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Tech News: In Past Year, 20% of iPhone Buyers Switched From Android

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Plus, Nokia announced that it will launch a new tablet, Instagram has a "Like" virus, and Germany recognizes Bitcoin as "private money."

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Report Says That 20% of New iPhone Buyers in the Last Year Switched From Android

A new report from Consumer Intelligence Research Partners and released to Fortune found that a full 20% of Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPhone buyers between July 2012 and June 2013 switched over from an Android (NASDAQ:GOOG) phone. On the other hand, only 7% of Samsung (OTCMKTS:SSNLF) buyers switched from an iPhone. Additionally, Apple snagged a full three times as many Samsung users as Samsung did Apple users: 33% of iPhone purchases were by previous owners of Samsung phones, while only 11% of Samsung purchases came from previous iPhone users.

Samsung ended up luring more buyers from HTC (TPE:2498), Motorola, and Nokia (NYSE:NOK), while Apple had a strong hold on former BlackBerry (NASDAQ:BBRY) users. For more stats, see Fortune's coverage of the report here.


Yahoo Appoints New Chairman as Next Step in Turnaround

Maynard Webb, a former COO of eBay (NASDAQ:EBAY) and Silicon Valley investor, is officially replacing Fred Amoroso as Chairman of Yahoo (NASDAQ:YHOO). Webb was made Interim Chairman of the company in April and joined the board in February 2012.

The move to replace Amoroso represents the next step in Yahoo's strong attempt to bring users, viewers, and revenue growth back to the company, with the charge being led by CEO Marissa Mayer. Once an industry leader, Yahoo's revenue has come close to stalling in recent years as both users and advertisers flock to advertising-savvy sites like Google and Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) for online content.


The Zeus Virus Targets Social Media

An essential aspect of computer viruses is that they are constantly evolving, and the latest major step for viruses utilizes fake "likes" on Facebook's Instagram to garner buzz for a company or individual. According to RSA, the security division of information and virtual infrastructure technologies company EMC Corp. (NYSE:EMC), the virus known as Zeus, which is widely known for stealing credit card data, has been updated to create the artificial "likes." On hacker forums, batches of 1,000 "likes" can go for $30 while 1,000 "followers" can be bought for $15, according to RSA. By comparison, 1,000 credit card numbers can be bought for as little as $6, illustrating the growing value of social media as a marketing tool, legitimate and legal, or otherwise.

The virus, which first appeared over five years ago, now works on Instagram by controlling infected computers from a central server, making them "like" specific photos and users.

Facebook bought Instagram for $1 billion last year and has said it has begun the process of strengthening security around the photo-sharing app. Instagram has 130 million active users, while Facebook has nearly 1.2 billion active users.


Nokia Will Launch a Windows Tablet in September

Early this morning, The Verge reported that Nokia will launch its first Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) Windows RT tablet next month with a special New York launch planned for September 26, according to unnamed sources that are familiar with the plans. The tablet, which is currently code-named Vanquish, will be run by a Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM) quad-core Snapdragon 800 processor, and it will include LTE support. It will be available through AT&T (NYSE:T). The image seen here is a diagram of the device, posted on Chinese site Digiwo.

Additionally, a Verizon (NYSE:VZ) variant of the device seems to have also appeared on Digiwo. One picture shows 10.1-inch tablet that has the same size and logo placement as Nokia's canceled tablet, which was to be powered by Nvidia (NASDAQ:NVDA). That device was designed with a battery-equipped keyboard cover that could serve as a keyboard and stand for the tablet, as well as a backup battery. It is uncertain whether the new tablet will carry this feature.


Germany Recognizes Bitcoin as "Private Money" and Will Soon Have a Sale Tax for It

The German ministry of finance has officially recognized Bitcoins, the digital currency that was the focus of media attention earlier this year, around the time of the Cyprus bailout hullabaloo. The German government has decided to recognize Bitcoins as "units of account" and therefore, "private money." And, according to the German newspaper Die Welt, the government has said that this means Bitcoin should have no tax exemption, and that users of the currency should pay not only capital gains tax, which Germany clarified in June, but sales tax as well.

While this news seems to lend some legitimacy to Bitcoins as a true currency, it also undermines the original purpose with which it was designed: to be an unregulated currency that works in exactly the same way in every country.


Disclosure: Minyanville Studios, a division of Minyanville Media, has a business relationship with BlackBerry.

Follow me on Twitter: @JoshWolonick and @Minyanville
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