Thanks to robust revenues and iPhone sales, Apple’s strong second-quarter earnings managed to catch most analysts sleeping. Better yet for the company that Steve Jobs built, “With the company forecasting modestly higher earnings in the coming quarter and expectations that the iPhone 6 could be a blockbuster come September, Apple’s stock soared to levels not seen since the end of last year,” Forbes reports.
David Einhorn, the influential hedge fund manager, thinks we’re witnessing another tech bubble. Yet, describing today’s as an “echo of the previous tech bubble,” Einhorn writes in a new letter to investors that there are currently “fewer large capitalization stocks and much less public enthusiasm” this time around. “This means that the current bubble, such as it is, is smaller, and when it does deflate … there will be less carnage -- blood, red ink, or otherwise,” TechCrunch notes.
Even before its official, Google’s Glass project appears to have fallen out of favor among top tech influencers. Among others, “Robert Scoble, the influential technology writer and early Glass apostle -- after first trying them out, he vowed never to go without them again -- has changed his mind,” Forbes reports. Ed Sanders, head of marketing for Project Glass, sees the backlash “as quite a necessary symptom of a company that’s trying to be disruptive.”
Google and Apple are happy to promote popular mobile games, just so long as they are given exclusive distribution rights. “Apple and Google are offering … a promotional boost for … games by giving them premium placement on their app stores' home pages,” The Wall Street Journal reports. “The two … have been wooing game developers to ensure that top-tier game titles arrive first on devices powered by their respective operating systems.”
Convinced that U.S. consumers need another mapping service, Citymapper just closed a $10 million Series A round led by Balderton Capital, along with Connect Ventures, Index Ventures and Greylock Partners. Citymapper specializes in navigating the complexities of public transportation in big cities. “More known in London than it is in the U.S. … it plans to expand into other big metro areas where large numbers of public transit commuters live,” GigaOm reports.
Making big mobile moves, Netflix is reportedly in talks with Vodafone about streaming top content to the carrier’s millions of subscribers. “A deal would give Vodafone customers free access to Netflix content for a period of time,” Bloomberg reports, citing sources. More broadly, “Vodafone is adding more content to its lineup … for customers who want to access applications, entertainment, and files on fixed and mobile connections.”
If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em -- or pay them a ton of money to join you. That seems to be the logic behind HTC’s decision to hire Paul Golden, Samsung’s former U.S. CMO, as a consultant. Credited with co-developing Samsung’s successful Galaxy brand, Golden’s commitment is a big win for a troubled brand. Citing one analyst, The Wall Street Journal reports: “The company's global smartphone market share has slid to less than 2%.”
All is not well at Hulu, The Information reports. In fact, along with “executive turmoil and mixed messages about the site’s direction,” the co-venture’s board just killed a major project in the late states of development, sources tell the paid news service. That’s apparently why Charlotte Koh, Hulu’s late head of development, just decided to leave the company.
With the help of Shazam, Apple will reportedly add a song-identification feature to the next version of its iOS mobile software. Yes, “Apple wants to help you name that tune,” Bloomberg reports, citing sources. To do so, “Apple is working with Shazam Entertainment Ltd., whose technology can quickly spot what’s playing by collecting sound from a phone’s microphone and matching it against a song database.”
Yahoo is secretly betting its future on mobile search monetization, sources tell Kara Swisher. “The lodestone of two internal projects aimed at building a viable mobile search engine and monetization platform is to convince Apple to make Yahoo the default search engine on its Safari browser on the iPhone and iPad,” Swisher reports in Re/Code. The problem is that Google currently holds that position, and won’t willingly surrender it.