MediaFile

Tech wrap: Huawei takes slimmest smartphone crown

January 9, 2012

Huawei, China’s largest maker of telecommunications gear, unveiled the “Ascend” smartphone, touting it as the slimmest on the market as it moves to boost its share on the global consumer market. Huawei unveiled the Ascend smartphones – available in black, white and pink – at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. The 6.68-mm thin phone will be available in April 2012 in markets from North America, Europe to Asia and will cost roughly $400, but the final price has not been set, the company said.

AT&T announced plans to launch seven new smartphones and a tablet computer early this year for a new wireless network it is building. The product line-up will include a phone with a 16 megapixel camera from HTC using Microsoft software along with Microsoft-based smartphone from Nokia. AT&T said it will also sell three new high-speed smartphones from Samsung as well as a high-speed phone from Sony and Pantech. In an unusual pricing move, AT&T also announced that it would sell Pantech Element, a waterproof tablet based on Google Android software with a smartphone, the Pantech Burst, for a combined price of $249.

Olympus sued its current president and three ex-directors for several million dollars in compensation, sources told Reuters, as the company seeks to draw a line under one of the nation’s worst accounting scandals. The company filed suit against its president, Shuichi Takayama, with the Tokyo district court on Sunday, along with three former executives identified by investigators as having engineered or helped cover up a $1.7 billion fraud at the firm, the sources said.

Netflix launched in Britain and Ireland, taking on BSkyB’s premium drama and movies offerings and prompting Amazon-owned rival Lovefilm to offer a new cut-price service. Lovefilm, which has 2 million customers in its core British market, immediately announced Lovefilm Instant — an Internet streaming-only offer to undercut Netflix — in addition to its current offer that combines streaming and DVD rental by post.

Deutsche Telekom is overhauling its strategy for its U.S. wireless unit T-Mobile USA after AT&T last month dropped its planned $39 billion takeover of the unit, a person familiar with the strategy planning said, adding that no date had been set to unveil the plan but it would certainly not be before 2011 results are published on February 23. The company’s Chief Financial Officer Tim Hoettges said one of the first steps could be to sell and lease-back the company’s mobile phone masts.

A group of Chinese authors sued Apple for 11.9 million yuan ($1.9 million) in compensation for allegedly providing copyright-infringing books for download through its online store, Chinese financial magazine Caixin reported. The group of nine authors, under the mantle of the China Written Works Copyright Society (CWWCS), sued Apple in Beijing’s No. 2 Intermediate People’s Court for copyright infringement of 37 works, Caixin reported on Friday.

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