Google, Amazon fill out top three
For a sixth year in a row, Apple has claimed the top position in Fortune's annual World's Most Admired Companies list. The chart is based on a poll of executives. "Apple has had a rough time lately with its stock price in a free fall and the widely publicized failure of its Maps feature," Fortune writes. "However, it remains a financial juggernaut, posting $13 billion in net income last quarter, making it the most profitable company in the world during that period. The company has its fanatical customer base, and it still refuses to compete on price, making the iconic iPhone and iPad products that are still widely seen as prestige devices. Competition may be stiff, but so far it remains behind: In Q4 2012, the iPhone 5 was the world's best selling smartphone, followed in second place by the iPhone 4S."
Big name brands to get apps, ad space
Rumors abound regarding Spotify's future plans and workings as the music streaming service continues to grow in popularity. Now, with a major press conference scheduled for later in the day, news emerges that Spotify has inked advertising deals with AT&T, McDonalds, Intel, and Reebok, as well as a worldwide ad deal with Coca-Cola.
Tremendous profits cited
Apple has claimed first place in the 2012 Fortune list of the World's Most Admired Companies. The achievement is a fifth in a row for Apple, with the company this year getting a score of 8.42. "To say it was another big year for Apple would be a gross understatement. With the passing of Steve Jobs, questions swirled around the company’s future. But under new CEO Tim Cook’s guidance, Apple continues to prosper," Fortune writes.
Amazon only other tech firm in top five
Apple has taken first place in a Harris Interactive poll on corporate reputations. The company scored a quotient of 85.63, giving it enough to beat out last year's winner, Google, which in the new poll has claimed second place with 82.82. Remaining companies in the top five include Coca-Cola, Amazon, and Kraft Foods.
Spotify finally active in US
Spotify as promised has at last started up service in US. The music streaming provider is currently active in an invite-only beta but has 15 million tracks and the full feature set of its European counterpart. It includes an expanded free service with ads, a $5 Unlimited monthly plan that gives full streaming on the web, and a $10 Premium plan that gives full access on Android, iOS, and other devices like Sonos and Logitech Squeezebox systems.
Pepsi set to show Social Vending System
Pepsi has said it will unveil a 'social' vending machine later this week at a trade show in Chicago. It will allow users to buy friends near and far a drink, by entering their phone number, name and a short custom text message or video. This is a step up on the Freestyle vending machine released by competitor Coca-Cola in 2009, which had a touchscreen and contained more than 100 flavor combinations.
Future too hard to predict, says Berkshire CEO
Multinational holding corporation Berkshire Hathaway is likely to avoid claiming stakes in Apple or other electronics firms in the foreseeable future, according to its chairman and CEO, Warren Buffett. "We held very few [electronics companies] in the past and we're likely to hold very few in the future," he comments. His preference is said to be for corporations like Coca-Cola, since it is "very easy for me to come to a conclusion as to what it will look like economically in five or 10 years," in contrast with Apple.
Bloom Energy may help end centralized power
Bloom Energy today held the formal launch of its first technology, the Energy Server. A new approach to energy, it uses stacks of solid oxide fuel cells to convert air and most any other fuel source, including things as dirty as fossil fuels or as clean as biogas, into usable electricity. The process almost always produces less CO2 than traditional methods and, unlike solar power or similar methods, can run 24 hours a day without dependence on light or wind.