Five Companies That Dropped The Ball This Week

Apple To Offer Down Under Refunds

Apple this week agreed to offer refunds to Aussies who bought the new iPad after the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) claimed Apple’s 4G LTE claims were misleading.

The ACCC filed a complaint with the Federal Court in Melbourne Wednesday, alleging that Apple falsely advertised the iPad as being compatible with Australia’s 4G network. However, Australia's 4G network, which covers only a small part of the country, uses a different frequency from what is used in the U.S. and Canada, making it a non-feature for the Aussies.

Dell Resets Mobile Phone Strategy

Dell, which has been in a multiyear rush to de-emphasize its end-user business, this week dropped its consumer ball even further by deciding to pull its Venue and Venue Pro smartphones from U.S. shelves.

The move comes just a few months after the company discontinued its Streak 7 tablet.

However, Dell could catch that ball on the rebound if its expected upcoming Windows 8-based tablet PC and smartphones, which are definitely business-oriented, pan out as the company hopes.

HighTower Goes Belly-Up

This week it was confirmed that Skokie, Ill.-based HighTower, one of Sage's leading solution providers, closed its doors.

Another Sage developer, SWK Technologies, has taken over much of HighTower's business.

HighTower was an ERP systems consultant and developer that resold a range of Sage products. In November, Sage North America designated HighTower, a Gold level partner, as one of 60 members of its President's Circle of business partners that generate the highest revenue across a range of product categories.

HP, Oracle Keep At It

The public brawl between former partners Hewlett-Packard and Oracle over the fate of Oracle software on HP Unix servers continued this week.

HP is seeking a court order stating that Oracle is contractually obligated to continue developing software for the Itanium processor, and on Monday sought dismissal of an Oracle countersuit.

"It is time for Oracle to quit pursuing baseless accusations and honor its commitments to HP and to our shared customers," HP said in a Monday press release.

Oracle, in its response statement, called HP's efforts a "campaign of lies about the Itanium road map."

Monster Changes At RIM

BlackBerry maker Research In Motion (RIM) this week found little to cheer about. Not only did it report a 25 percent drop in fiscal fourth-quarter 2012 revenue compared to last year and a loss of $125 million compared to last year's profit of $934 million, the company also said its CTO was retiring, its COO was leaving, and its former co-CEO was resigning from the board of directors.

RIM also will exit the consumer market, leaving that part of the business to partners.


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