A digest of the top business technology news stories from the past week.
Thrifty Irish shoppers spent €53m via online daily deals sites in 2012, up 15pc
Irish shoppers dealing with high prices, bills and lower wages are going online for better value and spent €53m through daily deals sites in 2012, up from €46m a year earlier.
Deals sites allow consumers to avail of affordable offers, such as city breaks, gadgets, meals in restaurants, spa treatments and many more things that while easily accessible in the good times are out of reach for many during the recession.
In the past two and a half years some €110m was spent in this way in the Irish economy.
According to MyDealPage.ie, a deals aggregator site, consumers made savings of €95m by unlocking value in this way.
Apple reports Q1 revenues of US$54.5bn and a net profit of US$13.1bn
Reports of Apple’s innovation demise have been greatly exaggerated – the California tech company reported revenues of US$54.5bn for its fiscal Q1 and profits of US$13.1bn. To put that in perspective, Google breached the US$50bn mark for the entire year for the first time in its history in 2012.
The rumour mill was in overdrive during the last quarter, citing Apple’s apparent decision to cut orders on displays.
This rumour has been put to bed by the revelation that the technology giant sold 47.8m iPhones in the quarter, compared with 37m iPhones a year earlier.
Apple sold 22.9m iPad tablet computers during the first quarter, compared with 15.4m a year earlier.
During the quarter, Apple sold 4.1m Mac computers, down from 5.2m Macs the previous year.
iPods, which had been declining, are incidentally up to 12.7m devices sold in Q1, compared with 15.4m in the corresponding quarter the year before
Google hit US$50bn in revenues for the first time in 2012
Internet search and advertising giant Google reported a strong fourth quarter with revenues increasing 36pc to US$14.4bn. For the full year of 2012, Google hit revenues of US$50bn for the first time.
Google’s CEO Larry Page said fourth-quarter revenues would have been north of US$15.2bn if its acquisition of Motorola Home had been included. Google agreed to sell Motorola Home to Arris Group in December for US$2.35bn.
The search giant reported its operating income in the fourth quarter of 2012 was US$3.39bn, or 24pc of revenues.
Net income including net loss from discontinued operations in the fourth quarter of 2012 was US$2.89bn, compared to US$2.71bn in the fourth quarter of 2011.
Belfast firm Exploristics draws some £200,000 in US contracts
A Belfast-based company specialising in statistical and data analytics, Exploristics, has won about £200,000 worth of contracts with US businesses.
Under the new contracts, researchers at Exploristics will carry out projects to support new drug developments for the treatment of cancer and other serious medical conditions, and help develop improved and more predictive models for the earlier diagnosis of pancreatic cancer.
“The new contracts are immensely important and will help to strengthen our position in the important US marketplace where there is extensive demand for the exploratory data analysis services that we provide,” said Dr Aiden Flynn, managing director of Exploristics.
Cisco to buy mobile networking firm Intucell for US$475m
Computer-networking equipment maker Cisco is to acquire mobile networking company Intucell for about US$475m in cash and retention-based incentives.
Under the deal, Cisco will receive a critical network intelligence layer to manage and optimise spectrum, coverage and capacity, and Intucell employees will be integrated into Cisco’s Service Provider Mobility Group, Cisco said.
Intucell, which is based in Ra’anana, Israel, is a provider of advanced self-optimising network software. That software is designed to enable mobile carriers to plan, configure, manage, optimise and heal cellular networks automatically, according to real-time changing network demands.
Video-game maker Atari files for bankruptcy protection
Atari, the maker of iconic video games such as Pong and Asteroids, has filed for bankruptcy protection in Paris and New York after it failed to acquire a successor to its main shareholder and lender BlueBay.
Atari also plans to separate its US operations from its parent company, Paris-headquartered Atari SA, which has also filed for bankruptcy.
Atari’s US operations also plan to seek independent capital to grow in digital and mobile games, to sell or restructure all or almost all of its assets by summer, and to seek US$5.25m in financing from Tenor Capital.
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