Five Companies That Dropped The Ball This Week10:00 AM EST Fri. Jun. 29, 2012
Research In Motion's first quarter added another layer to an already teetering stack of pain, as the Canadian vendor posted a loss of 37 cents per share -- $518 million -- and a 42 percent drop in revenue.
That wasn't all: RIM revealed that its BlackBerry 10 operating system won't be ready until next year and that BlackBerry shipments dropped nearly 30 percent. RIM also said it was moving ahead with layoffs and would eliminate 5,000 jobs throughout the year.
None of this news inspired investors, and RIM shares plummeted more than 15 percent.
A California District judge this week granted Apple's request to ban sales of Samsung's Galaxy Tab 10.1 (left) in the U.S. on patent infringement grounds, dealing a blow to the No. 2 tablet maker. It's an ominous development considering that the same judge denied a similar request from Apple back in December.
"Although Samsung has a right to compete, it does not have a right to compete unfairly, by flooding the market with infringing products," Judge Lucy Koh wrote in the ruling, which was published online by All Things Digital. "While Samsung will certainly suffer lost sales from the issuance of an injunction, the hardship to Apple of having to directly compete with Samsung's infringing products outweighs Samsung's harm in light of the previous findings by the Court."
Prior to this week, Acer had forecast that Ultrabooks would make up between 25 percent and 35 percent of its worldwide notebook shipment by year's end. This week, reality came crashing in, and Acer's EMEA chief, Oliver Ahrens, said the company now expects Ultrabooks to comprise around 10 percent of its notebook business this year.
"Overall the Ultrabook segment is developing much slower than projected by Intel and we have already adjusted our strategy on this in the last quarter," Ahrens told The Register this week.
Ahrens last week also rained on Microsoft's Surface tablet parade, dismissing it as a competitive threat and predicting that Microsoft's hardware foray would not succeed. Maybe this guy needs to work on his bedside manner.
T-Mobile USA CEO Philipp Humm (left), who led the carrier in its failed merger with AT&T, jumped ship this week for a position at Vodafone, leading northern and central Europe operations.
Rene Obermann, CEO of Deutsche Telekom, T-Mobile USA's parent company, said Humm helped improve T-Mobile USA's cost situation during his tenure as CEO. "Now we need somebody who can convert initiatives into market successes," Obermann said in a statement.
In a somewhat embarrassing mini-scandal, Orbitz executives acknowledged that the company has been displaying higher-priced rooms to Mac users vs. PC users in Web searches. Armed with data from its number crunchers, which shows that Mac users typically spend between $20 and $30 more per night on hotels than PC users, Orbitz decided to show more expensive rooms to the former group, just to see what would happen.
"We had the intuition, and we were able to confirm it based on the data," Orbitz Chief Technology Officer Roger Liew told The Wall Street Journal.