Tech tapas: Facebook IPO date, eBay’s share surge, Intel smartphone, Microsoft and Nokia earnings

It’s Tapas Thursday, here are small plates of what’s going on with the usual suspects.

• Here comes the IPO, all dressed in green. Facebook‘s big day is May 17, reports TechCrunch, citing multiple sources. Also, the New York Times reports that Facebook’s valuation could be $75 billion to more than $100 billion, based on what the Menlo Park company is supposed to have paid for mobile photo-sharing app Instagram.

EBay shares are going, going, up. The stock surge, which began after-hours Wednesday, continues the day after the San Jose online marketplace beat Wall Street’s expectations with a 20 percent rise in profit and 29 percent surge in revenue in the first quarter. On top of that, eBay raised its earnings forecast for 2012, its comeback fully on track. And lest its PayPal payments business get too much credit, an analyst told the Wall Street Journal: “What stuck out to me was not any one segment, but the fact that each of the business segments appears to be very healthy.”

Shares of eBay are nearly 14 percent higher to $40.70 as of this post, Earlier this morning, they reportedly their highest level in six years.

• That first Intel smartphone launch, the one CEO Paul Otellini referred to during the chip maker’s earnings call? It’s coming out in India. The company announced today the first smartphone with Intel inside: Xolo x900, which is made by India’s Lava International. The Android phone will have a 1.6 GHz Atom processor, 400 MHz graphics clock and 1080p HD video encoding and playback. It will cost about $420 and be available starting April 23.

• As Microsoft prepares to report earnings today — and investors and analysts look for clues about the expected launch of Windows 8 this fall — there are signs of trouble for its smartphone push. Nokia, which is working with Microsoft on smartphones as the two companies try to compete with iPhone and Android, posted a $1.2 billion quarterly loss today and said sales of its Lumia Windows Phone are mixed.

Nokia CEO Stephen Elop tried to voice optimism, according to the New York Times: “Lumia is up and running in the U.S.A. We are clearly in the heart of the transition.” However, the Wall Street Journal notes that Elop also said he plans to offer deep discount on Lumia phones to compete with cheaper Android devices.

Microsoft shares are down slightly, while Nokia shares are falling nearly 3 percent to about $3.85 on the New York Stock Exchange.


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  • sd

    “the Wall Street Journal notes that Elop also said he plans to offer deep discount on Lumia phones to compete with cheaper Android devices.”

    Worst. Move. Ever.

    Deep discounts do nothing positive beyond the initial burst of publicity and a few sales while they’re offered. Deep price cuts make the manufacturer look stupid (“Ha ha, they thought Lumia was worth more”); rip off your earliest customers (in this case, early adopters you WANT to be your de facto sales force); and kill the cachet of your product (when was the last time an iPhone was deep-discounted without being seriously decontented?).

    Introductory special? Fine. Lowball the price going in, to gain attention and market share (see Hyundai/Kia)? OK. But ask the Detroit automakers how successful they were sellling product only by placing several thousand-dollar bills on the hood of each car — and how well they trained customers to always wait for the next rebate and to devalue the brands sold that way.

    Elop, if that’s what you plan to do, just fold the tent NOW.

  • dermbuilder

    I don’t wonder why Microsoft isn’t doing better, MS Office is basically a tired old cash cow, even if it is a cash cow. Windows 8 is reported to be a repeat of Vista, where all major corporations will choose to stick with the Windows 7 OS rather than retrain workers to use Win 8 which offers nothing of any value to desktops or desktop replacement class laptops. Tablets may be convenient to carry around, but they are impractical for corporate accounting and they make lousy word processors. I have even heard that some believe that consumers after trying out Win 8 will ask for their new conventional computers to come with Win 7. I myself built a new computer, and after installing and using Vista, deleted it and installed XP.