Verizon Smart Rewards Program

Verizon’s new loyalty program will reward subscribers with big discounts

By on July 21, 2014 at 8:05 PM.

Verizon’s new loyalty program will reward subscribers with big discounts

Verizon announced on Monday that it would be initiating a loyalty program dubbed Smart Rewards later this month. With Smart Rewards, Verizon subscribers will be able to earn points by completing various actions, such as logging into their online account, paying their bills, using the Verizon Trade-In program and choosing paperless billing. More →

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Samsung Smartphone Sales

Weak phone sales prompt Samsung’s handset bosses to give back some of their bonuses

By on July 18, 2014 at 8:30 AM.

Weak phone sales prompt Samsung’s handset bosses to give back some of their bonuses

Samsung recently pre-announced second-quarter earnings that badly missed analysts’ consensus. More importantly, of course, Samsung’s profit plummeted to its lowest point in two years. The tech giant’s poor performance was attributed to weakening smartphone sales that have slowed as competition increased at the low end, and we also learned recently that Samsung’s new flagship Galaxy S5 couldn’t even top sales of Apple’s iPhone 5s during its first full month of sales.

According to a new report, Samsung’s weakening phone sales have prompted hundreds of managers in the company’s devices division to give back part of their first-half bonuses. More →

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Google Samsung Fight on Wearables

Google and Samsung again at odds, this time over products you don’t really want

By on July 18, 2014 at 6:40 AM.

Google and Samsung again at odds, this time over products you don’t really want

Many reports have detailed an unfriendly relationship between Google and Samsung in the past, even though the two companies denied such reports every chance they got. In a surprising move in early 2014, the two parties signed a deal which should have further cemented their business partnership. In a recent extended profile piece on Sundar Pichai, one of Google’s current top execs, Bloomberg Bussinessweek detailed the tensions that existed between the two giants, over various aspects of their joint business efforts, with Pichai playing a key role in “fixing” the problem. However, The Information revealed on Thursday that Google and Samsung are still far from being as happy together as they claim to be.
More →

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Why Is HTC Struggling

Despite making killer phones, HTC has been an ungodly mess for the past two years

By on July 17, 2014 at 10:00 PM.

Despite making killer phones, HTC has been an ungodly mess for the past two years

Is there any company that so regularly releases great products while also regularly being in the midst of turmoil as HTC? Engadget’s Brad Molen has written a comprehensive timeline of major executive departures at HTC over the past two years and they show how HTC has faced constant turnover at key positions without showing any signs of stabilizing anytime soon. More →

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Google Q2 2014 Earnings

Google whiffs again in Q2 2014 earnings but beats on revenue expectations

By on July 17, 2014 at 4:13 PM.

Google whiffs again in Q2 2014 earnings but beats on revenue expectations

Google on Thursday reported adjusted earnings of $6.08 per share on revenues of $15.96 billion, which missed the consensus estimate of earnings of $6.24 per share while beating the consensus estimate of revenues of $12.32 billion. The past quarter was a very busy one for the search giant, which unveiled its new Android L platform that features a completely new user interface design, as well as Android Wear, its first attempt at making a platform for wearable computers. More →

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Microsoft Nokia Layoffs Ballmer

Microsoft is paying dearly for Ballmer’s final huge mistake

By on July 17, 2014 at 3:10 PM.

Microsoft is paying dearly for Ballmer’s final huge mistake

One big takeaway from Thursday’s terrible news that Microsoft is laying off 18,000 employees is that the company now sees former CEO Steve Ballmer’s decision to buy Nokia as a Gob Bluth-style huge mistake. 12,500 of the affected employees came from the Nokia devices and services division, which amounts to around half of the roughly 25,000 employees that Microsoft absorbed when it officially acquired Nokia earlier this year. More →

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Microsoft Nokia Layoffs Elop

Here’s what Elop told the 12,500 Nokia employees who just got axed

By on July 17, 2014 at 9:45 AM.

Here’s what Elop told the 12,500 Nokia employees who just got axed

It’s safe to say that Stephen Elop really isn’t very popular in Finland, especially after Microsoft announced on Thursday that it was laying 12,500 people who currently work for its Nokia devices and services division. Since Elop is both the former CEO of Nokia and the current boss of Microsoft’s devices and services division, we were very curious to get his take on this week’s massive layoffs that hit his division harder than any other. More →

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Microsoft Layoffs 18,000 Employees

Microsoft announces massive round of layoffs, including 12,500 Nokia employees

By on July 17, 2014 at 8:14 AM.

Microsoft announces massive round of layoffs, including 12,500 Nokia employees

As expected, Microsoft on Thursday announced a huge round of layoffs that will see roughly 18,000 employees lose their jobs. Of these layoffs, 12,500 will come from Microsoft’s Nokia devices division, representing yet another major blow to the one-time mobile phone giant. In his announcement of the layoffs, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said that they were necessary as part of “starting to evolve our organization and culture.” More →

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Why Is Comcast So Bad

Comcast employees explain why their customer service is so terrible

By on July 16, 2014 at 3:34 PM.

Comcast employees explain why their customer service is so terrible

How is it possible that Comcast’s customer service is so relentlessly terrible? Hint: It’s not because it’s hired a disproportionate number of people who are psychotic. If you look at reviews of Comcast on Glassdoor, we can see that even current and former employees of the company think it does an absolutely terrible job of delivering quality customer service. What their reviews basically boil down to is that Comcast doesn’t offer enough resources or training to its staff to prepare them to deliver quality service and it puts too much emphasis on trying to upsell customers on more expensive service bundles at all costs rather than addressing needs and concerns. More →

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BlackBerry Doomsday

Guy who said BlackBerry would fold in 2013 says BlackBerry will fold in 2015

By on July 16, 2014 at 12:00 PM.

Guy who said BlackBerry would fold in 2013 says BlackBerry will fold in 2015

Back in 2012, 24/7 Wall St.’s Douglass McIntyre wrote that in the following year, BlackBerry would fold. The prediction that BlackBerry was on its way out wasn’t terribly bold — BGR had already been reporting on the various signs that trouble was brewing in Waterloo for several years — but the time frame seemed a bit overzealous.

As expected, that prediction didn’t end up panning out.

Now, BlackBerry is considered by several industry watchers to be back on the right path. Even after a rough morning session following news of Apple’s IBM tie up, BlackBerry shares are up about 40% so far in 2014. But despite the positive sentiment and upward trend, McIntyre is back again with a new prediction: BlackBerry will fold in 2015. More →

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Galaxy S5 Vs iPhone 5s

Ouch: Eight-month-old iPhone 5s outsold the Galaxy S5 in its first full month of sales

By on July 16, 2014 at 11:03 AM.

Ouch: Eight-month-old iPhone 5s outsold the Galaxy S5 in its first full month of sales

As Samsung’s recent second-quarter earnings pre-announcement made clear, the company’s smartphone business is facing some trouble right now. At the low end, Samsung is getting squeezed by several aggressive budget vendors selling dirt cheap phones in emerging markets. At the top, Samsung is still facing intense competition from Apple and its insanely popular iPhone lineup. In fact, demand for Apple’s flagship iPhone 5s is still so huge that sales of Samsung’s latest hero phone, the Galaxy S5, couldn’t even top iPhone 5s sales in the Galaxy phone’s first full month on store shelves. More →

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Opinions
Apple IBM Partnership

Apple’s enterprise deal with IBM: The dawn of a new era at Apple?

Apple’s enterprise deal with IBM: The dawn of a new era at Apple?

By on July 16, 2014 at 10:44 AM.

At the conclusion of this year’s WWDC, I remarked that the Apple of 2014 was starkly different from the Apple which had showed itself at events in prior years. For the first time, Apple had let its guard down with iOS, inviting developers to build third-party keyboards, invade the Notification Center drop-down screen, and talk openly about the changes in iOS 8. Refreshing doesn’t even begin to describe it.

But, as they say, actions speak a lot louder than words on a Keynote slide. This week’s blockbuster deal between one of the most influential outfits in consumer electronics (Apple) and an absolute behemoth in the enterprise space (IBM) speaks volumes about the former’s willingness to look beyond Cupertino for solutions. Pundits have been wondering where Apple’s next revenue hike would come from, and as it turns out, it may arrive from solutions created in conjunction with companies it used to call rivals. More →

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