Sure, this doesn’t exactly fit in with what we normally cover at BGR, but when we saw what the Treasury Department did with the design of the newly unveiled $100 bill we just couldn’t help but whip up this post. To enter into circulation in February 2011, the new $100 bill features a range of new security features that will help the average person discern what’s real from what’s fake. The two features Uncle Sam is most proud about are the 3D Security Ribbon and the Bell in the Inkwell. The 3D Security Ribbon is on the front of the bill, and is laced with images of bells and 100s which shift into one another when the note is tilted. The Bell in the Inkwell, found immediately to the right of the 3D Security Ribbon, changes from copper to green when the bill is moved giving the illusion of the bell disappearing into the inkwell. Other features and items that have been enhanced from the previous design includes a portrait watermark of Benjamin Franklin, a security thread, color-shifting 100, a gold 100, raised printing, and microprinting. If you happen to have a few stacks stacks of $100s lying around, don’t worry about them losing their status as legal tender because the Treasury Department isn’t planning on recalling the any of the existing 6.5 billion bills. If you’re pretty confused about all of this, just click the read link. The ol’ reliable forces of bureaucracy have assembled what looks to be a rather comprehensive (and no doubt expensive) website that’s chock-full of informative goodness. More →
For all that’s been said in the past year about the poor performance of AT&T’s network, it seems the average person simply doesn’t care, as AT&T just announced its Q1 2010 results and — surprise! — the wireless division fared very well. Here are the key takeaways. AT&T gained 1.9 million subscribers (a Q1 record) and now has 87 million souls subscribers. Wireless service revenue was up 10.3% from the same time last year at $12.8 billion while wireless data revenue, which totalled $4.1 billion, was up 29.8% from Q1 2009. Post-paid ARPU increased to $61.89 while data ARPU moved up $20.13. Post-paid churn fell to a record low of 1.07% while the overall churn rate decreased to 1.30%. All in all, 2.7 million iPhones were activated (1/3 of them to new AT&T customers) alongside 3.3 million “3G integrated devices” (ie. touchscreen or QWERTY). Integrated devices are now in the hands of roughly half of AT&T’s 65.1 million post-paid customers and have an ARPU 1.7 times higher than other customers.
Think AT&T will be able to keep up the pace? More →
Apple posted its Q2 2010 results and to say they’re impressive would be an understatement. Beating analyst expectations in practically every way possible, the Cupertino company sold 2.94 million Macs, 8.75 million iPhones and 10.89 million iPods. Analysts were only expecting 2.7 million iMacs, 6.8 million iPhones and 9 million iPods to be sold. In terms of cold, hard cash, Apple’s revenue was $13.5 billion with a diluted earnings per share of $3.33 making for a net profit of $3.07 billion. As for the current quarter, Apple is expecting revenue to hit $13.0 billion to $13.4 billion with a diluted earnings per share from $2.28 to $2.39.
Troubled phone maker Sony Ericsson had a nice surprise for its investors this morning, as it announced that Q1 2010 was its first profitable quarter in just under two years. While the company shipped 4.1 million fewer handsets than in Q4 2009, it did manage to make gains where it ultimately counts, posting an income of 21€ million ($28.415 million USD) while increasing the average selling price of each handset 12% to 134€ ($181 USD). See, Sony Ericsson? Shipping products without major bugs and laying off excess labor does help the bottom line. Now all you have to do is make a smartphone people actually desire with an up-to-date OS and maybe you’ll be able to move past your crummy 4% marketshare.
Shares of RIMM fell 5% in after hours trading as the Canadian smartphone maker and enterprise staple announced its Q4 results. Revenue, while up 18% compared to the same time last year at $4.08 billion, was only up 4% compared to Q3 and failed to meet the $4.31 billion analysts were expecting. Net income stood at $710.1 million with earnings of $1.27 per share diluted, a modest gain over the to the $682.4 million or $1.10 in the previous quarter. Having shipped 10.5 million devices and adding 4.9 million new net subscribers, RIM now has some 41 million people relying upon its BIS and BES services. What this all boils down to is while RIM is taking in a lot of money, it’s also losing out on a lot as it desperately attempts to cut costs to remain competitive and gobble up more marketshare. RIM is predicting Q1 of fiscal 2011 will see revenue hit $4.25 to $4.45 billion and a earnings per share of $1.31 to $1.38 per share diluted. Net subscriptions are expected to hit a record 4.9 to 5.2 million. More →
Espoo, we have a problem. Today Nokia posted its Q3 2009 results and to say they’re disturbing would be a gross understatement. While net sales and operating profit didn’t fare well being down 1% and 4.4% from the previous quarter, the real startling figure is how Nokia is doing now compared to the same time last year. With a net loss of some 559€mm ($833.9mm USD) and sales tallying 9.8€bb ($14.62bb USD), YoY net sales were down 19.8% while operating profit plummeted a jaw dropping 57.8%. In terms of market share, Nokia neither lost nor gained ground having managed to hang on to its estimated 38% market share despite pushing approximately 108.5 million devices. Still, this does not change the fact that Nokia’s handset sales are down 8% as the world’s consumers focused their attention on devices made by other manufacturers. We’re not going to openly say that it’s about time Nokia seriously consider some fresh blood in the board room, but… Oh who are we kidding, that’s exactly what we’re saying. After all, if those at the top don’t voluntarily step aside, it’s likely that the shareholders are going to make them. And to be pretty damn honest, a couple of N900s really aren’t going to cut at this point in time.
Palm today announced its Q1 results for the fiscal year 2010. The struggling handset maker moved 823,000 devices in Q1, the bulk of which Palm claims to have been Pre handsets. Unbelievably, the company still managed to avoid giving any firm numbers with regards to Pre sales, meaning it’s now extremely safe to say they fell well short of meeting expectations. Total revenue was $68mm compared to $368mm in Q1 2009, and gross profit was $2.8mm in the red. It gets worse, unfortunately. You see, accountants have this thing called GAAP, and it does a much better job of showing the financial health of a company compared to other methods. When you apply GAAP to Palm’s Q1, you’re left with a net loss of $164.5mm compared to the $41.9mm loss posted in Q1 of 2009. Long story short: we’re not out of the woods just yet, Palm fans.
Let’s face it, folks — RIM is on a tear and its Q1 2010 results are proof positive of this fact. While a tax drop might have helped propel the company’s quarterly profit to a record high of $643 million, the fact remains that things are pretty much going better than ever — especially considering the global recession. 7.8 million devices were shipped and 3.8 million new BlackBerry owners were added, although the latter is down approximately 100,000 from the previous quarter. As for the immediate future, don’t expect RIM to lose momentum any time soon. Devices like the Storm 2 will surely help add to its 28.5 million userbase worldwide — and let us not forget about the highly anticipated Tour 9630 that’s all set for a summer release.
In an economic climate where its been mostly doom and gloom, it’s nice to see that a few companies still know how to do one very important thing — turn a profit. One company that has been able to consistently do this over many years is RIM, maker of the BlackBerry smartphone who yesterday released their Q4 financial results. With Q4 revenue 24.5% over that of the previous quarter and 84% above the same period last year, RIM took in a cool $3.46 billion with the bulk of revenue (some 83%) coming from handset sales alone as some 7.8 million devices were sold over the past three months ended February 28, 2009. All told, RIM can now tout a subscriber base of 25 million which helped propel its net income for Q4 ’09 to $518.3 million ($0.90 per share diluted), a rather impressive increase over the $396.3 million ($0.69 per share diluted) of Q3 ’09 at a time when both corporations and consumers, who now make up half of RIM’s subscribers, are slashing expenses left, right and center. As for Fiscal 2009, net income came in at $1.89 billion ($3.30 per share diluted), an increase of 46.3% from that of 2008. RIM is expecting to add 3.7 to 3.9 million subscribers in Q1 2010 with revenue in the range of $3.3 and $3.5 billion and an earnings per share of $0.88 to $0.97 per share diluted.
Just after the North American markets closed this Thursday, RIM announced its Q3 earnings. While many analysts believed that RIM would have a hard time meeting its adjusted earnings forcast, RIM actually exceeded them, but just barely. In this day and age, exceeding a forecast is nothing short of a coup, even if by a fraction of a percentage point. RIM’s revenue came in at $2.78 billion, up 7.9% from Q2, while net income totaled $396.5 million (adjusted net income stood at $477.3 million). Earnings were $0.83 per share diluted, which beat expectations by $0.01. As for Q4, RIM is expecting strong sales which strangely enough is thanks in part to previous delays for the Bold and Storm. Because both devices were released at the tail end of Q3, it is expected that the high demand for them will help RIM weather what has been predicted by some to be one of the worst holiday retail seasons in recent history.
Hit the jump for the official RIM release.
T-Mobile USA announced their Q3 results today, and while they are nothing to write home about, one can certainly forgive them given the current economic climate. Having added 670,000 new users in Q3, the total number of T-Mobile subs now stands at 32.1 million. Sadly for T-Mobile, the new customers aren’t bringing much money to T-Mobile which led to a dismal 0.7% increase of revenue over Q2 to $5.51 billion. In terms of ARPU, things stayed very much the same at $52 blended and $55 contract, though these numbers are down $1 and $2 respectively from the same time last year.
With sales of the BlackBerry Pearl Flip being way below what analysts expected, the high costs of implementing a 3G network, and the terrible outlook for the world economy, it’s anyone’s guess as to what T-Mobile’s books will look like in three months time. Hang in there, T-Mo. You’ve got some badass phones on the way!
You can check out the entire press release after the jump. More →