Consumer Electronics

Sarah Mishkin

Rihanna gives away a personalised HTC phone on stage

How badly is smartphone maker HTC doing?

By many measures, very badly. October sales are down 13 per cent year on year. Revenue next quarter could be as low as NT$40bn, a third less than the same quarter last year and lower than analysts’ expectations. And after reporting its first ever quarterly operating loss as a company in the third quarter, it shows no sign of returning to profit in the fourth.

But one measure in particular, released today with its full third quarter results, shows the Taiwanese company’s travails — its accounts payable. That measures how long it is taking the company to pay its bills to its suppliers, who make the parts of its phones. Read more

It is deja vue time for Sony investors as the Japanese electronics company revises down its income expectations again.

The profit warning is the latest in a slew of downgrades over the past few years – in 2011 Sony infamously downgraded its net income forecasts four times.

The red bars below are Sony’s net income forecasts for 2011 at various times, and the blue bar shows the actual net loss of Y456.7bn.

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Richard Waters

Apple may have beaten Wall Street’s revenue and profit expectations with its latest quarterly earnings on Monday, but the market’s skittishness about the durability of its profit margins was much in evidence. Earnings guidance, on the face of it, seemed to point to steady margin erosion in the coming months. But Apple was able to silence the doubters – for this quarter, at least.

Read on for details of the earnings and our coverage of the earnings call as it happened.

 

Chris Nuttall

Livescribe has written a third chapter in the story of its development of a digital pen that also records audio, with the launch of the Bluetooth-enabled Livescribe 3 following the Wi-Fi Sky version and the original Echo device.

The fact that the company will continue to sell the Echo and Sky alongside the 3 suggests it has yet to come up with the perfect smartpen and that there are strengths and weaknesses to each version – something I discovered as a longtime user in trying out 3 and its new app. Read more

Tim Bradshaw

You can now comfortably hold the iPad with one hand.

What, you want more? That really is all you need to know. Read more

Tim Bradshaw

On a brisk, foggy Tuesdsay morning in San Francisco, Apple unveiled the iPad Air, a new tablet which is thinner and faster than the previous devices, in a bid to consolidate its grip on the high end of the tablet market.

In what it called the “lightest full-sized tablet in the world”, Apple said it had a “dramatically different experience” but the new tablet did not include the fingerprint reader that some had expected after it was introduced for the latest iPhone. The company also unveiled a new iPad mini and cut the cost of the original smaller tablet to $299, the cheapest price for an iPad ever.

Revealing a whole host of updates from mobile apps to its Mac OS update, it announced that it would now offer its software for free. Tim Cook, Apple’s chief executive, said the move was “turning the industry on its ear”.

Tim Bradshaw and Hannah Kuchler followed the launch for the FT’s Apple liveblog as Tim Cook took to the stage at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in downtown San Francisco.

 

Tim Bradshaw

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Apple’s appearance on the catwalk with Burberry last month should have given us clues to more than next season’s fashions. Read more

Tim Bradshaw

Nest, one of Silicon Valley’s best-known hardware startups, unveiled the follow-up to its “smart thermostat” on Tuesday: a talking smoke alarm that can send alerts to an app.

The Nest Protect has already received praise for its slick design and imaginative touches, such as motion-sensing nightlights and a woman’s voice to warn more gently of rising smoke than the traditional buzzer. These are not features you often associate with a humble smoke alarm. Read more

Sarah Mishkin

Environmentally conscious or just clumsy people buying a smartphone are better off with a new Samsung or Motorola than with one of the new iPhones.

A new ranking from iFixit, a group that specialises in tearing apart phones to figure out to repair them, looks how easy it is to fix the top smartphones on the market. Read more