It is another change of tactics in a war that has been going on for 50 years. This week, consumer electronics companies led by Apple, HP, Sony, Panasonic and Research In Motion, broke off the latest round of talks to reform the Europe’s convoluted system of private copy levies.
The copy levies are surcharges placed on devices such as MP3 players and printers by 22 European countries, to compensate writers, artists, and musicians for small amounts of personal copying of their material. It is not to be confused with illegal filesharing; the copy levies are intended to cover handfuls of copies in the private sphere, which many countries allow.
It’s the year of 3D if you believe Sir Howard Stringer, Sony chief executive, it’s the year of the tablet, according to Jen-Hsun Huang, Nvidia CEO.
Judging by the products unveiled at the 2010 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this week, it could also be the year of the eReader, the year of the smartbook, the year of internet TVs and many other new devices.
Our correspondents at CES have been donning their 3D glasses to discuss the week’s announcements in a special edition of FT Techtalk. Chris Nuttall and Paul Taylor had some of the bad internet connections and logistical holdups that typify CES, but you can read a transcript of their conversation earlier today below.
Sony had a bestseller of a Christmas with its Reader devices in the US, according to executives here at CES in Las Vegas, and Qualcomm is expecting to spice up the market with colour displays in 2010.
December sales of the Reader were four times the value of the previous year, eReaders were the biggest growth area for Sony Electronics in the run up to Christmas and had the largest unit volume of all its products, according to Steve Haber, president of its digital reading division.