India may be the world’s second largest mobile phone market by users but so far it hasn’t been a major focus for Apple. In the absence of the iPhone, Samsung and BlackBerry have led the way in the country.
More recently, however, that has begun to change. Just as BlackBerry launches its first smartphone in India under the BlackBerry 10 operating system, Apple is joining the fray with a big push in the developing market.
Just for a change, Apple investors are jumpy. After ticking about 1 per cent lower throughout Tuesday morning, Apple stock suddenly leapt in high-volume trading just after lunch to close up 1.4 per cent for the day.
As a now-famous YouTube clip from 2010 shows, kids as young as 2 can operate an iPad, quickly learning how to open apps and play games. Unfortunately, some parents who used their iPad or iPhone as a babysitter ended up with a steep bill when their kids spent hundreds of dollars on virtual items in “free” games.
It is ironic that both Dell and Apple shared big news last week.
Back in 1998 Michael Dell, then the crown prince of the personal computer industry, recommended that Steve Jobs shut down Apple, which was in dire shape, and distribute the proceeds to shareholders. By contrast, reflecting the turmoil now afflicting all PC makers, Mr Dell is negotiating to borrow money to make his company disappear from public view. Apple, meanwhile, announced that its shareholders would receive a Valentine’s day dividend of $2.5bn – a tiny portion of its $137bn cash pile.
Farhad Manjoo at Slate called suggestions that Apple was somehow losing its allure with consumers “totally bogus”. The only thing that held it back, he added, was an inability to keep up with customer demand: “Limited supply, unlike limited demand, is something Apple can fix. In the grand scheme of things, it’s not such a terrible problem.” Read more
The company’s stock price has tumbled by a quarter since September’s peak and October’s warning that profit margins would come under pressure from the near-simultaneous launch of the iPhone 5, iPad mini and other upgrades last autumn. Read more
Surging mobile sales drove earnings at Samsung Electronics to another record, despite competition from Apple’s iPhone 5. The FT’s Simon Mundy reports from Seoul on how Samsung beat analysts’ forecasts and how the company is positioned. Read more
Like all things to do with Las Vegas, the annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES), which arrives in town next week, is loud, flashy and over the top. But, as a guide to what will soon be appearing in your living room, the show’s record is patchy.
Take the hot trends in televisions, as seen in Las Vegas in recent years. From the arrival of internet-connected sets in 2007 to the first ultra-high definition OLED screens in 2008 and then 3D TV in 2010, there has been no shortage of ideas for reinventing the medium. None of these has yet gone mainstream, though.
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Richard Waters, Chris Nuttall, April Dembosky and Tim Bradshaw in the FT's San Francisco bureau share their views - plus tech insights from Maija Palmer and Robin Kwong in London and Sarah Mishkin in Taipei.
Richard Waters has headed the FT's San Francisco bureau since 2002 and covers Google and Microsoft, among other things. A former New York bureau chief for the FT, he is intrigued by Silicon Valley's unique financial and business culture, and is looking forward to covering his second Tech Bust.
Chris Nuttall has been online and messing around with computers for more than 20 years and since 2004 has reported from the FT's San Francisco bureau on semiconductors, video games, consumer electronics and all things interwebby.
Maija Palmer has been writing about technology for the FT since 1999 and is fascinated by cybercrime, privacy and all the other issues of the information society. Based in London, she covers European tech companies and hopes that they won't all get acquired by American rivals.
Robin Kwong is the FT's technology, media and telecoms page editor in London. Formerly he was the Taipei correspondent and wrote about the companies that manufacture the vast majority of the world's computers and gadgets. He is interested in the intricacies of the technology supply chain and how China is increasingly changing the tech landscape.
Tim Bradshaw is the FT's digital media correspondent, and has just moved from London to join our team in San Francisco. He has covered start-ups such as Twitter and Spotify, as well as the online ambitions of more established media companies, such as the BBC iPlayer. He also covers the advertising, marketing and video-game industries. Tim has been writing about technology, business and finance since 2003.