Natural disasters are becoming increasingly commonplace, but more often than not, they happen aboard as opposed to within the borders of the United States. According to a new report from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab, that’s going to change before the end of the decade when a massive earthquake strikes California. More →
You’d better think twice about taking naked photos and videos of yourself on a mountain in a foreign country, because you might end up being detained for starting a natural disaster by “disrespecting” it in such a manner, depending on what locals believe. This isn’t a joke either, as new from Malaysia reveals that several tourists are being barred from leaving the country, after making the “mountain spirits mad” and causing an earthquake. More →
Sony reported its fiscal first quarter results on Thursday and recorded a net loss of 15.5 billion Yen ($198.7 million). The company attributed the loss to the earthquake that struck off the coast of Japan in March, as well as a “stagnate” economy in the United States and Europe. Sony’s operating profits were 27.5 billion Yen ($330 million), down from the 67.02 billion Yen ($862) it reported during the same quarter last year. Operating revenue was 1.49 trillion Yen ($19.1 billion), down 10% from the 1.66 trillion ($21.3 billion) in revenue Sony reported in the first fiscal quarter of 2011. “We think we can be profitable at the current exchange rate levels,” Sony’s chief financial officer Masaru Kato said during a recent news conference. “We had almost no negative impact from the dollar, but the euro is still an issue for us.” Kato said that “TVs are one of the only remaining issues,” for the company and noted that Sony expects to sell 22 million televisions this year, down from the original projection of 27 million units. Kato said Sony’s supply chain was hit hard by the earthquake and impacted the company’s sales during the first quarter but that the supply channels have already bounced back.
Sony Chief Financial Officer Masaru Kato announced to the press on Monday that the company expects to post an annual loss of $3.2 billion for its fiscal year ending in March 2011 — the second largest loss in company history. The news comes as yet another blow for the Japanese consumer electronics giant, whose online networks have been the target of a series of cyberattacks that impacted more than 100 million customers. Sony had previously expected to post a profit this year, however the company had to write off $4.4 billion for a tax credit from a previous quarter. A series of earthquakes that rocked Japan earlier this year had a negative impact on the company as well, slowing production and destroying factories. The affect of the quakes carried over to the company’s first quarter, Kato told the press, but Sony is still optimistic about 2011/2012. For the fiscal year ending in March 2012, Sony expects to post an operating profit of 200 billion yen, or $2.45 billion at today’s exchange rate. More →
Sony Ericsson released a statement on Friday delaying the broader launch of the Xperia Neo until the third quarter due to supply chain disruptions caused by the earthquake in Japan. The firm said that volumes of its Xperia arc and Xperia PLAY were also affected, but it doesn’t appear that there are any delays with those launches. Sony Ericsson’s official statement is as follows:
As Sony Ericsson continues to assess the impact of the situation in Japan on its business, we have communicated to our operator customers and distributors that some volume of Xperia arc, Xperia PLAY and Xperia neo phones has been affected. Xperia neo has already been introduced to the marketplace in limited quantities. However, due to supply chain disruptions resulting from the situation in Japan, we have shifted the timing of Xperianeo’s broader launch and it is now planned for early Q3.
We will address this topic at the time of our Q1 financial results announcement call that is scheduled for April 19, 2011.
Sony Ericsson’s Italian Facebook page has a similar explanation, and confirms that the Neo will launch in July. More →
In the wake of the earthquake and subsequent tsunami in Japan, Google has issued an experimental version of its Translate application for Android. “Download this experimental version of Google Translate for Android to translate text automatically between Japanese and over 50 other languages,” writes Google. “You can also use Conversation Mode for speech-to-speech translation between English, Spanish and Japanese.” The app, which is posted on Google’s “Japan Crisis Response” page, will run on Android version 2.0 or higher and is available here or by scanning the above QR code. More →
Two of Apple’s component suppliers, Mitsubishi Gas Chemical Co and Toshiba, have reportedly shut down some of their operations in Japan in the wake of the March 11th earthquake and tsunami. According to Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster, this could result in shortages of Apple’s iPad 2 and iPhone 4 in March, through the rest of the first quarter, and into June. Toshiba manufactures 40% of the world’s flash memory, and Mitsubishi Gas Chemical Co is believed to be Apple’s go-to company for BT resin — which is used on circuit boards. Munster says Apple’s strategy to buy from multiple component suppliers could help soften the blow. “This strategy has proven to be an effective way for Apple to leverage its balance sheet and its position as one of the largest buyers of many of the components it uses; moreover, this strategy may prove particularly helpful if supply is limited and pricing increases,” wrote Munster. “Finally, we believe Apple buys futures on important components, which will help offset near-term pricing swings. Our conclusion is that Apple is well positioned to suffer proportionally less than its competitors.” Apple’s stock traded down sharply yesterday on the news of an analyst downgrade and potential supply shortages. More →
iOS gamers: You can now do your part to donate to Red Cross for Tsunami relief efforts in Japan by downloading any Sonic the Hedgehog title and/or Street Fighter IV for iPhone or the iPod touch. Sega’s games include Sonic Spinball ($0.99), Sonic the Hedgehog ($1.99), Sonic the Hedgehog 2 ($2.99), and Sonic the Hedgehog 4th Episode 1 ($3.99) — 100% of the proceeds from any downloads through March 20th will be given to Red Cross’ Disaster Relief in Japan. Similarly, Capcom cut the price of Street Fighter IV to $0.99, and all of revenues from downloads through March 22 will be given to charity in Japan. We haven’t had a chance to play any of the Sonic titles, but we’ll be downloading a few today. Street Fighter IV takes us back to our Sega days, though, and it’s definitely worth a download. Hadouken! More →
In the wake of last week’s devastating earthquake and tsunami, Apple, Inc. has announced that it will postpone the release of its iPad 2 tablet in Japan. The iPad 2 was scheduled to launch in twenty six international markets — including Japan — on the 25th of March; the company will go forward with its release in the other twenty five markets. “Our hearts go out to the people of Japan, including our employees and their families, who have been impacted by this terrible tragedy,” wrote an Apple spokesperson. The company has yet to communicate a new launch date for the product. More →
In an email correspondence with blog Phone Scoop earlier today, Sprint confirmed that it too would provide its customers with free calling and text messaging to Japanese phone lines. The news comes just hours after both AT&T and Verizon Wireless announced similar policies for both their wireless and wireline subscribers. Although the U.S.’s fourth largest carrier — T-Mobile — was the first to offer this courtesy when an earthquake struck Haiti back in January of 2010, the company has, up to this point, been silent. AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon have all committed to waiving fees assessed to users making a donation to the Japanese relief effort via text message. More →