Business News - part 36

Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner Aircraft Approved For Test Flight, Delivery Delays Expected

Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner Aircraft Approved For Test Flight, Delivery Delays Expected

BUSINESS

  • Boeing Dreamliner passes first test flight after battery incidents
  • Boeing expects delays in Dreamliner production
  • Japan, India, Poland, Chile ban use of Dreamliner until answers are provided

Nearly one month after the US Federal Aviation Administration suspended aircraft manufacturer Boeing Co.’s (BA) 787 Dreamliner jet due to a series of battery-related issues, the aviation giant has now successfully completed its first test flight.

Mid January, several Boeing Dreamliner jets were grounded worldwide to investigate battery-related incidents, including a fire on board a 787 that was parked at Boston's Logan International Airport as well as an in-flight problem that occurred on a different airplane in Japan.

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Toyota Revamping 2014 Tundra to Compete in High-End US Truck Market

Toyota Revamping 2014 Tundra to Compete in High-End US Truck Market

BUSINESS

  • Redesigned Tundra to be sold in $40,000 high-end US truck market
  • Toyota required to offer new features to gain US customers
  • Tundra design changes inspired by customer feedback

Automotive manufacturer Toyota Motor Corp. has updated the design and changed the marketing strategy of its 2014 Tundra pickup truck in the hopes of increasing sales.

At the Chicago Auto Show, Toyota’s US senior vice president Bob Carter said the new Tundra truck has a smoother ride, quieter cabin and a more luxurious design. Toyota is adjusting to meet and capture growing demand in the full-size truck market above $40,000.

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Computer Maker Dell Strikes $24 Billion Buyout Deal With Equity Firm Silver Lake

Computer Maker Dell Strikes $24 Billion Buyout Deal With Equity Firm Silver Lake

BUSINESS

  • Dell goes private in biggest leveraged buyout deal post-financial crisis
  • Dell to take on $17 billion in debt to finance transaction; Microsoft contributing $2 billion loan
  • Dell-Silver Lake deal underlines decline in PC industry

Leading computer manufacturer Dell Inc. is going private via a $24.4 billion deal between the company’s CEO Michael Dell and Silver Lake, an international private equity firm focused on technology.

With this sale, Michael Dell will retain the majority control, or “significant equity,” of the three-decade-old company he founded as a University of Texas student. He foresees the deal as a way to grant Dell more flexibility to aggressively turn around weak revenue.

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Cable Leader Liberty Global Buys Virgin Media To Gain Ground In Europe

Cable Leader Liberty Global Buys Virgin Media To Gain Ground In Europe

BUSINESS

  • Virgin Media acquisition to help Liberty Global enter competitive European market
  • 80% of Liberty Global revenue to come from Europe 
  • Liberty owned by American billionaire John Malone, known as America's King of Cable

Liberty Global, the world's second-largest cable company, is buying Virgin Media, Britain’s second-largest cable television provider, for over $16 billion to gain ground in one of Europe's largest and most competitive telecom markets.

Britain is Europe’s largest cable TV market by revenue.

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Tech Giant Oracle Expands Into Networking Equipment Market With Acme Packet Acquisition

Tech Giant Oracle Expands Into Networking Equipment Market With Acme Packet Acquisition

BUSINESS

  • Oracle pays over $2 billion for Acme Packet, session border control market leader
  • Acme Packet largest Oracle acquisition since Taleo takeover
  • Oracle, Acme Packet good fit because Acme customers already dependent on Oracle business management software

Oracle Corp., the world’s second-largest maker of business applications, is buying Acme Packet Inc. for $2.1 billion to expand into the networking equipment market.

Acme Packet is the leader in the internet session border control market, which is an industry worth under $1 billion. Acme Packet enables delivery of voice, data and unified communications services and applications across IP networks, and offers tools for the secure transfer of data across the internet.

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Apple iPad Tops Tablet Market But Market Share Slipping

Apple iPad Tops Tablet Market But Market Share Slipping

BUSINESS

  • Apple tablet market share drops 3% to total 44% worldwide
  • 52.5 million tablets shipped worldwide in last quarter 2012; PC shipments down over 6%
  • Samsung, Amazon and Asus beginning to make inroads into Apple market share

The Apple iPad still dominates the world of tablet computers, but during the fourth quarter of 2012, its market share slipped by nearly 3% to 44%, according to International Data Corporation’s Worldwide Quarterly Tablet Tracker.

This is the second consecutive quarter Apple market share has declined.

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Smartphone Leader Research In Motion Unveils New BlackBerry, New Name

Smartphone Leader Research In Motion Unveils New BlackBerry, New Name

BUSINESS

  • Company to drop RIM name for BlackBerry; new BlackBerry Z10 and Q10 smartphones announced
  • UK gets new release first; US, Canada, United Arab Emirates to follow
  • US carriers taking longer to test handsets than other markets

Research In Motion has launched its new BlackBerry 10 lineup – and along with it a new name – in the hope of returning to the fore of the smartphone segment that it once controlled.

CEO Thorsten Heins says the new BlackBerry will reignite the enthusiasm that over the last decade saw it become the must-have mobile device for businesses and professionals.

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E-Commerce Giant Amazon Sales Hit $21 Billion, Web Services Booming

E-Commerce Giant Amazon Sales Hit $21 Billion, Web Services Booming

BUSINESS

  • Amazon sales up 22% but profit falls 45% 
  • Amazon Web Services grow 68% in North America
  • Amazon to build warehouses, fulfillment centers in US to minimize shipping costs

The world's largest internet retailer Amazon.com saw sales rise 22% to $21.27 billion during the fourth quarter of 2012, thanks to a strong holiday season boosted by rising purchases of e-books, and sales from its cloud computing services and video content.

Overall, Amazon expanded its digital media selection to 23 million movies, TV shows, songs, magazines, books, audio books, apps and games in 2012, up from 19 million at the end of 2011.

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Electronics Leader Philips Closes The Door On Its Home Entertainment Business

Electronics Leader Philips Closes The Door On Its Home Entertainment Business

BUSINESS

  • Philips transfers audio visual division to Japan’s Funai Electric
  • Funai plans global expansion with latest acquisition from Philips
  • Philips to focus now on health and well-being appliances

Electronics giant Royal Philips Electronics (Philips) is selling off its audio, video, multimedia and accessories division to Japan’s Funai Electric Co for over $202 million. The transaction is expected to close in the second half of 2013.

Philips Chief Executive Officer Frans van Houten says: "With this transaction we are taking another step in reshaping the Consumer Lifestyle portfolio and transforming Philips into a leading technology company in Health and Well-being. I am confident that today's agreement with Funai, our partner for over 25 years, will create a promising future for Philips Audio, Video and Entertainment, and continuity for our customers. It will leverage Philips' strong brand, strength in innovation, and leadership position in these businesses, with Funai's strong presence in North and Central America and Japan, and its supply and manufacturing expertise."

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Major Car Manufacturers Form Alliance To Develop Hydrogen Fuel Cell Vehicles

Major Car Manufacturers Form Alliance To Develop Hydrogen Fuel Cell Vehicles

BUSINESS

  • Ford, Daimler and Renault-Nissan to share costs and technology for hydrogen fuel cell vehicle project
  • Alliance to speed up technology to market time and reduce costs passed to customers
  • BMW, Toyota collaborating to develop next-generation “lithium-air” batteries for green vehicles

Automotive manufacturers Ford, Daimler and Renault-Nissan are joining forces to bring hydrogen fuel cell vehicles to market by 2017.

The car giants will share expenses as well as work together to develop technology and engines; in turn, each company will use the technology in its own vehicles.

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