Tag Archive | "tablet-computer"

Polycom Buys HP’s Video Conference Biz

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Shares of videoconferencing technology maker Polycom (PLCM) are up $1.34, or 2%, at $58.75, after the company this morning said it would purchase from Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) the company’s “visual computing” assets for $89 million, to add to Polycom’s unified communications business.

The HP products have not been part of the main segments of HP’s business — the personal systems group, services, enterprise, software, and imaging and printing. Instead, they have been contained within the segment of the business dubbed “Corporate Investments,” which also contains the company’s networking equipment products, and its Palm computer assets.

Polycom will also serve as an “exclusive partner” to HP for “telepresence” and “unified communications.” Polycom will also provide video applications for the forthcoming WebOS-based devices HP is developing from its Palm acquisition. Those devices include the TouchPad tablet computer that many expect will go on sale in coming weeks.

Polycom said the deal would be “slightly accretive” to its earnings immediately upon closing the deal.

HP shares are down 42 cents, or 1%, at $36.96.

Article courtesy of Tech Trader Daily

RIM: Lazaridis or Balsillie, Who’s The Problem? Asks Globe & Mail

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The Globe & Mail’s Paul Waldie and Body Erman posted a video this morning asking if Research in Motion’s (RIMM) co-CEO Mike Lazaridis should go. (A video preceded, I would note, by an add for the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet computer!)

The question, as framed in the video, is whether the top “nerd,” Lazaridis, must go because he’s not “putting out the product.”

Lazaridis shares the CEO role with Jim Balsillie, regarded more as the marketing/financial person. One question was whether Balsillie has been distracted by his attempts to purchase hockey teams. Balsillie’s sometimes obscure language on company conference calls was contrasted with the smooth style of Apple (AAPL) CEO Steve Jobs.

Some of the guests on the video asked whether the problem is not so much either gentleman but rather the co-CEO structure itself, and whether the two CEOs still get along, as there have been rumors of a cooling in their relationship.

And then, too, it could just be more of the Street’s short-term obsession and its recent fixation on regime change.

RIM shares today are down 83 cents, or 2%, at $42.77.

Article courtesy of Tech Trader Daily

RIM: Engadget Sees 4G PlayBook On Track

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Engadget’s Terrence O’Brien this morning speculates that a new version of Research in Motion’s (RIMM) “PlayBook” tablet computer with 4G wireless links could be on the way for the summer, as expected, based on Google search results for the phrase “Sprint PlayBook.”

Such as search comes up with links with provocative titles such as “Sprint | Introducing the BlackBerry 4G Playbook Tablet,” although said links actually lead to nondescript pages.

Article courtesy of Tech Trader Daily

Amazon: Bajarin Sees 7″, 10″ Tablets Targeting Android Also-Rans

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Creative Strategies tech analyst Tim Bajarin, a longtime Silicon Valley observer, writes in PC Magazine today that we’ll be hearing a lot more in coming weeks about two tablet computers coming this year from Amazon.com (AMZN), a 7-inch and 10-inch model, perhaps priced at $349 and $449, respectively. 

Bajarin thinks the tablet is aimed more at existing tablets based on Google’s (GOOG) “Android” operating system than at Apple’s (AAPL) iPad. The iPad has the apps and the content to survive, but the existing Android tablets lack that, and so providing the “ecosystem” for Android is where Amazon can have a competitive edge, he opines. 

Now, I have to laugh a little bit, because when I talked with Tim about Apple producing a tablet computer in August of 2009, he told me he thought the “speculation” at the time was suspect, and he basically pooh-pooh’d the idea. (“Apple’s Got That Glow Again,” August 3rd, 2009.) But I actually think Tim simply knew more than he was willing to talk about at the time (perhaps under pain of excommunication from all things Apple), so I’m actually inclined to think he’s plugged in and knows what he’s talking about. We’ll see. 

Article courtesy of Tech Trader Daily

Dell, RIM Plug Away At Gadgets, Says WSJ

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In case you missed it, The Wall Street Journal had a couple pieces on the gadget wars this morning: A report by Stuart Weinberg says that Research in Motion (RIMM) is on track to sell half a million units of the PlayBook tablet computer in the quarter ending this month, a feat Weinberg calls, “A respectable entrance into the competitive tablet market.”

(I should note BoyGeniusReport’s Jonathan Geller on Friday wrote that the PlayBook’s sales have “fallen far short of expectations,” citing an anonymous source at “a major big box retailer.”)

Also in today’s Journal, Justin Scheck and Ben Worthen chronicle Dell’s (DELL) failed bid to offer consumer electronics, having “pulled the plug” on initiatives such as a music player and an online music store. “Apple-like success hasn’t followed” Dell’s purchase of Zing, a software maker that was supposed to kick-start Dell’s music efforts, the authors write.

The sidebar to that piece is an autopsy of the failure of Dell’s first tablet computer, the $500 “Streak” that was roundly panned when it appeared last year. Scheck and Worthen write that anonymous sources expect Dell may delay a 10-inch version of the Streak, expected this summer, until later in the year because of necessary bug fixes.

Article courtesy of Tech Trader Daily

PCs: Goldman Cuts Estimates, Commercial Sales At Risk

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Goldman Sachs hardware analyst Bill Shope today cut his outlook on personal computer hardware sales this year to 3.6% growth from a prior 6.4%, and he predicts earnings reports by Dell (DELL) and Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) next week “will show signs of continued PC demand weakness and moderating server unit trends.”

HP reports earnings next Wednesday, after the bell, while Dell reports results on Tuesday after the bell.

“We would note that our latest Goldman Sachs IT spending survey (conducted in April 2011) suggests that the corporate refresh cycle may be waning,” writes Shope, “as over half of the respondents to the survey expect PC units purchased to increase by 5% or less in 2011.” He notes that commercial PC purchases in Q1 declined form 8.8% growth in Q4 to just 3% growth, on an annualized basis. Even with a consumer recovery in purchases, the PC market could still see “zero growth” this year, he thinks.

Shope is also worried about prices for PCs, as “we fear that PC pricing will resume more normal rates of decline as we approach the second half of the year.”

Shope lowered his tablet computer estimate as well, to 57.7 million units this year, from a prior 60.1 million units, and lowered his 2012 outlook to 78 million units from a prior 80 million estimate. But most of that is on reduced outlook for tablets based on Google’s (GOOG) “Android” software: “We have raised our forecast for Apple’s (AAPL) tablet market share to 66.4% in 2011 (64% prior) and 66.6% in 2012 (65% prior). This is consistent with our expectation for a downward bias to Android tablets in 2011.”

Shope actually raised his EPS estimate for Dell’s Q1 by a penny to 43 cents, which would meet Street consensus, he notes. But he thinks revenue could miss the average $15.4 billion estimate by $100 million.

He thinks HP may miss the Street consensus of $1.21 by a penny, but his main concern is the company’s forecast for the full year of revenue in a range of $130 billion to $131.5 billion, and EPS of $5.20 to $5.28, is too high. He expects just $129 billion and $5.05 per share in profit.

Apple and EMC (EMC) remain Shope’s top hardware picks.

HP shares today are down 49 cents, or 1%, at $40.39, while Dell shares are off 16 cents, or 1%, at $16.50.

Article courtesy of Tech Trader Daily

RIM: Sterne Agee Cuts Target To $52 On Nortel, PlayBook Risks

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A couple of folks have expressed caution about Research in Motion (RIMM) stock today, with Sterne Agee cutting to $52 from $55, and Pacific Crest warning the shares could fall to $40 or below.

RIMM is currently down $1.25, or 2.7%, at $44.74.

I haven’t seen the Pacific Crest note yet, so more on that in a short while.

In the meantime, Sterne Agee’s Shaw Wu, who has a Neutral rating on the stock, writes that RIM may bid more than $1 billion for the wireless patents of wireless equipment legend Nortel, given that Google (GOOG) has already submitted a “stalking horse” bid of $900 million. That gives one pause, Wu writes, given RIM has just $2.4 billion in net cash.

He also writes that the “PlayBook” tablet computer, which has WiFi connections only, not an integrated 3G modem (though it can connect to cellular through a BlackBerry), may have run into “battery life issues that are still being worked out,” and that are preventing the inclusion of cellular.

Until the unit has cellular, it is “tough for carriers to carry” the device, with Sprint-Nextel (S) delaying introduction of the device and AT&T (T) and Verizon Communications (VZ) not yet stepping up to the plate.

There is, in Wu’s view, “a potential higher risk profile and weakening of its balance sheet,” he writes of RIM.

Article courtesy of Tech Trader Daily

RIMM Sags Ahead Of BB World; BES To Manage Apple, Google Devices

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The BlackBerry Bold 9900 was one of two new versions of the QWERTY phone offered up by RIM running the new version 7 release of its operating system.

Shares of Research in Motion (RIMM) are down 41 cents, or 0.8%, at $48.28 this morning amidst a raft of product announcements this morning in advance of the company’s “BlackBerry World conference taking place in Orlando, Florida tomorrow through Thursday, with a capital markets talk by management happening this morning.

RIM offered two new versions of the BlackBerry “Bold” line of phones, the 9900 and 9930 models, both of which run on an updated version of the BlackBerry operating system, version 7. RIM said the devices feature a 1.2 gigahertz processor, 768 megabytes of RAM, support for “4G” wireless connections, and are the thinnest versions so far, at 10.5 millimeters. The two are to be made available this summer.

In addition to the devices, RIM said its software sold to corporate IT shops will soon be upgraded to manage not only BlackBerries but also Apple‘s (AAPL) iPhone and other iOS-based devices, and gadgets running Google’s (GOOG) “Android” software.

“We recognize the opportunity to continue leading in the enterprise market by providing customers with a common platform to help simplify the management of a variety of mobile devices,” said RIM VP Peter Devenyi.

RIM also offered up the first version of its own video chat application for its recently released “PlayBook” tablet computer, and a new set of functions for the BlackBerry called “Balance” that provides a sort of firewall between personal and corporate data on the handsets.

Article courtesy of Tech Trader Daily

RIM: Verizon Waffling On PlayBook, Says WSJ

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The Wall Street Journal’s Roger Cheng and Stuart Weinberg this morning report Research in Motion (RIMM) has yet to convince Verizon Communications (VZ) to carry its “PlayBook” tablet computer, despite having previously indicated Verizon would be among the retailers.

The authors quote a Verizon spokesperson as saying, “We’re still evaluating the PlayBook and haven’t made a decision on whether we’re going to distribute it.” RIM was not available for comment, they write.

The article follows news that AT&T (T) refused to allow activation of the “bridge” software feature that allows the PlayBook to fuse with a BlackBerry for wide-area network access and to use contact and calendar data on the BlackBerry.

Article courtesy of Tech Trader Daily

RIM: Strained By Apple’s Panel Consumption?

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Interesting piece this morning in DigiTimes by Yenting Chen and Joseph Tsai that says that Research in Motion‘s (RIMM) “PlayBook” tablet computer, which comes out on April 19th, was delayed by about a month, in part because of “a shortage of touch panels because Apple (AAPL) already booked up most of the available capacity” — presumably, of the iPad 2.

Chen and Tsai cite anonymous industry sources.

If true, the interesting question becomes whether iPad 2 demand was simply greater than expected, or supplies were tighter than expected, or both, and by what measure in each case. I wonder if this will continue to be a theme for some gadgets this year.

Article courtesy of Tech Trader Daily