The big stories on ZDNet this week: September 27, 2013

We take a look back at some of the major stories that broke September 23-27 — including Apple sales figures, BlackBerry's massive loss, Surface tablets, and Google security woes.
By Zack Whittaker, Contributor
1 of 15 Microsoft (via CNET

Microsoft launches Surface 2, priced at $449

ZDNet's Mary Jo Foley reported from the New York launch of the Surface 2. The software giant also introduced a new docking station, Power Cover, wireless adapter, and other new peripherals for the Windows-powered tablet.

Read more: Microsoft Surface 2 pricing starts at $449

Related: New Microsoft Surface peripherals steal the launch show | Microsoft: Surface tablet with LTE wireless coming in 2014 | CNET: Surface 2 declassified: How Microsoft made Surface into the tablet the world said it wanted

2 of 15 CNET

Apple sold nine million iPhone 5s, 5c smartphones in the first weekend

As Apple's chief executive Tim Cook said "initial supply" of the iPhone 5s sold out, many were left to wait for weeks for their new smartphones to arrive. Apple confirmed 200 million devices have upgraded to iOS 7 since it was first released.

Read more: iPhone 5s, iPhone 5c sales hit nine million in first weekend, says Apple

Related: Apple's color guard: iPhone 5c leads to unit upside | Six reasons why you should not immediately upgrade to iOS 7 | iPhone 5s, 5c, iOS 7 reviews are in: The good, the bad, and the ugly | Four privacy settings you should enable in iOS 7 immediately | Apple's advanced fingerprint technology is hacked

3 of 15 Heise Online (video

Apple's iPhone fingerprint technology hacked

Less than two days after the iPhone 5s went on sale, German hackers were successful in creating a fake fingerprint that could spoof Apple's "advanced" biometric technology. But as ZDNet's Ed Bott explains, anyone who's been paying attention to biometrics shouldn't be surprised.

Read more: Apple's advanced fingerprint technology is hacked; should you worry?

Related: Hackers claim first iPhone 5s fingerprint reader bypass; bounty founder awaiting verification | Hackers crowdfund bounty to hack iPhone 5S fingerprint scanner | Charlatan hijacks iPhone 5S fingerprint hack contest, fools press | iPhone 5S fingerprint reader: Doubling down on identity, a death knell to passwords? | Apple releases iOS 7.0.1 to patch fingerprint scanner bug

4 of 15 CNET Asia

China drops its Great Firewall for Twitter and Facebook

China is looking at easing up and allowing access to previously banned sites and services, such as Facebook and Twitter, so long as users are within a sanctioned Shanghai free-trade zone.

Read more: China lets down its Great Firewall for Twitter and Facebook

Related: China reviewing game consoles ban | China confirms foreign game consoles can now be sold | EC: China's Great Firewall a trade blockade

5 of 15 Apple

Apple unveils iMac refresh

Apple on Tuesday announced an updated iMac range, with new improved processors, graphics, Wi-Fi capabilities and faster flash storage options.

Read more: Apple unveils new iMac range 

Related: Apple solders CPU into new 21.5-inch iMac | Not all Apple innovation rumors will be right on Tuesday | Look out: 8 big tech announcements we're expecting this fall

6 of 15 CNET

HTC faces U.S. Android import ban over patents

HTC faces a possible import ban over several Android devices after finding itself on the wrong end of a preliminary ruling by the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) over two Nokia patents. ZDNet's Liam Tung reports.

Read more: HTC may face US Android import ban over two Nokia patents

Related: Nokia steps up patent suit against HTC, targets HTC One | Nokia sues HTC, RIM, ViewSonic in global patent brawl | Microsoft and Nokia weave an entangled patent web

7 of 15 CNET

Amazon dishes out new Kindle Fire HDX range

First launched two years ago, the Kindle Fire brand has grown to be one of the best-selling products across Amazon's vast empire. Now, Amazon is dishing out its latest refresh of the popular Android tablet. ZDNet's Rachel King headed to Amazon HQ in Seattle, Wash. to find out more.

Read more: Amazon distancing itself from Apple's playbook with Kindle Fire HDX

Related: Amazon's Kindle Fire HDX, Fire OS 3 (photos) | Kindle Fire OS 3.0 for the workplace? | Kindle Fire HDX targets Microsoft's Surface in the workplace

8 of 15 CNET

Nokia's Elop: I'm getting a divorce, so I'll hold on to that $25 million

Reports from Finnish media this week suggested Nokia chief executive Stephen Elop was asked to reconsider taking $25 million from the company he led for two years. He said it's not only up to him: it's also his soon-to-be ex-wife's money.

Read more: You can't take my $25 million, I'm getting a divorce: Nokia's Elop

Related: Nokia's Elop to get $25 million as part of Microsoft acquisition deal | The case against Stephen Elop as Microsoft CEO | ZDNet Special Report: The Microsoft-Nokia Deal 

9 of 15 CNET

Microsoft's Surface Mini: Not until early 2014?

Microsoft may not get its first "Surface Mini" ARM-based tablet out the door until early 2014, which is looking like the same time when its Windows-based variants may get a refresh, sources tell ZDNet's Mary Jo Foley.

Read more: Microsoft's Surface Mini: Not until spring 2014?

Related: Microsoft: Surface tablet with LTE wireless coming in 2014 | GDRs and Microsoft's road to Windows Phone Blue | CNET: Microsoft eyeing smaller Surface tablet

10 of 15 CNET

Samsung Galaxy Note 3 may be region locked

Samsung's Galaxy Note 3 is available in Europe, and will coming to the U.S. in early October. But controversy stirred when European buyers noticed a sticker on the box indicating the long-awaited smartphone can only be used with a European SIM card.

Read more: Samsung Galaxy Note 3 may be region locked, limiting worldwide usage

Related: Samsung gives Note 3 'no questions asked' protection for South Africa | CNET Asia: Samsung Galaxy Note 3 launches in Indonesia | CNET: Samsung's Galaxy Note 3 has new leather-and-stitching look and more multitasking (hands-on)

11 of 15 Google

Google glitch sends Hangouts, Talk chats to wrong recipients

Google acknowledged this week issue with Google Hangouts and Google Talk, which mistakenly sent messages to the wrong person. ZDNet's Australia bureau experienced this first-hand, and confirmed it was also an issue within enterprise-based Google Apps for Business accounts.

Read more: Google Hangouts/GTalk glitch sends chats to wrong recipients

Related: Thank you, Google, for the new homework assignment: Hangouts vs. Chat | Google Talk: Down and out in Google IM, VoIP, & video-conferencing | CNET: Google quietly starts 720p HD Hangouts rollout

12 of 15 Google

Google overhauls search engine with "Hummingbird"

A decade-and-a-half after Google was founded, the search giant announced this week a major update of its search engine: Hummingbird. This major change to the core algorithm is its biggest since the launch of "Caffeine" in 2010.

Read more: Hummingbird: Google overhauls search engine

Related: Google rolls out voice search for Gmail, Calendar and Google+ | Google rolling out Knowledge Graph to English speakers worldwide | Google search: This time it's personal | CNET: Google Search now powered by a Hummingbird

13 of 15 CNET

BlackBerry reports near-$1B loss, thanks to Z10 flop

BlackBerry sold around 5.9 million smartphones during its entire second quarter — which is a fair chunk less than the nine million smartphones Apple shifted in single a weekend. As a result, the company reported close to $1 billion in losses during the quarter. 

Read more: BlackBerry reports $965m loss, thanks to Z10 flop

Related: BlackBerry confirms 4,500 jobs cuts, slashes device portfolio | In the Middle East, BlackBerry and Nokia are still more popular than Apple and Samsung | ZDNet review: BlackBerry Z10

14 of 15 CNET

Ballmer bids farewell to Microsoft troops

Outgoing Microsoft chief executive Steve Ballmer, who announced in August he will retire, gave his final pep talk to thousands of employees at a companywide meeting on Thursday.

Read more: An emotional Ballmer bids farewell to Microsoft troops

Related: Microsoft's Ballmer on his biggest regret, the next CEO and more | Microsoft's Ballmer: Why Microsoft doesn't want to be IBM (or Apple) and more | CNET: Blame Steve Ballmer for Microsoft's woes? Not so fast

15 of 15 stock image

Samsung sends EU concessions package to avoid antitrust fine

The Korean electronics giant is in hot water with European antitrust regulators over the use of patents in lawsuits against Apple. Now it's offering more in a bid to avoid a massive fine of more than $18 billion.

Read more: Samsung sends EU concessions package to avoid antitrust fine

Related: EU demands Samsung offer new concessions to end patent antitrust charges | Google submits further concessions in bid to avoid EU antitrust fine

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