HTC on Friday reported record sales for the fourth consecutive month, though the Taiwan-based smartphone vendor’s growth did slow significantly in July. Following revenues of NT$38.7 in April, NT$40.6 billion in May and NT$45 billion in June, HTC pulled in NT$45.11 billion ($1.56 billion) last month to set a company record yet again. Continued strong demand for HTC’s Android smartphones drove revenue up 83% over July 2010, but HTC’s momentum slowed as it grew less than 1% over June. HTC is doing its best to ensure that the growth continues, however, as CEO Peter Chou stated recently that the company plans to launch between six and eight new smartphones this quarter. More →
Microsoft released its fiscal fourth-quarter earnings on Thursday and noted that its revenue of $17.73 billion was greater than any other fourth quarter in the company’s history. The Redmond-based firm also reported $69.94 billion in revenue for the fiscal year — also a record — up 12% from 2010. The company’s Entertainment & Devices division was particularly successful, reporting 30% growth in revenue for the fiscal fourth quarter and 45% for the entire year thanks to Xbox Live, the Xbox 360 game console, and the Kinect controller. “Throughout fiscal 2011, we delivered to market a strong lineup of products and services which translated into double-digit revenue growth, and operating margin expansion,” said Peter Klein, chief financial officer at Microsoft. “Our platform and cloud investments position us for long-term growth.” Read on for Microsoft’s full press release. More →
Samsung on Sunday announced that its Galaxy S II smartphone has quickly become the fastest-selling smartphone in the South Korean technology giant’s history. Shipments of the company’s new superphone have topped 3 million units in just 55 days, meaning Samsung has shipped an average of more than 54,545 Galaxy S II smartphones each day since its release. Impressively, Samsung achieved the feat before the device even launched in the U.S., one of the company’s top markets for its original Galaxy S smartphone — which took 85 days to reach the same 3 million-device milestone. “Announced at Mobile World Congress 2011, the GALAXY S II represents our most advanced smartphone to date and demonstrates Samsung’s commitment to deliver premium, market-defining devices,” said Samsung’s mobile boss, J. K. Shin, in a statement. “This milestone reflects the continued strong support from our carrier partners around the world who have chosen the GALAXY S II as their flagship Android device.” Samsung’s full note to the press follows below. More →
HTC continued on its warpath toward becoming the No. 4 smartphone vendor in the world last month as the company recorded record revenue of NT$45 billion ($1.55 billion USD) in June. This marks the third straight month that the Taiwan-based mobile giant saw revenue hit a new high, and it was up 10.9% over May. HTC’s second-quarter revenue totalled NT$124.3 billion ($4.2 billion USD), topping the company’s earlier projection of NT$120 billion, and growing 19.43% over the first quarter of 2011. HTC has not yet reported its full earnings for the month of June, but analysts estimate that the company shipped 11.6 million smartphones in the second quarter, bringing first-half shipment totals to roughly 21 million units. More →
The wait is over — Sprint’s brand new EVO 3D Android smartphone and EVO View 4G tablet are now available to all customers. The EVO 3D, which offers a glasses-free 4.3-inch 3D display, 4G WiMAX connectivity, a 1.2GHz processor, and the ability to record 1080p video, is available for $199.99 with a new two-year Sprint contract. We ran our review earlier this month and called it our “favorite Sprint phone, hands down.” The EVO View 4G, which we also recently reviewed, is powered by a 1.5GHz processor, has a 7-inch display, 4G WiMAX connectivity, and runs Android 2.3 Gingerbread. It’s available for $400 with the Scribe pen for a limited time. Hit the jump for the full press release from Sprint. More →
According to Peter Kafka over at All Things D, Apple’s presumed cloud-based music service will not be all that dissimilar from Amazon’s. The report details that Apple, like Amazon, will allow iTunes users to store newly purchased tracks and already-owned digital music in an online locker. Unlike Amazon, however, the Cupertino company is looking for deals with major record labels.“They’ve been very aggressive and thoughtful about it,” said an industry executive speaking with Kafka. “It feels like they want to go pretty soon.” The report also notes that the industry buy-in and licensing will allow Apple to store a single, master copy of a digital music file on its services and share that file with authorized users — making the company’s storage schema much more streamlined. Amazon’s Cloud Drive implementation is based on its S3 storage service and functions more like a cloud-based hard drive — every time a user buys a track it’s uploaded to that specific users online locker. “Sources tell me that Apple has already procured deals from at least two of the big four labels (Universal Music Group, Warner Music Group, Sony and EMI) within the last two months,” writes Kafka. “One source tells me Apple content boss Eddy Cue will be in New York tomorrow to try to finalize remaining deals.” Apple has some experience with cloud-based services as it has offered its MobileMe service — formerly iTools and .Mac — since early 2000.
UPDATE: CNET is now reporting that Apple and Warner Music Group reached a deal this afternoon: “Apple has an agreement with Warner Music Group to offer the record label’s tracks on iTunes’ upcoming cloud-music service.” More →
HTC’s market capitalization is expected to soon surpass NT$1 trillion according to a report on Wednesday from Taiwan Economic News. The company’s market cap recently passed the NT$900 million mark, and analysts believe it will grow beyond NT$1 trillion — just below $35 billion USD — this year. As HTC pushes out popular devices like the EVO 4G, Legend and Desire, the company’s shipments and revenue continue to grow; HTC shipped 25 million devices in 2010, a 111% increase over the prior year, and it forecasts revenue growth of 147% in 2011. Should HTC’s market cap surpass NT$1 trillion this year, it will be just the third company on the Taiwan Stock Exchange to reach the milestone, joining Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., Ltd. and Foxconn parent company Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., Ltd. More →
The milestones just keep on toppling… Microsoft on Wednesday announced that its popular Kinect motion controller for the Xbox 360 has sold 10 million units since its launch ahead of the 2010 holiday season. On top of accessory sales, Microsoft has also sold 10 million stand-alone Kinect games. The company announced its first Kinect sales milestone — 2.5 million units — just after Black Friday, and it sold over 8 million Kinect units in its first 60 days of availability. And now… the 10 million-unit milestone has been achieved. The numbers are beyond impressive, of course, but they’re also world records as it turns out. Guinness World Records has decreed that the Kinect now holds the title of “Fastest Selling Consumer Electronics Device.” Hit the break for the full press release. More →
Using a bit of guesswork, J.P. Morgan analyst Phil Cusick calculates that Verizon Wireless’ pre-sales of the iPhone 4 may have topped 500,000 units. In a note to investors on Monday, Cusick cited information contained within an earlier press release from Verizon Wireless to take a somewhat educated stab at pre-order totals. According to Verizon, pre-sales of the iPhone 4 broke the carrier’s previous first-day sales record in just the first two hours of availability. Cusick states that the prior record for single-day handset sales was 100,000 units, set by the Motorola DROID last November. Using that information along with the knowledge that Verizon Wireless and Apple continued to take pre-orders for another 15 hours before pulling the pre-order pages from their respective websites, Cusick estimates that over a half-million orders were placed. Cusick believes that Verizon’s iPhone 4 will go on to beat the DROID’s opening day, opening weekend and opening week sales totals, and he estimates that first-quarter iPhone sales will easily top the DROID’s fourth-quarter performance of 1.6 million units, as well. More →
Over five years after the Xbox 360 launched in November 2005, the console powered through the 2010 holiday season — racking up its biggest sales month ever and capping off the biggest year in the console’s history. Microsoft sold 1.9 million Xbox 360 units in December according to NPD Group, providing more icing on Microsoft’s gaming cake following news that the company sold over 8 million Kinect sensors in 60 days. Year-over-year growth came in at 42%, making Xbox the fastest-growing console in 2010. NPD also says consumers spent more money on Xbox 360 than any other game console in 2010 — a whopping $6.2 billion. The top three games for Xbox in 2010 were Call of Duty: Black Ops, Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood and Kinect Sports. More →
After last month’s little service snafu, internet communications giant Skype is back up, fully operational, and setting company records. Just yesterday, Skype saw a record 27 million users simultaneously logged on to its network. Typically, during peak hours, the company sees close to 25 million Skypers logged on to its network. The surge in users coincides with the conclusion of the holiday season, where, presumably, more users were gifted computers and mobile devices that can run Skype’s popular chat software. The numbers should continue to rise in the coming months, especially with the company’s push to be on more smartphones and internet connected TVs — thanks to its SkypeKit APIs. Anyone recently discover, or rediscover, a use for Skype? More →
MetroPCS announced on Thursday impressive subscriber growth in the fourth quarter of 2010. Having amassed approximately 1.5 million net new subscribers over the course of 2010, MetroPCS saw the highest subscriber growth in the company’s history. In the fourth quater, the carrier netted 298,000 subscriber additions and churn was down to 3.5% from 5.3% in the fourth quarter of 2009. As of December 31, 2010, MetroPCS served over 8.1 million subscribers — a 23% increase year-over-year. Hit the break for MetroPCS’ full press release. More →
During Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer’s keynote speech at the Consumer Electronics Show this evening, Microsoft confirmed some pretty outstanding sales figures for the Kinect sensor. The company’s initial projections at launch time set Kinect sales goals at 5 million units by the end of 2010. Today, Ballmer confirmed that Microsoft not only exceeded that projection — the company crushed it. Over the Kinect sensor’s first 60 days of availability, over 8 million units were sold. Xbox 360 users have spoken… Kinect is a smash hit.