By Julia Love and Devika Krishna Kumar SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Apple Inc painted a rosy picture for its new iPhones as it reported quarterly results on Tuesday, but investors were more focused on the company's next test: topping last year's record holiday sales. Shares of the world's most profitable company initially rose 3 percent in extended trade after Apple beat Wall Street's sales and profit forecasts, but the gains largely evaporated later. In the world's most important market for smartphones, Apple's sales in Greater China in its fourth fiscal quarter nearly doubled from a year ago to $12.52 billion, accounting for nearly a quarter of its total revenue.
By Yasmeen Abutaleb and Julia Fioretti SAN FRANCISCO/BRUSSELS (Reuters) – U.S. businesses from online coupon company RetailMeNot Inc to security software company Symantec Corp said a European change to rules governing transatlantic personal data transfers would hurt U.S. companies and called for a quick fix. An EU court on Tuesday struck down a deal to let U.S. and European companies easily transfer personal data between continents, leaving some U.S. companies concerned that they will be frozen out of the market or replaced by EU competitors. “The biggest fear is they'll lose the opportunity to provide data services in Europe,” said Emery Simon, counselor to BSA | The Software Alliance, an industry group for software companies such as Oracle , Salesforce and IBM .
By Julia Love, Siddharth Cavale and Pauline Askin SAN FRANCISCO/SYDNEY (Reuters) – The iPhone 6s and 6s Plus hit stores around the world on Friday, at the start of what is expected to be a record weekend for sales of Apple Inc's marquee product. Eager buyers – joined by at least one robot – flocked to Apple stores from Sydney to New York, itching to get their hands on new models boasting a 3D touch feature and an improved camera. “The first thing I'm going to do is take a picture,” said Lithuanian student Justina Siciunaite, 25, the first of hundreds to emerge with an iPhone 6s from Apple's flagship store on New York's Fifth Avenue.
By Heather Somerville and Jane Wardell SAN FRANCISCO/SYDNEY (Reuters) – A significant number of Apple Inc customers are reporting their mobile devices have crashed after attempting to upload the new iOS 9 operating system, the latest in a line of launch glitches for the tech giant. Twitter and other social media were awash with disgruntled customers reporting two distinct faults, with one appearing to be linked specifically to older models of Apple iPhones and iPads. “It is beyond inconvenient to not be able to use your phone for a day,” said student Pip Cordi as staff in the Apple store in central Sydney looked at her phone on Friday.
By Yasmeen Abutaleb SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Facebook users took to the social media site on Wednesday to react to the company's decision to test what Facebook Inc Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg called a “dislike button” – and not everyone liked the idea. In a town hall-style question and answer session Tuesday, Zuckerberg took questions from users about topics ranging from virtual reality to his wife's pregnancy. While some said they would use Facebook more if the button were introduced, others said it would lead to cyberbullying and more negativity on the site.
By Dan Levine SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Uber drivers are entitled to class action status in litigation over whether they are independent contractors or employees, a U.S. judge ruled on Tuesday, in a case that could have wide implications for the sharing economy. Three drivers sued Uber in a federal court in San Francisco, contending they are employees and entitled to reimbursement for expenses, including gas and vehicle maintenance. In the ruling, U.S. District Judge Edward Chen in San Francisco said drivers could sue as a group on the question of whether they are employees or contractors, and over their demand for payment of tips that were not passed on to them.
By Joseph Menn SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Beginning more than a decade ago, one of the largest security companies in the world, Moscow-based Kaspersky Lab, tried to damage rivals in the marketplace by tricking their antivirus software programs into classifying benign files as malicious, according to two former employees. Some of the attacks were ordered by Kaspersky Lab's co-founder, Eugene Kaspersky, in part to retaliate against smaller rivals that he felt were aping his software instead of developing their own technology, they said. “Eugene considered this stealing,” said one of the former employees.
By Anya George Tharakan and Julia Love BENGALURU/SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Apple Inc forecast fourth-quarter revenue below estimates and missed some targets for iPhone sales, sending its shares down more than 6 percent in after-hours trading. Apple said on Tuesday it sold 47.5 million iPhones in the third quarter, up 35 percent from a year ago. The company forecast revenue of $49 billion to $51 billion, missing analysts' average estimate of $51.13 billion according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. The world's largest publicly traded company by market value said it sold 47.5 million iPhones in the third quarter, up 35 percent from a year ago, but down 22 percent from 61.2 million in the second quarter.
By Yasmeen Abutaleb SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Brazil's President Dilma Rousseff capped off her U.S. tour on Wednesday with a visit to Silicon Valley, where she met with top technology executives and took a ride in Google Inc's self-driving car. Rousseff used her visit to strengthen ties with U.S. technology companies after visiting Washington, D.C. and New York City earlier in the week. During her visit, Google announced it would inaugurate a new engineering space in Belo Horizonte in November that will more than double the number of engineers working in Brazil on some of the company's core products.
By Yasmeen Abutaleb SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Twitter Inc Chief Executive Officer Dick Costolo abruptly announced he was stepping down on Thursday amid increasing scrutiny of the company's slow user growth and inability to attract advertisers at the same rate as its competitors. Costolo will be replaced by co-founder Jack Dorsey on an interim basis. According to a source familiar with the matter, it was Costolo's decision to leave, and Costolo said he brought it up with the board last year as it began talking about succession planning.