Tag Archives: Technology / Media / Telecoms

Apple unlikely to meet revenue guidance due to coronavirus impact

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(Reuters) – Apple Inc (AAPL.O) said on Monday it would not meet its revenue guidance for the March quarter because of the coronavirus outbreak slowing iPhone production and weakening demand in China.

FILE PHOTO: The Apple Inc. logo is seen hanging at the entrance to the Apple store on 5th Avenue in Manhattan, New York, U.S., October 16, 2019. REUTERS/Mike Segar/File Photo

Apple’s manufacturing facilities in China have begun to reopen, but they are ramping up more slowly than expected, the technology company said in a statement to its investors.

Global supplies of Apple’s iPhones will be limited as the sites work toward operating at full capacity, the company said.

“These iPhone supply shortages will temporarily affect revenues worldwide,” the company said.

In January, Apple forecast $63 billion to $67 billion in revenue for the second quarter ending in March, ahead of estimates of $62.4 billion.

The company said it would provide more information during its next earnings call in April.

Apple also said that store restrictions due to coronavirus precautions had affected its sales in China, with most retail stores either closed or operating at reduced hours.

“We are gradually reopening our retail stores and will continue to do so as steadily and safely as we can,” the company said.

The disruptions follow a strong December quarter for iPhone sales, which were up for the first time in a year.

Analysts have estimated that the virus may slash demand for smartphones by half in the first quarter in China, the world’s biggest market for smartphones.

“While we have discussed a negative iPhone impact from the coronavirus over the past few weeks, the magnitude of this impact to miss its revenue guidance midway through February is clearly worse than feared,” Wedbush analyst Daniel Ives wrote in a note.

Apple’s stock is expected to face a knee-jerk reaction on Tuesday, when Wall Street reopens after the Presidents Day holiday, Ives said.

Wedbush said it remained optimistic that Apple would be able to recover from the coronavirus setback.

“While trying to gauge the impact of the iPhone miss and potential bounce back in the June quarter will be front and center for the Street, we remain bullish on Apple for the longer term,” Ives said.

The outbreak is expected to intensify pressure on China’s economy, with multiple companies struggling to restart production after an extended Chinese New Year holiday.

Fiat Chrysler, <FCHA.MI, Hyundai Motor Co (005380.KS) and General Motors Co (GM.N) have all said their auto production lines were, or could be, hit by Chinese factories that are slow to restart because of the virus.

Reporting by Neha Malara in Bengaluru and Laila Kearney in New York; Editing by Dan Grebler and Peter Cooney

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U.S. judge expected to rule in favor of merger of Sprint, T-Mobile: sources

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(Reuters) – A U.S. district judge is expected to rule in favor of allowing Sprint and T-Mobile to merge over the objections of a group of state attorneys general, according to two sources familiar with the matter.

A smartphones with Sprint logo are seen in front of a screen projection of T-mobile logo, in this picture illustration taken April 30, 2018. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration

Shares of Sprint surged 69% in after hours trade and T-Mobile stock rose 8%.

U.S. District Court Judge Victor Marrero is expected to make his decision public on Tuesday, one source said.

Approval of the deal would be a high profile defeat for state attorneys general, led by New York and California, who had argued that a merger of the No. 3 and No. 4 U.S. wireless carriers would lead to higher prices, especially for customers who use prepaid plans popular with people with poorer credit.

The deal has already been approved by federal regulators.

The companies had said the deal was needed to help them build out next generation of wireless, called 5G, and better compete with sector leaders Verizon Communications Inc and AT&T Inc.

Executives from the companies, including outspoken T-Mobile Chief Executive John Legere, testified during the trial that Sprint’s business was deteriorating and would not survive if it did not merge with T-Mobile.

The two companies are expected to start talks on renegotiating the terms of their $26.5 billion merger in the next few days, two sources said.

T-Mobile parent Deutsche Telekom is keen to cut the price of the deal, arguing that Sprint’s fortunes have deteriorated since they inked their agreement, the sources added.

However, Sprint, in which Japan’s Softbank Group has a major stake, is expected to argue that T-Mobile needs Sprint in order to grow its cashflow and to boost its capacity using its spectrum, according to the sources.

There is no certainty that there will be a renegotiated deal, the sources cautioned.

The Court did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Sprint and T-Mobile both declined to comment.

One merger opponent, Gigi Sohn, a former telecoms regulator now at Georgetown Law, tweeted her displeasure with reports of the decision. “If #antitrust law doesn’t even block a 4-3 merger like this, we need to start from scratch,” she tweeted, referring to the market shrinking to three from four competitors. “I’ll have more to say tomorrow after I read the judge’s decision (through my tears).”

While a group of states decided to fight the deal in court, the federal government approved it with conditions, a decision which remain in effect.

The U.S. Justice Department approved the deal in July after the carriers agreed to sell some assets to satellite provider Dish Network Corp, which would create its own cellular network to ensure that there would still be four competitors in the market. The Federal Communications Commission signed off on the deal in October. Dish shares rose 2% after hours.

The states maintained that Dish was ill-equipped to become a competitive fourth wireless carrier.

The Wall Street Journal earlier reported that the court was expected to approve the deal on Tuesday.

Reporting by Diane Bartz in Washington and Greg Roumeliotis in New York, David Shepardson in DC and Arundhati Sarkar in Bengaluru; Editing by Shailesh Kuber, Uttaresh.V and Lincoln Feast.

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Apple to close all China mainland stores due to virus outbreak

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FILE PHOTO – A screen displaying an advertisement for iPhone 11 Pro is seen outside an Apple store in Beijing, China October 31, 2019. REUTERS/Florence Lo

(Reuters) – Apple Inc on Saturday said it would shut all of its official stores and corporate offices in mainland China until Feb 9. as fears over the coronavirus outbreak mounted and the death toll more than doubled to over 250 from a week ago.

“Out of an abundance of caution and based on the latest advice from leading health experts, we’re closing all our corporate offices, stores, and contact centers in mainland China through February 9,” Apple said in a statement. The company said looked forward to re-opening stores “as soon as possible”.

Earlier this week, Apple closed three stores in China due to concerns about the spread of the virus.

It’s joining a handful of overseas retailers, including Starbucks Corp and McDonald’s Corp to temporarily shut storefronts as a precautionary measure.

Many other companies, meanwhile, have called for employees in China to work from home and cease non-essential business travel in the first week of February.

Normally, businesses in China would be preparing to return to normal operations following the end of the week-long Lunar New Year Holiday.

Apple remains heavily reliant on China both for smartphone sales as well as for its supply chain and manufacturing. Many factories in Hubei province, including plants run by AB InBev and General Motors Co, have temporarily suspended production due to the virus.

In a recent earnings call, Apple CEO Tim Cook said the company was working out mitigation plans to deal with possible production loss from its suppliers in Wuhan. The city where the virus outbreak originated is home to several Apple suppliers.

Reporting by Akshay Balan in Bengaluru and Josh Horwitz in Shanghai; Editing by Shri Navaratnam and Lincoln Feast.

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EA’s tepid forecast overshadows quarterly beat, shares slip

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(Reuters) – Electronic Arts Inc forecast fourth-quarter adjusted revenue below analysts’ estimates, weighed down by the delayed launch of its basketball title “NBA Live”, while its “Apex Legends” battles “Fortnite” and “PUBG” to attract young gamers.

FILE PHOTO: The Electronic Arts Inc., logo is displayed on a screen during a PlayStation 4 Pro launch event in New York City, U.S., September 7, 2016. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid/File Photo

Shares of the Redwood, California-based company fell about 2% after the bell on Thursday.

EA is working with a partner in China to bring its battle-royale title “Apex Legends” to PC and mobile in the country, Chief Financial Officer Blake Jorgensen told Reuters.

Earlier in 2019, EA revealed plans to launch the title, which had attracted 70 million players as of October, in China and also on mobile.

“The biggest unknown is how long does it take to get approval in China,” Jorgensen added.

China, which stopped approving the monetization of new video game titles in March 2018, resumed processing applications in December that year, with a huge backlog of games awaiting approval.

The videogame publisher behind franchises like “FIFA” and “Battlefield” said it expects current-quarter adjusted revenue to be about $1.15 billion, below analysts’ expectations of $1.20 billion, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

The tepid forecast comes at a time when the dominance of console-based game franchises, including rivals Activision Blizzard and Take-Two Interactive Software Inc, is being threatened by mobile-based, free-to-play games with engaging formats.

EA has pushed back the release of “NBA Live” last quarter to coincide with the launch of new gaming consoles from Microsoft and Sony at the end of 2020.

The strong launch of “Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order” during the crucial holiday season helped the company beat third-quarter adjusted revenue estimates.

The title, released in November, climbed its way to become the second best-selling game of December, according to data from research firm NPD.

Revenue from live services, the largest chunk of its sales, rose 41% to $677 million. The company expects growth for this unit to accelerate in fiscal 2022, led by a new Battlefield title.

EA raised its full-year adjusted revenue forecast to $5.15 billion from $5.13 billion, but was below analysts’ expectations of $5.21 billion.

On an adjusted basis, the company’s revenue jumped 22.9% to $1.98 billion, beating the analysts’ expectation of $1.97 billion.

Net income for the third quarter ended Dec. 31 rose to $346 million, or $1.18 per share, from $262 million, 86 cents per share, a year earlier.

Reporting by Ayanti Bera in Bengaluru; Editing by Maju Samuel and Uttaresh.V

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Huawei CFO’s arrest at airport to be focus of Vancouver listening to

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VANCOUVER (Reuters) – Legal professionals for Huawei Chief Monetary Officer Meng Wanzhou will probably be in a Canadian courtroom on Monday to press for particulars surrounding her arrest at Vancouver’s airport practically 10 months in the past.

FILE PHOTO: Huawei’s Monetary Chief Meng Wanzhou leaves her household house in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, Could 8, 2019. REUTERS/Lindsey Wasson/File Photograph

Meng, 47, was detained on Dec. 1 on the request of america, the place she is charged with financial institution fraud and accused of deceptive HSBC Holdings Plc (HSBA.L) about Huawei Applied sciences Co Ltd’s [HWT.UL] enterprise in Iran. Meng, who is anticipated in court docket, has mentioned she is harmless and is preventing extradition.

The arrest has strained China’s relations with each america and Canada.

At Monday’s 10 a.m. (1700 GMT) listening to earlier than Justice Heather Holmes of the British Columbia Supreme Court docket, Meng’s protection group will request extra disclosure surrounding her detention on the airport, together with contacts between U.S. and Canadian authorities.

Meng’s attorneys argue she was unlawfully detained, searched and questioned for over three hours after she landed on a flight from Hong Kong. Below the ruse of an immigration examine, the protection claims, Canadian officers delayed her arrest and picked up proof for U.S. authorities.

Extradition proceedings in opposition to Meng ought to be halted if officers abused the method, the attorneys say. Moreover accusations of misconduct associated to her detention, they argue america is utilizing Meng for financial and political achieve, noting that after her arrest, U.S. President Donald Trump mentioned he would intervene if it might assist shut a commerce deal.

Legal professionals for Canada will reply to the demand for extra details about Meng’s arrest in court docket, in response to a Canadian Division of Justice spokesman, who added that Meng had already been supplied with “intensive disclosure, past what’s required.”

Canadian police and border officers, in response to a civil declare Meng filed earlier this yr, have mentioned they acted “lawfully and in good religion.”

Vancouver lawyer Gary Botting, who has seen a video of Meng being detained on the airport, mentioned immigration officers got here throughout as “Keystone Cops.”

“There are actual questions on whether or not her rights had been violated,” mentioned Botting, who briefed Meng’s protection group on Canada’s extradition regulation after her arrest however is not concerned with the case.

The extradition listening to itself is just not scheduled to begin till January.

Meng, the daughter of Huawei founder Ren Zhengfei, spent 10 days in jail in December however was then launched on C$10 million ($7.5 million) bail and resides in considered one of her two multimillion-dollar houses in Vancouver. She is required to put on an digital ankle bracelet and pay for safety guards.

Huawei, the world’s largest telecommunications gear maker, has been accused by america of actions opposite to nationwide safety or overseas coverage pursuits.

U.S. and Chinese language officers resumed commerce talks final week, because the world’s two largest economies attempt to negotiate a approach out of their 14-month commerce warfare.

Reporting by Karen Freifeld; Modifying by Chris Sanders and Tom Brown

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SoftBank turns towards WeWork’s dad or mum CEO Neumann: sources

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(Reuters) – Japan’s SoftBank Group Corp (9984.T), the largest investor in WeWork proprietor The We Firm, is exploring methods to exchange Adam Neumann as chief government of the U.S. office-sharing start-up, 4 folks aware of the matter mentioned on Sunday.

FILE PHOTO: Adam Neumann, CEO of WeWork, speaks to visitors throughout the TechCrunch Disrupt occasion in Manhattan, in New York Metropolis, NY, U.S. Might 15, 2017. REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz -/File Photograph

The uncommon showdown between SoftBank and considered one of its largest investments comes after We Firm postponed its preliminary public providing (IPO) final week, following pushback from perspective traders, not simply over its widening losses, but additionally over Neumann’s unusually agency grip on the corporate.

This was a blow for SoftBank, which hoped for We Firm’s IPO to bolster its income because it seeks to woo traders for its second $108 billion Imaginative and prescient Fund. It invested in We Firm at a $47 billion valuation in January, but inventory market investor skepticism led to the startup contemplating a possible valuation within the IPO earlier this month of as little as $10 billion, Reuters reported.

Administrators on We Firm’s seven-member board which are aligned with SoftBank are deliberating learn how to exchange Neumann as CEO, the sources mentioned. Benchmark Capital, one other huge investor in We Firm, would additionally like Neumann to step apart, one of many sources mentioned.

No problem to Neumann has but been tabled, the sources mentioned. A We Firm board assembly to debate Neumann’s future might be held as early as this week, one other of the sources mentioned.

One possibility that SoftBank is contemplating is asking Neumann to develop into interim CEO whereas a headhunting agency is employed to search out an exterior alternative, the primary supply mentioned.

The sources requested to not be recognized as a result of the matter is confidential. We Firm and SoftBank declined to remark, whereas Neumann and Benchmark Capital couldn’t be instantly reached for remark. The Wall Avenue Journal first reported on SoftBank exploring methods to exchange Neumann as CEO.

As co-founder of the We Firm, Neumann holds particular voting shares that allow him to dismiss dissident board administrators and shoot down any problem to his authority. Nonetheless, SoftBank may select to not again We Firm’s IPO or present it with extra funding. It has already funded the cash-burning start-up to the tune of $10 billion, and was discussing committing one other $1 billion to the IPO.

We Firm mentioned final week it’s aiming to develop into a publicly traded firm by the tip of the 12 months.

In an indication of the deteriorating relations between SoftBank and WeWork, Neumann didn’t take part in a gathering of executives of corporations backed by SoftBank that occurred in Pasadena, California, final week and was organized by SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son, based on two folks aware of the matter.

Reporting by Anirban Sen in Bengaluru and Joshua Franklin in New York; Extra reporting by Greg Roumeliotis in new York and Rishika Chatterjee in Bengaluru; Modifying by Sonya Hepinstall and Daniel Wallis

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Apple faucets recycled uncommon earth components for iPhone components

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Sept 18 (Reuters) – Apple Inc’s new iPhones will used recycled uncommon earth components in a key part, the corporate stated on Wednesday.

Apple stated it’ll used recycled uncommon earths in its “Taptic Engine,” a component that lets iPhones mimic a bodily button click on regardless of being a flat pane of glass. The half is about one-quarter of the uncommon earth components contained in the iPhone fashions.

Uncommon earths, a gaggle of 17 specialised minerals, have turn out to be a flash level in commerce tensions between the US and China. The weather are utilized in weapons, shopper electronics and different items.

China dominates the processing of the uncooked minerals, and has implied via its state-controlled media that it may prohibit uncommon earths gross sales to the US, simply because it did to Japan after a diplomatic dispute in 2010.

Lisa Jackson, Apple’s vice chairman of atmosphere, coverage and social initiatives, stated Apple’s use of recycled uncommon earths was “not associated” to commerce tensions however may assist it keep a gentle provide.

“That is a kind of completely satisfied coincidences the place what is nice for the planet is actually good for enterprise on the identical time,” Jackson advised Reuters. “One of many issues we discuss rather a lot internally, simply generally, is how way more resilient this makes our provide chain.”

In shopper electronics, uncommon earths reside in tiny audio system and actuators. The components are so small that gathering them for recycling is troublesome and costly.

For now, Apple will use recycled uncommon earths from an outdoor provider, not from beforehand used iPhones. Apple declined to call the provider or say what merchandise the uncommon earths have been recovered from.

However Jackson stated that Apple’s scale – new iPhone fashions are usually promote tens of hundreds of thousands of models per 12 months – helped make the challenge economically viable.

“Now we have primarily made a marketplace for this entrepreneur, this innovator, who discovered a strategy to recycle uncommon earths,” Jackson stated.

Apple usually goals to reuse components from its previous units.

Apple stated on Wednesday that aluminum from enclosures recovered via its trade-in applications will likely be melted down and made into new MacBook Air laptop computer computer systems. The corporate beforehand disclosed that cobalt recovered from iPhone batteries disassembled by robots at its recycling labs in Texas is put into new iPhone batteries.

Apple is experimenting with methods to get well uncommon earths from its telephones utilizing its robots, which may take away tiny components and separate them into assortment bins to combination sufficient materials to make recycling viable.

The corporate can also be researching ways in which standard recyclers, who shred units and separate out the assorted supplies, may tweak their traces to get well the weather, info that Jackson stated Apple is open to sharing.

“There are some improvements of ours that we truly need individuals to repeat. In order a lot as doable – so long as it doesn’t give away a few of our different design and engineering innovation – we’re completely satisfied to convey alongside the recycling trade,” Jackson stated. “Now we have began to be way more clear round this expertise improvement than we often are.” (Reporting by Stephen Nellis in San Francisco; Modifying by Greg Mitchell and Sonya Hepinstall)

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After LSE’s sharp rebuff, HKEX begins investor attraction offensive

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LONDON (Reuters) – Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing (0388.HK) is embarking on a three-week attraction offensive with London Inventory Trade (LSE.L) traders because the Asian buying and selling home tries to salvage its proposed $39 billion takeover provide.

FILE PHOTO: The title of Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Restricted is displayed on the entrance in Hong Kong, China January 24, 2018. REUTERS/Bobby Yip/File Photograph

LSE’s board is refusing to have interaction with HKEX after emphatically rejecting its method on Friday. The LSE described HKEX’s provide as essentially flawed, saying it could not meet its strategic targets and got here with a excessive threat of being blocked by regulators.

LSE has stated it desires to stay with its plan of shopping for knowledge and buying and selling firm Refinitiv for $27 billion.

However HKEX has vowed to press on, and has arrange conferences with a collection of LSE’s high traders over the following few weeks, in response to two individuals acquainted with the matter, elevating the possibilities that it might make a hostile provide.

One top-25 investor advised Reuters that they had a gathering booked with HKEX later this month and that there might be a hostile method. Others stated they have been eager to listen to extra moderately than dismissing the deal instantly in favor of the Refinitiv tie-up.

“We’d count on there to be some synergy (within the HKEX deal) each when it comes to company overheads and expertise,” stated James Bevan, chief funding officer at CCLA. He added that whereas he was broadly supportive of the Refinitiv deal, he had some considerations in regards to the knowledge agency’s development technique.

HKEX has till Oct. 9 to make a agency provide or stroll away.

HKEX declined to touch upon the deal past its assertion on Friday that it could proceed to have interaction with LSE shareholders and that its provide was of their greatest pursuits.

LSE didn’t reply to a request for touch upon Sunday.

REGULATORY RISK

A supply near HKEX stated the Asian buying and selling home was assured some LSE traders have been fascinated by their provide and that it had an opportunity of success. They identified that round 15 of the highest 20 LSE shareholders additionally had stakes in HKEX.

However the previous decade has seen a collection of makes an attempt at cross-border change offers fail, thwarted by regulators and politicians even when each firms have favored the deal.

HKEX says it has had “constructive” preliminary discussions with regulators and policymakers. Nevertheless, regulatory sources in Britain and Italy – the place LSE owns Borsa Italiana – stated that they had but to carry substantive talks with HKEX on the deal.

HKEX will probably be relying on its lead banker – Moelis’s Caroline Silver – to assist it pull off what can be a significant coup if it succeeds.

One of the vital outstanding change bankers, Silver labored on LSE’s takeover of Borsa Italiana in 2007 when at Morgan Stanley, and represented London Metallic Trade when HKEX purchased it in 2012.

“Her modus is kind of easy: she is aware of everyone within the change and monetary infrastructure world, she understands the markets … and he or she runs a really disciplined course of,” stated Martin Abbott, London Metallic Trade’s former chief govt.

Further reporting by Sinead Cruise, Carolyn Cohn and Huw Jones; Writing by Rachel Armstrong; Enhancing by Dale Hudson

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Huawei drops lawsuit against U.S. over seized equipment: court filing

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FILE PHOTO: The Huawei logo is pictured at the IFA consumer tech fair in Berlin, Germany, September 5, 2019. REUTERS/Hannibal Hanschke

(Reuters) – China’s Huawei Technologies Co Ltd has dropped a lawsuit against the U.S. government after Washington released telecommunications equipment it had seized on suspicion of violations of export controls, according to a court filing on Monday.

Huawei [HWT.UL], which has been placed on a U.S. trade blacklist since May, had sued the Commerce Department and other U.S. government agencies for seizing its equipment in Alaska in 2017 en route back to China after a lab test in California.

Huawei said the U.S. government returned the equipment in August after confirming no export license was required and it decided to drop the suit.

It said the company was disappointed the U.S. government refused to provide a full explanation of what Huawei calls “arbitrary and unlawful” detention of the equipment for two years.

The fate of Huawei, the world’s largest telecommunications equipment maker and a national icon in China, has become crucial in an escalating trade war between Beijing and Washington.

Huawei still faces multiple criminal charges in the United States for allegedly breaking U.S. export sanctions to countries including Iran. It is trying to challenge its addition to the U.S. National Defense Authorization Act in an ongoing lawsuit, which it says had restricted its business in the United States “unconstitutionally”.

Washington says the Chinese company’s telecoms gear could be used by Beijing to spy, an allegation Huawei has denied.

The Trump administration added Huawei to the so-called entity list in May, barring it from buying needed U.S. parts and components without U.S. government approval and threatening to disrupt its operations.

Reporting by Sijia Jiang in Hong Kong; Additional Reporting by Diane Bartz in Washington; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman

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