Fri, Sep 02, 2011 - Page 10 News List

World Business Quick Take

AGENCIES

COMMUNICATIONS

New iPhone lost in bar again

Technology news Web site CNET on Wednesday reported that a new version of Apple’s coveted iPhone went astray in a bar in a replay of an embarrassing loss that took place last year. An Apple employee lost a yet-to-be released iPhone model in a tequila bar in the San Francisco Mission District in July, according to CNET. Apple electronically tracked the device to a San Francisco home, but the resident denied knowing anything about the missing iPhone, which may have been sold for a couple of hundred dollars at online auction house eBay, CNET said. The report prompted speculation whether the missing iPhone was a next-generation model expected to be unveiled by Apple this month or next month.

BRAZIL

Brazil cuts interest rate

Brazil’s central bank on Wednesday made a surprise half-point cut in its main interest rate to 12.0 percent, citing a “deterioration” in the global economic outlook. The move reverses course for the South American economic power, which had seen a series of rate hikes over more than a year to rein in inflation. Many analysts had expected the central bank to keep its main rate unchanged, but the monetary policy committee said it took the action in the face of weaker forecasts from the world’s main economic blocs. The vote on the committee was 5-2. Finance Minister Guido Mantega meanwhile said that Brazil “must act as a protective measure to stop worsening [global] economic conditions from affecting Brazil’s economic strides.”

THAILAND

Inflation rate races up

Thailand’s inflation rate accelerated last month to the fastest pace since 2008 as rising food prices countered a decline in oil costs. An index of consumer prices climbed 4.29 percent from a year earlier, the Ministry of Commerce said yesterday, compared with a 4.08 percent pace in July. The median of 11 estimates in a Bloomberg News survey was for a 4 percent gain. The Bank of Thailand signaled it may be nearing the end of monetary tightening after raising the benchmark interest rate for the seventh straight meeting last month.

COMMUNICATIONS

Sony eyes Android market

Sony Corp says its goal is to become the biggest player in Japan’s growing Android tablet market. The Japanese electronics and entertainment giant, which unveiled its first tablets to the world on Wednesday, is also taking aim at the iPad’s commanding lead on its home turf. Sony will launch Japan sales of the Tablet S on Sept. 17. The smaller, dual-screened Tablet P will hit stores by November. Sony marketing executive Akihiro Matsubara said in Tokyo yesterday that Japan’s tablet market is expected to hit 2 million units this fiscal year through March and expand to 3.2 million the following year. The iPad holds about 85 percent of Japan’s tablet market, though Android-based tablets are expected to gain ground.

ACQUISITIONS

IBM agrees to buy i2

IBM has agreed to buy British security analytics software firm i2 for an undisclosed sum, it said on Wednesday, as it continues to devour companies that can help its clients deal with growing mountains of data. Privately held i2, which says its software helped US forces track down former Iraqi president Saddam Hussein in 2003, is based in the English university town of Cambridge and has 350 staff in Britain, the US, Canada and Australia.

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