Archive for 07/01/2012

HTC Corp. (2498), Asia’s second-largest smartphone maker, posted its first quarterly profit decline (2498) in two years as competing models from Apple Inc. (AAPL) and Samsung Electronics Co. damped demand for its handsets.

Fourth-quarter net income dropped 26 percent to NT$11 billion ($364 million) from NT$14.8 billion a year earlier, the Taoyuan, Taiwan-based company said in a statement today. The average of 11 analyst estimates (2498) compiled by Bloomberg in the past four weeks was for profit of NT$11.6 billion.

Analysts predict sales and shipments will fall further this quarter after the company cut its outlook for revenue in the last three months of 2011. Sales of HTC handsets, including the Sensation, Wildfire and Rhyme, slowed in the fourth quarter as customers opted for Apple’s iPhone and Samsung’s Galaxy models, and the weaker global economy hurt overall demand.

Shipments dropped to 10 million units and will decline to 8.5 million this quarter, according to the median of five analyst estimates compiled by Bloomberg News. HTC sold 13.2 million units in the third quarter and didn’t provide shipment data or estimates for the current or prior quarter.

HTC, which became the largest smartphone seller in the U.S. in the third quarter, on Oct. 31 forecast that fourth-quarter sales would rise as much as 30 percent from a year earlier. It then cut its outlook on Nov. 23, saying revenue would be little changed.

Apple®   announced that iPhone® 4S, the most amazing iPhone yet, will be available in China and 21 additional countries on Friday, January 13. iPhone 4S is packed with incredible new features including Apple’s dual-core A5 chip for blazing fast performance and stunning graphics; an all new camera with advanced optics; full 1080p HD resolution video recording; and Siri™, an intelligent assistant that helps you get things done just by asking. iPhone 4S comes with iOS 5, the world’s most advanced mobile operating system with over 200 new features.

 “Customer response to our products in China has been off the charts,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. “With the launch in China next week, iPhone 4S will be available in over 90 countries making this our fastest iPhone rollout ever.”

 Beginning Friday, January 13, iPhone 4S will be available in Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Bolivia, Botswana, British Virgin Islands, Cameroon, Cayman Islands, Central African Republic, China, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Grenada, Guam, Guinea Conakry, Ivory Coast, Jamaica, Kenya, Madagascar, Mali, Mauritius, Niger, Senegal, St. Vincent and The Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago, Turks and Caicos and Uganda.

Car ads can be very predictable but Mini have bucked the trend on it’s head by offering one of their fans the chance to create their latest advert. The car company ran a competition last year asking consumers to describe their ultimate test drive in just 6 words. Matthew Foster was the lucky winner and his six words were…. STEWARDESS, SALT FLATS, PARATROOPERS, SUSHI, FALCONER.

As you’ll see from the video they take those six words and turn them in to a spectacular commercial that is certainly unique. It is great to see a brand becoming so creative and allowing their fans to get involved.

Samsung Electronics Co. (005930), Asia’s largest consumer-electronics company, reported a record quarterly profit on surging sales of Galaxy phones and a one- time gain from selling its hard-disk drive business.

Operating profit (005930) increased 73 percent to 5.2 trillion won ($4.5 billion) in the three months that ended in December, the Suwon, South Korea-based company said in a statement today. That beat the 4.6 trillion-won average of 29 analyst estimates compiled by Bloomberg. Sales rose 12 percent to 47 trillion won.

Mobile-phone sales surpassed a record 300 million units last year as Galaxy smartphones helped win consumers amid competition with Apple Inc.’s iPhone. Samsung, which sold its hard-disk drive business to Seagate Technology Plc, is introducing more mobile devices to offset slumping profits at the chip and flat-screen panel businesses.

“The mobile business is generating a huge chunk of profit now,” James Song, a Seoul-based analyst at Daewoo Securities Co., said by telephone. “It may be getting harder for Apple to catch up because they only have a limited number of models.”

Samsung shares fell 1.4 percent to 1,040,000 won at the 3 p.m. close of trading in Seoul, while the benchmark Kospi index declined 1.1 percent. The stock gained 11 percent in 2011.

Galaxy Sales

Samsung overtook Apple in the third quarter to become the world’s largest smartphone seller after shipping 27.8 million units, market researcher Strategy Analytics said in October. Samsung’s smartphone sales more than tripled during the three- month period from a year ago, and its market share more than doubled, it said.

Samsung probably sold about 32 million smartphones in the fourth quarter, according to an estimate from Dongbu Securities Co., helped by the Galaxy range of devices. Galaxy S II sales, which began in May, surpassed 10 million units quicker than any other Samsung mobile device, the company said in a December statement, without providing a total sales figure for the model.

“They’ll probably roll out more low-end smartphones this year after focusing on high-end models last year,” said Kim Hyung Sik, a Seoul-based analyst at Taurus Investment Securities Co. “By the end of the year, they’ll climb to the top in overall handsets.”

Samsung sold more than 300 million handsets in 2011, according to the statement.

In October, Samsung and software partner Google Inc. (GOOG) unveiled the Galaxy Nexus, powered by the latest Android operating system that features facial-recognition functions. A month earlier, Samsung introduced the Galaxy Note equipped with a 5.3-inch screen and a stylus.



You may have noticed a trend on Youtube of videos showing really dumb thieves getting caught on CC TV. There are hundreds of them and now eletronics brand LG have tapped in to that craze to create a viral video that is absolutely genius in both it’s concept and it’s execution. The video has been uploaded by a random user to make it seem as if it is the real deal and many people in the comments seem to think it is genuine but it is of course a viral. I don’t want to ruin the storyline before you watch the video itself but the way in which is gets the core message across about the product is subtle but very smart. The only indication that it is an advert for a product is the clear call to action at the end of the video on the window with an advert for it. The video has been out for a week but it starting to blow up in the last couple of days with well over half a million views. The creatives behind this campaign certainly need a pay rise!

With the latest generation of augmented reality apps, you can use your smartphone camera to get more information and translations of text on objects, including signs and menus, on the go.

These can be a boon for lone parachute reporters, but even polyglots or those who use fixers while working abroad sometimes need help parsing a word or two.

Google Goggles

[iPhone, Android. Free.] This augmented reality app from the search colossus uses your phone’s camera to provide text and image translations plus information on landmarks and works of art. One major caveat: you need a data connection to use it, so know your roaming fees.

CamDictionary [Android, free or $4.99.]

This is a straightforward point-and-shoot app that translates one word at a time. It can translate via the camera — so you don’t have to snap and save a picture. If you’re using it to decipher something a little longer (like a newspaper headline) you have to go word by word, but it does work. It supports dozens of languages, including Arabic and simplified Chinese.

Word Lens [iPhone, price varies.]

 This app translates English, French and Spanish with the phone cam; language packs are sold separately at $9.99 each. An added bonus: you can also type in words, and it supports the iPhone 3Gs, iPod touch and the iPad.

Babelshot[iPhone, $4.99.]

 Billed as a “photo translator,” this app will help you sort out German, Japanese, Italian and Spanish with your iPhone 4. This one can also work on larger blocks of text, translating newspaper articles, for example.

BabelCam [Windows Phone, free.]

 According to users, the WP7 Mango version uses the camera and supports Asian languages, too. Older versions may require you to take pictures to process translations.