Author Archives: Dave Evans
Shares plunge more than 19% in early trading, wiping millions off cap
But insists $100m MIPS acquisition is still paying off
Claims of “strong progress” in its markets for multimedia, processors and communications failed to improve investor sentiment towards Britain’s Imagination Technologies today [11th December 2013], as nearly a fifth was wiped off its capitalisation in line with a similar drop in its profits. Though Imagination posted a 19 per cent increase in group half-year revenues, coming in at £85.2 million compared to £71.4 million last year, its official pre-tax profit was down to £2.2 million against £10.5 million for the same six months of last year. In the first hour of frenzied trading, more than a million shares were bought and sold as investors largely headed for the hills. Continue reading
Designing chips for cameras so passé
Shares in Cambridge, UK-based tech group CSR closed nearly 10 per cent higher in London last night [10th December 2013] after it revealed it was ditching making chips for cameras and concentrating instead on smartphones. As other firms such as Jessops have found, demand for cameras has waned significantly since people found their smartphones could serve just as well for selfies and other simple snaps. Now CSR has bowed to the trend, focusing on the more-lucrative areas of designing chips for smartphones and other new business. Continue reading
Blames plunge on consolidation in phone industry
UK phone testing specialist, Anite, was putting a brave face today [9th December 2013] on its half yearly results, despite a massive fall in operating profits. Margins were down 63 per cent to £5.3 million compared to the same period in 2012 when Slough-based Anite notched up an operating profit of £14.3 million. Revenues were also down 6 per cent to £57.5 million against £61.2 million last year. Much of the trouble was attributed to the company’s handset division which had a slow start to the year, made worse by “significant” consolidation in the phone industry. Continue reading
Shares in video to mobile specialist SyQic closed more than a third higher last night [4th December 2013] after floating on London’s junior Aim market.
The firm, which delivers live TV and on-demand video to internet connected devices to consumers in the Philippines, Indonesia and Malaysia, watched its share price soar on the first day of trading, raising some £3.2 million. Continue reading
Taiwan’s HTC looks set to be banned from selling its One Mini smartphone in Britain by the end of this week following a judge’s ruling that it violated a Nokia patent.
A similar ban could have been imposed over HTC’s entire flagship range of One smartphones, which make up more than two thirds of UK sales, but in London’s High Court an injunction was stayed pending an appeal and given the extent of harm to HTC ahead of the busy Christmas sales period.
HTC has until the end of this week [6th December 2013] to make a similar appeal against a ban on the One Mini phone, which was launched only recently in Britain. Continue reading
Britain’s coalition government looks set to be on a collision course with all-party MPs after giving the thumbs up to Chinese telecoms giant Huawei, despite the firm being blocked by the US and Australian amid concerns over spying threats.
It’s emerged that a British government-led review has now ruled that Huawei poses no serious risk, but the fact its clearance comes as prime minister David Cameron is in China to whip up business will undoubtedly be seen as more than just coincidence. In recent years Huawei has itself attempted to counter suspicions by spending millions on a PR campaign. Continue reading
Suzhou subsidiary starts offering iPhones
China Mobile, the world’s largest carrier with around 750 million subscribers, looks to have finally agreed terms with Apple to sell its devices after adverts for iPhones appeared on a subsidiary’s website. The site went live late last night [2nd December 2013] offering the IPhone 5s and 5c for availability in Suzhou, a city of five million just west of Shanghai. It’s thought China Mobile chose Suzhou not only because of its relatively wealthy citizens more able to afford iPhones, but also as a place where it could iron out the wrinkles in 4G delivery. Until now part of the problem has been China Mobile’s TD-SCDMA protocol, used solely by the carrier and which the iPhone doesn’t support. Continue reading
Fresh legal woes in Delhi
Vodafone’s Indian offshoot looks set for a new legal row after being accused of stealing a local firm’s 65,000-strong customer base. In a dispute that goes back to 2007, SIM card provider Matrix Cellular claims Vodafone “misrepresented” the facts when they were first given to the country’s Department of Telecoms and a separate appeals tribunal. At the time it was claimed SIMs were rented in bulk to Matrix, circumventing how phones subscribers are meant to be registered for corporate tax purposes. But Matrix has insisted it did nothing illegal and acted at all times with Vodafone’s written consent. Continue reading
Yer 5c is just for plebs, mate
Apple’s more expensive iPhone 5s outsold the company’s 5C model by three to one in the UK, latest figures from Kantar Worldpanel ComTech suggest. But although there appears to be a British consumer preference for the pricier handset, Apple is still losing market share. In the three months to October 2013, smartphones running Apple’s operating system slipped from 32.7 per cent in 2012 to 28.7 per cent now. In the USA, says Kantar, the decline is even more marked – down from 47.2 per cent to 40.8 per cent during the same period. Continue reading
US chip giant Qualcomm saw its shares plunge 2 per cent on Wall Street last night [25th November 2013] after it was revealed how Chinese investigators had launched a probe into its activities in the People’s Republic.
The move by regulators comes as Qualcomm gears up for the launch of high-speed LTE networks in China, where the chip leader has established an early start and holds important patents.
Later, Qualcomm issued a statement admitting that the probe by China’s National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) involved the country’s Anti-Monopoly Law, but adding that it was “not aware of any charge” by the regulators that it had violated the law. Continue reading
Vodafone has unveiled a new, near field (NFC) mobile wallet service in what is being hailed as the first of its kind in Europe.
It lets customers make a wide range of everyday transactions with just a wave or or touch of their smartphone. It can also be used to hold travel cards, loyalty cards, gift cards and vouchers, dispensing with the need for conventional plastic cards.
The service is based on the GlobalPlatform cross industry standard that identifies, develops and publishes specifications to promote management of multiple apps with secure chip technology. Continue reading
Sentence described as ‘lenient’
A former vice president of China Mobile’s state parent has been given a life prison sentence for accepting bribes. Lu Xiangdong, 53, was said to have colluded with others, including his wife, in obtaining bribes of more than 25 million yuan ($4.10 million) between 2003 and 2011. Citing a mid-November ruling by a court in Jilin province, the official Xinhua news agency described the sum of money involved as “immense” but claimed that Xiangdong had been given a relatively “lenient sentence” after admitting his guilt and returning some of the funds. Continue reading
Pushing the frontiers of mobile money
Google is extending the capabilities of its Wallet app by providing an accompanying prepaid debit card allowing users to buy goods at stores and withdraw cash from ATM machines. The card, though only available in the USA to begin with, will pose a serious challenge to other credit card suppliers as they try to persuade customers over to their mobile money transaction apps. Visa Europe, for instance, is a major shareholder of Britain’s Monitise which provides competing technology and has partnered with mobile network operators [MNOs] such as Spain’s Telefonica in a bid to infiltrate smartphone communities generally. Continue reading
Plans to invest in less risky firms
Developers of fast growing chat apps are unlikely to get any backing from venture capitalist Atomico, its CEO has revealed, despite the fact it has just put together a new $476 million war chest to invest in tech firms. Niklas Zennström, CEO of London based Atomico and who previously founded messaging service Skype, says the sort of start-ups he’ll be looking to invest in instead will be those with an international outlook and which, more importantly, typically make money from transactions such as online payments firm Klarna, or Supercell – which sells in-game items for players of its titles Clash of Clans and Hay Day. Continue reading
Joins growing list of tech firms using London’s Aim
Mobile video content deliverer SyQic is to float on London’s junior Aim market next month, underlining its growing popularity as a vehicle to raise money among small tech entrepreneurs. Based in Gerrards Cross, Buckinghamshire, but with operations in the Philippines, Indonesia and Malaysia, SyQic hopes to raise around £14.4 million on its admission. It provides partner firms with software to drive OTT Internet protocol TV and video platforms. Last year it reported profit of £625,000 on revenue of £3.9 million. Continue reading