San Francisco (AFP) May 25, 2010
Retail giant Wal-Mart on Tuesday more than halved the price of the 16-gigabyte iPhone 3G in a sign that shelves are being cleared for a hot new model to be unveiled by Apple.
Walmart began charging 97 dollars for 16-gigabyte iPhone 3G smartphones bought in the United States with two-year service contracts.
"We are going to reduce the price on this most popular smartphone so our customers can realize these new savings as soon as possible," said Mehrdad Akbar, senior category director for wireless for Walmart US.
Apple chief executive Steve Jobs is expected to show off the next-generation iPhone on June 7 during a keynote speech opening the California company's annual Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco.
The WWDC will be held from June 7-11. The event typically attracts thousands of developers that craft software for Macintosh computers, the iPhone, the iPod and the iPad.
Apple typically shrouds such events in secrecy but a technology blog, Gizmodo, last month obtained and published details of the next iPhone after getting its hands on a prototype of the device.
Gizmodo is at the center of a police investigation into whether a crime was committed in obtaining the iPhone prototype, which was lost in a California beer garden by an Apple software engineer.
earlier related report
A group of two dozen protested outside the Hong Kong office of Taiwan-based Foxconn, calling on the technology giant to improve working conditions at its giant plant across the border in the city of Shenzhen.
The group said Foxconn -- a manufacturer for Apple and other electronics giants -- should probe the suicides, which have reached 10 since the start of the year after a 19-year-old employee fell to his death at the factory Tuesday.
"The reason we're staging the protest is the high death rate due to some workers committing suicide within five months, which we think is abnormal," Debby Chan, spokeswoman for Students and Scholars Against Corporate Misbehaviour, told AFP.
"Foxconn should evaluate its management style.... We strongly urge Foxconn to start a committee to look into the reasons they died."
The deaths, apparent suicides, have raised questions about the conditions for millions of factory workers in China, especially at Foxconn, where labour activists say long hours, low pay and high pressure are the norm.
The death Tuesday was the ninth at Foxconn's Shenzhen facilities this year.
Witnesses said Li Hai, a 19 year-old man, jumped from the fifth floor of the training centre building, China's official Xinhua news agency reported.
Police found a note left by Li, according to Xinhua, in which he told his father: "I have no capabilities. I have got what I deserve."
Chen Hongfang, deputy director of Foxconn's labor union, said Li had only worked in the South China Training Centre in Foxconn's Guanlan plant for 42 days, the agency reported.
Another company employee died at a plant in northern China in January, according to state media reports. Two more have suffered serious injuries in similar falls.
The group's founder Terry Gou on Monday denied that Foxconn's employees were being worked too hard and driven to kill themselves, saying he was not running "blood and sweat factories".
Chan said interviews with about 30 Foxconn workers in recent days suggested that they "suffer from pressure but just learn to internalise it".
The planned boycott would likely kick off ahead of the new iPhone's release next month, Chan said, adding that the group was also targeting United Win Technology, another Taiwan-based Apple supplier with operations in China.
Foxconn, known in Taiwan by the name of its parent Hon Hai Precision, is the world's largest maker of computer components.
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Nitro PDF Reader out to blow away Adobe
San Francisco (AFP) May 25, 2010
Nitro PDF Software on Tuesday released a free reader built to break rival Adobe System's grip on the world's top digital document format. Nitro not only lets people read paperwork scanned in Portable Document Format (PDF) but lets it be annotated, filled-in, or otherwise altered and then saved as files. Adobe's widely used free reader lets people see and print digitized documents but not ... read more
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