The technology business week: Apple is poster child for post-PC revolution, Twitter strikes deal with American Express

18 Feb 2013

Apple CEO Tim Cook

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

‘Apple is the poster child for the post-PC revolution,’ says Tim Cook

Sales of the iPad will grow from 120m last year to 375m per annum within four years, by which stage more iPads will be sold than PCs. In other words, this is the post-PC era and Apple is its poster child, Apple CEO Tim Cook told the Goldman Sachs technology conference last week.

With more than 40bn apps downloaded from its App Store, some 500m active user accounts, more than 300,000 apps custom made for the iPad and more than US$8bn paid to developers, Apple has transformed forever the way software is made and sold.

In less than seven years since the iPhone debuted, Apple has upended the established order and now the others are playing catch-up, he told the conference.

According to a transcript of a question-and-answer session following his presentation, compiled by, Cook believes Apple is the poster child of the post-PC revolution.

Twitter’s new e-commerce adventure – ‘tweet to buy’ deal signed with Amex

Twitter isn’t just thinking of monetisation through digital marketing, it has its eye on e-commerce payments. The microblogging service has embarked on a new social commerce experiment with American Express that turns Twitter hashtags into purchases.

American Express has developed a new sync service that allows American Express cardholders to sync their cards with Twitter to purchase products and access content, offers and more.

Card Sync first launched on Twitter last March to deliver couponless savings to cardholders who tweet special offer #hashtags from merchants.

As part of the latest deal with Twitter, a special US$25 American Express gift card has been developed.

Online vendors Amazon, Sony, Urban Zen and Microsoft’s Xbox 360 have come on board as retail partners.

Opera boosts video capabilities via €155m Skyfire acquisition

Norwegian software player Opera has acquired Skyfire Labs, a firm specialising in mobile video optimisation, in a deal estimated to be worth up to €155m.

Skyfire, which is headquartered in Mountain View, California, and counts more than 20m downloads of its technology, is known for its Rocket Optimize software. This allows mobile operators to leverage cloud computing to optimise virtually any video and other multimedia on crowded cell towers, including 3G and 4G LTE networks.

Rocket Optimizer, on average, provides mobile networks a 60pc boost in capacity by reducing the size of video and other multimedia content as needed to fit the available bandwidth.

 “Opera and Skyfire are a natural fit,” said Lars Boilesen, CEO, Opera Software. “Both companies have evolved far beyond their browser roots. Skyfire adds capabilities to our portfolio around video, app optimisation, smartphones and tablets, and strength in North America.”

VMware to acquire software company Virsto Software

Cloud and virtualisation provider VMware is hoping to boost its development of storage technologies with the acquisition of Virsto Software, a provider of software that optimises storage performance and utilisation in virtual environments.

Terms of the deal, which is expected to close in the first quarter of 2013, have not been disclosed.

VMware’s vice-president of storage and availability John Gilmartin said VMware believes the acquisition of Virsto will accelerate its development of storage technologies, allowing its customers to improve the efficiency and performance of storage in a virtual infrastructure.

Google sues BT over four patents

Internet search giant Google has launched lawsuits against telecoms company BT in the UK and US, claiming BT has infringed several of its technologies. The lawsuits follow the one BT launched against Google in 2011.

Google has claimed BT has infringed four of its patents pertaining to internet communications technologies.

A BT spokesman has said BT does not comment on pending litigation.

BT’s 2011 case against Google over six patents related to mobile technology has yet to be resolved.

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