Breakfast Briefing: Samsung's Apple price hike, Micro Anvika's woes, Opera ad clicks

Today in tech, Samsung bumps up chip prices, Opera users most likely to click through adverts, "blue sky" thinking from Apple, and more

13 Nov 2012

Today's top stories - outside Windows boss Steve Sinofsky stepping down, obviously - include Samsung's price hike for Apple, more High Street troubles, a look at ad click-through rates by browser and why patents need a shake-up.

Samsung bumps up prices for Apple chips

Apple’s love-hate relationship with Samsung could face a turn for the worse after major supplier Samsung upped the prices it charges Apple for one of the mobile processors the iPhone maker uses. Market Watch pointed to a report in the Korean Chosun Ilbo, which cited people close to the deal as saying Apple had initially said no to the price increase but found itself with few options.

"Samsung Electronics recently asked Apple for a significant price raise in [the mobile processor known as] the application processor," the person was quoted as saying. "Apple first disapproved it, but finding no replacement supplier, it accepted the increase."

Skeletal Micro Anvika approaching end game?

Computing chain Micro Anvika has been reduced to selling its wares from the back of just two stores on Tottenham Court Road after the administrators closed down the remaining outpost in Newcastle, according to The Register. Administrators were called in back in September and chopped more than 50 jobs but kept a slimmed down presence in a few key shops. The beancounters said they were pulling the plug on the store, simply because £it wasn't profitable".

With one of those Tottenham Court Road shops due to close within weeks, things are looking bleak on the High Street, which also saw Comet enter administration earlier this month.

Opera uses most likely to click ads

Advertisers wanting to tweak ads for the most effect obviously concentrate on the more popular mobile browsers, but The Next Web reports on click-through rate findings from a Chitika Insights survey that found Opera users were the most likely to look at adverts.

The survey found that Opera users clicked through adverts 2.12% of the time, compared with only 0.51% of Chrome browsers on iOS. Curiously, however, surfers using Apple’s own Safari for mobile were far more likely to buy into ads than Chrome iOS users, with 1.54% click-through rates. The bad news for advertisers is that Opera makes up only 1% of web browsing, but the upside is that those Safari users account for the largest share of mobile browsing.

Apple looks to Google for "blue sky" ideas

"Anything you can do I can do too," might be a catchphrase at Apple, after the company revealed plans to give its staff more time to work on their own projects. According to the Wall Street Journal, Apple is following Google's lead and will give select employees two weeks a year to work on projects outside their normal responsibilities under a scheme called "Blue Sky". It's reminiscent of Google’s 20% time, where fully contracted employees are given effectively one day a week to work on outside interest projects, but, as critics might point out, significantly less generous. Foxconn staffers presumably need not apply.

Why patents should cover solutions not problems

Wired has an interesting look at the changing shape of patent applications, calling for an end to patents based on the problems they solve and instead saying they should be focused on the actual technology designed to make life better. The article bemoans the fact the companies are increasingly patenting function, which can be a catch-all, rather than actual technology innovations that should belong to the company that creates them.

"All we need to do is recognise that the 'structure' of a modern software program is not 'a computer' – the hardware on which it runs – but the actual design of the program itself," Wired reports. "If someone invents a program, s/he can own that program and ones like it, but not every program that might achieve the same end. While doing so would narrow the scope of software patents (unfairly in a few cases), the social benefits would outweigh those concerns."

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