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Tech News: Facebook Beats Third-Quarter Expectations Thanks to Mobile Revenue


Also, Zynga fires everyone during the Apple announcement.

This column highlights the most interesting and useful business and financial commentary on technology from around the Web every day.

Wired Business
Link: Facebook Beats Street, Says Mobile Money Pouring In
"Facebook's (NASDAQ:FB) CEO touted exploding mobile revenue in a call with Wall Street analysts after the social network posted better-than-expected third quarter earnings, reversing a revenue deceleration.

"In after-hours trading, Facebook shares rose 10 percent on the news, indicating Wall Street is beginning to put behind its worries about Facebook's decelerating sales growth, driven by a shift from desktop usage to mobile usage and from U.S. growth to international growth. Facebook makes less money on mobile and international users."

All Things D
Link: Apple Doesn't Need a $200 iPad Mini
"With a starting price tag of $329, Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) new iPad mini may be too expensive to attract budget-conscious consumers drawn to Google's (NASDAQ:GOOG) Nexus 7 and Amazon's (NASDAQ:AMZN) Kindle Fire, which, at $249 and $199, are significantly cheaper. But does that even matter?

"Wall Street seems to think so. Apple's shares slipped Tuesday following the mini's unveiling and the announcement that Apple hadn't hit the $299 price point that many had hoped for, let alone the $249 barn burner that some analysts at predicted. To those folks, the iPad mini may not be cheap enough to resonate with price-sensitive users looking for tablets at the market's lower end."

Link: Blight on the Farm(ville): Zynga Sneaks in Major Layoffs During Apple Press Event
"Anyone who knows the tech industry will tell you: the best time to announce bad news is smack dab in the middle of an Apple announcement. Actually, ask Zynga (NASDAQ:ZNGA), the ailing maker of Facebook games, which today snuck out some very bad news indeed -- that CEO Mark Pincus had sprung a surprise layoff on his game developers, laying off 5% of the company's total workforce.

"As the collective tech blogosphere had its blinders on during today's iPad mini announcement in San Jose, reports bubbled up on Twitter that Zynga had quietly let go more than 100 employees in its Austin office. This afternoon, Zynga confirmed with us that it had not only culled its Austin team, but just announced the closure of its Boston office. Zynga intends to also close its bases in Japan and the UK."

The Next Web
Link: AT&T Activates 4.7 Million iPhones in Q3, 77% of Smartphone Sales
"Issuing its third-quarter financial results today, US operator AT&T (NYSE:T) continued to see strong iPhone sales, announcing that it activated 4.7 million iPhones in the quarter – 77 percent of its 6.1 million total smartphone sales.

"The launch of the iPhone 5 (which went on sale at the very end of its third quarter) helped push activations up by a million from the previous quarter, where they totalled 3.7 million (or 73 percent of its smartphone sales)."

Link: Don't Call the New Microsoft Surfact RT a Tablet, This Is a PC
"The Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) Surface RT is a PC. It's not a mobile device and it's not a tablet, it's a PC. And Microsoft's first self-branded computer. It is, in short, the physical incarnation of Microsoft's Windows 8.

"The expectations and competition for the Surface are daunting. It's been said that Microsoft built the Surface to show up HP, Dell, and the rest of the personal computing establishment. PC sales are stagnant while Apple is selling the iPad at an incredible pace. But the Surface is something different from other tablets. Microsoft built a PC for the post-PC consumer and chose to power it with a limited operating system called Windows RT. These trade-offs, real or imagined, are what really makes or breaks this device."
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