With PC sales tumbling and Microsoft continuing to struggle to find its place in the mobile market, all eyes turn to the company’s fiscal fourth-quarter earnings report. Analysts expected the company to report earnings of $0.75 per share on $20.74 billion in revenue after the closing bell on Thursday. The results are in and Microsoft fell short of Wall Street’s expectations, posting earnings of $0.59 per share on $19.89 billion in sales. In its release, Microsoft noted that the earnings included a $900 million charge, or a $0.07 per share impact, related to the “Surface RT inventory adjustments.” In the same quarter last year, the company posted EPS of $0.73 on revenue totaling $18.06 billion. More →
A new report suggests that consumers aren’t interested in paying for mobile apps and over time have forced developers to release their apps for free. Analytics firm Flurry on Thursday revealed that between 2010 and 2012, free apps accounted for between 80% and 84% of all apps. However, in 2013 that number has shot up to 90% of all apps and it doesn’t look like the trend is set to reverse anytime soon. Apple iPad users are the most willing to pay for apps with an average price of $0.50 per app downloaded, followed by iPhone users at $0.19 per app. Android users are the least likely to buy apps, spending an average of only $0.06 per app downloaded. The firm notes that while consumers dislike advertisements, when given the option between a free and paid version consumers “overwhelmingly choose the free apps and tolerate the ads.” A second image follows below. More →
When AT&T first landed the iPhone, the company’s network struggled to handle the rush of new smartphone owners. Dropped calls, failed messages and slow data speeds were the norm for many subscribers. AT&T’s reputation took a major hit, while at the same time Verizon built up its service to become America’s most reliable network — a statement the company still advertises to this day. AT&T has come a long way, however. Along with operating the fastest LTE network in the U.S., the company now claims its data network is more reliable than Verizon’s. In an advertisement spotted by CNET, AT&T notes that it operates “the nation’s fastest and now most reliable 4G LTE network,” citing an independent study conducted by an unnamed third-party firm. A Verizon spokesperson told BGR that “AT&T can make up whatever claim they want,” adding that Verizon will “let consumers make the ultimate decision.” An image of AT&T’s advertisement follows below. More →
A recently published Apple patent may reveal the technology behind the fingerprint scanner the company is rumored to include in the upcoming iPhone 5S. The U.S. Patent & Trademark Office on Wednesday published a patent application from Apple for a method of identifying fingerprints using a sensor that is embedded into the display of a mobile device. The technology comes from the company’s acquisition of mobile security firm AuthenTec in July of 2012. The filing suggests that a fingerprint scanner can embedded into an LCD display and can be used as a secondary input method, among other things. In addition to a fingerprint sensor, the latest rumors claim the iPhone 5S will include a faster A6 processor, improved graphics, 2GB of RAM, an upgraded LTE radio and a 12-megapixel camera with a dual-LED flash. Apple is expected to launch the iPhone 5S this fall. Illustrations of the patent follows below. More →
Yahoo has been acquiring companies left and right since former Google executive Marissa Mayer became the company’s chief executive. Mayer has emphasized the importance of mobile, noting that it is the company’s future and focus. And it seems that Yahoo’s latest purchase will help the company further compete with Google and Apple, as the company announced on Wednesday that it has acquired mobile advertising startup Admovate. More →
A new report claims that shipments of smartphones could grow substantially over the next few years. According to IHS, per CNET, worldwide smartphone shipments are expected to reach 1.5 billion units by 2017. Earlier reports had suggested that Android shipments would account for 1 billion units in the same year. The research firm estimates that worldwide smartphone shipments will reach nearly 900 million units by the end of 2013, with Apple accounting for 150 million units, a slight increase from 134 million in 2012. IHS senior analyst Wayne Lam noted that the “possible slowing growth of the iPhone,” along with “the rapid pace of competitive smartphone releases speak to the ferocious nature of the handset business.” He added that while the market used to be dominated by lower-end feature phones, it is becoming “increasingly smartphone-centric.”
What could be next for Samsung, the company that single-handily conquered the Android market with its Galaxy smartphones and tablets. How about the rebirth of the flip phone? According to Korean website Digital Daily, Samsung is preparing to release an Android-powered Galaxy flip phone in the coming weeks. The handset will reportedly be called the Galaxy Folder and will feature a 800 x 480 pixel-display, a dual-core Snapdragon S4 processor, LTE connectivity and Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean. Samsung is the biggest smartphone and feature phone vendor in the world, and perhaps the only company that could be able to successfully market an Android-powered flip phone to consumers. The Galaxy Folder is reportedly slated to launch in South Korean sometime next month.
Instagram revised its terms of service last December in an attempt to open new doors to potential advertisers. The change was met with intense user backlash, however, as many feared the popular photo-sharing service was looking to sell or license their personal photos without their consent. Lucy Rodriguez, being represented by the law firm Finkelstein & Krinsk, filed a class-action lawsuit against Instagram and owner Facebook for breach of contract and allegedly trying to “grab for customer property rights.” Judge William Alsup for the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California on Friday ruled that Rodriguez could not sue Instagram because procedural grounds for a class-action lawsuit were not met, CNET reported. The judge dismissed the case and also rejected a request to amend the claim. The law firm now intends to refile the case in San Francisco Superior Court.
Officials from the European Commission are not satisfied with Google’s antitrust settlement proposal. The company previously said it would display links to rival services on its search page and clearly label its own services. European Competition Commissioner Joaquin Almunia revealed that Google has been asked to present a better proposal that ensures it isn’t blocking results from competitors. The commissioner noted that Google’s original proposal was “not enough” to help overcome the EU’s concerns. A Google spokesperson told Reuters that its proposal “clearly addresses the four areas of concern,” however it will continue to work with the EU competition authority to resolve the situation. Google could face an antitrust fine as high as $5 billion if it cannot come to an agreement with the commission.
Some analysts have claimed that because everyone already owns a smartphone, growth is slowing in the industry. While this may be the case, it’s still truly staggering to consider how many smartphones are being sold right now. Horace Dediu of Asymco cited recent comScore results that revealed 98 million Americans above the age of 13 still don’t use smartphones, representing 41% of mobile phone users in the United States. He went on to note that 2.5 million more people started using smartphones in the three-month period ending in May, compared to the three months leading up to the end of April. This means roughly 583,000 people in the U.S. are buying smartphones for the first time each week, an increase from an average of 572,000 smartphone purchases per week over the past 41 months. Dediu explained that “the rate of adoption of smartphones is not slowing in any perceptible way,” adding that the U.S. market is clearly not saturated. More →
Earlier reports have claimed that Google is preparing to release a sequel to its popular Nexus 7 tablet. It has also been suggested that the second-generation slate will be priced higher than its predecessor. According to an image of a supposed inventory list published by Android Central on Wednesday, the new Nexus 7 will be offered in 16GB and 32GB variants for $229 and $269 respectively. The latest rumors claim Google’s upcoming tablet will be equipped with an improved 7-inch 1980 x 1200-pixel display, a quad-core Snapdragon 600 processor, a 1.2-megapixel front-facing camera and a 5-megapixel camera on the back. The second-generation Nexus 7 is expected to be released later this month or in early August. The leaked image follows below. More →
A federal jury in Texas on Monday found that HTC, Sony, Ericsson and Alcatel-Lucent do not infringe Wi-Lan’s technology, The Wall Street Journal reported. Wi-Lan, a well-known patent troll that uses litigation to generate revenue, had accused the companies of infringing on four of its wireless patents. The company previously filed a similar lawsuit against BlackBerry in December. A Wi-Lan spokesperson told The Journal that the company was “disappointed with the jury’s decision,” and it is now reviewing its options. Shares of Wi-Lan fell more than 30% to a three-year low of $3.27 on Monday, however they rebounded on Tuesday, jumping 13% to $3.70 per share.
Attorneys for Apple and Samsung will be heading back to court early next month. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Washington D.C. on Monday said that it will hear oral arguments from attorneys from both companies on August 9th, IDG News Services reported. Apple is appealing Judge Lucy Koh’s decision to not issue a sales ban on numerous Samsung products that were found to infringe the company’s patents. Apple was originally awarded more than $1 billion from Samsung, however Koh cut the damages by roughly $450 million in December because she determined that the jury’s calculations were flawed. The judge also ordered a partial retrial that is set to take place in November to decide the correct amount of damages Samsung must pay.