Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL): 9to5Mac is reporting that Apple’s speculated iPhone trade-in plan may be launched as early as next month, which would time it nicely with the rumored releases of the iPhones 5S and 5C, slated for the September 10 timeframe. The program will allow customers that own earlier versions of the iPhone, such as the iPhone 4S, to bring the phone into an Apple Store and exchange it for a new iPhone model at a discounted price.
Intel Corp. (NASDAQ:INTC): In efforts to bolster its Web TV service initiative, Intel has made three undisclosed acquisitions: Avtrex, a developer of TV/DVR UI software; Archetype, which creates UIs for TV, PC, and mobile video apps; and Daily Interactive Networks, an iOS app developer for third parties like National Geographic. Intel is still intending on a year-end release.
VMWare (NYSE:VMW): VMWare is teaming up with parent EMC to create storage virtualization solutions for SMBs, which will leverage VMware’s new Virtual SAN solution and create shared storage pools for virtual servers using storage attached to servers to bypass the need for traditional storage networks along with EMC hardware and software. According to Seeking Alpha, the Virtual SAN solution mimics the software created by ScaleIO, a startup that was acquired by EMC in July.
Sony Corp. (NYSE:SNE): Sony Mobile shipped 9.6 million smartphones in the second quarter, up 30 percent over the same period last year and good for fourth place in overall global shipments, CSLA analyst Christian Dinwoodie points out. Sony is also getting more than 60,000 patents from Ericsson, which will put it in a better position in terms of royalty costs versus tier-two peers, Dinwoodie adds.
Baidu (NASDAQ:BIDU): In the wake of Baidu’s purchase of a 59 percent stake in the Nuomi Chinese group-buying site for $160 million, Nuomi’s CEO has sent out a memo that indicates the business will be split from Renren and is eventually looking to go public. “While continuing to receive support from Renren, we will develop a series of deep strategic cooperations with products like Baidu Maps, Baidu LBS, and Baidu search […] We have gotten the ample financial support that we needed to further develop and expand,” the memo said.