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Today's Tech: The ITC bans iPhone and iPad products from the US and Windows Phone will hunt down Apple shipments by 2017

Apple has been found guilty of infringing a patent relating to Samsung's 3G wireless technology. The ruling could signal a ban on sales of several models of the iPhone and iPad in the US. These devices include the iPhone 4, iPhone 3, iPhone 3GS, iPad 3G and iPad 2 3G. However, this decision could still be reversed by President Barack Obama, who has 60 days to review all import-ban orders issued by the International Trade Commission (ITC). Apple, which claims this event will not impact the availability of its products in the US, plans to appeal the ruling. Samsung also issued a statement, expressing its satisfaction at the judgement.

Microsoft is expected to almost catch up with Apple, in terms of worldwide smartphone shipments in 2017, according to new data from Canalys. Google's Android operating system will continue to rule the future market, with 67.1 per cent of smartphone shipments by 2017, barely a drop from last year's 67.7 per cent. But the Cupertino and Redmond firms will battle it out for second place, with Apple landing at 14.1 per cent and Microsoft nabbing 12.7 per cent in the next four years, according to the research. Microsoft's Windows Phones made up 2.4 per cent of global smartphone shipments last year, whereas Apple had 19.5 per cent. BlackBerry, meanwhile, is also likely to decline, but only slightly — dropping from 4.8 per cent last year to 4.6 per cent in 2017. Microsoft is the only mobile OS maker expected to gain some footing in the race.

IBM has acquired cloud-computing infrastructure provider SoftLayer Technologies, in an effort to better compete with Amazon. Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but it's been reported that it is worth around £1.3 billion. The acquisition will allow SoftLayer to stand as its own company within IBM's Global Services unit, and serve as a go-between for other IBM cloud services. By marrying SoftLayer's public cloud services with the IBM SmartCloud portfolio, the computer manufacturer aims to make cloud computing easier and faster. Dallas-based SoftLayer, founded in 2005, serves 21,000 customers from 13 data centres operating in the US, Europe, and Asia. While Amazon is a front-runner in the public cloud ecosystem, IBM tends to work with large companies and government entities. If all goes to plan, this acquisition will tip the scales in IBM's favour.

Finally, it's more bad news from HTC, with confirmation that its chief operating officer, Matthew Costello, is stepping down amidst slumping sales figures. Fred Liu, president of engineering and operations, will be taking over the COO role, in addition to responsibilities that include operations, quality, sales operations, and services. Costello weighs in as the seventh HTC executive to get the chop this year. The departures of Asia CEO Lennard Hoornik and Kouji Kodera, chief product officer, were the latest in a slew of employee losses, including Jason Gordon, vice president of global communications; Rebecca Rowland, global retail marketing manager; John Starkweather, director of digital marketing, and Eric Lin, product strategy manager. In its first-quarter earnings report, HTC posted £1.84 million in earnings on £930 million in revenue, its lowest quarterly profit on record. The company is looking to its flagship HTC One, released in April, to help turn things around.