The digital business week


10 Oct 2011

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

Apple co-founder and former CEO Steve Jobs dead

Steve Jobs, the visionary co-founder and former CEO of consumer electronics giant Apple, has died after a long battle with illnesses. He was 56.

Jobs had been dealing with health issues the past few years. He had surgery for pancreatic cancer in August 2004, and had a liver transplant in April 2009. In January of this year, he announced he would be taking an indeterminate leave of absence from Apple. In late August, he resigned from the CEO role.

Jobs was surrounded by his wife, Laurene, and immediate family when he died in Palo Alto, California, on 5 October, Apple said. Besides his wife, he is survived by five children.

The Apple iPhone 4S sure can talk, but will it walk?

A faster processor, an 8-megapixel camera, and oh yes, a smartphone that talks back to you were the main reveals from the iPhone 4S launch in California on 4 October; leaving the tech world a little disappointed that expected new form factor iPhone 5 has yet to emerge.

The new iPhone will have an A5 chip, exactly the same as the iPad 2, better antenna and call quality and a longer battery life.

Significantly, it will be termed a ‘world phone’ – insofar as it will be dual band (GSM and CDMA), which is good news for Apple because it will now be able to manufacture a single device worldwide.

The new device will offer eight hours of 3G talk time, six hours of browsing (nine on Wi-Fi), 10 hours of video and more than 40 hours of music.

The iPhone 4S camera will be an 8-megapixel camera – 60pc more pixels than the iPhone 4 – and will have 26pc better white balance and can take faster photos at a rate 33pc faster than the iPhone 4.

The new phone will, as reported earlier, come with Siri – the incredible new voice-recognition system that Apple acquired a year ago for around US$200m.

The US will get the iPhone 4S from 12 October and the UK from 14 October but we in Ireland will have to wait until 28 October.

Samsung looking to ban iPhone 4S in France and Italy

Samsung will file a preliminary injunction against the iPhone 4S in France and Italy less than a day after the iPhone update was unveiled on 4 October.

According to Samsung, the preliminary injunction relates to two patent infringements for wireless telecommunications technology, specifically WCDMA standards and 3G.

Samsung said it would file preliminary injunctions in other countries in due course.

Microsoft kills off its Zune hardware for good

Microsoft has confirmed it will no longer be making its Zune media player devices, which were created originally to compete with the Apple iPod, and is urging users to move to the Windows Phone.

The software giant has said that going forward, Windows Phone will be the focus for its mobile music and video strategy.

“So what does this mean for our current Zune users?” the company just wrote on the Zune support pages. “Absolutely nothing. Your device will continue to work with Zune services just as it does today.

“And we will continue to honour the warranties of all devices for both current owners and those who buy our very last devices."

So in effect the Zune experience for buying and managing music and other media that transcends its Windows and its Xbox 360 platforms will remain in play and will clearly be a key app on Windows Phone devices.

PCH launches new facility for selling into China

PCH International has announced the launch of PCH China Direct, a 6,000 sq-metre facility in Shenzhen, Southern China, that will enable global brands to sell customised, personalised accessories and other products directly to the fast-growing Chinese domestic market.

According to PCH, the new facility will employ around 100 people and will have a capacity of about 5m units per year. It has a licence for domestic trading, with the ability to trade in RMB, meaning PCH clients’ products will be bought, sold and shipped domestically in China. The new facility will offer postponement, configuration and fulfilment services similar to PCH’s export facility, PCH Global Direct.

Mydealpage expands to UK and Netherlands

Further to launching in May of this year, Irish daily deal aggregator Mydealpage.ie has expanded its service to the UK and Dutch daily deal market and other countries are to be added in the coming weeks.

The website gives an overview of all the daily deals available and visitors can find specific offers of interest to them or available in their area via customisation filters. The site shows on average more than 110 daily deals, many of which are applicable to regions outside of Dublin.

The UK and Dutch sites are Mydealpage.co.uk and MyDealpage.nl, respectively.

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