Oct. 26 - It was a big news week for tech with a beat by Facebook, disappointing iPad sales from Apple and the unveiling of the iPad Mini. Microsoft was also in there with the launch of its Surface tablet and Windows 8. Jill Bennett reports.
The Apple soured with weaker than expected numbers - due to weak iPad sales; meanwhile a new iPad Mini debuts. Amazon posted its first quarterly loss in five years. Facebook, however, beat earnings thanks to an increase in mobile ad revenue. It was one of the few bright spots in the tech sector. Rick Sherlund, Managing Director at Nomura Securities: SOUNDBITE: RICK SHERLUND, MANAGING DIRECTOR, NOMURA SECURITIES (ENGLISH) SAYING: "There weren't a lot of huge disastrous quarters reported that you might see as you are going into recession but it was probably more than a few cuts and bruises in the knee. It seemed to be a lot more concerning with the degrees of a slowdown you are seeing here in the U.S." Sherlund believes worries over a fiscal cliff - which could lead to severe belt tightening in the federal budget by year's end - has had a dampening effect on technology spending across the entire U.S. economy. SOUNDBITE: RICK SHERLUND, MANAGING DIRECTOR, NOMURA SECURITIES (ENGLISH) SAYING: "Particularly because it's coming in the 4th quarter which is seasonally the strongest quarter of the year for cap spending for tech, it could have more grave implications for spending in Q4." Already, recent results out of IBM and Intel revealed weak PC demand. But demand may get a boost from a new player on the market. STANDUP: JILL BENNETT, REUTERS (ENGLISH) SAYING: "Near the tail end of the busy week in tech, Microsoft launched Windows 8 and its new Surface tablet as it hopes to step up its game against Apple and Google." Michael Dell, head of Dell, sees only upside potential for the new operating system. SOUNDBITE: MICHAEL DELL, CEO, DELL INC. (ENGLISH) SAYING: "With Windows 8 we now have the best PCs in the world and with Windows 8 it brings a whole new range of capabilities with touch; the ability to scale across from a 10 inch platform to a 27 inch platform, tablets, that is extremely important to our customers." The Surface tablet sold out in pre-orders. Still, customer sales won't be enough to remove the cloud hanging over tech spending....that will require compromise in Washington.