By Cody Lee on Mar 6, 2014
According to some recent SEC filings, Eddy Cue, Phil Schiller and other Apple executives have been awarded restricted stock bonuses that will vest over the next 3 years. The bonuses consist of more than 30,000 shares, worth in upwards of $19 million at today’s prices.
Restricted stock units, or RSUs, are typically given as an incentive to stay with a company. Additionally, since they convert into shares of stock upon vesting, they encourage execs to put their ‘best foot forward’ as their value directly correlates to the firm’s performance… Read More
By Cody Lee on Feb 25, 2014
Since Facebook announced last week that it would be acquiring WhatsApp for $16+ billion, pundits have been trying to make sense of the deal. How can a messaging app startup be worth so much more than say, Motorola Mobility, which has thousands of employees?
According to Mark Zuckerberg, it’s not. It’s worth more. Speaking at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona yesterday, the CEO said that WhatsApp was a ‘great fit’ for his company and that it was worth more than the $19B ($16B + $3B in vested shares) they paid for it… Read More
By Cody Lee on Feb 23, 2014
In an effort to stave off competition from Apple, Google and others, Microsoft is said to be cutting the cost of Windows 8.1 by as much as 70%. Now it sounds like this is for manufacturers only, who pre-install Windows on their devices, but it should still eventually turn into savings for consumers.
You see, Microsoft is hoping that by cutting the cost for manufacturers to install Windows on products less than $250, it’ll entice PC makers to create and sell more cheaper models. It’s also cutting the requirement for <$250 devices to complete logo certification in an effort to speed up their releases…
By Christian Zibreg on Feb 21, 2014
Verizon last September announced that it has reached an agreement with Vodafone to buyout its 45 percent stake in Verizon Wireless in one of the largest corporate acquisitions in history.
In December, the Big Red carrier won necessary approvals from the Federal Communications Commission and today the company announced that the acquisition has been completed - Verizon now owns 100 percent of the “industry-leading U.S. wireless carrier”… Read More
By Cody Lee on Feb 16, 2014
TmoNews is reporting that T-Mobile plans to make some changes to its early upgrade program ‘Jump’ in the near future. The site says that the carrier will soon get rid of the 6 month waiting period, essentially allowing customers to upgrade their devices as often as they want.
But don’t get too excited yet. In addition to eliminating its equipment upgrade waiting periods, T-Mobile is also going to raise the amount that customers have to pay off before they can trade in their device for a new one to 50%, or half of their old handset’s full retail price… Read More
By Cody Lee on Feb 14, 2014
This is kind of interesting. The Wall Street Journal is reporting this morning that the popular voice call app Viber has agreed to a deal to be acquired by Rakuten for $900 million. For those unfamiliar with the e-commerce giant, it’s essentially Japan’s version of Amazon.
Viber is available on all major mobile and desktop platforms, and is one of Skype’s biggest competitors with over 300 million users worldwide. It was one of the first apps to allow 3G VoIP on the iPhone and it now supports land-line calls, messages and even push-to-talk… Read More
By Cody Lee on Feb 13, 2014
I have a ritual I go through every time I purchase a new iPhone, which lately has been once per year. I hunt down my original box and accessories, and prepare my old handset to be sold on eBay as soon as my new one arrives. And I thought this was a common practice.
But according to the “Mobile Mountain Study” conducted by research group OnePoll, for resale site SellCell, almost half of the consumers who buy a new smartphone are holding on to their older device instead of opting to recycle or sell it in the used handset market… Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Feb 10, 2014
Controversial activist investor Carl Icahn continues to aggressively purchase shares of Apple while insisting that the company increase the size of its share buyback program. His proposal for a $50 billion buyback has been met with resistance by proxy advisory firm Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS) which now recommends voting against the plan.
ISS argues that the Apple board has already returned the bulk of its U.S.-generated cash to shareholders through the company’s aggressive stock buybacks and dividends payouts. As a result of large institutional investors siding with Apple, Icahn has withdrawn his proposal… Read More
By Cody Lee on Feb 9, 2014
Here’s an entertaining little anecdote to start your week off. By now, I’m sure most of you know about Flappy Bird; that it essentially became an overnight success, and that its developer pulled it from the App Store yesterday. But the saga may not be over just yet.
Shortly after the game was pulled on Sunday, iPhones with Flappy Bird installed started appearing on eBay. It’s not too surprising that folks would want to capitalize on its popularity, but what may catch you off guard is that some of them are going for big bucks… Read More
By Cody Lee on Feb 9, 2014
As inexpensive and powerful as technology is today, it’s easy to take it for granted. You can buy a smartphone today that could outperform desktop machines from 20 years ago, at a fraction of the size, for a fragment of the price.
To really put things in perspective, analyst Bret Swanson decided to do a rough calculation of what the iPhone would have cost to build in 1991. And to give you an idea of how pricey it gets, a 1GB HD cost around $10K back then… Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Feb 7, 2014
Case maker Incipio two weeks ago announced its new iPhone case, the Cashwrap. It brings mobile wallet functionality to the iPhone 4/4s/5/5s by incorporating NFC technology. The case is compatible with the carrier-backed Isis Mobile Wallet app which makes it possible to pay with your device at participating retailers, mass transit systems and more, using an Iris account.
AT&T initially rolled out the Cashwrap to its own retail stores and yesterday the accessory became available to order in Verizon stores nationwide and from the Big Red carrier’s online store… Read More
By Cody Lee on Feb 7, 2014
Apple reported the financial results for its holiday quarter late last month, and for the most part they killed it—the company set records for revenue, iPhone sales, and iPad sales during the 3-month period. But all Wall Street saw was declining growth.
The Cupertino tech giant’s stock dropped 8% that day in after-hours trading, falling from $550 per share to $500, and it has yet to rebound. But Tim Cook says Apple’s taking advantage of the unexpected price drop by going on a major buyback spree… Read More
By Cody Lee on Feb 6, 2014
While discussing the latest mobile gaming craze that is Flappy Bird on our recent Let’s Talk iOS podcast, I wondered out loud how much money the developer was making from his newfound success. The game, which is free with ads, has enjoyed a spontaneous reign at the top of the App Store.
Apparently he’s doing rather well for himself. In a recent interview with The Verge, developer Dong Nguyen says that Flappy Bird is earning an average of $50,000 per day from ads. It’s been download over 50M times, and has been sitting atop iOS and Android app stores for nearly a month… Read More
By Cody Lee on Feb 4, 2014
It’s been a pretty big day for Microsoft. Following the news earlier today that Satya Nadella has been named the company’s new CEO, and Bill Gates would be stepping down as chairman, comes word that the Windows maker has made a sizable investment in Foursquare.
The deal, which has been confirmed by both parties, is said to be worth $15 million, and it will give Microsoft access to Forsquare’s mountain of mobile data. The company plans to utilize the data in its Bing mapping software and various other Windows Phone applications… Read More
By Cody Lee on Feb 2, 2014
Apple was found guilty of conspiring with 5 major publishers to increase the prices of e-books last summer, but so far it hasn’t had to write a single check. But that could change soon thanks to a newly-filed damages claim.
Steve Berman, an attorney representing consumers and 33 states who linked up with the DOJ’s case against Apple, says the company’s actions caused e-book buyers to spend an extra $280,254,374. And wants that tripled… Read More
By Cody Lee on Jan 31, 2014
When news hit earlier this week that Google had agreed to sell its Motorola Mobility unit to Lenovo for $2.9 billion, it surprised a lot of people. Not only was the sale price some $10 billion below what Google paid for Motorola 3 years ago, but Lenovo? Where’d that come from?
According to a recent Fortune interview with Lenovo CEO Yuanqing Yan, that was the plan all along. Yan says that his company has been eyeing Motorola since before Google came along , and it has major plans for it. Lenovo wants to become the #1 smartphone-maker in the world… Read More
By Cody Lee on Jan 27, 2014
Apple just announced its earnings for its September quarter, and despite all of the ‘doom’ talk and lowball analyst predictions, the numbers are actually pretty good. In fact, the company set records for iPhone and iPad sales, and revenue.
We’re just finishing up the conference call, where Tim Cook and his CFO Peter Oppenheimer talked about Apple’s performance, and offered some insight into its future. And as usual, we’ve rounded up the 15 most interesting points for you… Read More
By Cody Lee on Jan 27, 2014
As expected, Apple is out with its financial report for Q1 2014 this afternoon. It’s an important one, as it follows a number of product releases in the late fall of last year, and then of course the holiday season, where the company typically posts huge numbers.
And it continues that tradition today. In a press release issued just a few moments ago, Apple announced that it sold 51 million iPhones, 26 million iPads, and pulled in $57.6 billion in revenue during its fiscal Q1—all record-breaking for the Cupertino firm… Read More
By Cody Lee on Jan 24, 2014
The Wall Street Journal is reporting tonight that Apple is looking to develop a new mobile payment service. The outlet says that SVP of Internet and Services Eddy Cue has met with other companies regarding Apple’s plans to use its iOS devices to handle payments.
With hundreds of millions of active iTunes accounts, Apple has one of the largest credit card banks in existence. And pundits have been saying for years that the company could leverage its mega user base by coming up with some sort of mobile payment system… Read More
By Cody Lee on Jan 24, 2014
Incipio announced today the launch of its new Cashwrap Mobile Wallet Case for the iPhone 4, 4S, 5, and 5s. The case features NFC tech, and works with the Isis Mobile Wallet app that lets users pay with their smartphones at participating retailers.
The accessory-maker has teamed up with AT&T to bring the Cashwrap to the masses, and it will be available in the company’s stores starting this month. The goal here is to get more iPhone owners using the carrier-backed Isis for mobile payments… Read More