HTC chief executive Peter Chou on Tuesday said that the Taiwan-based smartphone vendor is scheduled to launch between six and eight new smartphone models this quarter. HTC continues to report record quarter after record quarter, and the onslaught of new handsets it is preparing for the fall season will give the vendor a great shot to top the record 12.1 million smartphones it shipped in the second quarter. The popular smartphone maker currently expects to ship 13.5 million handsets in the September quarter, its CEO says. Chou also stated that all of the devices HTC launches in the third quarter will be middle or high-end models, which will likely help the average selling price of HTC phones back up after it slid 2.8% in the second quarter. Taiwan Economic News notes that HTC’s third-quarter earnings per share is now projected to reach NT$22, while full-year EPS is expected to fall between NT$82 and NT$85. More →
On Tuesday, reports surfaced that Acer’s former chief executive officer Gianfranco Lanci has accepted a job at Samsung where he will lead the Korean company’s notebook business. Acer founder Stan Shih spoke with reporters during the ADOC 2.0 technology conference in Taipei on Wednesday and discussed the issue. While the move has yet to be confirmed by Samsung or Acer, Shih noted that it is common for executives to move between firms, especially for better gigs, and that the press should not be surprised. The calm remarks are a bit surprising as there is speculation that Lanci’s move could be a blow to Acer’s laptop business. Acer is currently the world’s No. 4 laptop manufacturer, trailed by Samsung in the No. 7 spot. More →
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 →
Newly appointed Verizon Communications CEO Lowell McAdam is already making waves. While fielding questions on Verizon’s earnings call on Friday, McAdam let slip some interesting notes regarding Apple’s fifth-generation iPhone. The executive was asked by an analyst if he thought Verizon Wireless would meet earlier estimates projecting that smartphones would be in the hands of 50% of postpaid subscribers this year. “We like the gross add mix that we see coming in here. We are in the roughly 60% kind of range,” McAdam responded according to the Associated Press’ transcription. He continues, “We are probably what I would view as maybe a quarter behind what we had talked about in January, primarily because we expected an iPhone 5 refresh sometime this summer. We don’t know when the next one is going to come out. You will have to ask Apple that, but we expect that probably sometime in the fall, and I think you will see a significant jump there when we get to that point.” More →
Apple’s next-generation iPad will employ the company’s famous Retina Display according to LG Display CEO Young Soo Kwon. The Korea Times reported on Friday that Kwon let slip the news while speaking with reporters following LG Display’s second-quarter earnings report, which saw the manufacturer’s profit tumble 96%. “[Kwon] said more smartphone manufacturers will release new models employing LG’s “Retina Display’’ that has been used in iPhones and iPads,” The Korea Times’ report states. LG Display manufactures the current Retina Display found on Apple’s iPhone 4 handset. Earlier reports suggest Apple is preparing to launch an updated iPad in September alongside the iPhone 5. The new Retina Display-equipped iPad is expected by some to be a complimentary model, perhaps dubbed “iPad Pro,” rather than a replacement for the current iPad 2. More →
BGR is at Sprint’s corporate headquarters in Overland Park, Kansas this week for a few days of meetings, tours of the massive Sprint campus and, of course, delicious barbecue. Expect plenty of coverage to come, but among the first stops this afternoon was a great little Q&A session with Sprint CEO Dan Hesse. Sprint’s chief executive had plenty to say about the AT&T/T-Mobile merger as he always does, though he was very candid with us today in admitting that his mission is both personal and professional. Hesse has a long history in the wireless industry as well all know, and he sees this merger as potentially putting an end to the wireless landscape as we know it in the U.S. “I hope you like 4G,” Hesse said, “because it could be the last generation of wireless network in the U.S.” Hesse feels like he has some level of personal duty to ensure that competition and innovation are maintained in the U.S. market, and while Sprint does have contingency plans in place, he is doing everything in his power to ensure that the FCC makes “the right decision.” Hesse also fielded several questions concerning Clearwire’s — and in turn, Sprint’s — stalled 4G WiMAX rollout in the face of Verizon’s aggressive LTE rollout and T-Mobile’s aggressive HSPA+ 42 upgrades. Hesse acknowledged that things have slowed lately, but he confirmed that Sprint has big plans moving forward that will be revealed this fall. In short, Sprint is most certainly not standing still. Of course no comment was made regarding the rumored LightSquared deal that could bring 4G LTE to Sprint subscribers in the near future.
Apple’s board of directors has been in informal talks with executive recruiting firms and has been discussing a successor to CEO Steve Jobs, The Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday. Reportedly, the board has also met and talked with “at least one” head of a “high-profile tech company” as a possible successor, although it’s unclear who that person is. The Wall Street Journal also noted that it wasn’t immediately clear if Steve Jobs had been aware of the search or if Apple has been looking behind his back, though he emailed The Wall Street Journal in response to their questions about the discussions: “I think it’s hogwash.” Steve Jobs has been on medical leave from the Cupertino-based firm since January of this year. More →
Google’s chairman and former CEO Eric Schmidt has agreed to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee’s antitrust subcommittee, Reuters reported on Monday. On June 24th, Google announced that the Federal Trade Commission would be reviewing its business practices. The search giant said it was “still unclear” as to what the FTC’s concerns were but that it would cooperate fully with the investigation. Watchdog groups such as Fairsearch.org have repeatedly accused Google of eangaging in anti-competitive behavior. “I look forward to discussing a number of important issues relating to Google and Internet search competition,” Senator Mike Lee, the lead Republican on the Judiciary Committee’s anti-trust subcommittee said. More →
Despite agreeing to address concerns over the shared Co-CEO and Co-Chariman roles held by Research In Motion bosses Jim Balsillie and Mike Lazaridis, the company again finds itself in hot water after a report from proxy advisor Glass Lewis & Co. was obtained by Bloomberg on Thursday. RIM announced in June that it would assemble a committee of independent directors to study the CEO and board roles, and then make recommendations as to whether or not the company should consider splitting the CEO and Chairman roles Balsillie and Lazaridis each currently hold. In its report, Glass Lewis wrote that the move was merely a stall tactic used to get Northwest & Ethical Investments LP to withdraw a motion it intended to put forward at RIM’s July shareholder meeting. “The appointment of independent board leadership does not require further study, but rather concrete action,” Glass Lewis analysts noted in their report. “While we commend the board for actively engaging with NEI in an attempt to reach a mutually agreeable solution, we are underwhelmed with the board’s continued avoidance of a commitment to appoint an independent chairman.” More →
In an effort to fuel growth across the company, Sony’s CEO — Howard Stringer — has taken a 16% cut in his annual pay according to The Wall Street Journal. Stringer will take home $4.27 million for the fiscal year that ended March 30th, down from the $5.25 million he made last year. During Sony’s shareholder meeting on Tuesday, PlayStation head Kazuo Hirai said that the firm’s “most important task” was turning around its television business — an arm of Sony that has seen seven straight years of losses. Hirai named a number of ways the company could accomplish that task, including boosting the efficiency of operations, tweaking product strategies, and reducing costs. More →
Apple’s head of retail is leaving the company to become President of JC Penney, Bloomberg said in a wire report. Prior to the move, Ron Johnson lead Apple’s retail strategy and was responsible for its overall performance according to his executive bio on the Apple website. Apple’s retail business reeled in $3.19 billion in revenue last quarter, and it the company is widely heralded for its leadership in the space. Shares of JC Penney stock jumped more than 14% on the news.
Reuters reported on Friday that Northern and Ethical Investments, an investor in Research In Motion, has called for a shareholder vote to decide if co-CEOs Mike Lazaridis and Jim Balsillie should remain both co-chief executives and co-chairmen of the company’s board. Northern and Ethical Investments reportedly wants the Waterloo based company to have an independent board member. However, Reuters said RIM has already asked its shareholders to shoot down the vote, arguing that John Richardson is an independent member that “already acts as the de facto leader” of RIM’s board. If you’ll excuse us, we’re about to grab lunch with a co-sandwich, and co-french fries. More →
Speaking to reporters on Thursday, LG CEO Koo Bon-Joon said it would be difficult to turn around the company’s current struggle in the handset business during the second quarter. LG reported poor handset sales during the first quarter of the year — phone sales were down 9.2% year-over-year and 14.3% quarter-over-quarter, and shipments were down 10% year-over-year. Gartner also recently noted that LG’s share of the mobile phone market dropped two percentage points to 5.6% year-over-year. LG’s CFO has said that the firm is banking on the success of its Android-powered Optimus smartphones. More →