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Motorola Mobility Closes Out Q4 2011 With An $80 Million Net Loss

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Motorola Mobility released their fourth quarter and year-end financials today, and now we can see why they made it a point earlier this month to downplay analyst expectations. The company’s new figures reveal that while Motorola raked in $3.4 billion in Q4 2011, they also incurred a net loss of $80 million.

Things don’t look much more promising when we shift our attention to their mobile offerings. Motorola’s myriad mobile devices accounted for the lion’s share of their revenue — $2.5 billion to be precise, a year-over-year increase of 5%.

Still, despite pushing out devices like the Droid RAZR and their XYBOARD tablet in time for the holidays, Motorola didn’t see a notable jump over their performance last quarter when during which their mobile devices netted $2.4 billion in revenue.

Also interesting to see is how Motorola stacks up to their mobile competitors when it comes to device shipments. Motorola announced earlier this month that they shipped 10.5 million mobile devices in Q4 2011, down from 11.3 million back in Q4 2010. Of those 10.5 million units shipped 5.3 million were smartphones, which doesn’t sound too shabby until you realize that Android-loving rival Samsung sold 35 million smartphones.

Taiwan-based HTC would probably be the closest in terms of performance — while they didn’t release specific device numbers along with their unaudited quarterly results, Bloomberg’s estimates pegged them at roughly 10 million devices shipped. Coincidentally, both Motorola and HTC have made known their intentions to streamline their smartphone portfolios going forward, and I’m looking forward to seeing how their earnings change as a result.

Stepping back to look at their yearly performance, we find that Motorola Mobility shipped a grand total of 42.4 million mobile devices, which includes 18.7 million smartphones and 1 million tablets. Those in tandem with their (less interesting) home segment offerings led Motorola to pick up net revenues of $13.1 billion, albeit with a net loss of $249 million. Of course, Motorola Mobility’s on the precipice of some drastic change, what with their pending acquisition by Google still churning along. With the transaction expected to finish early this year, we could be looking at a completely different Motorola before too long.

Article source: http://techcrunch.com/2012/01/26/motorola-mobility-closes-out-q4-2011-with-an-80-million-net-loss/


Android Dominates Moolah Media’s Mobile Ads

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Moolah

It looks like publishers and advertisers are warming to mobile ad startup Moolah Media. The company says that in 2011, it generated 7 million leads for its advertisers — and 1.9 million of those leads (27 percent of the year’s total) came in December.

Also in December, Moolah says its ads reached 45 million Americans. And interest in the company is growing — Moolah projects that traffic to its website will triple this month, as pictured in the chart above.

The company first launched in November 2010. At the time, CEO Shawn Scheuer said that no one had effectively brought the “performance-based” ad model into the mobile world. Even now, Scheuer says most ad companies are interested in paying publishers based on impressions or clicks, rather than the form submissions, inbound phone calls, and mobile app installs that Moolah tracks and pays for. So Moolah’s approach is bringing more direct-response marketers into the mobile world — 50 advertisers so far.

Last fall, Moolah tried to improve its ads with the launch of SmartMoolah, which gathers more data about user behavior after the click. Since then, publishers have seen significantly higher payments, and are now willing to hand more of their inventory over to Moolah, Scheuer says.

He also revealed that 65 percent of Moolah’s ads get served on Android devices, compared to 19 percent on feature phones and a lowly 14 percent for iOS devices. That’s because certain products or services do better on certain carriers or devices, and it’s possible to target ads at that level on Android by not iPhone.

“We’re a small team, so we have to focus on where see the highest response rates, and right now that’s Android,” Scheuer says. “Apple has been clamping down on the user ID tracking, and they’re kind of spooking a lot of people about that. That’s really hurt advertising on the iPhone.”



  • MOOLAH MEDIA

Based in San Francisco, Moolah Media is a leading mobile performance marketing company focused on lead generation and customer acquisition.

Moolah Media was founded in November 2010 by industry veterans with a history of innovation, market leadership, and profitable growth of many leading mobile technology and internet advertising companies.

Through its proprietary mobile advertising platform, Moolah Media provides consumers with an interactive and informative buying experience, advertisers with quality leads, registrations and sales, and publishers with reliable monetization of their valuable…

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Article source: http://techcrunch.com/2012/01/26/android-dominates-moolah-media/


Disney, Q-pot Choco, Honey Bee: Japan Gets 3 Extra-Cute Android Phones

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qpot sharp 2

Android adoption is growing rapidly in Japan, with local handset manufacturers doing everything they can in order to meet the demands of customers in all segments of the population. One particularly attractive target group seems to be women, given how many Japanese companies say they design Android phones specifically for female users.

Here are three recent examples.

First, Sharp has designed a weird “chocolate bar”-type handset that Japan’s biggest mobile carrier NTT Docomo plans to roll out on Valentine’s Day.

The so-called “Q-pot.Phone SH-04D” [JP] comes with Android 2.3, a 3.7-inch LCD with 540×960 resolution, NFC e-wallet function, Wi-Fi, and an 8MP CMOS camera.

Here are some accessories owners can get:

Second, Japanese carrier SoftBank rolled out Kyocera’s HONEY BEE 101K [JP] today, another handset designed with female customers in mind.

This model features Android 2.3, a 3.5-inch LCD with 800×480 resolution, a 5.1MP CMOS camera, a MP5225 dual-core CPU with 1.2GHz, 2GB ROM, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth 2.1+EDR.

Third, Disney Mobile has come up with the DM012SH, a Android 2.3 handset (made by Sharp). It comes with a 4-inch LCD with 960×540 resolution, an 8MP CMOS camera, NFC e-wallet function, infrared, digital TV tuner, Bluetooth 3.0, Wi-Fi, and a microSDHC slot.

Disney Mobile, a Japanese MVNO, is planning to offer the DM012SH (pre-installed with a special Disney UI, Disney apps, wallpapers, etc.) next month. Every buyer will get one the cases below for free:

Article source: http://techcrunch.com/2012/01/27/disney-q-pot-honey-bee-japan-android-phones/


Apple Overtakes Samsung As World’s Largest Smartphone Vendor In Q4

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According to the latest report from Strategy Analytics, Apple has now overtaken Samsung to become the world’s largest smartphone vendor by volume. Apple achieved 23.9% market share during Q4 2011, narrowly beating out Samsung’s 23.5% share.

In addition, Apple shipped 37 million units in Q4, again going neck-and-neck with Samsung and its 36.5 million units shipped during the same time.

However, notes Neil Mawston, Executive Director at Strategy Analytics, “while Apple took the top spot in smartphones on a quarterly basis, Samsung became the market leader in annual terms for the first time with 20% global share during 2011.” Apple’s annual share, meanwhile, was 19%.

In other words, Apple won the quarter, not the year.

Smartphone global shipments reached nearly half a billion units in 2011 (488.5 million units), the firm found, turning the smartphone battle into a two-horse race between Apple and Samsung in terms of units shipped.

Nokia, the one-time smartphone leader, is still holding onto a top spot, in position #3, with 19.6 million units shipped during Q4 and 77.3 million shipped during 2011. But Nokia’s global share has been halved from 33% in 2010 to just 16% in 2011, indicating its ongoing decline.

Although Strategy’s numbers paint the Samsung vs. Apple battle as a tight race between mobile giants, there’s a big difference between the numbers being reported here. As MacRumors points out, Samsung no longer reports its mobile phone sales numbers, while Apple discloses its units sold each quarter. That means analysts are estimating Samsung’s numbers, but Apple’s numbers are provided by the company itself. It could be that Apple’s lead is even greater than what’s seen here.

Update: A report from the analysts at Canalys has just come in, and confirms the same thing – it’s an Apple vs. Samsung battle.

According to the firm’s latest findings, Apple’s record shipment of 37 million iPhones shipped in Q4 beat the previous record held by Nokia of 28.3 million phones shipped in Q4 2010. Another shocking figure: the huge volume of iPhones shipped exceeded the size of the entire market of 4 years ago, when 35.5 million smartphones shipped globally.

The firm also noted Nokia’s shipment of 19.6 million smartphones, calling it “a decent performance given its current transitional state.” However, Canalys stopped short of estimating Samsung’s phone shipments at this time, saying that the company doesn’t disclose these numbers publicly. They did say that Samsung’s quarterly smartphone growth was around 30% and mobile phone shipments were up 10%, though.

Says Canalys Vice President and Principal Analyst Chris Jones, “the numbers are still coming in, but our early take on the state of the smartphone market is that, while Apple and Samsung clearly saw phenomenal performances, many other vendors have struggled. The full impact of this difficult quarter on hardware and software vendors will become clearer over the next week, when final results from the likes HTC, LG, Huawei and ZTE are announced, and Canalys publishes its full Q4 2011 worldwide country-level databases.”



  • APPLE
  • SAMSUNG

Started by Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, and Ronald Wayne, Apple has expanded from computers to consumer electronics over the last 30 years, officially changing their name from Apple Computer, Inc. to Apple, Inc. in January 2007.

Among the key offerings from Apple’s product line are: Pro line laptops (MacBook Pro) and desktops (Mac Pro), consumer line laptops (MacBook) and desktops (iMac), servers (Xserve), Apple TV, the Mac OS X and Mac OS X Server operating systems, the iPod (offered with…

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Article source: http://techcrunch.com/2012/01/27/apple-overtakes-samsung-as-worlds-largest-smartphone-vendor/


Face.com Launches KLIK, A Real-Time, Facial Recognition Camera App For iPhone

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klik-1

Facial recognition company Face.com has just released a new mobile application that takes advantage of its technology to identify the faces of your friends in photos. Called “KLIK,” the app is a real-time, facial recognition mobile camera app for iPhone that automatically identifies your friends by name before or after you take their their photo.

To use the app, you have to configure it with your Facebook account, as that’s how it learns who you friends are. You don’t, however, have to immediately share the pictures you take using KLIK on Facebook – that part is optional.

In most cases, KLIK can identify the person in the frame before you snap the photo, and the name will then appear directly over their face in the camera’s viewfinder. (The name does not appear on the saved photo, of course). If, however, KLIK can’t figure out who someone is, tap “Tag Me” on the unrecognized faces in the saved photos to ID them. As you identify unknown faces and save the photos, the app learns and its ability to recognize those same folks in future images improves.

Although the app could have easily been built just as a “proof of concept” of Face.com’s facial recognition technology, it’s clear that that startup has put some time and effort into the app’s design and feature set. The app isn’t just impressive in terms of its technology – it’s pretty, too.

In addition to the facial recognition bit, KLIK supports some Instagram-like photo filters for making your photos seem more artistic. It also offers feeds of nearby photos and friends photos, tagging photos from the camera roll, and social sharing to Facebook, Twitter, email, and publicly on KLIK itself.

Oh, and did I mention it’s pretty? KLIK requires iOS 4.3+ and a Facebook account to work. The app is available for free here on iTunes.



  • FACE.COM

Face.com is helping people find photos, using our home grown best-in-breed facial recognition technologies. The first deployment of our tech is our Photo Finder application for Facebook, today’s largest photo sharing site, which scans public photos in your social network and suggests tags for untagged faces. face.com has offices in Tel Aviv and New York.

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Article source: http://techcrunch.com/2012/01/27/face-com-launches-klik-a-real-time-facial-recognition-camera-app-for-iphone/


RIM’s New CEO Backtracks: “There Is A Lot Of Change”

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ThorstenHeins

On Monday of this week, RIM’s new CEO made a statement that set off a bomb on the blogosphere, and I’m not sure he understood its repercussions at the time. “I don’t think any drastic change is needed.”

If you’ve been paying attention to RIM and its numbers, you know that what the company desperately needs is change. Sales are declining, platform market share is dwindling, and the BlackBerry brand, to a large extent, has lost the power it once had behind it. So in a recent interview with CrackBerry, Heins made sure to clarify exactly what he meant by “no drastic change is needed.”

I think this got into a little bit of the black and white zone. I was talking about drastic or seismic changes. What I was trying to address was that there was some suggestion that RIM should be split up or should even be sold. My true belief is that RIM has the strength and the assets that we can really succeed in this market.

There is a LOT of change. There is a lot of structure change, there has been already a lot of change in terms of our software, our software platform, bringing QNX in. There is no standstill at any moment here at RIM.

What I wanted to make clear to the market is that we believe in our own strength, we are BlackBerry, we are an integrated solution, hardware, software, services, and network.

Perhaps, Mr. Heins makes a point. RIM is clearly trying to change. We just haven’t seen it yet.

A QNX-based BlackBerry 10 operating system is a huge step in the right direction, but it was announced in April 2010 and won’t be ready until the second half of this year. Quite the wait, if I may be so bold.

Then there’s the PlayBook 2.0 OS that’s supposed to make its way to us next month, and refreshed hardware to go along with it which hasn’t been given a clear release date. Again, these are solid changes. PlayBook 2.0 brings everything that the first tablet OS was lacking and does it in a seamless, elegant manner. But… the original PlayBook should’ve launched with this version of the OS, even if it meant the launch would be a bit later. Another case of attempted change, but poor execution.

Another change we’ll soon see from RIM has to do with their launch strategy. RIM usually puts out two or three new phones all on the same day. It’s like a BlackBerry explosion. But according to a leaked roadmap, the company seems to finally realize that a staggered approach is the only way to give each device a moment in the sun. It’s a smart move, we just need to experience it.

Finally, the BlackBerry London. Despite the fact that RIM’s bread and butter lies with its full QWERTY keyboard, the company is expected to debut BlackBerry 10 on an all-touch device, codenamed London. I have to say I applaud RIM for this choice, for now.

RIM’s core audience enjoys the full QWERTY, no doubt, and the company will likely continue to be the de facto when it comes to communication and QWERTY handsets. But (yep, another but)… the world is moving to all-touch whether RIM likes it or not. This is the company’s chance to tap into a different, younger segment of the market.

Of course, the London will need to be just about perfect in terms of hardware to get the ball rolling again, especially since RIM’s found itself in an uphill battle.

Long story short, RIM certainly is in the midst of a change. Whether it’s big enough or coming soon enough is an entirely different story.



  • RESEARCH IN MOTION

Research In Motion (RIM) is a Canadian designer, manufacturer and marketer of wireless devices and solutions for the worldwide mobile communications market. The company is best known as the developer of the BlackBerry smart phone.

RIM technology also enables a broad array of third party developers and manufacturers to enhance their products and services with wireless connectivity to data.

RIM was founded in 1984. Based in Waterloo, Ontario, the company has offices in North America, Europe and Asia Pacific.

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Article source: http://techcrunch.com/2012/01/27/rims-new-ceo-backtracks-there-is-a-lot-of-change/


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