Underlining what hell it has become to manufacture in Germany – the de-industrialisation of Japan is an awful warning to the Germans, where the strength of the mark is compounded by ludicrously onerous social security demands on employers – Philips Electronics NV’s German subsidiary Philips Kommunikations Industrie AG warns that it expects to post a […]
Underlining what hell it has become to manufacture in Germany – the de-industrialisation of Japan is an awful warning to the Germans, where the strength of the mark is compounded by ludicrously onerous social security demands on employers – Philips Electronics NV’s German subsidiary Philips Kommunikations Industrie AG warns that it expects to post a loss in the triple digit millions of marks again in 1995, which likely means over $100m – it will improve on the $140m 1994 loss, the annual meeting was told.
A thriving economy needs a flow of employees from declining to fast-growing companies, but it is so difficult and expensive to shed surplus staff in Germany that of the 5,100 employees Siemens AG added to its workforce in the first seven months of this fiscal, 60% were given only short-term contracts, a company newsletter said.
All the speculation over just who was bidding for the stake of around 25% on offer in Belgacom NV was ended late on Friday when the telecommunications ministry announced that four bids had been received: British Telecommunications Plc is bidding with Bell Atlantic Corp, Koninklijke PTT Nederland NV with Swiss Telecom, and Ameritech Inc and Stet SpA have put in solo bids, all of which were lodged in London at Morgan Stanley & Co; the government-appointed Belgian Privatisation Commission will weigh the bids and then pass on its recommendation to the government next month, and Privatisation Commission advisor Ronald De Swert told Reuters that three candidates would probably be chosen to enter the next stage of bidding, likely to be in September.
Corel Corp, Ottawa has invested enormously to buy in technologies for its Windows95 offerings, and it desperately needs the operating system out there quickly and to be a success to start recouping its outlays: the company has now established the pricing for CorelDraw 6 at $700 for the CD-ROM version; in the 32-bit version, the company is promising major upgrades to the CorelDraw and Corel Photo-Paint modules, a new three-dimensional animation module with CorelDream 3D, and also a complete presentation package with Corel Presents.
McCaw Cellular Communications Inc says its parent company, AT&T Corp and L M Ericsson Telefon AB are best placed to win orders for the $1,500m it will spend setting up Personal Communications Services.
Apple Computer Inc is close to reaching an agreement for its Macintosh computers to be made in China, the Xinhua news agency said.
Mannesmann AG told the annual meeting its sales and orders for mobile telephones and services were up 61% in the first five months of 1995, and growth has been accelerating – good news for Cable & Wireless Plc, which has to sell its stake in Mannesmann Mobilfunk GmbH under its broadbrush agreements with Veba AG.
BellSouth Corp’s decision to take a $2,700m non-cash charge to change its accounting principles is neutral for the company and will soon be followed by the remaining regional Bells, with Nynex Corp, SBC Communications Inc and Pacific Telesis Group Inc expected to follow suit within 12 months, analysts told Reuters in New York.
Packard Bell Electronics Inc hopes to win the autumn battle for the dollars of home computer buyers by getting its new line of machines into the market first: according to Reuters, it plans to unveil its autumn fashions on July 11; analysts that have been briefed on the machines under a nondisclosure agreement said the machines will not offer revolutionary technological improvements but rather subtle new features that will together enhance the value of the machines – a remote-control mouse that enables users to point at their machine from across the room to manipulate sound, answer phone calls and launch software programs; they are expected to include MPEG full-motion video compression; Packard Bell now commands about 50% of the US retail personal computer market.
Santa Clara, California-based StorMedia Inc says it will construct and operate a new media manufacturing facility in Singapo
re dedicated to supporting Seagate Technology Inc products: the plant, in the Loyang area, is to begin shipping finished platters early next year.
Novell Inc’s fourth cut of UnixWare 1.1 – 1.1.4 – will be available within 90 days, the company says.
Parcplace Systems Inc shares lost more than a quarter of their value, falling $2.625 to $8.50 after its warning that it will lose money this quarter: it says the problem is caused by customers waiting to see the result of ParcPlace’s planned acquisition of DigiTalk Inc.
Packard Bell Electronics Inc has so successfully exploited allegedly racist remarks made by Compaq Computer Corp senior vice-president Ross Cooley (CI No 2,693) that Cooley has had to issue a statement of apology: I regret that a business disagreement between Compaq and Packard Bell has been construed by Packard Bell in racist terms, and I sincerely apologise to any ethnic group that has been offended as a resu lt, he says, adding that he vehemently denies any racial or ethnic implications and would like to again clarify that my comments were not directed at any ethnic group, but instead referred to Packard Bell’s business model – Compaq is a global organisation that employs people of every race, colour and ethnic group, and I personally value the contributions of each of these employees – in every corner of the world, and he then dismisses Packard Bell’s attempt to turn a discussion of its business practices into a racial issue as a diversionary tactic – but one that has clearly succeeded very well.
Swiss Telecom recognises that international call charges are becoming a reason for companies relocating to countries where calls are cheaper, and is lowering charges by up to 40% on calls to some foreign countries; it is also cutting charges for data transfer on ISDN between midnight and 6am local time.
Enhanced Telepoint is really taking off in Japan, and DDI Corp’s wholly-owned Personal Handy Phone unit, DDI Tokyo Pocket Telephone Inc, says demand for the service it is about to launch had proved much stronger than it had expected: it has received 80,000 formal applications for the service since it began soliciting them in mid-May, and where it thought it might sign 300,000 in the first year, it now has 500,000 in its sights; as with Telepoint, you must be near a base-station to use the system, but can also receive calls if you are in the right place at the right time.
Amstrad Plc’s Viglen Ltd personal computer arm will bundle Novell Inc’s PerfectWorks For Windows on all its personal computers designed for small office-home office users.
Poor Bill, he must be down to his last billion: according to the New York Times, use of personal computers is booming in Brazil, so much so that more people do home banking there than in the US – and Bill Gates can be seen on Brazilian television pitching a home-banking program he didn’t even develop – looking straight to camera, the Microsoft Corp chairman gives the home-banking system of Uniao de Bancos Brasileiros SA high praise, calling it really cool and adding Why didn’t my bank think of that?