The digital business week

19 Sep 2011

A digest of the top business and technology news stories from the past week.

Steve Jobs’ departure from Apple CEO role hasn’t hurt sales

Any anxiety Apple may have had over its visionary leader Steve Jobs stepping down from the CEO role impacting on demand for its products must have been short lived. A survey shows only 4pc of customers are less likely to buy Apple products in the future.

The 6-12 September 2011 survey of 2,297 consumers by ChangeWave shows only 4pc say Jobs’ resignation makes them less likely to buy Apple products in the future, while 89pc say it’s having no effect on their purchasing of Apple products.

When asked a similar question during Jobs’ first leave of absence back in 2008, nearly one in five respondents (18pc) said they would be less likely to buy Apple products if Jobs stepped down.

Since then, ChangeWave says it has asked this question on several occasions and over this time period the impact of Jobs stepping down has lessened in the minds of consumers.

The results suggest Jobs’ previous absences have had an ‘inoculating’ effect that over time has allayed consumer concerns on whether the company could operate at the same level without Jobs at the helm.

Daily deals market in Ireland worth €10m in just three months

In the three months to the end of August, €10m was spent in the Republic of Ireland on the various daily deal sites, such as Groupon, Pigsback and GrabOne, according to new data from deal aggregation service Sift.

According to Sift, some 325,000 vouchers were sold in the three months.

Sift CEO Shane Hayes explained: “August was a particularly strong month, with €4.4m worth of vouchers sold representing a 35pc increase on July which in turn was a 27pc increase on June.”

Hayes says the fact this particular e-commerce market grew strongly over the traditional holiday months of July and August indicates the daily deal phenomenon shows no sign of slowing down, despite fears arising recently in the US after Groupon postponed its IPO.

RIM’s revenue down 15pc last quarter, 200,000 PlayBooks shipped

RIM’s quarterly results were below analysts’ forecasts, with revenue down 15pc from the previous quarter. It shipped 200,000 PlayBooks during this period.

Revenue for this quarter was US$4.2bn, with 73pc accounting for hardware, 24pc for service and 3pc for software and other revenue.

Net income was US$329m or 63 cents per share.

Excluding the impact of a pre-tax one-time charge of US$118m for a cost optimisation program, adjusted net income was US$419m and per share earnings were 80 cents per share.

RIM shipped 10.6m BlackBerry smartphones and 200,000 PlayBook tablets, which AllThingsDigital reports was lower than analysts’ expectations.

NI digital design agency Frank expands in region

Northern Ireland digital design agency Frank is not only growing its operations in Belfast, but it’s opening a new office in Derry. The expansion will result in five new jobs.

Established in 2005, Frank specialise in brand, broadcast and digital services, and currently employs a staff of 10 in Belfast. The additional jobs in Belfast will see Frank develop its digital and technological capabilities alongside its work in broadcast and film.

Frank will be looking to establish a presence in the rest of the UK.

Mobile tech firm boxPAY expands its reach in EU

boxPAY Ltd., the provider of SMS-based mobile billing services to web merchants, has expanded its service coverage in three new European Union countries, as well as two other additional countries.

Denmark, Finland and Poland have been added to the worldwide mobile billing platform in the EU, and Israel and Turkey have also been added to the boxPAY platform. This expands the reach of all boxPAY merchants to include mobile phone users with multiple carriers in all of these countries, creating an additional potential customer base of millions of people.  

boxPAY now provides merchants with the ability to bill customers for virtual goods and services via their mobile phones in any of these five countries, in addition to 30 other countries already on the boxPAY platform.

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