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Tech News: Apple's R&D Spending Climbs to $1 Billion


Plus, Nokia's partnership with Microsoft hurts more than it helps.

This column highlights the most interesting and useful business and financial commentary on technology daily.

Tech Crunch
Link: Apple's R&D Spending Climbs $1 Billion to $3.4 Billion During FY 2012
"Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) released the 10-K it filed with the SEC today, reflecting its financial status and records for the entirety of 2012. Most of the content is what we've seen already from quarterly results, but a couple of statistics stood out as particularly interesting and worthy of note. For one, Apple spent $3.4 billion in research and development during its 2012 fiscal year, up $1 billion from 2011. Apple also significantly added to its full-time employee pool, with around 12,400 new hires.

"The new R&D spending total for the year is perhaps the most impressive number, since it's an increase that's much larger than at any time in the company's past. Between 2011 and 2010, for instance, R&D spend rose only $600,000, and between 2010 and 2009, grew by only $500,000. The massive jump in the research budget could be accounted for by a number of factors during a year when we saw a number of new products launch."

ReadWrite Mobile
Link: Nokia's Partnership With Microsoft Hurts More Than It Helps
"Nokia (NYSE:NOK) has bet the company on Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) and its Windows Phone mobile operating system. That would be a risky but defensible bet… if Nokia was the only company making Windows Phones. Unfortunately for Nokia, other mobile manufacturers also vie for consumer attentions with Windows Phones, notably HTC and Samsung, two companies that have been directly responsible for Nokia's overall fall from grace in the last few years. In many ways, Nokia's partnership with Microsoft has hurt it as much as it has helped.

"When third-quarter smartphone shipment numbers were released last week, Nokia, for the first time, had fallen out of the top three manufacturers in the world. By research firm Strategy Analytics' count, Nokia fell all the way to ninth!"

Move Aside Netflix Naysayers - Carl Icahn Grabs 10% Stake in Netflix
"Billionaire financier Carl Icahn has set his sights on streaming video giant Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX), taking a 10% stake in the company, according to an SEC document filed today.

"Netflix has come under fire from shareholders for a number of reasons. The company is currently dumping all of its profits into international expansion, spending lots of money on content licensing (including the cost of producing its own HBO-quality shows), and facing increased competition from Amazon's (NASDAQ:AMZN) Prime Instant Video service, Hulu, and a new joint venture between Verizon (NYSE:VZ) and Redbox (NASDAQ:CSTR). That's caused its stock price to drop over the last several quarters because investors see it as a very big risk. That's despite Netflix mostly following through on all its proposed strategy thus far."

USA Stock Report
Link: Google Announces New Nexus Devices
"Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG) has announced three new Nexus devices – in 'small, medium and large' as they phrase it. They all run on a new and improved version of Android – Android 4.2. Originally scheduled to be launched at a press event in New York City, Hurricane Sandy prompted Google to instead use a blog on its website to promote the new offerings.

"'Small' is the Nexus 4 smartphone, made by LG Electronics (KRX:066570). It has a 4.7 inch screen, 2 GB of RAM, a choice of 8 or 16 GB of storage, an 8 megapixel rear camera, a 1.3 megapixel front camera, a micro-USB port, NFC and wireless charging. A feature of Android 4.2 they call 'Photo Sphere' allows users to shoot 360 degree panorama photos."

Bloomberg News
Link: Sharp Says It Faces Material Doubt on Survival
"Sharp Corp. (PINK:SHCAY), the world's worst- performing major stock, said there was "material doubt" about its ability to survive after forecasting a record $5.6 billion full-year loss on falling demand for its display panels.

"The net loss will probably be 450 billion yen in the year ending March 31, the Osaka-based TV maker said in a statement today, scrapping its earlier projection for a 250 billion-yen loss. The new forecast compares with the 296 billion-yen loss average of 17 analyst estimates compiled by Bloomberg."
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