Bears maul Nokia’s new Windows Phone; Lumia 900 sales seen fizzling

By on April 5, 2012 at 10:10 AM.

Bears maul Nokia’s new Windows Phone; Lumia 900 sales seen fizzling

Reviews of Nokia’s new Lumia 900 smartphone have been mixed. We thought the sleek handset was a breath of fresh air for Microsoft’s Windows Phone platform when we reviewed the phone earlier this week, but a number of other sites found the software to be lacking. Now, bears at two investment firms have weighed initial reactions to the Lumia 900 and determined that this smartphone likely won’t be the savior Nokia needs to gain significant ground in the United States. Read on for more. More →

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iPhone 4S remains best-selling U.S. smartphone in March, Samsung gains share

By on April 2, 2012 at 1:35 PM.

iPhone 4S remains best-selling U.S. smartphone in March, Samsung gains share

Apple’s wildly popular iPhone 4S retained its position atop the smartphone ranks in the United States last month according to new data analyst data. Checks performed by Canaccord Genuity analyst Mike Walkley and his team found that Apple’s latest iPhone was the best-selling smartphone at Verizon Wireless, AT&T and Sprint in March, continuing a trend that began when the device first launched last October. “Our March channel checks indicated stronger sell-through trends versus February levels with sales rebounding after a slow start to 2012,” Walkley wrote in his report. “During March, our checks indicated the iPhone 4S remained the top smartphone in the U.S. market and Samsung gained share as smartphone penetration grows in U.S. prepaid channels.” Samsung’s Galaxy S II smartphone was ranked No.2 at AT&T and Sprint once again, and the device was the best-selling smartphone at T-Mobile, which still doesn’t offer Apple’s popular phone. Motorola’s DROID RAZR and DROID RAZR MAXX took the No.2 spot at Verizon, and the HTC Amaze was No.2 at T-Mobile. A table outlining Canaccord’s numbers follows below. More →

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Research In Motion is dead

By on March 30, 2012 at 9:40 AM.

Research In Motion is dead

I saw from the inside and outside how RIM transformed the mobile landscape, and how the company even battled its own inner demons throughout the years. Here are my thoughts on the company’s worst quarter in five years:

RIM grew incredibly fast. It grew faster than the company knew how to manage, and RIM slowly — and then quickly — slipped as a result. This is the company that used to make users choose between a device with Wi-Fi and no GPS, or GPS and no Wi-Fi, just to have two products on the market instead of one. This is the company that refused to take the consumer market seriously for a number of years. This is the company that couldn’t see the future when it was right in front of them. More →

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RIM reports Q4 miss; Balsillie resigns as director, CTO and COO both out

By on March 29, 2012 at 4:45 PM.

RIM reports Q4 miss; Balsillie resigns as director, CTO and COO both out

With expectations at an all-time low and analysts lowering estimates left and right, Research In Motion on Thursday reported its results for the fourth fiscal quarter of 2012. RIM posted a surprising beat in the third fiscal quarter when it managed earnings of $1.27 per share on $5.2 billion in sales. At the same time, however, the Waterloo, Ontario-based BlackBerry maker issued worse than expected fourth-quarter EPS guidance of between $0.80 and $0.95, and it said revenue would likely fall between $4.6 billion and $4.98 billion. RIM has now confirmed adjusted net income of $0.80 per share, on revenue of $4.2 billion, down sequentially from $5.2 billion despite the launch of multiple new BlackBerry 7 smartphone models. Read on for more. More →

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Best Buy posts mixed Q4 earnings, plans to close 50 U.S. stores

By on March 29, 2012 at 8:21 AM.

Best Buy posts mixed Q4 earnings, plans to close 50 U.S. stores

Best Buy on Thursday reported results for the fourth fiscal quarter of 2012. The nationwide retail giant had missed Wall Street’s estimates in both the second and third fiscal quarters, and it posted mixed results in the fourth quarter. Revenue came in at $16.6 billion compared to analysts’ consensus of $17.15 billion, and non-GAAP earnings of $2.47 per share, up 25% from the same quarter in fiscal 2011, beating the Street’s $2.15 EPS consensus. “In order to help make technology work for every one of our customers and transform our business as the consumer electronics industry continues to evolve, we are taking major actions to improve our operating performance,” said Best Buy CEO Brian J. Dunn. “As part of our multi-channel strategy, we intend to strengthen our portfolio of store formats and footprints — closing some big box stores, modifying others to our enhanced Connected Store format, and adding Best Buy Mobile stand-alone locations — all to provide a better shopping environment for our customers across multiple channels while increasing points of presence, and to improve performance and profitability.” After jumping more than 3% in pre-market trading, shares of Best Buy stock were down 7% shortly after the market opened on Thursday. The company’s full press release follows below. More →

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RIM slashes BlackBerry prices in India one day ahead of Q4 earnings

By on March 28, 2012 at 1:35 PM.

RIM slashes BlackBerry prices in India one day ahead of Q4 earnings

Research In Motion has made drastic cuts to BlackBerry smartphone prices in India just one day before the Waterloo, Ontario-based vendor is scheduled to report its results for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2012. Several analysts expect RIM to miss Wall Street’s consensus when it announces its earnings results on Thursday, despite having issued lower than expected fourth-quarter guidance. The struggling smartphone vendor dropped prices on multiple models in India by up to 26%, BGR sister site BGR.in reported on Wednesday. Devices that have received price cuts include the BlackBerry Curve 9360, the Curve 9380, the Torch 9860 and the Curve 8520, RIM’s best-selling smartphone in India. RIM beat expectations in the third fiscal quarter when it reported revenue of $5.2 billion and earnings of $1.27 per share, but analysts are bracing themselves for a disappointing fourth quarter. More →

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The ‘phablet’ is a hit: Samsung Galaxy Note sales top 5 million

By on March 28, 2012 at 8:40 AM.

The ‘phablet’ is a hit: Samsung Galaxy Note sales top 5 million

BGR reviewed the Samsung Galaxy Note in February and while there were a number of features we liked about this phone/tablet hybrid, we found it to be entirely too large overall to be used as a cell phone. Toward the end of February, Samsung confirmed that it had sold more than 2 million Galaxy Note phablets worldwide and now, about one month later, Samsung says sales of the supersized Android phone have reached 5 million units. The Galaxy Note features a dual-core 1.4GHz Exynos processor, 32GB of internal storage, an 8-megapixel camera, Android 2.3 Gingerbread and a massive 5.2-inch WXGA Super AMOLED display. While the handset is clearly too big for many users, it appears that there is indeed a large market for the phone, and Samsung is well on its way to reaching its goal of 10 million Galaxy Notes sold by the end of 2012. More →

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Digital music sales grew 8% in 2011, now total 31% of industry revenue

By on March 27, 2012 at 8:50 PM.

Digital music sales grew 8% in 2011, now total 31% of industry revenue

The past year was a good year for the music industry as sales rose to their best highest point in eight years. According to the IFPI’s annual Recording Industry In Numbers report, revenue from physical media fell by 8.7%, compared with 13.8% in 2010, but were vinyl sales up nearly 29%. Digital revenue continued to grow, increasing 8%, compared to 5.6% in 2010, with digital track sales growing 19% to 3.7 billion songs. Australia leads the way in the digital space with 60% growth, compared with 8% growth in the U.S. and 10% in the U.K. $1.27 billion in digital singles were sold in the U.S., while the U.K. accounted for $176.2 million. Digital sales made up 31% of the total revenue of the music market and reached $5.3 billion in sales. Overall global music revenue fell by just 3% in the last year, however. “2011 marked the least negative result in global recorded music sales since 2004, when revenues were flat,” the report read. The IFPI credits services like Spotify, iTunes, and unlimited-access operators like Rdio, MOG and Rhapsody for bringing new revenue models to customers that have helped the U.S. music market. More →

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RIM: ‘Grim and getting grimmer’

By on March 26, 2012 at 1:45 PM.

RIM: ‘Grim and getting grimmer’

Research In Motion is set to report its results for the fourth fiscal quarter and full fiscal year on Thursday, and Wall Street is bracing itself for another disappointing quarter. RIM’s fourth-quarter guidance came in worse than expected when the company posted its third-quarter results, and now several analysts are lowering their expectations even further. Pulling no punches, Barclays Capital’s Jeff Kvaal wrote in a note to investors titled “Grim and getting grimmer” that BlackBerry 7 sales have been poor thus far, and he has lowered his projections as a result. Read on for more. More →

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Low cost tablets to control 60% of the market by 2016

By on March 23, 2012 at 10:00 PM.

Low cost tablets to control 60% of the market by 2016

Since Apple introduced its iPad tablet more than two years ago, the market the market it revived has been approached by nearly every other PC and smartphone vendor. By market research firm ABI Research’s count, there are currently more than 220 tablet models available worldwide. While Apple’s iPad remains the market leader, ABI predicts that by 2016, 60% of the market will be occupied by sub-$400 tablets like the Kindle Fire and Google’s rumored Nexus Tab. “The majority of new entrant media tablet models have been in the sub-$400 segment that focuses on growth markets like India and China,” said Jeff Orr, group director of consumer research. “The strong wave of growth in this segment over the next few years is expected to be driven by the adoption in emerging markets.” ABI also predicts that eReaders will continue to see accelerated growth, with total shipments projected to grow more than 20% in 2012. ABI Research’s press release follows below. More →

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Apple’s new iPad launches in 25 more countries today

By on March 23, 2012 at 8:35 AM.

Apple’s new iPad launches in 25 more countries today

Apple’s third-generation iPad tablet became available one week ago, and sales thus far have been staggering. We grew curious when the sleek new tablet seemed more readily available than it has been in years past, but the explanation turned out to be supply that finally managed to exceed demand. Apple broke previous iPad sales records and announced earlier this week that it sold more than 3 million iPads in the device’s first four days of availability — making the new iPad the second most successful mobile device launch in Apple’s history, behind the iPhone 4S — and on Friday the new tablet goes on sale in 25 additional countries. New markets include Mexico, Sweden, Spain, Italy, Norway and Denmark, and pricing varies between countries. Apple’s press release from last week containing a full list of new markets follows below. More →

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Apple’s iPhone tops BlackBerry in RIM’s own backyard

By on March 22, 2012 at 3:15 PM.

Apple’s iPhone tops BlackBerry in RIM’s own backyard

Research In Motion has been delivered a another blow from Apple and the iPhone in the company’s home country of Canada. Bloomberg, in conjunction with IDC, on Thursday reported that RIM’s BlackBerry smartphone line shipped 2.08 million units in Canada last year, compared with 2.85 million iPhones shipped by Apple. In 2010, BlackBerry sales topped the iPhone by half a million units, and in 2008, a year after the iPhone’s debut, RIM outsold Apple by almost five to one. “For RIM, in its home market, to lose that No. 1 position to iPhone is strategically important,” said Paul Taylor, a fund manager at BMO Harris Private Banking. “It does identify, even with a home-country bias, how consumers are responding to the greater functionality of the iPhone.” In the past year, RIM has seen declining sales in both Canada and the United States. Canadian sales, which account for about 7% of RIM’s revenue, fell 23% in the third fiscal quarter and U.S. sales dropped 45%, bringing the company’s worldwide revenue down 5.9% compared to the prior year. More →

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Apple could sell 12 million new iPads this quarter, analyst says

By on March 20, 2012 at 11:10 PM.

Apple could sell 12 million new iPads this quarter, analyst says

Apple announced on Monday that the company had sold a record 3 million new iPads since Friday’s launch. With Apple’s new tablet set to become available in 24 additional countries starting at 8:00 a.m on Friday, March 23rd, a number of analysts are expecting solid sales to continue. UBS analyst Maynard Um believes that Apple could move 12 million new units in this quarter alone, AllThingsD reported on Tuesday. “Apple has sold ~750,000 new iPads per day since launch on Friday,” Um said in a note to clients. “If there are no supply shortages, this would imply a run rate of ~12 million new iPads between launch and the end of the quarter. We continue to believe there could be upside to our 12 million estimate for the quarter.” The analyst is referring to sales of the new iPad only, however, meaning the Cupertino-based company could sell more than 12 million units including the iPad 2, which is now available for $399. More →

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