Apple joins other foreign brands in raising prices in Japan (ChicagoTribune)
Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) hiked prices of iPads and iPods in Japan on Friday, becoming the latest and highest-profile brand to join a growing list of foreign firms asking Japanese consumers to pay more as a weakening yen squeezes income. The yen has fallen more than 20 percent against the U.S. dollar since mid-November when then-opposition leader Shinzo Abe prescribed a dose of radical monetary easing to reverse years of sliding consumer prices as part of a deflation-fighting policy, dubbed “Abenomics.” The Bank of Japan, under a new Abe-backed governor, in April unleashed an intense burst of stimulus in promising to inject $1.4 trillion into the economy in less than two years to meet its pledge of achieving 2 percent inflation in roughly two years.
The Overlooked Apple Inc. (APPL) iTunes Festival (IBTimes)
Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) has loyal and eager customers worldwide but they seem reluctant about one of Apple’s biggest event happening yearly in September since 2007 – the iTunes festival. Apple Inc. hopes that this year will be different and more fans will take notice of the event. Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior vice president of Internet and Software and Services said that “This year’s iTunes festival is the best ever with an incredible lineup of global superstar and stellar emerging artists. Music fans around the world are going to love watching this incredible month of music whether in London at the Roundhouse or on their iOS device. We’re honored so many renowned artists are part of this year’s lineup. Music fans from across the world, including the US, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Europe, Japan and Mexico can win tickets to the iTunes Festival through competitions run by local media partners.”
Apple Ruling to Revolve Around Who Can Use Standard Technology (BusinessWeek)
Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s legal battle with Samsung Electronics Co. (005930) over smartphone inventions could determine if there are limits to the power of patents that cover most widely-used technology for electronics. The U.S. International Trade Commission in Washington is scheduled to announce today whether Apple infringed Samsung patents for transmitting data and, if so, whether the Korean handset maker can block such a fundamental function of a mobile device. It would be the first final decision in any U.S. cases between the world’s two largest smartphone makers. The commission, which can block imports into the U.S., in March asked for comments on how banning older models of the iPhone and iPad tablet computer would affect the public. On a broader scale, the commission must decide if it’s appropriate to exclude a product for infringing a patent that’s part of technical standards it must follow.
Sony Taps Apple Alumni for Board (Bloomberg)
Sony Corporation (ADR) (NYSE:SNE) Chief Executive Officer Kazuo Hirai is trying to win back customers from Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) with new Xperia smartphones. Adding two former executives of the iPhone maker to Sony Corporation (ADR) (NYSE:SNE)’s board next month may help. Eikoh Harada, who spent seven years as head of Apple in Japan, and Tim Schaaff, who worked for the iPad maker until 2005, are nominated to become directors at Sony’s annual shareholder meeting on June 20. Hirai cut jobs and sold assets to help the Tokyo-based company post its first annual profit in five years as consumers once drawn to Walkmans and Bravia televisions now flock to products from Apple and Samsung Electronics Co. (005930) Winning customers with Xperia handsets is key to his plan to revive Sony Corporation (ADR) (NYSE:SNE)’s unprofitable electronics operations by bringing what he called “inspiration” to its hardware.