Opinion Articles

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Last week at The Fonecast: 30th January 2012

Mark Bridge writes:

If you want a big money story from the last few days, you want Apple. The company announced its highest quarterly revenue ever, hitting $46.33 billion (£29.66 billion) with record quarterly profits of $13.06 billion. That’s probably enough money to buy the moon, assuming Newt Gingrich is prepared to sell it – or, in the real world, is one of the biggest quarterly profits ever.

Therefore it’s probably no surprise to hear that Apple overtook Samsung for smartphone shipments in the final quarter of 2011, although Samsung was the top smartphone producer across the year. Apple did well for tablet sales, too.

And it’s also not surprising to hear that the Apple iPhone was the device that Good Technology was most frequently connecting to corporate networks in Q4 2011.

Bucking the trend was 51Degrees.mobi, which published a white paper showing how the proportion of Apple devices browsing the mobile web was falling. You can listen to our podcast with 51Degrees.mobi CEO James Rosewell to learn more.

Anyway, let’s move on – albeit temporarily – for Apple was not the only company with financial results. Samsung had a record year in 2011, with revenue reaching an all-time high of 165 trillion won (around £94 billion) although net income and operating profit were down. Motorola Mobility recorded an operating loss of $285 million for 2011, while a drop in Nokia sales resulted in 2010’s operating profit of €2.1 billion turning into a loss of €1.1 billion for last year.

To legal action now, and we’re back with Apple.

An appeal court in the Netherlands has dismissed Apple’s claim that Samsung tablet devices should be banned because of their design. However, things haven’t all gone Samsung’s way – it’s just had a patent claim against Apple dismissed in Germany. Intel has agreed to acquire video software and patents from RealNetworks, Motorola Mobility is making a patent claim against the Apple iPhone 4S – and Ericsson has signed a cross-licensing patent agreement with ZTE.

Talking of licensing, HP has come up with a timetable for making its webOS source code available under an open source licence. It’s started by releasing version 2.0 of the Enyo developer tool for webOS and says the whole thing will be open source by September 2012.

O2 had something of a problem last week with information being more open that it intended. It was discovered that O2 had been including each customer’s mobile phone number in the browser code submitted when that customer visited a website. It blamed a technical error, saying the information should only have been available to trusted partners, and sorted things out pretty quickly... just leaving the unanswered questions of exactly who a ‘trusted partner’ is and whether this mistake had resulted in any real-world problems.

Finally, let’s not forget Thorsten Heins, the new President and CEO of BlackBerry maker Research In Motion. He’s now in the double-width hot seat after co-CEOs Mike Lazaridis and Jim Balsillie stepped down. He started the week by saying that RIM didn’t need any drastic change - but by the end of the week was talking about the company making significant plans. The difference, he explained, is there’ll be no break-up or sale. I’m glad the confusion’s all cleared up now.

Start your week with a reminder of the latest mobile headlines. Simply register at TheFonecast.com by clicking the link at the top right-hand corner of our home page and we’ll send you this weekly news summary by email.

The Fonecast is sponsored by 51Degrees.mobi. You’ll find more about advertising and sponsorship opportunities on the ‘About us’ section of our website.
Author: The Fonecast
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