The digital business week

25 Jul 2011

A digest of the top business and technology news stories from the past week.

Success of iPhone and iPad drive a 125pc profit jump for Apple

Apple’s Q3 revenues reached a massive US$28.5bn, up 82pc from US$15.7bn, thanks to the enduring success of its iPhone and iPad devices, delivering a profit of US$7.3bn, up from US$3.2bn a year ago. However, the decline of the iPod continues, with sales of the devices down 20pc.

“We’re thrilled to deliver our best quarter ever, with revenue up 82pc and profits up 125pc,” said Steve Jobs, Apple’s co-founder and CEO. “Right now, we’re very focused and excited about bringing iOS 5 and iCloud to our users this fall.”

Apple sold 20.3m iPhone devices during the third quarter, representing a 142pc increase on a year ago.

The company sold 9.2m iPads during the quarter, up 183pc over a year ago.

Nokia’s slide continues – reports Q2 losses of €487m

Nokia’s struggles are continuing and the company has reported sales have fallen to €9.2bn from €10bn a year earlier, a 7pc year-on-year drop. Operating profits have plummeted, resulting in a loss of €487m, compared with a €295m profit a year ago.

In terms of device sales, smart device sales were down 32pc year-on-year and overall mobile phone sales were down 20pc.

The volume of phones sold declined 15pc to 71.8m units shipped while the total volume of smart devices shipped declined 34pc to 16.7m units.

Nokia has been left with no choice but to hope its collaboration with Microsoft will produce a phone that will return it to growth.

Vodafone claims 530,000 smartphones now on Irish network

There are now 530,000 smartphones on the Irish network, Vodafone Ireland says. The news comes as Vodafone Group’s first quarter revealed a 3.5pc year-on-year increase in revenues which came in at stg£11.6bn.

The results, which were better than expected, came from strong service revenue growth in developing markets and a 24.5pc surge in group data revenues.

In Europe, smartphone penetration is now standing at 19.5pc.

In Ireland, the company said its total telecoms base has grown by 76,000 new customers to hit 2.4m.

Twitter to raise US$800m – suggests US$8bn valuation

It seems Twitter is on the verge of raising US$800m in venture capital in a complicated deal that will be used to cash out current investors and employees.

According to Kara Swisher of All Things Digital, the funding will include a second part in which US$400m will be used to cash out investors and employees.

The Twitter funding deal could be closed as soon as this week. The funding round would value Twitter at US$8bn – double what Twitter was valued at when it raised US$200m in venture funding from Kleiner Perkins last December, in which it was valued at US$3.7bn.

Twitter’s revenues are estimated to be about US$200m at this stage.

Electronic signatures back in vogue as Adobe buys EchoSign

The market for electronic signatures got an impressive boost with news that Adobe Systems has acquired EchoSign, a major web-based provider of electronic signatures and signature automation. The vision will be to make electronic signatures natural and effortless.

With just one click, the EchoSign electronic signature system automates the entire signature process from the request for signature to the distribution and execution of the form or agreement.

The value of the acquisition has not been disclosed.

“Together, our aim is to make electronic signatures the standard way for people to sign documents and automate contracting,” Jason Lemkin, CEO EchoSign, said in his blog.

“Adobe’s PDF solutions and document exchange services platform have helped organisations turn inefficient, paper-based workflows – like overnight envelopes – into streamlined electronic ones.”

HTC to appeal Apple patent ruling

HTC has said it would “vigorously fight” a preliminary ruling a US trade panel judge has made, which finds HTC Corp infringed on two of Apple’s patents.

HTC maintains it has not violated any patents mentioned in the case and said it was confident it had a strong case for an appeal.

Apple had sued HTC for infringing 10 of its patents.

This ruling by the US International Trade Commission means the US may ban imports of some HTC phones, unless the ruling is overturned.

The judge found HTC guilty of violating two Apple patents when HTC produced mobile phones based on Google’s Android operating system.

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