Research In Motion is currently weighing every single option it can think of in an effort to reverse a negative trend that is approaching a boiling point for investors. Reports that RIM is currently in talks to license its software to other vendors are accurate according to our trusted sources, though we have been told that RIM is most likely leaning toward an outright sale of one or more divisions, or even the whole company. The front runner, we have been told by a trusted source with knowledge of the situation, is Samsung, which might be interested in RIM for a number of reasons.
Nokia has acquired Oslo, Norway-based cell phone operating system developer Smarterphone AS as it prepares to launch a reinvigorated attack on emerging markets. The transaction was completed in November 2011 according to major investor Ferd Capital, and the terms of the deal were not disclosed. Smarterphone AS has built a proprietary operating system that is designed to provide “highly advanced functionality on very moderate hardware.” While Nokia’s smartphone lineup is now powered by Microsoft’s Windows Phone operating system, Smarterphone’s feature phone platform is seemingly well aligned with Nokia’s recent work on a secret platform that will bring enhanced capabilities to low-end hardware. BGR exclusively reported details surrounding the secret OS last September and again in October, though it is unclear whether the Finnish vendor plans to integrate Smarterphone’s platform with its own OS, or if the new platform will replace the software that Nokia had in development. Ferd Capital’s full press release follows below. More →
Poor sales of the Nokia Lumia 800 and 710 may have prompted Nokia to resume acquisition talks with Microsoft during November, according to a recent Forbes interview with influential Russian tech blogger Eldar Murtazin. Rumors that Nokia was considering selling off its smartphone business to Microsoft first surfaced in June but were quickly shot down by both companies. Murtazin said, however, that the talks resumed again this past November and that it’s possible Nokia could be interested in selling its smartphone business to Microsoft and then focusing on delivering its next-generation feature phones in emerging markets and elsewhere. Nokia on Thursday denied all speculation surrounding the rumored potential deal. Murtazin also claims that Nokia only sold 2,000 Lumia devices in Russia during its first two weeks of availability. More →
2011 was a wild, wild year to follow the technology industry. AT&T failed to buy T-Mobile USA, things got rough for RIM and Apple and Samsung fought legal battles all over the world. Still, one of the biggest stories of the year began when Google announced in August that it planned to purchase Motorola Mobility, a member of the open handset alliance, for $12.5 billion. Pundits immediately needed to know one thing: what did Google’s other Android partners think? Surprisingly, HTC, Samsung, LG and Sony Ericsson all voiced support for the acquisition. But why? At first it appeared that Google just wanted to control the entire Android experience, from software to hardware, but CEO Larry Page soon put a second piece of the puzzle into place: the acquisition could offer Android partners a safe haven against litigation from Apple and Microsoft. More →
Following the FCC’s approval last week, AT&T announced Tuesday that it has finalized its acquisition of Qualcomm’s 700MHz spectrum licenses. The spectrum, which was previously used for Qualcomm’s FLO TV product, covers more than 300 million United States residents. AT&T said it paid Qualcomm approximately $1.9 billion in the deal. “This spectrum will help AT&T continue to deliver a world-class mobile broadband experience to our customers,” said AT&T SVP-Federal Regulatory Bob Quinn explained recently. AT&T’s full press release follows after the break. More →
AT&T made headlines in March of this year when it announced plans to acquire T-Mobile USA from Deutsche Telekom for $39 billion. Here we are nine months later and the deal is dead in the water, but there was a huge game of tug-of-war going on all year between AT&T, policy makers, the government and AT&T’s competitors. There were points when it seemed that the merger was bound for approval, and others where it seemed fairly certain that the government would reject AT&T’s application. The only thing we knew for sure is that this deal, if approved, would change the wireless landscape in the U.S. forever. Read on for more. More →
Samsung will purchase Sony’s 50% share of S-LCD, a joint venture created by both companies in 2004, for $939.6 million. Both companies will continue to cooperate on the development of new LCD panel technology, however, and Sony says it hopes to “secure a flexible and steady supply” of LCD panels from Samsung moving forward. “With whole ownership of S-LCD, Samsung anticipates heightened flexibility, speed and efficiency in both panel production and business operations,” Samsung said in the statement. Samsung expects the purchase to be finalized by the end of January 2012 pending approval from regulatory authorities. The full press release follows after the break. More →
News broke earlier this week that Apple has acquired Israel-based fabless flash memory firm Anobit for as much as $400 million according to TheMarker, adding another leading chip maker to the company’s portfolio. Anobit’s NAND flash memory is already used in Apple products including the iPhone and iPad, and the firm’s technology is said to offer several advantages over that of its rivals. As DigiTimes pointed out in a recent report, the move also means Anobit’s other clients are now forced to look elsewhere as Apple becomes the exclusive owner of Anobit’s chip technology. Major players including Hynix and Micron were Anobit partners in the past, taking advantage of the company’s proprietary technology that improves the performance and lifespan of its flash memory products. Hynix, Micron and others are now reportedly looking to Taiwan-based companies including Phison Electronics and Silicon Motion Technology following the acquisition. Direct gains from Apple’s Anobit buy include the company’s technology and talent, but another advantage over rivals now emerges as a clear secondary benefit — smartphone vendors that used NAND flash memory chips made by soon-to-be former Anobit clients will no longer be able to utilize Anobit’s class-leading technology. More →
Now that its bid to acquire T-Mobile USA for $39 billion has been put to bed by strong opposition, AT&T has to look elsewhere in an effort to find spectrum that will accommodate the carrier’s ever-growing subscriber base while it transitions to LTE. The carrier is clearly facing an uphill battle but it took a sizable step forward on Thursday evening when the Federal Communications Commission granted approval to AT&T’s proposed acquisition of 700MHz spectrum licenses from Qualcomm. “This spectrum will help AT&T continue to deliver a world-class mobile broadband experience to our customers,” said AT&T SVP-Federal Regulatory Bob Quinn. AT&T will pay Qualcomm approximately $1.9 billion when the deal closes in the next few days, and the licenses AT&T gains cover more than 300 million people in the United States. AT&T’s press release follows below. More →
Research In Motion reportedly cut short takeover talks with Amazon and other companies, preferring to instead attempt to solve its own financial woes. Reuters broke news of the discussions Tuesday evening. Amazon allegedly hired an investment bank to help guide discussions with the BlackBerry maker, but it’s unclear how far along the talks got before RIM turned the retail giant away. Sources speaking to Reuters said RIM is not currently interested in a sale or a joint venture and would instead prefer to license its technology. “Selling the company or an economic joint venture is probably not in the cards right now,” the anonymous source told Reuters. “Until you stabilize the platform, people are going to be very nervous about spending $10 billion or more.” Read on for more. More →
AT&T is in such need of spectrum following the collapse of its planned acquisition of T-Mobile USA, that one analyst thinks the carrier may soon seek to acquire Dish Network. “Dish and AT&T aren’t direct competitors, and at the end of the day, the government wants to see spectrum used,” Stifel Nicolaus & Co. analyst Christopher King told Bloomberg Tuesday. “It’s highly unlikely regulators would block two AT&T deals in row,” he added, noting that AT&T is “desperate for spectrum.” AT&T wasn’t the only company eyeing a deal with T-Mobile USA, however; Dish Network chief executive officer Joseph Clayton recently said that his company was interested in working with T-Mobile USA to create a national wireless network of its own. Read on for more. More →
Nuance announced on Tuesday that it plans to acquire Vlingo, a voice-to-text and voice recognition technology firm that was once the subject of a Nuance lawsuit. Nuance senior manager Mike Thompson said the decision was made after his company realized there’s a $5 billion market opportunity as demand increases for voice engine products such as Apple’s Siri voice engine, which is powered in part by Nuance technology. “Inspired by the introduction of services such as Apple’s Siri and our own Dragon Go!, virtually every mobile and consumer electronics company on the planet is looking for ways to integrate natural, conversational voice interactions into their mobile products, applications, and services,” Mike Thompson, Senior Vice President and General Manager, of Nuance Mobile said. “By acquiring Vlingo, we are able to accelerate the pace of innovation to meet this demand.” The terms of the acquisition were not disclosed. Nuance’s full press release follows after the break.
Apple has reportedly completed its acquisition of Israel-based flash memory firm Anobit in a deal worth up to $500 million. Hebrew-language financial newspaper Calcalist on Tuesday claimed that a deal had been reached after reporting earlier this month that Apple was in late-stage talks to buy the fabless chip maker. Apple has not confirmed the acquisition. Anobit’s website says its proprietary technology “significantly improves endurance, performance and cost of flash storage products and systems,” and Apple already uses Anobit’s chips in a number of its mobile devices and notebook computers. More →