Technology tussles, China's credit crunch and rising food bills
Looking for a new phone? You could hang on until next year because consumers look set to do well out of the latest techno tussle between the smartphone giants Samsung and Apple. After losing money in sales stakes to the Samsung’s G4, California-based Apple have announced they will soon launch a new ‘phablet’ – an iPhone with a bigger screen. Apple, which has also recently lost a US patent case against Samsung, once ruled the smartphone market, but has been sidelined as demand for the Korean-made Samsung G4 has surpassed all expectation, even in the confirmed iPhone markets of the GCC. The new iPhones which will be launched in 2014, will be lower in price, have larger screens and will come in a large range of colours. Read more here.
Is China’s credit-bubble about to burst?
New financial studies by Fitch show that China could be heading towards a catastrophic economic crash as a result of its credit-driven growth model. Experts are concerned that the industry giant could end up suffering from Japanese-style deflation, and that the lack of transparency in China’s banking system is increasing that risk because the true extent of loans in China are only estimable, borrowers and lenders are unidentified and quality of assets is also unclear. Overall credit has jumped from US$9 trillion to US$23 trillion in China since the Lehman Brothers crash in 2008. Read more here.
Food prices rising
The global demand for food is increasing, and will push up prices from between 10% and 40% over the next decade, new data shows. The UN Food and Agriculture Organisation, and the Organisation for Economic Development said that growth in food rates had slowed down in developing countries from 2000 to 2010, which was a cause for concern and a reason why commodity food products such a wheat has seen significant price rises. The report, which forecasts outcomes until 2022, suggested giving farmers greater access to technology to increase output and transiting. Find out more.