Krikey, what a day for the tech world! On top of the jury siding with Google over the Oracle lawsuit, we’ve got Seagate buying up LaCie, HP slashing eight percent of its workforce over the next two years and Apple CEO Tim Cook failing to cut a deal with Samsung CEO Choi Gee-sung over their long-standing patent dispute. Oh, and DigiTimes says they’ll work harder to make Apple rumors more accurate. Yes, seriously. Read on to check out all the news for Wednesday, May 23, 2012!
Seagate Plans to Acquire Controlling Interest in LaCie
One would think with all of the hard drives in the world, the market would be strong, but the announcement today that Seagate intends to acquire controlling interest of LaCie certainly gives one pause. The storage titan has offered to purchase LaCie CEO Philippe Spruch’s 64.5 percent ownership, which pins the value of the deal at $186 million USD. Spruch plans to join Seagate and lead the company’s consumer product division when the deal closes. “With the proliferation of devices and content being shared and stored today, consumer demand for high-quality branded storage solutions continues to grow,” said Philippe Spruch, LaCie’s chairman and CEO. “We are excited about the potential for this combination to benefit customers and employees by creating significant scale and opening up new markets. We look forward to making the resources of a much larger company available to our customers around the world."
Heads Will Roll: HP Confirms 27,000 Job Losses Coming
Hewlett-Packard has confirmed the worst fears today, announcing “approximately” 27,000 of its employees will be gone by the end of the 2014 fiscal year. That amounts to eight percent of its current workforce which numbers 350,000 worldwide; those on the chopping block will be offered an early retirement program. HP’s aggressive restructuring is expected to save the company upwards of $3.5 billion, with those savings being “reinvested back into the company.” The company also posted Q2 2012 earnings which narrowly passed Wall Street expectations, with income down three percent to $30.7 billion (analysts had predicted $29.92 billion). Grim news out of Palo Alto, but CEO Meg Whitman is wasting no time trying to right the sinking ship.
DigiTimes: “We’ll Try to Do Better” on Apple Rumors
Time Techland has an interesting followup report on DigiTimes, the Taiwanese website that is frequently cited as a source of Apple rumors -- even though they tend to get it more wrong than right most of the time. As it turns out, DigiTimes deputy managing editor Joseph Chen felt compelled to set the record straight in an email to Time Techland’s Harry McCracken: “Digitimes has indeed reported much on Apple, and many of the products that we said would be launched have never been launched, or have had their launches delayed. But that does not mean that we were crying wolf or passing along gossip. In fact, Apple have a lot of its R&D projects and ideas tried out at its supply chain partners in Asia. Many of the prototypes created by the supply chain partners will never make it to the market after Apple’s assessments. This is one of the major reasons why a lot of the information we have disclosed has been seen by others as inaccurate, but is still valuable to our reader base in the supply chain. We understand the risks behind the kind of reporting we have been doing.” Fair enough. Chen also promises DigiTimes “will implement even stricter requirements for verification of such stories” in the future.
Apple, Samsung Patent Meetings Bear No Fruit After 2 Days
The Korea Times is reporting that closed door meetings between Apple CEO Tim Cook and Samsung CEO Choi Gee-sung have thus far bore no fruit after two days. The meeting was ordered by the court in an effort to get the smartphone makers to settle their patent disputes without dragging the whole ugly mess through the legal system. But that appears easier said than done. “The two technology giants could find no clear agreement through the talks,” a Samsung official told the newspaper. “Apple Korea declined to comment on the matter. The patent battle is now headed for trial in July, despite both firm’s stated wish to avoid legal proceedings.” Samsung is pushing for Cupertino to pay royalties on its wireless technology, while Apple isn’t backing down on claims that the Korean manufacturer has blatantly copied their designs.
Rumor: Microsoft Office for iOS, Android in November
Speaking of rumors, BGR is reporting that Microsoft may be planning to launch its full Office suite for not only the iPad but also Android tablets come this November. Of course, we’ve heard this one before, when a source for The Daily reported seeing MS Office running on an iPad first hand -- which BGR’s own “reliable source” also claims to have seen. For whatever it’s worth, the app’s splash screen showed “Office for iOS,” which means Redmond could be planning to also push the app onto the smaller screen of the iPhone and iPod touch come turkey month as well.
Follow this article’s author, J.R. Bookwalter on Twitter