Morning Business Memo:
Apple’s next iPhone is likely to slim down, addressing complaints by some users that the device is too thick. The Wall Street Journal says the next iPhone “will use a new technology that makes the smartphone’s screen thinner.” The move comes at a time of growing competition with Samsung. Its Galaxy S III smartphone is thinner than the current iPhone. The new technology to be used by Apple “integrates touch sensors into the LCD,” says the Journal, “making it unnecessary to have a separate touch screen layer.”
Millions of aging baby boomers have cracked into their nest egg – raiding their 401(k)s and other retirement funds because they need the money now. A new study from the non-profit Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies finds only one in 10 displaced workers is very confident about the ability to retire comfortably. The findings are based on a Harris Interactive poll of more than 620 unemployed or underemployed people. Catherine Collinson, president of the Transamerica Center says “many have raided retirement accounts to make ends meet – and it will be difficult for them to overcome these savings setbacks once they regain employment.”
Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke sounding really gloomy about the US economy – and reading the tea leaves it looks increasingly likely that the Fed will announce fresh moves later this year to spark growth . Bernanke testifies for a second time today. After appearing before a Senate committee he heads to the House. Bernanke says the economy will worsen if Congress doesn’t reach agreement this year to avert a budget crisis.
Slower growth for the global economy is taking a bite out of Intel chip sales. Intel says, as result, revenue for the current quarter is likely to come in below Wall Street expectations. CEO Paul Otellini says consumer demand in North America and Western Europe isn’t recovering as fast as Intel expected, and growth in emerging markets such as China and Brazil is slowing. Intel’s earnings fell 4.3 percent in the latest quarter as operating expenses rose faster than revenue.
Some of China’s biggest companies, from tech giants to airlines and retailers, are warning of unexpectedly sharp drops in profit of up to 80 percent. The warnings add to the pressure on the Chinese government to reverse an economic slump. The woes facing even politically favored companies highlight the challenges for the authoritarian country’s leaders.
Richard Davies Business Correspondent ABC NEWS Radio twitter.com/daviesabc