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Pinterest™ valued at US $1.5 billion

The social bookmarking platform Pinterest, where users curate images by ‘pinning’ them with links and commentary to themed boards, has lifted its value to US $1.5 billion by raising US $100 million in a recent financing round led by a Japanese online retailer, Rakuten Inc.

Reason behind the funding

There has been a sudden increase in use of social media by retailers and other companies to market their products and services. Like Facebook and other social networks, Pinterest too has struggled to generate revenue, but Rakuten’s investment could lead to a deeper integration with corporate partners.

Hiroshi Mikitani, Rakuten’s chief executive, said his firm and Pinterest share the belief that using online marketplaces should be an “entertaining” process that encourages shoppers to explore.

“While some may see e-commerce as a straightforward vending machine-like experience, we believe it is a living process,” Mikitani said in a statement. “We see tremendous synergies between Pinterest’s vision and Rakuten’s model for e-commerce.”

How Pinterest will generate revenue

You must be wondering how the virtual scrapbooking platform is going to generate revenue for an e-commerce site, click here to know the business plan of Rakuten.

Image by: Ruth Tsang via Flickr (CC)

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t3nGB6I0k2o]

Apple® Earnings Set New Record: Revenue Hits $26 Billion

Apple is hugely responsible for the growth of the computer industry. Established as a manufacturer of Macintosh computers,  Apple now produces a variety of products such as iPhone, iPad and iMac. Apple launched iPhone in 2009 and the company’s earnings defied economic slowdown at $7.9 billion revenue in 2008 and $8.34 billion in 2009. In 2008, record setting sales of Apple products marked the high rise of revenues to a 38 percent revenue growth in the year 2008.

Now for the first quarter of 2011, Apple posted revenues of $26 billion. Posting $23 billion for the last quarter in 2010, this has touched new heights of revenues. iPad and iPhone sales surpassed the expectations of analysts while Mac sales (at 4.3 million) and iPod sales (at 19.45 million) was a trifle short. In total, Apple reported 160 million iOS devices activated. Apple  sold 16.24 million iPhones and 19.45 million iPods in the quarter which is about 17 percent higher than the same quarter in the last year. The company also sold 7.33 million iPads in the last quarter.

Apple expects a revenue of $22 billion in the current quarter. Steve Jobs, the CEO, is upbeat about the prospects of the company. For this current quarter, the company expects to make revenues of over $22 billion with earnings $4.90 per share, and being above $20.9 billion at earnings of $4.48 each share that analysts had forecast. Apple is reporting higher revenues boosted by the increasing sales Macs, iPhones, iPods and iPads.

Apple Posts 50% Rise in Revenue

Despite a non-holiday quarter, Apple has surprisingly posted a 50% increase in its revenue to about $13.5 billion. Profits stood at $3.7 billion with earning per share posted at $3.33.

Apple had earlier predicted the growth to be between 11 to 13 billion dollars. However the latest results have surpassed expectations. The rising revenue has been exclusively contributed to increased sales of Mac which increased by 33 percent and iPhone which increased by 131 percent.

In this quarter, Apple sold 2.9 million Macs and 8.75 million iPhones; however iPod posted a negative sales growth falling sharply by 1 percent.

Through the increased product sales, Apple over the past five years has gained an increasing market share. Moreover, a successful brand strategy has enabled Apple to tap into the consumer market, which not only looks into the hardware release such as the iPhone and the Mac, but more towards its applications.

It seems that with the release of the iPad, Apple will be all set to announce greater revenue, this quarter. According to Apple’s CEO, Steve Jobs this quarter was the “best non-holiday quarter ever,” and referred to “several more extraordinary products in the pipeline for this year.”

The “products pipeline” might very well refer to the hyped iPhone 4G which has been claimed to be leaked recently. Despite the growing competition against Apple’s hardware and applications, so far Apple has certainly surpassed, in being ahead on innovation.

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