Google Inc (GOOG): How You are Being Disrespected

Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) really does not think of you as a human being. Google Inc is all about the mighty dollar, and it seems to be coming up with every way possible to turn us humans into some walking advertising robot for Google Inc and its advertising partners. Do you feel this way when you use Google Inc services or products?

Let us think about it, and then consider the following news items. First, Google Inc has plainly said in regards to the Internet and to e-mail specifically that we, the users of those services, should not expect to have a modicum of privacy. Well, maybe that is because Google Inc is already tracking everything we do on the Internet. But still, Google Inc makes that claim because it has long been a proponent of an “open Internet,” and having such an open exchange of information means that, by extension, a person cannot explore that world anonymously, with no digital markers that give away identifying information.

Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG)

Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) is already treading on privacy in several countries, and Google Glass has been talked about as another one of those privacy-violating tools at its disposal in order to gather more information and monetize it within its vibrant and dynamic advertising network.

Answer for your invasion, says UK

Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) is a major tech company, but it has also been called “arrogant and immoral” by those in other countries, especially those which have rather strict privacy and data-collection laws on the books. In the U.K., the data-collection practices have come under fire in that a group of citizens filed a lawsuit against Google Inc claiming that the company had collected tons of personal information about them without their consent and turned that data-collection into targeted advertising.

Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) threw what could be called a legal hissy fit, as a recent report said the company “denied vehemently” that the case had merit to be tried in a U.K. court and instead should be tried in California where Google Inc is headquartered.  Instead, the U.K. High Court ruled this week that the case can move forward in the Kingdom, which then sent Google Inc lawyers into another coniption, as they said they plan to appeal the ruling.

Hm, We wonder, what part of High Court do the lawyers not understand?

Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) Glass gets a citation

Here is an interesting story, speaking of legal issues in California. You think Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) has a fair lobbying presence in the state? A software developer, Cecilia Abadie, who is one of about 30,000 Google Glass Explorers trying otu the wearable device in everyday life, is fighting a citation she received from the California Highway Patrol for being distracted while driving.

Abadie, who admits to wearing Google Glass as much as 12 hours every day, claimed through her attorney that the device was not active when she was driving, but she was pulled over and cited for speeding, and the distracted-driving citation – which was applied to a law that bans driving while a TV screen or other monitor is on in the front of the vehicle – was tacked on when the CHP officer noticed Google Glass on Abadie’s face. Abadie is going to traffic court to fight both citations, but especially the distracted-driving ticket.

Three states currently have laws that ban driving with Google Glass, but California is not one of them. Who wants to start a pool that says California will be the last one to ban the device? Does Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) have the ability to keep them legal in the state forever?

Apple Inc. (AAPL): Does it Care about Worldwide Notebook Shipments?

If Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is part of a market it goes without saying that the company wants to be a dominant force. In other words, Cupertino doesn’t do anything halfway. That being said, most people would agree that Apple is more interested in tablets and smartphones than desktop and notebook computers.

In a recent report by Digitimes Research, Apple is mentioned, along with many other companies, with each one helping to grow worldwide notebook shipments during the fourth quarter of 2013.

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)

Big Quarter, Bad Year

Despite the fact that worldwide notebook shipments grew by 4.1 percent in the fourth quarter, the year as a whole was a struggle for the market. The research report notes that shipments decreased by 10.6 percent during 2013.

This alone shows why Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is spending more time in the tablet and smartphone space. Simply put, consumers are ditching notebooks and desktops in favor of mobile devices. Fortunately for Apple, its iPhone and iPad lineups are strong players.

During the fourth quarter, Lenovo was the largest notebook brand vendor. Additionally, Acer and Asustek showed strong performances as well.

HP pulled up to second place, followed by Dell as the third largest vendor. What about Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)? Well, Cupertino was found holding down the six spot, just edging out Samsung and Toshiba. Apple can thanks its MacBook Pro with Retina display for this spot. If it weren’t for this new product the company may have been further back in the pack.

To say that Apple doesn’t care about worldwide notebook shipments and its standing against the competition would be a lie. At the same time, this is not Apple’s bread and butter. The company knows it needs to perform well in the tablet and smartphone markets in order to continue to reach its goals. And through 2013, this is exactly what it did.

As the notebook market continues to die off, it will be interesting to see how much time Apple puts into releasing new products and marketing these to global consumers. While some companies don’t have a choice, since they are “all in” when it comes to notebooks, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is in a different position.

This is a recurring story, with notebook shipments increasing during some quarters, but showing poorly over a larger course of time. Apple has some great notebook products, but it is the company’s tablets and smartphones that are most important to future success.

Apple Inc. (AAPL): Just Another Day at the Office

Even as the calendar changed over to 2014 and Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) could put behind it one of the more active years for the company in terms of patents and lawsuits, it seems pretty reasonable to almost expect that if a day goes by in Cupertino without news of a patent or a courtroom decision, it is a bad day – because it means Apple Inc. was not in the news. We only mention this because a couple items that crossed our desk this Wednesday morning seem to epitomize what 2013 was about for Apple Inc. – with the introduction of the latest devices last fall being more of a hobby, since patents and courts are the real passion for Apple Inc. don’t we all know.

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)

Appeals court: Answer for potential collusion

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is not the only company involved in our legal brief this morning, but it is the biggest. A federal appeals court has ruled that about 60,000 tech workers have standing to sue Apple Inc., Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG), Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC) and others, claiming that the companies secured wage-fixing agreements by agreeing not to “poach” each other’s employees. By making this agreement, the plaintiffs claim, salaries were set at each of the companies to where it would not benefit workers to leave one company for another.

The suit, which can go forward with the blessing of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, may impose as much as $9 billion in damages to the seven companies mentioned in the lawsuit should it be successful. Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) specifically is claimed in the lawsuit to have been involved in some type of agreement involving employees from its own company and Adobe Systems Incorporated (NASDAQ:ADBE) in 2005, Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) in 2006 and Pixar Studios in 2007.

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL): Pay up to academia

In another legal fight, a Boston University professor essentially won a patent-infringement case against Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) and 23 other tech companies over what is called blue LED technology. The technology was developed in the early 1990s by a Boston University professor, Theodore Moustakas, and a patent was awarded for the work. The university sued Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) and other companies for using the technology in their more recent devices, like the Kindle Fire, the iPad Air and iPhone 5. The lawsuit was filed in September and the university reached a settlement agreement with all the companies for a licensing fee for the technology, though details of the settlement amount were not disclosed.

Gloria Water, the university’s vice president and associate provost for research, said, “Our faculty are increasingly working with industry and finding practical applications for their work. We will protect their intellectual property as they do so.”

Consider yourselves warned, tech companies. These Terriers mean business.

 

Google Inc (GOOG) Acquires Nest, but Why?

At this point, the news is out: Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) has acquired Nest. While it was only natural for this company to be acquired, there were some big surprises along the way. For example, does it really make sense for the search engine giant to pay at least $3.2 billion for the company?

As we go back in the past, it is easy to see that Google has been wanting to get a piece of this market for quite some time. Remember Android Home back in 2011? This was the company’s first attempt to enter the smart home space, however, it flopped in no time at all.

This time around it appears that Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) is taking a different route. They are getting involved directly, ensuring that they have control over every last detail.

We all know that Nest is a young company. We also know that they are off to a good start in the smart home market. Not only does Nest have the right technology in place, but with Google at the helm it will be much easier to speed up development and hopefully push new products to the market.

Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG)

Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG), Third Party Developers, and Ads

We all know that Google is not against working with third party developers. Now that it has acquired Nest, this is something to keep an eye out for in the near future. Is it possible that Nest could be opened up to developers? This may not be something that we begin to see in 2014, but over the next couple of years it is an option that could definitely come to light.

ABI Research brought another interesting point to light, noting that there could be an advertising play in this for Google. For example, they could use Nest as a means of monitoring user activity. While there is a lot of gray area here, especially with all the privacy concerns, don’t be a bit surprise if it is not something that we hear more about as the two companies begin to merge their cultures.

While 2014 is still young, this is one of the biggest acquisitions of the year. Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) wasted no time making the first big move of the year, and now it is time to sit back and see what the company decides to do next.

Will this end up being a great purchase for Google or a multi-billion dollar flop?

Apple Inc. (AAPL): Yeah, But Will the Next iPhone See This Shipment Volume?

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Chinese consumers are getting geared up, because in just a couple days – Friday, to be exact – the iPhone will make its grand debut with China Mobile Ltd (ADR) (NYSE:CHL), the world’s largest wireless carrier with 750 million subscribers.

Yes, that is quite a large market to be tapped – every man, women and child in America times more than two. Granted, China is not known s a wealthy populace by most reasonable world standards,  and Apple Inc. has not exactly discounted its smartphones to accommodate the lower income brackets that are so prevalent. But to show how important the China market was, Apple Inc. for the first tie did introduce a second smartphone of the same iteration – in this case a iPhone 5 model – which had a lower price point and some different features (like casing) to better meet the income levels of Chinese customers. This is not to mention the financing option that Apple Inc. instituted, as with special emphasis on Asian countries like China and India.

Let’s take a look at how preparations are going with the new China rollout – and maybe check in on the next iPhone. After all, we are NextiPhoneNews, are we not?

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPhone 6: Tougher, meaner iDevice?

Before we look to this week, there is still more conjecture about the iPhone 6, which is slated to come out later this year – though an actual release date seems to still be up in the air. One of the big ones coming to the fore recently is about the juxtaposition of the new iPhone with Liquidmetal, with which Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) has been intimately working to add to its devices. There was question as to when Liquidmetal would make an appearance, but with some recent patents being granted to Cupertino, that answer could be soon. Talk is that Liquidmetal could be used to strengthen the hardware of iPhone, including the well-used home button and enhance the sensitivity of the touch sensors on the screens.

And with the latest patent that suggests a wraparound display on a device – perhaps a new iPhone or the iWatch – that may also use a special process using Liquidmetal powder. There are rumors that a wraparound display might be seen on at least  one of two versions of the iPhone 6, but there is speculation also that says the feature won’t be ready for primetime until next year when iPhone 7 is released. But of course, who knows anymore?

China Mobile Ltd (ADR) (NYSE:CHL) gets ready

One of the early signs of the success of a new device in a particular market is the size of the initial shipment of the device as the launch happens. As many devices are pre-ordered days or weeks in advance of its appearing on store shelves, how many devices that are shipped tends to give an idea about the potential demand. When it comes to Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) and its iPhone 5S device, even in an emerging economy like China, the brand may be in a position to sell well.

According to Foxconn, the manufacturer and distributor of the iPhone 5S, China Mobile Ltd (ADR) (NYSE:CHL) is due to receive a shipment of 1.2 million iPhone %S devices for its Jan. 17 launch day of the Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) contract, which is a pretty sizable order y company standards. The iPhone 5S went on pre-order about three weeks ago. There is no real secret, though, that Apple Inc. created the Apple Inc. 5C for emerging markets like China and India – but with the higher-priced 5S getting close of 1.5 million pre-orders in China from China Mobile Ltd (ADR) subscribers, one might conjecture what the numbers could be fore the 5C. Those numbers are not available yet, as those devices are being manufactured by Pegatron and that company has not released anything yet … but that may be because it has not been asked.

 

 

 

 

 

Apple Inc. (AAPL) Leads the Charge, Global Smartphone Shipments Rising

When it comes to the global shipments of smartphones, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) has no problem leading the charge. While there are other companies performing at a high level as well, Cupertino has taken the bull by its horns and continues to show the world why its products are head and shoulders above the rest.

Digitimes Research is expecting global smartphone shipments to top 1.24 billion units this year, due in large part to the success of Apple and its iPhone lineup of devices.

Other vendors that will continue to push the market forward as a whole include: Samsung, LG Electronics, Sony, Lenovo, Huawei, Microsoft, ZTE, Coolpad, and TCL.

Apple Inc (NASDAQ:AAPL)

Double Time for Apple?

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) could experience big time growth this year, with the possibility of shipments doubling in 2014 due to increased business in China and Japan. The push in both these markets is led by deals with the largest telecom operators in each respective country.

Furthermore, Apple has to be excited about the fact that it is finally putting the clamps on Samsung. It is no surprise at this point that Apple and Samsung have been fighting it out for smartphone supremacy. Samsung’s growth rate is going to take a hit in 2014 due to the growing popularity of the iPhone lineup.

On the other hand, companies such as Coolpad and Huawei, are in line to step up their game thanks to higher volumes in China (the home market for both companies).

What can Apple do Better?

At this point, it is hard to imagine a situation in which Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) would find itself in any better position. The company continues to push for the top spot in the smartphone market. Along with this, the iPhone continues to strengthen with each passing month. This is particularly true now that the 5s and 5c are available.

If there is anything we should be watching for from Apple it is news related to the next generation iPhone. You heard it right. Many are already wondering what Cupertino has up its sleeve for the iPhone 6.

Global smartphone shipments are rising and Apple is doing its best to show the world why its iPhone devices have been and always will be leader of the pack. As of now, the company is doing a great job of flexing its muscle.

Is 2014 going to be one of the best ever for Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) in terms of units shipped and market growth?

Microsoft Corporation (MSFT) Windows 9: When and What to Expect

Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) has been trying its best to become a major player in the smartphone and tablet markets, however, this doesn’t mean the company is giving up on its bread and butter. For many years, Microsoft has relied on the power of its Windows operating system to carry the brand. While things have changed and the company has expanded into other areas, which can be seen by the success of the Xbox One, it is safe to assume that Windows will always be a big part of Microsoft.

Despite the fact that Windows 8 is still in its infancy, to a certain degree, many are beginning to look towards what Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) will come up with next. In other words, when is Windows 9 going to make its debut?

While nobody knows for sure what the future holds, there are grumblings that the company could offer outsiders a first peak at Windows 8 during the company’s Build Conference this April.

Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT)

Is Windows 8 Doomed?

Let’s face it: Windows 8 has been a flop since day one. There are not too many who enjoy what the operating system has to offer, which has led to tons of negative attention around what is supposed to be one of the company’s biggest assets.

For the time being, don’t be surprised if Microsoft updates Windows 8.1 in an attempt to smooth things over until the next generation operating system makes its way to the market.

Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) is in a tough spot. On one side of things, the company doesn’t want to admit that its Windows 8 operating system is a bust. On the other side of things, it cannot afford to wait around and hope that each subsequent update is good enough to suit users.

For now, it appears that Microsoft has decided to move forward with Windows 9 sooner rather than later. We will likely learn more at the Build Conference in a few months, and for now it is believed that the next generation operating system will be launched in April 2015. This is more than a year away, but with how many issues need fixed it is safe to say that Microsoft is faced with a big challenge.

All in all, Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) doesn’t have any more room for error. Windows 9 needs to be a big hit, and if April 2015 is the launch date there is no time to wait.

IDC Talks Microsoft Corporation (MSFT), Apple Inc. (AAPL)

When it comes to discussions regarding the PC market, many companies are often times mentioned. These include both Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) and Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL).

In a recent report by IDC, taking a closer look at PC shipments during the fourth quarter of 2013, both of these companies, among many others, are mentioned multiple times.

Before we get into the finer details of the report and how Microsoft and Apple are involved, IDC is noting that unit shipments declined 10 percent for the full year 2013. Not only is this a record drop, but it also goes a long way in showing how mobility is affecting the market.

For seven quarters in a row total shipments have declined. This is despite the holiday season during the fourth quarter of 2013.

Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT)

Microsoft Gets Mentioned

The United States market was not hit as hard as the rest of the world, with shipments totaling 17.1 million during the fourth quarter. This resulted in a 1.6 percent declined when compared to the same quarter of 2012. With the move from Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) Windows XP to Windows 7 and 8, momentum in the enterprise sector picked up a bit.

It is hard to mention the PC market, including its performance, without talking about Microsoft Windows, as this is the operating system that most of the top brand vendors rely on.

What about Apple?

When it comes to the top five vendors in the United States in terms of shipments, IDC has Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) checking in at fourth on the list, following HP, Dell, and Lenovo. With 9.3 percent market share, Cupertino is nowhere near the cream of the crop. That being said, Apple has its eyes focused more on the tablet and smartphone markets where its iPad and iPhone lineups are performing nicely.

Both Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) and Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) were able to perform just about as well as expected during the fourth quarter of 2013. The PC market is on the decline, so any major move by either company would have been nothing short of a miracle.

The real question remains: how will the PC market perform in 2014, and will the decline continue? If the decline does continue, it will be interesting to see how Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) and Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) are impacted.

What are your thoughts on what the future holds? Share your opinion in the comment section below.

Gartner Says Worldwide PC Shipments Declined, Apple Inc. (AAPL) Mentioned

It is no surprise to most that 2013 was a bad year for the PC industry. More and more consumers are turning to tablets and smartphones, leaving PCs in the past. This impacts a number of companies, including Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL).

The fourth quarter of 2013 was a bad one for global PC shipments, with Gartner noting a decline of 6.9 percent over the same period from the previous year.

While a decline like this is never a good thing, it appears that the market has finally hit the bottom; or at least that is what Mikako Kitagawa, principal analyst at Gartner, believes: “Although PC shipments continued to decline in the worldwide market in the fourth quarter, we increasingly believe markets, such as the U.S., have bottomed out as the adjustment to the installed base slows.”

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)

Who is in the Lead?

Nobody expects Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) to be out in front in the global PC market. After all, Cupertino would much rather flex its muscle in the tablet and smartphone markets.

At this time, HP and Lenovo are running neck and neck at the top. Lenovo jumped out in front during the fourth quarter, accounting for 18.1 percent of shipments during the fourth quarter.

To get a better idea of where Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) stands, we have to dig a bit deeper into the Gartner report, focusing on the U.S. PC vendor unit estimates.

When focusing solely on the market in the United States, Apple is in third place, behind only HP and Dell, with 2,168,212 units shipped during the fourth quarter. This accounts for 13.7 percent of the market. Better yet for Cupertino, this is a bump of approximately four percent over the same period in 2012.

Despite the overall struggles of the PC market, Apple is making up a little bit of ground in the United States. This is good news for a company that has so many other high level products in the pipeline, such as its iPhone and iPad lineups.

It is only natural for PC shipments to decline, however, some companies continue to rely heavily on this market. Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) may not be a company that puts too much stock into PCs, but it is performing well in the United States.

How do you think things will shape up in 2014? Is there a chance that Apple grabs ahold of even more market share on its homeland?

Apple Inc. (AAPL): Why is the App Store So Secular?

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) has been a very public company for decades, and is one of the most notable and noteworthy brandsin all the world. With that power and influence comes great responsibility. And it seems that sometimes the company takes on mroe responsibility than perhaps it should because of the reputation developed and the control that the company has over its own ecosystem and those developers that try to work within that ecosystem.

At the same time, freedom of expression sometimes finds itself being compromised for the sake of Apple Inc.’s reputation for being a company that does not look to offend or upset large groups of people  you know. potential customers. And reputation can be very important in the courtrooms as well, based on how a company fights its patent battles – is it relentless and aggressive, or is it willing to negotiate a sensible resolution?

Here are a couple items about Apple Inc. and its rep.

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)

No religiosity

one of the ways that Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) has been known to protect its reputation is with its App Store and its guidelines fr approving or rejecting apps that are sold in the iPhone or iPad marketplace. Apple Inc. does provide guidelines to app developers, asking them to stay away from content that “in Apple’s reasonable judgment may be found objectionable by iPhone users.” This mentions content that is pornographic, obscene, etc. But anything having to do with religion is not specifically mentioned. However, a blogger covering religious freedom issues this week posted what he called the top five relion-based apps to be rejected or removed from the App store.

The common reasoning behind these apps being removed, according to Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) was that they were “offensive to a large group of people.” A couple of the apps were removed after a couple of Change.org petitions gathered more than 100,000 signatures each. The apps referenced included “Me So Hoy,” which simply allowed people to paste their heads in a photo over the face of a nun, priest or even Jesus. Another one, “Jew or Not Jew?” simply gave users an opportunity to put in the name of a celebrity or public figure to determine whether that person was Jewish.

Three other rejected or removed apps that were religion-based were those created by the Manhattan Declaration and now-defunct Christian group Exodus International, along with one titled “iSlam Muhammad,” which cited “violent and hateful” passes in the Quran, the Muslim holy book.

Heading to divorce court

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) have had a very contentious rivalry in the smartphone wars in recent years, what with the two companies not only battling for market share, but also fighting each other in courtrooms around the world for the last two years regarding infringement of a variety of tech patents. At the same time, the two companies had a strong business partnership behind the scenes as Samsung was a pivotal manufacturer of certain components of Iphones and iPads.

But as the smartphone battled heated up, Apple Inc. ha been working to divest itself of Samung’s manufacturing expertise by signing on with other vendors, which has affected Samsung’s bottom line in recent quarters. Now, in the wake of Apple Inc.’s $900 million U.S. patent award and under threat of an import ban of all Samsung devices in the U.S., the two companies have agreed to enter into mediation talks to work out their intellectual-property differences.

We think Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) has always been known to relentlessly defend and protect its patents, so we are a little skeptical that mediation will actually work out in the est interests of both parties. We’re convinced that based on past history, that Apple Inc. will enter the proess with very hard demands and will not budge much, simply because it has the leverage of the recent U.S. court victory behind it.

Any real movement in Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) stock will have to wait until after any agreement is reached  and that will be dicey, since it is pretty certain from here that Apple Inc. will not come to an agreement in mediation without getting at least 90 percent of what it wants. And that will likely cripple Samsung and by extension, Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) and its Android platform. After all, this is a proxy “thermonuclear war” with Google Inc that late Apple Inc. CEO Steve Jobs promised.

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