DigitalOutbox Episode 128
DigitalOutbox Episode 128 – Mountain Lion, Quarterly Results and Nexus 7
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1:11 – Mountain Lion
– £13.99 upgrade
– iCloud, Notification Centre, Sharing, Twitter and Facebook, Airplay and Airplay Mirroring, Messages, Power Nap, Gatekeeper, Dictation, Safari (fast!), Reminders, Notes, Calendar, Game Center
– Consensus is that the OS feels a lot snappier than Snow Leopard and Lion
– Ian – I hope it’s more stable!
– Safari for Windows no longer available!
5:01 – Apple Results
– Apple disappointed analysts despite reporting profits up 21% year-on-year to $8.8bn (£5.6bn) and revenues up 23% to $35bn, after missing targets that Wall Street had forecast as consumers held off buying iPhones ahead of an expected new model later this year.
– The company also offered surprisingly low guidance of just $34bn in revenues for the coming quarter, suggesting it will not have another blockbuster product and may be expecting a slowdown in sales as people anticipate new products including new iPhones and possibly a smaller version of the iPad.
– That slowdown hit iPhone sales a year ago as anticipation grew ahead of the launch in October of the iPhone 4S.
– Chief financial officer Peter Oppenheimer told analysts after the release that iPhone sales were being impacted by rumours of new products.
– Though sales of its iPad leapt by 84% year-on-year to 17m, iPhone sales rose just 28% to 26m, well below the figures some analysts had expected. The stock plunged almost 5% in after-hours trading after the company announced the results, which were below the Wall Street consensus expectations for the quarter of $37.22bn. The number of iPhones was below forecasts, while iPad sales were ahead.
– A key part of the miss appeared to be sales in Europe and the Asia-Pacific region. In Europe, sequential sales dropped by 7%, but in Asia-Pacific they fell by nearly a 25% from the previous quarter.
– iPhone and Mac shipments were particularly soft, while iPad sales — 17 million — set an all-time high. Apple sold more “computers” last quarter — 21 million Macs and iPads — than any quarter ever before, including last Christmas.
– But the big-picture story is that this is a slower period ahead of the expected new iPhone and potential new iPad this fall (and maybe someday, a television). Apple’s 23% year-over-year revenue growth was its slowest since 12% growth in the June 2009 quarter, and was almost down at Google’s 21% level!
8:01 – Microsoft Results
– Microsoft just released its Q4 2012 earnings report, posting just $192M in operating income before taxes and its first ever loss ($492M) due to the writedown the company took because of its failed aQuantive acquisition. Revenue for this quarter was $18.06, up from $17.41 billion in the last quarter and $17.37 billion in Q4 2011. Loss per share – and this is the first time Microsoft reported a negative EPS in its history – was $0.06.
– Analysts previously expected Microsoft to post around $18.13 billion in revenue and earnings per share were expected to be around $0.62 on earnings of around $5.3 billion. These numbers don’t reflect the aQuantive writedown, however. In the year-ago quarter, Microsoft reported a profit of $5.9 billion and $4.5 billion in Q4 2010.
– Still have $50 billion in the bank
9:25 – Google Results
– It was a strong quarter for Google overall, posting 21% year-on-year revenue growth for Google’s own properties, but Motorola racked up a $233 million loss. Despite running at a loss, Motorola netted Google $1.25 billion in revenue.
– Google’s total quarterly revenue was $12.21 billion, up 35% from Q2 2011, including revenue from Google-owned sites and partner sites not part of the main Google portfolio. Revenues from outside the U.S. accounted for 54% of Google’s quarterly revenue, holding steady from a year ago.
– Adding Motorola to the family caused Google’s employee numbers to skyrocket. The company already had 34,000 workers, and Motorola adds another 20,000. The Motorola loss breaks down to $192 million for the mobile segment and $41 million for the home segment. The loss represents 19% of Motorola’s Q2 revenue of $1.25 billion, $843 million of which came from mobile and $407 million from the home segment.
13:20 – Google buys Sparrow
– Google buys Sparrow for $25 million
– Sparrow still available for Mac and iPhone but will receive no more updates
– Sparrow’s experience at building simple and powerful email clients will be helpful in bringing consistency to the Gmail ecosystem. Our sources also noted that Google isn’t ruling out native Gmail clients for platforms beyond iOS and Android, and emphasized that Google wants to bring polish, “beauty,” and ease of use to all of its Gmail experiences across platforms (a suggestion that a native client for Mac and PC might be in the offing).
– Shame. More and more great developers being bought up by the big firms and their products are then shuttered.
– Worst bit for me is that they put the app on half price sale around a week ago ‘for a few days’. Then at the end of that they have sold and for all those new customers there are no more updates. They still have a great app, but an app that is now frozen from a features perspective.
17:56 – Nexus 7
– Great success for the tablet
– Can’t buy 16gb edition
– Sources close to Google say the search giant seriously underestimated the demand for the 16GB version of its 7in Nexus 7 tablet, which has sold out from stockists and other sources while demand for the smaller 8GB version remains comparatively low.
– The company has now halted further orders of the 16GB version of the tablet, costing £199, on its Google Play store in the US and UK. Orders made in the period up to the end of last week are due to be fulfilled, but a shortage of stock now means a hiatus in sales.
– Couple of weeks wait for 8gb
– Some screen issues
– Not bonded properly
– Complaints are multiplying online about quality issues with the new Google Nexus 7 tablet, with a number of people complaining about “loose screens” which bleed light from the edges or move when touched. Some of those who have had problems say Google has been slow to respond to their concerns.
– Reports of “loose screens” have begun occurring almost since the devices first arrived. Some users have complained that the touchscreen glass is slightly lifted around the edge of the device. In some cases that means that light seems to “bleed” into the display of a page, while others have said it means the screen actually moves.
– In a post on the Android Central forums, a user called psycho9x reported that “Just got [my] N7 yesterday and I love it BUT I have noticed that the glass on the left side is separating from the case… When you look at it from the side you can see the glass sticking up a bit and when you push it back down you can hear the adhesive grab on then it lets go. I haven’t even had it for 12 hours yet.”
– Other reports show “phantom” typing because of uneven screen attachment.
– Other users have reported “stuck” pixels on the 1280×800 screen. Others have said that it is unresponsive to some touchscreen input.
– Ian played with one…..
23:59 – Ofcom reveals 4G auction plans
– Telecoms regulator Ofcom has unveiled plans for the auction of fourth generation (4G) bandwidth for mobile phone services.
– The sales process will start later this year but bidding will not begin until early 2013, which Ofcom said was in line with its previous timetable.
– The regulator says it expects consumers to start getting services in late 2013.
– It wants to see “at least four credible national wholesalers of 4G mobile services” to promote competition.
– The auction will sell chunks of radio spectrum to support future 4G mobile services, which will allow users to download data such as music and videos at much faster speeds.
25:45 – Three users double data usage
– Mobile customers now consume double the amount of data than they did last year, says Three.
– The operator’s contract customers now use an average of 1.1GB a month, compared to the 450MB they gobbled up this time last year. The culprits of high data use are unsurprisingly top-end smartphone users, who swallow roughly 1.5GB a month.
28:13 – Open Internet Code of Practice
– A number of UK internet service providers (ISPs) have signed up to a voluntary code of practice that generally requires them to ensure that they are offering “full and open internet access” to their customers.
– BT, BSkyB, O2 and TalkTalk are among 10 ISPs to commit to the Open Internet Code of Practice (9-page / 52KB PDF). However, Virgin Media, Vodafone and Everything Everywhere have so far elected not to sign up to the code, with Virgin citing concerns with its wording.
– Under the code, the signatory ISPs are allowed to offer “products” that may restrict “full internet access”, but they have committed not to use the term ‘internet access’ to “describe or mark such products and ensure that any restrictions are effectively communicated to consumers”.
– In addition, the code allows for the ISPs to restrict open use of the internet through “traffic management” of their services. This managing of congestion, together with blocking of services when ordered to do so by courts or law, as well as the blocking of sites and services that promote child pornography, count as legitimate restrictions to ISPs’ deliverance of a full internet service.
– Deploying age controls or complying with data caps or download limits as specified in consumer contracts are among the other permissible reasons ISPs can restrict their service.
– The code requires that ISPs do not use traffic management “in a manner that targets and degrades the content or application(s) of specific providers” and ensure that a ‘best efforts’ internet access is a “viable choice” to consumers even where other “managed services” are available.
– The ISPs signed up to the code have also agreed to operate “clear and transparent traffic management policies”.
– A new complaints system has also been established under the code to allow “providers of internet-based content, applications and services” to raise “evidenced concerns about possible instances of negative discrimination” with the individual ISPs. Should complaints be unresolved the Broadband Stakeholder Group (BSG), which is an independent advisory body that helped facilitate the agreement of the new code, will report the incidents to the government and Ofcom, the telecoms regulator. Ofcom would then have to decide whether to investigate further.