Insight: Apple's grip on carriers, suppliers loosens

Reuters

Apple Inc's shareholders have been hit by one of the bloodiest weeks in the history of the stock, but wider fallout from such weakness might be more important to the long-term value of their investments.

While Apple's iPhones, iPads and Macs remain gold standards, signs the company is losing some of its edge in the smartphone market suggest its clout with business partners could wane.

Recent comments from executives at phone carriers and component suppliers show they see room for at least some shift in the balance of power.

NTT DoCoMo to release low-cost tablet in Japan: Nikkei

Reuters

Mobile phone service provider NTT DoCoMo Inc will soon release a low-cost tablet computer in Japan priced between 10,000 yen ($110) and 15,000 yen, the Nikkei reported.

The tablet will be made by China's Huawei Technologies Co (Shenzhen, China) and feature a 10-inch screen, the Japanese business daily said.

The new tablet will be able to connect to the Internet via wireless LAN, but will not be compatible with 3G or LTE (Long Term Evolution) high-speed wireless services, the newspaper reported.

Retailers taking tech battle for shoppers to next level

Reuters

The store of the future has arrived and it is threatening to leave technology laggards behind.

The modern store is equipped with cameras that look at you, guess your tastes based on your gender, age and behavior, and send deals to your smart phone accordingly.

It also has the technology to reduce endless check-out lines and speed up the process for picking up something ordered online.

Alcatel wins $1 billion deal with India's Reliance Comms

Reuters

Telecom equipment maker Alcatel-Lucent SA has won an eight-year contract valued at more than $1 billion to manage Reliance Communications Ltd's mobile and fixed networks in the east and south of India.

The network outsourcing contract, intended to cut costs for India's No. 3 carrier, builds on a previous joint venture between Alcatel (Paris, France) and Reliance Communications (Mumbai, India) under which the gear maker managed the nationwide mobile network in a five-year $750 million deal.

Telenor to sell insurance services to Asian customers

Norwegian telecoms incumbent Telenor is to start offering mobile phone-based insurance products to its customers in Asia in partnership with UK-based MicroEnsure Holdings.

Set up in 2008 as a subsidiary of Opportunity International, a non-profit microfinance organization, MicroEnsure (Cheltenham, UK) already provides insurance services to more than 4 million people in the poorest parts of Africa and Asia.

Analysis: Amazon, Google on collision course in 2013

Reuters

When Amazon.com Inc CEO Jeff Bezos got word of a project at Google Inc to scan and digitize product catalogs a decade ago, the seeds of a burgeoning rivalry were planted.

The news was a "wake-up" call to Bezos, an early investor in Google (Mountain View, USA). He saw it as a warning that the Web search engine could encroach upon his online retail empire, according to a former Amazon (Seattle, USA) executive.

Cogeco to buy Peer 1 for C$526 million to boost data hosting

Reuters

Cogeco Cable Inc, the main unit of media and telecom company Cogeco Inc, will buy Peer 1 Network Enterprises Inc for about C$526 million ($532 million) to expand its cloud computing and data hosting business.

Cogeco Cable (Montreal, Canada), which provides cable-TV, high-speed internet and telephone services, has been looking to increase its presence in the fast-growing data-center business due to tough competition in signing up new television customers in Canada.

Atmel boosts M2M presence with Ozmo takeover

Touch-technology specialist Atmel Corporation has announced a takeover of WiFi developer Ozmo in a move aimed partly at boosting its presence in the M2M sector.

The specific terms of the acquisition were not revealed, but Atmel (San Jose, USA) expects to finalize the transaction by the end of the year and says it will be accretive to its earnings in 2014.

Technicolor partners with Swisscom on smart-homes service

Imaging specialist Technicolor is to provide a home automation tablet for use with Swisscom’s smart-homes service.

The Swiss telecoms incumbent has launched what it calls a “smart secure living offering” under the brand of “Quing Home”, allowing customers to control security, automation and energy management through a managed tablet or smartphone application.

Technicolor’s MediaTouch HomePilot tablet is now being positioned by the companies as “the ideal home automation hub for the connected home”.

Global telecom treaty without net controls signed by 89 nations

Reuters

An international telecommunications treaty signed by 89 countries out of a possible 144 on Friday will have little impact on how carriers operate or how consumers surf the web or make calls around the world when it comes into effect in 2015.

But the acrimonious debate over the treaty - and refusal of so many countries, including the United States and much of Europe, to sign up immediately - have exposed a deep split in the international community.

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