Top Exec Leaves Apple, FB Lockup Expires: Weekly Tech Business Recap

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

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Following the initial public offering of Telefonica’s (NYSE:TEF) German mobile division, O2, shares are up 2.6 percent at €5.60. The listing brought nearly €1.45 billion for Telefonica, which it will put to reducing its huge mountain of debt.

Flooding from the hurricane has hobbled a data center in Lower Manhattan, which is utilized by Internap Network Services Corporation (NASDAQ:INAP) to offer data services. Diesel pumps required to refuel backup generators have been shut down there, while Equinix (NASDAQ:EQIX) and others face service disruptions at 111 8th Avenue, which is the location of a giant data center and telecom facility owned by Google (NASDAQ:GOOG).

Don’t Miss: Nokia Challenges Apple and Google.

Windows Phone 8 (NASDAQ:MSFT) gets a somewhat positive salute from The Verge, which remarked that, “With each new generation of Windows Phone, Microsoft not only closes the gap with iOS and Android in important ways, but it also differentiates in important ways.” Additionally, it said that the operating system contains the best home screen of any platform and praises its built-in Office and cloud applications. Meanwhile, some 4 million Windows 8 upgrades were sold to consumers in the first 3 days of its being available, according to Steve Ballmer at the company’s Microsoft’s BUILD conference. It could be that the aggressive upgrade price of $40 helped that along.

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TIM Participaçoes, which constitutes Telecom Italia’s (NYSE:TI) Brazilian division, reached a 4 gigabyte infrastructure equipment arrangement with LM Ericsson Telephone Company (NASDAQ:ERIC), Nokia Siemens (NYSE:NOK)(NYSE:SI), and Huawei. TIM is currently the number two mobile carrier in that country and intends to debut 4 gigabyte services prior to the deadline set by the government for April of next year.

Don’t Miss: Will IBM Turn the Chip Industry On Its Head?

Electronic Arts (NASDAQ:EA) postpones the debut of the next version of its cult SimCity franchise until March of next year. However, chatter surrounding the new SimCity, which will assertively feature multiplayer/social gaming, has been primarily positive, due partially to some well-received trailer videos.

Yahoo! (NASDAQ:YHOO) pledges to ignore the “Do Not Track” privacy requests by its search partner Microsoft’s Internet Explorer 10. Already, Microsoft’s”Do Not Track” default setting on IE10 has ignited a firestorm inside the Internet advertising industry and Yahoo’s new decision could further pressure Microsoft to pull back.

A source tells the Wall Street Journal that Scott Forstall’s exit from Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) was “not his decision,” and others say that Forstall clashed with other executives and beefed about a lack of big ideas from his division, although outsiders have complained about this as well. John Gruber comments that , “Forstall was an obstacle to collaboration… his responsibilities are being divided between four men who foster collaboration,” while Erica Ogg remarks that, “It’s Tim Cook’s Apple now.” It seems that Forstall’s departure is cheered by others, as a source to The New York Times says that, “This was better than the Giants winning the World Series… people are really excited.”

Hewlett-Packard Co. (NYSE:HPQ) is poised to debut its first new line of printers in seven years, while Chief Executive Meg Whitman goes forward in her endeavors to remake the company by boosting its share of the fast-growing market for “multifunction” printers, which include software and scanners to manage electronic documents.

It’s not the best of times for business intelligence software vendors stocks. Qlik Technologies (NASDAQ:QLIK) got spanked 5 days ago because of its fiscal third quarter miss. Shares of Microstrategy Incorporated (NASDAQ:MSTR) and Actuate Corporation (NASDAQ:BIRT) are sharing the same fate, following their own third quarter misses. To make matters worse, Actuate, which pointed to weak sales in Europe, was downgraded to Neutral at Roth. On watch: Splunk (NASDAQ:SPLK) and Informatica Corporation (NASDAQ:INFA).

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Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) sells off while a 234 million-share lockup expiration originally scheduled for Monday now goes forward, with yet another 777 million shares to become available for sale on November 14th. In addition, a number of major Facebook executives, including Chief Financial Officer David Ebersman and Chief Operations Officer Sheryl Sandberg, can sell shares in a couple of days. As for now, Mark Zuckerberg is not selling any more shares.

Shares of Polycom (NASDAQ:PLCM) are moving down, possibly due to an IBD column that pointed out the threat posed to the sales of videoconferencing hardware of the company and Cisco Systems (NASDAQ:CSCO) by cheap cloud-based solutions which work with personal computers. Also, the article says that GoMeetNow, one prominent cloud-based competitor, provides services from $12.95 per month for two PC users.

Yahoo! (NASDAQ:YHOO) reaches a distribution arrangement with Wenner Media, which publishes US Weekly and Rolling Stone. Through the terms, each company’s content will appear on the other’s sites, and they will “co-produce a new breed of online editorial franchises.” Peter Kafka figures that between them, Yahoo Music and OMG have 46 million unique users.

Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC) is developing a 48-core processor for mobile devices, but warns that the chip remains years away. For that many cores to make sense, advances in both performance needs and the ability of mobile software to split up tasks must be accomplished. However, Intel is confident that new voice recognition and computer vision applications will be the solution.

A consensus among reviewers has it that the iPad Mini (NASDAQ:AAPL) is the best small-size tablet available, though it is not exactly inexpensive. The analysts and observers quite often praise the product’s build quality, battery life, weight and thickness, use as an e-reader, and application support as well as tech that ignores accidental touches caused by the Mini’s small bezels.

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Chief Financial Officer David Chang of the manufacturer Asus says that sales of Google’s (NASDAQ:GOOG) Nexus 7 tablet have been improving, remarking that, “At the beginning, it was, for instance, 500,000 units a month, then maybe 600, 700,000. This latest month, it was close to 1 million.” His comments shortly followed the 7 receiving a storage upgrade and prior to the iPad Mini starting its shipping. The tablet is powered by Nvidia Corporation’s (NASDAQ:NVDA) Tegra 3 processor, which is believed to cost between $15 and $25.

Shares of Riverbed Technology (NASDAQ:RVBD) take a dive as the Street disapproves its purchase of Opnet Technologies (NASDAQ:OPNT). Not helping the situation is a downgrade at Jefferies to Underperform as the firm points out that Riverbed is paying 30 times its estimated 2013 earnings per share, except cash and interest income, for Opnet and sees the acquisition as evidence that the firm’s core WAN Optimization hardware market is decelerating.

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iFixit‘s breakdown of the iPad Mini (NASDAQ:AAPL) indicates two Broadcom Corporation (NASDAQ:BRCM) touchscreen controller chips along with the anticipated Wi-Fi/Bluetooth combo chip. Additionally, the analysis discovered a couple of Fairchild Semiconductor (NYSE:FCS) analog chips and a Samsung (SSNLF.PK) LCD driver IC.

Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) is placing the development of a new classified advertising tool, tentatively called Marketplace, on the fast track. The tool would serve the same purpose as does Craigslist and other similar online services, said inside sources to The Daily.

A possible smartphone by Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) continues to be the center of speculation, with the Wall Street Journal saying that the firm is collaborating with component suppliers in Asia to test a design, though it’s uncertain that such a device will be mass produced. Steve Ballmer, in a interview this week, would not comment on the matter.

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Yahoo! (NASDAQ:YHOO) chooses Adam Cahan, who was the founder and chief executive of the TV content indexing startup IntoNow before its 2011 purchase by Yahoo, to lead its mobile efforts along with Flickr. Prior to joining IntoNow, Cahan worked with a number of media companies and also with Google. Yahoo Chief Executive Marissa Mayer recently suggested that half of Yahoo’s workforce should be working on mobile.

The Indian Air Force is now soliciting offers from a number of firms worldwide for six additional aerostat radars worth more than $400 million in a move said to avoid placing repeat orders with Israel’s Rafael. The list of possible bidders includes Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC), Lockheed Martin (NYSE:LMT), and BAE Systems (BAESY.PK).

Don’t Miss: Can Apple Get Its Groove Back?

Shares of quite a few big telecom equipment and chip/component names are down on the day after Alcatel-Lucent’s (NYSE:ALU) third quarter results, which included an 11 percent quarter-over-quarter and an 18 percent year-over-year fall in revenue at its Optics unit. Among the several stocks in this situation include those of CIENA Corporation (NASDAQ:CIEN), Finisar Corporation (NASDAQ:FNSR), Altera Corporation (NASDAQ:ALTR), and Cavium Networks (NASDAQ:CAVM). For some time, concerns in regards to telecom capital expenditures have been running high.

The iPad mini (NASDAQ:AAPL) went on sale Friday, but the usual long lines and hubbub which go with an Apple debut were missing. Reasons for this might be because the specifications for the product are disappointing, while the models on sale do not contain the chips that support high-speed cellular Internet. However, those should appear in a couple of weeks.

Reportedly, eBay (NASDAQ:EBAY) will make another try at entering China by the creation of a partnership with luxury retailer Xiu.com, with event to be announced on November 12th. eBay retrenched in China in 2007, but is now making this move completely aware of the circumstances, as it indicated in January that it anticipates losses on new sites in most countries for a minimum of a year.

Are these stocks a buy or sell? Let us help you decide. Check out our Wall St. Cheat Sheet Stock Picker Newsletter now >>

Shares of Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) dip modestly following word that Hurricane Sandy might have a “significant” impact on its fourth quarter results. Some of the company’s New York City switching facilities were flooded and it is now concentrating its resources upon restoring services to affected customers, warning that it “may take some time.”

Quantum Corporation (NYSE:QTM) shares pop on the news that Starboard Value disclosed a 15.9 percent interest and says it will conduct discussions with management concerning board representation along with actions which “can dramatically increase profitability.” Recently, Quantum was hit with weak fiscal second quarter results and a convertible debt offering in which Starboard says it took part.

Don’t Miss: Analyst: iPad Mini Debut Weekend Will Be Underwhelming.

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