buy metformin online

Inside Secure to Cut up to 20% of Its Workforce To Stem Losses

Mar 7 2013 (All day)

France-based NFC chip supplier Inside Secure said it would cut up to 20% of its global workforce following the loss of more than $30 million in 2012.

Inside reported its fourth quarter and year-end 2012 earnings Wednesday evening, showing a dismal year for the vendor, especially in its NFC business.

Inside reported its overall revenue fell by 19% for the year to $122 million and recorded a net loss of $30.3 million, compared with a loss of $14.6 million in 2011.

Inside blamed the loss on its NFC business segment, which suffered along with the main customer of its NFC chips, Research In Motion, now called BlackBerry.

“This bad news, which is mainly due to the great upheavals in the business environment in which we operate and to the difficulties encountered by our main client in the mobile NFC segment is leading us to refocus our business and adapt our organization model and our cost structure,” CEO Rémy de Tonnac said in a statement. “In this context, we therefore announce today a reorganization project which might lead us to let go some of our colleagues.”

UPDATE: Investors hammered Inside's stock after trading opened in Paris Thursday morning, with the company's shares down by more than 40% at one point, reaching a record low. They recovered some ground during the day to close at €2.38, down 21.7% for the day. Inside's share price had been climbing since a previous low in October. END UPDATE.

Inside said it would make reductions to save $13 million per year. The job cuts would cost about $7 million in charges. UPDATE: Inside has 465 employees worldwide, with more than 200 working in France and 80 in the UK. The company said it already has implemented some cost savings during the second half of 2012, but announced plans for a much broader reorganization and cuts Wednesday evening. END UPDATE.

Inside’s Embedded Security Solutions unit, which it acquired from U.S.-based AuthenTec in December of 2012 for a total of $43 million so far, would not be affected by the job cuts, the company said. AuthenTec was acquired by Apple for its biometric sensor business, and Apple reportedly divested the Embedded Security Solutions unit, which Inside bought.

The unit designs software and hardware products used for digital rights management, virtual private networks and other network security. Inside believes it can also add an NFC element to the unit's business, putting credentials on a secure element for use for enterprise security in NFC devices.

Inside also supplies secure chip technology for the banking card and ID markets.

Inside in its earnings report also said it would nullify its revenue target of $400 million for 2014, which it had set during its IPO a year ago. That target will not be reached.

Adjusting NFC Strategy
For its mobile NFC unit, Inside said it would adjust its strategy and would give “priority to an innovative and differentiated offering.”

That includes further developing and marketing its embedded secure element, pushing its NFC “booster” technology and stepping up its licensing program for its NFC and related patents.

The booster technology embeds a contactless antenna and booster chip in SIM cards, giving non-NFC phones a contactless interface. Inside said this NFC PicoPulse chip product offers a standard read range no matter the location of the SIM slot in the phone. Inside sold the first volumes of product in China during the fourth quarter. The company has introduced an embedded version of the technology for consumer electronics.

Inside reported that sales in its mobile NFC segment fell by 10% in 2012 to $43.3 million, which the company blamed on a “strong decline” in mobile handset sales by Blackberry and postponement until 2013 of the launch of devices running the BlackBerry 10 operating system.

BlackBerry in January unveiled its first BlackBerry 10 devices, the Z10 and Q10 and, as expected, both support NFC, using NFC controllers from Inside stacked with secure elements from Germany-based Infineon Technologies. Inside’s own secure element won’t be available for production until the end of this year, and it’s not certain BlackBerry will adopt it after that.

RIM previously introduced six or seven BlackBerry phones supporting NFC, but all or most were released in 2011.

According to U.S.-based research firm Gartner, RIM saw its share of the global mobile phone market in 2012 shrink to 2% on shipments of 34.2 million units, down from a 2.9% share with 51.5 million units shipped in 2011.

Inside said revenue in its mobile NFC unit in the fourth quarter came in at $11.6 million, up 28% from the third quarter, on sales to BlackBerry and revenue from a licensing deal with Intel. But Inside added that the NFC unit during the quarter was not “showing signs of sustained recovery.”

Struggling Against the 'Duopoly'
UPDATE: Inside has been unable so far to break into the market to supply NFC chips to Android device makers. It was going to serve as a second source of supply for an Android phone maker, but that supply contract was either cancelled or delayed because of competitive pressures, de Tonnac indicated Thursday in his conference call with financial analysts. Inside also supplied NFC technology last year to Nokia for its first NFC-enabled Windows Phone, the Lumia 610, but revenue was not significant.

“We had to face two major adverse events in 2012,” de Tonnac told analysts. “One is the downfall of BlackBerry and the further delay of their platform BB10, which was introduced, in fact, only last month (late January). And second, 2012 did see a duopoly take control of the smartphone market, which is the segment where NFC is being integrated; a duopoly made up of Android and Apple.” 

He noted that Broadcom had been picked by Google for a “reference design” for devices running Android 4.2, though device makers could choose other NFC chip suppliers. 

“And Apple, as you know, has not yet decided to adopt NFC,” de Tonnac said. “Therefore, the market was very significantly reduced on the NFC front and, indeed, some of the design wins we had, such as Nokia, did not materialize with significant revenue in 2012. That is (to) explain the very disappointing performance of this segment.” END UPDATE.

Inside reported the NFC unit suffered an operating loss of $30.5 million in 2012, accounting for just about all of the companywide losses for the year. Mobile NFC had lost $17.3 million in 2011. The chip supplier said the losses eased in the unit during the second half of 2012.

Besides the drop in revenue, Inside blamed the losses in the NFC unit in part on higher research and development spending, especially for the booster technology and embedded secure element, as well as the need to develop enhancements to the company’s NFC controller, MicroRead, and to design “next generation NFC technology in partnership with Intel.”

Overall, research and development expenses for the NFC business accounted for 70% of all R&D spending by the company.

In its other segments, Inside reported sales in its secure payment unit fell by 26% for the year to $31.8 million on continued lower sales of contactless chips to U.S. banks, which will soon gear up for their move to EMV chip technology.

There was a slight increase in business for chips for pure contactless payment cards in the U.S. during the second half of the year, but de Tonnac said during a conference call with analysts that, “we do not see that as a major event that should last or reverse the trend of (pure) contactless payment cards going down in the U.S.”

The secure payment unit showed an adjusted operating loss of $3.5 million.

Inside is positioning itself to supply EMV chips for the move by U.S. banks to the more secure payment cards. De Tonnac said he believes this market will begin slowly in the second half of 2013 before picking up next year. Inside is in the final stages of finishing, including certifying its product offerings for the market.

Inside also reported sales were down in its digital security segment, by 23%, to $46.1 million, based on lower sales of chips for ID documents and modules for smart metering and anticounterfeiting. The latter two markets are delayed, de Tonnac said. But the unit made $6.4 million during the year.

Inside plans to discuss the results and planned cuts Thursday morning in a conference call with financial analysts.

 

HEADLINE NEWS

Visa Announces Plans to Introduce Token Service as Part of Mobile Revamp

Jul 25 2014 (All day)

Visa Inc. announced Thursday it would launch a tokenization service in September, as part of what it calls its Visa Digital Solutions “suite of offerings.”

Taiwan Telco Group Goal of 2014 TSM Launch May be Hard to Reach; NFC SIM Footprint Also Small

Jul 24 2014 (All day)

Taiwanese mobile operators have sold a combined 4.2 million NFC-enabled phones and hope to launch their joint TSM platform by the end of the year.

E-Plus Joins Other German Telcos in Launching NFC Wallet and Prepaid Payments Service

Germany’s third largest mobile operator, E-Plus, has launched NFC payments with a prepaid wallet card, joining other German telcos, which have also launched prepaid payments applications on their SIM cards.

Australian Credit Union Launches First HCE Service in Asia Pacific

Jul 14 2014

Australia’s largest credit union, CUA, is the first financial institution in Asia-Pacific to commercially launch mobile payments using host-card emulation, announcing the move today in Australia.

China UnionPay Strikes Deal with ZTE to Use Embedded Chips for Payments

Payment network China UnionPay and China-based handset maker ZTE have disclosed an agreement to enable contactless payment on embedded chips in two of ZTE’s latest high-end Android phones.

Hungary Concludes Year-Long NFC Trial, Prepares for Commercial Launches

As the Hungarian Mobile Wallet Association prepares to enable its members to commercially launch NFC mobile payments, it has released the results of its 12-month NFC payments and loyalty pilot along with a survey of users.

Swiss Telcos to Share Tapit NFC Mobile Wallet Platform

Swiss telco Swisscom has launched an NFC mobile wallet app called Tapit, with the country’s two other major telcos expected to follow later in 2014.

Airlines Continue to Test NFC for Boarding; BLE Piloted for Airport Navigation

France-based telco Orange and Air France, along with airline industry and information technology services provider SITA have launched a trial of an NFC boarding pass application for the airline’s route from Toulouse to Paris, and SITA is also piloting Bluetooth low energy beacons at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport.

Visa, MasterCard to Offer HCE Services to Banks, as They Seek to Expedite Rollout of Technology

NFC Times Exclusive: Both Visa and MasterCard plan to offer their own HCE services to banks and other issuers to help the financial institutions launch host-card emulation, as the payment networks continue to try to expedite the rollout of HCE technology for NFC mobile payments, NFC Times has learned.

BBVA’s Pioneering HCE Service: Payments Innovation Head Talks Tokens, Reasons for Shunning SIMs

NFC Times Exclusive: Host-card emulation represents an “inflection point” for driving the rollout of NFC mobile payments and could also help the SIM-based NFC ecosystem to become more efficient and less costly, the head of payments innovation for major Spanish bank BBVA told NFC Times.

Canada Sees More NFC Commercial Launches with SIMs, but Market Remains Unsettled

Jul 15 2014 (All day)

NFC Times Exclusive: With its high rate of smartphone ownership, strong contactless-payment infrastructure and well-developed NFC ecosystem, Canada is increasingly seen as a market to watch for NFC commercial deployments.

Spanish Bank BBVA Announces Commercial Launch of HCE-Based Payments

Jul 1 2014 (All day)

Spanish bank BBVA is claiming to be the first bank to commercially launch payments with host-card emulation, announcing today an upgrade of its Android mobile-wallet app incorporating Visa’s HCE specifications.