A digest of the top business and technology news stories from the past week.
NFC-ready POS terminal shipments doubled to 2.5m in 2011 – report
The market for NFC-ready point-of-sale (POS) terminals skyrocketed in 2011, with annual shipments doubling to an estimated 2.5m units worldwide, a new research report from Berg Insight reveals.
A move from performing NFC payment trials to accelerating the rollout of NFC-ready payment infrastructure in preparation for the arrival of NFC-based mobile payment services is what drove the rapid growth.
The global installed base of NFC-ready POS terminals will grow at a compound annual growth rate of 49.4pc from 3.9m units in 2011 to 43.4m units in 2017, Berg Insight has forecast.
Starbucks Ireland apologises for Twitter gaffe
Starbucks Ireland has tweeted an apology and issued a statement saying sorry to its Irish customers hours after posting a tweet asking them why they’re proud to be British.
"We erroneously posted to our Irish Twitter page meaning to post to the UK only. Customers in Ireland: We’re sorry," reads the new tweet from Starbucks Ireland.
The coffee chain also issued a statement about the mistake.
"The tweet, which was only meant to be sent to our British Twitter followers as part of the diamond jubilee celebrations, was erroneously posted to our Irish Twitter page,” the statement read.
"We apologise to all our customers and followers on Twitter in Ireland and hope that they will forgive our mistake."
The modern Irish State was established in 1922, after winning its independence from the British Empire.
Pfizer confirms 177 job losses in Cork
Pfizer has briefed staff in two Cork sites, confirming there will be job losses next year.
Employees at Pfizer’s manufacturing sites in Little Island and Ringaskiddy will be affected by the cuts. The Little Island site will see its staff of 175 lose 48 members, while 129 jobs will go at the Ringaskiddy plant, which currently employs 450.
Pfizer employs about 4,000 people in eight sites across Ireland and has invested US$7bn in its Irish operations since 1969.
The bad news, however, comes as a result of declining demand for previously lucrative products such as Atorvastatin, more commonly known as Lipitor, a cholesterol-fighting drug. The patent on Lipitor has expired, resulting in significant losses for Pfizer.
“Patent expiry means greater competition which impacts global demand and we need to readjust the scale of our manufacturing operations,” said Pfizer vice-president Paul Duffy.
Olympus to cut 2,700 jobs by March 2014
Camera and medical equipment-maker Olympus is to cut 2,700 jobs by March 2014 and restructure its global manufacturing operations as part of a five-year plan to make a new start after an accounting scandal.
The Japanese company has almost 40,000 employees worldwide.
Olympus lost 49bn yen (€494.2m) in the year to the end of March, but predicted that it will reap a profit of 7bn yen (€70.6m) in the current year.
Last year, Olympus admitted hiding losses of US$1.7bn (€1.35bn) after its chief executive revealed accounting irregularities, BBC News reported.
Samsung Electronics names Kwon Oh-hyun as CEO
Samsung Electronics has named the head of the firm’s display and chip business Kwon Oh-hyun as a new chief executive officer, after his division pulled the company out of an industry slump.
"As before, vice-chairman Kwon will oversee the company’s component business but, as chief executive, he will also handle corporate-wide affairs," Samsung said in a statement.
Kwon had been promoted to vice-chairman in December and he replaces Geesung Choi as CEO.
Geesung will remain vice-chairman and keep his seat on Samsung Electronics’ board of directors, the statement added.
The current chief executive, Choi Gee-sung, will become head of corporate strategy at the parent company Samsung Group.
Image of NFC payment via Shutterstock
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