Monthly Archives: August 2012

Chris Nuttall

Sony’s huge push into 3D led by Sir Howard Stringer has dominated its announcements at recent consumer electronics shows on both sides of the Atlantic, with new products and frequent instructions to the audience to don their 3D glasses during presentations.

But 3D, which has failed to give a significant lift to Sony’s consistently loss-making TV business, didn’t rate a mention when Kaz Hirai, who took over as chief executive in April, conducted Sony’s press conference at the IFA show in Berlin on Wednesday.  Instead, the event climaxed with the unveiling of an 84in 4K LCD TV. Read more >>

Lenovo A270 Hero

The Lenovo A720 all-in-one

Widescreen TVs may be the norm these days, but not so much widescreen PCs. That may be about to change thanks to Microsoft’s Windows 8 operating system, which encourages users to scroll across the screen rather than up and down.

 Read more >>

Chris Nuttall

Two more executives have left Zynga, the leading social gaming company whose stock has lost 70 per cent of its value since going public in December.

There has been a string of departures this month after the San Francisco-based company issued disappointing quarterly results and its stock price continued to slide. The latest to leave are vice presidents Bill Mooney and Brian Birtwistle. Read more >>

Chris Nuttall

Toshiba has confined its consumer storage offerings to its Canvio line of portable hard drives and external desktop drives to date, but the Canvio Personal Cloud unveiled on Thursday at the IFA show in Berlin sees the brand breaking out into network-attached storage (NAS) in the home.

The concept is around storing personal files in the “cloud” in the home rather than in a remote data centre that can mean subscription fees and slow uploads and downloads. The Canvio device, in 2Tb or 3Tb internal hard drive sizes, hooks up to a spare ethernet connection on the wireless router in the home to provide both local and remote connectivity. Read more >>

Chris Nuttall

HP, Lenovo, Samsung, Sony and Toshiba have been showing the shape of Windows 8 computing to come, unveiling hybrid PC/tablet devices that take advantage of the new dual-mode operating system when it launches on October 26.

HP has been demonstrating its Envy x2 (pictured left) to media in San Francisco, while its Asian rivals launched their takes on hybrid computing at the IFA consumer electronics show in Berlin.  None of them have anything to fear from Apple in this area, in terms of patent disputes or rival devices, with Tim Cook, chief executive, describing such designs as being as unsatisfactory as combining a toaster with a refrigerator. Read more >>

This month Apple has achieved something almost as remarkable as transforming a phone into an iPhone. It has turned Samsung into an underdog.

That takes some doing. Samsung, with its 220,000 employees and 83 business divisions, astonishingly accounts for a fifth of South Korean exports and has such an overwhelming presence in its home market it is described by one detractor as an “aggressive octopus”. To regard it as the plucky – albeit “copycat” – upstart is the equivalent of getting people to root for Goliath on the grounds that “a big man like that just doesn’t stand a chance”.

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Tim Bradshaw

Valuations in technology mergers and acquisitions nearly doubled last year and have continued to rise into 2012, even as dealmaking has waned in other areas this year, a study has found.

American Appraisal, a valuation advisory group, said that on average, the multiples of earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation that technology companies paid for acquisitions in 2011 leapt from 7.7x in 2010 to 14.1x in 2011, a trend it says has continued during 2012. Read more >>

Chris Nuttall

A year after launching its first tablet, Sony has announced a next-generation version, the Xperia Tablet S.

The new slate is a slimmer version of the original, battery life has been boosted from eight hours to a claimed 10 hours and new accessories have been added.  The Tablet S was unveiled at the IFA consumer electronics show in Berlin along with new smartphones, hybrid PCs and an 84in 4K LCD TV. Read more >>

Sarah Mishkin

At least one Android maker is optimistic right now.

Asus, the Taiwan based company behind Google’s Nexus 7 tab, announced some very ambitious sales goals on Wednesday, predicting that the company will grow leaps and bounds ahead of the overall flat PC market – and could even beat Samsung to become the number one manufacturer of Android tablets.

With the rest of the industry predicting far more modest growth, can Asus really deliver?

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Chris Nuttall

Logitech, the computer peripherals maker that has seen keyboards and mice sales hit by the advent of the smartphone and tablet, is expanding its premium Ultimate Ears (UE) brand to become a mass-market name for products that meet the musical needs of the Apple-led mobile crowd.

This necessary shift – Logitech admitted last year it had missed opportunities in this newer market – begins with the launch today of Logitech UE headphones, speakers and even an internet radio. Read more >>