Intel CEO Out, RIMM Impresses Analysts: Weekly Tech Business Recap

Here’s your Cheat Sheet to the top tech business stories of the week:

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Along with its near-institutional legal battles with Apple, Samsung (SSNLF.PK) also has recurrent ‘issues’ with LG Display Co. (NYSE:LPL). The former has brought a new suit against LG in which it will attempt to persuade an intellectual property tribunal in Korea that seven of the latter’s OLED displays “lack innovation,” says the Yonhap News agency. Back in September, LG Display sued Samsung, alleging violation of the seven patents in question.

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FuelCell Energy (NASDAQ:FCEL) reported that it is conducting a project that employs a stationary fuel cell power plant in support of support Microsoft Corporation’s (NASDAQ:MSFT) latest data center research project. The plant will put renewable biogas generated by a wastewater treatment facility to work as the fuel source to produce ultra-clean and carbon-neutral electricity through which to drive Microsoft’s Data Plant project in Cheyenne, Wyoming. 

Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC) reported Monday that its President and Chief Executive Paul Otellini will step down as an officer and director at his firm’s annual stockholders meeting in May, which will begin an orderly leadership transition during the next six months. Otellini’s retirement will end his career of almost 40 years of service to the company.

Yahoo! (NASDAQ:YHOO) Chief Executive Marissa Mayer and Facebook’s (NASDAQ:FB) Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg are said to have been in talks in regards to how the firms might work together more closely.  Already, the Internet titans have collaborated on several small projects such as sharing Yahoo! news on Facebook and also have resolved long-standing patent lawsuits. For its part, Facebook desires to reinforce its web search facility as Mark Zuckerberg commented that the social network is “pretty uniquely positioned to answer the questions people have”.

On Tuesday, the iPhone 5 will be available by reservation at China Telecom (NYSE:CHT), which is Apple’s  (NASDAQ:AAPL) official partner in China, says The Beijing Times. Originally, Chief Executive Tim Cook had announced that the smartphone would go on sale throughout China in December. Incidentally, IDC now says that China is the world’s largest market for smartphones. Meanwhile, Apple shares seem to have gotten past their recent slump as they are up more than 6 percent in late afternoon trading in New York.

Nokia Corporation’s (NYSE:NOK) Lumia 920 has sold out in stores in Germany, which must be good news for the firm, and might extrapolate from the situation a sign of worldwide interest for the phone. After a number of embattled quarters, it is possible now that Nokia has come up with a winner which could also signal good times ahead for Windows Phone 8. However, some observers are awaiting the actual sales numbers before getting too excited.

In another high-profile resignation from Zynga (NASDAQ:ZNGA), Vice President of Business Development Jonathan Flesher has stepped down effective November 9th, say sources who would know. Flesher has not commented, but it’s said that increased family time was in the mix and that he also wants new challenges and opportunities. During his tenure at Zynga, he worked on several collaborations, among which included arrangements with Google+ (NASDAQ:GOOG), AOL (NYSE:AOL), and Yahoo!.

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Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC) buys Creative Technology’s United Kingdom subsidiary, ZiiLabs Limited, as a part of a $50 million transaction and will license Creative’s chip tech for $20 million. The remaining $30 million will pay for the acquisition of the engineering resources and assets of ZiiLabs Limited which was formerly known as 3DLabs. Meanwhile, Creative Technology is said to be in the midst of diversifying its business in the U.K.

Research In Motion’s (NASDAQ:RIMM) BlackBerry 10 gets a thumbs-up from developed market carriers, according to the Jeffco quarterly handset survey, as they now share a much more positive attitude towards the device. Analyst Peter Misek at Jeffco, in response, has upgraded the firm from Underperform to Hold and also opines that the shares could hit around $43 in 12 months assuming that all goes well as he thinks that the BB10 might hold a probability of success between 20 and 30 percent.

It appears that Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) is running refurbished products up the proverbial flagpole to see if any buyers salute as it has contrived to sell them directly to shoppers through eBay (NASDAQ:EBAY). Although there are no comments from the latter, “Refurbished Outlet” is thought to be a store run by Apple within eBay as a trial run. Thus far, the store has been awarded a 99.7 percent positive from reviewers.

Disquieted bondholders of the bankrupt Elpida won a small battle Friday in a decision by Judge Christopher Sontchi, who said that he will re-review patent deals that the company reached with the United States firm Rambus (NASDAQ:RMBS) as a prelude to Elpida being sold to Micron Technology (NASDAQ:MU) for $2.5 billion.

Shares of Groupon (NASDAQ:GRPN) were up more than 8 percent in late afternoon trading, following word that Tiger Global Management purchased a 9.9 percent interest in the company. The latter is an $8 billion hedge fund managed by Chase Coleman and Feroz Dewan. This move signals confidence that Groupon, whose shares have slumped by 80 percent since its November 2011 IPO, might discover new channels for growth.

The world’s top mobile phone market by the number of subscribers is China which has reported a month-over-month rise of 1.04 percent in October according to postings by three major telecommunications operators there. China Mobile Limited (NYSE:CHL) gained a net addition of 4.96 million subscribers, marking an increase of 0.71 percent,  China Unicom Limited (NYSE:CHU) came in second with 3.39 million (a 1.48 percent rise), and third was China Telecom Corporation Limited (NYSE:CHA) with 2.09 million, representing a percentage change of +1.90.

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Microsoft Corporation’s (NASDAQ:MSFT) intro of Windows 8 did not ‘explode’ hardware sales as was expected, according to the SVP of Product Management at the tech seller Newegg, but “slow but steady” improvements have been noticed. The executive does not foresee Windows 8 software sales accelerating until around the second quarter of 2013.

Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) should earn around $94 billion in revenues through the year 2017 off its XBox game console and Surface tablet which utilize Google’s (NASDAQ:GOOG) patented wireless tech, said Michael Dansky, a Google expert witness on Tuesday in a Seattle federal court. The $94 billion figure that was cited includes a wireless adapter which Microsoft no longer sells and it was unclear from just how far back Dansky was calculating revenues. The company did not comment on the arithmetic.

Trends for the hard-disk drive market which employs LSI Corporation (NYSE:LSI) controller chips should be “weak exiting the year from below seasonal PC demand,” says semiconductor analyst Steven Chin at UBS, noting that the firm might be impacted by the gains of its rival Marvell Technology Group (NASDAQ:MRVL) through its customer Seagate Technology (NASDAQ:STX). Chin reiterated a Neutral on LSI and reduced the price target by 50 cents to $7. Further, he cut his 2013 earnings estimate from 37 cents to 31, far under the consensus of 67 cents, on revenue of $2.48 billion, 6 percent lower than previously anticipated, but only a bit below consensus of $2.49 billion.

Gene Munster and his Piper Jaffray team now believe that Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) domestic retail stores have finally been supplied with sufficient iPhone 5s to meet demand in time for the imminent shopping season. Through the team’s nightly checks at 100 Apple Stores, it was found that the supply of AT&T (NYSE:T) and Verizon (NYSE:VZ)(NASDAQ:VOD) models has “significantly improved,” with Sprint Nextel (NYSE:S) units staying readily available. Munster commented that, “As we get closer to the holiday, we believe consumers will likely have the ability to walk into an Apple Store and walk out with an iPhone 5 within the next two weeks.”

The German business software firm SAP (NYSE:SAP), already listed in Germany and New York, is evaluating the possibility of a listing in China to give it the option of accessing financial resources in one of its most rapidly growing markets of all. SAP already competes with Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT), Oracle Corporation (NASDAQ:ORCL), and International Business Machines (NYSE:IBM), and intends to invest $2 billion in China by 2015 along with meeting its sales goal of €1 billion for China. In the third quarter in China, SAP saw a growth in software sales of 40 percent, establishing it as its sixth largest market.

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The allegations over accounting practices at Hewlett-Packard Company (NYSE:HPQ) make no sense to the former chief of Autonomy, a firm which the former acquired in 2011. Mike Lynch says he does not understand how the matter became a $5 billion write-down on the software business he sold them, according to Reuters. Lynch explained that there were three areas in which accounting rules gave a wide range for differences of interpretation as he said that the allegations are “utterly wrong.”

United States Magistrate Judge Paul Grewal in San Jose has ordered Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) to disclose licensing terms of a settlement with HTC Corp. in its patent lawsuit against Samsung (SSNLF.PK). In a Wednesday directive, Grewal said that financial terms of licensing agreements for other third parties have already been disclosed in the present case and told Apple to produce a copy of the agreement under an attorneys-eyes-only designation, writing that, “HTC is not entitled to special treatment, especially when it has recognized the general sufficiency of the protective order and the integrity of Samsung’s outside counsel.”

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Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC) steps up the development of its new low power mobile chip, say anonymous PC industry sources to DigiTimes. The processor is anticipated around the middle of next year and should consume less power and be less expensive to make than its current mobile chip. The website added that the new processor is viewed as a milestone for Intel.

Shares of Research In Motion Limited (NASDAQ:RIMM) jumped 17.3 percent in Toronto on Thursday based on expanding optimism surrounding the firm’s BlackBerry 10 devices which will compete against Apple’s iPhone and Android-based smartphones. It did not hurt that analyst Kris Thompson at National Bank upped his price target from $12 to $15 and maintained his Outperform as he cited the “positive sentiment building in the industry” prior to the BB10’s debut.