Could a Dell no longer weighed down by the anchor of its original PC business carve out a new future of growth as an enterprise technology company?
That is the only conceivable rationale for a potential buy-out that has once again become a hot topic of conversation on Wall Street. But it will take a strong nerve to call the bottom at a time when Dell’s PC business looks to be in free-fall. Read more
There are few greater indignities for a tech company than to be sought out by investors chasing dividend yield. The industry was founded on growth: yield is for old-economy investors who can’t stomach the risk of investing in the next big growth markets.
So spare a thought for the PC world, which in remarkably short order has become the tech world’s high-yield haven. After years of talk about a post-PC future, the alarms are now sounding loudly: rather than growth, accelerating decline is assumed in Wall Street’s forecasts. Read more
Victory on the main issue raised in the US anti-trust investigation of Google – the charge of search bias – is likely to remove any self-imposed limits the company has observed while under intense regulatory scrutiny over the past two years (Google’s own response, hinting at more aggressive competition to come, certainly suggested as much.)
Another consequence, noted by former FTC official David Balto: Any hopes that rivals had about riding on the back of regulatory action to bring their own private lawsuits have been dashed.
But in the area of patents, at least, the concession Google has made to end a US anti-trust investigation could have wider ramifications. Read more
When Google launched its AdSense network to push advertising to third-party websites, it already had a massively successful advertising business on Google.com.
Facebook hasn’t reached that point yet – so it makes sense that it has pulled back from testing third-party advertising to get the basic product right first. Read more
The internet consumer loans company Lending Club has certainly attracted some big names to its board: former Morgan Stanley boss John Mack, internet analyst-turned venture capitalist Mary Meeker – and now Larry Summers, a former US Treasury secretary.
It’s all a sign that the barriers to consumer finance are crumbling for a new wave of start-ups, Mr Summers tells us. Read more
There has been no shortage of calls recently for European regulators to drag Google’s controversial new data privacy policies into their anti-trust investigation of the company. But with settlement talks at an advanced stage, we hear this one isn’t going anywhere – at least, not in this round of Google v the EU. Read more
If it’s Monday, it must be Windows Phone 8. Not to mention Google’s Nexus range. Would you prefer that in four, seven or ten inches?
At this time of year, the flow of new smartphones, tablets and things that defy categorisation becomes a flood. But the message left by the latest deluge of hardware (which includes a new iPad mini last week) is a somewhat paradoxical one: with the number and type of screens proliferating, the real key now lies in integration between machines, not in the devices themselves. Read more
After two quarters of declines, iPhone sales ticked up again in the latest period, to nearly 27m. Meanwhile, iPad sales dropped to 14m as rumours of a new iPad mini spread like wildfire. But for Wall Street, this was just the appetiser: the real banquet will be Apple’s current quarter, when iPhone sales are projected to jump to 50m and iPads to 22m. Speaking on the earnings call, Apple executives sounded optimistic about their ability to ship the new products in high volumes – though they warned that profit margins would suffer a temporary dent.
See below for our blow-by-blow take on the company’s latest earnings call. Read more
If you’re one of those people who has been dying to use Excel or Word on a touch-optimised tablet, your wait is over. But that may not be enough to justify paying a premium for a device that is both Microsoft’s first foray into personal computing hardware as well as the flagship for the new Windows 8.
Try, for a moment, to put comparisons with the iPad out of your mind (admittedly not so easy on the day that Apple has just shown off the new iPad mini and a souped-up 10in version). The Surface, which goes on sale on Friday, deserves to be judged on its own terms: as a tablet that is designed to function equally well as a notebook PC. Read more
The hotly anticipated IPO of Workday could help to advance Morgan Stanley’s rehabilitation in the wake of the Facebook fiasco. But given the way other recent tech deals led by the bank have been structured, it is still too soon to pass a verdict on its performance – or to tell how much long-term damage the debacle surrounding the Facebook offering will do to its business in Silicon Valley. Read more