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February 11, 2013

Technology News Briefs — Feb. 11, 2013

Apple Reportedly Working on iWatch

Move over Smartphones.

Apple is reportedly working on a Smartwatch, anonymous sources have told The New York Times.

The iWatch will be a curved-glass device and will operate on Apple’s iOS platform, say the sources, who asked not be named because they are not allowed to discuss unreleased products. The Times report said Corning’s Willow Glass could be used to make the watch.

Corning, the maker of the Gorilla Glass used in the iPhone, said last year it had created Willow Glass, which can bend as easily as a piece of paper without breaking.

It is though the iWatch will feature a navigation system, fitness monitoring abilities and a Siri-like personal assistant.

Google’s Eric Schmidt to Sell 42 Percent of His Stock

Google chairman Eric Schmidt will sell up to 3.2 million shares — worth about $2.5 billion — this year, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

The planned sale, which comprises 42 percent of Schmidt’s stock holdings, is strictly routine, Google said in the filing, adding the “plan was adopted in order to allow Eric to sell a portion of his Google stock as part of his long-term strategy for individual asset diversification and liquidity.”

Schmidt owns 7.6 million shares — roughly 2.3 percent of Google’s Class A stock —and has 8.2 percent of the firm’s voting power.

Although the plan for Schmidt’s stock sale went into effect four months ago, selling will likely not begin until next month, and could continue throughout the year. Google stock was trading at 785.37 when the markets closed Friday.

Surface Pro a Sellout, But Due to Popularity or Small Stock?

Many of those hoping to snap up a Microsoft Surface Pro over the weekend were disappointed.

The 128GB tablets, which went on sale Feb. 9 in the U.S. and Canada, quickly sold out both online and in retail outlets, but it was due more to limited stock than high demand.

Still, the tablets generated enough interest to have consumers lining up at some stores to nab a 128GB tablet. The 64GB tablets, also released over the weekend, have been largely ignored by consumers.

The demand for the larger Surface Pro warranted a much higher stock than the company provided. News reports indicate only 500,000 to one million units were produced in a bid to create some buzz by making the tablets appear to be in high demand.

Microsoft said consumer response to the debut of Surface Pro “has been amazing. We are working with our retail partners who are currently out of stock of the 128GB Surface Pro to replenish supplies as quickly as possible. Our priority is to ensure that every customer gets their new Surface Pro as soon as possible.”