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Tech News: iPad to Benefit Most From Estimated $2.1 Trillion in IT Spending This Year

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Plus, iWatch is likely coming in 2014, Microsoft's smartwatch is making moves, and Spotify offers a response to a muscian backlash.

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$2.06 Trillion Will Be Spent on IT in 2013; the US, Apps, and iPad Are Winners

In its annual report on global IT spending, Forrester Research projects that enterprises and government will spend $2.06 trillion on software, hardware, and IT services. According to the report, a full $819 billion of that total figure, the majority by far, will be spent by the United States, representing 5.9% growth over IT expenditure in 2012. The next biggest expenditure is expected from Asia Pacific at $492 billion.

Leading Forrester's figures is software expenditure, at $542 billion, with the majority of it being on applications ($234.6 billion). Tablets lead the hardware category, with expenditure expected to increase by 36% to $21 billion. Specifically, the iPad will capitalize most on that growth. As Forrester analyst Andrew Bartels wrote in the report, Samsung (OTCMKTS:SSNLF) Galaxy and Mircrosoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) Surface tablets are "helping to expand the tablet market, without putting much of a dent in the growth of the Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPad so far."

It is worth noting that the estimates don't include consumer spending, and that Gartner put out its own report a few weeks ago, estimating global expenditure of $3.7 trillion on IT. Explaining the lower Forrester figure, Bartels wrote, "The continued recession in Europe and slowing growth in China will offset improvement in the US, Japan, and some emerging markets."

Apple's iWatch Likely to Debut in 2014; Company Still Hiring for Project

The Financial Times has reported that Apple is working to overcome some pressing engineering challenges involving its much-rumored and much-discussed iWatch, and is still hiring employees to work on the project. As the report read, "The company has begun hiring 'aggressively' for the project in recent weeks, say people familiar with Apple's plans for the wearable device."

It is not unusual for Apple to bring in outside talent to work on the development of new devices: it did so for iTunes, the iPhone, and even the original iPod. This has often happened through the acquisition of small companies, such as FingerWorks, which helped develop the iPhone's touch screen, but the hiring of individuals is also common. The most recent high-profile hiring was of Paul Deneve, the former CEO of Yves Saint Laurent, who is likely helping the company develop the iWatch and its marketing plan.

According to the Financial Times story, we will likely see an iWatch in fall 2014.

And Now, a Microsoft "Translucent Aluminum" Smartwatch

According to The Verge, testing of a smartwatch prototype at Microsoft has moved over to the company's Surface team, which now includes both Xbox and Surface tablets after the company's recent reorganization. Previously, a smartwatch designed by the Xbox accessories team was being tested in prototype form.

This news follows earlier reports that Microsoft has recently begun requesting 1.5-inch displays from components manufacturers, that the smartwatch prototype has a variety of removable colored bands that will be central to the device's marketing, and that the prototypes are made with Oxynitride Aluminum, an expensive and translucent derivative of aluminum that is rumored to be three times harder than glass.

Apple Investigating Electrocution Death of Chinese Woman

Last Thursday in China's western Xinjiang region, a 23-year-old Chinese woman named Ma Ailun was killed by electrocution when she answered her Apple iPhone 5 while it was charging, according to the the official Xinhua news agency.

Said Apple in an email, "We are deeply saddened to learn of this tragic incident and offer our condolences to the Ma family. We will fully investigate and cooperate with authorities in this matter."

Since Thursday, China's microblogging website Weibo.com (NASDAQ:SINA) has been buzzing with warnings about using iPhones while they are charging.

As Hong Kong University of Science and Technology professor Johnny Sin Kon-on told the South China Morning Post, "There is a risk using an electrical device while its installed battery is being charged, be it a shaver or a phone."

Spotify Defending Its Streaming Service Against New Backlash

In protest of what they see as poor returns to artists, particularly those with smaller followings, several musicians have pulled albums from Spotify. Notably, Thom Yorke, the lead singer of Radiohead, has pulled down side projects, including his solo album The Eraser and his newer band Atoms for Peace's album Amok. (Flea, of the Red Hot Chili Peppers, is the bassist for the band.) Thom Yorke and Nigel Godrich, the long-time producer of Radiohead's and Yorke's side projects, have both tweeted against what they believe are abusive payment policies at Spotify.

Responding to this public showing, Spotify has made its own public statement, drawing attention to the fact that the company has already "paid $500 million to rights holders so far and by the end of 2013 this number will reach $1 billion." Moreover, the company stated that it is "100% committed to making Spotify the most artist-friendly music service possible, and are constantly talking to artists and managers about how Spotify can help build their careers."

Spotify has 24 million active users, and it is estimated that 6 million of them pay the subscription fees for Spotify premium, which plays without commercials. This news comes after several major bands, including Metallica, Pink Floyd, and The Eagles recently signed deals with Spotify. Of course, Yorke and Godrich are more concerned about the smaller artists than the heavyweights.

Follow me on Twitter: @JoshWolonick and @Minyanville

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