Tuesday, July 30, 2013

BlackBerry interim CEO Chen gets $85 million of restricted stock and $1 million base salary

On Monday, Fairfax Financial pulled out of its $9 a share purchase of BlackBerry. The company's largest shareholder not only couldn't find financing for its bid, it also felt that this was not the time to invest in an LBO. The deal was scrapped and instead, Fairfax said that it would lead a $1 billion investment in the beleaguered manufacturer. BlackBerry will sell convertible debt, and Fairfax itself will take down $250 million of the paper.

On Thursday, the Wall Street Journal listed the names of the other investors in the Canadian company, as listed in a regulatory filing made by Fairfax. For example, Ontario-based Canso Investment Counsel Ltd bought the biggest slice of the debt, $300 million. Other names in the group include Toronto firms Mackenzie Financial Corp. and Brookfield Asset Management Inc. Other investors include Markel Corp.out of Virginia, and Qatar Holding LLC.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Nvidia CEO calls Android the most "versatile" OS in history

Jen-Hsun Huang is a co-founder, president and CEO of Nvidia which means that the executive wears quite a few hats at the chip manufacturer. One hat is that of an Android fan. During Nvidia's conference call on Thursday following the release of its third quarter numbers, Huang had some positive words to say about Google's open source OS.

"Android is the most disruptive operating system that we've seen in a few decades, in a couple of decades," said Huang. He also called it the most "versatile" operating system ever seen, noting how it connects to the cloud and can also come out of the box full of apps making it useful from the moment you first boot up an Android powered device. The versatility comes from Android's ability to drive more than just smartphones. Huang notes how the OS can also be found on tablets, gaming systems, set-top boxes and all-in-one PCs.

Friday, July 5, 2013

iPad Air costs Apple $274 to make, has fatter profit margin than the iPad 4

Research firm IHS iSupply has torn down the new Apple iPad Air, providing valuable insight into the components cost breakdown. Its full report is not due until a few weeks from now, but for the time being it lets us know that the iPad Air starts off at $274 for Apple. This makes it actually cheaper to produce than the previous generation, despite the ultra thin and light machined aluminum design.

The most expensive part is, naturally, the 9.7" 2048 x 1536 pixels display package, which is now 20% thinner than before, with brighter and more efficient LED lighting, reducing the amount of sources from 84 to 36, thus contributing to one of the most compact tablet designs out there. This screen is said to cost $90 for the display, and $43 for the integrated touchscreen part, making for a grand total of $133 - the most expensive part in the tablet.