Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) will start selling its Surface Pro tablet PCs from February 9 onwards, the company said on Monday.
Priced at $899 apiece the tablets have faster processors with higher computing powers compared to Surface RT tablets that sell for roughly half the price.
Microsoft, which has had several disastrous forays into the hardware market with the exception of its gaming console Xbox, entered the table PC market in October last year with its Surface range of devices.
According to preliminary reports Microsoft’s Surface tablets have not been having a very good outing in the markets, and analysts are not expecting much when the company announces its fourth results on Thursday.
Sales of the Surface tablets and other devices will also be revealed then.
Meanwhile Brent Thill of UBS has halved his fourth quarter estimates for the sales of Surface. He now expects sales to be about 1 million, compared to his earlier estimate of 2 million units, he told the New York Times.
Apple’s iPad, which made its debut in 2010, sold about 3 million nits of its iPad 4 in the fourth quarter.
The world’s largest software company may have mistimed its entry into the tablet market, coming as it did at a time when Apple devices are top of the mind while Samsung’s Galaxy range of tablets are swiftly moving off the shelves.
Google and Amazon with their Nexus and Kindle range have brought in the price factor into the segment that was hitherto being sold on the basis of features on offer.
Interestingly Josh Brown of Fusion Analytics said that Microsoft had no business being in the hardware business.
“The public is not clamouring for a Microsoft products,” he told The Daily Ticker. “I don’t know if the Surface launch accomplished anything other than ‘hey we’re in this business now.’”
Top 3 Gainers: Zynga (NASDAQ:ZNGA), Eros International (NYSE:EROS), Borqs Technologies’ (BRQS)
Zynga (NASDAQ:ZNGA) is up 2.5% after Benchmark reiterated its Buy rating in a look-ahead at Q2 earnings. The firm’s expecting a beat and solid guidance for Q3, and it’s raising its guidance for the fiscal year.
Tailwinds from the pandemic won’t dissipate easily, Benchmark suggests, and the videogame maker’s acquisition of Peak (and with it new “forever franchises” in Toon Blast and Toy Blast) will drive audience, bookings, margins and free cash flow, it says. The firm has an $11 price target, now implying 14% upside.
Eros International (NYSE:EROS) is up 5.8% today, making up the last week’s lost ground, after news that its streaming service Eros Now is partnering with Sony India (SNE +2.3%).
That will mean Eros Now’s app is pre-installed on selected Sony smart televisions in India, along with availability on a large base of existing models (Bravia E series and newer).
The country over the past year has seen a 25% growth in demand for smart TVs, fueled by overall industry growth of 15%, to a record 15M units/year.
Borqs Technologies’ (BRQS) personal safety tracker sees strong market with increased orders from the electronics retail chain in the US.
The boost in product demand comes ahead coronavirus pandemic that provides company to expect delivery of 250K units this year. It reflects over 3x the volume delivered in 2019, the year of its launch.
Borqs’ mobile personal safety devices designed particularly for senior citizens come with panic button, location tracking, and fall detection.
Tesla, Inc. (TSLA): US agencies investigate fatal Tesla Model 3 crash in Florida
American safety officials are looking into the circumstances surrounding another fatal Tesla, Inc. (TSLA) crash. Both the NTSB and the NHTSA have confirmed that they’re investigating a collision between a Model 3 and a semi truck in Delray Beach, Florida on March 1st. According to the police report, the truck was turning left to enter a main thoroughfare when the Model 3 crashed into the semi’s trailer, shearing off the car’s roof and killing the driver. It’s not certain if Autopilot was active, although the Model 3 kept traveling for more than 500 yards before coming to a stop.
Tesla said in a statement that it was “deeply saddened” about the collision and was “reaching out” to authorities to cooperate. The NTSB added that it typically takes one to two years to complete investigations like this.
This certainly isn’t the first time US safety agencies have investigated Tesla crashes to determine the possible role of Autopilot. However, there are unusually close parallels to a deadly incident from May 2016, when a Model S driver in Florida struck a trailer. His vehicle had Autopilot engaged and also kept going a significant distance after the crash, although investigators cleared Tesla and noted that the driver in that case ignored safety warnings. While the particular circumstances are different, it wouldn’t be out of the question for agents to compare the two cases.
Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN), Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM) Are In News On Monday
Evercore raises its Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) price target from $1,800 to $1,965 saying that gross profit has become a “more important indicator” than Y/Y revenue growth.
Key quote: “As such, we remain bullish on AMZN at least in part because the company’s gross profit is expected to grow ~400bps faster than revenue for AMZN over the next 3 years.”
Amazon shares are up 0.9% pre-market to $1,686.
Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM) alleges in a San Diego federal court that Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) violated three of its patents and asks for tens of millions of dollars in damages.
Qualcomm has filed a series of patent actions against Apple around the world that will conclude before the antitrust trial starting in April, which will hear Apple’s challenge to QCOM’s business model.
U.S. District Judge Dana Sabraw will open an eight-day trial today deciding whether Apple violated Qualcomm’s patents with its iPhones that contain Intel (NASDAQ:INTC) chips.
Qualcomm shares are up 0.8% pre-market to $54.65.
Apple shares are up 0.5% to $175.88.