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Thu, Nov 10, 2005 - Page 12 News List

World Business Quick Take

AGENCIES

■ Video Games
Big Xbox debut predicted

Microsoft Corp expects to sell up to 3 million of its new Xbox video-game consoles within 90 days of the product's launch, an executive said on Tuesday. Bryan Lee, chief financial officer with Microsoft's Home and Entertainment unit, told investors and analysts at the Harris Nesbitt Media and Entertainment Conference in New York that Microsoft aims to sell 2.75 million to 3 million consoles worldwide within 90 days of its debut in North America. The North American debut on Nov. 22 will be followed by a Dec. 2 launch in Europe and a Dec. 10 launch in Japan. Lee also said he expects consumers to spend US$1.5 billion in the first 90 days after the Xbox 360's launch on the console and peripherals such as games and subscriptions to its Xbox Live online gameplay service. In North America, the company will charge US$399.99 for the Xbox 360, and US$299.99 for a scaled-back version.

■ Airline industry

Airbus placates customers

Airbus will reassure customers such as Singapore Airlines (SIA) that are concerned with delivery delays of the world's biggest long-haul jet, a top executive said in a report published yesterday. Noel Forgeard, chief executive officer of the European aerospace and defense giant EADS, told the Business Times he is in the city-state to reassure SIA of a "total company commitment" to deliver the first A380 super jet in November next year. SIA was due to receive the first A380 in July next year. It will now get its first aircraft in November and another in December next year as part of a US$8.6 billion order for 10 planes. EADS hit snags in making the A380 and will be unable to meet original delivery deadlines, causing customers to seek compensation. A test flight, initially scheduled to touch down in Singapore on Tuesday, is now set to arrive tomorrow. It was delayed because the aircraft's engines had to be replaced.

■ Automakers

Toyota taps into Fuji Heavy

Japan's largest automaker, Toyota Motor Corp, plans to outsource the redevelopment of one of its existing models to its new partner Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd, a report said yesterday. Toyota will tap the development capacity of Fuji Heavy -- of which Toyota became top shareholder last month when it purchased a stake from General Motors Corp -- to cover personnel shortages caused by its business expansion, the Nihon Keizai Shimbun reported, without citing its sources. The report did not say which model was to be redesigned, but said it would hit the market in two to three years and was likely to be a sporty subcompact -- an area where Fuji Heavy has development expertise.

■ Airline industry

Boeing plans record flight

Boeing Co plans to break the record for the longest nonstop flight by a commercial jet -- a 20,300km trip that is to begin in Hong Kong, fly over North America and land in London, the company said yesterday. "We plan to smash the current record," said Captain Suzanna Darcy-Hennemann, one of four pilots who is flying the Boeing 777-200LR. The flight, which was to take off later yesterday, will take about 23 hours, a Boeing statement said. The plane will have 35 passengers, including Boeing representatives, journalists and customers. The jet plans to fly farther than a Boeing 747-400 that flew 17,039km from London to Sydney in 1989, the company said.

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