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The Techday Weekender - Jul 30th 2011

30 Jul 2011

It was a dramatic week this week as Blackberry maker Research In Motion announced it was cutting 11% of its workforce, or 2000 employees, in an effort to arrest its falling share price. Just a day later RIM ANZ announced an expansion of its deal with distributors Brightstar to include the APAC region, in a sign local business is doing well. The regional office couldn't comment on the redundancies, but told Techday the mood here is positive, with another distribution deal in the pipeline and the sponsorship of the Rugby World Cup to look forward to.

The local mobile phone market is also tough, with competition between newcomers 2degrees and old timers Vodafone and Telecom heating up. Reporting from Vodafone's parent company showed the local operation has lost 26,000 customers since this time last year. That represents just a fraction of the 2.458 million Vodafone customers countrywide, but 2degrees still took the opportunity to reveal that of the customers who have joined its network since its launch two years ago, 200,000 have been poached from other networks, using the 'porting' service to keep their old numbers. The service spares network-jumpers the trouble of changing their mobile number, although it conversely robs people of the opportunity to be 'lost' from the contact lists of undesired friends.

A year-long study released this week found that New Zealand businesses are reluctant to embrace the digital age, with only 32% of kiwi businesses having their own website, and a remarkable 70% of those without websites having zero intention of getting online in the future. The study, commissioned by MYOB, says New Zealand risks falling behind on the world stage unless more businesses can be encouraged to start trading on the internet.

In product releases, HP launched its entry to the tablet market, the TouchPad, featuring the new operating system, webOS. The bones of the operating system were acquired when HP purchased Palm last year, and the company intends to eventually roll it out over its entire product spectrum. Meanwhile, Microsoft released note-taking app OneNote on the Apple app store for New Zealand and a few other countries, seven months after it was made available for iPhone users in the US. There is speculation the move is a sign Microsoft may look at offering more of its flagship Office software on its rival's platform soon.

Finally, in fibre news, Telecom released documents outlining how it will separate from its network arm, Chorus, in the next few months. Telecom CEO Paul Reynolds describes the unpicking as 'a massive undertaking', although the big question is whether Reynolds will stay at the head of the company when its business, and presumably his $5 million pay packet, are cut down to size.

Have a great weekend, everyone!

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