Business in brief: iPhone6 launch
Apple is preparing to introduce the iPhone 6 on September 9, according to US reports.
The company is set to introduce two new models: one with a 4.7-inch screen, and another with a 5.5-inch screen. Anticipation for bigger-screen iPhones has analysts predicting that Apple will sell a record number of handsets and investors have responded by sending the stock up 18pc this year. Samsung and other smartphone vendors have used larger screen sizes to gain market share, particularly in Asian markets where bigger phones are more popular. Analysts also are predicting Apple will also release new iPads and a wearable device this year.
Apple v Samsung
Samsung and Apple will end all patent lawsuits between each other outside the US in a step back from three years of legal hostilities between the world's two largest smartphone makers. However, the two companies will continue to pursue existing cases in US courts.
"Samsung and Apple have agreed to drop all litigation between the two companies outside the United States," said a joint statement from the two said.
"This agreement does not involve any licensing arrangements, and the companies are continuing to pursue the existing cases in US courts."
The announcement is a significant lessening of corporate hostilities after years of bitter patent disputes over the intellectual property rights for mobile designs and technology. The legal fights spanned about a dozen countries in Asia, North America and Europe. Lawsuits and other legal actions by Samsung and Apple will come to an end in countries including Germany, England, France, Spain, Italy, the Netherlands, South Korea, Japan and Australia.
Irish firm CleverCards has released a suite of new features to its iPhone and iPad apps, including a personalised video and audio messaging service to digital greeting cards. The company says that it is "doing for personal video what Vine, Instagram and WhatsApp have done for social expression".
Users can now record personal video and audio greetings from within the CleverCards app as well as upload video content from their camera roll.
Citrix IT training
Citrix has joined with ICT Ireland Skillnet to offer unemployed computer science graduates a 14 week cloud computing and virtualisation training programme to equip them for a job as a technical support engineer. The two organisations said that there are 15 places on the training programme. Citrix says that it plans to offer up to half of the participants a job and will endeavour to secure employment for the remainder within its broader base of partners. The course is free to participants who may also retain their full social welfare benefits whilst attending the programme. The training programme is aimed at unemployed computer science graduates or those from a similar discipline with a bachelor's degree and is scheduled to begin on September 1st.
BT schools grant
BT has announced a €75,000 accommodation grant for schools in Ireland to enter the BT Young Scientist and Technology Exhibition in Dublin. The company says that the grant could encourage more schools to enter the annual science competition. It says that it has distributed 1,115 grants to over 330 schools across the Republic and North of Ireland since 2006, amounting to a total figure of €488,700. Schools which are located over 70km from the RDS in Dublin, where the exhibition is held, are eligible to apply for a grant of €150 per individual entry or €300 for a group entry, up to a maximum of €1,500 per school.
Microsoft has announced that its laptop-tablet hybrid machine, the Surface Pro 3, will become available for purchase at retail outlets and commercial resellers on August 28 in Ireland. Microsoft is reported to have lost over €1bn on the device to date, but is committed to its future