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Business Briefs

For Monday, November 14, 2011

By Star-Advertiser staff


Floods won't affect PC sales

NEW YORK » A research group says the flooding in Thailand won't hurt PC sales significantly this holiday season.

IDC says many of the personal computers that will be sold during the holiday season already have been produced or can be made with existing supplies of hard drives.

The disaster's real effect isn't expected to hit makers of personal computers until early next year. In a worst-case scenario, PC shipments could drop more than 20 percent from previous forecasts in the first quarter of 2012.

Apple fixes battery-life bugs

CUPERTINO, Calif. » Apple has released a software update to fix a problem that is shortening the battery life of some iPhones, iPads and iPods.

Apple has said that a small number of customers have reported lower-than-expected battery life on devices running the company's iOS 5 operating system. That system comes with the iPhone 4S and was available as a free upgrade for some older devices — both iPads, the iPhone 3GS and 4, and the two most recent models of the iPod Touch.

Apple released version 5.0.1 on Thursday to fix bugs it found with the software. Users can get the update by connecting to iTunes.

Jump in hotel foreclosures predicted

A hotel developer predicts a "huge increase'" in hotel foreclosures in the U.S. next year as debts come due with little financing available.

Robert Sonnenblick, chairman of Sonnenblick Development LLC, said the wave of commercial mortgage-backed securities needing replacement debt "is going to be a close-to-catastrophic problem."

"The end result of all of this is you're going to see a huge increase of hotel foreclosures," Sonnenblick said.

About $21.7 billion in commercial mortgage-backed securities on hotels will be due in the next 12 months and need to be refinanced, according to Realpoint LLC, a Horsham, Pa.-based securities ratings firm.

Hotels were among the first real estate categories to recover after the 2008 Lehman Bros. Holdings Inc. bankruptcy. Lending to U.S. hotels increased fivefold in the third quarter from a year earlier, the Mortgage Bankers Association reported Nov. 3.

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