The digital business week

16 Jul 2012

IDA Ireland chief executive Barry O'Leary

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

IDA reports 5,000 new jobs in six months as Ireland gains competitiveness

Ireland’s development agency IDA Ireland has revealed that more than 5,000 new jobs were created in the first six months of 2012 in the face of mounting global competition. Falling office rents, energy prices and labour costs are playing a key role.

The agency said an increase in capital intensive projects will provide a boost to the local construction industry.

IDA’s 2011 Annual Report, released last Thursday, shows there are now almost 146,000 people working directly in more than 1,000 IDA client companies. The year 2011 saw the creation of more than 13,000 new jobs with the best net jobs increase since 2002 of more than 6,000. The agency said these results position IDA to achieve its 2010-2014 targets as outlined in IDA’s Horizon 2020 strategy.

The 5,000 jobs announced are in a range of sectors, including IT, life sciences, digital media and international financial services. The investments have been won despite a notable increase in competition from other jurisdictions and the challenging global economic environment.

There has been a notable increase in capital intensive projects in recent times, particularly in the pharmaceutical and ICT areas. A number of recent investments have commenced or will shortly commence, leading to the construction of more than 1,500,000 sq feet of new buildings, giving a much-needed boost to the construction industry.

Silicon Valley to roll into Cork in January as ITLG comes to town

Former Intel CEO and chairman Craig Barrett is leading a delegation of some of the top Irish and Irish-American businesspeople in Silicon Valley, Hollywood and America’s East Coast to Cork on 21 and 22 January 2013 as part of the Irish Technology Leadership Group’s (ITLG) annual pilgrimage to Ireland and ‘Gathering 2013’.

The event will consist of keynote presentations, panel debates and company showcases.

It will be led by Barrett, who chairs the ITLG, and will be hosted by Cork Chamber of Commerce, Cork City Council, University College Cork and Cork Institute of Technology.

At the event, the delegation will participate in more than 50 pitch sessions with start-up and scaling technology companies from the island of Ireland, and will select a shortlist to participate at the 2013 Irish Technology Leadership Group/Irish Times Technology Awards in Silicon Valley, California, next spring.

Mobile content market to reach US$18.6bn globally by 2017 – report

The global mobile content market is expected to soar to US$18.6bn in 2017, jumping from US$6.5bn in 2011, and growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 19pc from 2011 to 2017, a new report suggests.

In the overall global market, the US mobile content market was the largest regional market, with a revenue share of 30.3pc in 2011, Mobile Content Market – Global and the U.S. Industry Analysis, Size, Share, Trends and Forecasts, 2011 – 2017 reveals. Moreover, faster adoption of mobile content in the region will increase the market share of the US to 41.0pc in 2017.

The mobile content market is made up of mobile games, mobile music and mobile video. Mobile games were the largest market segment, with a revenue share of 53.3pc in 2011. The segment will further consolidate its position with 61.7pc market share in 2017. The global mobile games market was worth US$3.5bn in 2011, and is expected to reach US$11.4bn in 2017 with a CAGR of 21.9pc from 2011 to 2017.

Reasons behind the growth in the mobile content market include continuous product innovations and advancement in mobile devices with high-end multimedia functionalities. In addition, increase in mobile bandwidth and the rising popularity of mobile devices among the elderly population are also growth factors.

Global PC sales slow as consumers await Windows 8 and weigh up tablet/ultrabook options

Growth of the worldwide PC market stalled in the second quarter with shipments falling 0.1pc from a year ago. However, IDC predicts growth to pick up towards the end of the year.

IDC said part of the reason for slow second-quarter sales was disappointing sell-out of distribution channels during the first quarter. This limited demand from channels that are wary of building inventory ahead of new product launches this fall.

Moreover, consumers remained reluctant about purchasing PCs in this environment of tech transition and soft economics.

Ultrabooks have not yet produced a significant rise in volumes – in part due to anticipation of improvements such as Windows 8, which is expected later this year, but also due to pricing. Constrained demand in Europe and the US has also been felt in emerging markets for some time, but the second quarter brought another milestone of sorts as Asia/Pacific (excluding Japan) showed flat year-on-year growth; its worst performance in years.

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