H-P's Hurd, RIM's Torch: Weekly Tech Recap

News of H-P's CEO resigning and RIM's new BlackBerry Torch moved stocks this week. Here's a roundup of TheStreet's top tech stories.
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NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Late Friday, Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) - Get Report announced that its CEO, Mark Hurd, resigned following an investigation into an accusation of sexual harassment.

"The investigation determined there was no violation of H-P's sexual harassment policy, but did find violations of H-P's standards of business conduct," explained H-P in a statement.

"Mark had a close personal relationship with an H-P contractor that was hired by the office of the CEO," said Mike Holston, H-P's General Counsel, on a last-minute investor call Friday afternoon. "Mark's conduct displayed a profound lack of judgement ... based on all

we turned up, the board concluded -- and Mark agreed -- that it would be impossible for him to be an effective leader anymore."

Holston explained that H-P had unearthed irregularities in payments made to the contractor, as well as in Hurd's expense reports. "It was a systematic pattern of improper expenses and inaccurate reports," he said.

Cathie Lesjak, H-P's CFO, will now serve as the company's interim CEO, but ruled herself out of consideration for the permanent CEO's role.

H-P's stock, which fell almost 10% at market close, was slowly climbing in afterhours trading, 0.48% to $42.

Research In Motion's

(RIMM)

stock began a steep, four-day decline on Tuesday after not-so-stellar reviews of the new

BlackBerry Torch

started trickling in.

Early reports of the

BlackBerry Torch 9800

summarized that while the new slider gives RIM a much needed 3.2-inch touchscreen entry in the smartphone race -- the new BlackBerry OS 6 is more robust and provides better support for apps -- it falls way short of conquering the

Apple

(AAPL) - Get Report

iPhone or

Google's

(GOOG) - Get Report

Android lineup.

The phone debuted with wireless partner

AT&T

(T) - Get Report

; no word yet on when the Torch will be carried at Android-heavy

Verizon

(VZ) - Get Report

.

The

BlackBerry Torch's

debut coincided with some disturbing news for the Canadian phone shop: the United Arab Emirates announced that it will suspend email and browsing services for all bodies using

RIM's BlackBerry in the kingdom, starting in October.

Other companies, like India and Algeria, have jumped on RIM's case as well, which leaves us wondering if RIM, which operates in 175 countries around the world, is a victim of its own security success.

On Friday, RIM's stock closed up 2.34% to $53.43.

According to

TheStreet

sources, gads of people were lined up Friday night outside of Apple's new London store in Covent Garden. With four stories, a courtyard, 300 employees and occupying more than 28,000 square feet, the store -- Apple's 300th -- is the largest one to date.

With their Apple-as-lifestyle mantra and huge margins,

Apple stores are an important competitor-mauling strategy

for the California-based tech giant. Sales from the stores made up 16.4% of Apple's second quarter revenue, up 78% from the previous year, and Apple reported its stores saw a record 60.5 million visitors for the quarter. Up next on the Apple store front: Two new shops in Spain -- Barcelona and Madrid -- by winter.

The new London Covent Garden Apple Store

Antennagate aside,

Apple doesn't do much wrong, according to Wall Street.

Analyst love continues to surround the company, and earlier this week, BMO Capital analyst Keith Bachman gave an update on the reasoning behind his outperform rating.

In a note, Bachman said there's been no slowdown in demand or supply for the iPhone, sales of which should hit around 10.4 million units in September. He also said the company is expected to release two new Mac Book Air notebooks and two new iPods in September. The new Nano, which won't feature a physical track wheel, will be smaller than predecessors, begging the question of viability for the iPod Shuffle.

Lastly,

Apple is reportedly in talks to buy HandSeeing

, a Chinese developer that specializes in rich Internet apps. Not much is known about what the company would add to Apple's cannon, and Apple has yet to confirm or comment on the deal.

Apple shares closed down 0.61% at $260.09.

Chipmaker

Intel

(INTC) - Get Report

was also in the news this week as a result of its

antitrust settlement with the FTC

, a move which could have major implications for

AMD

(AMD) - Get Report

and

Nvidia

(AMD) - Get Report

.

FTC officials announced the settlement on Wednesday, explaining that the deal resolves charges that Intel illegally stifled competition in the market for computer chips. The settlement is expected to offer a more level playing field for the likes of AMD,

Texas Instruments

(TXN) - Get Report

and graphics chipmaker Nvidia.

Intel shares closed down 0.10% at $20.65.

Tech's week ahead

Cisco

(CSCO) - Get Report

, which recently launched a business-minded tablet device called the Cius, reports fourth-quarter earnings Wednesday after the bell. Because Cisco CEO John Chambers always has something entertaining to say -- and because the firm is a tech sector bellwether --

TheStreet

will be live-blogging the earnings conference call, which starts at 4 p.m. eastern.

Analyst surveyed by Reuters expect Cisco to report earnings per share of 42 cents on revenue of $10.86 billion. We're also wondering if the company will ever get around to paying out that dividend...

--Written by James Rogers in New York