Activision Blizzard has announced that they are buying out King Digital for $5.9 billion. King Digital is known for the popular mobile game, “Candy Crush Saga.” Activision Blizzard is publisher of popular games such as World of Warcraft, Destiny, Guitar Hero, Skylanders, and Call of Duty. Activision has a weakness in the mobile market but by buying King Digital, it may have a plan to change this.
According to Bobby Kotick, the Activision Blizzard CEO, this will solidify them being a very strong company:
“The combined revenues and profits solidify our position as the largest, most profitable standalone company in interactive entertainment. With a combined global network of more than half a billion monthly active users, our potential to reach audiences around the world on the device of their choosing enables us to deliver great games to even bigger audiences than ever before.”
Riccardo Zacconi, CEO of King, believes this will help the business:
“We are excited to be entering into this Acquisition with Activision Blizzard. Since 2003, we have built one of the largest player networks on mobile and Facebook, with 474 million monthly active users in the third quarter 2015, and our talented team has created some of the most successful mobile game franchises. We believe that the Acquisition will position us very well for the next phase of our company’s evolution and will bring clear benefits to our players and employees. We will combine our expertise in mobile and free-to-play with Activision Blizzard’s world-class brands and proven track record of building and sustaining the most successful franchises, to bring the best games in the world to millions of players worldwide. We are very much looking forward to working with Activision Blizzard. We have two teams that, together, will have an amazing footprint, innovative technology, and leadership across platforms, and unique, established IPs to delight one of the largest networks of players in the world.”
King Digital also has not as popular games such as Farm Heroes and Pet Rescue. Some other mobile game companies have failed to follow up with new hits after their initial successful game, such as Finland’s Rovio which is the creator of the Angry Birds mobile game.
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In their efforts to revitalize its handset business, Lenovo Group has decided that its Motorola Mobility division will take over the company’s smartphone development as well as manufacturing. This reorganization is due to the company’s hopes to cut costs while enabling the Chinese company to produce better products. Chen Xudong, the head of Lenovo’s mobile business group, has said in an open letter that this move will help provide for better products by taking the best technology and resources from both Lenovo and Motorola Mobility.
Lenovo recently acquired Motorola Mobility just last year for $2.91 billion in order to expand its handset business beyond China. But according to analysts, Lenovo’s main challenge has been managing the Motorola team while simultaneously dealing with its existing smartphone operation. Lenovo is currently striving to create products which can better stand out, and hopes that Motorola’s role in phone development will help to leverage Lenovo’s existing distribution channels to promote their phones.
"We want to create profitable growth, not just simply expand our market share," said Chen. “A price war won’t bring success.”
Despite the restructuring of the company, Lenovo will still continue using both the Lenovo and Motorola brands. The Motorola team is actually in charge of Lenovo’s smartwatch development as well. Analysts have suggested that Lenovo’s weak point is in their lack of a unifying design. While Lenovo smartphone products are not poor in performance or quality, they still lack a design language that is unique. Lenovo might find some help with this in their Motorola team, as Motorola products utilizes a more standard version of Android while emphasizing customizable covers for their phones. In the upcoming months, Lenovo intends on holding a product unveiling for a new Motorola device.
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T-Mobile has announced a huge expansion to extend coverage and calling across the United States, Mexico, and Canada for all Simple Choice customers at no additional charge. The new expansion called “Mobile without Borders” is an industry first that allows for calling to both land lines and mobile phones. In addition, 4G LTE data can be accessed straight from the customer’s plan in all three countries at no extra cost. T-Mobile’s Simple Choice plan will become the first and only wireless plan to span an entire continent. AT&T has spent billions on purchasing Mexican telecoms looking to be the first seamless network to cover the United State and Mexico, however T-Mobile plans to release their program first and up AT&T’s plan by offering Canada for free as well.
The expansion removes a significant discomfort for wireless customers in the United States by providing easier communication to the highest accessed countries by the United States. In 2014, 35% of all international calls and 55% of all international travel from the United States was the Mexico and Canada alone. Over 70% of international trips taken by small and mid-sized business travelers were to Mexico and Canada. In addition, approximately $10 billion in global roaming charges at over 90% margins were accumulated by carriers. Long distance calls to Mexico and Canada totaled to approximately 25 billion minutes.
The expansion also brings T-Mobile closer to overtaking Sprint as the 3rd largest mobile carrier. T-Mobile is the nation’s fourth largest wireless carrier with 56.8 million customers. At only 300,000 more ahead, Sprint’s 57.1 million customer base may be overtaken after T-Mobile’s continental plan is exercised.
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The major electronics company Samsung will now be manufacturing Qualcomm’s new Snapdragon 820 application processor. Previously manufactured by Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company, the Snapdragon 820 will be Qualcomm’s new top of the line member of the processor family and is most likely to be used in 2016 flagship smartphones. Samsung’s 14-nanometer processes allow for the chips to be cheaper as well as possess better battery life in comparison to the 20-nanometer chips provided by Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company. The Snapdragon 820 will be the first of its kind to use Qualcomm’s custom 64-bit, ARMv8 “Kryo” CPU architecture. This feature, along with LTE modems, served as a big player for Qualcomm to rise above its competitors earlier this decade.
Qualcomm Snapdragon is a family of mobile SoC (systems on a chip) that is used as a platform in smartphones, tablets, and smartbook devices. The innovative chip design includes an embedded central processing unit (CPU), GPU, DSP, audio/video decoders, and wireless hardware. The main feature of the Snapdragon that keeps it unique to competitors is that they have the modem for cellular communication on-die. This means the chip does not require an external cellular modem on the PCB. There currently exist 8 different main versions of the Snapdragon with different varieties under the 200 to 800 series. The newest version Snapdragon 820, will be available for sampling in late 2015 and is expected to be in smartphones by 2016.
Samsung is a multinational conglomerate headquartered in Seoul, South Korea. Their business ranges from chemicals to medical equipment to apparel and more. However, the company is most well known for their electronics and electronic devices. The Samsung Electronics division is the flagship subsidiary of the Samsung Group. Approximately 70% of Samsung Group’s revenue stems from this subsidiary. Samsung Electronics covers a wide range of electronics such as consumer electronics, telecommunication equipment, semiconductors, and home appliances.
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Well known for their durable protective cases for mobile devices, OtterBox is the number 1 selling manufacturer of cases for smartphones in Canada and the United States. The company was founded as a manufacturer of device-specific smartphone cases, tablet cases, and waterproof boxes for outdoor enthusiasts in 1998. Since their establishment in 1998, OtterBox has evolved their offering of products to include 8 different lines of cases, including: the Defender Series, the Preserver Series, the Symmetry Series, the Commuter Series, the Resurgence Series, the Agility Tablet System, Alpha Glass, and Clearly Protected.
The Defender Series is a 3-layer protecting case with a built-in screen protector that can prevent scratches and withstand bumps, shocks, and drops. The Preserver Series is a fully submergible waterproof case made up of a two-piece snap assembly which allows for easy installation without compromising protection. The Symmetry Series is offered in a wide array of graphics and colors, allowing for a wide selection of cases with streamlined designs that also protect your mobile device from shock and drops.
The Commuter Series is a durable line of 2-layer protected mobile cases with a sleek design allowing for easy access in and out of pockets. The Resurgence Series is a dual purpose mobile case: in addition to offering the standard protection provided by OtterBox products, the Resurgence Series is capable of providing your mobile device with more than 2 times its battery power. The Agility Tablet System offers a variety of protective products and accessories for a range of tablets. Alpha Glass is a fortified glass screen protector which allows for an anti-shatter and anti-scratch screen which is capable of displaying flawless clarity. Clearly Protected is an innovative line of high-strength, self-healing polyurethane screen protectors available in a variety of options.
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