Tech wrap: Sony takes a $3.2 billion beating

May 23, 2011

Sony will post its third straight annual net loss for the year that ended in March after writing off tax credits in the wake of Japan’s earthquake and tsunami, the latest in a string of grim headlines on the consumer electronics giant. The firm, which previously forecast a net profit of 70 billion yen for 2010/11, surprised markets on Monday by declaring the need to update investors with revised estimates ahead of its official earnings report on Thursday. Sony said it now expected to post a net loss of 260 billion yen ($3.2 billion). The annual net loss would be Sony’s second-largest ever.

IBM surged past old rival Microsoft in market value for the first time since April 1996, marking the latest twist in the fluctuating fortunes of two of the world’s most storied tech companies. Microsoft’s stock has been stagnant since the tech bubble burst in 2000, as investors doubt its ability to move beyond its Windows operating system and Office suite of software. In the meantime, “Big Blue” has refashioned itself as a specialist in business software, servers and consulting, jettisoning its PC business along the way.

Shares of Apple regrouped after Wall Street brushed off the impact of an explosion last week that shut a Foxconn factory in China producing its iPad.

Apple will adopt a curved cover glass for its next generation iPhone, according to industry sources, DigiTimes reported. There was no timetable for the production of the iPhone 5 because Apple is still working with suppliers, including those involved in cover glass, glass cutting, lamination and touch sensors to improve yield rates, DigiTimes added.

LinkedIn’s professional networking website has security flaws that makes users’ accounts vulnerable to attack by hackers who could break in without ever needing passwords, according to a security researcher who identified the problem. News of the vulnerability surfaced over the weekend, only days after LinkedIn went public last week with a trading debut that saw the value of its shares more than double.

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