Increasing component costs and pressure to cut its prices mean Apple's best bet for long-term success is to quit the hardware business and license the Mac to Dell, analyst firm Gartner claimed on Tuesday. In a surprisingly ambitious report, called Apple Should License the Mac to Dell, Gartner says Apple should concentrate on what it does best — create software — and make use of Dell's production and distribution infrastructure. "Apple should leverage its close relationship with Intel and team up with Intel's closest ally, Dell," the report states. "We recognise that this move would surprise and even shock many. We are aware that Steve Jobs cancelled previous Mac licences when he took over at Apple and that he guards the Apple brand zealously." Up to around 1997, companies including Power Computing were given the rights to license Mac technology from Apple. However, when Jobs returned to the company, he attempted at first to renegotiate the licences but eventually opted … [Read more...] about Gartner: Apple should quit hardware business
Microsoft is cutting another 1,850 jobs connected to its mobile-phone business, on the heels of the 4,500 job cuts connected with its sell-off of its feature-phone business a week ago.The latest cuts impact primarily employees in Finland working on Microsoft's Lumia phone business. Of the current 1,850 cuts, 1,350 of those affected are in Finland, according to Microsoft's May 25 announcement. Microsoft also is taking a $950 million impairment and restructuring charge as part of today's announcement, with about $200 million of that total attributable to severance payments.Most of the cuts announced today will happen before the end of Microsoft's calendar 2016; the rest will be done by July 2017, officials said today.So that's it for Microsoft's plans for any future phone hardware? Believe it or not, the answer is no. According to an email sent on March 26 to all employees, Windows and Devices chief Terry Myerson said Microsoft's phone business, moving forward, will be "more … [Read more...] about Microsoft cuts another 1,850 jobs, takes $950 million charge in its phone hardware business
Nest could soon be back in the core Google fold.Google might integrate Nest into its hardware business, rather than letting its smart-home company operate independently, according to The Wall Street Journal. The publication reported that the two groups have overlapped on efforts in the past, including a software product called Weave. Google and Nest declined to comment. Google bought Nest in 2014 for $3.2 billion and let the company keep its own leadership and operations. In mid-2015, Google said it would reorganize itself under the umbrella of parent company Alphabet. Google would focus on core efforts like search and mapping, while Nest, human aging research company Calico, and other Google-owned businesses would operate on their own. As Google looks to compete more with Amazon in the home, it makes sense for the company to work more closely with Nest. Nest, which was a smart home pioneer with its Internet-connected thermostat, has faltered since the Google … [Read more...] about Google may fold Nest into its hardware business
When Google announced plans in August to acquire Motorola Mobility for $12.5 billion, some assumed the company would start actively involving itself in handset development. But in an interview today at All Things Digital's AsiaD conference, Google Android boss Andy Rubin said that this simply won't happen. "I don't think you should consider Google's acquisition of Motorola as Google entering the hardware business," Rubin said during the interview. "This is going to be an arm's length thing...Motorola isn't going to get any special treatment." Rubin's comments seem to follow what Google has been saying since the Motorola Mobility acquisition was announced two months ago. Google has consistently said that it's not getting into the hardware business and has gone so far as to try to convince other Android handset vendors of that. In fact, just following the news of Google's acquisition plans, HTC CEO Peter Chou said publicly that he was happy to see the search giant acquire Motorola … [Read more...] about Google: Motorola buy won’t put us into hardware business
I watched the launch of Microsoft's new Surface Pro 3 recently with great interest. Microsoft's decision to enter the hardware business has been a double-edged sword for the compay. On the one hand, it was able to use the original Surface RT and the Intel versions to help jumpstart the Windows tablet market and pretty much forced its partners to join them. But this also angered those partners since Microsoft is now competing twith them. That is why I did a double take when Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella opened the Surface Pro 3 launch event by saying that Microsoft does not want to compete with its partners. Creating a premium product like the Surface Pro 3 and selling it in Microsoft stores and other retail outlets right next to similar convertibles and tablets from partners seems like competing directly with them in my book. While on the surface Microsoft's partners have largely accepted the fact that Microsoft is not getting out of the tablet hardware business, they are not … [Read more...] about Should Microsoft Ditch the Hardware Business?