A fake PR creates temporary tension at Intel (
) as Xiaomi takes the lead in China and Google's smartphone
strategy takes shape.
Fake PR Says Intel to Close Israel Operations
A press release purported to have come from Intel's PR
department said that Intel had decided to abandon/delay its Israel
operations (in which it has invested $6 billion) because of the
ongoing conflict with Gaza. Intel has since assured that both the
release and claims weren't authentic, but someone seems to have
gone to a lot of trouble to set up a false website and have a
person "with an American accent" answering the PR contact number
enlisted on the release.
said that the person confirmed Intel's plans to close/postpone
operations in Israel and WSJ reported that the said person who
identified himself as Nick Veritas later agreed that the whole
thing was a hoax intended to prove disconnect between what
companies said and did "regarding corporate responsibility and
China Answers Samsung, Apple
smartphone war heats up
in China, local players are sprouting up all over. But heading the
list is Xiaomi, which initially made strides copying Apple (
). But it's now a serious contender, with its 15 million Q2 units
and strong growth rates giving it a leading 14% share of the
Chinese smartphone market. Xiaomi uses a forked version of Android
and also sells a few phones based on an internally developed OS.
Strategy Analytics says that Xiaomi has jumped to the fifth largest
global vendor on the basis of its growth in China and preliminary
success in India.
Samsung has plenty to worry about: a separate report indicated
that it also dropped to number two in India where local player
Micromax took over the leading position. Apple continues to do well
in the premium segment.
Google Cornering the Smartphone Market
There have been a few rumors that Google (
) is retiring its Nexus Line in favor of Android Silver, where it
will retain more control over the OS, ensure faster updates and
attract premium pricing. However, reports in the media have also
said that these plans were shelved.
But Nexus may have already served its purpose because of the
Google Play versions that have actually caught on very well.
Contrary to what may have been believed, the closed OS (that was
developed by the Open Handset Alliance, or OHA) is doing better
than the open one (Android Open Source Project, or AOSA), according
to a new report from ABI Research.
OHA now has a global market share of 65% compared to AOSA's 20%.
The latter is however growing faster because of rapid adoption in
Asia. For all practical purposes, Google is providing an
entry-level OS and enabling migration to a more advanced one.
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Other stories you may have missed
Yahoo Gets New CIO
: Yahoo (
) has hired Mike Kail, the VP of IT operations at Netflix to be its
Chief Information Officer. Yahoo said that Kail would also e in
charge of its IT and data center operations, reporting directly to
CEO Marissa Mayer. The decision seems to indicate Yahoo's increased
focus on video for the future where it seeks to deliver "the best
possible user and advertiser experiences".
Microsoft Nabs Qualcomm Exec
: Microsoft (
) has signed on Margaret Johnson, Qualcomm's (
) executive VP and President of global market development. Johnson
ends her 24-year stint at Qualcomm for a similar role at Microsoft
on Sep 1. She remains on the board of concert promoter and ticket
seller Live Nation Entertainment Inc.
China Restrictions on Instant Messaging
: China's State Internet and Information Office has announced new
rules for instant messaging that require public accounts to be
registered in the users' real names and allow only news
organizations and other authorized websites to post or share
political news through these accounts. The rules were made to deal
with security issues and don't apply to private messaging between
But they could have positive implications for companies like
Tencent, which promised to comply soon after the rules were
announced. That's because Tencent owns the two most-used messaging
apps and removing anonymity from user accounts automatically makes
the accounts more valuable for advertising purposes.
Yelp Could be in Trouble
: A class action lawsuit was initiated against Yelp (
) on the following grounds that first that the reviews generated
weren't authentic and second, that it did not adequately suppress
unreliable reviews and did instead support the suppression of
Apple Siri For Macs
: Siri could soon be migrate from a personal assistant to a
professional one, or move between the two. According to a recent
patent filing that was released last week, the iPhone maker is all
set to expand Siri's functionality to more complex activities in a
desktop environment. These activities would include file and system
Yahoo Integrates ComScore vCE
: comScore's validated Campaign Essentials will now enable
advertisers on Yahoo to buy video and display campaigns
(programmatic or direct) in a more integrated fashion as they
target audiences through multiple channels. It is expected that the
more sophisticated measurement techniques will speed up the ad
buying process and therefore show more quickly in Yahoo's
Microsoft Previews Windows Phone 8.1 Update
: Microsoft phones running the developer preview of WP8.1 are
seeing Live Folders and Apps Corner among other things. With this
update, Microsoft extends Cortana support to the U.K., Australia,
Canada and India for the first time. While Cortana is in beta
testing in the U.S. and U.K., it is said to be in alpha testing in
the other regions. This is a positive for developers, however, who
can get a good look at the system and start working on it.
Microsoft Working On New Tactile Tech
: Microsoft is working on technology that will make you feel like
you are using a real keyboard or moving an actual file but without
the difficulty of carrying around the extra weight related to these
items. It's probably not the only company thinking along these
lines however: a startup called Tactus has reportedly announced
what it calls iPad case, which generates physical keys from the
HTTPS Sites To Move Up in Search Rankings
: Google is using its strong position in search to force websites
to migrate from http to the more secure web format https. Since
Google is responsible for driving traffic to a large number of
sites and smaller, less-known sites are all the more dependent on
it, its plan could actually work. It's all for the user's gain
because although https isn't perfect, it's preferable to http for
Google Fit Preview SDK is Launched
: The SDK enables developers to access activity data from fitness
apps and sensors running Android, or even other devices such as
wearables, heart rate monitors or even connected weighing scales
with the user's permission. Google Fit will be a part of Google
Play Services with the advantage of cloud synchronization
(background tracking, recording and uploading of data, saving
New Apps for FireTV
: The apps are intended to extend the video selection to things
like MLB.tv, WWE Network, Animal Planet and Watch Disney. Coming
later this year are NFL Now, Watch ABC, A&E and
A Smartwatch with a Difference
: The popular watchmaker Timex is about to launch Ironman One GPS+,
which for the first time, will not require a smartphone to operate.
Waterproof up to 50 meters and equipped with a Qualcomm Mirasol
display, it looks like an ideal device for sports people, whether
working out indoors, in open sunlight, or even under water.
Facebook Acquiring PrivateCore
: Facebook (
) didn't say how much it is forking out for the company, which
raised $2.25 million in 2012. The company is engaged in the
protection of computers and data centers that are used for
Google Picks Up Directr and Emu
GF May Have Refused IBM's Chip Unit
: IBM (
) was reportedly willing to pay Globalfoundries a billion dollars
to take over its loss-making trailing-edge chip-making facility,
but the talks fell through because GF said this was just half of
the losses being incurred by the unit. Manufacturing is an area it
has been pushed out of by Intel (
But chip design clearly remains a focus area in which it
recently said it would invest $3 billion over 5 years. In fact last
week, it announced a postage stamp-sized, super-efficient,
low-power chip that can accept heterogeneous data from multiple
sources and deal with future advances in memory, 3G integration,
logic and sensor technologies.
Apple and Visa
: A Pacific Crest analyst surmised that Apple and Visa could be on
the brink of a mobile payments collaboration as Apple gets ready to
launch its NFC-enabled iPhone 6.
Google and Barnes & Noble
: Google just added Barnes & Noble books to its Shipping
Express service in Manhattan, West Los Angeles and San
Pandora and Merlin
: The agreement with the global rights agency is a big deal for
) since it means access to thousands of independent artists and
bands and more than 20K independent record labels and distributors,
or about 10% of the global music market. Moreover, these parties
will be able to access its 75 million-strong user base to determine
popularity, venues and tour plans.
Russian Crime Ring Steals Records
: Hold Security, a research firm in Milwaukee discovered that a
Russian crime ring had acquired 1.2 billion username and password
combinations as well as 500 million+ email addresses in one of the
largest data breaches in recent history.
Netflix Moves Ahead of HBO
: Netflix (
) is moving ever closer to the big league of video delivery. CEO
Reed Hastings' Facebook post says that the company generated $1.146
billion in streaming revenue, just ahead of HBO's $1.141
Some Earnings Reports
reported last week.
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