Oh HTC. You’ve produced one of the finest Android smartphones ever (seriously, just look at all these reviews), but you’ve faced more than your share of challenges when it came to actually pumping your top-tier One smartphone. As it happens, that may all soon change.
FocusTaiwan reported earlier today that HTC is preparing to pump out more of its wonderful Ones in short order — Jack Tong, the company’s North Asia president, noted that this month’s production capacity for the flagship device is twice that of April, and that surge will only continue into June.
Sounds pretty yawn-worthy, right? Normally I would spend too much time dwelling on the finer points of production capacity, but here’s a device that was launched to widespread praise by an underdog smartphone company some people have written off, and HTC has basically been getting screwed thanks to part shortages for the One’s Ultrapixel camera and a brief injunction due to the HDR microphone it uses. It’s like a perfect storm of headaches for a company that really, really doesn’t need it — one look at its Q1 financials and it’s clear that HTC needed this launch to go as smoothly as possible. It didn’t.
For what it’s worth, HTC hasn’t disclosed how many Ones it’s shipped since it launched earlier this year. Meanwhile, rival Samsung’s Galaxy S4 has become the Korean electronics giant’s fastest moving smartphone — Samsung shipped 6 million units in just over two weeks, and it hopes to cross the 10 million unit threshold by the end of this month. Oh, and let’s not forget the fact that Google’s Hugo Barra showed off a version of the S4 at the company’s I/O developer conference that runs a version of Android that’s unfettered by the software bloat that many a reviewer took umbrage at. Company representatives were careful not to call it a Nexus — even though it seems to harbor many of the advantages inherent to the Nexus line like a clean Android build and access to frequent software updates.
As I noted towards the end of my HTC One review, the wireless industry isn’t a meritocracy — the well-executed device doesn’t always wind up saving the day. Hopefully now that some of these production woes have been ironed out we’ll see HTC live to fight another day, but that’s still far from a given.
Published by Rhea Gaur
in category BPO jobs
, Email Marketing
, Google Panda
, Google Penguin
, lumia 820
, Volusion and Shopify
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Freelancer.com, one of the top online job portals for freelancers in the world, has just released a report on growth in hiring across various job categories based on 300,000 jobs posted on its site for Q1 2013. What makes this report interesting are the trends in industries, companies and products reflected from the growth of jobs.
Here are some of the key trends spotted in the report that are pertinent to growing businesses:
E-commerce continues to dominate retail space: Jobs pertaining to E-commerce sites grew by 19% in the first quarter on freelancer.com, confirming that growth in this sector continues unabated. A report on emarketer.com confirms that e-commerce sales (excluding travel and online event sales) grew by an average of 15% over the last 3 years, while overall retail sales growth averaged 5.5%. A significant reason for the growth in ecommerce retail is increased accessibility to e-commerce hosting technologies, as offered by sites such as Magento, Volusion and Shopify. The other reason, of course, is the change in consumer behavior driven by smartphones and tablets. It is estimated that sales on mobile devices or m-commerce, will grow by a staggering 56.5% this year compared to 2012 figures. This trend is an ominous sign for survival of brick and mortar stores that fail to adapt their selling models to include online sales.
Email marketing trumps social media (Facebook and Twitter): While email marketing jobs on freelancer.com grew by 21%, Twitter jobs grew by 18% and Facebook jobs fell by 4%. In other words, for businesses of all sizes, email marketing continues to make sense – it’s basic and gets the job done. A 2012 infographic released by Montate.com confirmed that in terms of driving actual sales conversions email marketing is 10 times more effective than social media.
Outsource your daily workload: Perhaps the most significant trend is the 113% growth in Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) jobs, which includes virtual assistants, customer service and simple back office jobs being outsourced to save time and money by small businesses and entrepreneurs.
3D Printing for offices has arrived: 3D design jobs on the portal increased by 21% thanks to increasing affordability of 3D printers. Until just a few years ago the cheapest 3D printing machine was for $30,000, with the most expensive being $100,000. Today, you can choose from an array of options ranging from $499 to $2,500. Specialized professions, such as those that involve product design and rapid prototyping ( architects, designers, educators, engineers), will find lots of uses for 3D printers. In January this year Nokia released 3D templates that allow users to print Lumia 820 case using a 3D printer.
Other noticeable trends from the survey included rise in SEO jobs as businesses try to cope with Google’s Panda and Penguin updates and a 20% increase in Android development jobs, which soared past those for Apple, which only saw a 11% increase.
The post 50 Fastest Growing Online Jobs: Key Business Trends from Jobs Posted on Freelancer.com appeared first on Small Business Technology.
LG is an Android smartphone OEM that, like many others, finds itself in the shadow of Samsung. But it scored an impressive hit with the Nexus 4, the $300 unlocked Google-branded Android reference phone it released last year, and according to the Korea Times, it’s already working on a follow-up with the search giant.
The new report claims that LG is working on a new Nexus-branded smartphone, and that LG also wants to add to its existing partnership with Google for TV products, and would like to be closely involved in future developments like Google Glass. LG clearly sees the value of being closely associated with Google, as it managed to pull into third place in the global smartphone race in Q1 2013 according to IDC and Juniper.
LG’s Optimus G and the Nexus 4 helped it gain some ground in the smartphone war, although it still trails far behind Samsung and Apple, who hold 32.7 percent and 17.3 percent of the global market respectively, compared to LG’s 4.8 percent. Recent estimates have put sales of both the Optimus G and the Nexus 4 at somewhere north of 1 million, which, while once again trailing devices by Samsung and Apple, are impressive enough. Especially in the case of the Nexus 4, LG proved that it could make a strong seller out of a line that usually has more limited consumer appeal.
In the past, we’ve seen reports that an LG Nexus 5 was in the works, with the code name “Megalodon.” This isn’t just an upgraded version based on the LG Optimus G Pro, but a truly new device with a very powerful quad-core 2.3GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor on board. Recent rumors indicate we might see a Nexus 4 variant at Google I/O in two weeks, with a 32GB storage option and both LTE and CDMA cellular wireless bands on board. The current Nexus 4 maxes out at HSPA+, but it does have an LTE-capable radio, early hacks revealed.
There’s very little downside to LG building a new Nexus device, and Google might be more inclined to let them, given the success of the last one. It’s possible we’ll hear more about this at I/O, but given that the Nexus 4 only arrived late last year, we might have to wait a little longer, too.
Yelp, the local online business and restaurant guide that first launched in the U.S. in 2004 and now lives in 21 countries and 12 languages, and has more than 100 million monthly unique visitors as of January this year, launched in New Zealand this morning. On the heels of bringing its review data to Kiwis and continuing its international expansion, Yelp announced its first quarter earnings at market close today.
In the fourth quarter, Yelp missed earnings expectations, with net revenue coming in at $41.2 million in Q4 of 2012, a 65 percent growth in new revenue from 2011, while it saw a net loss of $5.3 million, or $0.08 per share. Today, Yelp turned things around, as it announced net revenue jumped to $46.1 million in Q1, reflecting a 68 percent growth from Q1 2012, while cumulative reviews grew 42 percent year-over-year to more than 39 million, average unique visitors grew 43 percent y/y and local business accounts grew 63 percent.
Wall Street’s consensus estimates were that Yelp would see $44.5 million in revenue for the quarter, and $1.5 million EBITDA. Yelp hurdled over the bar, in fact, seeing a net loss in the first quarter of 2013 of $4.8 million, or $0.08 per share. This means that while net losses only fell slightly from Q4 2012, it saw a more significant reduction in losses year-over year, $9.8 million, or $0.31 per share, over the first quarter of 2012.
In addition, compared to Wall Street estimates, Yelp said that adjusted EBITDA for the first quarter of 2013 was $3.2 million, in comparison with an adjusted EBITDA loss of approximately $1 million for the first quarter of 2012.
In the quarterly earnings release today, Yelp CEO Jeremy Stoppelman trumped up Yelp’s milestones in the last quarter, namely its hitting a record 102 million unique users over the last quarter, while touching on its plans to improve on its mobile experience. Something that should be music to the ears of anyone with a smartphone.
“We had a great start to the year and are excited about the large opportunity in front of us,” Stoppelman said. “This quarter we achieved many milestones including a record 102 million unique visitors on a monthly average basis, demonstrating the strength of our content and the trust we have earned from consumers. We provide valuable leads to local businesses because consumers turn to Yelp at the critical point when they are making purchase decisions. Looking to the rest of the year, we will continue to focus our product innovation around the mobile experience and new features to better serve the consumer and local business owners, and we will continue integrating Qype into the Yelp platform.”
Other business highlights?
Yelp mobile saw 36 percent of local ads shown on mobile devices in the first quarter, while the app was used on 10 million unique devices over the quarter, building on the company’s launch of display ads on mobile for the first time in Q1.
In terms of guidance, Yelp expects revenue in the second quarter of 2013 to be in the range of $52.5 million to $53.5 million, which would represent a growth of around 62 percent compared to the second quarter 2012. Adjusted EBITDA is forecasted to fall in the range of $4.5 million to $5 million. For the full year 2013, net revenue is expected to be in between $216 million and $218 million, representing a 58 percent growth year-over-year.
At today’s Hulu Upfront, the company offered an update on its online TV business, sharing that it had set records for revenue in Q1 2013, and had achieved a new milestone of having streamed over 1 billion videos in the quarter. Hulu’s paid, subscription-based business has grown as well, having doubled over the course of 2012.
As of Q1 2013, Hulu Plus, as the premium subscription business is known, passed 4 million subscribers up from 3 million in Q4 2012, and was also setting records for new subscriber additions, the company stated. A significant portion of this growth is coming from mobile, as consumers are switching away from the desktop to watch Hulu’s content on their portable devices, like smartphones and tablets.
In 2013 to 2014, Hulu estimates that mobile viewing will account for 15 percent of the video views on its network, despite having been a nonexistent business only two years ago. (Hulu was launched out of beta back in November 2010, originally on the desktop).
However, though mobile is becoming an increasingly important screen for viewing content, the company says its “living room” business is growing as well. The service currently works over a number of connected devices, including Apple TV, Roku, and game consoles like the Xbox 360, Wii, and the PS3. Today, this type of usage accounts for 29 percent of Hulu’s consumption, and around 80 percent of Hulu Plus subscribers have watched videos with someone else, the company says.
Hulu didn’t break out its advertising revenues in the new report, but stated that viewers stay with the service on average for 45 minutes per session, and this is without fast-forwarding or skipping ads, it touts. (Really? Apparently, as with recorded programs on DVRs, Hulu viewers must forget they have the option, or are distracted with other things.)
The company also took the time to highlight some of its investments in original content, an initiative which all the major video providers are pursuing today including also Netflix, Amazon, Yahoo, YouTube, and others.
Two new TV shows were announced during Hulu’s upfront: “Quick Draw,” a half-hour western comedy from writer/director Nancy Hower and writer/star John Lehr; and “East Los High,” a teen-focused drama, which may be an industry first for offering an all-Latino cast, director, writers and creators, many from East L.A. themselves.
Hulu also has nine other Original Series ready for Summer 2013, including also “The Awesomes,” “Behind the Mask,” “The Wrong Mans,” “Mother Up!,” “Pramface” (season two) “Prisoners of War” (season two), “The Only Way is Essex” (season four), “Braquo” (season two), and “Moone Boy.” It also recently picked up cancelled TV soaps “All My Children” and “One Life To Live,” which premiered on Hulu yesterday.