Samsung Electronics said sales and profits soared in the second quarter from a year ago, but increasing competition in smartphones hurt performance in its core mobile division.
The company said it booked a net profit of 7.77 trillion won ($6.89 billion) during the April-June period, up 50 percent from a year earlier. Sales were up 21 percent to 57.5 trillion won.
The strong showings were marked by strong quarterly gains in every division except its core mobile business. Samsung launched its flagship Galaxy S 4 in April with a massive global marketing campaign, after introducing it at an event in New York City's Radio City Music Hall. The company said increased marketing costs and competition hurt its profitability during the period, pulling operating profit down 3 percent even as its sales increased.
Executives hinted in an earnings conference call that new high-end phones are on the way, noting that the product cycle of smartphones is now about a year and its component business expected a boost from new advanced handsets in the second half of the year. Jeeho Baek, an executive in Samsung's semiconductor business, said he expected more demand due to the company's "planned launch of a flagship smartphone model." Read more...
That IT professionals work on vacation is as obvious as sand on a beach. Some see it as part of the job bargain, and maybe there's something to relish about being indispensable.
One recent survey found that 67% of senior IT professionals are expected to be available during vacation, said TEKsystems, a staffing agency that conducted the research.
This percentage sounds low. Something in the range of 95% sounds more believable, but that's just a guesstimate based on telephone interviews and emails from some IT pros. Read more...
Circumstance, it seems, has forced SAP to abandon its beloved dual-chief-executive model.
Company co-CEO Bill McDermott will be flying solo in 10 months and a new co-CEO will not be named by the software giant following the resignation of current co-CEO Jim Hagemann Snabe, who has been selected for election to SAP's supervisory board at next May's AGM.
The reason given for McDemott's solo act was a lack of suitable partners.
“I can’t find another Jim and match him up with Bill,” SAP co-founder Hasso Plattner said Tuesday. Read more...
Mac sales fell 4% in the quarter that ended June 30, putting Apple into the same leaky boat as the much larger, problem-plagued PC industry, according to a survey of several dozen financial analysts.
Apple will disclose its second-quarter numbers later today.
According to Fortune, which regularly collects estimates from dozens of institutional and independent analysts, their average prediction for Mac sales was 3.85 million machines, down 4.1% from the more than 4 million sold in the same quarter of 2012.
The analysts estimated iPhone sales at 27.2 million for the quarter, up almost 5% from 2012, and their average of 18.1 million iPads was 6% higher than sales last year. Read more...
There's more bad news for Microsoft's struggling line of Surface tablets: Apple is said to be working on a 13-inch iPad that could be used as a productivity device, not just for entertainment. If true, it could just about kill off any chance the Surface has for success.
The Wall Street Journal reports that Apple has asked its suppliers for prototypes and designs of 13-inch screens for its iPad. The current iPad sports a 9.7-inch screen.
At that size, it's not likely that users will merely want to run apps, check email, and watch video. A 13-incher would certainly cost more than a 9.7-inch iPad, which already comes with a premium price tag. Instead, it would likely be a "two-in-one" device, that is, do double-duty as a tablet and a laptop. Patrick Moorhead, principal analyst with Moor Insights & Strategy told Computerworld:
"A 13-in. iPad would be an improved productivity device, particularly when connected by a wireless keyboard, [and] would be like a Windows 8 detachable. he improvement in content creation and editing [would come from] being able to see more of the content." Read more...
After a year with Marissa Mayer at the helm, Yahoo is no longer seen as a "dead company walking," according to one analyst.
An Internet pioneer whose fortunes declined to such a degree that it was regarded as a second-rate afterthought in recent years, Yahoo isn't exactly as cool as Instagram or as much of a powerhouse as Facebook or Google. But it's staging a comeback.
Analysts say we haven't seen the best tricks that Mayer may be planning.
"Mayer has changed Yahoo internally much more than it appears externally. It will take until 2014 for these changes to make a major difference," said Patrick Moorhead, an analyst at Moor Insights & Strategy. "With Mayer at the lead, Yahoo has a chance of regaining a lot of ground lost under prior leadership. They aren't viewed anymore as 'dead company walking.'"
The company's fiscal situation has improved: In its second-quarter financial report, released Tuesday, Yahoo announced that nearly a dozen product launches helped it tally net earnings of $331 million for the quarter, up 46% from $227 million a year earlier. But its second-quarter revenue of $1.14 billion was down 7% from the same period a year earlier. Read more...
Europe's competition chief confirmed Wednesday that he has written to Google Chairman Eric Schmidt to ask for better assurances from the company in an ongoing antitrust investigation.
"After the analysis of the market test that was concluded on June 27, I concluded that the proposals that Google sent to us are not enough to overcome our concerns," said European Union Competition Commissioner Joaquin Almunia at a press conference Wednesday.
Google has been under investigation by the European Commission since November 2010 after rivals accused the search giant of setting search algorithms to direct users to its own services and reducing the visibility of competing websites and services. It was also accused of content-scraping and imposing contractual restrictions that prevent advertisers from moving their online campaigns to rival search engines. Read more...
Lenovo is expanding software partnerships as it tries to break into a server market dominated by Hewlett-Packard, IBM, and Dell.
Its first such partnership expansion, announced Tuesday, is with VMware on virtualization products. Lenovo will bundle ThinkServer products with VMware's vSphere with Operations Management.
The servers with VSOM are targeted at customers of small and medium-sized businesses who want higher performance and server utilization rates, said Sean Gilbert, senior alliances manager at Lenovo.
Lenovo has been pursuing the server market for a few years now with single- and dual-socket rack and tower offerings. However, Lenovo offers only basic hardware while competitors and market leaders like HP, Dell, and IBM sell servers that combine homegrown hardware, networking, storage, and software products. Read more...
Given Android and iOS together control 90% of the worldwide smartphone market, what chance does Mozilla have to find success with its new Firefox OS for smartphones?
Will Firefox OS even matter, given the struggles Windows Phone, BlackBerry and other operating systems are facing to gain market share against Apple and Google?
Despite such questions from skeptics, the Firefox OS does matter, insists Mozilla CTO Brendan Eich.
In a press conference on Monday, Eich acknowledged the odds facing Firefox OS, but then laid out a strong argument for the platform.
Eich described keen interest shown by 8 million Web developers in the OS, and said that 20-plus smartphone makers and wireless carriers plan to offer new Firefox OS-based smartphones to first-time buyers globally, initially in markets where low-cost phones are in demand. Read more...
This was the first year that Apple included the iPhone in the eligible hardware list. Also new to that list was the iPad Mini, which launched last October after that year's back-to-school offer had ended.
Customers who buy a Mac between now and Sept. 6 receive a $100 App Store gift card, while those who purchase an iPad, iPad Mini or iPhone receive a $50 card.
This was the third year running that Apple has handed out gift cards and maxed the amount of the offer at $100: For several years ending in 2010, Apple gave rebates of two or three times as much toward the purchase of an iPod Touch. Read more...
Opera, the pioneering web browser, may have only a small single-digit market share but that still counts as a hefty number of people – it has more active users than Twitter. But it doesn’t look like a happy place today.
Earlier this year Opera announced a decision to base future development of its desktop browsers on the WebKit layout engine – in preference to its home-grown Presto software that it has used for a decade. Today, it made the first release of this - Opera 15 - widely available to the general public. But it might come as a shock for power users to find that Opera 15 looks like a wrapper around Chromium. So much so, that it’s hard to tell the difference.
Many features taken for granted by connoisseurs for years are AWOL: the list includes almost all (or any) UI customisation, bookmarks, tab handling, Opera Link, and notes. The Dragonfly developer tools have been jettisoned while the Opera Mail email and RSS reader is now a standalone free download (which actually works very nicely). Read more...
Microsoft has updated the mobile version of its OneNote note-taking application for iPads, iPhones, and Android devices, creating a consistent look for notes across all computers, smartphones, and tablets in which they're viewed.
This means that OneNote notes will retain all text formatting, layout, tables and other design elements that they were created with, regardless of which device they're rendered on, according to Microsoft.
"Content [created] on one device will render the same on another," a spokeswoman for Microsoft said via email. Read more...
AT&T kicked off a smartphone trade-in deal on Monday that knocks 50% off the price of several of the newest smartphones -- including the iPhone 5 and Samsung Galaxy S4 -- subject to a new two-year agreement.
The offer lasts only through Sunday, June 30, and is available either online or in-store. Activation fees are also waived during the offer. The discount applies with the trade-in of a current smartphone. Read more...
Microsoft is caught in the ultimate good news/bad news syndrome: Windows 8.1 will likely fix Windows 8's woes, but PC sales will still take a nose dive. So says two recent Gartner reports, and they may well be right.
Last week, Gartner issued a report titled "Windows 8.1 Could Become What Windows 8 Should Have Been," which concluded that Windows 8.1 will fix many of the problems with the troubled operating system. The report touted the expected boot-to-the-desktop option and the re-introduction of Start button functions as two key features that will help. Read more...
Microsoft is investing $678 million in the expansion of its data center in West Des Moines, Iowa.
The plan, dubbed Project Mountain, was awarded tax benefits and is expected to create 29 new jobs, the board of the Iowa Economic Development Authority said in a statement on Friday.
Other tech companies are also setting up data centers in Iowa. Facebook said in April its data center in Altoona, Iowa, will be its fourth owned and operated data center, and its third in the U.S. The company plans to break ground this summer and expects to begin serving user traffic in 2014. Google opened a data center in Council Bluffs, Iowa, in 2009. In November 2012, it announced that it would expand its data center operations in Iowa, taking the total investment to over $1.1 billion. Read more...