Apple Computer Inc yesterday introduced a broadcast feature to its red-hot iPod digital music players in Taiwan, hoping to secure a bigger market among music lovers locally.
The feature, Podcast Directory service, is an audio program that users pull off the Internet and download onto digital music players or similar devices for listening to at their leisure.
"We are working with 10 radio stations here and consumers will be able to listen to them over at iTunes within a month," Yeo Eng Yiong, Apple's product marketing manager for portables in the Asia-Pacific region, said at a media briefing yesterday.
These radio stations include UFO Radio (飛碟電台), Kiss Radio, Broadcasting Corp of China (中廣) and International Community Radio Taipei (ICRT), he said, adding that the company may add more partners to the service at a later stage.
Besides the 10 channels, the service in iTunes, its digital music software and online music store, features over 3,000 free overseas audio programs, making it one of the largest Podcast directories in the world, featuring favorites such as ABC News, BBC, Disney, ESPN and Newsweek.
According to Yeo, integrating broadcasting with digital music players has been gaining popularity among consumers over the last two years. The company therefore incorporated this new feature in iTunes in June this year, "hoping to offer more content to users," he said.
The company claimed that just two days after the launch of its Podcast Directory in the US, iTunes customers have subscribed to more than 1 million Podcasts.
According to Yeo, over 20 million iPods have been sold worldwide as of June. He declined to reveal the sales figures in Taiwan.
According to the latest statistics from research company GfK, iPod is Taiwan's No. 1 digital music player in terms of sales.
Despite reaping great profits from iPod sales, Apple is still hesitant to bring its iTunes Music Store to Taiwan, because local consumers are still downloading songs via peer-to-peer (P2P) file-sharing Web sites instead of using online music stores.
A court ruling that favors P2P file-sharing platforms further scares prospective online music vendors from entering the market.
HSBC Bank (Taiwan) Ltd (匯豐台灣商銀) has approved two sustainability-linked loans totaling NT$450 million (US$15.55 million) for Taya Group (大亞集團) and Sinbon Electronics Co (信邦電子), the bank said yesterday, adding that interest rates would fall if the borrowers’ sustainability performance improves. Those marked the first sustainability-linked loans granted by HSBC Taiwan, it said. While HSBC Taiwan has experience providing green loans for the nation’s developers of renewable energy sources to support their projects, the bank began focusing on sustainability-linked loans to meet rising demand from companies in other sectors planning to undertake sustainability programs, it said. “As we reward our clients who reach their
‘NEW TRAVEL MARKET’: The carrier initially planned to lay off about 8,000 people globally, but after government intervention reduced that to 18 percent of its workforce Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd (國泰航空) would cut 6,000 jobs and close its Cathay Dragon brand, the South China Morning Post reported, as part of a strategic review to combat the unprecedented damage caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Hong Kong-based airline is expected to officially announce the plan after the market close today, the newspaper said. It initially planned about 8,000 layoffs globally, but after government intervention reduced that to 18 percent of its total workforce, including about 5,000 jobs in Hong Kong, it said. The company, which posted a HK$9.9 billion (US$1.3 billion) loss in the first half, has for months
V-SHAPED RECOVERY: Local tech firms have benefited from strong demand for 5G deployment and electronic devices required for a low-contact economy, CIER said The Chung-Hua Institution for Economic Research (CIER, 中華經濟研究院) yesterday raised its forecast for the nation’s GDP growth this year to 1.76 percent, from its previous estimate of 1.33 percent, saying exports and private consumption have staged a V-shaped recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic in the second half of the year. “The upgrade aims to reflect the fast recovery in Taiwan’s exports and domestic demand,” CIER president Chang Chuang-chang (張傳章) told a media briefing. The Taipei-based think tank said the economy might have expanded 2.77 percent last quarter — emerging from a 0.78 percent decline in the second quarter — and would grow
Hon Hai Precision Industry Co (鴻海精密) founder Terry Gou (郭台銘) yesterday said that the company remains committed to its project in Wisconsin, but appeared to condition its completion on the receipt of state incentives, the Wall Street Journal reported. Gou said in a statement that Hon Hai, known as Foxconn Technology Group (富士康科技集團) outside of Taiwan, remains committed to its investment, although “market conditions and the COVID-19 pandemic” have altered the timing of its expansion and the specifics of its manufacturing plans. The company has over the past three years invested US$750 million to transform southeastern Wisconsin into a high-tech