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August 24

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Trending Tech: Apple becomes the most valuable company; Dell, HP report weak earnings and Microsoft rebrands logo

August 24, 2012

Apple dominated this week’s headlines by becoming the most valuable company of all time when its stock price hit a record high.  Investors now value the company at $623.5 billion. Meanwhile, Dell and HP reported a steep decline in profits and sales owing to diminished PC demand. Amazon Web Services launched a low-cost and reliable cloud storage option while Microsoft rebranded its corporate logo to represent a wealth of new products.

10. IBM agrees to buy flash memory provider
IBM is acquiring Texas Memory Systems (TMS), a flash memory provider for an undisclosed amount. The deal will bolster IBM’s storage offerings and help the company lower its power consumption and improve performance. IBM has been on an acquisition spree in the last year working towards its goal of spending $20 billion on acquisitions from 2011 to 2015.

9. Motorola Mobility files patent claim against Apple
Google’s Motorola Mobility is suing Apple, claiming that the tech giant has infringed on seven patents related to email notifications, location reminders and media players. Motorola seeks to prohibit imports of Apple’s products including iPad, iPhone and iPod touch as part of its claim.

8. Logitech washable keyboard makes a splash
Logitech’s latest Washable Keyboard 310 is spill-proof and water resistant. The keyboard comes with a brush to get rid of crumbs while the individual keys are laser-printed and UV coated making them dust resistant. Compatible with Windows XP and higher, the keyboard directly connects to the computer with a USB cable and doesn’t require software installations. No more crying over spilled milk!

7. Sony Mobile to cut 1000 jobs
Sony Mobile plans to cut about 15 percent of its workforce over the next 2 years to reduce costs. The ailing mobile phone maker will also move its corporate headquarters and other functions from Lund, Sweden to Tokyo, Japan, though the Lund office will remain open and focused on mobile software and application development.  The move signals an effort to streamline operations with the struggling division that lags behind competitors like Apple and Samsung.

6. Microsoft revamps logo for the first time in 25 years
The Microsoft corporate logo has a new look to mark its Windows makeover, and entry into the tablet market. The new logo incorporates a multicolored Windows symbol in addition to the “Microsoft” name, which Microsoft says is intended to “signal the heritage, but also signal the future – a newness and freshness.” After 25 years, Microsoft has revamped the logo to set the stage for a wave of new products that will cast the company “in a new light.” Check out Microsoft’s wonderfully retro past logos.

5. T-Mobile to launch unlimited data plan
In an effort to make up for the lack of iPhones, T-Mobile will offer unlimited data plans for smartphones relieving customers impacted by the current unlimited plan that throttles bandwidth after they reach a predetermined limit. Starting in early September, T-Mobile will offer “Truly Unlimited” high-speed data at $30 per month when added to a classic voice and text plan. Metro PCS also joined the trend offering a promotional, unlimited data plan. The moves by T-Mobile and Metro PCS, neither of which sells iPhones, comes as larger rivals gear up to sell the widely anticipated iPhone 5.

4. Dell’s outlook disappoints as PC market falters
Dell reported a steep decline in revenue and sales and missed analysts’ estimates. The PC maker indicated an 18 percent plunge in profit and a three percent drop in revenue for the second quarter. Dell has posted three straight quarters of profit decline due to the reduction in demand for PCs, intense price competition and economic uncertainty in emerging markets such as China. Dell also projected another decline for the next quarter and cut its profit outlook. 

3. Weak sales hurt HP in the third quarter
HP’s third-quarter earnings report showed continued decline in revenue and profit. HP posted a massive loss of $8.9 billion and cut the high end of its forecast for full-year profit. The shrinking value of Electronic Data Systems, which HP purchased for $13 billion in 2008, also contributed largely to the loss.

2. Amazon unleashes Glacier for cloud archiving
Amazon Web Services expanded its cloud services portfolio with the launch of Amazon Glacier, a low-cost, cloud storage solution. Befitting its namesake, Amazon Glacier is designed for content that is rarely accessed and isn’t expected to “wake up” instantly. The main selling point of this storage option is cost – a mere $0.01/GB/month. The Glacier product page cites examples of information that can be stored including emails, legal records, financial documents and media assets.

1. Apple becomes the most valuable company
Apple hit a new milestone this week when it became the most valuable company of all time with a jump in its stock price. The technology behemoth is now valued at $623.5 billion, which is 13 times more valuable than Facebook. With substantial growth opportunities internationally, new potential product categories and a loyal customer base, Apple shows no signs of slowing down.

Disclosure: Amazon Web Services, Motorola Mobility and Microsoft are Weber Shandwick clients.