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Foxconn to Buy Sharp... Or Will it?

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Foxconn to Buy Sharp... Or Will it?

Sharp confirmed earlier reports with the announcement it is being bought out by Foxconn-- but hardly a day passed before the Taiwanese giant announced it is delaying the acquisition until it assesses the financial risks involved in buying the ailing Japanese firm.

The Sharp takeover is worth around $6.24 billion (or ¥700bn), and is the first (and largest) acquisition of a major Japanese company by a foreign entity. Reportedly Foxconn has been chasing after Sharp for 5 years, since owning the Japanese company provides technological leverage against the likes of Samsung, not to mention access to lucrative Apple display contracts.

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VTech Buys LeapFrog

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VTech Buys LeapFrog

VTech acquires struggling rival in education toys LeapFrog for around $72 million, following years of declining sales in part caused by more grown competition such as the Apple iPad.

Founded in 1995, Leapfrog was best known for the LeapPad. Initially an interactive digital book, the device was turned into a rugged mini-tablet in 2011, following the launch of the first iPad. The tablet-style LeapPad was popular at first, but sales started waning as Apple and other vendors started launching smaller, lower-cost tablets.

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Economic Woes Hit "Record" Apple Q1

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Economic Woes Hit

Apple revenues reach a record $75.9 billion with profits worth $18.4bn on fiscal Q1 2016, with international sales accounting for 66% of the quarterly results.

“Our team delivered Apple’s biggest quarter ever, thanks to the world’s most innovative products and all-time record sales of iPhone, Apple Watch and Apple TV,” CEO Tim Cook says. “The growth of our Services business accelerated during the quarter to produce record results, and our installed base recently crossed a major milestone of one billion active devices.”

However the company does show signs of slowdown, as the aforementioned record revenues reflect an increase of just 2% Y-o-Y-- a distinct decline from the 30% Y-o-Y growth seen back in fiscal Q1 2015. The company attributes such decline to slowing iPhone sales in the mature US and Japanese markets, as well as currency woes and economic slowdown hitting the rest of the world.

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Zagg Buys Mophie

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Zagg Buys Mophie

In a move bringing the start of a phone accessory making empire Zagg acquires Mophie for $100 million-- creating a "diversified leader" in battery cases, external batteries, screen protectors and tablet keyboards.

Zagg makes products ranging from smartphone cases to keyboards. On the other hand Mophie is best known for iPhone and Android smartphone battery cases and external batteries packs. The deal creates a company with combined 2015 net sales of around $470m, as well as increased product creation capability and expanded global distribution channels.

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Foxconn to Buy Sharp?

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Foxconn to Buy Sharp?

According to both the Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg Foxconn is bidding around $5.3 billion for struggling Japanese electronics maker Sharp, with a decision to take place by end January 2016.

Such an acquisition would be the biggest for the Taiwanese contract manufacturer since the 2009 $5.3 billion takeover of Innolux, the Chi Mei Optoelectronics display-making unit. Foxconn already offered to invest in Sharp back in 2012, but the two companies failed to agree on management control, leading Sharp to turn to government-backed Innovation Network Corp of Japan (INCJ) for funding.

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AMD Revenues Continue to Slide in Q4 2015

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AMD Revenues Continue to Slide in Q4 2015

AMD revenues drop by -23% Y-o-Y to $958 million in Q4 2015, even as the company manage to narrow net losses from $330m in Q4 2014 to $102m, the result of seasonally lower semi-custom SoC sales.

Also to blame is (perhaps obviously) client processor sale decline-- the ailing PC industry brought about a -29% decline in AMD computing business revenues reaching $470m with $99m operating loss. Further hitting the company are declining game console royalties and lower server and embedded revenues.

The quarter did see AMD gross margin increase to 30%, a figure affected by a 2015 inventory write-down worth $65m (the result of selling older-gen APUs at a loss).

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Datacentre, IoT Drive Intel Q4 2015

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Datacentre, IoT Drive Intel Q4 2015

Intel beats Wall Street estimates in Q4 2015, with revenues reaching $14.9 billion (slightly higher than forecasts of $14.8bn) while full-year 2015 revenues total $55.4bn.

Net income for Q4 2015 totals $3.6bn, a -1% Y-o-Y decrease.

“Our results for the fourth quarter marked a strong finish to the year and were consistent with expectations,” CEO Brian Krzanich says. “Our 2015 results demonstrate that Intel is evolving and our strategy is working. This year, we’ll continue to drive growth by powering the infrastructure for an increasingly smart and connected world.”

As one might expect from Intel talk of a "Post-PC" identity, the company is busy trying to transition away from PCs-- an industry still in decline, as Client Computing Group (covers PC and mobile efforts) revenues drop by -1% Y-o-Y to $8.8bn. The company adits 2015 was a year lacking in desktop enterprise upgrades, and as such hopes 2016 will be the year of commercial transition from Windows 7 to Windows 10.

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The CIT Top 10 for 2015

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The CIT Top 10 for 2015

As 2015 heads to a close, it is customary to reflect on the year it has been. So join us as we check what we think are the top CIT stories of the past 365-or-so days...

2015, Year of the Smartwatch: It has been some time coming, but 2015 is the year where the smartwatch became less of a curio and more of an actual device desired by regular consumers. The Apple Watch was, of course, the market's main drivers, but other vendors were quick to follow with similar wrist-worn devices.

Virtual Reality Edges Towards the Mainstream: 2015 did not actually see the release of any big name virtual reality headsets, but news involving the revamped product category came thick and fast. The Facebook-owned Oculus revealed the final version of the Rift, as did Samsung with the smartphone-powered Gear VR. Meanwhile Google presented an update on the View-Master, and even Valve announced a collaboration with HTC in VR headsets.

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Toshiba, Fujitsu, Vaio Consider PC Merger?

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Toshiba, Fujitsu, Vaio Consider PC Merger?

In Japan, Nikkei reports on a deal that could re-shape the face of PC distribution, Toshiba, Fujitsu and Vaio might merge their PC operations creating a "top player" holding around 30% share of the Japanese market and 6% of global market (just under Apple's current global ranking.)

Negotiations on the deal should take place sometime in December, with expectations of a combined company launch in April 2016.

Nikkei adds the companies would unite under the Vaio brand name, with the combined entity integrating domestic and overseas operations, from R&D to production and sales.

Toshiba and Fujitsu already have an interest in Vaio-- the companies fund Japan Industrial Partners, the top Vaio shareholder.

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