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The Last Week In Digital - 25th July 2016

Yahoo sells core business, iPhone 7 release date ostensibly revealed

25Jul

Yahoo agrees to $4.8 billion Verizon takeover

Undoubtedly the biggest story of the week, Verizon’s $4.8 billion takeover of Yahoo has reportedly been agreed by the tech giant’s board. Yahoo was once one of the superpowers of the internet, worth $125 billion and a dominant force in search. The dot-com crash and the rise of apps as the dominant form of internet use has seen the giant slip into relative obscurity, though, and now the majority of its value is held in shares in Chinese company Alibaba.

The sale comes after an extended plummet in value; Yahoo has repeatedly tried and failed to find a winning solution to the competition that has ripped away its market share in search and digital ad revenue. The company lost $4.4 billion in 2015, including the huge revaluation of Tumblr, which it bought for $1 billion in 2013. Marissa Meyer, hired from Google to turn Yahoo around, has largely failed to restore the company’s status as a dominant power. Yahoo now joins AOL in the list of fallen dot-com behemoths bought by Verizon.

Reddit’s internal issues revealed

In a damning exposé-of-sorts, TechCrunch revealed that Reddit’s reform program was going poorly, with important members of the staff at the often controversial site leaving the company. ‘Over the past six months,’ TechCrunch states, ‘over a dozen senior Reddit employees - most of them women and people of color - have left the company.’ It has been speculated that the exodus is, in part, a response to the company’s failings to shake its antagonistic past.

TechCrunch also claims that Ellen Pao’s departure in July of last year has led to a reemergence of the company drinking culture that is often synonymous with Silicon Valley startups but perhaps not entirely appropriate for a company the size of Reddit. The resignations and sackings have put the brakes on some other media projects, and Reddit is somewhat choking as a result. Women leave tech companies at twice the rate of men, according to the Harvard Business Review, and Reddit’s internal struggles are testament to the fact that, on the whole, tech companies have a long way to go.

iPhone release dates leaked by reliable source

The ever-reliable Evan Blass took to Twitter last week to declare the week of September 12th as the release date for the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 plus/pro. Design leaks, both wildly speculative and seemingly genuine, have been rife and, as with any Apple release, speculation over the release date has been fervent.

Apple has reportedly adopted a new three-year iPhone cycle that, according to Tech Times, will see ‘completely redesigned models every three years.’ This would explain the 7s - if the leaks are to be believed - almost unchanged appearance. A video confirmed that the design is largely the same as that of the 6s, but it will feature a larger rear camera. Aside from the aesthetics, though, the 7 is expected to feature all the usual iPhone improvements - processor, camera, storage, battery, etc.

Pokemon Go sets new record on app store

You only need to leave your house to get some idea of how popular Pokemon Go has been since its release just weeks ago. Children and adults alike are lining the streets guided by the smartphones as they look to catch the Pokemon dotted around parks and city streets. What many might not have realised, though, is just how popular. The game’s broken records - despite being rolled out slowly country by country, Go has become ‘the most downloaded title in-app release history,’ according to Tech Times. ‘What’s more, is that it set this record in just the first week of its release.

Nintendo shares soared upon the game’s release and dropped sharply when the company pointed out it didn’t make the game, and actually stood to make far less from it than one might’ve thought. Whatever you think of Pokemon Go and its international takeover, the game is one of the most profitable in history and has augmented reality at its core - a boon for both the game and the medium. 

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