iPhone shipping dates already wavering
CUPERTINO, Calif., Sept. 15 (UPI) -- The ordering stampede for a new iPhone 5 is on, and U.S. outlets are pushing back shipping dates for Apple's next generation handheld, industry analysts said.
The MacRumor website said shipping times were being pushed back within an hour or so after the iPhone 5 became available through pre-orders.
CNN reported Saturday that the iPhone's shipping debut would be Friday, Sept. 21, and that Bust Buy and Walmart were among the retailers taking in-store pre-orders.
Apple, Verizon, Sprint and AT&T all began taking pre-orders online Thursday.
Apple and AT&T have warned that pre-orders will not be shipped for two to three weeks, while Verizon has pushed back its shipping expectations to Sept. 28.
Sprint was holding out on Sept. 21, but only for two models. Its website said the 16G version would take "up to two weeks," for shipping.
How much this will diminish the long lines at stores on Sept. 21 has yet to be seen.
The demand for new iPhones has given way to a small side business of entrepreneurs who advertise on Craigslist they will, for a fee, stand in line for someone at a store selling iPhones.
ITC gives nod to Apple in patent case
WASHINGTON, Sept. 15 (UPI) -- A preliminary International Trade Commission ruling says U.S. technology giant Apple did not violate four of Samsung's mobile device patents.
Cnet reported that the ruling has yet to be approved by the International Trade Commission's six-member commission, which is the final step in the ITC process.
Samsung had filed a complaint against Apple involving five patents, including one involving music track technology that was dropped. The ITC ruled on a patent for CDMA wireless technology, for packet transmission, for dialing and for digital documents, Cnet said.
Apple did not comment on the ruling, but Samsung issued a statement saying it remained "confident that the full commission will ultimately reach a final determination that affirms our position that Apple must be held accountable for free-riding on our technological innovations."
The two companies have filed several lawsuits for patent violations and last month completed a trial in San Jose, Calif., where the patent court ruled in favor of Apple.
While civil cases can have serious outcomes, the International Trade Commission ruling comes with the threat of a product embargo, which can spur the companies to settle their differences quickly, Cnet reported.
Home Depot to close outlets in China
BEIJING, Sept. 15 (UPI) -- Retail giant Home Depot said it would shutter its seven big-box stores in China, a move that will cost 850 employees their jobs.
"Closing stores is always a difficult decision. We've learned a great deal over the last six years in China, and our new approach leverages that experience," said Chief Executive Officer and Chairman Frank Blake in a statement.
The China Daily reported Saturday that Home Depot would take an after-tax charge of about $160 million in the third quarter due the closings.
The company was keeping two outlets open, a paint and flooring store and a home decoration store, both in Tianjin, the newspaper said.
It was also keeping open a research and development office that employed 170 workers.
Market analyst James Roy at China Market Research in Shanghai told the Financial Times, "Home Depot failed because it didn't make any adjustments to its format to fit the way Chinese consumers shop."
"Home Depot essentially exported its big box model to China and didn't adapt," Roy said.
China, S. Korea to intensify trade talks
SEOUL, Sept. 15 (UPI) -- South Korean Finance Minister Bahk Jae-wan said the financial crisis in Europe was underlying a push to speed up talks on free trade with China.
Bahk Saturday announced that Chinese and South Korean policymakers had agreed to put a new emphasis on the trade talks meant to foster cooperation between the trading partners.
Talks on a free trade accord between China and South Korea began in May.
When the talks started, it was expected that a free trade agreement would take about two years to complete, the Yonhap News Agency reported Saturday.
China is South Korea's largest trading partner. Trade between the two countries is projected to reach $300 billion by 2015.