The tech business week: iOS overtakes Android, Twitter’s financials and ad move

9 Feb 2015

The Apple iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus

A digest of the top business technology news stories from the past week, beginning with consumer tech giant Apple’s iOS overtaking Google’s Android operating system in the US for the first time since 2012.

Apple’s iOS overtakes Android in US for first time since 2012

The success of Apple’s iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus models has resulted in iOS overtaking Google’s Android operating system in the US for the first time since 2012, albeit by a slim margin of 0.1pc.

New smartphone sales data from Kantar Worldpanel ComTech shows that Apple’s share of sales grew across the US, Europe and China during the critical Christmas period, thanks to its latest portfolio of devices.

During the fourth quarter, the iPhone 6 was the best-selling smartphone in the US and was also the most popular smartphone to give as a gift.  

Samsung retained its No 2 spot in the vendor chart with the Galaxy S5, which was the second best-selling smartphone.

Twitter starts advertising outside its own social network

Twitter has begun rolling out a new revenue stream that will see its core ‘Promoted Tweet’ appear on other sites and services, starting with Flipboard and Yahoo! Japan.

The vision goes much further than that and Twitter is planning to make it possible for its Promoted Tweets to flow seamlessly from Twitter to other mediums, such as TV, websites and mobile apps.

The move will no doubt significantly expand Twitter’s reach and revenues, which will also keep Wall Street happy about Twitter’s future direction.

Twitter revenues up 97pc to US$479m – 80pc of users are mobile

Twitter is firing on all cylinders, having reported a 97pc year-over-year increase in fourth-quarter revenues of US$479m.

The company also reported total mobile users are 80pc of its total user base and 88pc of advertising is mobile.

The social media giant reported average monthly active users (MAUs) of 288m for the fourth quarter, an increase of 20pc year-over-year. However, this reflects a loss of about 4m net monthly active users in the fourth quarter due to changes in third-party integrations.

Advertising revenue totalled US$432m, an increase of 97pc year-over-year.

Financial impact of cyberattack on Sony was US$15m in Q3

Sony has reported that the financial impact of the hack attack on Sony Pictures Entertainment has been US$15m to the company so far.

Before the attack, Sony Pictures Entertainment was already having a bad year but because of the attack the division only released forecasted results for the third quarter.

Revenues at Sony Pictures Entertainment are expected to have decreased 11.7pc year on year to US$1.6bn, mainly due to a decrease in motion picture and TV production sales.

“The current quarter is expected to include approximately US$15m in investigation and remediation costs relating to the … cyberattack,” Sony stated.

BT agrees to terms to acquire mobile operator EE for stg£12.5bn

UK telecoms giant BT has agreed to definitive terms to acquire 4G mobile operator Everything Everywhere (EE) from Orange and Deutsche Telekom for stg£12.5bn.

EE is the second largest mobile operator in the UK with 31m customers. BT will buy the company through a combination of shares and stg£1bn in cash, which will be raised through debt financing and the placing of new BT shares.

After the transaction, Deutsche Telekom will have a 12pc stake in BT and a seat on the board while Orange will have a 4pc stake in BT.

The acquisition is aimed at giving BT a strategic and tactical advantage in a competitive UK broadband market by having a state-of-the-art fibre network interconnected with a next-generation 4G network.

Intel makes latest IoT purchase with German company Lantiq

Intel’s plan to be the centre of the internet of things (IoT) technology is continuing with the purchase of Lantiq, a company that develops home broadband networks and connected homes, for an undisclosed sum.

Under the deal, Munich, Germany-based Lantiq will be contributing to Intel’s IoT ambitions by allowing it to “broaden its offering to other gateway markets, including DSL, fiber, LTE, retail and IoT smart routers,” according to Intel’s statement.

The Lantiq team is expected to be merged within Intel’s existing IoT development division, with plans to develop, in particular, home cloud services and new applications capable of using the integration of home appliances controllable through a home owner’s device or multiple devices.

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