We may be in a new year but there’s nothing much new with the ever-controversial Foxconn, which is now under investigation over allegations of bribery within its Chinese management structure. The episode was first brought to light in a report from Next Magazine, a publication based in Foxconn’s native Taiwan, and the manufacturer has subsequently been forced to admit that members of its managers are under scrutiny from the Chinese police, having allegedly accepted bribes from other suppliers. Follow the link for the full picture.
More grim reading from the retail sector meanwhile, as the UK's only specialist camera retail chain, Jessops, has been forced into administration. Credit issues with key suppliers Canon and Nikon are thought to have ultimately forced the firm's hand, but underlying its cash flow crisis is the larger problem of increased competition from the digital world. PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) has been appointed as Jessops' administrator, saying the next 24 hours are a crucial period and that it hoped the chain could be saved. However, it conceded that store closures were "inevitable," with early estimates putting some 2,000 jobs as being at risk in the immediate future. We're hoping PwC can pull this one out of the hat, because Jessops is one of the few high street outlets actually worth visiting these days - even if it is often just to size up a product before grabbing it through an online deal.
Heading over to events at CES 2013, and Australian firm Kogan has unveiled a big smartphone at a small price. The Android-running Kogan Agora joins the rapidly-expanding phablet category with a huge 5in display – the same size as phablet trailblazer the Samsung Galaxy Note 1 – and will cost just £119. One of the ITProPortal squad in Vegas, Des Athow, likens the handset to another Galaxy device in the S2, due to its matching dual-core Cortex A9 system-on-chip clocked at 1GHz, and 480x800 pixel display resolution. But that’s where the comparisons end as the rest of the Agora’s spec-sheet perhaps shows why it sports such a modest price-tag. Check the full story to see if the 5in Kogan may still do enough to make you dip into your pocket.
China's ever increasing importance to the mobile market has been acknowledged by regional tech power Samsung, with the Korean company declaring its intentions to aggressively generate new AP supply deals with Chinese smartphone firms. The new policy is due to the expected drop in chip orders from primary processor client Apple, as the US firm is now actively cutting business ties with its embittered rival. Follow the link provided for more on the story emerging from CES.