1. April 2012: Facebook purchases Instagram for $1 billion
Acquisition of Instagram by Facebook five years ago was not surprising – for some time before Facebook had been working on a standalone photo app. Although the price was widely derided because of low revenue of Instagram, the deal has paid off. Now Instagram has 700 million users (while it has only 30 million before the deal). The launch of Stories in Instagram – actually a Snapchat clone, was successful enough to stop Snapchat’s user growth. Reportedly, Snap CEO Evan Spiegel declined a $3 billion offer from Facebook in 2013.
he deal concluded in 2000 between AOL and Time Warner Inc is considered the worst merger not only in the history of tech but also across the entire business world. $165 billion deal described as the “largest merger in American business history”. Two media giants were driven by the idea that the combined business would benefit from cooperation in technological infrastructure. The merger was proposed to give Time Warner the ability to digitise its content and grip a new online audience, AOL in return wanted access to Time Warner’s cable systems, and additional content to provide to its 27 million subscribers (40% of total US online subscribers). However in two years the merger resulted in a net loss of $99 billion, Time Warner Chief Jeff Bawkes described it as “the Biggest Mistake in Corporate History”, which ended with the separation of the two companies in 2009 substantially poorer than before the merger, and in 2015 Verizon bought AOL for $4.40 billion.
On August 30, 2017 new CEO has been introduced to Uber, what marks the end of a search that lasted more than two months. After a number of debates of Uber’s board of directors, former Expedia CEO Dara Khosrowshahi has taken this position. Although he is going to continue to serve on Expedia’s board of directors. He called the job the “opportunity of a lifetime” and he is expected to bring the company to the new level.
The owner of British luxury phone maker Vertu was unable to save the company from bankruptcy. The firm’s £128 million debt could not be covered by £1.9 million offered by its current owner Murat Hakan Uzan. Uzan bought the company in March, after it had been sold and re-sold by a number of investment companies with a hope to get the production up and running. As we may see, he did not succeed in this. Expectedly nearly 200 jobs at the manufacturing facility of Vertu in Hampshire will be lost as a result of the company’s liquidation. Сoncierge service, which gave Vertu phone owners 24-hour support was also suspended. According to the information on the website of the company, now it is focused “on developing completely new next generation suite of services, exclusively for our customers”. The new services are planned to be launched from September 2017.
In an attempt to reduce the environmental impact Samsung is going to recycle 157 tonnes of rare metals from its sadly remembered Galaxy Note 7s smartphones, which gained notoriety last year after a battery defect caused explosions.
Five years ago Google launched Google Glass – the futuristic gadget developed by Google X division – the company’s intellectual department where engineers develop way-out ideas. Driven by voice commands, Google Glass had quite impressive functionality and was worn by celebrities and featured a fashion show. However there were two problems with it. The first was quite strange design that could make you look like a dork and the second one was the privacy issue. In the end, Google withdrew the device in January 2015.
At the Elevate Summit in Dallas, Texas Uber announced its plan on bringing flying taxis to Dubai and Dallas by the year of 2020. These flying vehicles will be small, electric aircrafts that take off and land vertically. They will have no emissions and are quiet enough to operate in cities. In the beginning of operation the price for a flight is expected to be $1.32 per mile, which is a bit higher than taking UberX for the same distance.
The UAE ranks among the top 10 most competitive countries in the world, according to the world competitiveness ranking released by the IMD World Competitiveness Centre recently. The research group at the IMD business school in Switzerland publishes the rankings every year since 1989. The research uses 260 indicators, about two thirds of which include national statistics in such areas as trade and employment and one third is an executive opinion survey of such issues as corruption, environment and quality of life. This year 63 countries participated in the survey with Cyprus and Saudi Arabia making their first appearance.
When it comes to smartphones, many key areas are important to users: apps, price, battery life, and speed. Apple is expected to mark the tenth anniversary of the original iPhone’s release with complete design revision and other interesting changes already revealed to public. However where the speed is concerned there is some kind of uncertainty.