Apple loses face

A US jury ruled Apple must pay $368.2 million to VirnetX for infringement of patents used in the FaceTime video-calling function.

A patent loss by Apple and a handful of small acquisitions were the main stories of an international ICT market last week that was very quiet.

At home, the resignation of Telkom's CEO and BCX's acquisition of Integr8 IT stole much of the local ICT media space.

Key local news

* Very good year-end figures from Business Connexion, with revenue up 35.1% and profit up 91.7%.
* Mixed full-year numbers from Sekunjalo, with revenue up 3.5% but profit down 37.3%.
* Good interim figures from Neotel, with revenue up about 10% and EBITDA up 276%.
* Mediocre interim numbers from Trustco, with revenue down 10.4% and profit down 1.7%.
* Mixed Q1 figures from Net 1 UEPS Technologies, with revenue up 11.8% but profit down 65.9%.
* A positive trading update from Amecor.
* A mixed trading update from Reunert.
* Britehouse Holdings made a 60% acquisition of Firestring, a provider of SAP and Microsoft services.
* Datatec (Logicalis) purchased the Columbia and Ecuador operations of Cibercall SA, a major Cisco partner.
* Business Connexion bought Integr8 IT, an ICT managed services company, for R126 million.
* A Convergence Partners-led consortium sold off its 25.1% interest in the New Dawn joint venture with Intelsat.
* Tactile Technologies has entered a joint venture with CEB and opened a European office.
* Telecommunications Systems has opened a South African office, in Johannesburg, which will be headed by Andy Minnaar.
* RIM has opened an app lab in Cape Town, its second in SA.
* Rob Stokes, founder and CEO of Quirk, has been named the 2012 IT Personality of the Year.
* Selio Mmakau, CIO of the Department of Home Affairs, has been named the 2012 Visionary CIO of the Year.
* The appointments of Michael Davies as CEO of ContinuitySA; and Allen Smith as chairman of ContinuitySA (was CEO).
* The resignations of Deon Liebenberg, managing executive for Telkom Business Mobile; and Nombulelo "Pinky" Moholi, CEO of Telkom SA.

Key African news

* Good half-year numbers from Safaricom, with revenue up 19% and profit up 94%.
* Electronic Arts has appointed Nazara Technologies, a mobile games developer, as its African distributor for its collection of mobile games.
* Segun Ogunsanya was named CEO of Airtel Nigeria.

Key international news

* Avnet acquired Genilogix, a provider of IT services for augmenting the safety, efficiency and quality of mission-critical applications.
* Brocade Communications Systems bought Vyatta, an open network start-up.
* Cray purchased Appro International, a developer of advanced scalable supercomputing solutions, for $25 million.
* UK-based Imagination Technologies acquired MIPS, a US-based chip designer, for $60 million.
* Oracle bought Instantis, a provider of cloud-based and on-premise project portfolio management solutions.
* RF Micro Devices purchased Amalfi Semiconductor, a circuit-maker.
* Sprint Nextel acquired US Cellular's businesses in several parts of the Midwest USA, in a deal worth $480 million.
* Trimble bought the assets of Vico Software, a developer of 5D virtual construction software.
* A US jury decided that Apple must pay $368.2 million to VirnetX for infringement of the latter's virtual private network technology patents used in the former's FaceTime video-calling function.
* A US judge rejected the proposed Apple vs Google lawsuit over alleged patent abuse.
* Excellent quarterly results from SMIC.
* Very good quarterly figures from Korea Telecom.
* Good quarterly numbers from Cognizant Technology Solutions, Lenovo, MegaFon, MEMC Electronic Materials (back in the black), Nvidia, Qualcomm and Qualys.
* Satisfactory quarterly results from Amdocs and Sapient.
* Mediocre quarterly results from Cable & Wireless Communications, Sykes Enterprises, Trend Micro and Zebra Technologies.
* Mixed quarterly figures from AOL, with revenue flat but back in the black; Bharti Airtel, with revenue up but profit down; CenturyLink, with revenue down but profit up; CSC, with revenue down but back in the black; Frontier Communications, with revenue down but profit up; Reliance Communications, with revenue up but profit down;, with revenue up but profit down; TE Connectivity, with revenue down but profit up; and Telefonica, with revenue down but back in the black.
* Quarterly losses from Cablevision Systems, Deutsche Telekom, Groupon, SBA Communications and SGI.
* The appointments of Marillyn Hewson as CEO of Lockheed Martin (as of 1 January 2013); and Bob Stevens as executive chairman of Lockheed Martin (was CEO).
* The resignation of Christopher Kubasik, president, COO and CEO-elect of Lockheed Martin.
* The retirement of Ken Joyce, CEO of Amkor Technology, some time in 2013.
* An IPO filing from GFI Software SA, a Luxembourg-based provider of remote monitoring and management tools and security software.
* A proposed IPO in London by Kcell, the largest Kazakhstan mobile operator.

Look out for

* International:
* A possible move to Juniper Networks by Matt Bross, ex-CTO of Huawei Technologies.
* Possible EU cartel fines for several companies, including LG Electronics and Philips, for the price fixing of TV CRTs.
* South Africa:
* Deon Liebenberg's new position at Vodacom.
* Further developments regarding Telkom SA.

Research results and predictions

* Global data centre traffic is set to grow four-fold and reach 6.6 zettabytes annually by 2016, according to Cisco's second annual Global Cloud Index. The MEA region will have the highest cloud traffic growth rate at 79% CAGR.
* About 821 million smart devices (smartphones and tablets) will be purchased in 2012, and more than 1 billion in 2013, according to Gartner.
* Worldwide tablet shipments in Q3 were 27.8 million units, a rise of almost 50%, with Android-based shipments showing a massive surge, according to IDC.
* EMEA IT spending will grow 1.4% in 2013, after declining in 2012, according to Gartner.
* The smartphone market reached 173.7 million units in Q3, up 44% from Q3 2011; with Samsung at number one, followed by Apple, Sony, HTC and RIM, according to Canalys.
* Samsung's Galaxy S3 outsold iPhone 4S in Q3, with an 11% share of all worldwide shipments, according to Strategy Analytics.

Stock market changes

* JSE All share index: Down 0.8%
* Nasdaq: Down 2.6%
* Top SA share movements: Amecor (+7.6%), Ansys (+12.5%), Gijima (-10.3%), Huge Group (-9.1%), Labat Africa (-33.3%), Poynting (+15.4%), TCS (+300%), Telkom (-7%), Telemasters (-8.6%) and Zaptronix (+100%)

Final word

CRN magazine has published its 'Emerging Vendors' list for 2012. From a technology perspective, the following were included (part one of three):
* 3X Systems, a provider of private cloud backup solutions and disaster recovery appliances.
* Actian, provider of a cloud development platform for building lightweight consumer-style apps that automate business actions triggered by real-time changes in data.
* Alpine Data Systems, a provider of software that helps customers uncover the predictive analytic power of data.
* AppNeta, a provider of remote performance-management solutions for IT administrators and IT services providers.
* Axcient, a provider to MSPs of a data backup, disaster recovery and business continuity platform geared for SME customers.
* Avenda Systems, a provider of a multifunction platform for network access control and security.
* BridgeStor, a provider of advanced data reduction primary and backup storage appliances for Microsoft Windows applications.
* Circonus, a SaaS solution provider for collecting, trending and alerting on key metrics for online businesses.
* Covertix, the provider of SmartCipher, a file-level information rights management application that monitors and secures confidential documents and sensitive data by travelling with the file inside and outside the organisation.
* Custora, a provider of a solution that advises online retailers which customers are most valuable and suggests how to keep them.

Paul Booth

Paul Booth is an independent commentator who looks for significance in what ICT vendors haven't said.

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