By Ed Sutherland on May 9, 2013
Much is being made of Samsung’s hoard of cash, estimated at $28.5 billion once the South Korean conglomerate’s debt is taken into consideration. At any rate, the Galaxy maker has watched its net cash almost triple in the past year, thanks to double-digit profits fueled by the rising sales of its mobile division which makes smartphones and tablets.
In just three years, mobile phones have grown to be 74 percent of Samsung’s profits, overshadowing sales of LCD TVs and memory chips. On other words, three out of every four dollars Samsung earns come from mobile devices.
However, Apple remains the industry’s most-profitable player, retaining a $145 billion cash pile while offering anxious investors a $100 billion stock buyback. Is Samsung destined to follow Apple’s footsteps, or repeat the errors of other Asian giants, such as Panasonic, drowning in debt? Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Apr 15, 2013
As Apple’s manufacturing partner Foxconn recently began hiring workers for assembly of a next-gen iPhone and possibly a rumored budget iPhone, our friends over at Redmond are thought to be busy developing own branded smartwatch, smartphone and seven-inch Surface tablet. Both gadgets are viewed as direct responses to Apple’s rumored iWatch project, its wildly successful smartphone and the iPad mini tablet, respectively.
The smartwatch project is purportedly beyond the prototyping phase as Microsoft is said to have started aligning parts suppliers in Asia earlier this year, allegedly sourcing 1.5-inch screens. However, folks who apparently saw the prototypes warn it’s “unclear whether Microsoft will opt to move ahead with the watch” at this stage… Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Apr 15, 2013
Hon Hai Precision Industry aka Foxconn, which assembles iPhones and iPads for Apple, but also consumer electronics on behalf of other vendors, has started hiring assembly-line workers in the tens of thousands in preparation for Apple’s next iPhone, both Bloomberg and the credulous Wall Street Journal reported Monday.
People familiar with the matter tell the publications that the world’s largest contract manufacturer has been recruiting workers for the past month at its plant in Zhengzhou, eastern China.
The reports come following February indications pointing to Foxconn imposing a recruitment freeze across almost all of its factories in China after more workers returned from the Chinese New Year break than did last year, a move some attributed to the supposedly weakening iPhone demand… Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Feb 22, 2013
Just as an online petition to re-legalize unlocking has surpassed 100,000 signatures in the United States, meaning the White House must issue a response, Apple’s phone-locking is under heavy fire in Hong Kong, where a local carrier alarmed watchdogs that it lost big money over the policy. Having discovered that the iPhone 5 wasn’t functioning on its fourth-generation network, Hong Kong Telecom (HKT), a unit of telecommunications operator PCCW Ltd., filed court documents and is now seeking to contest the practice… Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Feb 10, 2013
The New York Times tech columnist Nick Bilton has recycled his December 2011 story of a curved-glass iPod, now claiming in a new piece published this morning that a wearable computer by Apple is actually in the works. An iWatch apparently runs iOS, the story has it, and will stand apart from competition based on Apple’s “understanding of how such glass can curve around the human body”.
Not to be outdone by its chief competitor, the credulous Wall Street Journal just issued its own iWatch report corroborating Bilton’s article and adding a few tidbits of its own… Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Feb 5, 2013
There used to be a long-standing joke about Apple’s public relations department that it was the least demanding job in Silicon Valley. It was almost as if Apple’s PR bunnies were only required not to return calls from journalists and disregard email inquiries from various media outlets. Couple this inaccessibility and Apple’s penchant for dreaming up shiny gadgets people lust after with the infamous culture of secrecy and you have a winning formula for a kind of coverage other companies would die for.
But the times they are a-changin’, to paraphrase musician Bob Dylan, Steve Jobs favorite songwriter. The Wall Street Journal fittingly reported Tuesday that Apple’s public relations team now has to work a little harder to get the message across, a tell-tale sign that competition is heating up. Hit the jump for more tidbits and my own insight on how Apple owns the media… Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Jan 17, 2013
Faced with constraints on growth at home, U.S. carrier AT&T is reportedly considering entering new markets in Europe via a merger with one of the key players in a major European market such as the United Kingdom, Germany or the Netherlands, the Wall Street Journal reported Thursday. The carrier is allegedly hoping to bring its technological expertise in building 4G networks to the table.
European telcos have been slow to roll out fourth-generation networks so AT&T through its European partner could help roll out the latest in 4G technology in order to then introduce “more lucrative pricing strategies”. European carriers get most of their revenue from voice plans and text messaging, unlike in the United States where telcos have shifted to new plans that charge subscribers based on their data use… Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Dec 21, 2012
News Corp.-owned Dow Jones’ The Wall Street Journal newspaper has finally signed up for Apple’s Newsstand, a service that brings subscription-based digital newspapers and magazines to your iPhone, iPod touch or iPad. This means you can now subscribe to WSJ in-app, via iTunes billing, and get daily issues delivered straight to your iOS devices each morning.
You will also get alerts for breaking news and avoid sharing detailed information about yourself with the publisher. The move wasn’t entirely unexpected knowing that rival Time Inc., which had been the most prominent holdout, also signed on earlier this year… Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Dec 19, 2012
Google’s new iOS Maps app is universally accepted as the best experience on any mobile platform. First Google told The New York Times columnist David Pogue that it “admits that it’s even better than Google Maps for Android phones”, which Pogue says has accommodated its evolving feature set “mainly by piling on menus”. And now, Pogue’s peer over at The Wall Street Journal, Walt Mossberg, seems to agree as he calls Google’s iPhone mapping software “better in most respects” on the iPhone than it is on Android phones, where “it looks inelegant by comparison”…