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Thursday’s Tech Updates: Apple Inc. (AAPL)’s Extended Service, Google Inc (GOOG) & Microsoft Corporation (MSFT)’s 3D Calls

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Editor’s Note: Related tickers: Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG), Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT), Sony Corporation (ADR) (NYSE:SNE), Nintendo Co., Ltd (PINK:NTDOY)

Sony’s newest hit found inside Apple, Samsung smartphones (LiveMint)
Sony Corporation (ADR) (NYSE:SNE) has a hit product on its hands. Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), Samsung Electronics Co. and LG Electronics Inc. will be happy to sell it to you. Sony’s latest star performer isn’t a gadget like the Walkman or PlayStation. Instead, it’s a chip found in almost every high-end camera and smartphone. Apple’s iPhones 5 and 4S use it and so do Samsung’s flagship Galaxy S4 and LG’s G2, researchers say.

Apple Inc. (AAPL), Amazon.com Inc. (AMZN), Barnes & Noble Inc. (BKS)

Google co-founder Sergey Brin, 40, splits from wife and now rumored to be dating younger employee (DailyMail)
Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) co-founder Sergey Brin has separated from his wife of six years, and now the 40-year-old Silicon Valley mogul is reportedly dating a younger employee. Brin and Anne Wojcicki, who married in 2007, have been living apart for several months, the couple’s spokesperson said tonight. ‘They remain good friends and partners,’ the spokesperson added.

Could Stephen Elop become next Microsoft CEO? (FudZilla)
British bookmakers have a long history of letting people bet on just about anything, from alien invasions to royal marriages and divorces. Now they’ve got a shortlist for the next Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) CEO and the bloke on the top of the list is none other than Stephen Elop. Elop is apparently just what Microsoft needs at this point. The man who oversaw Nokia’s Windows Mobile push, which didn’t go too well, but then again if strategic vision was a measure of success in Redmond, Ballmer would have been out of a job ten years ago. Bookies give Elop a 5/1 chance.

AppleCare+ iPhone accidental damage cover coming to Europe (TrustedReviews)
The AppleCare+ service doesn’t just cover against technical faults that develop in Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) devices within the first year of ownership, as per the standard AppleCare service that comes with every iPhone and iPad. It extends that cover to two years – the standard length of an iPhone contract. Even more importantly, AppleCare+ covers two incidents of accidental damage (subject to a $49 service fee). Now consider how many long-time iPhone owners you know who haven’t cracked their screens or drowned their devices at some point, and you’ll see the appeal of this extended service.

Google exec joins Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi (MarketWatch)
Chinese smartphone company Xiaomi said Thursday that former Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) -0.12% vice president Hugo Barra will join the company to help it grow its international business and work on its strategic cooperation with Google. Xiaomi is little known outside of China, but the company has seen success within the country due to its smartphones, which it first sold only online in limited quantities. Founded by well-known Chinese entrepreneur Lei Jun, Xiaomi has used a customized operating system that works as an add-on to Android to separate itself from other cheap smartphone companies.

Nintendo Punks Microsoft and Sony (NineMSN)
A hungry and desperate Nintendo Co., Ltd (PINK:NTDOY) is cutting the price of its slow-selling Wii U console. The price of the deluxe Wii U system will be getting a US$50 haircut to US$299. This isn’t a surprise. I expected this to happen earlier this summer, and it became a no-brainer after Nintendo revealed that it shipped just 160,000 units in its most recent quarter. With Sony Corporation (ADR) (NYSE:SNE) and Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) hitting the market with new systems in November, Nintendo Co., Ltd (PINK:NTDOY) was either going to have to cut prices or back out of the console market and focus on its more popular handheld offerings.

Cheaper iPhone: Good for Apple? (CNBC)

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