While some tech heavy hitters battled it out this week, others aligned on important consumer issues – most notably privacy. Apple remained a top newsmaker, with more negative headlines around the ongoing trademark case in China and an unfavorable ABC feature that drew attention to supply plant work conditions in the region. On the flipside, media continued to look at brand use of social media networks, including Google+, Facebook and Twitter, and also speculated about some future product releases including Office for iPad and Google Goggles.

10. Why Your Computer is Becoming More Like Your Phone?
Usually discussion centers on phones becoming more like computers, but Peter Cashmore argued this week that making computers more like phones makes sense on many levels. He pointed to the new Windows 8 OS, which imitates the Windows phone and Apple’s new Mountain Lion OS, noting that this concept shift may possibly come sooner than thought. Cashmore’s main point is simplicity, consumers are more comfortable with a phone given its ease of use and operation.

9. Microsoft Office For iPad Nears Release?
Rumors have started circulating about a version of Microsoft Windows for the iPad after a photo and hands-on experience story was released from TheDaily.com. Speculation is that Office will release an iPad version given previous collaboration between the companies on products such as Lynch and OneNote. The question is when?

8. Google+ Brand Pages Growing 4X Faster Than Twitter
The analytics site, Socialbakers, is reporting that brand pages on Google+ are growing more rapidly than on Twitter. The fastest growing brand on Google+ is Angry Birds, which gained 350,000 new followers in one month. However, the important factor to consider when reading this data is that Twitter has been around longer.

7. Why Are Retailers Shutting Their Facebook Stores?
According to Bloomberg, many large brands including Nordstrom, Gap, J.C. Penny and GameStop have closed Facebook stores within one year of opening due to lack of revenue. Factors: the Facebook shopping experience is identical to the brand’s own website, and much slower, which offers consumers little incentive and leaves the companies with little purchase volume.

6. Behind The Google Goggles, Virtual Reality
Buzz started to circle this week about Google’s plans to unveil eyeglasses by end-of-year that will hold all the features of a smart phone or tablet. The display will project onto the lens inches from the eyes and include features such as a camera, audio and GPS. The glasses will use the same Android software that powers Android smartphones and tablets, and there is talk from those behind the scenes that major features include the location information and built-in camera, which will stream images to its rack computers and return augmented reality information to the person wearing them.

5. Apple Case in Shanghai Is Suspended
The trademark case against Apple in Shanghai has been suspended by a local court. Proview International is arguing that it owns the rights for the iPad name in China and is attempting to block the sale of iPads. The court released a statement on its Web site Thursday saying that it would not rule because a related trademark court case between the two companies was pending in Guangdong Province, in southern China. Apple confirmed the court decision and said it will continue to challenge Proview International’s position.

4. 10 Staggering Facts Behind Apple’s Foxconn Factory
After years of requests, ABC was invited to visit two Apple supply plants in China where some of their top products are produced for a behind-the-scenes look at working conditions. The findings are what most would expect, long hours, tight living quarters and not enough pay. Probably the most disturbing finding was the suicide nets that were installed after nine Foxconn workers killed themselves during a three month period.

3. HP Beats Street’s Lowered Expectations
With the PC market on the decline, HP experienced a $2 billion drop in revenue from last year. As reported by several media outlets, HP reported earnings of 92 cents a share on sales of $30 billion, exceeding analysts’ expectation of 82 cents. However, it fell slightly short of Wall Street’s prediction of $30.7 billion for the first quarter.

2. T-Mobile’s Comeback Plan: Is it enough?
T-Mobile plans to spend $4 billion dollars to enhance its network and offer 4G within the next year as it attempts to bounce back from the failed AT&T merger. T-Mobile recently experienced a large loss of customers and is the only carrier not offering the iPhone. Even with the addition of this new technology, T-Mobile will still be years behind its competitors.

1. CA Attorney General Says Apple Has Agreed To Make Apps Disclose Privacy Policy BEFORE Download
California Attorney General, Kamala D. Harris, announced a deal with six of the largest mobile web providers, including Amazon, Apple, Google, Hewlett-Packard, Microsoft and Research in Motion. It will require the companies to provide an easy to read privacy statement before downloading an app, which informs consumers what data can be accessed and how that data can be used. It’s not often that you see these fierce competitors align together on an issue.  On Thursday, the White House requested that a “privacy bill of rights” be created to provide more control over personal data.

Disclaimer: Proview International is a Weber Shandwick client.

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