Daily Archives: May 13, 2010

Paul Taylor

If the tech world rumour mill is correct, Apple could unveil the next version of its iPhone – somewhat confusingly dubbed by some the iPhone 4G, or more accurately the iPhone OS 4.0 - at the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference which begins in San Francisco on June 7.

Compounding the confusion over what exactly 4G  does or does not stand for, Sprint will begin selling the HTC EVO 4G – the first WiMax-enabled smartphone  - a few days earlier on June 4. 

So China Unicom is finally facing the music: China’s second-largest carrier is going to pour between Rmb3bn to Rmb5bn into making the iPhone and other third-generation mobile devices cheaper for consumers this year.

Are there any lessons to learn from the iPhone’s China flop?

Part of the subsidies will finance a 30 per cent price cut, introduced on May 1, for 3G subscription packages that come with an iPhone.

The step is part of a reluctant movement towards wooing consumers in an increasingly competitive market, and a rather late admission that market share in the world’s biggest mobile market is costing carriers dearly. 

HTC, the Taiwanese smartphone maker,  vowed to “fully defend itself” when Apple sued for patent infringement in March. Now the maker of Google’s Nexus One smartphone has done so. It countersued Apple on Wednesday, filing a complaint with the US International Trade Commission alleging that Apple has violated five of its patents pertaining to mobile phones. 

There just still seems to be no clear consensus on whether netbooks – cheaper, simpler notebooks that were one of the fastest-growing tech segments last year – are starting to lose steam.

Paul Otellini, Intel chief executive, insists the tablet PC won’t “eat the notebooks’ and netbooks’ lunch”, while others suggest the netbook’s breakneck growth is running up against other barriers such as rising manufacturing costs . The latest numbers from Taiwan’s Market Intelligence & Consulting Institute, a government-backed research institute, hardly help clear up the issue.

 

Chris Nuttall

Shares in Electronic Arts fell nearly 6 per cent on Wednesday after the video game publisher issued a cautious outlook for its current fiscal year.

Investors seemed to overlook the fact that it is trying to manage expectations with more conservative estimates these days and that its digital business appears to be taking off. 

Facebook is spreading like a weed across the globe. It has blown past 400m users and will soon be a half-billion users strong. Yet as it has grown, writes John Gapper, its respect for the privacy of its users has steadily eroded.

Unfortunately, Mark Zuckerberg, the 25-year-old who founded Facebook as a private social network for Harvard students, has recently been displaying a disregard bordering on disdain for Facebook users’ right to maintain control over personal information.