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Back to school deals

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There’s nothing like easing back into work after your summer holidays, is there? Whatever plans the Informer had for a gentle return were shattered by two of the biggest M&A announcements we’ve seen for some time. Neither depended on the element of surprise for their impact, though, as both had been much anticipated.

Nokia and Verizon deals bad for Europe, says GSMA Chairman

Franco Bernabè, chairman at the GSMA

Recent merger and acquisition activity has illustrated how Europe’s telecoms sector is becoming weaker, according to top executives at operator trade association the GSMA. Speaking at the GSMA’s Mobile 360 event in Brussels, chairman Franco Bernabè, who is also CEO at Telecom Italia, said that deals such as Vodafone’s sale of its Verizon stake and Microsoft’s acquisition of Nokia suggests that Europe is no longer a leading region in the telecoms sector.

Microsoft and Nokia: What the analysts think

Nokia's Lumia 920

Following Microsoft’s announcement that it is to buy Nokia’s Devices & Services business for €5.44bn, industry analysts have had their say about what the future will hold for the two firms.

Microsoft takes on Nokia devices in €5bn deal

Ballmer, Elop and Risto Siilasmaa - interim CEO

In a move that has been much predicted, Microsoft has announced that it is to buy mobile device partner Nokia in a €5.44bn all cash transaction. The deal will see Nokia’s Devices & Services business transferred to the US firm as the company opens a new chapter set on “accelerating the Windows ecosystem”.

Microsoft faces bribe allegations in Russia and Pakistan

bribe

Software giant Microsoft is facing bribery allegations in Russia and Pakistan. The firm said it is cooperating with the US government to investigate whether Microsoft employees and business partners have engaged in illegal activity in the two markets.

Microsoft faces claims it duped investors over Surface RT sales

Microsoft's Surface tablet

Software giant Microsoft is facing legal action over allegations that it lied about the number of RT Surface tablet devices it has sold. The firm already announced last month that it had taken a $900m charge related to inventory adjustments for its Surface RT tablet. The charge had an impact of $0.07 per share.

Microsoft takes $900m hit on Surface tablets

Microsoft's Surface tablet

Microsoft’s foray into the hardware market is not going smoothly as it revealed in its quarterly results that it has taken a $900m charge related to inventory adjustments for its Surface RT tablet. The charge had an impact of $0.07 per share, the firm added.

Over 5 million smart watches expected to sell next year

pebble

The worldwide smart watch market is set to exceed 5 million units next year, according to research published this week. Apple is rumoured to be readying a smart watch device this year, and estimates suggest that over 330,000 smart watches were shipped in 2012, led by Sony and Motorola, while recent start-up Pebble Technology joined Sony as a market leader in 2013.

Microsoft and Blackberry slash device prices

BlackBerry has slashed the price of its Z10 flagship smartphone in the US

In a move that could suggest that their efforts to disrupt the mobile device ecosystem have been met with resistance from consumers, Microsoft and Blackberry have both slashed the prices of their devices.

OTT mobile VoIP subscribers near 1 billion

The number of global OTT mobile VoIP subscribers increased more than 550 per cent during 2012

The number of global OTT mobile VoIP subscribers increased more than 550 per cent during 2012 to reach over 640 million, and is expected to approach the 1 billion mark in 2013, according to Infonetics Research.

Telefónica pledges to promote Windows devices

Telefonica has vowed to enhance its marketing efforts for Windows Phone devices for one year

Spanish operator group Telefónica has established a partnership with Microsoft to “promote and foster sales” of Windows Phone 8 devices in six of the markets it operates in. The operator said the move reinforces its commitment to encourage the operating platform landscape to become more diverse and less of a duopoly dominated by Google and Apple.

Sony, LG, Windows make smartphone gains

Sony's Xperia U has performed well in Spain

Microsoft’s Windows OS now has 8.4 per cent of the UK smartphone market, while demand for lower cost devices in Southern Italy is being exploited by Sony and LG. Macro economic conditions and increasing diversity in operators’ subsidy strategies are creating contrasts in device vendors’ performances market by market.

Google, Microsoft see strong growth in 1Q13

Web giant Google racked up a 31 per cent increase in consolidated revenues on a year on year basis for the first quarter of 2013, hitting almost $14bn. Net for the period climbed to $3.35bn, compared to $2.89bn in the first quarter of 2012. Traffic acquisition costs (TAC) for the first quarter totalled $2.96bn, or 25 per cent of advertising revenues.

Google accused of anti-competitive Android practices in Europe

Google’s “predatory distribution of Android” at below-cost makes it difficult for other OS providers to compete, said Fairsearch

A pressure group with members including Microsoft, Oracle and Nokia has filed a complaint with the European Commission claiming that Google has used anti-competitive practices to dominate the mobile space. Fairsearch claimed that Google has unfairly cemented its control over consumers’ mobile internet experience and in online advertising for mobile.

Ericsson to acquire Microsoft TV unit

Ericsson has acquired Microsoft’s TV solution Mediaroom for an undisclosed sum

Swedish network infrastructure vendor Ericsson has acquired Microsoft’s TV solution Mediaroom for an undisclosed sum. Mediaroom is the technology used by operators such as AT&T, Deutsche Telekom, Telefonica and Swisscom for their TV offerings. The technology is used on more than 22 million set top boxes worldwide.

Mobile device price drop sees tablets outsell PCs

Worldwide devices are on pace to total 2.4 billion units in 2013

The number of tablets sold globally will surpass the number of PCs sold by 2017, according to analyst firm Gartner. Sales of Android smartphones are also expected to triple between 2012 and 2017, the firm forecasted.

Microsoft’s Africa project highlights the continent’s importance to technology players

Microsoft sees great potential in Africa

Microsoft’s new drive to target Africa – the 4Afrika initiative, as the software giant’s marketing people have styled it –
highlights the growing and deserved importance of the continent to global technology players.

Microsoft, Huawei bring sub-$150 smartphones to Africa

Microsoft sees great potential in Africa

US software giant Microsoft this week pledged to invest around $74m in Africa over the next three years, introducing tens of millions of smart devices into the hands of the local youth and bringing over a million small and medium sized enterprises online.

MWC: all about networking?

Synchronica will buy Nokia's messaging business

It’s that time of year again. The time that industry professionals know only too well, as we see our schedules for the final week in February rapidly running out of space – we’re all preparing ourselves for the exhausting experience that is Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. Well, unless you work at Microsoft or RIM, it seems.

Microsoft sets up spectrum research centre

According to Microsoft, the first opportunity to utilise dynamic spectrum technologies will also be in the TV white spaces band

Tech giant Microsoft has opened a European research centre aimed at providing greater insight into spectrum efficiency as a driver for wireless broadband access. The European Spectrum Observatory has been set up in Brussels, at Microsoft’s Cloud and Interoperability Centre. The firm said that it intends to examine barriers standing in the way of efficient spectrum allocation.

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