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Android holds two-thirds of EU, US mobile markets | ZDNet

Android holds two-thirds of EU, US mobile markets | ZDNet | Tech news and market movers | Scoop.it
Summary: Google's mobile operating system remains in the lead, with two-thirds of the EU market.


The real news, which has been written on analyst walls around the world for months, is that Android phones continue to out-sell iPhones by a wide margin. For all the hype, for all the hysteria, iPhones come in second to Android.


Android continues to dominate sales in the EU and U.S. mobile markets, even in the run-up to the iPhone 5's expected announcement later this month.

According to the latest smartphone sales figures from Kantar Worldpanel Comtech, Google-owned Android has jumped by more than 20 percent in share in the U.K., Germany, France, Italy and Spain markets, rising to 67.1 percent in the five major EU economies.

Throw in the U.S., Australia and Brazil into the mix -- where Australia's share of Android sales is the lowest which drags down the overall average -- Android still takes more than a 61 percent share in the eight key countries, up by 9 percent a year ago.

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TraderOS | RealTime Collaborative Charting for Traders

TraderOS | RealTime Collaborative Charting for Traders | Tech news and market movers | Scoop.it

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Google Gets Umbrella Patent For Cloud Operating Systems - Tom's Hardware Guide

Google Gets Umbrella Patent For Cloud Operating Systems - Tom's Hardware Guide | Tech news and market movers | Scoop.it

Google Gets Umbrella Patent For Cloud Operating Systems...

Tom's Hardware GuideGoogle just patented Chrome OS, but the tone of the patent is much more than that

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Apple Executives Were ‘Shocked’ by Samsung Galaxy, Witness Says

Apple Executives Were ‘Shocked’ by Samsung Galaxy, Witness Says | Tech news and market movers | Scoop.it

Steve Jobs, Apple Inc.’s late co-founder, confronted Samsung Electronics Co. executives in 2010 after the South Korean company introduced its Galaxy smartphone, Apple’s patent licensing director testified....


Aug. 11 (Bloomberg) --Steve Jobs, Apple Inc. (AAPL)’s late co- founder, confronted Samsung (005930) Electronics Co. executives in 2010 after the South Korean company introduced its Galaxy smartphone, Apple’s patent licensing director testified.

Boris Teksler, director of patent licensing and strategy, was called as a witness yesterday in Apple’s multibillion-dollar intellectual property trial against Samsung in federal court in San Jose, California. He said Apple made a presentation to Samsung executives in August 2010 intended to warn the company against copying the iPhone.

“We were quite shocked,” he said. “They were a trusted partner of ours and we didn’t know how a trusted partner would build a product like that.”

Apple sued Samsung in April 2011. Apple and Samsung are the world’s largest makers of the high-end handheld devices that blend the functionality of a phone and a computer. The trial is the first before a U.S. jury in a battle being waged on four continents for dominance in a smartphone market valued by Bloomberg Industries at $219.1 billion.

While the companies are bound by lucrative commercial ties, each is trying to convince jurors that its rival infringed patents covering designs and technology.

During cross-examination, Teksler confirmed that he wasn’t at the August 2010 meeting. He also acknowledged that at least five of the seven Apple patents at issue in the trial didn’t appear on a list Apple identified to Samsung in the 2010 presentation.

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Apple, Samsung gear up for fight on triple damages, injunctions, and 'no reasonable jury'

Apple, Samsung gear up for fight on triple damages, injunctions, and 'no reasonable jury' | Tech news and market movers | Scoop.it

There's no doubt Apple walked out of the San Jose courtroom Friday afternoon the undisputed winner according to the jury in the Apple v. Samsung case, but there are still many details to work out...


There's no doubt Apple walked out of the San Jose courtroom Friday afternoon the undisputed winner according to the jury in the Apple v. Samsung case, but there are still many details to work out as the trial process wraps up. We're not even close to appeals yet, although those will absolutely come later. There's still a lot to do in Judge Koh's courtroom over the next few weeks.

Today will mark the beginning of a new chapter in the case: a brutal stretch of legal briefings and in-court debates, where both Samsung and Apple will break down and scrutinize a large number of those 700 individual questions tackled by the jury. And we know how much these attorneys like to file papers with the court — there were around 2000 formal objections filed just for the trial stage of the case. Obviously, Samsung will have far more to complain about, but you can rest assured that Apple will lodge several challenges of its own.

In the immediate future, both sides will file motions for a "judgement notwithstanding the verdict," or JNOV. It's exactly what it sounds like: Samsung will essentially ask Judge Koh to overturn the verdict in its favor on nearly every issue where the jury found in favor of Apple. This will include the jury's position that Samsung infringed Apple's intellectual property, that Apple's patents were held to be valid, that Samsung's infringement was willful, and the determinations that all of Samsung's patents were found to not be infringed by Apple. Similarly, Apple will likely file motions to challenge the jury's finding that some of its trade dress protection on the iPad didn't exist, and that the Galaxy Tab didn't infringe its design patent. Moreover, the jury was forced to correct several of its damages calculations after the verdict was read, so we're sure there will be continued questions about whether the final numbers make sense...

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Google files patent complaint against Apple over Siri voice control software - Telegraph

Google files patent complaint against Apple over Siri voice control software - Telegraph | Tech news and market movers | Scoop.it

Google's Motorola Mobility unit has filed a patent infringement complaint against Apple over a clutch of iPhone features, including its Siri voice control software...


Even as Apple's bitter battle with Samsung reaches its climax in a Silicon Valley court room this week, Google opened up a new front in the intellectual property war between Android and iOS.
It is the first time, since it acquired Motorola Mobility in May, that Google has used its patents to mount an attack on Apple.
The move has been anticipated, however. Motorola Mobility's portfolio of thousands of technology patents was the target of the $12.5bn deal more than its ongoing smartphone business.
The firm filed a complaint with the US International Trade Commission alleging infringement of seven of its patents by Apple. As well as Siri, the iPhone features it is claimed they cover include location reminders, e-mail notification and video playback.
"We would like to settle these patent matters, but Apple’s unwillingness to work out a license leaves us little choice but to defend ourselves and our engineers’ innovations,” Motorola Mobility said.

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Apple Agrees to Buy AuthenTec for About $350 Million Cash

Apple Agrees to Buy AuthenTec for About $350 Million Cash | Tech news and market movers | Scoop.it

Apple Inc., maker of the iPad and iPhone, agreed to acquire AuthenTec Inc. for about $350 million, gaining fingerprint-authentication technology...


Apple is paying $8 a share in the deal, AuthenTec said today in a filing. The transaction represents a premium of 58 percent over AuthenTec’s closing share price yesterday. Under the agreement, Apple also has the right to pay patent licenses totaling as much as $115 million.
The deal would help Apple shore up its biometric features, which help maintain security on devices. The company is under pressure to speed up its product development cycle as competition in mobile technology increases, according to investor Michael Obuchowski, a portfolio manager at North Shore Asset Management LLC. Apple shares fell 4.3 percent on July 25 after quarterly iPhone sales missed analysts’ projections, underscoring the need for a new model.

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DeathWatch: Groupon | ReadWriteWeb

DeathWatch: Groupon | ReadWriteWeb | Tech news and market movers | Scoop.it

When you finally turn a profit and investors simultaneously dump your stock to an all-time low, you have a problem. Groupon is the king of local couponing, but is its deal already as sweet as it can get? 



The Basics

Groupon wasn’t the first local deal site, but it took the model to the masses. Buyers prepay for a discounted product or service, and when those purchases hit a threshold, Groupon splits the revenue with the merchant and the deal is on. Local businesses acquire customers, customers get a deal and Groupon gets paid.

Despite quarter after quarter of losses, Groupon passed on a rumored Google buyout and worked that model into a $12.7 billion IPO only 18 months into its existence.

But life since the IPO has been rough. Competitors such as LivingSocial moved in on Groupon’s turf, quarterly losses kept coming, and some dodgy accounting was revealed. And though Groupon finally turned a profit this year, the resulting rally was short-lived when its stock hit an all-time low last week on news of weakness in the European market.


The Problem


But Groupon’s problems go much deep than the Eurozone, all the way to the heart of its business model, for two main reasons:

1. It’s a Bad Deal for Vendors Using Groupon costs nothing upfront, but can turn out to be very expensive for vendors. Groupon takes a 50% cut of sales that typically already discount 50%. Some businesses (see GrouponWorks.com) absorb the hit just fine by selling high-margin add-ons and sparking return visits. For others, a 75% revenue hit is awfully rich, even for a loss leader - and especially if the discounts go to existing customers or folks “just passing through.” Meanwhile, Groupon doesn’t share any customer information with vendors - not even email addresses. And many merchants worry about projecting weakness and cheapening their brand.

2. The Pie is Shrinking The barriers to entry in daily deals is terrifyingly low. That’s why the competitors keep multiplying, from Living Social to Amazon Local and even the local newspaper. Consumers have a finite amount of disposable income, and they’re loyal to the deal, not the brand. Many vendors rotate identical deals on multiple sites for maximum exposure. ...

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China's Economy: Apocalypse Soon?

China's Economy: Apocalypse Soon? | Tech news and market movers | Scoop.it

Talk of an economic slowdown in China has become so loud and persistent that it now has its own slang: ghost cities, ghost fleets, rocket eggs, naked officials... 


HONG KONG — Talk of an economic slowdown in China has become so loud and persistent that it now has its own slang: ghost cities, ghost fleets, rocket eggs, naked officials. The downturn has even led to the invention of a new financial algorithm, something called the China Stress Index — and the index remains high.

Some of the stresses were mentioned over the weekend by Prime Minister Wen Jiabao as he spoke of “huge downward pressure” on the world’s No. 2 economy, due principally, he averred, to slackening consumer demand in Europe and real estate speculation at home.

As my colleague Keith Bradsher reports, housing construction has nearly stopped. Work sites that had recently been going round the clock seven days a week are now down to one shift — and just on weekdays.

Analysts and government planners are now resigned to the fact that the growth rate in 2012 will slip under the once-magic (and numerologically auspicious) figure of 8 percent. Instead, keeping growth above 7 percent has become the immediate task at hand, especially with the important 18th Party Congress coming this autumn.

Nomura, the Japanese financial services firm, has launched the China Stress Index, and the Nomura analyst Rob Subbaraman affirmed Monday that the company sees “a one-in-three probability” that China will experience “a hard economic landing commencing before the end of 2014.”

Foreign Policy magazine has a new overview of the economy called “Five Signs of the Chinese Economic Apocalypse.” (Business Insider sees that bet, and triples it, with a story headlined “Fifteen Reasons Why Everyone Is Suddenly Freaking Out About China.”)

In making its case for apocalypse now, or soon, the Foreign Policy piece says, “Businesses are taking fewer loans. Manufacturing output has tanked. Interest rates have unexpectedly been cut. Imports are flat. GDP growth projections are down, with some arguing that China might already be in recession.”

Government figures released Monday showed that consumer prices dropped 0.6 percent in June compared with May, raising the concern of deflation, as Keith reports.

Meanwhile, though, some food prices have risen so sharply (and food contamination scares have been so profound) that people are increasingly growing their own vegetables and more folks are keeping pigs. Mainland chickens are now laying “rocket eggs,” a reference to their price trajectory.

Local governments, after years of massive and prideful investments, are now seeing loans coming due. (How many of these loans are already underperforming is a matter of some debate among economists and analysts.)

The central government in Beijing is even insisting on some austerity now, from sell-offs of the fleets of luxury cars assigned to local bosses to cutbacks on high-end liquor and nosh at official banquets.

Some of the (few) more bullish analysts speak admiringly of the robustness of the state banking system and Beijing’s ability to manipulate the levers of its highly controlled economy. But when they start listing areas of deep concern, they can barely come up for air.

Sales of luxury goods in China, for example, are slowing. Wealthy mainlanders, including government and party officials, are feverishly offshoring their cash by buying properties abroad, from Hong Kong and Macau to Australia, Europe and the United States. Hedging against possible political or economic upheavals, they are keeping so few (seizable) assets in China that they’re being called luo guan — “naked officials.”

Coal, iron ore and copper also are piling up in China, which has led Chinese shippers, once happy to ply the coastal routes, to head for blue water in search of new business...

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Netflix's lost year: The inside story of the price-hike train wreck

Netflix's lost year: The inside story of the price-hike train wreck | Tech news and market movers | Scoop.it

One year ago tomorrow, CEO Reed Hastings took the first of a series of missteps that angered customers and nearly derailed his company. Current and former employees disclose what went wrong. Read this blog post by Greg Sandoval on Internet & Media...


Reed Hastings stopped listening, and that's when the trouble started.
In the spring of 2011, Hastings, Netflix's widely admired chief executive, held a meeting with his management team and outlined his blueprint to jettison Netflix's DVD operations. Netflix managers would tell subscribers on July 12 that they planned to do away with a popular subscription that offered access to DVD rentals as well as unlimited on-demand streaming video for $10 per month. DVDs and streaming would be separated and each would cost subscribers $7.99 a month, or $15.98 for both, about a 60 percent hike. The changes would take place in September.

Jonathan Friedland, the new vice president of global corporate communications who had joined Netflix just a few months earlier, asked whether customers on tight incomes might object to the price hike, according to people at Hastings' meeting. Hastings argued that Netflix was a great bargain. He said he knew that some customers would complain but that the number would be small and the anger would quickly fade.
Hastings was wrong. The price hike and the later, aborted attempt to spin off the company's DVD operations enraged Netflix customers. The company lost 800,000 subscribers, its stock price dropped 77 percent in four months, and management's reputation was battered. Hastings went from Fortune magazine's Businessperson of the Year to the target of Saturday Night Live satire.
To Hastings' credit, what he wanted to do made sense. The DVD's best days are behind it. Video streamed via the Internet is slowly replacing the physical disc, and betting a business on a dying product is never a great idea. So Hastings wanted to get ahead of the curve and focus on streaming, to disrupt his own business before someone else did it for him. It was aggressive, far-sighted, and very much in character.
Hastings is someone who knows a thing or two about disrupting businesses. Netflix, after all, is the company that drove the giants of video rental out of the sector with a simple premise: A simple-to-use Web site that delivers DVDs right to your doorstep. Best of all: No late fees. He became one of those executives with the "visionary" label, who can predict where a market is going before it happens, and was asked to join the board of directors of two of the most important companies in tech, Microsoft and Facebook.
But even visionaries can misread their customers when they are blinded by their past success.
Leading up to the first anniversary of the Netflix meltdown, CNET interviewed former and current Netflix employees to find out how a series of missteps turned into a lost year, and whether it has rebounded from those self-inflicted wounds. Most asked to remain anonymous. Netflix declined to comment for this story.

So how did Hastings stumble? Just prior to the attempt to remake Netflix into a streaming-video distributor, there was turmoil in the company's executive offices.... 



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Microsoft's Surface brings old Mac-vs.-PC war home again

Microsoft's Surface brings old Mac-vs.-PC war home again | Tech news and market movers | Scoop.it

I'm becoming more and more convinced that Microsoft 's Surface might just be a home wrecker...


When Microsoft on Monday unveiled its long-rumored, arguably overdue entry to the tablet market, what really surfaced in my household was a battle that had been put to rest by the lack of true competition in tablet computing.


Call it what you will -- the war of the OS, platform pugilism or just good ol' Mac vs. PC -- now it's back under my roof. The gentle truce is threatened by that Office-running, keyboard- and trackpad-having little number dangling her wares -- hard and soft -- before my husband.


Now, the Surface threatens to shatter that, in a way no even slightly sexy Android tablet had before.

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Apple Gets Sued Again in China - expri.net

Apple Gets Sued Again in China - expri.net | Tech news and market movers | Scoop.it
Summary: The normally reliable iOS App Store and Mac App Stores appear to be dishing out corrupted updates to users that are refusing to load and crashing on the startup screen. ...
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Apple Settles an iPad Trademark Dispute in China

Apple Settles an iPad Trademark Dispute in China | Tech news and market movers | Scoop.it

A Chinese provincial court said on Monday that Apple had settled a lawsuit there by agreeing to pay $60 million for the legal rights to use the iPad trademark in China.

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Google Jealous Of Amazon's 30% Search Eyes Ecommerce Via Partner Network

Google Jealous Of Amazon's 30% Search Eyes Ecommerce Via Partner Network | Tech news and market movers | Scoop.it

Google has been dropping lots of hints lately about their desire to become not just a leader in advertising, but a leader in  ecommerce as well.

Marty Note
Wow and WOW. Google hates that 30% of ecommerce searches start at Amazon.This article says there are hints Google is eyeing Ecommerce via its trusted partners program and using things like Google wallet.


     "Once these payment systems start integrating more

      seamlessly with desktop and mobile, the ecommerce

      market is going to see a big uptick."


Google wants to be a player when everything comes together. There are a massive number of things that go into making Amazon such an amazing ecommerce retailer not the least of which is the more than 1B pages Amazon has is in Google.

The idea you can knit a massive Amazon Partner-like network together to compete sounds interesting and looks interesting. The partner network is one thing added to a core called AMAZON it is quite another when there is no core. I find the Amazon partner network a pain.

The only way Google wins is if the deal flow is better, the content is better or both. If it comes down to a contest of who can hold their breath longest in Ecommerce I vote for Amazon.

The thing Google is not thinking about is people don't just switch online loyalty without a good reason such as:

* Faster Shipping.

* Free-er Shipping.
* Better Information (reviews, videos).

* Faster Checkout (Google Wallet may accomplish that).

* Easier to find more faster (merchandising is being tuned).

* Navigational taxonomy makes sense (not a chance with a distributed network).

* Better Upsale (people who bought x also bought y).

* Better Cross Sale (related but similar and possibly better on a single dimension such as price).

* Better Deals & Sales (how you curate this in a distributed network I have no idea). 

* Trusted reviewers (again harder to do in a distributed network).


And on and on.

I could name 20 more ecommerce dimensions, but not ONE dimension seems better fitted to a distributed partner network. Google wallet doesn't feel like a hurdle Amazon can't glide over too in about two seconds. With one click and Amazon Prime one could argue Amazon already has Google wallet.

I've managed ecommerce sites for ten years. I lost share to a competitor willing to do somethign we weren't - Free Shipping all orders, all shipments for a year. Even with a better shipping profile we only lost 10% share, granted that was close to a million bucks.


How can Google justify the mountain of expense it will take to be an ecommerce player for 10% claw back of the searches they are now losing to Amazon? Seems like a mountain of pain for very few returns.



Via ECOMpedia.ro, Martin (Marty) Smith
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New Google Patent Named Ranking Documents To Penalize Spammers - Seo Sandwitch Blog

New Google Patent Named Ranking Documents To Penalize Spammers - Seo Sandwitch Blog | Tech news and market movers | Scoop.it
Information on Google Patent named Ranking Documents- know about First Rank,Second Rank,Transition Rank,Transition Period and how to remain safe in rankings.
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Asia stocks drift, Shanghai ends at multi-year low Asia Markets

Asia stocks drift, Shanghai ends at multi-year low Asia Markets | Tech news and market movers | Scoop.it
Shanghai fell to a fresh multi-year low, while losses for Samsung Electronics curb gains in South Korea. Japan sees modest gains.


HONG KONG (MarketWatch) — Asian markets kicked off the week on a downbeat note on Monday, with Shanghai tumbling to a multi-year low, while losses for Samsung Electronics Co. weighed in South Korea.

Japan’s Nikkei Stock Average JP:100000018 +0.16% ended with a 0.2% gain, to rank as the only major regional market in an upward composure.

The Shanghai Composite Index CN:000001 -1.74% swooned 1.7% to end at its lowest closing level since February 2009, while the Shenzhen Composite Index eased 2.2%.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index HK:HSI -0.41% lost 0.4% and Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 index AU:XJO -0.12% traded down 0.1%.

The Asia Dow was off 0.6% late.

South Korea’s Kospi KR:SEU -0.10% was off 0.1%, as Samsung Electronics SSNLF +5.36% suffered its worst one-day decline in four years, ending 7.8% lower. The tech major’s shares are currently the Kospi’s top component, with a weighting of 17% as of Friday.

A U.S. court decided to award rival technology firm Apple Inc. AAPL +2.00% $1.05 billion in damages after finding that Samsung had infringed six Apple patents.

The jury also found that Apple did not infringe any Samsung Electronics patents and didn’t award damages to the Korean firm.

nalysts said the regional weakness is likely to persist for the time being, with few bold policy initiatives from China expected ahead of the Federal Reserve’s annual conference meeting at Jackson Hole,Wyo., gets underway later this week.

“The Chinese government will remain on the sidelines ... as it assesses what measures will be taken in the U.S,” said KGI Securities strategist Ben Kwong in Hong Kong.

“The focus is still on whether the Chinese government will unveil further stimulus to boost the economy .. to offset the negative impact of declining exports,” Kwong added. ...

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Legal analysts suggest Apple-Samsung verdict may not be safe

Legal analysts suggest Apple-Samsung verdict may not be safe | Tech news and market movers | Scoop.it
Some experts poring over statements of Apple-Samsung jury members and details of their judgment suggest that the verdict could be overturned. Read this blog post by Chris Matyszczyk on Technically Incorrect.

Lawyers tend to know everything.

It's just that their knowledge of everything seems occasionally to conflict with the knowledge of other lawyers, who also know everything...


However, I have been seeking legal guidance on what seems like the strangely swift decision by nine local Californians to order Samsung to pay Apple more than $1 billion.
One place where lawyers gather to read views is the award-winning site Groklaw. I fancy that many of the legal experts who post there have long blond hair and drive personalized Bentleys.


However, their sense of groundedness is often refreshing.
So I was stunned into sobriety to discover that the site was witheringly dismissive of the Apple-Samsung verdict and the jury.
In a searingly chilly analysis, Groklaw points to apparently simple facts that suggest anything from boredom to power intoxication.
The jury, for example, found that one Samsung device didn't infringe Apple's patent and yet they awarded Apple $2 million for inducement. This was a slightly odd award, given that it's quite hard to induce someone to do something illegal when it isn't, in fact, illegal.
Then there was the deeply confident statements of the jury foreman, retired engineer and patent holder Velvin Hogan. He reportedly told the court that the jurors had filled out all of the 700-question form without needing to read the jury instructions.
There's nothing wiser than a clever engineer, but might this not smack of an excess of confidence?


Another legal blog, Above the Law, suggests that it was either that or sheer boredom.
Indeed, the blog sounded so disturbed that its authors would have traded their Bentleys in for bicycles: "Here's the thing, ladies and gentlemen of the Apple v. Samsung jury: It would take me more than three days to understand all the terms in the verdict! Much less come to a legally binding decision on all of these separate issues. Did you guys just flip a coin?"

Then there's this rather hulkily intellectual idea that foreman Hogan expressed to Reuters: "We wanted to make sure the message we sent was not just a slap on the wrist. We wanted to make sure it was sufficiently high to be painful, but not unreasonable."
But, as Groklaw pointed out, the award of damages isn't apparently in the law to represent three slaps of the headmaster's cane on the infringer's buttocks. It's there to compensate for losses

Could it be that, not needing the jury instructions, the magnificent nine simply exercised its own personal form of justice? This wouldn't be a first for a jury ...

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Samsung shares down 7 percent after Apple patent verdict

Samsung shares down 7 percent after Apple patent verdict | Tech news and market movers | Scoop.it

The Korean electronics giant's stock experiences its greatest one-day decline in nearly five years after a jury awards Apple more than $1 billion. Read this blog post by Steven Musil on Apple...


Shares of Samsung Electronics registered their greatest one-day price drop in nearly five years in their first day of trading after Apple's patent award against the Korean electronics giant.
Shares of Samsung were off 6.98 percent in early morning trading, down 89,000 South Korean wan ($78.38) to 1.19 million wan ($1,043.88). It was the company's largest decline since October 2008. The heavily weighted Samsung brought the South Korean Kospi down 0.6 percent.
The share loss comes three days after a jury in San Jose, Calif., delivered a lopsided victory to Apple, awarding the iPhone maker $1.05 billion in damages -- a verdict one senior Samsung executive called "absolutely the worst scenario for us."
Samsung called the verdict "loss for the American consumer" and promised to appeal, saying "this is not the final word in this case."
However, the nine-person jury's damages award may be only the tip of the iceberg for Samsung. The case now enters the post-trial motions phase, in which Samsung is expected to file an appeal of the jury's decision and Apple is expected to file for injunctions against Samsung products that violate its patents.

U.S. District Court Judge Lucy Koh, who presided over the closely watched trial, could also modify the damages award against Samsung, possibly tripling the amount Apple receives.
U.S. injunctions could be especially painful for Samsung. Although the company manufactures an array of consumer devices such as TVs, Blu-ray players, and even kitchen appliances, smartphone sales are its breadwinner. The electronics giant reported a record second-quarter net profit of $4.5 billion last month, crediting its mobile unit with delivering 63 percent of its operating profit for the quarter. Analysts estimate Samsung sold 52 million smartphones in the second quarter, including 6.5 million Galaxy S3s.

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Libor, Naked and Exposed

Libor, Naked and Exposed | Tech news and market movers | Scoop.it

The case over rigged interest rates raises troubling questions...


AMERICANS who save for the future, use credit cards or borrow money for tuition, cars and homes deserve assurance that the interest rates on their savings and loans are set in a reliable and honest way.

That’s why the revelation that the British bank Barclays attempted to manipulate the London interbank offered rate, or Libor — one of the benchmark rates used to determine the cost of borrowing around the world — is so disturbing. But the Barclays case isn’t only about misconduct by large financial institutions. It also raises questions about the reliability and accuracy of these key interest rates, which are largely determined by the private sector, without significant government oversight.

When you save money in a money market fund or short-term bond fund, or take out a mortgage or a small-business loan, the rate you receive or pay is often based, directly or indirectly, on Libor. It’s the reference rate for nearly half of adjustable-rate mortgages in the United States; for about 70 percent of the American futures market; and for a majority of the American swaps market, where businesses hedge risks from changes in interest rates.

Libor is supposed to be the average rate at which the largest banks honestly believe they can borrow from one another unsecured (that is, without posting collateral). Libor was set up in the 1980s when banks regularly made loans to other banks on that basis.

However, the number of banks willing to lend to one another on such terms has been sharply reduced because of economic turmoil, including the 2008 global financial crisis, the European debt crisis that began in 2010, and the downgrading of large banks’ credit ratings this year.

Banks have shifted toward secured borrowing and, on occasion, borrowing from central banks like the Federal Reserve and the European Central Bank. As Mervyn King, the governor of the Bank of England, said of Libor in 2008: “It is, in many ways, the rate at which banks do not lend to each other.”

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Samsung Outsells Apple by Almost Double in Q2

Samsung Outsells Apple by Almost Double in Q2 | Tech news and market movers | Scoop.it

Apple, although many of us hate to admit it, was the originator of the modern-day smartphone. Without the original iPhone, who's to say where we would be in the mobile industry today...


Apple, although many of us hate to admit it, was the originator of the modern-day smartphone. Without the original iPhone, who’s to say where we would be in the mobile industry today. Perhaps someone else would have beaten them to the punch, or maybe we’d still be back on old Palm Treo’s happy as can be. Nevertheless, Apple has almost never seen much of a falter in sales, much less losing dramatically to one particular manufacturer.

The time is here, my friends. In Q2, 2012, Samsung has outsold Apple almost 2-1. Apple sold roughly 30.5 million units in 2012, worldwide. Believe it or not, Samsung has sold over 50 million units. Samsung’s success, due to its Galaxy S line, has given Samsung a reputation and bragging rights as the #1 phone manufacturer in the world. Despite the range of prices of Apple’s iPhones ($200-4s, $99-4, 0-3GS), Samsung and their expansive range of phones still sits at the top, at least for now.

Android fans will unite over the triumph over Apple, which isn’t well-loved at the moment. It’s great to see Android making progress and finally being appreciated for what it is.

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Amazon same-day delivery: How the e-commerce giant will destroy local retail.

Amazon same-day delivery: How the e-commerce giant will destroy local retail. | Tech news and market movers | Scoop.it

Amazon has long enjoyed an unbeatable price advantage over its physical rivals. When I buy a $1,000 laptop from Wal-Mart, the company is required to collect local sales tax from me, so I pay almost $1,100 at checkout...


Amazon has long enjoyed an unbeatable price advantage over its physical rivals. When I buy a $1,000 laptop from Wal-Mart, the company is required to collect local sales tax from me, so I pay almost $1,100 at checkout. In most states, Amazon is exempt from that rule. According to a 1992 Supreme Court ruling, only firms with a physical presence in a state are required to collect taxes from residents. Technically, when I buy a $1,000 laptop from Amazon, I’m supposed to pay a $100 “use tax” when I file my annual return with my home state of California. But nobody does that. For most people, then, most items at Amazon are significantly cheaper than the same, identically priced items at other stores.
In response to pressure from local businesses, many states have passed laws that aim to force Amazon to collect sales taxes (the laws do so by broadening what it means for a company to have a physical presence in the state). Amazon hasn’t taken kindly to these efforts. It has filed numerous legal challenges, and fired all of its marketing affiliates in Colorado, North Carolina, Rhode Island, and California. It also launched a $5 million political campaign to get voters to turn back the California law. And when Texas’ comptroller presented Amazon with a $269 million sales tax bill last year, the company shut down its distribution center in Dallas.


But suddenly, Amazon has stopped fighting the sales-tax war. Last fall it dropped its repeal campaign in California and instead signed a deal with lawmakers to begin collecting sales taxes later this year. That was followed by several more tax deals—over the course of the next couple years, Amazon will begin collecting sales tax from residents of Nevada, New Jersey, Indiana, Tennessee, Virginia, and on July 1, it began collecting taxes from Texans. It also currently collects taxes from residents of Kansas, Kentucky, New York, North Dakota, and its home state of Washington. After all the tax deals go into effect, the company will be collecting taxes from the majority of its American customers.

Why would Amazon give up its precious tax advantage? This week, as part of an excellent investigative series on the firm, the Financial Times’ Barney Jopson reports that Amazon’s tax capitulation is part of a major shift in the company’s operations. Amazon’s grand strategy has been to set up distribution centers in faraway, low-cost states and then ship stuff to people in more populous, high-cost states. When I order stuff from Amazon, for instance, it gets shipped to California from one of the company’s massive warehouses in Kentucky or Nevada.

But now Amazon has a new game. Now that it has agreed to collect sales taxes, the company can legally set up warehouses right inside some of the largest metropolitan areas in the nation. Why would it want to do that? Because Amazon’s new goal is to get stuff to you immediately—as soon as a few hours after you hit Buy

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Apple May Meet Tablet Competition With a Smaller iPad

Apple May Meet Tablet Competition With a Smaller iPad | Tech news and market movers | Scoop.it

With new tablets coming from Google and Microsoft, and rumors of one from Amazon, Apple’s response may be to introduce a smaller, less expensive version of its popular iPad...


The tech companies are at it again — trying to catch the blockbuster iPad in a race to win the tablet market.

Google on Friday began shipping its Nexus 7, which is smaller and less expensive than Apple’s iPad, and is meant to compete with both that device and Amazon’s Kindle Fire.

This summer, Microsoft announced that it would create its own tablet, Surface. And Amazon is working on a new version of the Kindle Fire, with a larger display, that could compete more directly with the iPad, according to a developer briefed on Amazon’s plans who did not want to be identified talking about unannounced products. Analysts also believe that Amazon is updating the Kindle Fire. Drew Herdner, an Amazon spokesman, declined to comment.

But Apple is hardly about to cede ground.

The company is developing a new tablet with a 7.85-inch screen that is likely to sell for significantly less than the latest $499 iPad, with its 9.7-inch display, according to several people with knowledge of the project who declined to be named discussing confidential plans. The product is expected to be announced this year.

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What an Amazon smartphone would bring to the table

What an Amazon smartphone would bring to the table | Tech news and market movers | Scoop.it
Amazon could enter the smartphone market and do well. Consumers could stand to have a No. 3 mobile platform and the usual suspects just aren't up to challenging Android and Apple's iOS. Read this blog post by Larry Dignan on Mobile.


Amazon is reportedly planning to launch a smartphone to compete with the Android army as well as Apple's iPhone. And why not? There has to be a No. 3 mobile platform and Amazon has the moxie to make it happen.
Bloomberg is reporting Amazon is prepping a smartphone and there are many observers receptive to the idea. The reality of the wireless industry is that there's a duopoly---Android phones and Apple's iOS. Together, those two platforms own the wireless device market. Within that duopoly there are two primary hardware players---Samsung and Apple. The rest of the pack arguably road kill over time. Just look at HTC's dismal results as Samsung surges.
Carriers see this wireless structure developing and say: "We need a No. 3 platform." Verizon, AT&T and others are rooting for Microsoft's Windows Phone platform and Research In Motion to eventually deliver on its BlackBerry 10 promises. Wireless buyers would like a No. 3 choice too, but so far seem perfectly content with Android and iOS.
The upshot of all this is that a No. 3 platform won't emerge merely based on charity. In fact, the No. 3 wireless platform is likely to come from a player not even in the market today.
That new entrant could easily be Amazon. Here's what Amazon brings to the table:

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How Facebook Finds The Best Design Talent, And Keeps Them Happy

How Facebook Finds The Best Design Talent, And Keeps Them Happy | Tech news and market movers | Scoop.it
If you take a close look at Facebook’s S-1 registration statement, you’ll notice something striking: Designers are called out as key to the company’s long-term strategic success.

Via Marylene Delbourg-Delphis
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Netflix Shares Surge; Option Activity Jumps

Netflix Shares Surge; Option Activity Jumps | Tech news and market movers | Scoop.it

Netflix shares are on a tear, jumping 12% and moving back above $80 for the first time since early May...

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