Monthly Archives: February 2016

Opera plans to launch new browser to solve a dilemma

Opera has been struggling for a while in the browser market and it doesn’t work well. Opera Software is a new smart browser project launched by Opera in the hope of getting out of trouble.

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CEO Lars Boilesen stated at MWC when he was interviewed that he hoped this new project helps users to change the basic mode of using browser.

He wished the new project could add more features to adapt the current mode no matter they are reading news, checking emails or using social networking. Opera Software was launched by the end of 2015. It is possibly that Opera will launch the related browser later this year.

The browser appearance design doesn’t make much change since the release of Chrome in 2008. It combined the search bar and address bar, eliminate the menu, tool bar and status bar.

Opera CTO Hakon Wium Lie works as the supervisor of this project. He didn’t reveal the name of this new browser. He called this project as “Opera Smart”.

Most of people are using Google Chrome, Microsoft IE, Apple Safari and Mozilla Firefox now. According to the statistics from Net Applications, Opera only obtained 0.64% of market share in the global browser market.

Opera’s shareholders are unsatisfied with the company’s development. It reported previously that Qihoo 360 and KUNLUN would acquire Opera. The acquisition needs to be approved by its shareholders and Chinese government. So far, 35% of shareholders are for the acquistion.

Boilesen claimed that the acquisition may offer convenience for its mobile ads to be introduced to 500 million new users. There are about 350 million people using Opera now. Most of them are using Opera Mini.

Oculus declined d a small portion of Rift Pre-Orders

Waiting for another month, Oculus will deliver the Oculus Rifts to its first round pre-orders makers. However, many Rift users found that their pre-orders were canceled when they got up this morning.

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Those canceled pre-orders are either out of the delivery range or the users wrote down the false information when they applied for the pre-orders. Oculus initially supported the pre-orders to 20 countries.

The day before Oculus Rift pre-orders were canceled, its rival HTC Vive was released with details. HTC Vive supports the delivery range includes China and some countries that Oculus Rift doesn’t support.

Concerning the news of some Oculus Rift pre-orders were canceled, Oculus stated in the statement sent to the media indicated:” a small portion of Rift pre-orders were canceled due to the impossibility of dealing with those orders. If consumers have any doubts about their pre-orders, please feel free to contact our customer service.”

Some Reddit / Twitter users claimed that it is unfair that their pre-orders were canceled as they traveled abroad after making the pre-orders or changed their bills or shipping addresses.

Oculus spokesman claimed that the company has noted the concerns of consumers for the pre-orders cancellation. He said:” we are sorry for the inconvenience caused by the pre-orders cancellation. If Consumers have any doubts about this, they could contact the support team on http://support.oculus.com.”

Snapchat might barge into E-commerce market

Snapchat mainly offered content on its discover column. It is possible that it will sell products in the future. Joanna Coles, one of the members of board of directors for Snapchat revealed this news at Code/Media on Wednesday.

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Coles said:” Sweet will be the channel launched by Hearst Corp and Snapchat. Its slogan is to love new things every day. This channel might develop into an E-commerce platform for shopping in the future.”

Concerning how Fashion magazine obtains more profit online, Coles claimed that E-commerce obviously could be an useful platform. But she doesn’t think the company is ready.

Women’s Wear Daily reported this project of Snapchat before. Cole’s statement confirmed its reality, however, Snaptchat spokesman did not response to this news.

One year ago, Snapchat hired Kirsh Jayaram as commercial officer who worked for Braintree before. It doesn’t confirm whether Snapchat will barge into e-commerce industry or not.

Snapchat offers some subscribed features so far, such as Photo Filter and message replay. In addition, Snapchat offers the money transfer service for Snapcash. This service is considered as obtaining more details of users. If Snapchat starts selling products, the users could make convenient shopping.

Snapchat invested Spring last year, promoting several brands on Spring. However, Snapchat doesn’t support users to shop through other apps. According to the previously report, it indicated that Alibaba invested $ 200 million on Snapchat.

Hearst corp is not the only company that plans to sell products via Snapchat. Snapchat cooperative partner Wall Street Journal suggested in January it sell subscription services on Snapchat in the future.

Kindle Unlimited reading plan starts, charging 12 yuan per month

Apple Pay is released to China on Feb.18. Another news needs to note is that Kindle Unlimited reading plan starts in Chinese market.

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It is a good news for those bookworms that Amazon introduces the Kindle Unlimited reading plan in China. According to the startment on Amazon official website, it offers 40,000 Chinese e-books and 3,000 original English books.

The readers only need to pay 0.1 yuan to experience Kindle Unlimited during the 7 days on trial. The subscription will be automatically renewed by linking to credit card account. It will charge 12 yuan per month after the trial.

Kindle Unlimited is a subscribed reading service by monthly that tested from July, 2014 in US. The subscribers pay $9.99 per month to enjoy the service in US for reading all of the digital books and audio books. What’s more, Kindle Unlimited plan doesn’t limit the times that users log in no matter on mobiles, iPads, Kindle, Mac or PC. They will be able to enjoy reading whenever they like.

It is reasonable for Chinese readers to enjoy the Kindle Unlimited plan as it decreased the fee from $9.99 to less than $2. Comparing with Apple Music service, the subscrption fee is decreased from $10 to ¥10 in China. Amazon makes room for the revenue of Kindle Unlimited.

Apple and Amazon nearly set their oversea networking monthly subscription fee at about 10 yuan. But this standard is not suitable at App Store. The oversea developers still follow the 1:6 exchange rate to apply the applications or games.

The price spread between iOS and Android becomes obvious

According to the latest report made by Canacoord Genuity, Apple smartphone accounted for 91% of the market profit in the smartphone industry. Apple sold 74.8 million iPhones in last quater. Its profit reached 91% of the market profit with a share of 17.2% among the smartphone shipments in 2015.

The attached picture showed the average selling prices for iPhone and Android mobiles. We learned that the prices for iOS devices kept stable in the past five years. While the prices for Android devices kept decreasing.

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IDC marketing investigator claimed in last September that the prices for smartphones will decrease by 4.6% each year in the following four years. However, the sales volume of iPhone did not increased much in last quarter. Its average selling price increased to $691 from $687.

The average selling price for iPhone of 2015 was higher than the one of 2014. It indicated that consumers are more interested in the new generation smartphones. The development of iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus are in a positive situation.

Concerning the options of iPhone market share and market profit, Apple chose the latter. Horace Dediu, the co-founder of Asymco assumed Apple pays much attention to the price elements. Apple Mac has been releasing for 30 years, whereas its average price seldom changes. The prices for iPod and iPhone are lightly.

Nearly all the smartphones use Andriod system except Apple. It needs more highlights to attract consumers if the manufacturers want to sell higher prices with the same mode.

Groupon share increased by 29% on last Friday due to better performance

Owing to the sales volume and profit increased in North America, Groupon announced its latest quarterly profit exceeds the expectations. Its share increased by 29% on last Friday due to this news.

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Groupon share decreased by 70% in the past 12 months. The company exited 19 markets around the world to focus on its business in North America.

Groupon strengthened the marketing measures under the leadership of new CEO Rich Williams. Rich Williams took over CEO responsibility from Groupon co-found Eric Lefkofsky.

The highlight of Groupon performance was that it realized 1.05 billion sum of transactions in North America, increasing 10.7%(YOY).

Its temporary CFO Brian Kayman indicated that the Thanksgiving shopping weekend made a great contribution to its earnings. Groupon suggested in last December that its transactions increased by 41% between Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

Groupon spent about $200 million for marketing promotions. Its active users increased by 3%, reaching 48.9 million.

In addition, Groupon split off CE business division. It helped the company to adjust 2016 EBITDA from $75~$125 million to $80~$130 million.

By December 31, the net deficiency that belonged to Groupon was $46.5 million, accounting to $0.08 per share. While profit of its former year was $8.8 million, accounting to $0.01 per share.

Groupon realized $0.04 EPS for the current quarter, while the analysts expected its revenue would break even for this quarter. And Groupon’s revenue increased by 3.8%, up to $9.172.

LinkedIn share slipped 28% after hours due to poor earnings outlook

LinkedIn released its Q4 revenue and profit on Thursday which was beyond the analyst prediction. However, its Q4 earnings outlook was under its expectation, its share slipped 28% after hours on Thursday.

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The revenue of Q4 was $862 million, profiting 94 cents per share which was higher than the average prediction made by Thomson Reuters.

” We will focus on fewer high value, high impact projects in 2016 in order to enhance and optimizer our business lines. We will emphasis on projects’ simplicity, priority, ROI and investment influence to adjust our plans.” Said, Jeff Weiner, CEO of LinkedIn.

Steven Sordello claimed the recession of Q1 wa caused by the current global economic environment. LinkedIn focuses on the sponsors’ content that will help to develop a brighter future.

” It seems 2016 is the year that LinkedIn resets its focus and investments. The investors would liek to set on a fence for this share.” Said, Neil Doshi.

By the end of Q4, LinkedIn obtained 414 million users which was beyond the predicted number 409.7 million. LinkedIn share declined about 26% in the past three months. Its performance did not reach American major stock index.
LinkedIn announced on Thursday that it has acquired Connectifier. But it did not reveal the acquisition cost.

LinkedIn addressed that the acquisition of Connectifier would help the company to enhance its core product competition. The company will recruit more talents as well.

The clients of Connectifier include DropBox, eBay, Facebook, Netflix, PayPal, Salesforce, Twitter and VMware.  Connectifier’s free and subscribed products will remain the same situation in a short time.

Amazon AWS might be deprecated by Apple in two years to save expenditures

Apple spent over one billion dollar to rent the date center each year. To change this situation, Apple hurries up the establishment of its data center and might stop using Amazon Web Services in two years.

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Brian Nowak from Morgan Stanley reported its newest investors survey lately. His report indicated that Apple is considering to reduce the dependence of AWS or stop using such service. It attempts to figure out new solution by itself. But the transformation will take 18 to 24 months to realize.

Brian Nowak quoted the report of Katy Huberty to figure out Apple increased 30% of expenditures in 2015 fiscal year. Apple CFO once claimed it would build its own data center which will play an important role in 2016 fiscal year.

As reported, Apple plans to build three new data centers in the following two years. One is in Mesa city, Arizona, the so-called global command center will be built with $2 billion. The other two centers locate in Ireland and Denmark, costing at $1.7 billion together.

Katy Huberty predicted that the new data center area that Apple builds for iCloud, iTunes and support service will take up 2.5 million square miles. By the end of 2015, Amazon AWS was built with an area of 6.7 million square miles.

Morgan Stanley estimated that the rental Apple pays for AWS in 2016 and 2017 will come respectively as $1.05 billion and $1.18 billion.

Sony imaging sensor business is affected by iPhone sales volume

The technical website AppleInsider reported that Sony breathed a sigh of relief as its operating profit realized $1.685 billion in last quarter, increased by 11% (YOY). It has been rumoring to bankrupt in the past months.

Besides the PlayStation business, Sony mobile business even turned loss into gain in last quarter. Its previous mainstay imaging sensor division did not meet its sales expectation in last quarter. It implied the sluggish market of iPhone performance.

Sony CFO Kenichiro Yoshida stated at the press conference that the sales volume of high end smartphone is declining, therefore the imaging sensor order are cut. Its sales volume decreased by 13% on the year-on-year basis in last quarter. It lost $97 million, while it profited $444 million at the same period in 2014.

The sales volume of Sony mobile even declined by 15%, it turned the loss into grain contributed to the excellent sales performance of high end products.

It is well-known that Sony is the only supplier for iPhone imaging sensor. The sales performance of iPhone will directly affect Sony imaging sensor business.

At the conference call last week, CEO Tim Cook admitted that iPhone sales performance might be slipped into recession for the first time.

The rumor indicated that Apple might cut the iPhone productivity in this quarter, the proportion might reach 30%. Besides Sony, the other component suppliers are receiving fewer orders from Apple, including its regularly partner Foxconn.