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You’ve almost gotta feel bad for the tech companies who have to announce quarterly financial results in the wake of Apple’s gangbuster $46.33 billion fiscal first quarter. Case in point: Nokia, the onetime giant of the cell phone business, whose fortunes have gone the other way in the last quarter, with a $1.3 billion loss. Hang in there, Nokia… it’s almost Friday, and the weekend is sure to be kinder on you than the last three months. Meanwhile, let’s have a peek at what else is making news on this Thursday, January 26, 2012.
Just a couple of years ago, it would have been hard to imagine that cell phone giant Nokia would be playing the role of underdog. Flash forward to today, and the company is draining profit like a sieve and doesn’t have much to show for its new Windows Phone-packing Lumia line thus far. According to Engadget, Nokia racked up a mere $13.1 billion in net sales for last quarter, which is an improvement from the third quarter, but down 21 percent from the same period in 2010. All in all, the Finnish company had an operating loss of $1.3 billion for the fourth quarter -- very unfortunate, considering Apple’s gangbuster revenue announced this week. On a better news front, Nokia has now sold “well over” a million Lumia devices, those being the budget-conscious Lumia 710 and its more attractive big sister the Lumia 800, which are the first fruits of Nokia’s partnership with Microsoft to produce Windows Phone devices. Nokia also plans to break even in the first quarter of this year, which has been rumored to see the launch of its new Lumia 900 here in the U.S.
Apple CEO Tim Cook held an “all hands on deck” Town Hall meeting for employees on the company’s Cupertino campus Wednesday, a day after reporting their biggest quarter ever. While no one knows for sure what was discussed there, 9to5Mac is reporting that Apple employees may soon benefit from the company’s mountain of wealth, thanks to some new corporate discounts that will kick in this June. According to an unnamed source, Apple employees “will soon be given $500 discounts on purchases of new Macs and $250 discounts on purchases of a new iPad.” The generous discount comes with a few caveats, of course: Employees have to work for Apple for at least 90 days, and the low-priced Mac mini is excluded from the deal. Hey, you can’t expect them to just give that stuff away, can you…?
Apple isn’t the only company enjoying record income during the last three months of last year. According to AT&T, the telco wrapped up 2011 with their best quarter ever for mobile broadband sales, with 9.4 million smartphones sold -- and as you can imagine, most of them were iPhones. The carrier confirmed in a press release that it activated 7.6 million iPhones last quarter, a number that absolutely smokes the 4.3 million activated by competitor Verizon Wireless for the same period. AT&T also isn’t afraid to boast that it bested Verizon in iPhone activations for the entire year, with 17.5 million compared to Big Red’s mere 10.8 million. Remember all the pundits who predicted gloom and doom for Ma Bell when they finally lost iPhone exclusivity? Yeah, those were good times...
Still having battery drain issues with your iPhone 4S or other iOS 5 device? Apple’s iOS 5.0.1 update fixed the problem for some users, and hopefully the forthcoming iOS 5.1 will take care of the rest. In the meantime, a new jailbreak-only tweak in Cydia called iOS 5 Battery Fix promises to squash the problem for good -- except it doesn’t actually do anything. According to Cult of Mac, the $4.99 app is “just a complete scam to steal your cash,” as iOS hackers Dustin Howett and Sam Binger discovered after examining the app’s code. “DHowett found that all it does is replace /System/Library/CoreServes/powerd.bundle/com.apple.SystemPowerProfileDefaults.plist,” Binger writes. “I looked for any possible impact of this. While this sounds good… we’re changing the power settings right? The reality is that it does absolutely nothing.” The report notes that the tweak isn’t malicious -- unless you consider being duped out of a $5 bill for absolutely nothing malicious, that is.
It’s been nearly a year since Apple introduced Thunderbolt I/O ports to the Mac, and the promised flood of new peripherals to attach to them has been slow to arrive on the market. This week, AJA has announced the availability of one such product, the company’s new Io XT. This $1495 pro video box hooks into a Thunderbolt-equipped Mac and allows complete video/audio capture and playback, supporting all of the latest codecs including Apple’s ProRes, CineForm, DVCProHD, Avid DNxHD and more. The peripheral is noteworthy as the first such solution to include dual Thunderbolt ports, which allows one for connection to the computer while the second can be used to daisy chain additional devices, including high-speed storage or even another display. AJA Io XT is now available from the company’s global network of resellers.
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