The digital business week

2 Aug 2011

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

Apple grows mobile sales by 141pc, Nokia declines 20pc

Apple demonstrated the greatest level of growth in the global mobile phone market with shipments of iPhones up 141.8pc with 20.3m devices shipped in the second quarter. Nokia, while still holding the largest mobile market share, declined 20pc with shipments of 88.5m.

The worldwide mobile phone market grew 11.3pc year over year in the second quarter of 2011 (2Q11), despite a weaker feature phone market, which declined for the first time since 3Q09.

According to IDC, vendors shipped 365.4m units in 2Q11 compared to 328.4m units in the second quarter of 2010. The 11.3pc growth was lower than IDC’s forecast of 13.3pc for the quarter and was also below the 16.8pc growth in 1Q11.

Trade officials in China close fake Apple stores

Trade officials have shut down several fake Apple stores discovered by a blogger in Kunming, southwestern China.

Following the media attention, trade officials investigated and found five stores in Kunming posing as official Apple retail outlets.

Two of the five have now been closed as their owners lacked a business licence.

Trade officials investigated the shop visited by blogger BirdAbroad but it was not one of the closed shops. It has a licence to trade and is selling genuine Apple products.

Apple has said it has no comment on the discovery of the fake shops.

The consumer electronics giant has officially opened only four stores in two cities in China.

RIM to reduce workforce by 2,000

Troubled smartphone maker Research in Motion is to reduce its workforce by 2,000 as part of what it calls a ‘cost optimisation’ process. As well as this, it has reshuffled its management team but the dual CEO-ship between Mike Lazaridis and Jim Balsillie remains in place.

RIM had said it intended to notify impacted employees in North America and certain other countries last week.

RIM, the company that unleashed the smartphone revolution with BlackBerry mobile email products a decade ago, has seen its market share evaporate in the last three years as Apple’s iPhone and more than 300 Android devices shake up the market.

Following the cutbacks, RIM will employ 17,500 people.

HTC willing to negotiate with Apple over patents dispute

HTC is willing to talk with Apple in an effort to settle their dispute over patents, HTC’s chief financial officer Winston Yung has said.

Yung said HTC is “open to having discussions” with Apple, adding that any solution is on the table, provided it makes good sense.

In March 2010, Apple filed a complaint with the US International Trade Commission against HTC, saying the company violated 10 of its mobile patents.

The commission released an initial ruling earlier this month, saying HTC did violate two of Apple’s patents when HTC produced mobile phones based on Google’s Android operating system.

HTC replied by saying it would “vigorously” fight the ruling through an appeal and maintained it had not violated any patents mentioned in the case.

Samsung Galaxy S II hits 5m global sales

Some 5m units of the Samsung Galaxy S II smartphone have been sold worldwide, Samsung Electronics Co, Ltd has announced.

The Galaxy S II reached the 5-million sales mark in 85 days, which is 40 days faster than the original Galaxy S took to reach the same sales mark. This rate is set to accelerate as Samsung has just launched the Galaxy S II in China, the world’s largest market.

The Galaxy S II is Samsung’s flagship Android smartphone device.

Sony swings to loss following Japan earthquake

Electronics manufacturer Sony swung to a financial loss in the period April-June, following the earthquake and tsunami in Japan on 11 March that affected production at its factories.

The Tokyo-based company reported a net loss of 15.5bn yen (€138.7m) for the quarter, which is a decrease from the 25.7bn yen (€230m) profit during the same time a year ago.

Sony also lowered its profit forecast for the fiscal year ending March 2012 to 60bn yen (€537m), from an original projection of a profit of 80bn yen (€716m).

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