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Spotify Inching Closer To A Deal With Warner Music

July 25, 2017 by  
Filed under Around The Net

Music streaming company Spotify is one step closer to reaching a new licensing pact with Warner Music Inc, the last big music royalty deal it needs before pushing ahead with a U.S. stock market listing, four sources familiar with the situation said.

The parties are positive a deal could be signed by September as major issues such as granting loss-making Spotify a more favorable revenue split in return for making some new albums accessible only to its paying subscribers for a defined period have already been agreed, the sources said.

However, the precise revenue split and the size of a potential guaranteed upfront payment to the label, home to artists including Ed Sheeran and Muse, have yet to be agreed, said two of the sources.

“The negotiations are at a crossroads,” said one of the sources, asking not to be named because the talks are private, adding discussions were taking place daily. “There are still a number of key points that remain to be agreed. If we manage to come to terms on these points, then it could lead to a very quick transaction. If not, any deal would remain at bay.”

Others saw a deal being done by late summer.

“Given the way talks are progressing, I would be surprised if we don’t have a deal in September,” said another source on the other side of the table.

Does Apple Prefer Qualcomm 4G Inside

July 24, 2017 by  
Filed under Computing

Our well-informed sources are whispering that Apple might order more Qualcomm 4G modems for the upcoming iPhone compared to the orders for iPhone 7 and 7 Plus. 

The reason is simple, most US carriers wants to play the Gigabit LTE card for the holiday season, especially in the US and, guess what, Intel’s XMM 7480 doesn’t support it.

Fudzilla has talked a lot about the fact that Intel will get inside of the iPhone business and this has happened with the debut of the iPhone 7 / 7 Plus using Intel’s XMM 7360 modem. At a later date, as we expected, it was revealed that Intel has an inferior modem people to Qualcomm’s solution, but this was hardly a surprise.

Intel confirmed to Fudzilla that Intel plans to ship 7480 this year and this is the most likely candidate for the modem inside of the next gen iPhone. This is the one that everyone calls the iPhone 8 (iPhone 7S) and if all goes well, it should launch in September 2017.  

Intel’s XMM 7480 modem doesn’t support GigabitLTE but it is Intel’s first modem to support TE-FDD, LTE-TDD, TD-SCDMA, and legacy 2G and 3G. The previous 7360 modem was missing the SCDMA support that is crucial for Verizon in the USA and China Telekom in China.

So far, all the US carriers plan to launch the Gigabit LTE in the US. AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint and Verizon plan to launch Gigabit LTE in selected markets before the end of the year. AT&T already launched GigabitLTE in late April it in Austin Texas.

Intel’s own staff at Mobile World Congress 2017 confirmed Fudzilla that Intel XMM 7560, Intel’s first Gigabit LTE modem won’t be launching in 2017 and that we can expect it next year.

If Apple wants to stay competitive in the US carriers to Samsung S7 / Note 8 and all the other high-end phones with Snapdragon 835 (Gigabit LTE capable Snapdragon X16 modem), it might have to use more Qualcomm modems than last year.

Apple used the common denominator strategy with the iPhone 7, crippling the modems’ features and speed in order to match the capability of Intel based iPhones versus Qualcomm based iPhones.

To refresh your memory, the A1778 and A1784 iPhone models use a GSM-only Intel XMM7360 modem while the A1660 and 1661 iPhone models use a GSM/CDMA-compatible Qualcomm MDM9645M modem. The A1660 and 1661 iPhone is available in the United States, Puerto Rico, Hong Kong and China. You can get the A1660 on Sprint and Verizon or when you buy a locked AT&T phone at Best Buy.

The iPhone A1778 has no support for TD-SCDMA and CDMA EV-DO Rev. A bands and therefore, won’t work properly on CDMA networks like Sprint or Verizon. Most phones in the US from T-Mobile and AT&T use the Intel modem and come from the A1778 / A1784 family. Almost all of Europe and most of Asia use Intel modem iPhones too.

It will be up to Apple to decide if it plans to increase the market share of Gigabit LTE iPhones in the US. In case it makes this choice, it will increase the orders of Qualcomm modems for iPhones.

We do believe that marketing chaps at Samsung and the rest of the Android alliance will talk a lot about the importance of Gigabit LTE. Carriers wants to make the point that the average speed will increase for everyone at their network, making the operations slightly cheaper for them.

If you are one of the people who think that Apple is getting cold feet toward Qualcomm and will try to order less Qualcomm modems, think again. Intel still misses crucial features including the Gigabit LTE 4×4 DL-MIMO and 256QAM support and it will only match what Qualcomm has today in the course of 2018. The XMM 7580 has all these features including 225Mbps CAT 15 speed in the uplink and 1 Gbps CAT 16 in the downlink. Qualcomm can do 1.2Gbps with Snapdragon X20 and CAT 13, 150 Mbps uplink and will probably announce even faster solution in mid-2018. You can see the trend – Qualcomm is likely to stay ahead of competition (Intel) in the future too and let’s not forget that Qualcomm has been designing manufacturing modems for much longer than anyone else. Intel modem skills mostly come from 2011 acquisition of Infineon while CDMA capability comes from VIA, yes that PC chipset manufacturer from 15 years ago VIA.

Despite the licensing lawsuits between Apple and Qualcomm, these two companies have to work together and the whole licensing mess looks like a play between big players where one wants to pay less for the licenses. You can call this public negotiation if you want, where one player wants to pay less and one wants to prevent that and keep making the same. 

Courtesy-Fud

T-Mobile Continues Winning Streak, Adds 1.3M New Customers

July 21, 2017 by  
Filed under Mobile

The nation’s third-largest mobile carrier said it added 1.3 million net new customers in the second quarter, aided largely by the 786,000 new phone customers on a post-paid plan, or who pay at the end of the month. The figure topped at least one Wall Street firm’s expectations.

The numbers underscore the fact that despite the rival carriers throwing themselves at you for your business, T-Mobile continues to win over new customers. The heightened pressure has resulted in more deals for consumers, including Sprint offering a year of service for free(excluding taxes and fees), and its prepaid arm Virgin Mobile going with an all-iPhone model with a rate of $1 for the first year of service. AT&T is throwing its DirecTV Now streaming service into its unlimited plan for $10 extra. Likewise, it was the first full quarter that Verizon offered its unlimited plan.

T-Mobile, conversely, has been relatively tame and quietly raised the price of its One Plus unlimited plan by $10, matching the price of Verizon’s $80 unlimited data plan.

Unlike in previous quarters, T-Mobile is the first of the big carriers to report results, so we won’t know for sure how well it fared relative to its competitors. The company has consistently outstripped its rivals in subscriber growth, leading the industry for 14 straight quarters.

One weak spot during the second quarter was T-Mobile’s prepaid business, which only saw 94,000 new customers, potentially because of the Virgin plan. T-Mobile sells prepaid service through its MetroPCS brand.

“MetroPCS continues to perform strongly, but we chose not to respond to irrational offers from some of our competitors during the second quarter,” T-Mobile said in its earnings report.

T-Mobile posted a second-quarter profit of $581 million, or 67 cents, compared with a year-ago profit of $225 million, or 25 cents a share. Revenue rose 10 percent to $10.2 billion.

Analysts, on average, estimated T-Mobile would earn 38 cents a share and post revenue of $9.8 billion, according to Yahoo Finance.

NBC To Host Daily News Show On Snapchat

July 20, 2017 by  
Filed under Around The Net

Comcast Corp’s NBC News plans to offer a twice-per-day news show on Snapchat, the company said on Wednesday, part of its push to attract younger viewers who tend to watch TV on mobile devices.

Comcast’s NBCUniversal invested $500 million in Snapchat owner Snap Inc  during its initial public offering as it seeks to boost its digital offering.

Broadcast news outlets like NBC News face an aging audience. The median age of NBC Nightly News, for example, is 64 years old, according to the Nielsen ratings agency. That is much older than the 18-to-34-year-old demographic that advertisers covet.

Last month, NBC News launched a digital video service, called “NBC Left Field” featuring short documentaries to appeal to social media users.

“This is a concerted effort that is crucial to our future,” said Nick Ascheim, head of digital at NBC News.

“Stay Tuned” will focus on issues of the day and will air at 7 a.m. and 4 p.m. EDT on weekdays and 1 p.m. EDT on weekends. The show will also air for specific breaking news events.

The launch of the daily news show comes amid increasing investor skepticism about Snap’s ability to grow and compete with Facebook Inc’s Instagram.

Samsung To Recycle Rare Metals From Old Galaxy Note 7s

July 19, 2017 by  
Filed under Mobile

Electronics giant Samsung Electronics Co Ltd announced plans to recover 157 tons worth of rare metals from recalled Galaxy Note 7 smartphones in a bid to minimize the environmental impact of the fire-prone devices.

Samsung said in a statement it planned to reuse components such as camera modules, chips and displays as replacement parts on devices sent in for repairs or sell them. It would also recover metals such as cobalt, copper, gold and silver from components that would not be reused.

The world’s top smartphone maker is trying to move on from the withdrawal of the Note 7 premium devices last year due to safety concerns, a failure which cost the firm $5.4 billion in operating profit.

Sales of the flagship Galaxy S8 launched in April have been healthy, analysts say, suggesting a recovery is underway. The firm had sold 3.06 million Note 7s to consumers before its second and final recall in October, roughly 2 months after launch.

Environmental activists such as Greenpeace have called on Samsung to recycle or recover the rare materials contained in the devices.

The South Korean firm launched a modified version of the Note 7 in its domestic market earlier this month as part of the recycling effort.

Can Qualcomm Get iPhones With Intel Inside Banned

July 14, 2017 by  
Filed under Mobile

Qualcomm is stepping things up a notch in its ongoing legal battle with Apple by seeking a sales and import ban on same iPhone models. 

We knew this was coming, and Qualcomm on Thursday made it official by filing a complaint with the US International Trade Commission (ITC) alleging that iPhones using Intel’s 4G wireless chips are effectively using six Qualcomm patents “unfairly” and “unlawfully”.

Qualcomm has previously argued that Apple purposefully didn’t use the full potential of the Qualcomm chips inside the iPhone 7 so that they wouldn’t outperform the modems provided by Intel. 

The six patents in question cover “key technologies that enable important features and functions” and “enable high performance in a smartphone while extending battery life”, according to Qualcomm, which also argues that none of the patents could be considered standards-essential.

“The six asserted patents are not essential to practice any standards in a mobile device or subject to a commitment to offer to license such patents,” the firm said.

The firm is asking the ITC to investigate Apple and “and ultimately issue a Limited Exclusion Order (LEO) to bar importation of those iPhones and other products into the United States.”

Not only that, but Qualcomm is also seeking a Cease and Desist Order barring further sales of infringeming Apple products, along with “the marketing, advertising, demonstration, warehousing of inventory for distribution and use of those imported products in the United States”. 

In addition to its planned ITC filing, Qualcomm also filed a complaint with the US District Court for the Southern District of California regarding infringement of the six patents.

“Qualcomm’s inventions are at the heart of every iPhone and extend well beyond modem technologies or cellular standards,” said Don Rosenberg, executive vice president and general counsel of Qualcomm.

“The patents we are asserting represent six important technologies, out of a portfolio of thousands, and each is vital to iPhone functions.  Apple continues to use Qualcomm’s technology while refusing to pay for it. These lawsuits seek to stop Apple’s infringement of six of our patented technologies.”

In response to Qualcomm’s actions, Apple reiterated its  previous comments comments, saying: “Qualcomm’s illegal business practices are harming Apple and the entire industry,” the company said when it filed its suit against Qualcomm last month.

“They supply us with a single connectivity component, but for years have been demanding a percentage of the total cost of our products – effectively taxing Apple’s innovation.” 

Courtesy-TheInq

Password Sharing A Revenue Nuisance For TV Streaming Services

July 13, 2017 by  
Filed under Consumer Electronics

Streaming TV services grapple with password sharing. More than one-fifth of young adults who stream shows like “Game of Thrones” or “Stranger Things” borrow passwords from people who do not live with them, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll, a finding that suggests media companies are missing out on significant revenue as digital viewership explodes.

Twenty-one percent of streaming viewers ages 18 to 24 said they had accessed at least one digital video service such as Netflix Inc, HBO Now or Hulu by using log-in credentials from someone outside their household at some time. Overall, 12 percent of adults said they did the same thing.

 Subscription revenue is likely to come under scrutiny starting next week when TV industry players begin reporting quarterly earnings. Netflix, the dominant streaming service, releases its results on Monday.

Up to now, Netflix and other streaming networks have accepted some password-sharing, but they may face pressure from investors to change course if new sign-ups slow substantially, Wall Street analysts said. Revenue growth at Netflix is projected to drop from 31 percent in this year’s second quarter to 19 percent in the second quarter of next year, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

“If Netflix goes from a 30 percent revenue growth story to a 10 percent story, there is absolutely going to be more focus on their leaving money on the table,” said Justin Patterson, an analyst with Raymond James.

Spotify Inks Licensing Deal With Sony Music

July 13, 2017 by  
Filed under Around The Net

Spotify has pulled together a licensing deal with a second major label, Sony Music Entertainment, according to media reports, setting the stage for a U.S. stock market listing by the music streaming leader.

Recently valued at $13 billion, Sweden’s Spotify is planning a direct listing on the New York Stock Exchange later this year or in early 2018, sources told Reuters in May.

Sony agreed to reduce royalties that Spotify must pay in return for the streaming service restricting new albums to paying subscribers for two weeks before offering access to free users, the Financial Times reported, citing a single source.

Sony’s top artists include Adele, Beyonce and Shakira.

Spotify is also in talks with Warner Music Group , Billboard reported.

Favorable royalty terms are crucial for Spotify to attain profitability and to make it a viable long-term holding for investors.

The company reported a 349 million euro ($400 million) operating loss, a 47 percent increase on a year earlier, even as revenue grew 50 percent to 2.93 billion euros.

In April, it signed a multi-year licensing deal with Vivendi’s Universal Music Group, with a similar two-week release window for new albums and a break on the royalties Spotify pays Universal.

It also signed up digital agency Merlin, on behalf of more than 20,000 independent labels.

Last year, Universal held a 28.9 percent share of global music label revenue, Sony Music generated 22.4 percent and Warner 17.4 percent. Independent labels made up the remaining 31.3 percent, MIDiA Research data showed.

Spotify has fended off competition from rival Apple Music, with nearly double the number of paying subscribers.

In March, Spotify said it had more than 50 million paying subscribers and 140 million active users, including free listeners. Apple reported 27 million music subscribers last month, up from 20 million in December.

The company has faced boycotts from some top music artists who have complained its free services undercut the value of their work but the major label licensing deals have gone some way toward easing these tensions, according to analysts.

Spotify declined to comment. Sony Music Entertainment and Warner Music Group did not respond to requests for immediate comment.

Is Comcast Being Malicious

July 6, 2017 by  
Filed under Around The Net

A small Texas cable minnow is suing giant rival Comcast for allegedly sabotaging it out of business.

A lawsuit filed in Harris County District Court by Telecom Cable LLC claims that contractors working for Comcast had ‘destroyed’ his underground cabling over a six week period.

Anthony Luna, the owner of the now-defunct company, had just 230 homes in his network, and in common with most cable companies had been working with exclusivity to his region until Comcast decided to expand to the Weston Lakes region which he served.

In an attempt to prevent any issues with the cable laying, Luna claims he marked his underground lines in orange paint and “buried cable” markers. He also says he emailed Comcast a map of the system.

However, the suit claims that Comcast’s contractors, Aspen Utility Company, LLC and A&A Cable Contractors Inc ignored (or didn’t receive) the warnings, and ripped up his cable network in the process of planting the Comcast lines.

It is alleged that Mr Luna was offered a purchase of his telecoms system at below market value, and when he refused, Comcast began planting its own system and then went rogue.

Luna is seeking compensation for the destruction of his entire business. He relocated his family to New York and “the best paying job he could find” but is earning less than he made from the cable network.

The suit claims, “Telecom attempted to keep up with this campaign of destruction and used over 4000 feet of cable repairing what Defendants had destroyed, but there was no way to obtain replacement cable and re-install its entire system in time to keep its customer base. As Comcast well knows, cable television and Internet customers will not wait indefinitely for resumption of their service.”

It is believed that the vast majority of Luna’s customers switched to the newly installed Comcast service. Comcast, already widely seen as a villain in tech circles, is accused of counts of various types of negligence, including gross negligence, aiding and abetting and civil conspiracy. It is denying all charges and has confirmed that it intends to fight Mr Luna all the way.

At a time when cable companies are already the bad guys because of the expected abolishing of net neutrality in the coming weeks, stories of supposed corporate bullying of mom and pop businesses are not a welcome sign of the shape of things to come.

Courtesy-TheInq

Facebook Hits Two Billion Users Milestone

June 29, 2017 by  
Filed under Around The Net

Facebook Inc announced this week that 2 billion people are regularly using its flagship service, marching past another milestone in its growth from a college curiosity in the United States to the world’s largest social media network.

Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg disclosed the number to his followers in a Facebook post. “It’s an honor to be on this journey with you,” he wrote.

The user base is bigger than the population of any single country, and of six of the seven continents. It represents more than a quarter of the world’s 7.5 billion people.

Facebook defines a monthly active user as a registered Facebook user who logged in and visited Facebook through its website or a mobile device, or used its Messenger app, in the past 30 days. It does not include people who use the Instagram or WhatsApp networks but not Facebook.

The company said in May that duplicate accounts, according to an estimate from last year, may have represented some 6 percent of its worldwide user base.

The social network’s user population dwarfs that of similar companies. Twitter Inc  reported in April monthly active users of 328 million, while Snap Inc’s Snapchat had 166 million daily users at the end of the first quarter.

WeChat, a unit of Tencent Holdings Ltd and a widely used service in China, said in May that it had 938 million monthly active users in the first quarter.

Facebook had 1.94 billion people using its service monthly as of March 31, an increase of 17 percent from a year earlier. It reached 1 billion in October 2012.

The company, which Zuckerberg started in 2004 in his college dorm room, uses its huge size advantage to lure advertisers, offering them highly targeted marketing capabilities based on its data about users.

The number of advertisers topped 5 million in April, the company said.

Facebook’s growth has increasingly come from outside the United States, Canada and Europe. Three years ago, those regions accounted for some 38 percent of users, compared with about 30 percent in the first quarter of this year.

Ericcson Re-commits Focus On Mobile Networks

June 28, 2017 by  
Filed under Mobile

Ericsson has decided to squash its goal of winning more clients beyond the telecoms industry to refocus on selling networks to mobile phone firms in a move to cut costs and halt a dramatic fall in its share price.

The Swedish firm’s clients in its core business include Vodafone and Verizon but profits have plunged due to competition from Nokia and China’s Huawei and as telecoms companies make savings. Its shares have fallen 30 percent in two years.

Ericsson said in 2014 it would diversify so that by 2020 up to 25 percent of revenue would come from industries beyond telecoms, such as media, utilities and transport, from an estimated 10 percent in 2013.

But the plan has not worked and the company will drop the target as new chief executive Borje Ekholm repositions to focus on the core business of mobile networks.

“We will focus on telco clients and networks exclusively for now,” Ericsson’s new head of Digital Services Ulf Ewaldsson told Reuters in a recent interview.

The U-turn comes at a challenging time for Ekholm, who after only five months in the top job is being pressed by activist investor Cevian Capital, which has a $1 billion stake in the company, to make faster changes.

Ekholm unveiled a cost-cutting plan in March and announced up to $1.7 billion in provisions, writedowns and restructuring costs. He said this would include exploring options for its loss-making media arm and turning its managed services business around.

Investors welcomed the greater focus after years of disappointing investments from Ericsson, but they worry the new plan will not generate growth. Moody’s cut the company’s credit rating to junk in May, partly due to worries that the cost-cutting could hamper innovation.

Increasing dependence on telecoms operators could be risky as they are struggling to grow revenue due to fierce competition and so are unwilling to spend more on networks even as they prepare for 5G fifth-generation wireless broadband technology.

Ericsson has to prove it can remain relevant in an industry that has gone from over 10 major players to three in 20 years. Investors question whether it can do this under Ekholm who has been on the board for a decade while Ericsson lost ground.

Uber Reverses Course, Adds Tipping Feature To App

June 22, 2017 by  
Filed under Around The Net

Uber has finally decided to allow drivers to collect tips through its smartphone app, an about-face from previous company policy, as part of the ride-services firm’s broader effort to improve an often-contentious relationship.

San Francisco-based Uber Technologies Inc had for years opposed adding a tipping feature to its app despite drivers’ arguments the extra money would help compensate for decreasing wages. The issue had been a longstanding source of disagreement between Uber and its drivers.

Uber drivers are independent contractors, not employees, and lack paid sick leave and vacation, and must pay for car maintenance and other costs.

Beginning on Tuesday, drivers in Houston, Minneapolis and Seattle can collect tips, Uber said. The feature will be available to all drivers in the U.S. by the end of July.

Uber also rolled out other changes on Tuesday, including paying drivers while they wait for passengers and reducing the time passengers have to cancel a ride, as it begins a six-month push to improve drivers’ working conditions. The privately held company is valued by investors at $68 billion.

An Uber spokesman declined to say why the company reversed its tipping policy, though he pointed to a company blog post that called the change “long overdue.”

Lyft Inc, which is Uber’s chief ride-services competitor in the U.S., has long allowed drivers to collect tips through its app. Lyft said on Monday its drivers have collected a total of $250 million in tips during the company’s lifetime, $50 million of which was collected in the last couple of months.

Uber was already facing pressure to allow tipping in New York City. The New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission in April said it was planning to propose a rule no later than July that would require Uber to add a tipping feature to its app.

In March, Uber executives outlined a series of improvements for drivers, including a new navigation system and fairer approach to reviewing driver performance, in response to years of complaints by drivers about their pay and treatment.

The changes come as Uber works to repair the damage to its reputation following an investigation into allegations of sexual harassment, bullying and other employee concerns. Uber earlier this month fired 20 employees, including executives, for their behavior. Last week, Chief Executive Travis Kalanick announced he was taking a leave of absence for an unspecified length of time.

Samsung Galaxy Note 8 Gets August Launch Date

June 21, 2017 by  
Filed under Mobile

Tech giant Samsung Electronics Co Ltd  plans to host a launch event in New York City for its next Galaxy Note smartphone in the second half of August, a person familiar with the matter has revealed to Reuters.

The person, who was not authorized to speak publicly on the matter and so declined to be identified, said the Galaxy Note 8 will sport a curved screen that is marginally larger than the 6.2-inch version of the Galaxy S8 smartphone and feature two rear cameras. The Note 7 was equipped with a 5.7-inch curved screen and one rear camera.

The person did not elaborate further on the phone including pricing. A Samsung Electronics spokesman declined to comment.

Samsung is intent on continuing the premium Note series despite the costly collapse of the Galaxy Note 7, which it was forced to scrap roughly two months from launch in October due to fire-prone batteries. The incident, one of the biggest product safety failures in tech history, cost the firm 6.1 trillion won ($5.4 billion) in operating profit and hurt its credibility.

The firm disclosed its preliminary findings in January that different battery problems from two suppliers caused the fires, which was corroborated by two other independent probes. The firm implemented several steps including a new set of battery safety checks to avoid repeat incidents, which analysts said is helping it win back consumer trust.

Strong initial response for the Galaxy S8 smartphones that began selling in April indicate the firm is recovering quickly, with some analysts forecasting the device to set Samsung’s internal sales records and push the firm towards what is widely expected to be its best-ever profit for April-June. There have been no battery fire incidents reported for the S8.

Counterpoint Research estimates Samsung regained its spot as the top global smartphone maker in the first quarter after ceding the spot to archrival Apple Inc in the previous quarter. Apple is widely expected to unveil its next iPhones by October.

Is The Wearable Market Growing?

June 19, 2017 by  
Filed under Consumer Electronics

The worldwide market for wearable devices, including smartwatches, smart clothing, and fitness trackers, has increased 17.9 percent from the total number of units shipped in 2016, according to a report from IDC.

Back in December, we wrote that the wearables market in the US was experiencing a significant decline in Q3 due to a lack of new hardware. By the end of 2016, the total number of wearables shipped was 20.9 million units, thanks to a 16.9 percent increase in growth in the fourth quarter that pivoted Fitbit and Xiaomi as top sellers followed by Apple and Garmin. Then, in Q1, another shift happened where Fitbit lost its leadership due to slowing demand for fitness bands and a late entry into the smartwatch market. Apple emerged as a leader at the beginning of 2017 thanks to a relatively solid nine million sales of its Watch Series 2, followed by Xiaomi which shipped 3.4 million total wearables that quarter.

In the final tally, IDC now reports that wearable device shipments totaled 24.7 million units in the first quarter of 2017, a market where Apple and Xaomi are now tied for the top position. Each vendor shipped 3.6 million units and gained a 14.7 percent share each, respectively. For Beijing-based Xiaomi, more than 96 percent of shipments remained within mainland China, with many of those included in smartphone bundles sold at discounted rates. For the Cupertino-based fruity toymaker, a relatively “sustained” demand for both Series 1 and Series 2 smartwatches have resulted in its second highest year-over-year growth among the top global wearable vendors.

Fitbit, on the other hand, has been placed under careful observation for investors since March as market researchers suggest it will need to prepare for a “major recovery this year”. The company’s shipments reached three million units in Q1 2017 as it regained third place at a 12.3 percent share. Since its “mixed” Q3 2016 earnings report, the company has suffered from higher inventory levels as a result of “significantly understated consumer demand.” Company CEO James Park said in a press release yesterday that “while 2017 remains a transition year, we have executed on our restructuring plan”. The company is working on reducing its channel inventory levels in Q2 and hopes to enter the second half of the year with a relatively clean channel.

Courtesy-Fud

Mayer Resigns As Verizon Officially Take Control Of Yahoo

June 14, 2017 by  
Filed under Around The Net

Verizon Communications Inc announced that it has officially closed its $4.48 billion acquisition of Yahoo Inc’s core business and that Marissa Mayer, chief executive of the internet company, had resigned.

The completion of the acquisition marks the end of the line for Yahoo as a standalone internet company, a storied tech pioneer once valued at more than $100 billion.

Verizon, the No. 1 U.S. wireless operator, is combining Yahoo with AOL, which it bought two years ago, to form a new venture called Oath, led by AOL CEO Tim Armstrong. Oath’s more than 50 brands include HuffPost, TechCrunch and Tumblr.

“Given the inherent changes to my role, I’ll be leaving the company,” Mayer wrote in an email to employees on Tuesday that she also posted on Tumblr. “However, I want all of you to know that I’m brimming with nostalgia, gratitude, and optimism.”

The closing of the deal, announced in July, had been delayed as the companies assessed the fallout from two data breaches that Yahoo disclosed last year.

Reuters reported last week that Verizon plans to cut about 2,000 jobs, or 15 percent, of the 14,000 employees at its Yahoo and AOL units. Verizon is expected to make cuts as early as Wednesday. Yahoo cut 15 percent of its workforce last year and AOL cut 500 jobs.

On June 16, the remainder of Yahoo not acquired by Verizon will be renamed Altaba Inc, a holding company whose primary assets will be its 15.5 percent stake in Alibaba Group Holding Ltd and a 35.5 percent holding in Yahoo Japan Corp.

Thomas McInerney, a Yahoo board member, will become Altaba’s chief executive officer.

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