PCR's week in review

iPhone market share takes a beating, Microsoft bigs up cloud, and 10,000 jobs to go at Cisco
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Apple is rarely out of the headlines in the tech world, and this week has been a particularly busy one. The consumer electronic trend setter is also rarely out of the courts, as is typical in an industry based on inter-woven technology patents and high-levels of competition. The firm slapped HTC – one of its most successful rivals – with a fresh legal volley, this time in relation to multi-touch gestures and orientation sensors. HTC is said to be ‘dismayed’ by the action.

But before the anti-Apple mob get too enraged – conjuring up images of Steve Jobs ruling the world from a throne made of bested rival handset chassis – new figures from Kantar Worldpanel have revealed a stunning slide in Apple's market share of the smartphone market. It seems European consumers in particular are showing a sharp swing in preferences from the iPhone to Android-based devices.

And before the that same mob break out the Android emblazoned flags and declare Victory in Europe day, another bit of research claims the iPad is selling more to Android smartphone users than Android-based tablets. The same study also claimed the iPad will dominate into 2012, and that rivals really need to drop process to compete.

Elsewhere, PCR this week revealed that a new, dedicated show for Apple professionals, enthusiasts and creatives is set to hit Earls Court in May next year. Organiser Indigo Pearl is expecting 30,000 visitors already – though the event does not have the backing of Apple itself as yet.

It wasn’t all Apple news, however. This week Microsoft’s Worldwide Partner Conference kicked off in the US. The annual event attracts 5,000 business which in some way sell the firm’s gear, and is often serves as a rallying call to get them on board with where Microsoft wants to take its business in the future.

For the past few years, that’s basically been the cloud – and this year’s was no different. Other notably themes from the event was the firm’s relatively modest assessment of its mobile business from the usually bullish CEO Steve Ballmer.

Later in the week it emerged that fellow American tech giant and Microsoft business rival Cisco is planning to axe up to 10,000 jobs – or 14 per cent of its overall work force. UK publishing firm Future, which produces the bulk of the nation’s consumer tech press, also announced it would be looking to make significant job cuts.

In cyber security news, after last week’s flurry of postering by politicians around the globe, the Pentagon this week announced admitted that the US military suffered the largest break in and theft of sensitive information as a result of hacking by a foreign government.

And finally, those frustrated with the sometimes misleading speed claims of ISP’s will be able to take some satisfaction that yesterday UK advertising watchdog, the ASA, has upheld six out of ten complaints against broadband provider Virgin Media relating to advertising campaigns that made speed claims against rival internet providers.

And that’s it – have a good weekend.

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