Today's Top Technology Headlines
- Apple revenue lags Street's view despite strong China growth
By Christina Farr and Edwin Chan SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Apple Inc posted a smaller-than-expected 6 percent rise in quarterly revenue on Tuesday, but revenue surged 28 percent in greater China despite stiff competition in its third-largest market. It sold 35.2 million iPhones in the June quarter, a rise of about 13 percent that was in line with analysts' projections, helped by a strong performance in an Asian market considered crucial to Apple's longer-term growth prospects. Chief Executive Tim Cook told analysts on a conference call that Apple's Chinese performance was "honestly surprising." Unit iPhone sales jumped about 48 percent and Mac computer sales rose 39 percent in the June quarter, Chief Financial Officer Luca Maestri said in an interview. This month, Samsung Electronics Co Ltd estimated April-June operating profit far below most analysts' forecasts, as its Galaxy S5 sold more slowly than expected in the face of severe competition. "We have a really good runway in front of us with China Mobile," Maestri said, referring to Apple's main carrier partner in the world's No. 2 economy.
- Microsoft sees end to Nokia losses, shares rise after hours
By Bill Rigby SEATTLE (Reuters) - Microsoft Corp said it aims to get its loss-making Nokia phone unit to break even within two years, helping its stock rise in after-hours trade. Microsoft's chief financial officer said in a call with analysts that the company plans to take $1 billion in costs out of the Nokia operation and stop its losses by fiscal 2016 - which ends in June 2016 - following massive job cuts announced last week. "The expense guidance around Nokia was much better than feared," said Daniel Ives, an analyst at FBR Capital Markets. "While there is still some heavy lifting ahead, it appears brighter days are on the horizon for Microsoft after a decade of pain and frustration." Microsoft shares hit new 14-year highs over the past week, and were up 1.1 percent at $45.33 after hours.
- With sales sputtering, Apple's iPad looks to IBM alliance
By Christina Farr SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Apple Inc's iPad is losing steam just four years after its release, but an alliance with International Business Machines Corp could rejuvenate a flagging product by entering into a largely untapped corporate market. Apple shipped 13.2 million iPads in the June quarter, 8 percent fewer than a year earlier and lagging Wall Street's forecast for 14 million or more. Apple helped create the tablet market in 2010 with its first iPad. Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook described iPad sales as "very bifurcated" - they continue to grow at 50 percent or above in emerging markets such as the Middle East and China, but in developed countries like the United States, the "market is weaker." Research firm IDC lowered its forecast for 2014 worldwide tablet demand growth to 12.1 percent - a fraction of the 51.8 percent expansion of 2013.
- Sony invests in image sensor production amid 'selfie' boom
Sony Corp said on Thursday it would invest 35 billion yen ($345 million) to increase production of image sensors for smartphones and tablets, as the company courts handset makers to get more orders for front-facing camera sensors, used to take selfies. The Japanese firm said it will increase production of stacked CMOS sensors at two factories on the southern Japanese island of Kyushu, while completing work on a factory in northwestern Japan it bought from Renesas Electronics Corp for a total investment of 35 billion yen. Sony, which currently supplies image sensors for the main camera in Apple Inc's iPhone said the investment will allow it to raise production by 13 percent to 68,000 wafers a month by August 2015, a step closer to its mid-term goal of 75,000. Imaging sensors are an area of strength for Sony, which leads the market ahead of Omnivision Technologies Inc, whose sensors are mostly used in front-facing smartphone modules that typically have lower specifications than the main rear camera.
- StubHub was victim of cyber fraud ring; arrests to be announced
By Deepa Seetharaman and Jim Finkle SEATTLE/BOSTON (Reuters) - eBay Inc's StubHub online ticket resale service said it was the victim of a massive international cyber fraud ring, the details of which authorities plan to disclose on Wednesday as they announce arrests in the case. StubHub's head of global communications, Glenn Lehrman, told Reuters late on Tuesday that his firm has been working with law enforcement around the world for the last year on the case. Lehrman said he could not say how much money was involved or how many people were being charged ahead of announcements planned by authorities in several countries on Wednesday. Fraudulent charges were posted after hackers obtained user credentials by hacking into other sites, then used them to log in StubHub, he said.
- Facebook's Zuckerberg to testify at N.Y. forgery trial: prosecutors
By Joseph Ax NEW YORK (Reuters) - The government will call Mark Zuckerberg to testify against an upstate New York man accused of trying to cheat the billionaire founder of Facebook Inc out of half his stake in the social media company, a federal prosecutor said on Tuesday. Zuckerberg is expected to be a key witness against Paul Ceglia, who is charged with forging a 2003 contract with Zuckerberg that purportedly entitled him to half of Facebook. “It's a witness that the government 100 percent knows it will be calling at trial,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Christopher Frey said at a court hearing before U.S. District Judge Andrew Carter in New York federal court. The charges stem in part from a 2010 civil lawsuit Ceglia filed against Zuckerberg and Facebook in Buffalo, New York, claiming the two men signed a contract when Zuckerberg was a freshman at Harvard University that gave Ceglia half of a planned social networking website.
- Microsoft's Lumia 530 takes on Android at the low end
Microsoft has a new smartphone competitor for the low end: the Lumia 530. Designed as a successor to the popular Lumia 520, Microsoft’s Lumia 530 includes similar specifications and a low price point of just 85 euros ($114) before taxes and subsidies. While the Lumia 525, a revision of the 520, included 1GB of RAM, Microsoft has opted for 512MB of RAM in the Lumia 530 and just 4GB of storage and a quad-core processor. The Lumia 530 also includes on-screen buttons, joining the Lumia 630 as the second Windows Phone to include this new functionality. Beyond the specifications, this device could be significant for Windows Phone.
- Microsoft's first post-Nokia phone is the budget Lumia 530
- Apple gets smartwatch patent
A US patent made public on Tuesday bolstered rumors that Apple has designs on a smartwatch. "The invention pertains to an electronic wristwatch," said a summary in Apple patent paperwork on record with the US Patent and Trade Office. The patent describes a wrist band, possible with a touch screen, configured to connect wirelessly to a mobile device such as a smartphone. Disclosure of the patent added fuel to talk that California-based Apple intends to weigh into the blossoming wearable computing market with a smart watch.
- YouTube star sued for copyright to the tune of $150,000 per song
- Hang a digital art store on your wall with Framed 2.0
Over three years ago, Japanese artist and designer Yugo Nakamura presented a concept that would bring digital art to our walls. Just two weeks ago, American startup Electric Objects launched its EO1 picture frame, which is very similar to Framed, onto Kickstarter. Now, the designer and his business associate William Lai are launching a consumer-focused frame through their company FRM with a Kickstarter campaign. While Electric Objects' effort sticks closely to the 2011 Framed concept unveiled by Nakamura, the new Framed adds a few extras that weren't in its original launch three years ago.
- Ultra high definition TVs boost LG Display profit
SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — LG Display Co. said profit for the April-June quarter more than doubled as a stronger won reduced the value of its foreign debt and the World Cup boosted demand for ultra-high-definition TVs.
- The UK is about to unleash a 'fart machine' on France
A British inventor is preparing to let rip the loudest fart that France has ever heard. In order to accomplish this mission, Colin Furze put together a valveless pulse jet, a propulsion device sometimes used by hobbyists to power model aircraft and other remote-controlled vehicles. Furze intends to have his absurd contraption prepared by July 24th, which is when he plans to unleash auditory hell from the cliffs of Dover, England.
- eBay still sees Russia as top priority in emerging markets
MOSCOW (Reuters) - Online retailer eBay Inc still sees Russia as a top priority in emerging markets, Vice President Wendy Jones told a news conference on Wednesday. "We said three years ago that the Russian marketplace is eBay's top priority in emerging markets. It was true then and it is true now," Jones told a news conference dedicated to the signing of a memorandum with Russian Post. (Reporting by Maria Kiselyova; writing by Katya Golubkova)
- Relive your NES glory days with a gamepad that feels like the real thing