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February 14, 2013

Technology News Briefs — Feb. 14, 2013

Apple Cuts Price of 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro, Updates All Models

Apple will slash the price on its 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina Display while also updating it with faster processors, the company has announced.

The 15-inch version is also being updated although its price will remain the same.

The 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro now starts at $1,499 for 128GB of flash, and $1,699 for a new 2.6 GHz processor and 256GB of flash. The 15-inch Retina MacBook Pro now features a faster 2.4 GHz quad-core processor, and the top-of-the-line 15-inch notebook comes with a new 2.7 GHz quad-core processor and 16GB of memory.

Apple today also announced that the 13-inch MacBook Air with 256GB of flash has a new lower price of $1,399.

The prices are now in effect both online and in stores.

Apple Must Share iPhone Name in Brazil: Regulators  

Regulators have rejected Apple’s request for trademark on the iPhone name in Brazil, ruling in favor of a Brazilian electronics maker.

Brazil’s National Industrial Property Institute (INPI) ruled that Apple must share the iPhone brand with Gradiente Electronica, Apple Insider is reporting.

Apple maintains it should have exclusive rights to the iPhone moniker because although Gradiente registered the iPhone name in that country seven years earlier than Apple, it did not launch a product bearing the name until last December. Gradiente released its iPhone, an Android powered Smartphone, in late December.

The ruling applies only to handsets, however, meaning Apple retains sole rights to the name for publications and software.

While Apple can still sell its iPhones in Brazil, Gradiente could choose to sue for sole rights to the name.

Mobile Market Shrinks in 2012

Apple and Samsung dominated the mobile market in 2012, but that market is shrinking.

Global mobile phone sales dipped 1.7 percent — nearly 30 million units — last year, a new Gartner report has revealed.

“The last time the worldwide mobile phone market declined was in 2009,” said Anshul Gupta, principal research analyst at Gartner. “Tough economic conditions, shifting consumer preferences and intense market competition weakened the worldwide mobile phone market this year.”

Together, Apple and Samsung increased their fourth quarter global Smartphone market share to 52 percent, up from 46.4 percent in the third quarter of 2012.

Samsung sold 205.7 million Smartphones in 2012 landing the South Korean company in the No. 1 position. Apple placed second with 130 million sold.

Nokia reached 39.3 million Smartphone sales worldwide for the No. 3 spot while Huawei took fourth with sales of 27.2 million.