Rumor: Apple to Unveil iPhone 5 and iPad Mini on September 12

Apple is expected to launch the next version of the iPhone — the iPhone 5 — in October, exactly a year after it launched the iPhone 4S.

Another much anticipated launch is that of the rumored iPad Mini, which Apple will supposedly release to “not leave a price umbrella” and prevent competitors to swoop in on the budget segment of the tablet market.

We have seen a ton of rumors and speculation about the iPad Mini, as well as varying theories about whether or not Apple will actually launch such a product, when its past product history indicates that it probably wouldn’t.

Anyway, today, we have yet another rumor related to the iPhone 5 and the iPad Mini. According to iMore, Apple is planning to unveil the “new iPhone”, which is what it’ll probably be called (in line with the new iPad), and the iPad Mini at a special event on September 12.

The iPhone 5 will be launched almost a week later on September 21, and the iPad Mini may soon follow.

While the new iPhone will supposedly have a larger 4 inch display, the iPad Mini will have a smaller 7 to 8 inch display, and will be priced around $299, to stop the proliferation of budget Android tablets like the recently launched Nexus 7, and completely dominate the tablet space, not only in terms of profits, but also in terms of market share.

Apple may also refresh the iPod range, and launch iOS 6 around the same time frame.

Let’s wait and watch! It’s just six more weeks.

A Look at’s New “Realtime” Search Engine, the number one URL shortener on the internet, was one of the first players in the space. While it rocketed way ahead of TinyURL, most popular social services like Google, Facebook and Twitter have started using their own URL shortening services like, and

Anyway, still continues to be used by millions of users and is also integrated with thousands of apps and web services.

This week, it launched a new realtime search engine called ““, which enables you to gauge the pulse of the internet — essentially what the internet is talking about, based on data generated by the millions of links being shared by users across the web. has been looking to monetize its vast user base and database of millions of links one way or another. It recently rolled out a bookmarking service, and also targeted enterprises with an advanced offering.

Here’s the official statement by labs on Realtime (

“Realtime is an attention ranking engine, offering the power to navigate through the stories that the world is paying attention to right now. Realtime allows you to filter attention by location, network, language, and topic. Want to see all stories about food being clicked on from Facebook? All of the stories about coffee? Easy. Stories only remain in the system as long as they are actively receiving attention.

There’s a bunch of fun technology under the hood. We fetch the content of every link saved or shared through bitly, analyze that content, then build models of human attention by analyzing the click distributions to the stories we see (at the phrase, URL, and story levels). The realtime interface provides you with the tools to navigate the stream of attention to these stories, and calculates the ranking at the moment that you make a request, so you’re always seeing the freshest content.”

While the beta service is currently free, could eventually roll out a premium version for paying subscribers, giving them access to advanced analytics and other features.

via labs

Zynga Being Investigated by Law Firms for Possible Insider Trading Violations

Zynga had a really bad quarter in terms of earnings, which led to its stock crash nearly 40% right after it reported its Q2 2012 financials. It also took Facebook’s stock down with it, but that’s another story.

Anyway, just three months before this most recent bloodbath, a number of Zynga insiders including the founders and investors sold off a ton of Zynga stock in a secondary stock offering at around $12 a share. Zynga’s stock price is hovering around $3 right now.

Here’s a list of who cashed out in the secondary stock offering and how much money they made (via Business Insider)

  • Marc Pincus, Zynga’s CEO, sold 16.5 million shares for $200 million
  • Institutional Venture Partners, a Zynga investor, sold 5.8 million shares for $70 million
  • Union Square Ventures, a Zynga investor, sold 5.2 million shares for $62 million
  • Google, a Zynga investor, sold 4 million shares for $48 million
  • Silver Lake Partners, a Zynga investor, sold 4 million shares for $48 million
  • Reid Hoffman, a Zynga investor, sold 688,000 shares for $8.2 million
  • David Wehner, Zynga’s CFO, sold 386,000 shares for $4.6 million
  • John Schappert, Zynga’s COO, sold 322,000 shares for $3.9 million
  • Reginald Davis, Zynga’s general counsel, sold 315,000 shares for $3.8 million

There is speculation that they sold out stock right before the impending crash, as they were privy to the company’s financials which would have indicated that Q2 was going to be worse than they expected, which would mean that they flouted insider trading guidelines by the SEC.

Multiple law firms have announced that they will be investigating the secondary sale for possible insider stock trading violations. The list of firms includes Schubert Jonckheer & Kolbe, Newman Ferrara, Johnson & Weaver, Wohl & Fruchter, and Levi & Korsinsky.

All these firms are well versed in class action lawsuits and have won billion dollar lawsuits against big corporations. Zynga’s troubles may just be beginning, if any of these firms find any evidence of wrongdoing and lead a class action lawsuit against the social gaming behemoth on behalf of its shareholders.

via Kotaku

Apple, Google, Microsoft, Samsung & Others Get Ready to Buy Kodak’s Patents

Just when you thought that things were cooling off, the patent wars have gotten interesting again. With the Apple vs Samsung patent mega-lawsuit starting soon, and now Kodak’s patent auctions approved, we are in for a ride!

Kodak has put up more than 1,100 patents up for sale, with most of them related to digital imaging and image capture, processing and transmission technologies for digital camera and smartphones.

These patents are expected to fetch billions of dollars, which is expected if you put up technology giants with billions of dollars in free cash and massive egos up against each other in a bidding war.

In what seems like a rehash of the Nortel patent auctions which ended up fetching $4.5 billion, Apple is teaming up with Microsoft and Intellectual Ventures, while Google is teaming up with RPX (another patent aggregation firm like IV) and Samsung, HTC and LG, the three top Android device makers.

While there could be many more bidders jumping in the fray later, these two consortiums have the most cash and are desperate to boost their patent portfolios.

Kodak, which filed for bankruptcy months ago, is counting on the cash generated through the patent sales to restructure and become a viable company again.

We’ll be tracking the auctions here at Techie Buzz. Stay tuned.

via WSJ

Apple Looking to Invest in Twitter? Makes Sense!

Apple may be looking to make a strategic investment in Twitter, and has already discussed it with the social networking company in the last couple of months, according to a new report by NYT.

Apple tried to enter the social space with Ping last year, but that was one huge failure. Just like Microsoft has been struggling with Search, and has hardly been able to topple Google despite pouring in billions of dollars into its Online Services division, mentioning Apple and Social in the same sentence just doesn’t seem right.

Apple may have realized that social just isn’t in its DNA; after all no one company can do everything right. Apple considered investing hundreds of millions of dollars in Twitter at a valuation of around $10 billion earlier this year, but apparently the deal didn’t go through as planned.

It did, however, integrate Twitter into iOS during the launch of the iPhone 4S.

While Google has Google+, Microsoft has a strategic investment in Facebook and continues to partner with it for Bing and other endeavors.

Apple needs to be more social, and Twitter seems to be the right partner for it, as there seems to be no clash between their ambitions, which are clearly in different areas.

Apple has tons of cash, and while Twitter doesn’t really need any right now (it raised nearly $1 billion and is making progress with its advertising business), both companies need each other. Twitter has benefited greatly from integration with iOS and Mac OS X, and would like to maintain its relationship with Apple, which has also gotten a bit cozy with Facebook lately.

We’re not sure whether the talks are still on, but apparently, they’re not. However, Apple investing in Twitter makes a lot of sense, for both of them.

Apple Acquires AuthenTec for $356 Million; Targets the Enterprise Mobile Market

The war between Apple and Samsung to dominate the smartphone space just got more vicious, and I’m not talking about the patent lawsuits that the two giants keep throwing at each other.

Apple has acquired AuthenTec, a mobile security company which specializes in fingerprint sensor chips used for security and identification purposes. Apple acquired AuthenTec for $356 million, according to an SEC filing.

AuthenTec had earlier signed a deal with Samsung to enable its devices to cater to the “Bring Your Own Device” trend that is picking up in enterprises. AuthenTec’s service would enable enterprise IT managers to quickly secure and authenticate devices brought by their employees to work, specifically Android devices by Samsung. This would allow Samsung to aim for the very lucrative enterprise device market to boost sales of its smartphones and tablets.

Apple acquired the company for just $356 million, which is pretty low considering that it had raised close to $600 million from investors.

Apple is looking to target the enterprise market with the iPhone and iPad in order to continue its growth momentum, so this deal makes perfect sense. We aren’t sure how this impacts AuthenTec’s existing deals with the likes of Samsung, as well as its other clients which include Dell, Lenovo and Fujitsu.

Apple will be acquiring the company for $8 a share, which represents a 60% bump over its share price.

via Techcrunch

The New York Times Q2 Earnings: Revenues Flat at $515 Million, Digital Subscriptions Look Promising

NYT reported its earnings for the second quarter of 2012 on July 26, bang in the midst of the earnings season.

It posted revenues of $515 million with advertising contributing nearly $244 million and its traditional print circulation business contributing $233 million to the mix. It managed to grow its revenues only by a marginal 0.6% this quarter, which is what usually happens when you operate in a declining industry trying to make sense of how the internet works.

It posted an operating loss of $143 million, and a net loss of $88 million. While its print ad revenues continue to decline, it isn’t doing very well on the digital ad front either. Circulation revenue growth is being driven primarily by its increasing traction in digital subscriptions. It managed to increase its digital subscriber base to 532,000, up 13% over the last sequential quarter.

NYT’s CEO said:

“Our second-quarter results reflect our ongoing strides in repositioning the Times Company for an increasingly multiplatform future. The growth in operating profit, excluding depreciation, amortization, severance and special items, was largely driven by continued strength in circulation revenues, which offset advertising revenue declines and led to overall revenue growth of about 1 percent. Total Company circulation revenues rose 8 percent, led by the nearly 11 percent growth at The New York Times Media Group as we continued to expand our digital subscription base and grow our robust consumer revenue stream.

At quarter end, total paid digital subscriptions across the Company were approximately 532,000, up 13 percent from 472,000 as of March 18, 2012, which was the one-year anniversary of’s digital subscription launch. The growth in paid digital subscriptions benefited from our decision to move the gate on from 20 to 10 free articles a month, and from a host of marketing and product initiatives that we have been rolling out this year.

While the advertising market remains challenging, the rate of decline for the Company’s total advertising revenues moderated, due primarily to improved digital advertising revenue trends, compared with first-quarter 2012 levels. This was mainly due to more favorable advertising trends at the About Group, particularly for cost-per-click advertising.”

via NYT – SEC

Samsung Has a Record Q2; Operating Profits of $5.9 Billion

Samsung has announced its earnings for Q2 2012, with a record profit of $5.9 billion, driven primarily by its roaringly successful smartphone business. Its operating profit jumped almost 80% compared to last year, as it overtook Nokia to become the top mobile phone maker in the world. Its revenues jumped to $41.8 billion, up 21% year-over-year.

Samsung sold nearly 50 million smartphones in Q2, which is nearly double the number of iPhones that Apple sold last quarter. The Galaxy S III, its latest top smartphone, has sold more than 10 million units already, and is on track to sell a lot more. Even the Galaxy Note continues to see strong sales, as do most of its other mobile device offerings.

Samsung’s operating profit for the mobile communications division jumped nearly 145%, more than offsetting a 38% decline in the operating profit in its semiconductor business. Mobile revenues jumped nearly 75%.

Samsung ended the quarter with nearly $20 billion in cash reserves.

While Nokia, HTC, LG, Motorola and RIM are bleeding to death and posting losses every quarter, Apple and Samsung are rolling in the dough.

Check out the complete results at Samsung Investor Relations – Samsung Q2 2012 Results

Amazon Reports Q2 Earnings; Revenues Grow, Operating Margins Drop

Amazon has reported its earnings for the second quarter of 2012, with revenue growing 29% to $12.83 billion, but operating profit and net profit declining to $107 million and $7 million respectively. Amazon’s operating margin reduced to less than 1% in the last quarter.

Amazon’s cash reserves (cash, cash equivalents and marketable securities) declined to around $5 billion by the end of Q2 2012.

Amazon generated close to $4.12 billion from its Media business, and $8.16 billion from its Electronics and general merchandise business. The remainder was generated from sources like AWS and other miscellaneous activities. Media revenues grew at nearly 13%, while EGM revenues grew at a scorching 38%.

Interestingly, all of Amazon’s top 10 selling items were digital products — Kindle, Kindle books and accessories, which suggest a clear trend.

Bezos seems to be very optimistic about Amazon Prime. Here’s his official statement on one of Amazon’s major revenue engines:

“Amazon Prime is now the best bargain in the history of shopping – that is not hyperbole,” said Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of “We successfully launched Prime seven years ago with free unlimited two-day shipping on one million items. The price of annual membership was $79. Since then, Prime selection has grown to 15 million items. We’ve also added 18,000 movies and TV episodes available for unlimited streaming. And we’ve added the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library – borrow 170,000 books for free with no due dates – it even includes all seven Harry Potter books. What hasn’t changed since we launched Prime? The price. It’s still $79. We’re very grateful to our Prime members, and thank them whole-heartedly for the business and for the word-of-mouth that has made this program grow.”

via Amazon – SEC

Sprint Posts Q2 2012 Earnings; $8.84 Billion in Revenues, $1.37 Billion in Net Losses

After Verizon and AT&T earlier this week, Sprint released its earnings for Q2 2012 today. It posted net operating revenues of $8.84 billion, with an operating loss of $629 million and a net loss of $1.37 billion. Its losses just keep on mounting — compared to Q2 2011, its losses have increased more than 60%.

It sold around 1.5 million iPhones in Q2, with 40% of them attributed to new postpaid customers. In addition to the iPhone, it also launched four top Android phones — Galaxy Nexus, LG Viper 4G LTE, HTC EVO 4G LTE and the Samsung Galaxy S III in Q2.

It is currently focusing on a major network overhaul — Network Vision — which would account for most of its increased expenses and resulting losses. It launched 4G LTE network support in 5 markets and 15 cities in July, and will continue to expand it in the coming quarters.

On the plus side, it has been able to improve its postpaid ARPU and churn levels to their best levels yet. It served more than 56 million customers in Q2 (32.6 million postpaid, 15.4 million prepaid, and 8.4 million wholesale & affiliate subscribers.)

While Nextel continues to report net subscriber losses, Sprint is trying its best to add postpaid and prepaid subscribers to its network. It lost 246,000 net postpaid and gained 141,000 net prepaid subscribers in the last quarter, the losses being primarily due to Nextel.

It reported $7.2 billion in wireless service revenues and $995 million in wireline service revenues. We expect wireless revenues to continue to grow as a proportion of its overall revenues.

Sprint’s cash reserves increased to around $6.8 billion, inclusive of short term investments.

Though it posted massive losses, its revenue beat consensus estimates and the future looks a bit more rosy, so its stock jumped nearly 20% following the earnings release, to $4.

via Sprint – SEC