Sprint boots four execs, restructures enterprise and consumer businesses

By on January 6, 2012 at 5:55 PM.

Sprint boots four execs, restructures enterprise and consumer businesses

Sprint’s CEO Dan Hesse said in a note to employees Friday that Sprint will merge the marketing and sales teams of its enterprise and consumer businesses into one body. Hesse said the carrier is restructuring in an effort to better streamline its operations, Reuters reported on Friday. As a result, Sprint is also removing four executives from their roles with the firm. “As the wireless market has evolved, the lines between consumers and businesses have blurred,” Hesse said, according to a note to employees obtained by Reuters. “We believe that we no longer need to support two separate business units, and that it is more logical now to evolve to unified marketing and sales organizations. Because of the enormous investments we’re making this year in Network Vision and in the iPhone, we need to consistently be looking for ways to be more efficient.” Sprint’s chief marketing officer Bill Malloy will run the merged marketing and sales unit. Sprint has decided to remove the president of its consumer services group, Bob Johnson, the president of its integrated solutions group, Danny Bowman, the senior vice president of its corporate development and spectrum, Chris Rogers, and the senior vice president of consumer marketing, John Carney. More →

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RIM reportedly intends to license BlackBerry software to Samsung, HTC and others

By on January 5, 2012 at 1:35 PM.

RIM reportedly intends to license BlackBerry software to Samsung, HTC and others

Research In Motion is reportedly working toward a major transition that will see the company begin licensing its BlackBerry software to third-party vendors including Samsung and HTC. In a recent research note, Jefferies & Company analyst Peter Misek wrote that his checks confirmed earlier reports that Mike Lazaridis and Jim Balsillie will soon be removed from their roles as co-chairmen. The analyst says current board member Barbara Stymiest is indeed the front-runner to replace the pair, and he calls her one of the top executives in Canada. “We believe she will initiate a formal strategic review, possibly trim costs in the hardware business, and possibly announce additional partnerships,” Misek wrote. Read on for more. More →

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Global telecommunications industry revenue to reach $2.1 trillion in 2012

By on January 5, 2012 at 7:30 AM.

Global telecommunications industry revenue to reach $2.1 trillion in 2012

Worldwide telecommunications industry revenue is set to reach $2.1 trillion this year according to market research firm Insight Research Corp. Despite the rocky global economy, industry revenue will grow further at an average annual rate of 5.3% to $2.7 trillion in 2017. The Asian region is seen as a key market and wireless revenue there is expected to grow 64%. Mobile broadband services and the transition from 3G to 4G will also be key growth drivers. “Despite global economic uncertainty, the telecommunications industry is showing strong revenue growth, which is being driven by consumer Internet usage and business mobility solutions. These are enabling new applications,” Insight Research analyst Fran Caulfield said in a statement. “Even amidst so much economic uncertainty, the fact remains that telecommunications is a key factor in economic growth. Telecommunications facilitates socio-economic advancement and is a critical utility for economic development, much like water and energy.” The firm’s full press release follows below. More →

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Apple begins pitching voice-controlled TV to top media execs

By on December 19, 2011 at 9:00 AM.

Apple begins pitching voice-controlled TV to top media execs

Apple has reportedly met with top media executives to discuss the company’s vision of the television market’s future, suggesting that the company is moving full steam ahead on its rumored Siri-powered HDTV. The television is expected to include similar technology to the company’s current Apple TV set top box, which allows users to stream content such as movies, music and photos over a wireless network. Apple senior vice president Eddy Cue has reportedly been in the aforementioned meetings and has pitched the idea of  a television that could be controlled by voice or motion, seemingly similar to Microsoft’s Kinect technology, and Cue has discussed “new ways Apple’s technology could recognize users across phones, tablets and TVs,” The Wall Street Journal said Monday. Steve Jobs was said to have been working on a prototype for several years before his passing in 2011. It remains unclear when such a product might hit the market, although early rumors have suggested it will use a display provided by Sharp and will launch in mid-2012. More →

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RIM aims to bolster business sales with free PlayBook tablet offer

By on October 28, 2011 at 9:00 AM.

RIM aims to bolster business sales with free PlayBook tablet offer

Research In Motion this week revealed a limited-time offer that aims to bolster sales of its BlackBerry PlayBook tablet to enterprise customers. Between now and December 31st, BlackBerry business customers who purchase two PlayBook tablets from an authorized reseller will get a third PlayBook for free. They will also receive one free premium accessory for every two PlayBook tablets purchased, and they may choose from a black leather sleeve, a charging pod or a 6-foot HDMI cable. While some find that RIM’s PlayBook gets the job done as a recreational tablet, business customers may not share that opinion. BGR exclusively reported on Tuesday that RIM would be delaying the OS 2.0 update that will bring email and other PIM services to the device until next year. RIM confirmed our report later that evening, and also confirmed that standalone BBM capabilities would not be included in the February software release. More →

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Investment in mobile security to climb 44% annually through 2015

By on October 7, 2011 at 8:15 AM.

Investment in mobile security to climb 44% annually through 2015

Investment in mobile security will increase 44% annually through 2015 according to a recent research report from Canalys. Reportedly, just 4% of smartphones shipped last year were sold with security software pre-installed. Canalys suggests that, by 2015, more than 20% of all smartphones and tablets will run some form of security software and mobile security will be a $3 billion market. The research firm attributes the growth to an increase in pressure from enterprise customers, and it expects the usage of client security products such as antivirus software, VPN encryption and firewalls will grow an average of 54.6% annually to 2015. “Enterprises must adopt a holistic view of mobile security, as there is no single solution that provides complete protection,” research analyst Nushin Hernandez said. “A more robust approach, even compared to that used to protect typical notebooks and desktops, is needed.” Read on for the full press release from Canalys. More →

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HP may keep its PC business after all

By on September 20, 2011 at 3:40 PM.

HP may keep its PC business after all

In a recent interview with CRN, HP chairman Ray Lane outlined situations in which HP may hang on to its PC business. “If we don’t make that decision [to spin off], it’s because of two things: We can’t offer a better proposition to customers and investors,” Lane said. “If we can’t it stays inside HP.” If the company does decide to spin-off its personal systems group, Lane has suggested the company call it the “HP PC Business.” HP has the “largest and most profitable [PC] business in the world,” Lane explained during the InformationWeek 500 conference in California. “I am lobbying, and I don’t have to lobby very hard, to call it the HP PC Business. Call it HP. It will be a sister company,” Lane explained, pointing to HP’s spinoff of Agilent. “Agilent was a better business once spun off, because it was a very different business from what the rest of HP was doing.” Read on for more. More →

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Samsung taps ex-Acer CEO Gianfranco Lanci to boost notebook biz

By on July 25, 2011 at 7:40 PM.

Samsung taps ex-Acer CEO Gianfranco Lanci to boost notebook biz

Acer’s former chief executive Gianfranco Lanci may join Samsung to assist with building the Korean firm’s notebook business, DigiTimes reported on Monday. Gianfranco Lanci resigned from Acer in March of this year after the company hit a rough patch. Rumor has it Lanci’s attractive management expertise in European sales channels attracted both Dell and Samsung as suitors. DigiTimes said Lanci signed a one-year non-compete agreement with Acer when he left his executive role, however Samsung will reportedly work to negotiate that agreement if Lanci joins the company. Neither Acer nor Samsung have confirmed Lanci’s potential move. More →

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RIM bosses granted six-month reprieve

By on July 13, 2011 at 9:00 AM.

RIM bosses granted six-month reprieve

RIM has six months to prove a real business need for its Co-CEOs Mike Lazaridis and Jim Balsillie to retain their roles as Co-Chairmen of the Board, otherwise Northwest & Ethical Investments LP will take action. “We wanted to give them a chance to prove that there is an actual business necessity,” Jennifer Coulson, manager of corporate engagement at Northwest & Ethical, told Bloomberg at Tuesday’s RIM shareholder meeting. NEI threatened last month to file a motion to have RIM’s Co-CEOs removed from their roles has Board heads, but the the firm agreed not to proceed with its motion when RIM said it would assemble a committee of independent directors to investigate the matter and make recommendations. Proxy advisor Glass Lewis & Co. would later accuse RIM of using stall tactics to delay the decision, but NEI appears content with the actions RIM is taking, so says its decision to give RIM six months to plead its case. Thus far, RIM’s only real argument in favor of allowing Lazaridis and Balsillie to keep their joint roles has been that their Chairmen titles help the pair generate business overseas. Shares of RIM stock have declined in value by nearly 60% over the past 12 months. More →

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Samsung profits slide 26% amid poor display sales

By on July 7, 2011 at 10:01 PM.

Samsung profits slide 26% amid poor display sales

Samsung’s profits fell 26% during the second quarter due to poor sales in its LCD display division, according to a report the company released today. The firm’s operating profits were $3.5 billion for the quarter, down from $4.7 billion from the same period last year. According to a survey from Bloomberg that included six analysts, the Korean company’s display arm is expected to post an operating loss of 3.5 billion won ($69 million), down from an 880 billion won ($827.2 million) profit during the second quarter of 2010. Earlier this week, the head of Samsung’s combined LCD and semiconductor business, Kwon Oh-hyun, confirmed that Samsung’s component sales would suffer during the second quarter. That business could suffer more as Samsung continues to fight multiple lawsuits with its largest LCD buyer, Apple, and rumors have suggested the iPhone builder could drop Samsung as a supplier. “Only the phone business is holding up,” Kim Sung In, an analyst with Kiwoom Securities Co. told Bloomberg. “Everything else is looking bad. There’s no bright picture for the company looking ahead.” More →

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Samsung to combine display, semiconductor businesses

By on July 2, 2011 at 1:31 AM.

Samsung to combine display, semiconductor businesses

Samsung will combine both its flat-panel display and semiconductor businesses into one unit, The Wall Street Journal reported on Friday. Samsung’s display business wasn’t profitable during the first quarter and it’s on track for the same lackluster performance during the second quarter. Combined, however, the display and semiconductor businesses made up 70% of Samsung’s operating profits and 44% of the South Korean company’s revenue, The Wall Street Journal said. In other words, the move looks like an attempt to shroud the poor display performance inside the company’s more successful semiconductor unit. The display unit could see more trouble ahead as well, since Samsung is currently locked in a number of legal battles with Apple, the largest buyer of Samsung’s LCD products. Kwon Oh-hyun, Samsung’s semiconductor president, will oversee the new joint businesses.

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Back to business: RIM will lose consumer market, analyst says

By on May 27, 2011 at 2:01 PM.

Back to business: RIM will lose consumer market, analyst says

“We no longer anticipate Research in Motion recovering to participate in the mainstream of smartphone industry growth.” Those are the words of Matthew Robison, an analyst with Wunderlich Securities, which recently downgraded RIM’s stock. Robison argues that RIM is going to lose the consumer interest that it has built over the last few years. “Our long-term forecast anticipates a role supplying business-oriented devices, both mid-range and high end, as well as cloud-based services via the BlackBerry Network.,” Robison said. “We expect the consumer mix gained over the past two years to churn off, and that earnings will decline after 2013 and eventually grow again on demand that is largely associated with business users.” Robison said the PlayBook is selling well relative to other tablets, “other than the iPad,” but that “there’s little indication that the PlayBook has registered with consumers outside the loyal BlackBerry installed base.” We’ve leaked and had hands-on time with most of RIM’s 2011 lineup, and while there’s a definite spec boost across the board, the phones lack the appealing features of more robust iOS and Android devices. Worse yet, the company only revealed one new device during its annual BlackBerry World 2011 conference, and even that offered very little in the way of innovation that might attract the consumer market. More →

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Microsoft details Windows Phone ‘Mango’ business features

By on May 16, 2011 at 11:00 PM.

Microsoft details Windows Phone ‘Mango’ business features

Paul Bryan, Microsoft’s senior director of business experiences product management for Windows Phone, has written a blog post that details Windows Phone Mango’s business productivity features. The update, which will be discussed in deeper detail during a press conference in New York City on May 24th, will include pinnable email folders for quick access from the homescreen, conversation view in email, server search, and a new Lync application for business chat users. Bryan also said there will be added capabilities for IT departments, including complex password support, information rights management support, and the ability to access hidden corporate Wi-Fi networks. “This week, we expect to exceed 16,000 apps available in the Windows Phone Marketplace,” Bryan added. We’ll be reporting live from Microsoft’s press conference on the 24th. More →

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