A slower week for technology which, unfortunately for some companies, also saw a slowing in profits. Nevertheless, we still take a look at some exciting new products and marvel at Forbes’ latest list of rich and powerful people, so let’s dive in:
Apple may only own 4.2% of the global handset market, but that hasn’t stopped the company capturing a crazy 52% of the handset market’s profits for Q3 2011. Analysts went on to suggest that Apple could do even better for Q4, with around 60% of profits despite its tiny market share.
Sony, on the other hand, is not doing so well, having reported a net loss of ¥27bn for this quarter, compared with a profit of ¥31.1bn for the same time period last year. Revenue also fell 9.1% to ¥1.575tn. The company is expected to lose the equivalent of over $1bn this fiscal year.
News Corp., Rupert Murdoch’s huge media company still mired in the NoW phone hacking scandal, posted a decline in net income of nearly 5% for Q1. Most of the losses were either from the company’s newspaper division, or as a result of fees incurred by the company’s failure to take over BSkyB. For the same quarter, News Corp. reported a 7% growth in revenue to $7.96bn, mainly due to growth in the company’s TV business.
AMD, one of Intel’s main competitors in the chip market, is to lay off 10% of its workforce beginning this quarter. AMD said the “restructuring plan” would save the company around $200m next year and would improve its efficiency.
Frenny Bawa, the managing director of Research In Motion’s Indian operations, has left the company to pursue interests elsewhere. Until a replacement is found, Indian operations will be overseen by Urpo Karjalainen, senior vice president for Greater China, India, Australia and New Zealand.
Julian Assange, the founder and public face of WikiLeaks, on Wednesday lost his fight to prevent extradition to Sweden over complaints of sexual assault. Another hearing will be held later this month to determine whether the ruling can be appealed, where Assange will have to convince the judges that there is a “wider issue of public importance” at stake.
Hacking & Security
Following last week’s exposure of a prominent child pornography website, Anonymous has this week published the IP addresses of 190 alleged paedophiles, apparently collected in a sting operation involving a fake Firefox addon. Ars has more.
Games bought from the PlayStation Network after November 18th will be subject to a restriction which means they can only be activated on two devices at a time, as opposed to the current limit of five. The change will not be retroactive, so any games bought before the 18th will continue to be available on as many machines as they are at present.
Angry Birds, the game so popular we spend 300m minutes a day playing it (for a collective total of 200,000 years spent firing a total of 400bn birds at green pigs), has just reached half a billion downloads. And yes, this was worth reporting.
The Motorola Xoom 2, successor to the first ‘real’ Android tablet, has been announced. The Xoom 2 will be available two different editions – regular and media – with 10.1 inch and 8.2 inch displays respectively. Both models are 0.35 inches thick, run on a dual-core 1.2Ghz processor, have 1GB of RAM and run Android 3.2 Honeycomb. Both tablets will launch in the UK later this month, but no US or Canada dates have been announced yet.
Subscribers to Amazon Prime who also own Kindles now have access to the “Kindle Owners’ Lending Library”, a service which allows users to borrow one book a month from a choice of around 5,000 titles. Books can be borrowed for as long as users like, but can only be read on the Kindle device.
Spotify, the popular music streaming service, has signed a deal with Morrisons for the supermarket to start selling Spotify cards, iTunes-style. The cards come in £10, £30 and £50 varieties and can be redeemed against Spotify subscriptions or song purchases.
If you live in London, this handy app will wake you up when you reach your bus stop.
Apple’s Siri servers appeared to be down for parts of Thursday and Friday, as many iPhone 4S users reported network connection errors when they tried to use the voice assistant. Apple has apologised, but despite users’ annoyance the company should perhaps be pleased – if the server outage isn’t a sign of Siri being too popular for its own good, then the fact that so many people were upset shows how much people are beginning to use the service.
Some customers have been reporting battery life problems with their iPhones after upgrading to iOS 5. Since acknowledging the issue, Apple has released the iOS 5.0.1 beta to developers, which seems to be a patch designed to fix the bugs. It should be available to users for download soon.
Forbes’ latest list of the 70 most powerful individuals includes many politicians and religious leaders, but also quite a few tech personalities. At #5 is Bill Gates, #9 Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook), #30/31 Sergey Brin and Larry Page (Google), #40 Jeff Bezos (Amazon) and #58 Tim Cook (Apple).
Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales gave an interesting talk to launch the 2011 Free Thinking festival, available on BBC iPlayer.
Pretty pictures of Apple’s newly renovated Fifth Avenue store can be found here.