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SHANGHAI The China release of its iPhone 5 on Friday should win Apple Inc some respite from a recent slide in its share of what is likely already the world’s biggest smartphone market, but its longer-term hopes may depend on new technology being tested by China’s top telecoms carrier. Cupertino, California-based Apple has been in talks about a tie-up with China Mobile for four years. A deal with China’s biggest carrier is seen as crucial to improve Apple’s distribution in a market of 290 million users – which is forecast to double this year. China is Apple’s second-largest and fastest-growing [...]

SHANGHAI The China release of its iPhone 5 on Friday should win Apple Inc some respite from a recent slide in its share of what is likely already the world’s biggest smartphone market, but its longer-term hopes may depend on new technology being tested by China’s top telecoms carrier. Cupertino, California-based Apple has been in talks about a tie-up with China Mobile for four years. A deal with China’s biggest carrier is seen as crucial to improve Apple’s distribution in a market of 290 million users – which is forecast to double this year. China is Apple’s second-largest and fastest-growing [...]

A U.S. jury on Thursday found that Apple’s iPhone infringed three patents owned by holding company MobileMedia Ideas, though damages have not yet been determined. The verdict was delivered after a week-long trial in Delaware federal court, said Larry Horn, chief executive of MobileMedia. An Apple spokeswoman declined to comment. The three patents, which cover features like camera phone technology, were acquired from Nokia and Sony Corp in 2010, Horn said. Those two companies hold a minority interest in MobileMedia, he said. Representatives for Nokia and Sony could not immediately be reached for comment. The trial only concerned liability, and [...]

Google’s (GOOG) navigation tool has returned to the iPhone, months after Apple’s home-grown mapping service flopped, prompting user complaints, the firing of an executive and a public apology from Apple’s CEO. The Google Maps app will be compatible with any iPhone or iPod Touch that runs iOS 5.1 or higher, the company said in a blog post. (http://link.reuters.com/jek64t) Apple launched its own service in early September, and dropped Google Maps, when it launched the iPhone 5 and rolled out iOS 6, an upgrade to its mobile software platform. Users complained that Apple’s new map service, based on Dutch navigation equipment [...]

BRUSSELS European Union regulators ended an antitrust probe into e-book prices on Thursday, accepting an offer by Apple and four publishers to ease pricing restrictions on Amazon and other retailers. The decision hands online retailer Amazon a victory in its attempt to sell e-books cheaper than rivals in the fast-growing market publishers hope will boost revenue and customer numbers. Reuters first reported in November that the Commission was accepting the settlement offer. The European Commission said in a statement on Thursday that the concessions from Apple and the publishers soothe concerns that their pricing deals curb competition. “The commitments proposed [...]

PARIS/PALO ALTO Apple’s stock may be sliding as investors fret about growing competition, but store visits and interviews with smartphone and tablet shoppers in 10 cities around the world suggest consumers share little of that negativity. With tablets and other mobile devices the gadgets of choice this holiday season, Reuters canvassed over 70 shoppers and store employees across Sydney, Seattle, Palo Alto, Shanghai, Bangalore, Singapore, Paris, London, Mexico City and Boston for insight into what does and doesn’t beckon. Apple stores and electronics retailers were bustling last week, in contrast to the Microsoft pop-up stores in the United States promoting [...]

NEW YORK Analysts at Sterne Agee said Wednesday they expect shares of the computer maker to remain volatile until the end of the year. Analysts cited, “non-fundamental factors including profit taking as AAPL has been an outstanding performer in 2012 where many are opting to lock in gains and fears of higher ‘fiscal cliff’ tax rates next year.” Analysts said checks with suppliers signal a possible upside surprise in Apple’s iPhone profitability. However, iPad “could come in light” due to supply constraints on the iPad mini and lower builds for the fourth generation iPad, “likely due to some cannibalization from [...]

FRANKFURT Apple Inc. is working with component suppliers in Asia on several designs for TV sets, potentially indicating the company is set to expand its home-entertainment offerings, The Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday, citing people familiar with the situation. The report cited officials at some of Apple’s suppliers, who said the company has been testing designs for a large-screen, high-resolution TV. People familiar with the efforts said Apple has been testing various TV prototypes for a number of years, the newspaper reported, noting that the company generally tests and develops products internally before working with outside suppliers.

SAN FRANCISCO Apple Inc. saw its shares rise nearly 3% to $ 545.50 on Tuesday morning. Earlier in the day, China Unicom said it has received pre-orders for more than 300,000 units of the iPhone 5 ahead of the device’s launch in that market this Friday. This was up from 100,000 units on the first day of pre-orders last week. Brian Marshall of ISI Group estimates that the company ships about 5 million iPhones into China each quarter, “and we expect a strong China Unicom iPhone launch to continue momentum.” Also, the telecommunications analyst team for J.P. Morgan raised their [...]

SAN FRANCISCO Shares of Apple Inc. slipped in early trading on Monday after Jefferies and Co. cut its price target for the stock to $ 800 citing potentially slower growth at the computer maker. Apple was down 1.7% at $ 525.33 at the opening bell, weighing down the Nasdaq Composite Index which gave up 3 points to stand at 2,975. The tech sector got a lift from shares of Cisco Systems which were up nearly 1% at $ 19.48 on upbeat reviews from analysts following its meeting with analysts on Friday.

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