The tech business week: Twitter has a good second quarter, Samsung not so much

4 Aug 2014

A digest of the top business technology news stories from the past week, beginning with the news microblogging site Twitter has reported its second-quarter revenues rose 124pc to US$312m.

Twitter achieves World Cup goals – Q2 revenues surge 124pc to US$312m

Citing the World Cup experience as a vital proving ground, Twitter’s second-quarter revenues rose 124pc to US$312m.

Twitter reported user growth increased 24pc to 271m members.

The company’s net loss widened, however, to US$144.6m.

Twitter advertising revenue jumped 129pc year-over-year to US$277m. Mobile ad revenue amounted to 81pc of total ad revenue.

Samsung reports Q2 fall in operating profits – two new large-screen devices on way

Samsung reported a 15pc fall in second-quarter operating profits to 7.1trn won (US$6.9bn). The South Korean electronics company also revealed revenues of 52.3trn won, down 2pc, and a net profit of 6.2trn won.

Recent reports suggested the company is harnessing its efforts around two new large-screen devices coming within months. One device is reportedly a new large-screen ‘phablet’ called the Samsung Galaxy Alpha, that might be launched at the IFA consumer electronics show in Berlin in September.

Samsung senior vice-president Kim Hyon-joon said two new models are on the cards, according to The Wall Street Journal. One will have a large screen while the other will be built using new materials.

Amazon intensifies Flipkart rivalry with US$2bn India investment

Just one day after Indian online retailer Flipkart reported it had raised US$1bn for its expansion into India, along comes e-commerce giant Amazon revealing its US$2bn investment into its own Indian marketplace.

The reason for Amazon’s investment, the company’s founder and CEO Jeff Bezos said, is because India “is on track to be our fastest country ever to a billion dollars in gross sales. We’ve never seen anything like it.”

India has 243m internet users, TechCrunch reported, and Amazon and Flipkart are competing for their attention, as well as a larger chunk of India’s e-commerce marketplace. 

Apple close to buying podcasting app Swell for US$30m

Apple is on a buying spree: after reportedly acquiring e-book site, the Californian tech giant is understood to be close to buying talk radio app Swell for US$30m.

Citing sources, Re/Code reported Swell could bolster Apple’s less-than-popular in-house podcasting app.

The Swell iOS app compiles podcasts and tailors them into personalised streams for users.

Apple to cut 200 jobs in Beats after acquisition

Following its US$3bn acquisition of music hardware and subscription company Beats, Apple is now looking to shed 200 of its 700 employees who are mostly in non-tech roles.

Bloomberg reported Apple is looking to streamline its workforce and release a significant portion of its staff in the areas of finance, human resources, and various smaller areas.

Apple would reportedly rather use its own staff to avoid overlap with Beats, and has even set up a helpline for Beats employees that will direct them to Apple’s human resources department to see what the situation is with their employment.

Mozilla appoints Chris Beard as permanent CEO

The interim CEO of Mozilla Chris Beard has clinched the role for good, after the company’s board considered internal and external candidates for the job.

“No one we met was a better fit,” Mozilla executive chairwoman Mitchell Baker wrote in The Mozilla Blog.

Beard began working as Mozilla’s interim CEO and joined its board of directors in April, after previous CEO Brendan Eich resigned over criticism from equal rights groups over donations towards an anti-gay marriage bill.

Previously, Beard served Mozilla as chief marketing officer. He has been with the company since 2004.

Twitter IPO image via Shutterstock

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