FutureFive NZ - The Techday Weekender - Aug 18th 2012

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The Techday Weekender - Aug 18th 2012

The week just past created its usual dose of thrills, spills and drama, here’s Techday’s take from bottom to top – literally...

Starting at the bottom this week, Facebook's stock dived below US$20 overnight Thursday, hitting an all-time low for the social networking site as early investors appeared to cash in on the company’s lock-down expiry.

Unusually high trading volumes led analysts to suggest at least some insiders were seizing on the first selling opportunity after a selection of Facebook insiders were eligible to sell stock they own in the social networking company, with up to US$1.91bn shares available for sale.

While nobody initially thought shares would be sold, it appears the company are facing an in-house lack of confidence as key early investors seem happy to jump ship – questioning the long-term stability of the company.

Facebook’s week of news continued with reports businesses using the site will have within 24 hours to moderate user comments or face strict penalties, according to rulings from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC).

Given the ACCC acknowledges corporate pages to be legitimate advertising, the landmark case could change advertising habits of start-up businesses, reliant on such exposure for growth and development.

Staying on the business line and JB Hi-Fi's New Zealand stores reported their first operating profit in five years with annual pre-tax earnings of AUS$3.6m.

The Victorian-based company said local sales increased by 18%, reaching $222.2m from $188.7m last year which can be attributed to the 2011 Rugby World Cup which suggests the All Blacks were good for more than just rugby.

Groupon also enjoyed a good week in the press, reporting 38.046 million active customers across the world, emphasising the new-found importance of daily discount web deals in the current economic climate.

Gen-i had reasons to smile as well, extending its $50m ICT services contract with Westpac, expanding their seven year partnership for a further two years.

The stability and assurance of the long-term partnership shows no signs of deteriorating as both companies continue to show the upmost confidence in one another, evident through contractual commitment.

Lenovo Group reported quarterly sales of US$8bn for its fiscal quarter, marking a rise of 35% year-over-year.

The PC vendor, who was recently confirmed as a manufacturer for Microsoft’s new Windows RT PCs, continues to outpace the industry and shows no sign of wavering as the fiscal year enters its final quarter.

Microsoft also revealed Samsung, Dell and ASUS will pioneer the hardware, accompanying the in-house designed Microsoft Surface for Windows RT.

Unfortunately the good news can’t last forever as Google announced plans to cut 4,000 Motorola Mobility jobs in an effort to restore profits to the company after losing money in 14 of its last 16 quarters.

After officially acquiring the mobile hardware company in February 2012 for US$12.5bn, the internet giant will slash the wage bill by 20% to continue its strong presence in the smartphone industry.

But in its largest jobs cut ever, Google’s motives remain unclear with reports suggesting Motorola could lose its tag as a leading Android hardware marker – throwing fresh doubts over the company’s long-term future.

One company future that is for certain is Maclean Computing Limited (MCL), who told unsecured creditors they were unlikely to recover any money from the failed company.

The company did insist however that staff would be paid in full by the end of the week, but made no promises to suppliers, vendors, partners and other unsecured creditors in a damaging week for all concerned.

Renaissance are another company left picking up the pieces, this time with their top job as CEO Shaun Rendell will leave the company at the end of the month, after accepting a position with another business.

While reasons for Rendell’s departure remain unknown, he leaves his role with the former Apple distributer two months after agreeing to sell its IT distribution to fellow Kiwis Exeed Limited.

The board announced director Ron Halls will replace Rendell on a temporary basis until a new appointment is made.

After a topsy turvy week of news, we finish on a high - Samsung will launch its new Galaxy Note in New Zealand on August 29.

After supersizing the new Note to a 10.1-inch display – the tablet has nearly doubled in size from its original 5.3-inch screen with a 598g weight, making it lighter than the new iPad.

The South Korean developers have yet to release any pricing but past releases suggests an announcement will be made within weeks not months meaning Kiwis will not have to wait long to sample the product.

Have a great weekend!

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