The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES:^DJI) powered through the coveted 17,000 mark in this week's shortened trading session, rising 217 points. In the world of tech stocks, NQ Mobile (NYSE:NQ) plunged, Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) is allegedly building its own voice recognition engine, and Intel's (NASDAQ:INTC) cellular modems seem to be gaining momentum.
NQ Mobile plunges as it faces expanded audit
NQ Mobile has been a controversial stock ever since last October, when Muddy Waters Research made public allegations of fraudulent conduct at NQ. The shares lost over half of their value on the release of the Muddy Waters report.
As NQ posted strong earnings results, and as the special committee formed to investigate the fraud allegations against NQ found no evidence that Muddy Waters' allegations were true, the shares nearly recovered to pre-allegation levels by March.
However, the situation recently took a turn for the worse, as NQ failed to file its 2013 annual report on schedule. Further, in NQ's Thursday press release, it was noted that PricewaterhouseCoopers, NQ's independent auditor, made it clear to the company's board of directors and audit committee that "it would need to perform additional procedures and expand the scope of its 2013 audit work."
The shares closed down 32.25% in Thursday's trading session.
Apple building its own voice recognition engine?
Shares of Apple were up 2.23% during the shortened trading week. Though unlikely related to the share price gain, Wired reported that Apple is in the process of building a voice recognition software team. This would mean a move away from Nuance (NASDAQ:NUAN) as the technology provider for Apple's widely known voice recognition feature known as Siri.
This is typical Apple, which will take a very practical approach to bringing new features to market. If it can bring the technology out initially through in-house efforts, then it will do so. If not, then it will integrate other companies' technologies. If that technology is critical enough to differentiating the iPhone and iPad over the longer term, Apple will eventually move it in-house, as it did with maps and processor design.
Keep an eye out over the next few years on what Apple can bring to the table with its own in-house voice recognition solution.
Intel's modem efforts continue to march on
Intel, the world's largest chipmaker, has been racing to catch up in supporting the latest wireless standards with its cellular modems. It looks as though these efforts have begun to bear fruit, as Samsung has now adopted Intel's first LTE modem, dubbed XMM 7160, in three publicly announced smartphones:
- Galaxy S5 mini (international edition)
- Galaxy K Zoom
- Galaxy Note 3 Neo
Looking ahead, the company signaled at its analyst day last November that the XMM 7160's successor, known as the XMM 7260, is seeing strong interest from customers because of its robust feature-set.
If Intel's modem efforts can eventually consistently keep pace with Qualcomm's, then Intel's mobile future could be quite bright.