Tech Rewind: Sweet Week for Apple, BlackBerry Ends on Sour Note

The big news continued to roll out of Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) this week, with the Cupertino, Calif. company’s launch of its new mobile operating system on Wednesday and the sale of its newest iPhone iterations, the iPhone 5S and 5C dominating the headlines.

Apple fanatics around the world lined up to be the first to get their hands on the newest iPhones on Friday morning when both the 5S and 5C went on sale.  The 5S starts at $199 with a 2-year contract in the U.S., while the lower-priced, plastic iPhone 5C starts at $99.

On Wednesday, Apple also launched its new mobile operating system, iOS7, a complete visual overhaul to the company’s mobile interface, which hasn’t changed much visually since it was first introduced in 2007. The new operating system features “flat design,” an updated camera app and quicker access to the phone’s settings menu.

Tesla’s (NASDAQ:TSLA) stock had another good ride this week, with the stock surging nearly 11%.  Chairman and CEO Elon Musk said that the company plans to have a car that runs on auto-pilot, capable of doing 90% of the driving, on the market in the next three years.

Mark Zuckerberg headed to Capitol Hill on Thursday, even donning a suit and tie in lieu of his signature hoodie, to urge lawmakers in the House and Senate to work on immigration reform.  The Facebook CEO (NASDAQ:FB) hopes a solution can be reached in order to make more visas available to highly skilled workers and the entrepreneurs of tomorrow.

Also on Thursday, Dow Jones and the Wall Street Journal announced that they would not renew the contract with popular technology news site All Things Digital.  All ThingsD has been a part of the Wall Street Journal since 2007, but managing editor Gerard Baker plans to expand the paper’s technology coverage by hiring “20 reviewers, bloggers, visual journalists, editors and reporters covering digital,” according to a statement.

In other smartphone news, BlackBerry (NASDAQ:BBRY) announced that the popular BlackBerry Messenger, known by many users as ‘BBM’, will be available for Android on Saturday, Sept. 21, and the messenger service rolls out to iPhone users on Sept. 22.  The troubled handset-maker also said Friday that it expects a fiscal second-quarter loss of $1 billion, and it plans to lay off 40% of its workforce in order to cut costs.

Follow Kathryn Glass on Twitter @Kathryn_Glass