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Tech News: Apple Inc. (AAPL), Research In Motion Ltd (BBRY) Drama & Microsoft Corporation (MSFT)’s Crazy Week

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Apple Settles iPhone, iPod Touch Warranty Case for $53 Million (PC Magazine)
Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) has reportedly reached a $53 million settlement over its failure to adequately honor iPhone and iPod touch warranties. The settlement, published by Wired, will be submitted to the court next week. It sets up a multi-million dollar settlement fund, which will be distributed to those burned by Cupertino’s questionable warranty policies. Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The case dates back to 2010, when multiple state and federal cases were filed against Apple over its refusal to fix faulty iPhones and iPod touches that were still under warranty.

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)Credit: Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)

BlackBerry to ask regulators to probe report on returns (Reuters)
Research In Motion Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) said on Friday it would ask securities regulators in Canada and the United States to probe a report about retail return rates for its new Z10 smartphone that it called “false and misleading.” The Canadian company, which has pinned its turnaround hopes on its new BlackBerry 10 line, said return rates were at or below its forecasts and in line with industry norms.

Microsoft Adds Cloud Chargeback To Windows Server (InformationWeek)
Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) has teamed up with a third-party software producer to give Windows Server 2012 and the System Center management system its own billing and chargeback mechanism for use with Microsoft’s Azure cloud services. The third party is Cloud Cruiser, maker of the billing analytics and chargeback system, Cloud Cruiser Enterprise Edition. Cloud Cruiser isn’t associated exclusively with Windows Azure cloud services. On the contrary, its system supports supplying billing information through HP Cloud Service Automation 3.1, VMware’s vCloud Director and Amazon Web Services’ operations API. It also supports supplying billing information with OpenStack-based clouds, including Rackspace, and cloud infrastructure built using Cisco Intelligent Automation for Cloud.

Apple Inc. (AAPL) Is Still Dominating This Market, And It’s Not Even Close (Insider Monkey)
COMSCORE, Inc. (NASDAQ:SCOR) has recently released its latest market share report of leading smartphone original equipment manufacturers, better known as OEMs. The report, which was published last week, clearly indicates that the market leader Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), is only going one way, and that is upwards. Apple’s share of the OEM space was up 3.9 percentage points from its previous numbers reported in November 2012. The total smartphone market saw an overall growth rate of 8% for the period ending February 2013, from November levels.

RIM’s largest investor says he stands by company (Yahoo! News)
The largest investor in Research In Motion Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) said Thursday that he will stick with the BlackBerry company despite founder Mike Lazaridis’ announcement that he will leave the company. Prem Watsa, a board member who owns 10 percent of the company, first became interested in RIM because of his friendship with Lazaridis. The 52-year-old Lazaridis last month announced plans to leave RIM on May 1. He stepped down as co-chief executive in January 2012, but stayed on as vice chairman and a board director.

Microsoft set to shrink its Surface: Software giant plans 7 inch ‘Xbox’ tablet to take on the iPad mini (Daily Mail)
Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) is developing a smaller version of its Surface tablet with a 7inch screen, it has been claimed. The tablet is expected to go on sale later this year, and will go head to head with Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s iPad Mini, Google’s Nexus 7 and the Amazon Kindle Fire in the lucrative small tablet market. It is hoped the devices could reverse the disappointing sales of the larger Surface tablet which Microsoft launched this year. It claims the 7-inch tablets weren’t part of the company’s strategy last year, but Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) executives realized they needed a response to…

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