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Business news briefs — Nov. 11

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PHONES

New Apple iPhone designs

Apple Inc. is developing new iPhone designs including bigger screens with curved glass and enhanced sensors that can detect different levels of pressure, Bloomberg News reported.

Two models planned for release in the second half of next year would feature larger displays with glass that curves downward at the edges. Sensors that can distinguish heavy or light touches on the screen may be incorporated into subsequent models, the report said.

With screens of 4.7 inches and 5.5 inches, the two new models would be Apple’s largest iPhones, and would approach in size the 5.7-inch Galaxy Note 3 that Samsung debuted in September. The South Korean maker last month released its curved-screen Galaxy Round, the latest phone in an array of sizes and price points that’s helping keep Samsung ahead of Apple in global market share.

BEVERAGE

Pepsi growing in India

PepsiCo Inc. said it will invest 330 billion rupees ($5.2 billion) with its partners in India by 2020 as it increases its manufacturing capacity and adds new products. The company will ramp up investment in delivery infrastructure in the world’s second most populous nation with a focus on rural areas. The company and rival Coca-Cola Co. are vying for a bigger chunk of developing countries’ business as growth rates in Asia, the Middle East and Africa are four to five times those in the U.S. and Europe, according to PepsiCo. It generated about half its $65.5 billion in revenue last year from outside the U.S. India is one of the company’s biggest markets globally and the investments will also allow it to expand the range of food and drinks it sells in the South Asian nation, it said.

AUTO INDUSTRY

Chrysler recalls Ram trucks

Chrysler is recalling about 1.2 million Ram trucks to fix front-end problems that could lead to steering troubles. The company announced three recalls. It wants to inspect the trucks and says only 453,000 will likely need repairs.

Chrysler said in a statement that it knows of six crashes and two injuries involving the 2008 to 2012 Ram 2500 and 3500 trucks that are being recalled, and one crash with no injuries from the other recalled models. The trucks are being recalled because tie-rod ends in the steering system may have been installed improperly, which Chrysler says stemmed from technicians misinterpreting instructions. Those tie-rods could be out of alignment, which Chrysler says can lead to steering failures. The company said it has since updated the instructions and the parts involved. The first case covers 842,400 Ram 2500 and 3500 trucks from 2003 through 2008. Chrysler says 116,000 were repaired with tie-rods in the steering system that could be out of alignment.

RETAIL

Flipboard adds catalogs

Personal magazine creator Flipboard is expanding into shopping catalogs just in time for the holiday shopping season. A tool released Monday will allow Flipboard users to display their gift wish lists and highlight their favorite products in a catalog-like format. The digital catalogs include links so the products can be purchased by anyone browsing through the selections on Flipboard’s application for Apple Inc.’s iPhone and iPad, as well as mobile devices running on Google Inc.’s Android operating system. Several merchants and websites, including Gap Inc.’s Banana Republic and eBay Inc., are distributing Flipboard catalogs. Flipboard’s expansion into electronic commerce comes seven months after the Palo Alto, Calif., startup began to allow people to put together digital magazines on their favorite topics. Many of those magazines include digital ads.

TIRE INDUSTRY

Cooper supplies startup

Findlay-based Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. will supply tires to automotive startup Elio Motors Inc. of Troy, Mich. Elio is building a three-wheel, ultra-high gas mileage two-passenger vehicle. Elio is planning to produce a 1,200-pound vehicle powered by a 55-horsepower engine that will get up to 84 miles per gallon on the highway. The Elio is expected to be built in Shreveport, La., next year and sell for $6,800. Elio’s board of directors includes developer Stuart Lichter, head of California-based Industrial Realty Group, which is redeveloping the former Goodyear headquarters complex in Akron.

Compiled from staff and wire reports


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