Apple Plans to Ship Less-Expensive iPhone to China Mobile

September 13, 2013 – 09:20
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Apple has asked Foxconn, its contract manufacturing partner, to add China Mobile to the list of carriers slated to receive a new low-cost iPhone, one of these people said. It isn't clear if the two sides have signed an official agreement or when the phones would be delivered.

The decision to offer a cheaper iPhone to China Mobile, one of the world's last major operators that doesn't carry Apple's smartphones, comes at a critical moment for Apple. The iPhone, Apple's best-selling product, is losing share to competitors including Samsung Electronics Co. and Apple is wrestling with the perception the company is starting to lose its innovative touch.

Apple's sales in Greater China fell 14% from a year earlier to $4.6 billion during its fiscal third quarter ended June 29. In the June quarter, Apple's China market share fell to 5%, ranking it seventh behind market leader Samsung, which had 18%, and a cluster of domestic manufacturers such as Lenovo Group Ltd. and Huawei Technologies Co., according to data from research firm Canalys.

China represents a significant growth opportunity for Apple, a comment Chief Executive Tim Cook made in April citing the large number of potential first-time smartphone buyers there. At the time, Apple has also pledged to double the 11 stores it has there in less than two years.

Overall smartphone shipments in China are estimated to rise 84% to 352 million units this year, or more than double that of the U.S., before increasing to 421 million units in 2015, according to research firm Canalys. China overtook the U.S. as the world's biggest smartphone market last year, making it all the more important for Apple to have more access to that market.

Apple was initially reluctant to bring its iPhone to China Mobile's unique and relatively unreliable third-generation network that slowed download speeds and made producing phones for the carrier more expensive, according to a person familiar with Apple's thinking. Meanwhile, China Mobile bristled at Apple's insistence on sales volume guarantees, a person familiar with the talks said.

Source: online.wsj.com

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60 Minutes: Are robots hurting job growth?

2013-09-09 09:02:09 by smarten_-up

You betcha!
One of the hallmarks of the 21st century is that we are all having more and more interactions with machines and fewer with human beings. If you've lost your white collar job to downsizing, or to a worker in India or China you're most likely a victim of what economists have called technological unemployment. There is a lot of it going around with more to come.
As we reported earlier this year, at the vanguard of this new wave of automation is the field of robotics. Everyone has a different idea of what a robot is and what they look like but the broad universal definition is a machine that can perform the job of a human

China Mobile Executive Is Ousted  — Wall Street Journal
In December he resigned from the position of executive director, a senior position within the state-run company, due to a "work re-arrangement," according to China Mobile's 2012 annual report. Mr.

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