The tech business week: PC and tablet sales struggle, Ericsson to cut 71 Dublin jobs

23 Mar 2015

A digest of the top business technology news stories from the past week, beginning with market research, analysis and advisory firm IDC revealing a stalemate in the war of the PC and tablet.

PC and tablet sales struggle, IDC reveals

Market research, analysis and advisory firm IDC has revealed a stalemate in the war of the PC and tablet.

IDC has revised its forecast for the decline in PC sales for 2015, to almost 5pc from 3.3pc, and it scaled back its five-year forecast for tablet computers from double-digit to single-digit growth.

It said fourth-quarter shipments of PCs were 1.7pc ahead of forecast but economic and product changes will create a head wind in the short term. Total 2015 volume is projected at 293.1m PCs, slipping a little further to 291.4m in 2019.

Worldwide shipments of tablets are expected to reach 234.5m units in 2015, a modest year-over-year increase of 2.1pc from 2014.

Ericsson to cut 71 jobs at Dublin offices

Swedish telecoms equipment giant Ericsson is to reduce its workforce in Dublin by 71 employees.

The cuts follow the company’s recent decision to cut 2,200 jobs in Sweden as part of a cost-cutting measure aimed at saving around US$1bn.

Ericsson is understood to be implementing a voluntary redundancy programme at its offices in Clonskeagh.

Yahoo! continues to rein in foreign offices as China operation shuts

Internet giant Yahoo! is closing its sole Chinese operation, with up to 350 employees – primarily engineers and scientists – losing their jobs. This follows similar cutbacks in Canada and India in the last few months.

In Beijing, though, the closure affects Yahoo!’s only tangible operation in the country, meaning Yahoo! now has just two global R&D facilities.

The company said the Beijing office served as a R&D facility despite the fact Yahoo! offers no “local product experiences in Beijing”.

“We will be consolidating certain functions into fewer offices, including to our headquarters in Sunnyvale, California, US. Our impacted employees will be treated with respect and fairness through this transition,” Yahoo! said.

Cloud delivers for Oracle with Q3 revenues of US$9.3bn

Despite difficult foreign exchange headwinds, software company Oracle kept third-quarter revenues steady at US$9.3bn, helped by a surge in cloud software-as-a-service (SaaS) and platform-as-a-service (PaaS) revenues.

“We beat the midpoint of my constant currency guidance on every single financial metric this past quarter,” said Oracle co-CEO Safra Catz.

“EPS was up 9pc, total revenue was up 6pc, hardware revenues were up 5pc, software and cloud revenues were up 7pc, and total cloud SaaS, PaaS and IaaS (infrastructure-as-a-service) revenues were up 33pc. Once you normalise for exchange rates, it was a very strong growth quarter for us.”

Ex-Facebook employee sues company for alleged sexual and race discrimination

A former Facebook employee is suing the social network for alleged sex and race discrimination.

Chia Hong worked for Facebook between 2010 and 2013 and it is understood she was eventually dismissed. In a lawsuit filed last week, Hong claimed she experienced discrimination, harassment and retaliation before finally being fired.

Facebook is vehemently denying the allegations.

The case is the latest gender discrimination and harassment case to rock Silicon Valley. In Ellen Pao’s case against her former employer, venture-capital firm Kleiner, Perkins Caufield & Byers, Pao alleges she was denied lucrative senior roles and ultimately pushed out of the company.

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