5 Companies That Had A Rough Week

The Week Ending Sept. 26

This week's roundup of companies that had a rough week includes Apple's problems with iOS 8, Samsung's PC market retreat, a leading cloud computing vendor hit with a patent infringement lawsuit, companies hit by the fallout from the Shellshock bug and two leading companies facing criticism from the FBI.

Also, check out this week's roundup of companies that came to win.

Apple Apologizes For iOS 8.0.1 Glitches

In a week when Apple should be basking in the glow of its iPhone 6 sales, the company found itself apologizing for its botched iOS 8.0.1 release. Apple had to pull the software from its app store when users complained of lost cell service and Touch ID functionality after downloading the apparently rushed update. Apple first issued a workaround and then iOS 8.0.2, apologizing for "the great inconvenience experienced by users."

Apple also found itself dealing with reports this week that the thin, aluminum iPhone 6 Plus can bend in consumers' back pockets when they sit down. The message from solution providers? Don't sit on your phone.

Samsung Exiting European Laptop Market

Samsung this week threw in the towel and said it will exit the European laptop market, the latest sign that second-tier PC manufacturers are struggling. Samsung said the decision applied to its Ativ and Chromebook notebooks.

Last week, Toshiba said it planned to reduce its PC workforce by 900 and would de-emphasize its consumer PC business. And Sony is shuttering its Vaio PC brand by the end of this year.

ServiceNow Hit With Patent Infringement Lawsuit

ServiceNow, a provider of cloud-based IT management services, was on the receiving end of a patent infringement lawsuit filed this week by competitor BMC Software. BMC charges that much of ServiceNow's product portfolio was built using BMC's intellectual property.

BMC said ServiceNow uses technology protected by at least seven patents BMC was issued between 1999 and this year, according to the suit filed Tuesday in a Texas federal court. BMC also said ServiceNow hired former BMC engineers and sales professionals to use and sell those patented technologies. A ServiceNow spokesperson said the company will "vigorously" oppose the lawsuit.

AWS, Partners Brace For Shellshock-Related Reboot

Customers and partners of Amazon Web Services got an unpleasant surprise this week when they received unexpected notices warning them of impending system reboots to install security patches. The move was related to this week's discovery of the Shellshock vulnerability in Linux, Unix and Mac OS X.

The notices said the reboots could begin "as early as Friday" and could continue for a week. Given the short lead time, some partners scrambled to prepare as there were few options to coordinate the reboot with their own or their customers' IT activities.

FBI Director Hits Google, Apple On Smartphone Encryption

Taking criticism from the director of the FBI can't be a good thing. This week, director James Comey took Google and Apple to task for their efforts to develop smartphone technology that could make it nearly impossible to decrypt data on the mobile devices.

"There will come a day when it will matter a great deal to the lives of people ... that we will be able to gain access" to smartphone data, Comey said, according to a Washington Post story. Comey was responding to new smartphone encryption initiatives Apple and Google announced last week. Law enforcement officials said retaining such access is essential to solve crimes and prevent terrorist attacks.