Tech 2.0 for Monday, December 23, 2013
Disney is adding Twitter Chairman and Square CEO Jack Dorsey to its board of directors. Walt Disney Co. says Dorsey is joining the board effective immediately. He will stand for election to a full term at the company's annual meeting on March 18. Dorsey, 37, co-founded Twitter Inc. and sent the first Tweet in March 2006. He has been chairman of the company since 2008 and was also Twitter's first CEO. He founded mobile payment processor Square Inc. in 2009 and is CEO of that company. Dorsey will replace Judith Estrin on Disney's board. Estrin has been on the board for 15 years and can't run for a new term under the Burbank, Calif., company's corporate rules. She is a former executive for Cisco Systems and now runs JLABS LLC.
Apple says it has reached a deal to bring the iPhone to China Mobile, the world's biggest phone carrier. The deal could boost sales of the iPhone in China. Demand for iPhones, once hugely popular in China, have slumped there as lower-priced rival smartphones from Samsung and Chinese companies entered the market. The iPhone 5s and 5c will go on sale in Apple stores and China Mobil stores beginning Friday, Jan. 17. Customers can register for phones starting Wednesday Dec. 25. The companies didn't announce pricing or the terms of their agreement. The iPhone, while popular around the world, has faced tough competition in recent years from cheaper smartphones running Google's Android software. Collectively, Android phones far outsell Apple's iPhone. State-owned China Mobile has more than 750 million mobile accounts.
Listen up, Santa. Headphones, speakers and other audio gear are topping the holiday gift lists of many Americans. Audio equipment is among the top-selling electronics gifts this holiday season, accounting for 13 percent of the $8 billion in consumer electronics sales between Nov. 24 and Dec. 7, according to research firm NPD Group. Headphone sales rose 14 percent. Sound bar sales grew 80 percent. And streaming speaker sales nearly quadrupled. The trend is being driven in part by the economy. Audio gear, which can range from $50 to more than $500, is being considered by some an affordable luxury during a still shaky economy. Americans also have spent the last several years buying tablets, smartphones and TVs. Now, many are looking for ways to squeeze better sound from those gadgets.