Five Companies That Dropped The Ball This Week

Apple Disappoints The iPhone 5-Crazed Masses

The fact that Apple's unveiling of the iPhone 4GS was met with howls of disappointment from fans is testimony to how high the company has set the bar of expectation for its products.

Despite a faster processor, voice recognition and improvements to camera and software, Apple's iPhone 4GS will forever be known as the product that wasn't the iPhone 5. Which is silly, of course, considering how ridiculously popular the iPhone 4 has been. But silly or not, investors staged a brief sell-off in the wake of the unveiling, showing once again the perils of setting customers' expectations so damn high.

Oracle Pays $199.5 Million Settlement For Overcharging U.S. Government

Oracle this week paid a hefty settlement in a lawsuit that claimed it made false statements to the General Services Administration (GSA) about its sales practices and discounts between 1998 and 2006. Former Oracle employee Paul Frascella filed the suit on behalf of the U.S. government, and the gist was that Oracle duped the GSA by not giving the government agency the same discounts as it gives to corporate customers.

"Companies that in engage in unlawful or fraudulent practices to secure government business undermine the integrity of the procurement process and create an unfair advantage against the majority of companies that are playing by the rules," Tony West, assistant attorney general for the Civil Division of the Department of Justice, said in a statement.

T-Mobile Facing Headwinds Over DOJ Merger Lawsuit

The U.S. Justice Department’s antitrust lawsuit against the AT&T-T-Mobile merger is creating headaches for T-Mobile. The carrier can't cut prices to retain subscribers because doing so would give the DOJ ammunition to argue that an independent T-Mobile is needed to help keep mobile market prices down, Bloomberg reported this week.

Based on analyst estimates that Bloomberg gathered, T-mobile's customers on monthly contracts will drop by around 1.2 million this year, after dropping 390,000 last year. By the end of the year, T-Mobile will have 33.5 million total customers and 25.2 million contract subscribers, according to analysts' estimates.

Meru Networks Looking For New CEO

Ihab Abu-Hakima, the president and CEO of wireless upstart Meru Networks, this week said he plans to leave the company within the next six months. "I feel I have achieved my personal and corporate goals, and given the strong momentum at Meru, now is the right time to transition to a new CEO to drive the company to the next level," Abu-Hakima said in a statement.

Abu-Hakima plans to help Meru's Board of Directors find his successor and he'll continue to lead the company in the meantime. However, a leadership vacuum probably isn't going to help boost Meru's shares, which are down about 50 percent since the beginning of the year.

Microsoft Internet Explorer Continues To Shed Market Share

It's been a slow decline, but Microsoft's Internet Explorer's worldwide market share dipped in September for the seventh consecutive month, according to worldwide market share data released by Net Applications this week.

According to new data from Web analytics firm StatCounter, IE's worldwide usage fell from 49.21 percent last October 2010 to 41.66 percent last month.