Just a few days ago Microsoft released its financial data for Q1 2015 (yeah, the timescale is weird) and we learned a little about where the company's money is coming from. According to data compiled by FactSet and published by USA Today Microsoft is in fact the tenth most profitable company in the world.
The list has been put together by taking into account companies' "net income before discontinued operations and extraordinary items for their latest fiscal year", and it finds Microsoft in interesting company. Sandwiched between oil giant BP and banking behemoth Wells Fargo & Company, Microsoft just managed to sneak into the top ten with $86.8 billion in revenue.
Still in buoyant mood after the launch of the iPhone 6, Apple Watch, and iPad Air 2 -- even the Mac mini -- Apple gave its Q4 2014 earnings call yesterday. CEO Tim Cook announced that the company generated $42.1 billion in revenue in the quarter and a net profit of $8.5 billion, up from $37.5 billion and $7.5 billion for the same period last year. Referring to the "biggest iPhone launch ever", Cook explained that Apple is due to enter the holiday season with its "strongest product lineup ever".
He explained that 60 percent of the quarter's revenue came from international sales, and sales have gone up in just about every area of the company with the exception of iPad and iPod sales. The iPhone remains the biggest seller (some 39.272 million units, up 16.2 percent), and Mac sales are also strong (5.52 million units, up 20.7 percent).
With Android 5.0 Lollipop, Nexus 6 and Nexus 9 on the horizon, as well as some great Android devices already on the market, some of you may be thinking about ditching iOS for Android. It is unquestionably a big decision, so you may want to ensure that the switch from an iPhone or iPad will be as painless as possible.
To help with the switch, Google has prepared a nifty guide that explains how you can migrate your data from iOS to Android, tackling key areas such as multimedia content, contacts, email, messaging and, of course, apps. You may recall that Apple posted a similar guide last month, detailing to would-be customers the steps they need to take to move from Android handsets to iPhones. Google now looks to simply be returning the favor.
Whatever your mobile platform of choice, there are some apps which are all but impossible to avoid. Some -- like Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube -- have reasonably dull histories; we all know the corporations behind their creation. But there are plenty of other big names with less well known histories. A new infographic from IrishApps.org reveals the stories behind some famous titles, and reveal the fortunes they have generated.
For example, did you know that Flappy Bird was originally going to be called Flap Flap, and was put together in just two days? Or that the founder of Summly was just 17 years old when he sold his app to Yahoo? How about the fact that the Ukrainian developer of WhatsApp is estimated to be worth $7 billion?
Today is a big day for both Apple and Samsung, as the two are launching their latest flagships in three of the largest smartphone markets: iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus officially hit China, and Galaxy Note 4 arrives in US and UK. It's a "finally" moment in both cases, as the handsets were announced more than a month ago.
For Apple, having its new iPhones officially available for sale in China, the largest smartphone market, is a huge opportunity to boost sales in what could very well be its best quarter of the year. The pair had to launch later in China this year, due to regulatory hurdles. Among other things, the local government has forced Apple to beef up the security of iOS 8 to give the new iPhones its nod of approval.
Over the years, Apple has become well known for its tight control of the message in new product launches. Increasingly, one word or concept has become a signature that is carefully woven throughout the keynote, press and marketing material.
Here is a look at some of the language used for each iPhone launch since 2007 and how we can learn from what Apple is really good at; controlling the message.
The world's largest smartphone manufacturer is troubled. Overnight, Samsung warned that its third-quarter operating profit could fall as much as 61.8 percent because of weakness in its largest division, mobile, from which phones account for about 60 percent of company profits. Smartphone shipments are up slightly, but the money they generate is down substantially.
For Google, the news is a mixed blessing. In April 2012, I warned that "Google has lost control of Android" -- Samsung's dominance with customized versions of the mobile operating system being major reason. Big G effectively responded by separating core apps and services from Android, spreading them out across versions, and better unifying the user experience. Still, Samsung's TouchWiz UI is the main way tens of millions of people experience Android every day. The South Korean company's problems could eventually be good for Google, but will they benefit Android or pull it down?
The red telephone booth is one of the most enduring icons of the UK; but as delightful as their housings may be, the humble payphone has had its day. Coin and card-fed phones are on the verge of being consigned to the history books, while the mobile phone goes from strength to strength. But mobile phones, for all their strength in portability, coverage, and flexibility, have their kryptonite: battery life. In keeping with the environmentally-friendly preference for recycling and reusing rather than trashing, unused phone boxes are being given a new lease on life.
Should you find yourself wandering down London's Tottenham Court Road and notice that your battery is getting a little low, there's a green solution popping up. Phone booths that would have otherwise be left to rack and ruin are being converted into solar-powered charging stations that can be used completely free of charge.
Apple devices hold their value well, which is good news if you’re thinking of selling an old one. The downside of this is it makes iPhones an attractive target for thieves.
If you’re looking to buy an iPhone, but can’t afford a brand new one -- on contract or off -- then shopping for a used model makes a lot of sense. But how can you know for sure that the device you’ve got your eye on is being offered by the legitimate owner, and not a thief offloading his ill-gotten gains? A new Apple tool can tell you.
I preordered Apple's new smartphone on September 12, and it wasn't easy. Few months back, I went "Microsoft All-In" for the summer, purchasing the Nokia Lumia Icon on contract from Verizon. So I didn't qualify for the discounted, upgrade price. But when there's a will, there's a way -- and a generous family member helps make something special happen.
My iPhone 6 review begins with such disclaimer. Like iPad Air, I paid for the device. Apple didn't send me a review unit, but I did ask, and I am not on the preferred list of writers who get early access to "iDevices" and who presumably are more likely to rave. Such qualification is necessary, because iPhone 6 is an exceptionally satisfying handset, and I don't want to be mislabeled fanboy for stating such. That's a brash conclusion coming from someone abandoning a competing smartphone with better specs and satisfying user experience.
When the first iPhone went on sale in June 2007 expert opinion was very much of the view that it wouldn't have a significant impact. Steve Wildstrom of Business Week for example said, "The iPhone will never be a threat to the BlackBerry".
Proving that experts can be very wrong, the iPhone has of course gone from strength to strength and Carphone Warehouse in Ireland has produced a fascinating infographic charting its evolution up to the latest version.
By virtue of the fact that we carry them around most of the time, mobile phones often get damaged and the iPhone is no exception. Insurance company Protect Your Bubble has analyzed its customer data to reveal the most common ways in which iPhones suffer problems.
Cracked screens are, as you might expect, the most common type of damage on 41 percent. Water damage accounts for 24.4 percent, though unfortunately no details are given on how this occurs or the exact nature of the liquids involved. We'd guess toilets are a factor in quite a few and Protect Your Bubble says it has had calls about phones damaged in Ice Bucket Challenge related incidents. It seems a high number of people manage to completely destroy their phone by smashing it into pieces too with nine percent admitting to running over their phone with a heavy object.
When Apple acquired Beats Music earlier in the year, there were obvious fears that the service would shut down. While this type of rumor is often well-founded, it seems fears were misplaced on this occasion: Apple has no plans to shutter Beats Music. A company spokesperson made a statement to the Guardian making it clear that suggestions that the subscription music service is to close down are "not true". But could the brand end up being eaten by iTunes?
Beats Music has not been a runaway success. It has subscribers, but not all that many. With Apple's backing there is a chance that its popularity could increase, but it can be difficult to shake off the reputation of an old name -- Beats Music has singularly failed to reach the celebrated heights of Beats Electronic's headphones. Having spent $3 billion on Beats Music and Beats Electronic, it would be strange if Apple just gave up on a portion of its investment.
Seven years after its inception, online image editing service Aviary has been acquired by Adobe. The Photoshop stalwart is no stranger to the cloud, but this latest purchase seems to indicate that the company is looking to expand further in this arena. Pay a visit to the Aviary website and the Adobe branding is already in place -- there's also a new entry on the Aviary company timeline that has been updated to reflect the acquisition. The Adobe-branded Aviary website makes clear the thinking behind the move: "accelerating delivery of mobile apps that integrate with Adobe Creative Cloud".
It seems that the main reason for Adobe's interest in Aviary is the fact that the ornithologically-named firm has developed a number of mobile SDKs. Aviary is already a popular tool, and Adobe is understandably keen to monetize the popularity of cloud apps and mobile services: Aviary is a ready-made package that encompasses both of these ideas perfectly. An announcement by Adobe explains that "the acquisition accelerates Adobe's strategy to make Creative Cloud a vibrant platform for third-party apps, through a new Creative SDK".
Launch day is over, and now the weekend warriors descend on Apple and cellular carrier stores looking to buy iPhone 6 or 6 Plus. Expect mayhem everywhere. Not since 2010 has there been such long lines for or insanity about a new "i" device. I expected nutsville, even with preorder option, but nothing like this.
To be honest, the frenzy defies logic and there must be some kind of mob mentality driving it. I am reminded of Windows 95's nearly 20 years ago. Some people will point to past iPhone launches as being as big or bigger. No. iPhone 4 was the last gigantic debut weekend, before Apple started taking preorders, a mechanism that shifted sales away from the big day. iPhone 6 and 6 Plus are much larger when factoring in those 4 million first 24-hour preorders (and others) ahead of September 19 store openings.