Global media watchdog group Reporters Without Borders on Monday released its “Enemies of the Internet” list for 2012. The list is comprised of nations it feels inhibit its citizens’ freedom to express themselves on, or even denies access to, the Internet. Reporters Without Borders’s report focuses a great deal on countries that have reportedly blocked access to social networks and microblogging services in an effort to impede the efforts of activists as they tried to organize fellow citizens. It also updated its “under surveillance” list, which covers countries that may soon be added to the enemies list. Read on for more. More →
Qualcomm on Wednesday reported record earnings for the first quarter of fiscal 2012. The company took in $4.68 billion in revenue, up 40% year-over-year and 14% sequentially, beating Wall Street’s estimate of $4.58 million. Qualcomm’s net income of $1.4 billion was up 20% year-over-year and 25% over the fourth quarter. The firm also managed earnings of $0.97 per share, up 18% year-over-year and ahead of the Street’s EPS estimate of $0.90. Qualcomm boosted guidance for the full year, saying it expects to report between $18.7 billion and $19.7 billion in revenue for 2012. It had previously said revenue would likely fall between $18 billion and $19 billion. “I am pleased to report another record quarter with revenues, earnings and MSM shipments reaching all-time highs, driven by our industry-leading chipset portfolio and the continued strong demand for smartphones around the world,” said Dr. Paul E. Jacobs, chairman and CEO of Qualcomm. “We are raising our revenue and earnings guidance as our broad licensing partnerships and extensive chipset roadmap, led by our integrated Snapdragon processors, position us well for strong growth in fiscal 2012. We continue to invest in innovative wireless technologies, products and services, and we are excited about the opportunities ahead as 3G and 4G continue to expand across new device types and geographies.” More →
Smartphones capable of running on 4G LTE networks will account for between 4% and 5% of all smartphones that ship this year, according to one report. The estimates were published by DigiTimes on Monday, which cited sources at U.S., Korean and Japanese phone manufacturers including Samsung, LG, Pantech, Motorola Mobility and HTC. Android manufacturers are currently ahead of the game when it comes to releasing 4G LTE handsets but, according to DigiTimes, Research In Motion and Apple are expected to release their own 4G LTE products during the second half of 2012. The latest rumors suggests Apple’s iPhone 5 and iPad 3 will be capable of running on 4G LTE networks. More →
As 2012 approaches, we thought it would be fun to look back on 2011 one last time and share our biggest stories of the year with you. Here they are in order, from our post popular post of the year to our tenth most popular post:
- Open letter to BlackBerry bosses: Senior RIM exec tells all as company crumbles around him
- BlackBerry Messenger will launch on Android and iOS
- Samsung Galaxy Nexus full specs revealed; Verizon Wireless exclusive
- BlackBerry Dakota gets pictured; the touch and type BlackBerry you’ve been waiting for
- Google’s first Ice Cream Sandwich phone to be manufactured by Samsung, possibly dubbed ‘Nexus Prime’
- Live from Apple’s WWDC 2011 keynote with Steve Jobs
- Apple testing iPhone for T-Mobile USA
- Google Nexus 4G detailed – 720p display, 4G LTE, Android 4.0
- BlackBerry Bold 9900 review
- Inside RIM: An exclusive look at the rise and fall of the company that made smartphones smart
Have a great and safe New Year.
Samsung hopes to sell 374 million phones next year, up 15% from the 325 million the company expects to have sold in 2011. The South Korea-based firm also said that it plans to sell 150 million smartphones in 2012, Korea Economic Daily said Tuesday. The vendor is well on its way to achieving its 2011 sales goal and announced in December that it had already sold 300 million devices. During the third quarter, Samsung became the top smartphone vendor in the world by shipment volume, surpassing Apple after shipping more than 27.9 million units during the quarter. More →
Despite the launch of Microsoft’s upcoming Windows 8 operating system and the introduction of ultra-thin Intel-powered ultrabooks, Barclays Capital analyst Ben Reitzes thinks the PC industry will see little or no growth in 2012. Reitzes recently said that he expects PC unit growth to hover around just 0.8%, down from his original forecast of 5.1%. He argued that hard drive shortages “could impact some supply” during the first half of next year and that tablets and smartphones will “continue to cannibalize the PC market — especially as docking options become more robust.” Recent flooding in Thailand affected two major hard drive suppliers, Western Digital and Seagate, causing a hard drive shortage that impacted much of the industry. Reitzes also blames the poor economy for his lowered estimates, and he argued that corporations are less likely to refresh their PCs since unemployment is still high. The analyst’s figures aren’t that far off from other industry predictions. IDC recently said the flooding in Thailand could cause PC shipment growth to fall to between 2.2% and 3.4%, down from the firm’s original forecast of 5.1% growth over 2011.
Asus CEO Jonney Shih said he expects his company to ship between 3 million and 6 million tablets next year, a big leap from the 1.8 million Asus tablets that are expected to ship in 2011. Shih believes his company’s popular Transformer Prime tablet is especially attractive to consumers because, unlike the iPad, it offers a hardware keyboard. A number of Transformer Prime units are plagued with a Wi-Fi signal issue, Taiwan Economic News said, but Asus is offering an exchange program for customers who have faulty units. Shih also confirmed that Asus will ship Windows 8-powered Transformer-branded tablets next year, and he believes the new OS will change the way we use tablets. The CEO said tablets currently only enable users to consume data, but that Windows 8 will enable users to both consume and create data. It is unclear when the Windows 8 devices will hit the market, although the operating system isn’t expected to launch until sometime in the second half of 2012. Asus is also currently the subject of a lawsuit with toymaker Hasbro, which is suing the company over the “Transformer Prime” trademark, but Shih did not comment on the case. More →
Susquehanna issued a note to its clients on Wednesday in which the firm said it is increasing its iPhone shipment forecast for Apple’s first fiscal quarter. The company originally expected Apple to ship 27.1 million iPhones during the quarter but has revised that figure up to 30.3 million units. “The revisions are based on positive sell-through data combined with recent supply-chain checks, which suggests that earlier component constraints have largely been resolved and build plans have increased for the fourth and first quarter,” the company explained in a note to clients. Susquehanna also said demand for the iPhone 4S remains strong and that the device continues to ship in 1-2 weeks from Apple’s website while retail stores are still “sold out for in-store reservation and pickup.” The firm’s predictions are certainly bullish; Apple sold 17.1 million iPhones during its fourth fiscal quarter. Still, other firms such as UBS predict that Apple will ship as many as 42.5 million iPhones during the December quarter. More →
Microsoft said on Wednesday that this year’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES 2012) in Las Vegas will be the last time the company hosts a keynote or has a booth on the show floor. “We’ll continue to participate in CES as a great place to connect with partners and customers across the PC, phone and entertainment industries, but we won’t have a keynote or booth after this year because our product news milestones generally don’t align with the show’s January timing,” Microsoft corporate vice president of corporate communications Frank Shaw explained in a blog post. Microsoft has worked with the Consumer Electronics Association, which hosts the annual show, for 20 years and said it looks forward to continuing to work with the group. It sounds as if the Redmond-based company will begin holding its own press conferences, similar to how Apple operates, in the future.
UPDATE: Microsoft also confirmed to Engadget that this year’s keynote “won’t [offer] signficant news, but more of a wrap up of the strong year the company has had in its consumer sector.” Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer will focus “quite a bit on Windows Phone and the Xbox / entertainment story” in addition to “momentum from across the company for Windows, Office, Bing, etc.,” during his 2012 keynote.
Microsoft announced its fiscal first-quarter 2012 earnings on Thursday, the best first quarter the company has ever recorded. The Redmond-based software giant reported revenue of $17.37 billion, up 7% from the first quarter of 2011 and on a par with analyst estimates of $17.26 billion. Operating income for the quarter was $7.2 billion, up 1% from the same quarter last year and net income was $5.74 billion, or $0.68 per share, up 6% from the first quarter of 2011. “We saw customer demand across the breadth of our products, resulting in record first-quarter revenue and another quarter of solid EPS growth,” said Microsoft CFO Peter Klein. “Our product portfolio is performing well, and we’ve got an impressive pipeline of products and services that positions us well for future growth.” Microsoft’s Business division reported $5.62 billion in revenue, up 8% from the same period last year and above analyst estimates of $5.4 billion. The company’s Server & Tools team reported $4.25 billion in revenue, up 10% from last year’s first quarter and a hair below analyst expectations of $4.3 billion. Its Windows and Windows Live Division reported a revenue increase of 2% up to $4.87 billion. In addition, Microsoft said it has now sold 450 million Windows 7 licenses since the platform’s launch. Read on for the full press release from Microsoft. More →
Motorola’s senior vice president of portfolio and product management Alain Mutricy confirmed on Wednesday that the DROID RAZR, announced Tuesday for Verizon Wireless, will receive an Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich update early next year. Mutricy explained that the phone was designed to run Android 2.3 (Gingerbread), which will be installed when it hits the market, but that Motorola has already created a time frame for an Android 4.0 roll-out, Pocket-lint said. Without support for NFC, however, features such as Android Beam will not be operational. The DROID RAZR is equipped with a dual-core 1.2GHz processor, a large Super AMOLED Advanced display with a qHD resolution, an 8-megapixel camera and support for Verizon Wireless’ 4G LTE network. Pre-orders for the phone begin on October 27th and it will be available in stores in November for $299.99 with a new two-year contract. More →
The Kindle Fire hasn’t even hit the market yet but the tablet’s successor is already reported to be set for a launch in the second half of next year. Reportedly, Foxconn has secured orders for the device and is working to get the tablet out of the door and onto store shelves during that time period, DigiTimes said on Wednesday. Quanta Computer is building the current generation Kindle Fire, although Amazon is largely believed to already have a second-generation quad-core “Hollywood” tablet in the pipeline. Early speculation has suggested the Hollywood tablet will have a 10-inch display and BGR exclusively reported in May that it will be powered by NVIDIA’s quad-core Tegra 3 chipset. Foxconn has not yet confirmed it received the orders from Amazon, but the report matches up with several rumors that suggested the tablet would ship later than initially expected. More →
Dell and HP will reportedly be among the first manufacturers to launch Windows 8 tablets, and the devices could be on the market as soon as the third quarter of next year, DigiTimes said recently. Supposedly, Amazon’s low-priced Kindle Fire has driven several manufacturers to pursue Windows 8 over Android in an effort to avoid stiff competition in the low-cost tablet market. Lenovo and Dell will stick to creating enterprise-focused tablets according to the report. Dell’s devices will continue to run Windows but Lenovo will still offer Android as a choice on its business-oriented tablets. In addition, recent rumors have suggested HTC is also working on a Windows 8 tablet. Windows 8 shipped to developers in September and most reports have suggested the first devices bearing the OS will launch in late 2012. More →