Tech Rewind: Apple Goes on the defensive

Apple shrugged off bend-gate reports and BlackBerry posted a smaller-than-expected quarterly loss - this is your tech rewind of the week.

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Tech Rewind: Apple Plays Defense; BlackBerry Claws Back

By Columns FOXBusiness

Apple shrugged off bend-gate reports and BlackBerry posted a smaller-than-expected quarterly loss – this is your tech rewind.

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Apple (AAPL) played down reports the aluminum on its new iPhone 6 models bends if the user sits on it while the device is in-pocket. The tech titan called the problem a “rare” one – and said it had only received nine complaints.

This comes after a string of tough news days for Apple this week: It pulled its latest mobile software update, iOS 8.0.1, after consumers reported dropped cell service and touch-and-go Touch ID functionality. The company has since released an updated version of the buggy software, iOS 8.0.2, and issued an apology.

“We apologize for inconveniencing the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus users who were impacted by the bug,” an Apple spokesperson said in a statement.

Even as the company reported a record 10 million iPhones sold in the first three days since the new models went on sale in stores to the public, shares of the tech titan were down about 1% for the week. 

But the big winner in the iPhone 6 launch was T-Mobile (TMUS), according to receipt-organizing app Slice, which in its first-ever Slice Intelligence data set found the "un-carrier" mobile company managed to nab 20% of all pre-orders during opening weekend, "outperforming its market share."

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Meanwhile, BlackBerry (BBRY) released a square-screen phone called Passport – a move that comes as the mobile-phone maker attempts to claw back lost ground. The Canada-based company said the price contract will be about $249 and  available by the end of year. The company also announced a smaller-than-expected quarterly loss, with a net loss of $207 million, or 39 cents per share. The stock rallied on the news, and traded bout 8% midday.

As Alibaba (BABA) shares slipped a week after its anxiously-awaited stock market debut, CEO Jack Ma has become the richest man in China. Despite the fanfare over the Chinese e-commerce behemoth, the historic IPO isn’t free of critics. Analysts have questioned whether the IPO process is entirely fair, as retail investors who bought shares after Alibaba debuted are already at a loss, while IPO investors are up almost 30%.

Delivery service DHL is testing drones in Germany. The German logistics firm said if the tests go well, it may use drones in emergency situations. Regulatory hurdles in the U.S. will likely block the use of drones in the States for some time. The FAA told FOXBusiness.com it still has to craft its rulebook for drone use, and was unclear how long that could take. Still, on Thursday, the FAA granted six film and TV companies in Hollywood permission to fly small drones.

And on the heels of his $2 billion purchase of the L.A. Clippers, former Microsoft (MSFT) CEO Steve Ballmer showed his loyalty is still with the software giant. He told Reuters he’ll likely outlaw the use of Apple products in the franchise. But said he promised Coach  Doc Rivers they would hold off on the project until "during the off season."

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