Earlier this month we heard reports from TechCrunch that TweetDeck had been acquired by Twitter for $50 million. CNN now says that Twitter has finalized its purchase of TweetDeck in a $40 million cash and stock deal, and that the paperwork was signed on Monday. Neither Twitter nor TweetDeck have confirmed the purchase, and Twitter’s PR team tweeted: “For all those who might be curious, we continue to not comment on rumors.” More →
HP reported its second quarter results for 2011 early on Tuesday. Net revenue of $31.6 billion was up 3% from the $30.8 billion in net revenue HP reported during the second quarter last year. The firm reported income of $2.3 billion, up 5% from the same period last year. HP said its results were driven by the commercial sector and that it experienced “uneven consumer performance across its product categories,” due to weakened interest in consumer PCs. Despite claims that the company would begin to ship products just “weeks” after being announced, HP has yet to ship its new TouchPad tablet, or Pre 3 smartphone, both of which attracted some consumer attention earlier this year when they were unveiled. Shares of HP stock are currently down on weaker than expected third-quarter guidance. Hit the jump for the full release. More →
Giddy over Apple’s consistent staggering growth — and seemingly giddier over the iPad — Formula Capital managing partner James Altucher believes that Apple is poised to become the first $1 trillion company. In fact, Altucher thinks Apple could already be a $2 to $3 trillion company. According to Altucher, Apple can basically do no wrong — he believes demand for the iPad 2 will continue to grow and then new products like the iPhone 5 and iPad 3 will send demand for Apple devices through the roof. He goes on to state that Jobs’ eventual departure from the company won’t even have a significant impact on Apple’s future, as many analysts expect, thanks to other great innovators within Apple such as Tim Cook. Apple’s market capitalization is currently around $320 billion, so its stock price would have to balloon to about $1,000 for Apple to hit $1 trillion. Hit the break for an enthusiastic Altucher talking up Apple in an interview with Business Insider. More →
That’s not a typo in the title, that’s seventy billion dollars… with a “b”. Reuters is reporting that a group of private investors is looking to offload nearly $1 billion worth of shares they hold in social networking company Facebook. The price per share puts Facebook’s valuation at nearly $70 billion. “The current deal, which includes stock held by Facebook employees, is awaiting approval from top Facebook executives including Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg and Chief Financial Officer David Ebersman,” writes Reuters. “The sellers have lowered their price after previously trying to offload shares at a price that valued the company at $90 billion, which would make Facebook more valuable than Time Warner Inc and News Corp combined.” Facebook declined to comment on the report. More →
We’d already heard mumblings that the white iPhone 4 would launch on the 27th, and now leaked photos of Best Buy’s internal stocking systems are solidifying those rumors. While the above screenshot only says “AT&T hardware,” 9to5 Mac suggests that Verizon Wireless’ CDMA version of the phone will also be available on the same day. Store are already stocking the devices for Wednesday’s launch, but there could be as few as ten 16GB and 32GB models per Best Buy location. Additionally, it’s being reported elsewhere that Apple stores have received promotional materials featuring the white iPhone 4, and should be receiving stock starting tomorrow. Hit the jump for another inventory shot. More →
Reuters is reporting that Samsung Electronics has agreed to sell its hard drive business to Seagate Technology for $1.4 billion in cash and stock. The move is seen as two pronged: first, it will allow Samsung to exit an extremely competitive market and refocus its efforts on its successful memory-chip business. Secondly, it will allow Seagate to be more competitive with Western Digital — a company that has announced its intentions to purchase Hitachi’s hard-drive business for more than $4.3 billion. “The transactions and agreements significantly expand Seagate’s customer access in China and Southeast Asia,” reads a statement released by both companies. The deal will see Samsung become the second largest shareholder in Seagate — with a nearly 10% share worth over $687 million — and the assets should be transfered sometime in 2011. More →
RBC Capital Markets Managing Director Mike Abramsky on Tuesday reiterated the firm’s position that sales of popular Apple products like the iPad 2 likely helped Apple record an impressive fiscal second quarter. In a note to investors, Abramsky wrote that tremendous demand for Apple’s iPad 2 tablet along with solid sales of the iPhone 4 (17 million units) and Apple’s refreshed MacBook Air and MacBook Pro notebooks (3.6 million total Macs) may have led to $24 billion in revenue in the second quarter. The figure would represent 78% growth over the same quarter last year, and is above Wall Street’s consensus of $23 billion. RBC sees Apple having shipped 7 million iPads in the second quarter, which includes 2-3 million iPad 2 units and is down 5% from the year prior. The firm estimates 8 million third-quarter iPad shipments, and also notes that Apple will likely launch the iPhone 5 in September — but if it instead launches in June, it could add $1.2 billion to the firm’s $23-$24 billion third-quarter revenue estimates. RBC adjusted its full-year iPad sales forecast up from 25 million to 31 million units, thus pushing its fiscal 2011 revenue estimates from $99 billion to $102 billion and possibly helping Apple to cross the $100 billion milestone for the first time. Apple will report its fiscal second-quarter earnings on April 20th.
Reports of an iPad 2 sales freeze that may have gotten Best Buy in hot water with Apple emerged Thursday night, and the possible explanation given by someone claiming to work for Best Buy was odd at best. The anonymous whistleblower claimed that the retailer was holding iPad 2 inventory after having met its sales quota for the day. BGR has independently confirmed that retail employees of at least two Best Buy stores were told by managers not to sell iPad 2 inventory on Thursday afternoon. We have also obtained an internal communication delivered to all retail employees at a California Best Buy location on Thursday. The communication, which is claimed by our source to have been delivered by Best Buy management via SMS, instructs employees to hold all iPad inventory except for pre-orders. The message goes on to direct employees to misinform customers who inquire about the iPad 2, which could also be part of the reason the retailer is in hot water with Apple.
NewsFlash: ipads cannot be sold according to BBY. All ipads except for preorders MUST be held until further notice. Cant tell customers were holding them either
No explanation was offered to Best Buy employees by management, and employees in two different Best Buy locations stated that their Apple reps did not answer calls seeking clarification. Best Buy did not immediately respond to BGR’s request for comment.
UPDATE: Best Buy provided the following statement to BGR via email: “Best Buy continues to receive iPad 2 inventory from Apple on a regular basis. As we’ve said previously, we are fulfilling customer reservations first. Our stores have been asked to temporarily hold non-reserved iPad 2 inventory for an upcoming promotion. This is a customary practice for us when there are supply constraints. Best Buy enjoys a great partnership with Apple, and we’re delighted by customer response to iPad 2.” Best Buy did not address claims that retail staff is being instructed by management to misinform customers.
Shares of Acer stock were down nearly 7% on the Taiwan Stock Exchange Tuesday on news that the PC manufacturer had unexpectedly and significantly lowered it’s first-quarter sales estimates. The PC maker had previously estimated its first-quarter PC sales would grow 3% from the previous quarter. Now, Acer has adjusted its forecast, saying it expects sales to drop 10% compared to the prior quarter. Asustek, an Acer competitor, is also struggling with similar sales declines in the first quarter. Acer cites weakened demand in the U.S. and Western Europe for the drop off in sales. The emerging tablet market lead by Apple’s iPad and iPad 2 devices is also seen as largely contributing to the decline in PC sales. Acer expects its net profit margin to drop below 2% in the first quarter from 2.93% in the previous quarter, though it predicts that second-quarter PC shipments will reverse the downward trend, growing by 10% over first-quarter sales. More →
As we confirmed yesterday, Apple’s iPad 2 went on sale in 500 RadioShack locations across the country on Tuesday. Considering the tablet’s limited supply among Apple Store locations and other third-party retailers, however, we wondered how much inventory Apple might be willing to spare for the various RadioShack locations set to offer the device this morning. BGR has confirmed that several RadioShack locations in the New York metropolitan area received single-digit shipments, and every store we spoke to this morning was sold out. More interesting than the low-volume sellouts, perhaps, is the claim by a BGR tipster that the store he visited refused to sell the iPad 2 unless customers also agreed to purchase AppleCare protection plans and an iPad 2 cases along with their tablets. RadioShack salespeople at the New York City location he visited stated that the store was required to sell AppleCare and a case with each iPad 2 for today only. Despite a customer’s position in line, he or she was allegedly not permitted to purchase an iPad without the pricey add-ons.
UPDATE: We have confirmed that it is not RadioShack’s policy to require the purchase of AppleCare or any accessories such as cases with the purchase of an iPad 2. More →
Despite ballooning revenues and a record of kick-ass quarterly reports, Apple’s stock has been downgraded from “market outperform” to “market perform” by JMP Securities. The firm said that it made the choice based on the “notable deceleration in [Apple's] primary manufacturing partner Hon Hai (Foxconn) that was emerging even prior to the amplified uncertainty created by developments in Japan.” JMP Securities suggested that Hon Hai’s sales decelerated from 84% year on year in December to 37% in January — then decelerated yet again to 26% in February. As a result, JMP Securities is also dropping its Q2 2011 revenues estimates from $23 billion to $22 billion.
According to an unconfirmed report, numerous Apple Stores will be opening their doors one hour early on Tuesday as new iPad 2 shipments arrive across the country. Several shoppers seeking the new tablet today have reportedly been told by Apple retail staff that new shipments are incoming, but the iPads will not be available for sale until tomorrow. The report claims to have confirmed early openings with several Apple Store locations, though BGR placed calls to four Apple Stores and none would confirm early hours tomorrow. A retail employee at one Apple Store did say that a new iPad 2 shipment was expected today or tomorrow. Apple’s iPad 2 launch was met with tremendous demand, with some analysts estimating that Apple sold nearly 1 million units this past weekend. Apple has not issued any sales figures yet, saying only that “demand for the next generation iPad 2 has been amazing.”
UPDATE: BGR readers George F., Efraim and others have emailed us to confirm that their local Apple Stores will indeed be opening an hour early tomorrow. Interestingly, three different stores we’ve been told about said they would open early but would not be receiving a new iPad 2 shipment until later this week or early next week. The plot is thickening, but we would definitely recommend calling your local Apple store before calling in sick tomorrow. More →
In a written statement today, Best Buy announced that it would indeed be carrying the long-awaited Verizon iPhone on launch day, February 10th.
“The iPhone 4 is an important device for Best Buy and we are excited to help Apple and Verizon Wireless bring it to even more consumers,” said the president of Best Buy Mobile, Shawn Score. “Our customers have come to expect Best Buy and Best Buy Mobile stores to carry the best selection of mobile phones anywhere, and offering the iPhone 4 on Verizon’s network is our latest effort to deliver on that promise.”
What the mobile retailer will not be doing, however, is offering pre-orders of the device; that honor is solely reserved for Verizon Wireless. So… if you are going to be one of the yahoos looking to acquire a Verizon iPhone on February 10th: sharpen up those elbows and start mapping out the closest Verizon Wireless, Apple, and Best Buy retail locations. The full statement is after the break. More →