. For comparison, Apple sold $7.6bn worth of iPads in the latest quarter alone.

 Read more

Microsoft is expected to unveil a third generation version of its Surface tablet later on Tuesday.

Then again, it might not.

What’s likely to come out of its New York event (4pm London time, webcast here ) has been kept tightly under wraps by the company, leading to speculation that ranges from a Surface “mini” being shown to a larger 12-inch tablet, to nothing more than tweaks to existing models.

Whatever is in store, Microsoft needs some fairly dramatic improvements for Surface to come anywhere close to matching the iPad’s appeal. Read more

Sarah Mishkin

After the correction in tech stocks in recent weeks, investors would be forgiven for being surprised by the performance of two tech IPOs in New York this week. Read more

Sarah Mishkin

As the fight around net neutrality heats up in Washington DC this week, a well-known internet entrepreneur and activist is taking to the streets of the US capital to get people focused on what can sometimes seem a bit of an arcane fight over telecom regulation. Read more

Sarah Mishkin

Google’s flagship wearable device—Google Glass—is now available for anyone in the US who wants to spend $1,500 on the smart spectacles some find fascinating and others find bizarre. Read more

Tim Bradshaw

Watching the Apple faithful grapple with its imminent acquisition of Beats Electronics has been fascinating.

The only thing Apple watchers seem to agree on is that nobody saw it coming, even though Reuters reported talks about some sort of tie-up over streaming music more than a year ago. It’s the ultimate example of Apple doing something nobody could imagine Steve Jobs doing. Read more

Cash Rules Everything Around Me*

“Dough”, “paper”, “cabbage”, “brash”, “scrilla, “chips”, “bread”, “bacon”, “Gs”, “beans”, “lettuce”, “clams”. “Mozarella”, “quiche”, “cream”. “Benjamins”. The list goes on. If Eskimos have 40 words for snow, rappers have even more for money. Read more

Samsung Electronics has replaced its head of mobile design just weeks after the launch of its latest flagship Galaxy S5 phone, which was praised in online reviews for its features but criticised for its design.

The South Korean company, however, called the move a routine reshuffle, and denied any link to the criticism. Chang Dong-hoon will retain a broader role overseeing design across the company, while Lee Min-hyouk – at 42, one of the youngest figures in Samsung’s senior ranks – has been promoted to head of the company’s mobile communications design team. Read more

Sarah Mishkin

Alibaba, which filed for its US IPO on Tuesday, is frequently called the Amazon or eBay of China. But while there may be similarities in their business model, the online shopping experience for customers can be quite different indeed.

Here, a look at some of the things one finds on Alibaba’s various shopping platforms, how they differ from each other, and some of the ways in which they are vastly different from their western counterparts. Read more

Sarah Mishkin

Alibaba on Tuesday submitted the first filing for its upcoming initial public offering in New York. Unusually for a private company, prospective investors already knew some of its key financial details, since Yahoo, its major shareholder, reports them as part of its quarterly results.

So what did we learn from the new filings? Read more

Sarah Mishkin

Alibaba’s shareholder list contains some well-known names from around the globe — from China and Japan to Singapore, Silicon Valley and Russia. Here is a breakdown and guide to the biggest names to profit from the listing. Read more