THE WRAP: Big Blue, DT going great guns

There were reasons to be cheerful this week.

Not least good old Big Blue. On Wednesday IBM reported a net profit of US$2.8bn, in the third quarter, up 20% from a year earlier and better than many Wall Street analysts had expected.

It looks like Vodafone has finally succeed in wresting a controlling stake in its joint venture South African venture, Vodacom, from the state-owned fixed incumbent Telkom. Vodacom is South Africa's biggest mobile operator and Vodafone is to pay R22.5bn (US$2.5billion/€2 billion) for an additional 15% of the company, bringing its share holding to 65%.

RIM has launched its first touchscreen BlackBerry to general applause and says it will launch an online app store, following Apple and Google Android's lead.

Microsoft said it plans to release a converged Windows Mobile/Zune multimedia-enabled phone.

For its part, Nokia said it would release open source handsets in 2010.

Meanwhile speculation is growing that Apple is about to unveil a sub US$1,000 (€735) notebook computer - it is the only major computer manufacturer not to follow the lead of pioneering Taiwanese company Asus with its mould-breaking eee notebook.

The rumour is that Apple will announce its new model, which supposedly is built around Intel Atomic chip, next Tuesday - the same day as Intel's Q3 earnings are released. They are not expected to be anything to celebrate, but perhaps an Apple announcement will take some of the heat off‾

Deutsche Telekom confirmed that it has no concerns about meeting its projected 2008 targets, despite economic conditions.

Nothing daunted either, BT and BSNL have teamed up to provide a number of managed telecom services throughout India.

BT also announced it had won a backhaul deal with T-Mobile and 3 in the UK. They announced an infrastructure sharing deal at the beginning of this year.

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