A digest of the top business technology news stories from the past week.
Global ‘Gathering’ of tech leaders in Cork set for January as Silicon Valley returns to Ireland
The Irish Technology Leadership Group (ITLG) will gather global CEOs and leading Irish executives in some of the world’s biggest technology companies in Cork in January in a Gathering-themed shindig. The aim will be to help local tech companies and entrepreneurs succeed on the global stage.
This year’s summit will be truly global with technology leaders from Europe, China, Russia, India and across the Americas in attendance.
Confirmed speakers include Craig Barrett, ITLG chairman and former chairman and CEO of Intel Corp; Barry O’Sullivan, senior VP, Cisco; Liam Casey, CEO, PCH International; James Herlihy, MD, Deutsche Bank; Sean O’Donoghue, CTO, Madison Square Garden; Rory McInerney, Intel; and Una Fox, VP Disney, among others.
Cork City Council, Cork Chamber, UCC and CIT have partnered with the ITLG to bring this international event to Cork from 21-22 January as part of The Gathering 2013.
Apple reports Q4 revenues of US$36bn, profits of US$8.2bn – sells 27m iPhones
Consumer tech giant Apple delivered another bumper quarter with revenues of US$36bn on the back of substantial sales of 26.9m iPhones and 14m iPads. The company reported a profit of US$8.2bn and declared a cash dividend of US$2.65 per share.
The Q4 revenues were up from US$28.3bn last year and profits of US$6.6bn. Gross margin was down to 40pc from 40.3pc last year.
Apple sold 26.9m iPhone devices during the fourth quarter – up 58pc on last year in terms of unit growth.
It sold 14m iPad devices during the quarter, up 26pc on last year.
Apple sold 4.9m Mac computers during the fourth quarter, up 1pc on last year.
iPods continued to decline, with 5.3m iPods sold during the fourth quarter, down 19pc on last year.
Mobile advertising pays off for Facebook in third quarter
Some 14pc of Facebook’s revenue came from mobile advertising, the social networking giant has revealed in its third-quarter financial results.
Facebook began showing ads to users who access the social network from their mobile phones and tablet computers about six months ago.
Some 60pc of Facebook users access the site using a mobile device, the company said. At the end of the second quarter, fewer than 57pc of its then-955m users came from mobile devices.
In the July-September 2012 period, Facebook reported a revenue increase from US$954m to US$1.26bn.
The company reported a loss of US$59m, or US$0.02 per share, in the third quarter, a decrease from earnings of US$227m, or US$0.10 per share last year.
Advertising revenue amounted to US$1.09bn, up 36pc from a year ago, representing about 86pc of Facebook’s total revenue.
Zynga cuts 5pc of workers during Apple press event
If you’re a tech company in trouble, a good time to break bad news might be during an Apple press event. While the tech press were ogling Apple’s latest gadgets last Tuesday, Zynga quietly shed 5pc of its workforce ahead of its Q3 financial results announcement last Wednesday.
Twitter user Justin Maxwell first broke the news online on behalf of friends of his in Zynga’s Austin, Texas, office. According to Maxwell’s tweet, more than 100 employees were let go while the Apple event was taking place, which would have been after 12pm in Austin.
Though it has not yet been confirmed how many were let go in Austin, it has officially been announced that the online gaming company is cutting about 5pc of its full-time staff and dropping 13 games. The company currently has 18 studios worldwide, but this number is also set to change with the Boston office closing up and proposals to do the same with studios in Japan and the UK.
Yelp acquires European rival Qype ahead of expected strong financial results
Local reviews network Yelp – which will reveal its Q3 financial results in November – has bought over Qype, its biggest competitor in Europe, in an acquisition valued at about US$50m.
Qype is regarded as Europe’s largest local reviews site with more than 2m reviews and 15m unique visitors per month across 13 countries. The company is headquartered in Germany with operations in the UK and these are just two of the markets in which Yelp hopes to gain influence as it accelerates its international expansion.
The deal to acquire all of Qype’s shares cost Yelp about €18.6m plus 970,000 of its own shares, equating to a total purchase price of about US$50m.
Yelp’s third-quarter financial results will be reported on 1 November but preliminary results show revenue is expected to be about US$36.4m, exceeding predictions made in August.
Accenture CEO Pierre Nanterme to take on chairman of the board role
The board of directors at technology consulting firm Accenture has named CEO Pierre Nanterme as chairman of the board, to replace William D Green, who is stepping down from the role on 1 February 2013.
Nanterme succeeded Green as CEO on 1 January 2011, and has been a member of the Accenture board of directors since October 2010.
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