The digital business week

3 May 2011

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

Nokia to transfer 3,000 employees to Accenture, to lay off 4,000

Nokia will outsource its Symbian software activities to Accenture, transitioning 3,000 employees to the company. It will also reduce its workforce globally by 4,000 by the end of 2012.

Nokia, which has been facing stiff competition in the growing smartphone industry, is aiming to cut its Devices and Services unit’s non-IFRS operating expenses by €1bn by 2013.

While this strategic partnership will see 3,000 employees move to Accenture, Nokia will have to let go 4,000 employees by the end of 2012, with reductions seen in the UK, Finland and Denmark. Nokia has said discussions have started with employee representatives.

All employees affected by these plans will remain on Nokia’s payroll through the end of 2011 and personnel reductions will occur in phases until the end of 2012.

Tablets help bolster computer industry growth of 7pc

Strong sales of tablet computers, most notably Apple’s iPad, contributed to a 7pc growth in the computer industry, albeit at the expense of notebook and netbook computers.

During the first quarter of this year, tablet shipments reached 6.4m units worldwide. Apple accounted for 74pc of these shipments, while other vendors struggled to bring competitive products to market.

Canalys expects the next quarter will see a significant change in the market, with products appearing from Acer, Asus, LG and RIM.

Microsoft reports US$16.4bn in Q3 revenues

Strong sales of Office 10, Xbox 360 and Kinect technology drove a 13pc increase in Microsoft’s Q3 revenues of US$16.43bn. The company reported a profit of US$5.2bn, up 31pc.

Operating income, net income and diluted earnings per share for the quarter were US$5.71bn, US$5.23bn and US$0.61 per share, which represented increases of 10pc, 31pc and 36pc, respectively, when compared with the previous year.

eBay and PayPal report solid growth in mobile commerce

Global e-commerce giant eBay reported Q1 results of US$2.5bn in revenues, up 16pc on last year. The company said its PayPal subsidiary is seeing solid growth in mobile commerce volumes.

eBay reported profits of US$475.9m, or US$0.36 per diluted share, and non-GAAP net income of US$619.0m, or US$0.47 per diluted share, representing a 12pc increase for each compared with last year.

PayPal grew active registered accounts 16pc year over year, ending the quarter with 97.7m and adding about 1m active accounts per month for the sixth consecutive quarter.

PayPal’s net total payment volume grew 28pc to US$27.4bn in the first quarter of 2011 compared to the same period of last year, driven primarily by strong 38pc year-over-year growth in its Merchant Services business across global markets, increased merchant adoption and greater usage by customers.

Bids for MySpace expected – report

News Corp is expecting bids for its beleaguered social networking site MySpace in the coming days, The Wall Street Journal has reported.

Citing people familiar to the matter, the newspaper said about five bids to buy all or part of the LA-based company are expected. According to the source, the bids value the company at more than US$100m.

THL Partners, Redscout Ventures and Criterion Capital, which owns social networking site Bebo, are names that have been thrown around as interested parties.

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