Tech wrap: Q1 earnings beat expectations, RIM’s PlayBook – not so much

April 19, 2011

A video wall displays Intel's logos at the unveiling of its second generation Intel Core processor family during a news conference at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas January 5, 2011. REUTERS/Rick WilkingIntel forecast quarterly revenues well above Wall Street’s estimates despite a hiccup in sales of its Sandy Bridge processors after the discovery of a chipset design flaw and defying fears the world’s top chip maker is struggling to find its footing as personal computer sales growth wanes.

IBM raised its profit forecast as the tech giant released quarterly earnings ahead of Wall Street projections, citing strong sales of its mainframe computers and brisk business in emerging markets.

Yahoo posted quarterly earnings that topped Wall Street targets amid threats to the No. 1 provider of online display ads in the U.S. from Facebook and continuing pressure from search leader Google.

RIM’s PlayBook tablet launched in almost empty stores, in a far cry from the frenzy that accompanies the debut of anything from rival Apple. AT&T said it will not support the BlackBerry Bridge function that lets the PlayBook mirror a BlackBerry smartphone. But analysts say RIM should stay in the hunt with the PlayBook despite a likely slow start, as it overhauls its creaky platform with the QNX operating system it acquired last year. RIM expects large businesses to buy PlayBooks in “the tens of thousands.”

The global tablet market will grow to a $49-billion business by 2015, research firm Strategy Analytics said. The tablet market will become the third largest consumer electronics sector, after televisions and personal computers, the research firm said, forecasting 149 million units will be sold in 2015, growing eightfold from 2010.

Seagate acquired Samsung’s loss-making hard disk drive business for $1.4 billion, pitting it head-to-head with Western Digital in an industry that has been dogged by price wars and facing longer-term threat from wireless tablet devices such as Apple’s iPad that use more power-efficient solid state drives.

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