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Written by fe Bureau | Updated: Jan 28 2011, 07:50am hrs
Sonys new handheld to take on DS, smartphones

Sony Corp unveiled a new handheld gaming device, the first to feature 3G wireless connectivity, as it battles with Nintendos best-selling DS and tries to fend off competition from smartphones including Apple Incs iPhone. The announcement came the same day as Nintendo, which is readying the launch of a 3D version of its DS next month, reported a 46% slide in quarterly profit below analysts estimates. It also trimmed its Wii and DS sales forecasts for the year to March. Sony said its new device, codenamed NGP for Next Generation Portable, will not go on sale until around the year-end but and declined to say how much the device will retail for. Nintendos 3DS will sell for 25,000 yen. Sonys NGP will feature a 5-inch OLED touch screen, larger than the 3.5 inches used for standard smartphones. It also has a back touch pad and a motion sensor.

Lenovo, NEC to form JV to sell PCs in Japan

Lenovo, the worlds No. 4 PC brand, will invest $175 million with NEC to form a joint venture to sell personal computers in Japan, it said on Thursday, as it prepares to take on bigger rivals such as Hewlett-Packard and Dell. Lenovo will own 51% of the joint venture with NEC taking the remainder and NEC will also have the option of selling its share to Lenovo at the end of five years, the Chinese company said in a statement filed to the Hong Kong exchange. The completion of this transaction will give the company a majority stake in a joint venture with a stronger market position, enhanced product portfolios and expanded distribution channels in Japan, Lenovo said in the statement. NEC is Japans biggest PC brand with an 18% market share, according to research firm Gartner, where many foreign players such as HP have tried to break into but have failed to beat companies such as Toshiba on their home turf.

Microsoft set to report lower earnings

Microsoft is set to report a dip in earnings on Thursday, a year after the launch of its Windows 7 operating system blew away Wall Street estimates, as sales of personal computers lag expectations and Apple Incs iPad eats away at the fringes of its core market. The worlds largest software maker, which powers more than 90% of the worlds computers, is still a money-making machine, but its fortunes are tied to vulnerable PC sales and investors have doubts it can replicate its dominance in the fast-growing mobile and tablet markets. Its stock is down 2.4% in the last 12 months, compared with a 24% rise in the tech-heavy Nasdaq.