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TECH SPACE
Credit card has LCD screen and keyboard
by Staff Writers
Singapore (UPI) Nov 8, 2012


Amazon cuts Japan Kindle price before launch
Tokyo (AFP) Nov 8, 2012 - Internet shopping giant Amazon has cut the cost of the Japanese version of its Kindle e-reader even before the first customers get their hands on the device.

The price of the wifi-only edition of Kindle Paperwhite was shaved by 500 yen ($6.25) to 7,980 yen Wednesday, as competition heats up in a sector that has been slow off the mark.

Amazon began taking pre-orders for the gadget on October 24, with the first shipping expected on November 19.

The discount might give an edge to the US giant against a range of rivals, including the "Lideo" e-reader, with the price tag of 8,480 yen, the same as the Paperwhite before its discount.

Lideo, which is made by printing heavyweight Toppan, uses free WiMax high-speed, wireless broadband technology that allows users to connect to its BookLive ebook store with 95,000 titles, compared with Amazon's 50,000 Japanese titles.

Sony and Japanese online store Rakuten also have e-readers, while a horde of electronics makers have produced tablet computers ahead of the year-end shopping season.

MasterCard says it is introducing a credit card with an LCD display and a keyboard with touch-sensitive buttons that would allow entering banking passwords.

The high-tech card, which will be launched in Singapore in January before being offered globally, features the ability to create a "one-time password," eliminating the need for a separate device required by some banks to log into online banking, the BBC reported.

Many of the world's banks require customers to log in to online banking by using a small security device, usually a token or keychain device.

While significantly more secure than common static username and password login systems, many people have balked at carrying yet another device on their person to use online banking, an issue MasterCard said its card was developed to address.

"We brainstormed on ways to make it convenient and yet secure for customers," said V. Subba from Standard Chartered Bank, which is collaborating with MasterCard.

"The question was: Instead of sending customers another bulky token, could we replace something which already exists in the customer's wallet? That was when credit, debit and ATM cards immediately came to mind."

Future versions of the card could display added information such as account balances, MasterCard said.

China's Lenovo claims top spot for consumer PCs
Hong Kong (AFP) Nov 8, 2012 - Chinese computer maker Lenovo Group said Thursday it had become the global leader in consumer and notebook personal computers, as sales surged despite a weakening in the PC market.

"Lenovo became the worldwide number one consumer and notebook PC company in fiscal quarter two and remained as the largest PC company in emerging markets, including China," the company told the Hong Kong stock exchange.

Its share of the overall PC market, including corporate sales, reached a record high of 15.6 percent in the July-September quarter, it added, putting it just 0.2 percent shy of leader Hewlett-Packard.

Lenovo has been outperforming rivals such as US-based HP and Dell, with a rise in PC shipments of 10 percent in the second quarter to the end of September compared to a year earlier despite softening global demand.

Worldwide PC shipments have been declining as consumer habits change and more people connect to the Internet through smartphones and tablets instead of cumbersome personal computers and laptops.

However, a survey by research firm Gartner released last month gave Lenovo 15.7 percent of the overall PC market, ahead of HP with 15.5 percent.

Gartner said Dell was the number three maker with a 10.5 percent global market share followed by Taiwan's Acer with 9.8 percent and Asus, another Taiwan firm, with 7.3 percent.

A separate report showed global sales of personal computers are set to show a decline for the first time in 11 years.

The survey by IHS iSuppli said the total PC market in 2012 was expected to contract 1.2 percent to 348.7 million units, down from 352.8 million in 2011.

That would be the first drop since 2001, but sales have been sluggish for the past two years.

IHS said a strong rebound could still occur in 2013, with more adoption of Windows 8 computers and newer, thinner notebook computers gaining track.

Lenovo said net profit for the three months to the end of September rose 13 percent to $162.1 million from $143.9 million a year earlier. Revenue climbed 11 percent to $8.67 billion from $7.79 billion a year earlier.

"Lenovo grew in spite of challenges in the worldwide PC market impacted by the weakening macro environment and product transition," it said.

The company's shares closed down 2.66 percent at HK$6.58 in Hong Kong, while the benchmark Hang Seng Index fell 2.41 percent, as investors digested Lenovo's slowest rate of profit growth in more than two years.

Lenovo chief executive Yang Yuanqing conceded that the PC market was tough for everybody.

"Definitely, the PC market is impacted by the macro-economy," he told reporters, according to Dow Jones Newswires.

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