The technology business week: multifunctional smart devices, effect of Budget 2014

21 Oct 2013

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

Multifunctional smart devices to drive future retail revenues – Juniper

High price points and strong market demand will push retail revenue from smart wearable devices, such as watches and glasses, from US$1.4bn this year up to US$19bn by 2018, hi-tech analysts at Juniper Research have forecast.

Juniper’s latest report, Smart Wearable Devices: Fitness, Healthcare, Entertainment & Enterprise: 2013-2018, contends that the attractiveness of wearable technology to consumers has led to a host of players competing against each other, and competition is expected to intensify.

The report also expects changes to take place in the smart wearable device market over time, as well. These changes would likely be down to developments in the app model, and the increasing use of embedded cellular connectivity within devices.

Briefing asks what implications Budget 2014 has for ICT and innovation sectors

The morning after Ireland’s Budget announcement last week, the Irish Internet Association hosted a post-Budget briefing at the Digital Hub in Dublin to review the Budget specifically in the context of the ICT and innovation sectors in Ireland.

Michael McGivern, tax partner at RSM Farrell Grant Sparks, started off proceedings with a very comprehensive review of the implications of the Budget, particularly as they relate to areas of technology, investment and entrepreneurship.

This was followed up by a panel discussion, chaired by Silicon Republic CEO and editor-at-large Ann O’Dea, with practitioners from the industry: investor and tech founder Sean Blanchfield and John O’Sullivan of ACT Venture Capital, to analyse the Budget through the eyes of the start-up and tech community.

Watch some of the top line points made by the panellists, reacting to Budget 2014.

Lenovo contemplates bid for BlackBerry – report

PC maker Lenovo is considering a bid for smartphone maker BlackBerry, and if successful, the purchase would be one of the largest and most significant Chinese acquisitions of a Western company.

Lenovo’s ownership of BlackBerry would highlight Chinese companies’ desire to establish a foothold in the West and gain not only industrial expertise but more products to sell to their customers, The Wall Street Journal reported.

The newspaper also cited a person close to the matter as having said that bids for BlackBerry are expected by 4 November.

Google financial results better than expected, stock jumps to near US$1,000

Google’s third-quarter 2013 earnings call has exceeded analysts’ expectations, resulting in an 8pc rise in stock during after-hours trading.

“Google had another strong quarter with US$14.9bn in revenue and great product progress,” said CEO Larry Page. “We are closing in on our goal of a beautiful, simple, and intuitive experience regardless of your device.”

Google noted a third-quarter net profit of US$2.97bn – a rise of 36.5pc – amounting to US$8.75 per share.

The market responded to Google’s strong quarterly performance in after-hours trading on Thursday, when the company’s stock rose to US$959.65.

Intel reports US$13.5bn Q3 revenue, may delay Broadwell processor production

While Intel Corporation reported Q3 revenue of US$13.5bn, operating income of US$3.5bn, net income of US$3.0bn and EPS of US$0.58, its CEO Brian Krzanich has said the company is set to delay production of its Broadwell processors.

In a conference call with analysts following Intel’s announcement of its financial results, Krzanich detailed how production of Intel’s next processor – Broadwell, which will be built using Intel’s 14nm (nanometer) technology – is not set to begin until the first quarter of 2014, Reuters reported.

Intel’s Q3 results reveal the company generated about US$5.7bn in cash from operations, paid dividends of US$1.1bn, and used US$536m to repurchase 24m shares of stock.

Total revenue was up 5pc sequentially, flat year-over-year.

Yahoo!’s revenue drops, plans to keep more of its share in Alibaba

Yahoo! financial results from the third quarter of 2013 reveal that revenue dropped 1pc year-on-year to US$1.081bn, and net income is down 91pc from US$3.16bn in Q3 2012 to US$297m in Q3 2013.

This significant drop has been attributed to the net gain of US$2.8bn seen in this period last year following the sale of some of its stake in Alibaba Group.

Yahoo! also announced it has amended its share repurchase and preference sale agreement with Alibaba to reduce the number of shares it will sell after the Chinese e-commerce giant’s planned IPO.

According to Reuters, Alibaba is expected to file for an IPO worth US$15bn next year. Yahoo! currently holds a 24pc stake in Alibaba and the more it holds on to, the more it will benefit if its stock rises.

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Smart watch image via Shutterstock