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theEweekly Wrap – Apple, Google and Facebook

Apple of the day It’s been a massive week for iPhone news. With companies desperate to jump onto the PR coattails of the iPhone 4 launch, a raft of new apps, reports, statistics and figures have been pushed out to the press.

Of course, the big story this week was the long-awaited release of Apple’s latest baby. Indeed, those Apple devotees desperate to get their hands on the new handset queued for hours to be the first to claim ownership of the phone. And if the sight of thousands snaking down the high street wasn’t enough for Apple’s Golden Delicious Steve Jobs, the news that the world has spent $29 billion on the company in 2010 probably made him smile.

Still, it wasn’t all shine for Apple; news of signal problems, screen issues and a rumour of intentional stock shortages blighted the launch with many users expressing their dissatisfaction with the new model. However, given Apple’s success rate, the issues probably won’t stop people buying one.

Google goes through walls Google may be attempting to close the growing rift between itself and the publishing industry with the launch of a new paid content system. A report from the Italian newspaper La Repubblica announced that the search engine giant may be readying itself to launch a feature called ‘Newspass’, a system which would allow users to quickly pay for online content.

According to the paper, Google has approach publishers to gauge interest in the software, with the intention of releasing the product by the end of the year. The feature would allow users to quickly pay for content through a universal payment system, rather than submitting their card details to every single site.

The announcement of the feature may have come too late for The Times; a new subscriber-only model resulted in a 4.37 per cent decline in market share.

Billionaire Mark Zuckerberg, better known as Mr. Facebook, told reporters this week that his site could be the first social network to hit 1 billion users. Speaking at the Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival in France, the founder of Facebook commented that continuing expansion in China, Russia and Japan would see the site break the landmark figure

“While Facebook has fewer than 1 million users in Russia, the growth rate is doubling every six months,” he told the audience.

Indeed, Zuckerberg believes that, while the site probably can’t top the 1 billion mark in 2010, it probably has a ‘decent shot’ in the next few years.

In related news, Facebook is rumoured to have blocked a new Twitter application which encourages integration between the two sites. The app, which allows Twitter users to see which of their Facebook friends are on both sites, was blocked hours after it was announced. The two parties are said to be negotiating a resolution.

Written by Tom Mason

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