HP may replace current CEO Leo Apotheker with former eBay CEO Meg Whitman, AllThingsD reported on Wednesday. Reportedly, HP board members are not pleased with “a series of management mishaps,” inside HP. It is unclear if those mishaps are related to HP’s recent decision to kill off its webOS devices and spin off its PC business, which resulted in recent job cuts from the former Palm team. The board may be more upset HP’s stock has tanked more than 40% since Apotheker took the reins in September, 2010. In any case, if Apotheker does get relieved of his duties as CEO, one analyst has suggested he will still have made $9.4 million for the year. Whitman, who is also on HP’s board, is reportedly interested in the job but the appointment is far from official, AllThingsD said. Whitman’s experience in the consumer market might help HP if ever does decide to revive the TouchPad and other webOS hardware efforts. Whitman served as eBay’s chief executive for 10 years until 2008 before trying her hand in politics. More →
Apple has yet to release a MacBook with an integrated 3G modem, but that doesn’t mean the company hasn’t toyed with the idea. A 2007 15-inch MacBook Pro has surfaced on eBay with a built-in 3G antenna and a SIM-card slot. The seller says he or she originally purchased the 3G-capable MacBook Pro “for parts,” from a former Apple engineer and said “it was immediately clear this was no normal MacBook Pro.” The machine’s SIM card slot is still recognized by OS X 10.6.8 Leopard but the seller has been unable to get the data connection working properly, and noted that “it’s entirely possible it never worked.” The high bid for the one-of-a-kind MacBook Pro was $11,211.11 at the time of this writing. Read on for a few more images. More →
Google on Thursday finally took the wraps off its Google Wallet and Google Offers services, which offer an NFC-based contactless payment system married with a location-based local coupon service. On the same day, eBay and its online payment arm PayPal filed a lawsuit against Google and two of its executives for stealing trade secrets relating to mobile payments. Osama Bedier and Stephanie Tilenius, both of whom were heavily involved in the development of the Google Wallet service, were named in the suit. Beider and Tilenius were formerly PayPal employees who left the company to join Google and help build Google Wallet. Both executives were with PayPal for the better part of a decade, and Bedier was most recently vice president of platform, mobile and new ventures. The suit accuses Bedier of having “misappropriated PayPal trade secrets by disclosing them within Google and to major retailers,” and it alleges that Tilenius broke a contractual agreement with eBay by recruiting Bedier once moving to Google. More →
Shazam and eBay have teamed up to offer Android users a nice freebie. From now until January 1, 2012, Android Shazam users can enjoy unlimited song tagging without having to buy Shazam Encore. “This is the first exclusive App sponsorship deal agreed by eBay anywhere in the world, and the first time Shazam has selected a partner to provide free services to their customers,” reads the press release. The company’s self-titled, free application gives users the ability to tag up to five songs each month, after which Shazam Encore must be purchased. “In addition, we’re pleased to offer Android Shazamers access to the Shazam Friends social feature, allowing them to share their music discoveries with their Facebook friends and family while discovering exciting new music and content themselves in a continuously updating feed.” The full press release is after the break.
eBay has revealed sales figures for the iPad 2 during its first two weeks on the market. The online auction house created a chart that shows just under 12,000 iPad 2 units were sold during the two week period that it was exclusively available in the United States. The graphic notes that 35% of iPad 2 units sold during that 2 week period were to international customers looking to get an early taste — that figure is down from the 65% of international customers who purchased the original iPad on eBay. Canada and Russia were the two largest importers, each purchasing about 500 iPad 2 tablets. Hong Kong, Japan, and the United Kingdom each bought about 350. Australia purchased 317 iPads last year, but only purchased 110 iPad 2 devices in 2010. The 16GB Wi-Fi version of the iPad 2 was the most popular, as it represented 30% of all iPad 2 sales. Apple has yet to release its official iPad 2 sales figures. More →
Still on the fence about whether to switch to an iPhone on Verizon’s largest 3G voice and data network? If you’re a current AT&T subscriber with an iPhone 4, Verizon is offering at least $200 for your iPhone if you trade it in, and you can instantly use that towards your iPhone 4 purchase on Big Red. Could you get $350-$475 on eBay or Craigslist? Why sure, but you don’t have to meet some sketchy computer hacker in a dark hallway this way… Anyone going to take Verizon up on this offer?
UPDATE: We have confirmed Verizon’s trade-in program applies not just to Verizon handsets but to handsets from other carriers including an AT&T iPhone.
We bet everyone out there is saying, “Finally.” And if so, we’re right along with you. Skype has just filed with the SEC for an IPO and will be listed on the NASDAQ stock exchange. In terms of revenue, Skype is reporting EBITDA of $115.8 million on $406.2 million in net revenue for the first six months of 2010. In 2009, however, the filed documents report a loss of $368.6 million on revenue of $718.9 million which is when Skype and eBay no longer shared sippy cups. More →
Remember all those rumors that surfaced last year and spoke of an upgraded iPod Twith an on-board camera? Now is your chance to get your hands on not one, but two iPod Touch prototypes with the aforementioned rear-facing camera. The iPod Touches are designated DVT-1 and DVT-2 and are thought to be units produced for testing by Apple’s development team. These pieces of iPod history fell into the hands of the seller when he purchased them at a flea market from another seller who originally purchased them at an auction. One iPod is completely non-functional while the other boots and reveals a partially complete SwitchBoard OS. Interesting, isn’t it? Hit the jump for a few more shots of the prototypes. More →
The implications of this deal are exciting. Google has purchased, in cash, the internet VoIP company Gizmo5 for a cool $30 million. The deal brings a true SIP/VoIP provider into the Google fold — the potential to merge the acquired technology with Google Voice and/or Google Talk is staring us right in the face. Last month there were rumors that perhaps Skype, due to legal issues with its own VoIP technology, might purchase Gizmo5 as a backup plan of sorts. However, that deal went south after Skype’s creators settled with eBay over future licensing of the core technology behind the popular service. So what do you think? Will Gizmo5 go the way of Orkut and fade into the internet oblivion? We’re hoping it will be more like GrandCentral…built into something we all love and the wireless service providers hate! More →
The Rockefeller Institute, a research group tied to SUNY, said that sales taxes took a 6.1 percent dive in Q4 of 2008 and Q1 of this year was even worse. Given the current state of the economy of course, this is hardly a surprise. Beyond the obvious reasoning behind the decline — people are losing jobs, making less money and spending less money — the drop may be bad news on another front as it could finally spell the end for the free rides afforded by online shopping. The idea of requiring online retailers to collect sales tax on out-of-state sales has been tossed around over and over again but according to the New York Post, this time around it might just stick. A bill is expected to go before congress as soon as this week that would require online retailers such as Amazon and Overstock, and even the online auction house eBay to collect sales tax on behalf of the state to which items are delivered. This spells certain aggravation for consumers who enjoy saving cash by ordering online and even more so for Internet retailers who will have to implement the new policy.
In New York State where an online sales tax bill was passed last Summer, Web retailers are already in the midst of fighting the new policy. New York’s law now requires any online retailer that advertises on New York-based web sites to collect sales tax when shipping to New York. Amazon and Overstock have both pulled all advertising from websites based in New York in protest.
Not long ago, a story ran around the blogosphere pitching the idea that Apple should take the piles of cash it’s sitting on and use it to revolutionize the banking industry. Sure, “iBank” is an interesting concept but there’s one major rub: Apple knows nothing about banking. Apple is a computer company, a digital service company, a hardware manufacturer, a software company and many other things, but it is by no means a bank. The time, new hires, training and investment it would take to prep Cupertino for a banking entrance negates much of the potential benefit and as such, it won’t happen. The same can be said for an online auction house entering the telco industry – the only problem is the latter example actually happened. When eBay purchased Skype four years ago for $2.6 billion, many wondered what it was thinking. Now, four years later, eBay finally seems to be wondering the same thing… What were we thinking? As a result of some comments made by eBay CEO John Donahoe regarding its recent earnings call, the internet is ablaze once again with rumors that the company is finally looking to offload Skype. Donahoe:
[Skype would make a] great stand-alone busines… The synergies between Skype and the other parts of our portfolio are minimal. We’re going to continue to run and operate the business. It’s not a distraction currently. And at such time when we have further announcements on that, we’ll let you know.
Of course as is always the case with any story citing analyst sources and inference, this is all speculation for the time being. We consider this a feeler from Donahoe; I’ll be taking calls from interested parties, if you will. Bottom line? eBay is an auction house. Paypal – awesome, logical buy. Skype – not so much.
Remember the Nokia E71x we scooped like soft serve back in November? You know, the AT&T-branded version of what is arguably the sexiest Finnish handset to ever have been assembled. Well guess what folks, the E71x can now be yours! That’s the good news, unfortunately the bad news is that AT&T has nothing to do with it – oh, and only one person will be able to get his or her grubby little mitts on this rare specimen. That’s right people, the E71x is getting a healthy dose of eBay treatment and now is your chance to get this slim QWERTY before anyone else does. Actually, the fact that it’s up on eBay right now most likely means that we’re very close to an official release, or the handset was scrapped and testers no longer have any use for it. We’re hoping the former is the case of course as the E71x would be an awesome addition to any carrier lineup and S60 needs all of the US carrier love it can get. The seller’s location is listed as Grand Prairie, TX which is just a stone’s throw from Nokia’s offices in Irving. We’ll give you three guesses as to where the seller got it. The auction ends in just over three and a half hours and the current bid is $275… Who’s up for a swoop-fest?
Remember when we teased you all with this sexy new PMP from COWON and how disappointing it was to find out it was hitting Korea with no US release date? Well stop your crying already – COWON has just announced today that it will be releasing this gadget in the US a lot sooner than we all thought. With its very own GUI lovingly shown off by an AMOLED screen, this PMP most definitely a stunner with specs to match. This thing is just jam packed with tons more features than your average PMP:
- 3.3″ AMOLED touch screen, 16 million colors, 480 x 272 pixels
- 500MHz dual-core processor
- DVD-quality MPEG4 and TV output (supports AVI and WMV)
- Bluetooth 2.0 with stereo headset support
- G-sensor accelerometer
- Extended battery (11 hours video and 55 hours audio, not bad!)
- JetEffect 2.0 audio technology
- EQ Filter and stereo enhancement including BBE+, Mach3Bass, 3D Surround and MP enhance audio processing
Wondering how much this thing will cost you? For an 8GB model it’s $199.99 and a 16GB will run for $239.99 and it will be available on December 19, not January like we previously thought. We’re not sure if it will be in stores, but we know it will be available through JetMall, Newegg, Amazon, eBay and a few other online retailers. Anyone going to pick one of these up as a stocking stuffer?