By Jake Smith on Apr 14, 2014
Get ready to pay for items using Facebook, as the social network is said to be planning a payments service that could launch before the rumored iWallet from Apple.
Facebook hasn’t officially confirmed the service, but it’s working to receive regulatory approval for it in Ireland, according to a report from the Financial Times. The service is said to allow users to store money and make electronic payments through the social network. Essentially, it will put Facebook in competition with Google Wallet, PayPal, Isis, Square, and soon Apple, if the rumors are true… Read More
By Cody Lee on Apr 9, 2014
The high-profile patent trial between Apple and Samsung wages on, with Apple on Tuesday calling in a damages expert Chris Vellturo to speak to the jury. The MIT-trained economist’s job was to help the company explain why it deserved the damages it’s asking for.
For those who missed it last week, Apple is asking the court to award it $2 billion ($2.19B to be exact) in damages from Samsung for infringing on 5 of its utility patents. And according to Vellturo, that amount is fair based on a mix of lost profits and owed royalty fees… Read More
By Cody Lee on Apr 5, 2014
Following in the footsteps of T-Mobile, Sprint announced this week that it is now offering up to $650 in equipment trade-in and early termination fee credits to new subscribers. The goal of the promo is to entice customers to switch over from their current carriers.
Folks looking to cash in on the ‘Framily Switching Bonus’ offer must port their existing phone numbers from another company to Sprint. They must also trade-in their previous handsets for new smartphones, and subscribe to one of the carrier’s new Framily rate plans… Read More
By Cody Lee on Apr 4, 2014
Apple CEO Tim Cook doesn’t have an easy job. Not only is he in charge of one of the largest companies in the world, but he has to do so in the shadow of one of the most highly regarded executives of our generation, amidst constant criticism from those that say Apple’s best days are behind it.
No need to worry though, Tim is well compensated. According to a new report, he took home $4.3 million in salary and incentives last year, and another $70 million in vested stock options. All told, Cook banked more than any other tech CEO in 2013 except for Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg… Read More
By Cody Lee on Apr 1, 2014
Folks wondering how Apple did during its quiet second quarter will have their answer in just a few short weeks. The Cupertino company has updated its Investor Relations page to note that it will be releasing its financial results for Q2 2014 on April 23rd.
There were no new products announced during the 3-month period, but Apple did make some changes to its device lineup. In March, the company launched a new 8GB version of its iPhone 5c in certain countries, and reintroduced its 4th generation iPad… Read More
By Cody Lee on Mar 27, 2014
We don’t really know anything about Apple’s plans for the next-gen iPhone, but the consensus seems to be that it will feature a larger display. As Samsung and other rivals continue to gain marketshare with their 5-inch+ handsets, it’s believed that Apple cannot continue to avoid the so-called ‘phablet’ space.
And analysts couldn’t be happier. Why? Well just look at this new survey data published by Raymond James analyst Tavis McCourt. According to the data, one-third of American iPhone owners would be willing to pay an extra $100 for Apple’s next smartphone if it featured a larger display than its predecessor… Read More
By Cody Lee on Mar 20, 2014
Pandora announced this week that it is going to making some significant changes to its Pandora One subscription service over the next couple of months. Most notably, it’s going to be raising the monthly subscription cost and eliminating the annual option.
Citing rising licensing costs, Pandora says that it’s raising its ‘One’ fee from $3.99 per month to $4.99 per month, and taking away the discounted annual plan altogether. The company says that royalty rates it pays to artists have increased 53% since it began… Read More
By Cody Lee on Mar 18, 2014
Bloomberg is reporting this afternoon that Burger King, the second-largest burger chain in the US, is introducing an app next month that will allow customers to pay for their Whoppers with smartphones. The outlet says the move is part of an ongoing effort to lure in young diners.
According to a company spokesman, the program will launch in early April in select stores, and should be available in all of Burger King’s 7,000+ American locations within a “few months.” The chain is also looking at adding the ability to order food and drinks for in-store pickup… Read More
By Cody Lee on Mar 13, 2014
Google announced some drastic price cuts for its Drive cloud storage today, dropping its 100GB plan down to just $1.99 per month. The service now significantly undercuts rivals like Dropbox, which charges $10 per month for 100GB, and iCloud, which doesn’t even offer a 100GB option.
To be fair, Google’s Drive pricing was already lower than Dropbox, with a 100GB plan costing $4.99 per month vs. $9.99. But that extra $3 per-month savings equates out to $36 per year, making it even more attractive. Don’t mind paying $9.99 monthly? Drive now offers 1TB at that price… Read More
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