Slim ‘watch phone’ unveiled
South Korea’s Samsung Electronics yesterday unveiled what it claims is the world’s slimmest “watch phone.” The handset is 11.98mm thick, compared with the 13.9mm of a model by rival LG Electronics, Samsung said in a statement. The firm plans to sell the new phone, priced at around US$639, first in France this month and then other European markets. LG Electronics said its version will go on sale no later than next month.
Workers ransack office
Workers at a Michelin tire plant in eastern France briefly locked up four managers and ransacked offices in a labor dispute amid tensions over layoffs, a company official said yesterday. About 50 workers at Michelin’s plant in Montceau-les-Mines locked up four managers, including the director, on Tuesday night. Unions say the dispute stemmed from a worker being punished for refusing to use machinery he wasn’t trained on. The managers were released early yesterday and negotiations began at the plant yesterday morning.
TomTom profits drop
TomTom NV, the Dutch maker of navigation devices for cars, reported yesterday a 61 percent fall in net profit for the second quarter, better than analysts had feared. Net profit was 20 million euros (US$28.4 million), down from 52 million euros in the same period a year earlier. Sales fell 19 percent to 368 million euros. Both figures were significantly better than in the first quarter of this year, when the Amsterdam-based company posted a 39 million euro loss on sales of 213 million euros. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters had forecast profit of 13 million euros.
Starbucks beats forecast
Shuttering stores, laying off workers and cutting other costs helped Starbucks Corp beat Wall Street’s profit expectations for its fiscal third quarter on Tuesday, but the recession continued to drain sales away from the gourmet coffee chain. The Seattle-based coffee chain earned US$151.5 million, or US$0.20 per share, compared with a loss of US$6.7 million, or US$0.01 per share a year earlier. Revenue fell 7 percent to US$2.40 billion. CEO Howard Schultz said on a conference call with investors that the quarter’s results showed “positive momentum,” but “a lot of hard work lies ahead.”
AT&T to use Plastic Logic
Following in the footsteps of Amazon.com Inc’s Kindle, another e-book reader is set to get a wireless connection from a cellular carrier, letting it access books anywhere there’s a signal. AT&T Inc planned to announce yesterday that it will support an e-book reading device early next year from Plastic Logic Ltd, a Mountain View, California-based startup based on British display technology. It marks the second significant announcement of the week for Plastic Logic, which said on Monday that Barnes & Noble Inc will supply digital versions of books for its device.
AMD narrows losses
Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) Inc narrowed its loss in the second quarter, though not by as much as Wall Street had hoped. Its sales slumped 13 percent. AMD’s shares plunged 12 percent in extended trading on Tuesday on signs the chip company isn’t being buoyed like rival Intel Corp by the beginnings of a turnaround in the personal computer market. AMD lost US$330 million, in the latest period.
‘NO EQUILIBRIUM’: Taiwan’s increased defense spending is a good step, but it needs to do more to have the ability to deter aggression from China, a senior US official said The US plans to sell as many as seven major weapons systems — including mines, cruise missiles and drones — to Taiwan, four people familiar with the discussions said. Pursuing seven sales at once is a rare departure from years of precedent in which US military sales to Taiwan were spaced out and carefully calibrated to minimize tensions with Beijing. However, US President Donald Trump’s administration has this year become more aggressive with China, and the sales would land as relations between Beijing and Washington are at their lowest point in decades over accusations of spying, lingering trade tensions, disputes about the
CLOSE ENCOUNTERS: Several of the PLA fighter jets that crossed the median line of the Strait came within 68km of Hsinchu, drawing warnings from Taiwan, the ministry said At least 18 Chinese military aircraft yesterday flew into the nation’s air defense identification zone (ADIZ) on the second day of a US delegation’s visit, the Ministry of National Defense said, adding that the military responded by deploying an air defense missile system to monitor their activities. A delegation led by US Undersecretary of State for Economic Growth, Energy and the Environment Keith Krach on Thursday started a three-day visit to Taiwan. The ministry from Thursday started publicizing the actions of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) in Taiwan’s ADIZ on its Web site and Twitter. According to ministry reports, 18 PLA aircraft
ON THEIR OWN: The KMT has decided not to participate as a party at this year’s forum, and if any members do go, they would not be representing the party, Alicia Wang said The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) yesterday announced that it would not send a delegation “as a political party” to this year’s Straits Forum, after a Chinese TV program described the planned visit to the annual meeting as “suing for peace.” The 12th forum is scheduled to open in Xiamen, China, on Saturday. On Tuesday last week, the KMT announced that former legislative speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) would lead the party’s delegation to the forum, with KMT Secretary-General Lee Chien-lung (李乾龍) as deputy head. However, on Thursday last week, China Central Television’s (CCTV) Yangshipin (央視頻) program, hosted by Li Hong (李紅), included a headline
WORKING OVERTIME? NTU professor Lee Duu-jong denied that he had held a part-time position at a Chinese university or joined China’s Thousand Talents Program A candidate for the post of National Taiwan University of Science and Technology (NTUST) president yesterday dropped out of the race following a report questioning his links to Chinese academia and government programs. Lee Duu-jong (李篤中), a professor at National Taiwan University’s (NTU) chemical engineering department, was a member of China’s Changjiang Scholars’ Program in 2006 and was on the list of its Thousand Talents Program in 2017, a report by Chinese-language Mirror Media magazine said yesterday. The article said that Lee is suspected of having held a part-time job at the Harbin Institute of Technology in China and was the recipient