Tech wrap: Samsung, Google scream for Ice Cream Sandwich

October 19, 2011

Samsung and Google unveiled the first smartphone running on Google’s latest version of the Android operating system, dubbed “Ice Cream Sandwich”, which combines software used in tablets and smartphones, as they step up competition against Apple. The high-end model Galaxy Nexus was unveiled at an event in Hong Kong, after being delayed last week as a tribute to the late Steve Jobs.  “This will be our strategic product for year-end holiday season, as (Apple’s) iPhone 4S just came into the market,” Samsung’s JK Shin said.

The Galaxy Nexus features a 1.2GHz dual-core processor, super AMOLED HD 4.65-inch display, face recognition to unlock its screen,the ability to share content by tapping another phones equipped with a Near Field Communication chip, a camera boasting no shutter lag, and even a barometer. The global launch kicks off in November.

Twitter is looking for a director to bolster its board’s business credentials and diversity, and candidates include a former Google executive, a person familiar with the matter said. The search is in its early stages. But some names that have come up include Mariam Naficy, chief executive officer of paper goods company, and Sukhinder Singh Cassidy, chief executive officer at fashion retail site Joyus and the former president of Google’s Asia-Pacific and Latin American operations, the person told Reuters.

EBay reported quarterly revenue that rose 32 percent and profit that matched analysts’ expectations. The operator of the largest online marketplace reported third-quarter net income of $490.5 million, or 37 cents a share, compared to $432 million, or 33 cents a share, a year earlier. Excluding stock-based compensation expenses and other items, profit was $628.2 million, or 48 cents a share, in the latest period, the company said. Revenue climbed to $2.97 billion.

The Kindle Fire tablet may be the hottest selling gadget this holiday, pressuring’s profit margins but giving the world’s largest Internet retailer potentially millions of new high-spending customers. Since Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos unveiled the tablet at a lower-than-expected price of $199 on September 28, some analysts have increased their sales estimates for the device. John Paczkowski at AllThingsD reported on October 6 that Amazon is selling over 25,000 Fires a day, citing unidentified sources close to the company.

The U.S. is pressing China to explain why its “national firewall” blocks so many U.S. companies from providing their services, according to a letter obtained Wednesday that is another sign of growing trade tension between the world’s two largest economies.”Having a presence on the Internet that is visible in China is increasingly a critical element for service suppliers aiming to reach Chinese consumers and business,” Ambassador to the World Trade Organization Michael Punke said in a letter on Monday to his Chinese counterpart.

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