Saturday, December 24, 2011

France Telecom sells Orange Switzerland

France Telecom SA agreed to sell its Orange Switzerland mobile-phone unit to buyout firm Apax Partners LLP for 1.6 billion euros ($2.1 billion), the first major step in Chief Executive Officer Stephane Richard’s plan to unload slow-growing European operations.

France Telecom is shedding assets in Europe, where phone companies are vying for a shrinking pool of new customers amid tightening regulation, to embrace faster-growing markets in Africa and the Middle East.

France’s largest mobile operator is also in talks to sell its Orange Austria unit to Hong Kong-based Hutchison Whampoa Ltd., people familiar with the situation said in October, and is planning to exit Portugal.

Source: Businessweek.

Friday, December 23, 2011

27% of photos and videos now captured on smartphones

More than a quarter of photos and videos shot by individuals in the U.S. are now being captured by smartphones, according to an online survey of 3,300 Internet users ages 13 and up. Sales data suggest smartphones are replacing consumers’ need for low-end point-and-shoot cameras and camcorders.

The percentage of photos taken with a smartphone went from 17% to 27%, a 44% increase from the year previous, according to a survey conducted by NPD Group. Meanwhile, sales of point-and-shoot cameras dropped 17% in volume and 18% in revenue in the first 11 months of 2011. Individual sales of pocket camcorders dropped 13%, with a 10% decrease in revenue.

Source: Mashable Tech.