Tech business week: SIM cards disappearing and DRIPA ruled unlawful

20 Jul 2015

A digest of the top business technology news stories from the past week, including Apple and Samsung’s SIM card plans and DRIPA ruled to be unlawful.

Apple and Samsung to make the traditional SIM card disappear

The SIM card as we know it is about to disappear forever. Apple and Samsung are in talks with the GSM Association (GSMA) about plans to launch electronic, embedded SIM cards to replace the traditional, removable SIM card.

Apple and Samsung are gearing up for the new generation of SIMs to appear inside new devices in 2016.

An embedded or digital SIM would enable consumers to avoid being locked into a plan with a mobile operator.

The move could fundamentally change how consumers sign up to mobile operators, making it likely that new phone buyers could be presented with a menu of operators to choose from when they unbox their shiny new devices.

UK surveillance legislation ruled unlawful by High Court

The rushed through Data Retention and Investigatory Powers Act 2014 (DRIPA) has been ruled as unlawful by the UK High Court, exactly one year since its inception.

Two MPs challenged DRIPA, with the courts ruling that two sections of the legislation were “incompatible with the British public’s right to respect for private life”, according to Liberty, a human rights lobby that backed the case.

The court declared that section one of DRIPA “does not lay down clear and precise rules providing for access to and use of communications data” and should be “disapplied”.

eBay reports Q2 revenues of US$4.4bn

E-commerce giant eBay has reported Q2 revenues of US$4.4bn, below Wall St expectations of US$4.5bn. Ahead of its spin-off of PayPal, eBay revealed that it is also selling off its eBay Enterprise division to a consortium of venture capitalists for US$$925m.

The Q2 revenue figures exclude US$300m of revenue from the eBay Enterprise group.

A consortium comprised of Sterling Partners, Longview Asset Management and Innotrac Corporation in partnership with companies owned by Permira Funds has agreed to pay US$925m for eBay Enterprise.

Qualcomm investigated by EC over alleged market abuses

The European Commission has begun a dual investigation into the business practices of Qualcomm, the maker of the chips that power most of the smartphones on the planet.

The European Commission is investigating possible abusive behavior by Qualcomm in the field of baseband chipsets used in consumer devices like smartphones.

The first investigation will examine whether Qualcomm breached EU antitrust rules by offering financial incentives to companies to buy baseband chipsets.

The second investigation will look at whether Qualcomm engaged in “predatory pricing” by reducing prices to force competitors out of the market.

Apple sued by Dublin company over use of ‘iWatch’ in Apple Watch searches

Apple is being sued by an Irish apps development company over the use of the term iWatch in Google search advertising for the Apple Watch.

Apple does not use the iWatch brand but does include it in Google ad searches to redirect consumers towards the Apple Watch.

Dublin-based apps development company Probendi filed an urgent procedure on 26 June with a court in Milan protesting Apple’s use of the iWatch term in its ads.

Probendi owns the iWatch trademark in Europe.

Niamh Townsend named as Dell’s new general manager for Ireland

Dell has announced that Niamh Townsend is to be its new general manager in Ireland.

Niamh Townsend replaces Liam Halpin, who held the role since 2013, and who has moved on to the role of executive director of Dell Client Solutions for western Europe.

Townsend joined Dell in 2010 in the role of technical sales manager for UK Small Medium Business, and in 2012 moved into the role of senior sales manager.

As general manager, she will be responsible for driving Dell’s business on the island of Ireland, delivering services, solutions and products to its clients in the public and private sector.

SIM cards image via Shutterstock

Brigid O Gorman is a former sub-editor of Silicon Republic.