Samsung's profit slides as mobile power wanes
Samsung Electronics' smartphone business saw a slide in operating profit of 64 percent in fourth quarter results reported Thursday, as competition from Apple at the high end and Xiaomi and Lenovo at the low end cut into business. But its semiconductor business improved thanks to increased demand for its DRAM. Overall, net profit fell for the third quarter in a row, this time by 27 percent from a year earlier.
Apple ties with Samsung for smartphone market share
The iPhone 6 has sold so well that Apple tied with Samsung for the top position in the smartphone market in the fourth quarter, closing the gap with its South Korean competitor. Both Apple and Samsung shipped 74.5 million smartphones during the period, each claiming close to 20 percent share of the market, research firm Strategy Analytics said.
Qualcomm issues a warning as "major customer" defects
Samsung may be fending off competitors on all sides but it's still a hugely important customer in the mobile space, and its rumored decision not to use Qualcomm's 64-bit Snapdragon 810 in its upcoming Galaxy S6 smartphone may be hitting the chipmaker hard. Qualcomm said revenue from its chip division will be lower than expected in the second half of the year, in part because the 810 "will not be in the upcoming design cycle of a large customer's flagship device."
Amazon takes the email fight to Google and Microsoft
Amazon.com is getting ready to jump into the online hosted apps space, with an email service that will go up against Gmail and Microsoft's cloud-based email. The offering is said to be called WorkMail, and targets the enterprise.
Tech firms balk at new Chinese cybersecurity rules
The Chinese government will require companies that sell IT gear to Chinese banks to turn over source code and build back doors into their systems, and foreign tech companies have registered their concern in a letter to the authorities, the New York Times reports. Copies of the rules, not yet public, have been circulating, and companies believe they are also intended to force them out of one of the world's biggest markets.
Bill Gates drops hints about secret Microsoft project
During an "ask me anything" session on Reddit Wednesday, Bill Gates dropped an intriguing hint about an unreported Microsoft project. Asked about future technologies, he said he's working on a "Personal Agent" which will "remember everything and help you go back and find things and help you pick what things to pay attention to." Sounds like it could be related to some of the machine learning stuff that Microsoft Research has been deep into?
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