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July 6

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Trending Tech: Acquisitions, RIM’s denial of ‘death spiral’ and mini iPad

July 6, 2012

The week begins with tech companies on an acquisition spree. Dell acquired Quest Software, Sony purchased online gaming company, Gaikai and Micron took over the bankrupt Japanese chipmaker, Elpida. In other news, Microsoft writes-down $6.2 billion over lackluster results from its AQuantive deal and Apple preps for a smaller tablet.

10. New European guidelines to address cloud computing
With cloud computing becoming an essential part of the tech industry, the European Commission’s panel on privacy is expected to endorse cloud computing as legal. For the first time, they will also recommend that large companies and organizations secure their personal information kept in remote locations. The new guidelines are expected to “pave the way for wider adoption of the remote-computing services” that are more common in the U.S.

9. Micron to acquire Japanese rival Elpida
Leading U.S. chipmaker Micron bought Elpida, maker of random access memory chips in a $2.5 billion deal. Elpida, an Apple supplier filed for bankruptcy as it was unable to repay debts. With Elpida under its belt, Micron currently stands behind Samsung and SK Hynix in the memory chips market and will be able to boost its competitiveness.

8. No ‘death spiral’ for RIM, chief executive say
Amidst unprecedented losses and evaporating market shares, troubled BlackBerry maker remains positive. RIM posted a huge loss and announced the delay of BlackBerry 10 causing concern over the company’s future. However, CEO Thorsten Heins said there is nothing wrong with the company and “RIM bets on quality and not speed.” However, in an industry where, speed is as important as quality time will tell if RIM can rise up to the occasion.  

7. Groupon launches world’s first offline store in Singapore
The online daily deals site launched its first “offline” store in Singapore. The Groupon Shop will allow customers to redeem lifestyle products and physically test some of the products sold. Also included are facilities to buy print and redeem coupons on the spot. “E-commerce just dropped the letter ‘E’” as the online site opens its offline store.

6. Sony shifts toward streaming game, purchases Gaikai
Sony acquired online video game company Gaikai for $380 million. The acquisition marks Sony’s shift from the traditional model of video games using disks or cartridges towards more modern, cloud-streaming games technology. Sony’s purchase of Gaikai offers the company a way to use its “- videogame business to enhance other electronic offerings-“such as tablets, phone or internet-connected television sets.

5. Samsung previews record-breaking second quarter
Samsung’s second quarter operating profit rose 79 percent from a year earlier bringing in a profit of almost $6 billion. The amount beat Samsung’s expectations; however, the South Korean company missed its revenue expectations causing shares to fall. Despite the setback, Samsung’s Galaxy phones are still in first place in U.S. market share. With Galaxy S III, analysts expect third quarter earnings to record better performance and higher sales revenue.

4. Amazon acquires 3D mapping software
Google and Apple have been in the mobile mapping action for years and now its Amazon’s turn to enter this market. Amazon acquired UpNext, a startup in 3D mapping software. Currently, there are no mapping applications on Kindle Fire, but this recent acquisition will enable Amazon to offer interactive 3D mapping abilities to the tablet.

3. Dell wins bidding war for Quest
Dell won the bidding war for Quest software earlier this week, paying $2.3 billion for the acquisition. Earlier this year Dell formed a unit dedicated to selling software in an effort to expand beyond PCs. Since then the company has been on an acquisition spree, but the real challenge will be to integrate all the software units it bought and create a “cohesive software arm.” 

2. Apple preps for smaller tablet
Reportedly, Apple is preparing to release an iPad with a smaller screen. With tech companies bringing tablets of various sizes and specs, the tablet market has become increasingly competitive. The world’s most valuable company is reportedly preparing for a mass production in September of the smaller screen iPad likely to be on shelves by the end of this year.

1. Microsoft writing down $6.2 billion over AQuantive deal
Microsoft’s 2007 acquisition of AQuantive, a digital advertising company did not offer the expected push into online advertising that the company anticipated. As a result Microsoft took a $6.2 billion write-down, almost the entire amount it paid for the acquisition. However, the accounting charge will not affect the “financial performance or its online services division operations”. Even though AQuantive did not provide the expected results, its online division has shown improvements.

Disclosure: Amazon, Groupon, Microsoft and Samsung are Weber Shandwick clients.