Nokia to shed additional 490 jobs

By on May 20, 2009 at 7:47 AM.

Nokia to shed additional 490 jobs

As Finnish cell phone giant Nokia continues to cut costs in an effort to combat declining demand, the company recently told Reuters it would shed an additional 490 jobs in the near future. 170 employees from Nokia’s logistics, production management and production support divisions will be released and the company will extend its Voluntary Resignation Package to 320 workers at its Salo facility. Nokia had already implemented a temporary layoff schedule at its plant in Salo, but apparently the measure wasn’t as effective as it had hoped. So far this year, Nokia has cut approximately 4,000 jobs as it pushes to reduce annual expenses by nearly $1 billion.

Thanks, Tyrone

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Amazon releases holiday sales report, laughs all the way to the bank

By on January 30, 2009 at 4:22 PM.

Amazon releases holiday sales report, laughs all the way to the bank

What’s this, you say? News of a major retailer doing better than expected despite the tough economic times? We know, we know. It’s hard to believe, but some folks are weathering the economy’s downturn better than the media would have you believe. According to Amazon’s Q4 report from 2008, the company did pretty well during the oh-so-important holiday sales season. Amazon posted a net sales increase of 18% to $6.7 billion, with net income shooting up 9% to $225 million. Not so bad, especially given the dire state of just about every other ledger report we’ve seen over the past couple weeks. Amazon shares shot up 12% following the release of the report. Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos also gave a relatively positive estimate for Q1 2009, predicting between 9-19% increase in sales, though he does expect a significant decline in net operating income.All told, however, it’s nice to see some positive news coming out of the tech sector, and we can only hope that we’ll see some more similar progress to combat the prevailing fear and uncertainty.

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T-Mobile releases Q4 subscriber stats from 2008

By on January 29, 2009 at 4:09 PM.

T-Mobile releases Q4 subscriber stats from 2008

It’s no secret that 2008 wasn’t kind to most major corporations around the world. Unfortunately, as the year-end reports have been trickling in over the last couple of days, we’ve gotten a healthy look at just how bad many of our favorites fared. While T-Mobile has yet to release their actual financials, we’ll have to wait until the 27th of February for that pleasure, the company has gone ahead and released its subscriber stats for the 4th Quarter of 2008. During Q4 the company added 621,000 new customers. Progress is something, but compare this to the 671,000 added during Q3 2008, as well as the whopping 951,000 added during Q4 2007, and the picture gets a bit more bleak. New contract additions were up 43%, compared to 44% in Q3 and 77% in Q4 2007. Blended churn was up just a bit at 3.3% compared to 3% in Q3 and 2.8% in Q4 2007, but it looks like the company is doing a decent job retaining its meager customer base. At the end of the day, we can probably chalk much of this up to the economy at large, but it’s still a bit disheartening to read yet another example of our financial woes. On the other hand, T-mobile seems relatively optimistic about their prospects in the coming year, given plans for an increased 3G footprint, coupled with a lower-than-average pricing and new device introductions. We’re not so sure this is terribly realistic, but we’ve got a whole year ahead for them to prove us wrong.

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AT&T claims 1.9 million new iPhone 3G activations during Q4 2008

By on January 28, 2009 at 1:41 PM.

AT&T claims 1.9 million new iPhone 3G activations during Q4 2008

First things first: 1.9 million activations is nothing to scoff at. It’s a huge number, and represents AT&T and Apple’s unquestionable success in the smartphone arena. Including the 4th Quarter results, the company can claim 4.3 million total iPhone activations since the introduction of the iPhone 3G, an impressive number by anyone’s standards and a certain earmark of Apple and AT&T’s continuing dominance in the consumer market. The company also revealed, somewhat cryptically, that iPhone users generate “higher revenue” and “lower churn rates”. Good, right? Right. On the other hand, the company also reported that its general earnings were down to $2.4 billion from $3.1 billion just one year prior. The drop is completely understandable, however, given the general recession and the fact that the company seems to be fending off any sort of massive disruption. On another, slightly more comical note, AT&T blamed some of its earnings drop on its “iPhone 3G Initiative” designed to build out coverage and tower infrastructure to cope with the increased network demands. We’re not sure about you, but it doesn’t seem like the aforementioned initiative has hit anywhere close to our home towers…

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Google downsizes, cuts Jaiku, Google Video, and more

By on January 15, 2009 at 9:27 AM.

Google downsizes, cuts Jaiku, Google Video, and more

Contrary to popular belief, the mighty force that is the Google empire is not exactly recession proof. The company announced yesterday that it was laying off roughly 100 employees and making some pretty significant “alterations” to its product offerings. None of the major Google services (Gmail, Google Docs, etc) were affected, but a number of minor Google products have been relegated to a virtual death row sentence. Jaiku is being shifted to the Google App Engine, which essentially means that the company will cease any and all official support, though Jaiku accounts will continue to function for the foreseeable future. Google Notebooks, Google Catalogs, Dodgeball, Google Video, and Google Mashup Editor, however, will all meet a similar fate, though Google Notebooks will simply be closed to any new user signups and Google video will still allows users to view existing content, though new content uploads will be disabled very shortly. All told, while it’s not a huge blow to the company’s bread-and-butter, it’s yet another example of just how bad the economic situation has become, and leads us to question whether a seemingly impenetrable company like Google will be able to keep up with future innovation and new service offerings.

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General Motors continues to falter; may discontinue Saturn

By on December 4, 2008 at 6:35 PM.

General Motors continues to falter; may discontinue Saturn

Saturn’s slogan is now “Rethink”, but it’s beginning to look like the GM-owned automaker is taking that sentiment in a completely different direction. After making an effort to rebrand the Saturn line and produce a variety of attractive vehicles, General Motors might pull the plug on the 23-year-old auto line. With rumors of bankruptcies and dealers going out of business (none of which were true), Saturn’s reputation has been taking some serious hits lately. It’s also no help that the US automotive industry is suffering and relying on the government for a bailout, so GM is going to strongly consider shutting down Saturn while it forms plans this week in terms of an impending reorg. We imagine it’s not going to be a tough decision since Saturn hasn’t been profitable for GM at all. Along with axing the celestial brand, the automotive giant is considering selling off the Saab line and turning Pontiac into a “niche” brand, much like Saturn is now. So, after several years of producing what seems to be like one or two models, Saturn now offers several decent vehicles: Astra, Outlook, Sky, Vue and Aura. Still, it has failed to gain any real popularity and is likely going to disappear forever. Is anyone actually going to miss it?

Thanks, Alex R!

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Google is trimming “operational expenses”; read layoffs

By on November 25, 2008 at 1:15 PM.

Google is trimming “operational expenses”; read layoffs

Regardless of how large, powerful and influential a company is, no one is recession-proof. Internet search giant Google has been laying off employees since this summer, and it has been doing so under the news radar for the most part. The SEC requires companies to disclose information regarding layoffs but apparently Google had slipped around the rule and reported its Q3 earnings as expected by saying it had cut down on “operational expenses”. Though Google officially has 20,123 employees, there are an additional 10,000 which are just labeled as temporary operational expenses. However it wants to label those human beings, they are still going to get shafted and are still going to be hurt by this massive cut in manpower. Google’s very own Sergey Brin says, “There is no question that the number (of workers) is too high”.

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Dell to employees: Take some unpaid time off! Leave if you want to!

By on November 8, 2008 at 9:35 AM.

Dell to employees: Take some unpaid time off! Leave if you want to!

If you ran a very large company hurting a little in the midst of an economic crisis, what would you do? Well, Dell has the solution for all your woes and conundrums. Step one – encourage your employees to take up to five days of vacation time! The key thing to remember here is to not stress the fact that they will not be getting paid for the time off. You wouldn’t want to spoil the vacation by reminding them that they could be working and earning money instead. Step two – encourage employees to quit their jobs and offer them a little severance package with it, too! You know, everyone is all about instant gratification and while the severance package will cost you now, in the long run you’ll really be saving plenty of money. Even company spokesperson Jess Blackburn says, “The intent is to better position Dell for long-term competitiveness.” Blackburn then goes on to say, “We are asking employees on a voluntary basis to consider taking off (up to) five days … as unpaid time off as a flexible way to reduce costs for the company.” Really? Why not just make the employees work for those five days and not pay them for that time if you really want to cut costs and maintain productivity? At least they’re getting some kind of notice of possible “upcoming events” unlike the poor folks over at Tesla.

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Tesla Tastelessly Tosses Their Team

By on October 17, 2008 at 1:22 PM.

Tesla Tastelessly Tosses Their Team

If you thought breaking up over a text message was in bad taste, try empathizing with the Tesla employees who were just laid off… via a blog post! That’s right, 90% of the Tesla team in Metro Detroit were let go, but someone assigned to break the news didn’t have the guts to tell them. Instead, the employees found out through their own site that they were finished. What’s to become of the remaining 10%? Those who aren’t notified of their termination today (via a bulletin board at the plant, mind you) have to relocate to San Jose, CA – at least it’s brighter and the weather is more temperate in Cali, right? The problem is getting there when your company won’t help with relocation, moving costs, selling your current home or apartment, or anything else for that matter. They’re essentially being told, “Be glad we didn’t can you. Now get moving!” The official word is as follows:

There will also be some headcount reduction due to consolidation of operations. In anticipation of moving vehicle engineering to our new HQ in San Jose, we are ramping down and will close our Rochester Hills office near Detroit. Good communication, tightly knit engineering and a common company culture are of paramount importance as Tesla grows.

Yes, “good communication” and a “common company culture” are of paramount importance. We’re wondering what the schmuck who wrote this piece was thinking when writing that there would be a “headcount reduction.” With tough times and an economy suffering at exponential rates, one would think that Tesla could have been just a tad more appropriate and tactful with letting their hard working employees go.

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Proof of recession: RAZR V3 still the top selling phone in America

By on October 9, 2008 at 5:53 AM.

Proof of recession: RAZR V3 still the top selling phone in America

RAZR V3 still top selling mobile phone in America.

You don’t need a fancy masters degree in economics from Oxford to know that America is in a recession; all you need to do is look at what electronics are selling the best and you’ll have a pretty good snap shot of how much disposable income people have. And while it feels like everyone and their momma has at one time or another ran out to buy the hottest 3G devices they could find, the results are in and RAZR V3 is still the top selling phone in America. Sure, you could try and make yourself feel better by repeating over and over again the the iPhone 3G and BlackBerry Curve are numbers 2 and 3 respectively, but that would just be crazy talk.

[Via Engadget]

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