Tag: Sony

Fujitsu splits PC and smartphone businesses

tumblr_static_tumblr_static_bipw3qkx87www8ogs08wggok0_640Fujitsu has decided on a divide and conquor strategy for its PC and smartphone business – although it has decided to divide itself, so we are not sure if it has got the hang of the concept.

Fujitsu is splitting its PC, both desktops and notebooks, business and its smartphonebusiness into companies of their own with their own long-winded name.

Those two companies will now be called Fujitsu Client Computing Limited and Fujitsu Connected Technologies Limited.  These names do not appear to have been made up by the marketing department but rather the legal department.

The outfit said that “it has become increasingly difficult to achieve differentiation, and competition with emerging global vendors has intensified.”

Companies and subsidiaries are spun out to give them more leeway in creativity, R&D, and design. In practice, that might not always happen.

There is an even bigger rumored that Japan’s three biggest, but now struggling, PC makers will be merged into one. Toshiba, Fujitsu, and VAIO are in the process of negotiating a merger of PC businesses. Fujitsu’s split might make it easier for its PC division to make that move and it also might explain why they could not come up with a sexier name for the new company.

 

Apple wants to reduce noise

simonOne of the noisiest outfits in the world has decided to invest in a bloke who knows a lot about the sounds of silence.

Apple has recruited Dolby executive VP Mike Rockwell and the word on the street is that he will be working out ways to make the overpriced toys sound and look a little better.

Rockwell has been involved in Dolby Vision which has been described as “state-of-the-art color display technology” is rather interesting and like we said, could end up helping Apple to improve upon its display technology in its product lineup.

Despite what the Tame Apple Press is claiming, he can’t take that technology over to Apple when he changes offices.  Instead he will have to help the Apple genii come up with something themselves.

Apple has been hiring sound experts, including THX’s pioneer Tomlinson Holman along with some notable audio engineers it poached from Sony.

Apple is saying nothing of course, to admit it is hiring people from outside to help boost its sound quality is an admission that things are far from perfect. At the moment audio-nuts think that Sony is still running the best mobile sound and has been the leader since the Walkman.

Sony makes more money

sony_logo_720Sony seems to be starting to recover from its period of falling profits and woe.

The Japanese consumer electronics maker said its official third-quarter operating profit was $1.5 billion, up 2.2 percent from what it thought it would get last month.

Apparently there was a boost to the bottom line by strong sales of sensors and videogames it also has been cutting back and looking down the back of the sofa for the odd penny or two.

Sony said that its earlier estimate wasn’t final, as Sony had not yet compiled accurate data for its Hollywood movie studio after a massive hack into its computer systems. On February.4 Sony said third-quarter operating profit was nearly double year-earlier and a sign that its nadgers were out of the fire and had an ice pack placed on them.

Sony said that including official results for the movie studio, quarterly revenue rose 6.5 percent from a year earlier.

Forecasts for the full-year ending March 31 were unchanged.

Sony shares have risen more than 30 percent so far this year on hopes of a turnaround, following a program of massive cuts in unprofitable segments and targeted expansion in lucrative areas such as sensors for smartphone cameras.

 

Apple wants to get into the TV business

tvFruity cargo cult Apple is convinced it can make a bob or two out of the television market, despite failing dismally in the past.

Boldly going where Intel and Microsoft have failed, Apple has been hinting that it would get into the telly business for a while now. However the Wall Street Journal thinks it has found evidence that the iPhone maker is in talks with programmers to offer a slimmed-down bundle of TV networks in the autumn.

Apple’s service would have about 25 channels, anchored by broadcasters such as ABC, CBS and Fox, and be available across all devices powered by Apple’s iOS operating system, including iPhones, iPads and Apple TV set-top boxes, the newspaper said.

Apple has been talking to Walt Disney, CBS, and Twenty-First Century Fox, and other media companies to offer a “skinny” bundle with well-known channels like CBS, ESPN and FX, leaving out the many smaller networks in the standard cable TV package, the Journal said.

Apple will charge $30 to $40 a month, plans to announce the service in June and launch it in September.

Apple is refusing to comment on the news until it has been hyped a little more and it can stage one of its Nuremburg rallies to promote the idea.

Several media companies are considering joining streaming-only services, or launching their own like HBO and CBS, to attract young people who do not subscribe to traditional pay TV packages. But programmers also fear the packages could become so popular that they undercut current, more profitable deals with cable companies.

Sony is rolling out competing services and it already has the inside measurement of the entertainment business.

Sound systems face wireless revolution

Screen Shot 2015-03-11 at 14.24.31Home audio systems are undergoing a sea change because of the popularity of mobile phones, according to a report from IHS Technology.

The analysts said that shipments of connected audio products – that includes wireless speakers, wireless sounders and connected AV receivers will grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 88 percent.

In unit terms, that’s a rise from 1.5 million units in 2010 to close to 66 million units in 2016.

Paul Erickson, a senior analyst at IHS, said that its penetration of tablets and smartphones and streaming services including Spotify that are creating a shift in peoples’ perception.

“Consumers are seeking ways to wireless play audio from their mobile devices on speakers in the room they’re in, in multiple rooms in a household, and on speakers carried with the. This need will drive strong global growth in wi-fi and Bluetoosh connected speakers over the next few years,” he said.

Major players in the market will include Samsung, LG, Sony, Bose, Denon, and DTS.

And while prices for connected multi-room speakers are high, they will still be adopted by many people. Sony, Samsung and LG are all expected to put serious marketing bucks into the equation.

Apple might troll its way into VR control

apple-disney-dreams-snow-white-Favim.com-142405Famous for operating its reality distortion shield, Apple might have taken control of the Virtual Reality market with an ancient patent application.

Apple was granted a patent for a Gear VR-like mobile headset which would use a portable device (like a smartphone) as the primary display. However the patent is similar to Samsung’s Gear VR and a swath of VR smartphone adapters out there like Google Cardboard.

According to patent attorney, Eric Greenbaum the patent could kill off all competition for mobile VR headsets and patent troll the market to oblivion.

In 2008  Apple filed a patent for a “Head-mounted display apparatus for retaining a portable electronic device with display.”

The patent describes a device which sounds an awful lot like Gear VR and other VR smartphone adapters. Eric Greenbaum, told Road to VR  that the Apple patent may have broad ramifications for mobile-device based head mounted displays.” Which I take to mean, Apple could have a case on their hands if they wanted to challenge Gear VR or similar devices in court.

He thinks that Jobs’ Mob may have pressed to get the patent through the system after Gear VR was announced.

Greenbaum  warned that Apple has not yet announced a plan to build any VR products. However their patent filings indicate a strong interest in the field and I would expect them to be planning something.

This Apple HMD patent is significant. I would say it introduces potential litigation risks for companies that have or are planning to release a mobile device HMD.

There is no duty for Apple to make or sell an HMD. They can sit on this patent and use it strategically either by enforcing it against potential infringers, licensing it, or using it in forming strategic partnerships.

In other words, Apple without actually inventing anything could take control of the entire market.  It could cherry pick the best technology out there and then release its own product.

 

Sony trims its sails

Sony buildingsThe CEO of Sony said that the company will boost investment in its PlayStation and camera sensors business over the next three years.

But Kazuo Hirai said today that it may well exit the smartphone business and divest itself of its TV unit too.

Sony has already got out of PCs and is engaged in restructuring which have seen thousands of people made redundant.

Hirai told reporters in a briefing that his goal was to make Sony profitable – it expects to turn in an operating loss for its financial year, which ends on the 31st of March.

Earlier this week, Sony released its intelligent glasses – which have no guarantee of making returns following Google’s decision to go back to basics on its own version of the devices.

Video games, camera sensors and entertainment are all areas which are profitable, but Hirai is tacitly saying that Sony isn’t the giant it once was, when whatever it launched set the scene for others to follow.

It’s little surprise that Sony is getting out of smartphones. Samsung and Apple rule the roost but manufacturers in mainland China are selling smartphones at knock down prices with razor thin margins – that’s already had an effect on Samsung’s profits.

 

Sony starts to sell smart glasses

glassesWhile Google is sitting back and having a think about the smart glass project it initiated, it appears that Sony is pressing ahead with its SmartEyeglass, a product that will set you back a not so very cool £600 or so.

The glasses come with a software development kit (SDK) so you can sit down and code away to your hearts content, and supports the Android operating system.

The glass include a three megapixel camera, a microphone, weigh 77 grammes, and include a number of features familiar to smartphone users such as gyroscopes, compass, image and brightness sensors, according to the BBC, which adds they come with a controller, to be worn on the body, with loudspeaker, a touch sensor and a battery.

You’ll also be able to see text on the lenses in green.

The CEO of Apple doesn’t think much of smart glasses, according to the New Yorker. He told that magazine that people wouldn’t want to wear them.

 

US president goes to Silicon Valley

Obama BarackPresident Barack Obama is to meet CEOs in Silicon Valley today to canvass their views on ways to improve existing cyber legislation.

That’s in the wake of massive attacks on healthcare company Anthem and Sony.

According to Reuters, Obama is expected to say that government and the private sector need to cooperate better to meet the challenges of cyber attacks.

A White House representative said that the idea is that if the USA gets it right, more people and companies worldwide will do business with America.

But while Obama will meet some CEOs, some will pointedly stay away including Google, Facebook and Yahoo. They don’t think that the US has done enough to protect their customers from NSA surveillane.

Obama wants Congress to pass a law giving liability protection to companies that share their data about security.

Samsung hangs on to LCD TV lead

LCDscreenGiant South Korean chaebol Samsung had 22.8 percent of the LCD TV market last year, outstripping the second Korean player, LG Electronics.
A report from Trendforce said Sony came third in place with a market share of only 6.8 percent, compared to LG Electronics’ 14.9 percent.
In all, 215 million LCD TVs shipped in 2014, more than the market expected.  Factors that helped the 5.4 percent growth included the US economic recovery and strong promotion of larger size TVs.
But the top three vendors need to keep their eyes on the ball.  Trend force said that Chinese brands occupied positions from the fourth to the seventh.
They are making progress globally because the home Chinese market is saturated and they are pricing their brands aggressively.
Well known brands such as Philips and Toshiba have vanished out of the top ten vendor list.

Screen Shot 2015-02-05 at 15.08.21

 

Sony stumbling away from doom

doom_sprite_wallpaper_by_bobspfhorever78-d6lij4oElectronics giant Sony appears to be pulling out of its  death spiral.

The consumer electronics firm said on Wednesday preliminary results showed that operating profit had doubled to $1.52 billion in the October-December quarter, while sales rose 6 percent.

This was well ahead of what the cocaine nose jobs of Wall Street expected and they rushed from their expensive loos screaming “buy, buy, buy.”

To be fair, the company is not home and hosed yet.  In fact it could not even be said to be at the front gate contemplating a nice hot bath and a rigorous toweling down.

Sony also forecast a preliminary full-year net loss of $1,44,841,1900 but since this was better than the  than its forecast last October estimating a net loss of $ 1,959,616,100 for the year no one appears to be quibbling.

The company had said it would delay announcing the official results for the third quarter as its Hollywood studio struggled to recover from a massive hacking of its computer systems. The company, in the midst of a restructuring, said on Wednesday its Chief Executive Kazuo Hirai would announce a “new business strategy” on February 18.

The company will cut 2,100 jobs in the unit by the end of the next fiscal year through March 2016, including around 1,000 cuts already announced.

Sony’s image sensors have emerged as one of its best performing product lines in recent quarters.

Samsung, Apple, take top semi spots

Samsung HQ Silicon Valley - MM picApple and Samsung were the biggest buyers of semiconductors in 2014.
Together, they bought $57.9 billion worth of chips last year, up by $3.9 billion in 2013, according to Gartner.
In terms of the total market for semiconductor, both companies’ accounted for 17 percent of the total market.
Gartner said the two firms have been top of the semiconductor consumption market for four years in a row.
That, said analyst Masatsune Yamajo, means decisions they make “have considerable technology and pricing implications for the whole semiconductor industry”.
Samsung was still top buyer but its decision to withdraw from some parts of the PC market as well as losing market share to other vendors meant its growth rate wasn’t as great as in the past.
Gartner estimates that the top 10 companies bought $125.6 billion of semiconductors, accounting for 36.4 percent of the whole market in 2014.
After Samsung and Apple, the remaining eight top ten buyers were HP, Lenovo, Dell, Sony, Huawei, Cisco, LG Electronics and Toshiba.
The entire semiconductor market worldwide amounted to $339.9 billions last year.

 

Youth arrested over console hack

wargames-hackerA British youth has been arrested over the hack that brought down the Playstation network and Xbox Live over the holiday period.
UK police are working in tandem with the FBI to track down the perpetrators, who identified themselves as the Lizard Squad.
In addition to arresting the 16 year old youth, the police from the South East Regional Organised Crime Unit (SERCO) seized computer equipment, which they will now scrutinise.
SERCO said it is working with both business and the academic world to create specialist tools to protect the public.
The Sony and Microsoft hacks happened on Christmas Day, using a distributed denial of service (DDOS) attack.
The police said they were still in the early stages of its investigation.

 

There’s no fall out from Sony hack

2000px-United_States_Fallout_Shelter_Sign.svgDespite a storm in a teacup over the Sony hack, which saw high level political involvement, Sony insists that there will be no financial fallout for the company.

Sony Chief Executive Kazuo Hirai said he does not expect the November cyber attack on the company’s film studio to have a significant financial impact.

Apparently the film which North Korea wanted blocked “The Interview,” has generated revenue of $36 million. It earned another $5 million at 580 independent theatres showing the movie in North America.

The flick cost $44 million to make but given that it was a rubbish film, Sony probably was relieved that hack meant that it did not have to spend much marketing it. Most of the sales have been online. It will probably make a little more when it goes to DVD and Sony will get its cash back on a film that it otherwise probably would not have. Some have said that Sony spent $30 million marketing the flick which would mean that the film would come in at a loss.

“We are still reviewing the effects of the cyber-attack,” Hirai told reporters. “However, I do not see it as something that will cause a material upheaval on Sony Pictures business operations, basically, in terms of results for the current fiscal year.”

Sony Pictures may need several more weeks to rebuild its computer network after what has been deemed as the most destructive cyber-attack on a company on US soil. North Korea has denied it is behind it.

 

Sony sues for hacker leak

leakSony has been sending out  legal notices to those publishing its leaked e-mails.

Over the holidays Sony threatened Twitter with legal action if they allow users to publish the leaked e-mails Sony calls “stolen”.

A DMCA notice was sent to Twitter demanding that the tweets be taken down because the e-mails were copyrighted. Twitter so far has not done anything about the tweets.

Online media outlets and blogs such as Buzzfeed and Torrentfreak have been publishing leaked information too, and it is possible that Sony is testing the legal waters of stopping the spread of embarrassing information by going after a soft target.

Of course, that has not worked and Twitter has kept the accounts of its users up and running.

It is a moot point if Sony will stop any more embarrassing details from the hack coming to light. After all the US Government could not stop embarrassing information being leaked online via Wikileaks and other news sites.