Tech news in short, from patent battles to retail jobs

Weekend roundup: Apple and HTC play nicely, Surface sales start modestly, new Intel Phi chip

We take a look at what happened in the world of technology news over the weekend:

Apple and HTC kiss and make up

After a two and a half year battle, Apple and phone manufacturer HTC have settled their various disputes over patents.

The disagreements began back in March 2010. Now Apple and HTC have signed a ten-year licence that will cover current and future patents from each firm.

Apple and Taiwanese phonemaker HTC have settled all their outstanding disputes over patents, ending a fight that began in March 2010.

"HTC is pleased to have resolved its dispute with Apple, so HTC can focus on innovation instead of litigation," commented Peter Chou, the head of HTC.

330 jobs go at Comet head office

Administrator Deloitte has announced that 330 jobs have been cut across Comet’s head office and support centres.

At Comet’s Rickmansworth head office in Hertfordshire, 99 members of staff have lost their jobs. The electrical retailer’s site in Hull has lost 53 jobs, and 42 employees have been axed at its Clevedon call centre.

In a statement, Deloitte stressed that there had been no redundancies among shop staff.

Surface sales ‘constrained’ by sales channel

Steve Ballmer has told French daily Le Parisien that sales for the new Surface tablet "are starting modestly."

Ballmer said that sales were constrained by the limits of the sales channel – in the US, for example, it’s only available at the Microsoft Store online and a few bricks and mortar shops.

Nevertheless the Surface did sell out online at one point – so perhaps Ballmer is simply being cautious at this stage.

Intel ships new Xeon Phi processor

Two years after it was announced, Intel ships its first Phi chip.

The chips, which have been built for performance and power-efficiency for servers, have 60 or more cores. The fasted chips will be able to offer more than a teraflop of performance per second. Nice. 

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