HTC To Go High-End

August 18, 2015 by  
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Taiwanese smartphone maker HTC Corp said it will eliminate some jobs and discontinue models as part of its strategy to focus on high-end devices to better compete with the likes of AppleInc and Samsung Electronics.

“The cuts will be across the board,” Chief Financial Officer Chialin Chang told reporters after HTC reported a second-quarter loss and forecast another for the third-quarter. “They will be significant.”

Chang said the cost reductions would extend to the first quarter of next year, but declined to give further details.

A pioneer in early smartphones, HTC has been dismissed by industry watchers as confused, unoriginal and uncompetitive.

The company has been losing market share over the past few years, hit by intense competition at the high-end of the market from the likes of Apple and Samsung Electronics while budget Chinese rivals have also eclipsed its low-cost offerings.

HTC shares have fallen 51 percent so far this year. The stock closed 1.69 percent lower before the results were announced.

Chang said HTC was banking on selling high-end models in emerging smartphone markets such as India, where he said the company has a 20 percent market share of phones priced between $250-$400.

Analysts, however, are less optimistic, saying HTC is likely to continue to struggle for the next four quarters at least.

“We believe HTC will keep losing share in the smartphone market and will keep losing money,” analyst Calvin Huang with Taiwan’s SinoPac Securities wrote in a recent research note.

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RedHat Goes PaaS With Linux

July 7, 2015 by  
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Red Hat has announced the release of OpenShift Enterprise (OSE) 3, a new version of its Platform-as-a-Service offering.

Based on Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL)7, Openshift is built on Docker Linux containers with Kubernetes orchestration using technology developed in collaboration with Google.

The news comes in a busy week for Red Hat, which has also announced a new productivity tie-up with Samsung and taken a leading role in the formation of a new alliance known as the Open Container Project to standardise containers.

Users will have access to a wide range of apps via the Red Hat Container Certification Programme. Middleware solutions including Red Hat JBoss Enterprise, Web Server (Tomcat) and JBoss A-MQ messaging are also included.

Included are a number of tools to help developers create and collaborate, with web, command line, and integrated development environment interfaces. Options include direct code-push from GIT and source to image building. There is also flexibility for deployment, rollback and integration.

In addition, a preview of Openshift Dedicated has been released. The public cloud service based on OpenShift 3 will succeed Openshift Online, which already hosts 2.5 million applications online, allowing businesses to quickly build, launch and deploy bespoke apps.

Ashesh Badani, vice president and general manager, OpenShift, Red Hat, said, “This release of OpenShift Enterprise 3 employs open source containers and orchestration practices to change the developer experience and move the platform in the direction of what customers are asking for – a flexible platform for a microservices architecture.

“Our continued upstream work in the Docker and Kubernetes communities enable us to deliver the most updated technology platform for developers and operators, enabling them to remain competitive through quicker innovation.”

To assist users, Red Hat is offering a range of enterprise administrator courses to teach users how to deploy, configure and manage the system, which can result in a Red Hat Certificate of Expertise in Platform as a Service – a worthy certificate for any office wall.

OpenShift 3 is available now with bespoke pricing models based of socket and core pairings.

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Broadcom Aquired?

June 8, 2015 by  
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It is starting to look Broadcom will get bought out by its rival Avago as deep throats within both outfits think a deal is close.

Avago is in advanced buyout talks to acquire Broadcom, which manufacturers chips for both the smartphone and broadband industries. The two companies are more or less the same size, but at the moment Broadcom is the weaker partner

It has been the subject of previous speculation regarding acquisitions. The company is among the largest maker of chips for mobile systems such as smartphones, tablets and wearables, Internet of things (IoT) devices and automotive technology products.

Such capabilities could give Avago greater traction in fast-growing markets like IoT and mobile devices.

Broadcom announced last year that it was closing its baseband cellular chip business after being unable to gain inroads against such competitors as Qualcomm. The company had $8.4 billion in revenue last year.

It seems everyone wants a lot more consolidation in the chip industry. Intel reportedly resumed buyout talks to acquire Altera earlier this month, with the parties eyeing a potential price that could reach $13 billion. Micron was tipped as a potential buyer of rival SanDisk.

An April report cited a note from Bernstein analyst Mark Newman. According to this report, Newman pointed to SanDisk’s current valuation as making it a prime takeover target for rival NAND chip maker Micron, as well as other players in the market.

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Qualcomm Has A Plethora Of Automobile Modems

June 3, 2015 by  
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Qualcomm had an IoT event in San Francisco yesterday and the company wanted to talk a bit more about IoT, also known as Internet of Things. They started off with a catchy phrase – Internet of Hype to Internet of Everything.

Dave Aberle said that up to a billion dollars in revenue is coming from the non-mobile market. More than 10 pecent of Qualcomm revenue will come from the non-headset market. They call this market Internet of Everything, but we believe that not all of that market should be called IoT.

IoT is not just the wearable market; it is car modems, connected speakers, action cameras, some smart SanDisk storage solutions, home automation kit and more.  Aberle mentioned that Qualcomm has 40 car design wins in the market with 15 different OEMs. We saw some names including Audi on the slide, but the list of obviously much longer.

Qualcomm is the leader in connected car and 4G LTE market, while Nvidia is the leader in Infotainment car systems, having some huge customers behind it, including the Volkswagen Group.

Qualcomm wants to expand its presence in IoT, including automotive solutions, and we expect more IoT designs from them in the near future.

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Cloud Analytics Growth Rate Will Continue

February 20, 2015 by  
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It’s no secret that cloud computing and data analytics are both rapidly expanding areas within information technology. Put them together, and you get a winning combination that’s expected to grow by more than 26 percent annually over the next five years.

That’s according to market-tracking firm Research and Markets, which recently released a new report on the global cloud analytics market.

Increased adoption of data analytics is one of the major drivers in this market, Research and Markets found. More specifically, many organizations are adopting data analytics in order to better understand consumption patterns, customer acquisition and various other factors believed to increase revenue, cut costs and boost customer loyalty.

HP, IBM, Microsoft, Oracle and SAP are among the dominant vendors in this arena, the company said in a press release.

Big Data is one of the particularly significant trends in the market, Research and Markets said.

“Cloud analytics deals with the management of unorganized data, which helps organizations access important data and make timely decisions regarding their business,” the company said.

The rates of growth in this arena might actually be much higher than those suggested by the report, said analyst Ray Wang, founder of Constellation Research.

In fact, Constellation Research predicts an annual growth rate of closer to 46 percent until 2020, he said.

Early-arriving cloud companies like Salesforce “had great reporting, but they didn’t necessarily have great analytics,” Wang said.

It’s for that reason that challengers such as Actuate have popped up, he noted.

“More and more, because of the size and complication, we’re seeing analytics move to the cloud,” Wang said.

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Will Intel Assist Apple?

January 15, 2015 by  
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Apple is apparently having problems getting its partners to make 3-D transistors that go.

Drexel Hamilton’s chip analyst Rick Whittington [no really] made a comment that Intel might be getting ready to bail Apple out while he was having a chat about Micron. In passing, Whittington noted problems had by Taiwan Semiconductor and Samsung Electronics trying to produce 3-D transistors in any useful yield.

He noted that Intel has mastered 3-D transistors, and said that it would be very good for Intel if neither Samsung or TSM can do FinFET this next year; puts them in line to supply Apple’s internal foundry needs.

However he admitted that it was more that TSM/Samsung would operate FinFET under very low yield output and keep capacity tight.

Of course if Jobs’ Mob don’t want that they can always rush into the loving arms of Chipzilla – again. As happened with Saphire glass Apple has shown that it can dump a partner quickly if it does not move fast enough.

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Ericsson Goes After Xiaomi

December 22, 2014 by  
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Ericsson has thrown a spanner into Chinese firm Xiaomi’s expansion plans, and has reportedly stopped it from selling handsets in India.

According to reports, this is already happening. We have asked Ericsson to confirm its role and what it wants to say about it. It told us that the reports are true and that it is ready to defend itself.

“It is unfair for Xiaomi to benefit from our substantial R&D investment without paying a reasonable licensee fee for our technology. After more than 3 years of attempts to engage in a licensing conversation in good faith for products compliant with the GSM, EDGE, and UMTS/WCDMA standards, Xiaomi continues to refuse to respond in any way regarding a fair license to Ericsson’s intellectual property on fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory (FRAND) terms,” it said in a statement.

“Ericsson, as a last resort, had to take legal action. To continue investing in research and enabling the development of new ideas, new standards and new platforms to the industry, we must obtain a fair return on our R&D investments. We look forward to working with Xiaomi to reach a mutually fair and reasonable conclusion, just as we do with all of our licensees.”

Xiaomi has responded to Bloomberg but it declined to say too much until it has access too all of the information.

“Our legal team is currently evaluating the situation based on the information we have,” said the spokesperson. “India is a very important market for Xiaomi and we will respond promptly as needed and in full compliance with India laws.”

The banning on the sale of devices was approved by a court in Delhi India, according to reports, and is based on an Ericsson claim on eight patents that it owns.

Xiaomi has bold plans for its own future and sees itself competing against rivals like Samsung and Apple. It has given itself between five and 10 years to do this, and will presumably want to include the Indian market in those plans.

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Cisco Files Suit Against Rivals

December 17, 2014 by  
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Network equipment maker Cisco Systems Inc filed several lawsuits on Friday against Arista Networks Inc, alleging the smaller rival of copying its networking technologies.

The lawsuits, filed in a federal court in California, accuse Arista of infringing on 14 patents on networks and also on related copyrights, Cisco General Counsel Mark Chandler said in a blog post.

Arista was formed by former Cisco employees, including Chief Development Officer Andreas Bechtolsheim, Chief Technology Officer Kenneth Duda, and Chief Executive Officer Jayshree Ullal.

“Rather than building its products and services based on new technologies developed by Arista, however, and providing legitimate competition to Cisco, Arista took a shortcut by blatantly and extensively copying the innovative networking technologies designed and developed by Cisco,” one of the complaints said.

Cisco is a leader in the networking world, with revenue of $12.2 billion in the third quarter. Arista, in contrast, reported sales of $155.5 million for the period, although it is growing fast.

Arista said it had not yet been able to evaluate the lawsuits.

“While we have respect for Cisco as a fierce competitor and the dominant player in the market, we are disappointed that they have to resort to litigation rather than simply compete with us in products,” Arista said in an emailed statement.

Cisco filed the lawsuits on the same day the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to review a $64 million patent infringement verdict that Commil USA LLC won against the company.

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RedHat Ups Game With Fedora 21

October 10, 2014 by  
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RedHat has announced the Fedora 21 Alpha release for Fedora developers and any brave users that want to help test it.

Fedora is the leading edge – some might say bleeding edge – distribution of Linux that is sponsored by Red Hat. That’s where Red Hat and other developers do new development work that eventually appears in Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) and other Red Hat based Linux distributions, including Centos, Scientific Linux and Mageia, among others. Therefore, what Fedora does might also appear elsewhere eventually.

The Fedora project said the release of Fedora 21 Alpha is meant for testing in order to help it identify and resolve bugs, adding, “Fedora prides itself on bringing cutting-edge technologies to users of open source software around the world, and this release continues that tradition.”

Specifically, Fedora 21 will produce three software products, all built on the same Fedora 21 base, and these will each be a subset of the entire release.

Fedora 21 Cloud will include images for use in private cloud environments like Openstack, as well as AMIs for use on Amazon, and a new image streamlined for running Docker containers called Fedora Atomic Host.

Fedora 21 Server will offer data centre users “a common base platform that is meant to run featured application stacks” for use as a web server, file server, database server, or as a base for offering infrastructure as a service, including advanced server management features.

Fedora 21 Workstation will be “a reliable, user-friendly, and powerful operating system for laptops and PC hardware” for use by developers and other desktop users, and will feature the latest Gnome 3.14 desktop environment.

Those interested in testing the Fedora 21 Alpha release can visit the Fedora project website.

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Is RadioShack Going Bankrupt?

September 23, 2014 by  
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Troubled electronics retailer RadioShack Corp says filing for bankruptcy protection is an option if its cash situation worsens, after reporting its tenth straight quarterly loss.

The company said it was also exploring other options, including a sale or an investment, and liquidation as the last resort.

RadioShack, whose sales have been in free-fall since 2010 as it struggles to compete with internet retailers, said in a regulatory filing it was working with its lenders and landlords to restructure its debt and cut costs.

“It would surprise me if we got to Nov. 1 without a bankruptcy,” Wedbush Securities Inc analyst Michael Pachter told Reuters.

RadioShack shares, which are in danger of being delisted from the New York Stock Exchange, were up 2 percent at 95 cents in volatile early trading.

The company said same-store sales declined 20 percent in the latest quarter, while total sales plunged to their lowest in more than 20 years.

The company is being advised by a restructuring attorney at law firm Jones Day as it tries to strike a deal with creditors to close stores, two people close to the matter told Reuters on Wednesday.

RadioShack tried to close 1,100 stores this year, but reduced that number to 200 a year when lenders did not agree to the plans.

RadioShack’s landlords, however, may be open to mass store closures if they believe it will allow them to find new tenants more quickly than in a bankruptcy, a source close to the matter told Reuters.

David Tawil, president of hedge fund Maglan Capital that focuses on companies approaching bankruptcy, said he saw “major execution risks” to RadioShack’s recapitalization and turnaround efforts.

“I don’t think that the chances are great that RadioShack survives,” Tawil said, adding that the company’s credit default swaps were trading higher, pointing to market expectations of a near-term debt default.

The company ended the second quarter with $30.5 million in cash and $658.0 million in debt, which matures between 2018 and 2019.

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