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An employee displays the newly launched ‘Angry Birdsmooncakes, a popular Chinese baked pastry made from lotus seed paste and salted egg yolks available this time of the year, during the Hong Kong Food Expo on August 14. The pastries are named after the popular mobile game.

The mooncakes come in two flavours -- chocolate, and mango and pomelo







The popular mobile , which was first launched for Apple’s mobile operating system in 2009, features cartoonish, wingless birds that the player must slingshot into enemy pig territory to reclaim stolen eggs.

Its huge popularity has prompted a restaurant chain in Hong Kong to strike a deal with its creator and turn the bird into mooncakes — a pastry eaten to mark the Chinese mid-autumn festival, which falls on September 12 this year.

“The  game is a world phenomenon now, it is well-liked by people from three-year-olds to 80-year-olds,” said Stephanie Chan, marketing manager of Maxim’s Group, which released the bird-shaped mooncakes.

The mooncakes come in two flavours, chocolate, and mango and pomelo, and sell at HK$38 ($4.90) per pair, making their debut at the Hong Kong Food Expo on Sunday where they were immediately snapped up by fans.

Bags containing newly released ‘Angry BirThe mooncakes were snapped up by fans

ds’ mooncakes are seen at the Hong Kong Food Expo on August 14. The pastries are named after the popular Angry Birds mobile game and feature cartoonish, wingless birds.

“I come here to buy the mooncakes because I like playing the game,” said an excited Kiki Au, a seven-year-old primary school student.


Angry Birds’ popularity has led to versions of the game being released for all major smartphone brands, personal computers, and . It currently has at least 120 million active users on mobile devices.

Its creator, Finland-based software developer Rovio Mobile, launched merchandise sales of its own last year, including Angry Birds soft toys, and said in January that it is developing a cartoon series based on the game.

China’s mooncake tradition is said to have started after the people were rallied to revolt against the country’s Mongolian Yuan dynasty rulers by pieces of paper calling for an uprising on the mid-autumn festival inserted in each cake.


netflix earnings

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) — When you’re a new tech company with a cool product, life is good. But once you become an industry leader, pleasing people is a lot tougher. Just ask Netflix.

Netflix enjoyed a strong second quarter, but it wasn’t good enough to satisfy investors on Monday. And the company spent much of its earnings release discussing problems — namely, a recent price hike that launched thousands of online complaints.

Although Netflix (NFLX) reported earnings of $1.26 a share, easily topping estimates from analysts polled by Thomson Reuters who expected $1.11 a share, sales missed forecasts.

Revenue rose 52% to almost $789 million. Analysts were predicting sales of $791 million. The stock fell nearly 8.5% in after-hours trading on the news.

Customers reacted angrily when Netflix announced earlier this month that it’s hiking prices on plans that include DVDs and streaming, in a move that highlights the company’s shift from physical discs to online video.

“It is expected and unfortunate that our DVD subscribers who also use streaming don’t like our price change, which can be as much as a 60% increase,” Netflix said in its earnings release.

The company acknowledged that “some subscribers will cancel Netflix or downgrade their Netflix plans, [but] we expect most to stay with us.”

Analysts asked several questions about the price hike on a post-earnings conference call. One question noted the thousands of comments on Netflix’s own blog announcing the new pricing strategy, as well as tweets under the hashtag #DearNetflix.

But the social media “noise level was actually less than we expected, given a 60% price increase for some subscribers,” said Reed Hastings, the CEO of Netflix. “We knew what we were getting into.”

Netflix price hike? Stock’s pulled back!

Netflix warned that it “will see only the negative impact of the pricing change” in the third quarter. The company expects to earn 72 cents to $1.07 a share next quarter. Analysts had been expecting earnings of $1.09 a share for the quarter.

Nearly 75% of Netflix’s new customers during the quarter signed up for streaming-only plans. Netflix now has 25.6 million subscribers across the globe, up from 15 million customers a year ago. It has about 24.6 million in the U.S. alone.

But the company said that domestic subscriber growth in the third quarter will be relatively sluggish. Netflix expects to finish the quarter with between 24.6 million and 25.4 million U.S. subscribers — close to flat from the current figure.

Netflix said DVD shipments have likely peaked already, but it’s still setting up “a dedicated DVD division” with “no intention of selling it.” The company will resume marketing its DVD-by-mail service in the fourth quarter, something it hasn’t done in several quarters.

Content costs and new competitors: As streaming video gets more popular, Netflix is facing two headwinds: studios and potential rivals.

Netflix was able to score comparatively cheap streaming deals when the service first launched, but now content providers want to be paid more for the content they’re providing. One analyst predicts Netflix’s streaming content licensing costs will rise from $180 million in 2010 to a whopping $1.98 billion in 2012.

Google and Amazon have launched their own streaming video services, and Netflix’s most direct competitor, Hulu, is on the selling block. Walt Disney Co. (DISFortune 500) Chief Executive Robert Iger said at a conference earlier this month that Hulu’s owners — who include Disney — are “committed to selling” it.

The list of interested potential Hulu buyers includes Google (GOOG,Fortune 500), Apple (AAPLFortune 500), Amazon (AMZN,Fortune 500) and Yahoo (YHOOFortune 500) plus telecoms AT&T (TFortune 500) and Verizon (VZFortune 500). Landing Hulu would give any of them a strong foothold in challenging Netflix.

But Netflix said in a letter to shareholders Monday that it will not bid on Hulu. Netflix cited the fact that “most of [Hulu’s] revenue is from providing free ad-supported streaming of current season TV shows, which is not our focus.” To top of page


SAN FRANCISCO – Netflix is raising its prices by as much as 60 percent for millions of subscribers who want to rent DVDs by mail and watch video on the Internet.

The company is separating the two options so that subscribers who want both will have to buy separate plans totaling at least $16 per month. Netflix Inc. had been bundling both options in a single package, available for as low as $10 per month.

New subscribers will have to pay the new prices immediately. The changes take effect Sept. 1 for Netflix’s current customers.

Netflix isn’t changing the $8 monthly price for an Internet streaming-only option, which the company began offering late last year. But instead of charging $2 more for a plan that also offers one DVD at a time by mail, the company will charge $8 for a comparable DVD-only plan. That brings the total to $16.

Those who want to rent up to two DVDs of a time with streaming will pay $20 per month, or 33 percent more. Those wanting three DVDs at a time with streaming will pay $24 per month, or 20 percent more.

When Netflix unveiled the streaming-only option, it also raised the rates for its most popular DVD rental plans by $1 to $3 per month. Those plans included unlimited online streaming too, as had been the case since Netflix began sending video over high-speed Internet connections in 2007. That means longtime subscribers who want both entertainment options will get their second price increase in eight months.

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