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US iPad owners tend to be older, have money
by Staff Writers
San Francisco (AFP) Feb 17, 2012

US owners of iPads tend to be older and richer than people who buy rival tablet computers, according to a study released on Friday by NPD Group.

The industry trackers Tablet Adoption and Insights Report showed that more than 40 percent of iPad owners had household incomes of $100,000 or more with only 26 percent of those owning non-Apple tablets rising into that bracket.

Apple's cheapest iPad costs $499. Most of its rivals offer cheaper devices with Amazon's Kindle Fire selling for just $199.

As tablet computers get more mainstream, the demographic disparity is lessening due to younger people with lower incomes getting the devices, according to NPD.

"As the demographic of the tablet owner continues to change the tablet market is beginning to take on a new role," said NPD vice president of industry analysis Stephen Baker.

"We are seeing some of the tasks traditionally performed on devices, such as PCs, now being performed on the tablet."

Despite talk of entering a "post-PC era" defined by the rule of Internet-linked mobile gadgets, the majority of tablet buyers said they still felt the need for laptop computers, NPD reported.

"Even as consumers increasingly use tablets for tasks that were once exclusively done on their PC, they continue to plan new PC purchases," Baker said.

"Usage is still evolving and most people, being inherently conservative in their device outlook, continue to hedge their bets on their device preference by planning to maintain an array of products to afford them maximum flexibility."

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Taiwan's Hon Hai raises salaries for China workers
Taipei (AFP) Feb 18, 2012 - Taiwanese technology giant Hon Hai, the parent company of Foxconn, has said it has raised basic salaries for workers in China by up to 25 percent in a bid to improve working conditions.

Hon Hai announced late Friday that salaries for assembly line workers in Shenzhen, southern China have been raised by 16-25 percent to 1,800-2,500 yuan ($285-$400) monthly, depending on job performance, from February 1.

Foxconn is the world's largest computer component manufacturer and assembles products for Apple -- including the iPhone -- plus Sony and Nokia. It employs about one million workers in China, about half of them based in Shenzhen.

The statement came as the Fair Labor Association began inspections for Apple on Monday at Foxconn's plant in Shenzhen, following reports that employees were overworked and underpaid.

In 2010, at least 13 Foxconn employees in China died in apparent suicides, which activists blamed on tough working conditions, prompting calls for better treatment of staff.

Foxconn rolled out a series of measures, including wage hikes and safety nets outside buildings, after the deaths and has been expanding its workforce in central China as it seeks to scale back the size of its Shenzhen plant.


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Apple brings iPad features to the Mac
San Francisco (AFP) Feb 16, 2012
Apple released a preview version of its new Macintosh operating system on Thursday, bringing some features of the iPad to the personal computer. The Cupertino, California-based company said the updated operating system, called Mountain Lion, will be available to Macintosh developers immediately and Mac owners can upgrade to the new software in late summer. Apple said Mountain Lion includ ... read more

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