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Apple Inc loses it’s most valuable company crown

January 25, 2013 By: Dr Search Principal Consultant at the Search Clinic Category: Apple, Customer Service, mobile phones, smart phones, Tablets, Technology Companies, Uncategorized

Apple Inc has lost its crown as the world’s most valuable publicly traded company after its shares continued to follow the basic law of physics- gravity.Apple Inc loses it's most valuable company crownThe Oil company Exxon Mobil has regained the top slot after Apple shares fell a further 2.4%-  following a 12% drop on Thursday.

Apple, which posted disappointing iPhone sales figures on Wednesday, has seen its shares fall 37% since their record high last September.

Exxon became number one in 2005, traded places with Apple during 2011, and had been number two since early 2012.

At the close on Wall Street, Apple had a market value of £261 billion, against Exxon’s of £264 billion.

The technology company has been hit by fears over its future growth, despite record profits.

Although the firm said on Wednesday that it had sold more iPhones (47.8 million) and iPads (22.9 million) in the final three months of last year than in any previous quarter, investors and analysts had expected yet more.

On Thursday, about £32 billion was wiped off Apple’s value after the biggest daily drop in the firm’s stock in four years.

Apple is also facing fierce competition from rivals like Samsung, which accounted for one in four of all mobile phones shipped worldwide last year, according to Strategy Analytics.

Apple’s share price rose sharply following a revival under Steve Jobs, who died in 2011, which came about first in computers and then the iPod music player, and was then followed by the iPhone and iPad.

Apple’s shares were worth as little as $3.19 in 1997 when it faced the possibility of bankruptcy, and reached a record $702.1 on 19 September 2012.

Pearson invests in Barnes and Noble’s Nook ereader

January 07, 2013 By: Dr Search Principal Consultant at the Search Clinic Category: Apps, Computers, Ecommerce, EReaders, Search Clinic, smart phones, Tablets, Technology Companies, Uncategorized

The publisher Pearson has said it will invest in the Nook series of ereaders and tablets.Pearson invests in Barnes and Noble's Nook ereaderPearson said it would pay £55.5 million for a 5% stake in Nook Media, which includes the digital bookstore and 674 stores serving US colleges.

The maker of Nook-  US book chain Barnes & Noble (B&N), sells the devices online in the UK and in its stores as well in the US.

Microsoft is another big investor in the Nook.

After the deal, B&N will hold 78.2% of the Nook business and Microsoft will have about 16.8% , Pearson said.

It added that, subject to certain conditions, Pearson will have the option to buy another 5% stake in Nook Media.

“Pearson and Barnes & Noble have been valued partners for decades, and in recent years both have invested heavily and imaginatively to provide engaging and effective digital reading and learning experiences,” said Will Ethridge, chief executive of Pearson North America.

“This new agreement extends our partnership and deepens our commitment to provide better, easier experiences for our customers.”

B&N offers its own curated magazine, newspaper, book and app stores – and plans to add a video service offering movies and television shows by early 2013.

Its devices compete with tablets and ereaders from Apple, Amazon, Sony and products using Google’s Android software.

B&N does not operate its own stores in the UK, but as well as online, it sells its products through Sainsbury’s and the bookstore Blackwell’s.

Apple boss Tim Cook takes massive pay cut

January 03, 2013 By: Dr Search Principal Consultant at the Search Clinic Category: Apple, Dr Search, mobile phones, Search Clinic, smart phones, Tablets, Technology Companies

Tim Cook will take home a salary of just 1% of the £235 million ($378 million) that he received to be Apple’s boss last year.Apple boss Tim Cook takes massive pay cutIn a regulatory filing, the iPhone-maker’s head said he would get a salary of £875,000 with a bonus of £1,750,000 for 2012.

Most of his money from 2011 came from a grant of shares awarded for becoming the chief executive and Apple said he would not get any new shares.

“Mr Cook’s target cash compensation remains significantly below the median for CEOs of peer companies,” it said.

Last year, following the death of co-founder Steve Jobs, Mr Cook received a bonus in the form of stock of more than $370 million, making him reportedly the best paid boss in the USA.

His base salary was $900,000. His predecessor, Steve Jobs, famously had an annual salary of $1.

Mr Cook’s salary was raised to $1.4 million and he received a bonus of 200% of his salary for exceeding Apple’s own targets in a year when its profit grew 61% to $41.7 billion and Apple became for a time the most valuable company in the world.

“Mr Cook did not receive an RSU [restricted stock unit] award in 2012 in light of the RSU award he received in connection with his promotion to CEO in August 2011,” Apple said.

It added: “Following a recommendation by Mr Cook to the Compensation Committee, the company adopted stock ownership guidelines for the CEO and the non-employee directors. Under the guidelines, Mr Cook is expected to own shares of company common stock that have a value equal to ten times his base salary.”

His colleagues received hefty pay packages after a successful year. Bob Mansfield, senior vice president of technologies, will get almost $86 million and chief financial officer Peter Oppenheimer will receive $68.6 million.

Google Nexus and Amazon Kindle in new content deals

December 10, 2012 By: Dr Search Principal Consultant at the Search Clinic Category: Amazon, Customer Service, Dr Search, Ecommerce, EReaders, Google, smart phones, Tablets, Technology Companies, Uncategorized

Google’s Nexus 7 and Amazon’s Kindle tablets have launched new deals that highlight how content are helping drive device sales.Google Nexus and Amazon Kindle in new content dealsThe Times newspaper is subsidising the cost of the Nexus as part of its digital editions bundle.

Amazon is launching an “all-you-can-eat” media subscription offer targeted at children in the US.

Apple’s share of worldwide tablet shipments dipped from about 66% to 50% between the April-to-June quarter and the July-to-September period, according to data from IDC.

By contrast the Kindle and Nexus devices’ share grew. Investors will watch to see how that trend is affected in the current period following the launch of the iPad Mini.

The Times is promoting its Nexus 7 Digi Bundle – which gives online access to The Times and Sunday Times papers – by offering the 32GB version of the tablet for £50, on top of the price of its standard package, rather than the £199 it is sold for in shops.

The deal involves an 18 month commitment to the paper, bringing the total cost to £299 for the period.

It is notable that the firm picked Google’s tablet, bearing in mind News International’s chief executive, Rupert Murdoch, had previously described the firm as a “parasite” for offering his papers’ content in its news search listings.

Amazon’s FreeTime Unlimited service charges a monthly fee for access to book, game and educational apps, movies and TV shows. Disney, DC Comics, Nickelodeon and the team behind Sesame Street are also among the publishers that have allowed their content to be included.

The product is focused at children aged between three and eight and will promote content depending on their gender and age.

It costs about £3 per month per child, although there is a discount for members of the Amazon Prime programme.

eBay thirdquarter sales and profits increase

October 22, 2012 By: Dr Search Principal Consultant at the Search Clinic Category: Apps, Customer Service, eBay, Ecommerce, internet, Mobile Marketing, mobile phones, Pay Per Click, Pay Per Click Advertising, smart phones, Tablets, Technology Companies, Uncategorized

The auction site eBay has reported a rise in third quarter sales and profits- as more consumers used the website.eBay thirdquarter sales and profits increaseNet profit for the three months to the end of September rose 14% from a year earlier, to £445 million ($718 million), eBay said.  Net revenues rose 15% to £2.125 billion.

The company has also been looking to take advantage of the increasing number of people who use mobile smartphones to shop and pay for things.

“We had a great third quarter across our company, with Marketplaces and PayPal accelerating customer growth,” chief executive John Donahoe said in a statement.

“Mobile continues to be a game changer for us, and we continue to be a clear leader in mobile commerce and payments.”

The group forecast sales of between £2.46 billion and £2.5 billion in the fourth quarter.

Whilst the results were impressive, EBay shares fell nearly 1% in extended trading in New York after its results came out as analyists had been hoping for even better results.

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Apple’s manufacturer stops production after China riots

September 26, 2012 By: Dr Search Principal Consultant at the Search Clinic Category: Apple, Computers, internet, mobile phones, smart phones, Tablets, Technology Companies, Uncategorized

Foxconn Technology- a major supplier for Apple products has halted production at a plant in northern China after a fight broke out among workers.Apple's manufacturer stops production after China riotsFoxconn confirmed that a “personal dispute” escalated into an incident involving about 2,000 workers, injuring 40 of them.

Police later dealt with the situation near the facility in Taiyuan, which employs about 79,000 workers.

Foxconn has previously been accused of having poor conditions for its workers- with 20 workers committing suicide in the past few years.

Foxconn said the incident started on Sunday at about 23:00 local time (15:00 GMT) in a dormitory near the Taiyuan manufacturing facility in Shanxi province.

Internet users in China posted pictures on microblog sites which they said had been taken at the scene showing windows of nearby shops smashed and police vehicles overturned.

Some photos showed police and paramilitary officers in riot gear being deployed to the scene.

About 40 people were taken to hospital and a number of individuals have been arrested, the company said.

A senior government official from Taiyuan City was quoted by the official Xinhua news agency as saying that three of the injured people were in a serious condition.

The Xinhua agency reported that the dispute had been brought under control by 5,000 policemen by 09:00 local time on Monday.

Unverified messages on the Twitter-like social network Weibo suggested that violence from security guards may have sparked the unrest.

One said that four or five security guards had beaten a worker almost to death, while another said that rioting workers had been targeting security guards who had earlier beaten some of their colleagues.

Earlier in the year a fight broke out in a restaurant at a Foxconn plant involving about 100 workers.

Legal battle between Apple and Samsung continues

June 28, 2012 By: Dr Search Principal Consultant at the Search Clinic Category: Apple, Computers, Ecommerce, Mobile Marketing, mobile phones, Samsung, smart phones, Tablets, Technology Companies, Twitter, Uncategorized

Following on from yesterday’s post Apple ordered to pay damages to Samsung by Dutch court the roles have been reversed as a US court has banned sales of Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet while it decides on the firm’s patent dispute with Apple.Legal battle between Apple and Samsung continuesApple has claimed that Samsung infringed its design patent and copied the look of its popular device, the iPad.

The Samsung tablet is considered by most analysts as the biggest rival to Apple’s iPad.

The ban does not apply to the Galaxy Tab 10.1 II, the tablet’s new edition. The trial for the case is scheduled to begin in California on 30 July.

Apple will have to post a £1.67 million ($2.6 million) bond to enforce the injunction, which it applied for in May, to compensate Samsung if the ban subsequently proves to have been unnecessary.

The judge had previously denied Apple’s appeal for an injunction on the Galaxy tablet and smartphones, but was asked by a federal appeals court to reconsider Apple’s request on the tablet PC.

Samsung and Apple are tied up in several legal cases, each becoming increasingly bitter as they each try to hinder each other’s chances in the lucrative tablet market.

Surprisingly enough, the feud hasn’t stopped the companies working together – the latest iPad uses several Samsung-made components.

Elsewhere, in a sign of increasing frustration at the tit-for-tat nature of the patent disputes, a US judge threw out a separate case involving Apple, this time against Google-owned Motorola Mobility.

The judge said Apple’s claim that Motorola’s alleged patent infringement had harmed the iPhone’s standing in the smartphone market was “wild conjecture”.

Apple has been filing suits against various manufacturers who use the Google Android operating system in their tablets and smartphones.

Apple and Samsung are involved in a variety of legal cases in various countries across the globe amid claims and counter claims of patent infringement.

While Apple had accused Samsung of “blatant copying” of its design and look, the South Korean firm has alleged that Apple infringed its patents relating to the way phones and tablet PCs connect to the internet.

Apple and Samsung are two of the biggest manufacturers of tablet PCs and smartphones in the world- and each are using every tactic to attempt to hinder each other’s market share growth.

Apple ordered to pay damages to Samsung by Dutch court

June 27, 2012 By: Dr Search Principal Consultant at the Search Clinic Category: Apple, Computers, Ecommerce, Samsung, smart phones, Tablets, Technology Companies, Uncategorized

Apple has been ordered to pay damages to rival Samsung Electronics by a court in the Netherlands.Apple ordered to pay damages to Samsung by Dutch courtThe court said that Apple had infringed a patent held by Samsung relating to the way phones and tablet PCs connect to the internet.

Apple, which recently became the world’s most valuable firm, has been facing various legal issues.

The Dutch court did not specify any amount, but the damages will be calculated based on sales of Apple’s iPhone and iPad in the Netherlands.

Samsung had claimed that Apple had infringed four of its patents. However, the Dutch court said that only one of those had been breached.

Apple and Samsung are two of the biggest manufacturers of smartphones and tablet PCs in the world. However, the two firms have been involved in dozens of patent cases and disputes relating to designs of their respective products.

Analysts said that with so many cases being fought by the two firms in different countries, neither of the parties may emerge as the overall winner.

Last month, a judge in the US ordered the chief executives of both the firms to meet to try to settle their legal differences.

But the talks did not lead to any agreement and Apple has since sought a ban on sales of one of Samsung’s tablet computers and the latest range of its Galaxy smartphones.

Apple had enjoyed an early lead in the smartphone and tablet PC market with the launch of its iPhone and iPad devices. However, Samsung has been steadily increasing its market share in the sector with the introduction of new hardware.

Analysts said that given the increased competition, the two firms had been using the legal battles as a way to stop each other from increasing their market shares.

Apple drops Google Maps software in new iOS

June 13, 2012 By: Dr Search Principal Consultant at the Search Clinic Category: Apple, Apps, Computers, Customer Service, internet, smart phones, Smart TV, Tablets, Technology Companies, Televisions, Uncategorized

Apple has unveiled its latest mobile operating system, iOS6, which runs on its iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch devices- but will no longer include Google Maps software.Apple drops Google Maps software in new iOSApple will instead run its own mapping app, which has a high-quality 3D mode on the platform.

Google announced its own 3D mapping software last week on its competing mobile platform, Android.

Both companies have used fleets of planes to capture the imagery, drawing concerns from some privacy campaigners.

Apple’s updated iOS software will be available for general consumers by the autumn, chief executive Tim Cook said.

It will be a free update for owners of  the iPhone 4S, iPhone 4 or iPhone 3GS – as well as users of the latest iPad, the iPad 2 and fourth generation iPod touch.

Additional features include “eyes free”, a feature on which Apple said it had worked with car manufacturers to integrate a “Siri button” to activate the iPhone’s voice-operated assistant.

For the first time on Apple’s devices, video calls will be able to be made over a cellular connection, rather than relying on wi-fi.

The company also announced revamped models in its Macbook Pro and Macbook Air ranges.

It’s new Macbook Pro is 0.71 inches thick, with a high-resolution Retina display. It utilises Intel’s Ivy Bridge processor.

Its slimline Macbook Air range has also been upgraded with enhanced graphics and processing capabilities.

Both will offer a free upgrade to OS X Mountain Lion, the latest version of the Mac operating system which is set for release in July.

Among its features is enhanced synchronisation between desktop, laptop and mobile, thanks to iCloud, the company’s cloud-based storage service.

Once again, overhyped predictions that Apple was set to announce a long rumoured television were wrong. September is a more likely date.

Apple CEO Tim Cook rejects $75 million bonus

May 25, 2012 By: Dr Search Principal Consultant at the Search Clinic Category: Apple, Ecommerce, Technology Companies, Uncategorized

Apple’s CEO Tim Cook has turned down a bonus payout worth about $75 million (£48 million).Apple CEO Tim Cook rejects $75 million bonusThe technology company will pay a quarterly dividend of $2.65 per share from July, the first time Apple Inc has declared a dividend since 1995.

But a regulatory filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission revealed that Mr Cook will not take up his dividends.

A newspaper recently said that Mr Cook was the highest paid boss in the US with an income of more than $300 million.

“At Mr Cook’s request, none of his restricted stock units will participate in dividend equivalents,” the filing said. It did not say why.

According to the Wall Street Journal, Mr Cook made £245 milion ($378 million) last year, most of which came from a grant of one million shares awarded.

His base salary is £580,000 ($900,000). His predecessor, Steve Jobs, famously had an annual salary of $1.

Apple has about £71 billion ($110 billion) in cash.

In March, the technology company said it would use its cash to start paying a dividend to shareholders and to buy back some of its shares.

It expects to pay out £29 billion ($45 billion) over the next three years.