Sony Sees Strong Demand for PS4 Games as Mobile Business Slumps

Sony Sees Strong Demand for PS4 Games as Mobile Business Slumps

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Sony had a JPY 26 billion net profit in the six months through September
  • Revenue during the period fell more than 10 percent to JPY 3.3 trillion
  • Strong demand for games for its hugely popular PlayStation 4 game console

Sony said Tuesday its fiscal first half net profit dived owing to a sharp rally in the yen and losses linked to the sale of its battery business.

The Japanese electronics giant, which has been shedding assets as part of a broad restructuring, said it had a JPY 26 billion ($248 million or roughly Rs. 1,655 crores) net profit in the six months through September, down nearly 78 percent from a year ago.

Revenue during the period fell more than 10 percent to JPY 3.3 trillion “primarily due to the impact of foreign exchange rates”, Sony said.

The company said sales in its mobile communications business slumped, offsetting strong demand for games for its hugely popular PlayStation 4 game console.

(Also see: 47.4 Million PS4 Consoles Shipped Till Date, Announces Sony)

Tuesday’s first-half results come a day after Sony warned that it now expected a net profit of JPY 60 billion (roughly Rs. 3,820 crores) in the year through March 2017, down from an earlier JPY 80 billion forecast.

It cited impairment charges and other costs linked to the sale of its battery division to Apple supplier Murata Manufacturing.In July, Sony cut its full-year sales forecast – trimming it to the current level JPY 7.4 trillion – as it blamed the surging yen and slower smartphone sales.

Japanese firms have benefited from a weak currency in recent years, which allows them to make their products cheaper overseas.

(Also see: PlayStation VR: Almost There but Not Just Yet)

But the yen, which is seen as a safe bet, shot up since the start of the year amid wild volatility on world financial markets and as uncertainty over Britain’s decision to leave the EU stoked demand for less risky investments.

Sony has also warned that a pair of deadly quakes in Japan in April would also dent financial results.

The quakes, which caused major damage in southern Kyushu and claimed dozens of lives, forced Sony to temporarily shutter factories, hitting production and sales.

The once-iconic firm has been working to stay profitable after years of huge losses, under a painful restructuring that has included layoffs and asset sales.

Tags: Sony, Sony Earnings, PlayStation, PlayStation 4, PlayStation VR, Gaming, Console, Mobiles, Home Entertainment, Tablets,Cameras, Android
[“source-ndtv”]

Apple Sees Drop in Profit, Revenue as iPhone Sales Slump

Apple Sees Drop in Profit, Revenue as iPhone Sales Slump

Apple’s quarterly profit slumped on a widely expected drop in iPhone sales, but gains in services offered some optimism on the company’s efforts to curb dependence on its smartphone.

The company said Tuesday that profit fell 19 percent to $9 billion (roughly Rs. 60,134 crores) in the fiscal quarter ending September 24. Revenue fell nine percent to $46.9 billion (roughly Rs. 3,13,655 crores) from $51.5 billion (roughly Rs. 3,44,403 crores) a year earlier.

The results were largely in line with market forecasts and showed sales of the iPhone – Apple’s biggest revenue and profit driver – down five percent from a year ago to 45.5 million units.

The quarterly update only provided limited information on the reception of the newest iPhone models, the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus, which were released in early September, and was likely to benefit from the woes of rival Samsung, suffering from a massive recall of its flagship Galaxy Note 7 phone.

Analysts were expecting declines in iPhone sales with many smartphone markets saturated, a situation that has led Apple to focus on new products like the Apple Watch and services like mobile payments, Apple TV and streaming music.Chief executive Tim Cook welcomed what he called “our strong September quarter results,” saying they “cap a very successful fiscal 2016 for Apple.”

“We’re thrilled with the customer response to iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus and Apple Watch Series 2, as well as the incredible momentum of our Services business, where revenue grew 24 percent to set another all-time record,” he said in a statement.

The world’s largest company by market value closed out its fiscal year ending September 24 with a net profit of $45.7 billion on revenues of $215.6 billion, both figures lower than the prior year.

Apple shares fell 2.7 percent in after-hours trade following the release.

“Previously, Apple was able to rely on strong sales of phones, tablets and computers to drive up revenue and profit across all geographies. This is no longer the case,” said Neil Saunders of the research firm Conlumino.

Still, Saunders noted that “Apple is being judged by its own incredibly high standards,” and that “even with the dips in growth it remains a phenomenally successful business that is far from running out of steam.”

More than device maker
Frank Gillett, a Forrester Research analyst, said the results show Apple is making progress in diversifying its mix of products and services as smartphone sales stagnate.

“The rise of services shows they’re more than a device maker,” Gillett said.

“It’s indicative of the depth of engagement of their customers.”

The more consumers use Apple applications and services, “the less likely they will switch to a rival,” Gillett said.

Apple’s results showed a six percent drop in iPad unit sales and a 14 percent decline in the number of Mac computers sold.

While iPhone sales accounted for more than half of revenues, services revenue grew to $6.3 billion as the company expanded services such as Apple Pay and its enterprise offerings.

In the key “Greater China” market, Apple said revenues were down 30 percent from a year to $8.8 billion. But the company noted a 10 percent rise in revenue from Japan and cited gains in other global markets.

Patrick Moorhead of Moor Insights & Strategy said Apple “met most expectations but didn’t have a great quarter” with sales of its main products lower.

“I’m suspecting there may have been availability issues on the iPhone 7 and Watch,” Moorhead said.

Still, Apple “had a banner quarter in services” which is a positive sign, according to the analyst.

“It’s important the investment community take a long view versus looking at short-term growth estimates as a knee-jerk Apple response would only work against the company and the stock price,” Moorhead said.

On a call with analysts, Cook declined to comment on what Apple has in the pipeline but did indicate the company was investing in “products in the development phase which have not yet reached the market.”

Asked to explain the sharp rise in research and development spending, Cook said, “We’re confidently investing in the future.”

Tags: Apple, Home Entertainment, Wearables, PC, Laptops, Internet, Apps, Tablets, Mobiles
[“source-smallbiztrends”]

New MacBook Pro Sees Replacement of MagSafe 2 Port With USB Type-C

New MacBook Pro Sees Replacement of MagSafe 2 Port With USB Type-C

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Headphone jack still intact on new MacBook Pro
  • MagSafe port used magnetic component to connect to laptop
  • New MacBook Pro can be charged from any Thunderbolt 3 port

Back in September, Apple took a bold step by removing the conventional 3.5mm headphone jack from its new iPhone models. Now, the company seems to have continued the trend of replacing the conventional connectivity options with the launch of its new MacBook Pro. However, in doing so, company has removed one of the things that helped the company develop its reputation in terms of design – the MagSafe connector.

The company announced on Thursday at its MacBook Pro launch event that MagSafe 2 charging port on the laptop has been replaced with a Thunderbolt 3 port. The most obvious advantage of this replacement is that the new MacBook Pro can be charged from any of its four Thunderbolt 3 ports. MagSafe charging port, due to its magnetic attachment, prevented the laptop from being yanked if the charging wire was pulled upon.

The new MacBook Pro models comes with four Thunderbolt 3-enabled USB Type-C ports that have replaced the functionality of most ports that were present on previous version of MacBook Pro. The USB Type-C ports act as replacements for the HDMI port, standard size USB port, SD Card slot, and Thunderbolt 2 ports. Surprisingly, the company did not decide to ditch the 3.5mm headphone jack on the new version of MacBook Pro.In order to make its devices slimmer, over the time, Apple has tried to experiment different connectivity options. Provided the compact size and faster transfer speeds on USB Type-C ports, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that company is aggressively pushing it into mainstream usage.

It seems highly unlikely that the company will ever consider bringing MagSafe port back as the USB Type-C Thunderbolt 3 ports are more compact and utilitarian. However, its contribution to the company is likely to be remembered by more than just Mac vs PC advertisements, where it gave the edge to the Cupertino company.

Tags: Apple Magsafe, Apple MacBook Pro, Apple, Laptops, Thunderbolt 3 Port, MacBook Charging Port
[“Source-Gadgets”]

HTC Sees Dismal sales of recent Flagship in China, paperwork VR agency: reports

HTC Sees Dismal Sales of New Flagship in China, Forms VR Company: Reports

HIGHLIGHTS
only 251 HTC 10 gadgets had been reportedly bought at some stage in the pre-order period.
HTC reportedly confirmed if it has shaped a new VR agency.
HTC however did not confirm its plans to spin off the VR firm.
it is no secret that Taiwanese telephone manufacturer HTC has been going through difficult times in thebeyond few years, struggling to compete towards both established names inside the business andchinese language upstarts like Lenovo, Huawei, and Xiaomi. Its recent virtual reality efforts, in the shapeof the Vive VR headset built in collaboration with Valve, have however garnered important acclaim.

it’s miles in this situation that HTC is mentioned by means of Taiwanese media to be thinking aboutspinning off its VR department. any other report out of Taiwan also claims HTC has visible very dismalsales of its today’s flagship phone – the HTC 10 – in China, the largest smartphone marketplace within the world.

attention Taiwan reports that HTC has managed to sell best 251 devices of the HTC 10 in China all through the pre-order duration that started with Tmall and Jingdong Mall on April 25. The file attributes the low call for to HTC’s decision to introduce the Snapdragon 652 SoC-powered variant of the HTC 10 in China, referred to as the HTC 10 life-style, managing to alienate potential clients.

(also see: HTC 10 ‘worldwideversion Headed to India, Says corporation)

The same ebook in a separate record says HTC has showed it has installation a brand new corporationfor improvement of VR technology. HTC is said to have issued the declaration as a reaction to differentlocal media reports that the Taiwanese company had fashioned the VR organization overdue closing 12 months. It did no longer affirm whether it was thinking about spinning off the organisation, as localmedia also mentioned.

the new VR company whilst spun off will reportedly be controlled absolutely by HTC Chairwoman Cher Wang. It presently operates in several domains as in line with authorities statistics referred to by means of the record, inclusive of “the sale of laptop gadget, statistics software, electronics cloth and precision equipment, and telecom equipment development, in addition to on-line retail sales.” Thereport provides the new business enterprise is likewise involved in worldwide alternate and warehousing commercial enterprise.
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HTC Sees Dismal income of recent Flagship in China, paperwork VR company: reviews

HTC Sees Dismal Sales of New Flagship in China, Forms VR Company: Reports

HIGHLIGHTS
most effective 251 HTC 10 gadgets have been reportedly bought for the duration of the pre-orderduration.
HTC reportedly showed if it has fashioned a brand new VR organisation.
HTC but failed to verify its plans to spin off the VR company.
it is no secret that Taiwanese telephone producer HTC has been going via hard times inside the beyondfew years, suffering to compete in opposition to each hooked up names within the business andchinese language upstarts like Lenovo, Huawei, and Xiaomi. Its recent digital truth efforts, within theshape of the Vive VR headset constructed in collaboration with Valve, have but garnered critical acclaim.

it is on this situation that HTC is stated by using Taiwanese media to be considering spinning off its VRdepartment. any other report out of Taiwan also claims HTC has seen very dismal sales of its state-of-the-art flagship telephone – the HTC 10 – in China, the largest phone marketplace inside the global.

awareness Taiwan reviews that HTC has controlled to sell most effective 251 units of the HTC 10 in China in the course of the pre-order period that started out with Tmall and Jingdong Mall on April 25. Therecord attributes the low demand to HTC’s selection to introduce the Snapdragon 652 SoC-powered variantof the HTC 10 in China, known as the HTC 10 life-style, dealing with to alienate potential customers.

(also see: HTC 10 ‘internationalvariant Headed to India, Says employer)

The equal book in a separate report says HTC has confirmed it has set up a new agency fordevelopment of VR technology. HTC is stated to have issued the declaration as a reaction to differentnearby media reviews that the Taiwanese firm had shaped the VR organization past due last yr. It didnow not affirm whether it become considering spinning off the organization, as nearby media alsostated.

the new VR organisation while spun off will reportedly be managed totally by way of HTC Chairwoman Cher Wang. It currently operates in numerous domain names as per authorities information stated with the aid of the file, including “the sale of computer equipment, statistics software, electronics materialand precision machinery, and telecom device improvement, in addition to online retail sales.” The reportprovides the brand new organisation is also worried in global trade and warehousing commercial enterprise.
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TSMC Sees Drop in Q1 Profits Due to Delayed Shipments

TSMC Sees Drop in Q1 Profits Due to Delayed Shipments

Top chipmaker Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing on Thursday reported a plunge in quarterly profits after a powerful earthquake delayed shipments, and slashed its outlook for the next three months.

The world’s biggest tailor-made microchip maker by revenue said first-quarter net income fell to TWD 64.78 billion (roughly Rs. 13,318 crores), down 18 percent from a year earlier and in line with previous guidance.

But the company, which counts Apple among its clients, disappointed investors by predicting revenues would grow only six to seven percent in the three months through June to TWD 215 billion- TWD 218 billion.

“We’re disappointed at the forecast, it is a bit lower than our expectation of a double-digit growth,” George Chang of the Yuanta Securities Investment Consulting, told AFP.

TSMC has seen its earnings slip as it vies with regional rivals such as South Korea’s Samsung and Chinese firms for a greater share of a weakening smartphone and electronics market.

The microchip giant on Thursday trimmed its 2016 forecast for growth in the smartphone market by one percentage point to seven percent, but predicted a pickup in demand in the second-half.

Chang said the tech giant’s growth now depends on how many of its A10 chips are used in Apple’siPhone 7, released later this year.

Apple stock took a hammering in January after it reported sales of its biggest earner, the iPhone, weakened to its slowest pace since it launched the product in 2007 in the final quarter of last year.

In a bid to boost its market share, TSMC last month signed a deal to build a $3 billion (roughly Rs. 19,977 crores) plant in China Taiwan’s largest ever outbound investment on the mainland.

For now, TSMC said it expects to start shipping products that were delayed by a huge earthquake that struck Taiwan plants in February.

The 6.4-magnitude quake hit the southern city of Tainan, home to several of the company’s factories, leaving 115 people dead after an apartment block collapsed.

“We expect our business in the second quarter will benefit from continued inventory restocking and recovery of the delayed shipments from the earthquake,” chief financial officer Lora Ho said.

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Tags: Laptops, Mobiles, PC, Tablets, TSMC
[“source-Gadgets”]

Google Fiber Sees 79 Percent Surge in Video Subscriber Growth: Report

Google Fiber Sees 79 Percent Surge in Video Subscriber Growth: Report

Alphabet Inc’s much-talked about high-speed internet service, Google Fiber, had 53,000 video subscribers as of December end, up 79 percent from a year earlier, brokerage MoffettNathanson said, citing numbers from the US Copyright Office.

Google has been expanding the service, which promises Internet speeds of up to 1,000 megabits per second, in several cities in the United States.

“If there is a surprise here, it is perhaps that the growth rate isn’t higher,” MoffettNathanson said.

“After all, there has been a steady stream of new cities announced, and they’ve now been at it for a long time in at least a handful of markets.”

The service is currently available in Atlanta, Austin, Charlotte, Kansas City, Nashville, Salt Lake City, San Antonio Provo, Utah, and Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina, according to the Google Fiber website.

Alphabet, formerly Google, said in December it would consider bringing the Fiber internet service to Los Angeles and Chicago.

© Thomson Reuters 2016

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Tags: Google, Google Fiber, Home Entertainment, Internet
[“source-Gadgets”]

View from Dawn: India sees Pakistan as a roadblock in its path to Great Power status

India’s ambitions of achieving Great Power status cannot be fully realised unless Pakistan is strategically neutralised. A conventional military defeat of Pakistan has been a costly and unlikely option ever since the latter acquired a credible nuclear deterrence capability. Pakistan has also built a strategic relationship with China which provides it with the capacity to balance, to a considerable extent, India’s larger military and economic capabilities.

India’s need to bring Pakistan to heel has intensified in the context of the emerging Great Power contest in Asia. Pakistan’s incorporation into an Indian sphere of influence would be a grave setback to China’s future role in South, West and Central Asia and the western Indian Ocean. The prospect of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, while India has no land access to the West and Central Asia, has added a new dimension to India’s determination to neutralise Pakistan. India’s strategic goals, if not its methods, are fully supported by the US and its allies.

India has adopted a complex strategy to wear down Pakistan’s resistance. This strategy encompasses: military and political pressure; subversion; terrorism; diplomatic isolation; media and public defamation and cultural domination.

Some elements of India’s comprehensive strategy and actions are now public knowledge, such as Indian National Security Adviser Ajit Doval’s boastful speech recalling how Indian agencies eroded the Kashmiri freedom struggle through corruption and intimidation; forecasting the separation of Balochistan; and expressing glee at the Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan’s beheading of Pakistani soldiers in Fata.

India’s strategy has a wide canvas.

Resistance to Indian domination

One element of the strategy is the attempt, pursued in tandem with the West, to neutralise Pakistan’s nuclear deterrence capabilities. Thus, the discriminatory Western restraints on equipment and technology transfers to Pakistan and the vigorous US opposition to Pakistan’s deployment of theatre nuclear weapons and long-range missiles which are designed, respectively, to counter India’s Cold Start doctrine and its second-strike capability.

Meanwhile, India maintains military pressure on Pakistan through deployment of advanced weapons systems (ballistic missiles, anti-ballistic missiles etc), expanded offensive deployments, military exercises to refine the capacity for a surprise attack (as envisaged in India’s Cold Start doctrine) and frequent shelling along the Line of Control in Kashmir.

Subversion, involving infiltration, sponsorship and support for dissident or disgruntled groups within Pakistan, is a third element of this strategy. The sponsorship of the Baloch Liberation Army and terrorism in Balochistan and Sindh has now been confirmed by the recent capture and confession of the Indian spy. Disaffected groups in Karachi, rural Sindh and Khyber Pakhtunkwa have been encouraged for many years to disrupt peace and security.

Substantial proof has been gathered by Islamabad’s agencies of Indian sponsorship of terrorism against Pakistan through the TTP, in collaboration with Kabul’s National Directorate of Security and certain power brokers. Some of this evidence has been shared with the UN but has not evoked any action so far from the world organisation. An Indian link to the Lahore park atrocity, responsibility for which has claimed by an affiliate of the TTP, cannot be ruled out.

Pakistan’s armed forces are one of the few organised institutions left in the country. Not surprisingly, because of their profession and training, their resistance to Indian domination is robust. Tarnishing the reputation and credibility of the Pakistan Army is an important element of the Indian strategy. Through the Indian and Western media, the Pakistan Army is incessantly accused of doing today what it did yesterday – supporting the Afghan Taliban and the Kashmiri jihadi groups.

Acceptance in Pakistan

The reality is clouded by ‘fifty shades of grey’. Despite old relationships, Pakistan’s security establishment is either confronting some of these Jihadi groups or has little influence over them (the Afghan Taliban). The violent sectarian groups in Punjab are known to have enjoyed in recent years the protection of some politicians rather than the security establishment. Notwithstanding this, the Indian-inspired mantra against the army and the ISI is frequently echoed not only by the Western media but even within Pakistan.

At the opposite end of India’s kinetic actions, is the wide and successful use of its “‘soft power’, epitomised by Bollywood. This song and dance culture has been warmly embraced by large segments of Pakistan’s young and moneyed elite. Over time, this can lead to greater acceptance in Pakistan of India’s political and strategic goals.

Since early days, India has attempted to co-opt Pakistani politicians, by fair means and foul. When out of office, some political leaders have had intimate contacts with the Indians. Shamefully, some of them – excluding the ruling party – are known to have expressed the desire for Indian and other foreign intervention in Pakistan’s internal affairs. Even today, the desire of some of Pakistan’s leaders to ‘normalise’ relations with India at any cost is inexplicable.

India has been able to play on the fears and predilections of Pakistan’s politicians to set the tone and pace of the bilateral relationship. Dialogue is held out as a favour to Pakistan. India’s positions on both substance and process keep hardening with each encounter. Concessions continue to be made by Pakistan on process and substance – to no avail or purpose.

It is high time for Pakistan’s National Defence Council, which includes both the civilian and military leadership, to undertake a frank and in-depth review of India’s objectives and policies towards Pakistan and evolve a coherent and consensual strategy to respond to each of the elements of India’s policies aimed against Pakistan.

To those Americans who disingenuously chide Pakistan for being paranoid about India, I would respond as Trotsky did shortly before being assassinated: “Just because I am paranoid, does not mean I am not persecuted.”

[“source-Scroll”]