Techzone 360 Week in Review

By Tony Rizzo September 14, 2013

A number of interesting things took place this week, but by far the most interesting - and most important - was Tuesday's Apple iPhone event. Approximately a full year after the release of the iPhone 5, Apple has now come around to releasing its next generation, and this time around the company tore up its old playbook and took a different approach to its introductions. Rather than introduce a single new model and push the old model down the line as its lower cost option, this time Apple has released two new models - the new flagship 5S and a somewhat less expensive 5C.

Each of these phones will address different market segments, but the key difference here is that both of these smartphones employ a new set of Qualcomm LTE chips, which opens up every possible market for Apple to play in. In the past Apple had been extremely reluctant to build a different phone for the Chinese market, where China Mobile happens to rule the roost. The iPhone 5 and earlier models did not work on China Mobile's LTE networks.

Both the 5S and the 5C now do, so that both phones can now be sold by China Mobile and other global players without having to build out a separate China Mobile-only model. It is a big win for Apple here and we expect to see the Chinese market flourish for Apple as a result. That said, there is a huge deal more to the flagship 5S - it is a truly new and innovative smartphone and we've provided a deep dive in our coverage on this.

The week also brought us news that Twitter may finally be ready to launch its long awaited IPO. Twitter has taken the slow route and has not seemed in any hurry to make the IPO move, but the financial markets are currently in a perfect state of IPO equilibrium for launching IPOs and the company's very large investors (and private shareholders) are chomping at the bit to get the company out there and grab some ROI in the process. Is Twitter ready to accommodate them? That is the real question we try to answer in our analysis.

As both Twitter and Apple move forward with a certain excitement, the old school that is so aptly represented by Dell is taking steps back into the past. This week Michael Dell finally won over Dell's investors in his bid to take the company back and to take it private. 65 percent of investors voted to accept Dell's offer, which means the company will effectively become a private entity as soon as all the needed transactions are completed. We absolutely do not think this is the right direction for Dell to have taken and we believe that Michael Dell ended up greatly benefitting from his own miscues as CEO - which drove the Dell share price down in the first place.

NASA, meanwhile, is also looking to take itself into the future. Last Friday night NASA launched the LADEE lunar satellite from Wallops Island, Va., which was seen from Maine all the way down to North Carolina. The launch proved to be a social media boon to the agency and Orbital Sciences Corporation. Launched at 11:27 p.m. ET on Sept. 6, the Orbital Sciences Corporation Minotaur V launch vehicle lit up the night with white fire as it left the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport 0B launch pad from Wallops Island. Quickly ascending into the dark night sky, LADEE crossed the 100 kilometer boundary into space in about two minutes and 20 seconds as the Minotaur rapidly burned through its first two solid fuel stages. Check out why this is an exciting new adventure.

Anything NASA does is big of course, but another thing that is big is "big data" which is taking on an extraordinary life of its own. A new big data report from ABI Research claims that enterprise spending on big data will hit $31 billion in 2013, which is a rather huge number of dollars. However, that will prove to be a minor blip by the time we hit 2018, at which time the dollars spent will reach something a bit more NASA-like in terms of skyrocketing! Take a guess at the number and check out how accurate your guess was.

SAP is clearly well aware of the market size of big data and is certainly looking to reap its share of big data revenue. SAP primarily makes its mark through its ability to quickly analyze staggering amounts of business data and glean real time actionable insights from it. To help the company drive ever better results on this front SAP spent some dollars this week to acquire predictive analytics vendor KXEN. It will give SAP a further edge in delivering big data analytics.

We'll wrap the week's review up by noting that GENBAND, a provider of multimedia and cloud communications solutions, has also made an acquisition this week. In this case GENBAND opened its pockets to acquire the OTT (over the top) mobile IP communications services of fring. The company has over 50 million subscribers and it provides them with OTT services that include mobile group video chat, two way video chat, voice-only calls, extremely inexpensive fring-enabled calls to anywhere in the world, and of course, text chat. It's a great deal for GENBAND, which will now be able to deliver on these OTT capabilities for a much larger audience.

With that, we'll wrap up. Have a great weekend!

TechZone360 Senior Editor

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