Tag Archives: Apple

German Court Leans in Motorola’s Favor in iCloud Infringement Claims, Could Cost Apple $2.7 Billion

This image has no alt text

Motorola has filed a suit in a German court claiming elements of Apple’s iCloud service infringe upon patents held by company. Namely, the patents concern email and data sync between Apple’s cloud service and their mobile devices. The judge presiding over the case has not come to any ruling for the moment, but seems to be leaning in Motorola’s favor. Apple requested $2.7 billion in collateral should the final verdict agree with Motorola’s initial claims. In the German court system, this collateral is paid by the winning party to defer any lost revenue during the appeals process. Should Apple win an appeal (a stage the case has not even reached), they keep the money to cover damages. If they lose the appeal process, Motorola should see the money back.

The sum may never be placed on the table. The judge questions if Apple would really incur such losses, and believes there are alternative ways to offer the cloud services without infringing on the patents of Motorola. The trail will go to court in February of 2012.

[via Electronista]

Video Review: Buying & Sharing Music with Google

This image has no alt text

Last night’s Google Music announcement introduced a legitimate iTunes competitor that not only brings a huge collection of free and paid music to your fingertips, but also offers social sharing of paid music, exclusive tracks from prestigious artists, $25 independent artist integration so that anyone can join, promote and sell their music affordably, and more. One of my favorite features announced is Listen Free, which allows you to share any song or album you buy through Google Music with your Google+ contacts, enabling them to listen to the whole song or album one time, completely free.

Socialization of Music

One could argue that this socialization of music is already deeply rooted in our lifestyle, but there is something very organic about buying it and sharing it in the same process. Not only do people want to show their friends what they have bought at this very instant (call it bragging if you really want) but letting people listen once free of cost is a great way of suggesting great music and naturally promoting it.

You can also add a note to your share, which provides a personal touch that may suit independent artists and special situations best. Imagine buying an indie album and tacking on a note saying, “This is one of my best friends from college! Amazing musician! If you like Sublime, you will love this!” Your Sublime-loving friends would be likely to give it a free listen, and with the personal connection added, may just drop the measly $1 to buy a track (although artists set their own prices).

Socializing for Evil

We’ve seen the “chain mail” crap running rampant recently on social networks. You know, the “post this to your page if…” type nonsense. I’m a little concerned that some rotten person may scheme to falsely socialize their music. Imagine someone by buying their own songs/albums from numerous accounts and sharing them with personal notes such as: “Do you know someone with Cancer? Or who has lost the battle with Cancer? We’re trying to help find a cure… buy our album and 100% of the proceeds will go to Cancer Research.”

Of course, then 0% of the proceeds go to Cancer Research and it becomes very difficult to hold the artist accountable. Whereas people probably lie all the time about where donations truly end up, the deep social integration provides an avenue for preying on the uninformed. So consider this a warning and a plea: I’m asking you – People of the Tech Elite Republic – to publicly squash anything like this should you see it make the rounds.

Prices & Selection

You’ll notice there are two times in the above video where I become a bit… surprised. The first is when I’m browsing through the Top Albums and start wondering how they are at the top of anything. I have no clue how Google chooses what music rises to the top of their charts, but either they’ve got a really stinky algo for Top Music or everyone except me has bad taste. I’m eager to see how these charts change over the coming days and weeks.

I was also surprised by the prices: $20 for The Who album? That’s the type of price I’d expect by walking into Sam Goody. Of course with the ability for artists and labels to set their own prices, you’re going to get a lot of that and it’s up to the consumer to decide “is it worth it”?

I’m guessing that prices are initially inflated. These artists and labels know that Google Music is hot right when it’s announced and people are going to be testing it out, so why not make a few extra bucks on the influx? Meanwhile, other artists take a different approach and leverage that influx by making a track or two free, getting their music into people’s hands and hopefully creating some momentum.

Balancing the Artistic Economy

I have a Slacker subscription and love it. But I’m already an equal fan of Google Music. I’ve already heard tons of complaints and criticism that Google has announced a service that is already behind the curve with people pronouncing, “Streaming is the future!” and, “Why would I pay for music when I can get a complete library for $10/month.”

Music is in a very interesting, middleground, unbalanced state right now with nobody fully understanding the equation of how musicians can and should make money. Is it through selling their actual art- their music? Is it through giving their art away for free and plastering advertising on it and in it? Is it through ticket sales of live events? Is it through related merchandise?

I think we’ve started moving away from the former – artists selling their actual art – but I think that part of the equation is here to stay and rightfully so, for a number of reasons:

  • People like the concept of OWNING something. It says something about them and who they are. Knowing they paid for it and own it provides an intangible value similar to gaining access to a special club. You bought the album, now it’s yours, and that says something about you.
  • The Free Market Rules. People vote with their wallets. If paid music disappears and everyone in the universe pays $10 for a streaming service, it would make it much more difficult for new artists to get noticed and enter the ecosystem. It also puts the POWER in the hands of the STREAMING service. With a service like Google Music, independent artists enjoy a return to power where they can reap the benefits from their hard work and artistic vision.

There is obviously a lot to still learn in the music industry and I’m not claiming myself or Google Music has all the answers. But I do believe that paid music will and should always be some part of the equation. Who knows: maybe in the next few years Google will announce a streaming component that offers their entire music library for free, streaming with ads, for a price without ads, but only those who pay for individual tracks/albums can download and listen locally.

Regardless of how it turns out, I think we’ll be better of for having Google involved in the Music space. Right now iTunes seems to be the only show, and while Apple has done a fantastic job with their music-driven products, healthy competition will move the industry forward. And if there is anything we know from watching the tech space these last few years, it’s that Apple and Google have a knack for pushing each other forward… and well ahead of the competition while they’re at it.

With Modified Galaxy Tab 10.1N, Samsung Back to Selling Tablets in Germany

This image has no alt text

It isn’t clear exactly what Samsung has done to address elements that resulted in a German court banning the sale of their Galaxy Tab 10.1, but the Android slate is ready for sale in the country once again. Now dubbed the Galaxy Tab 10.1N, from the image and description provided by one German retailer, it is hard to notice any immediate differences between the already released version of the slate and its modified counterpart. There does appear to be a slight alteration to the bezel surrounding the screen, a primary element in Apple’s argument that the Galaxy Tab could be confused for the iPad at first glance.

It remains to be seen if Apple will drag this new version through the ringer, but for now the “Galaxy Tab is back,” as stated in the product description. Germans eager to order can expect the tablet to ship in two to four days.

[via Engadget]

Android Overload: Android Malware Quadruples In July, NT Docomo To Spend $11 Billion On 4G LTE Rollout and More

This image has no alt text

Quite a busy day today in the world of Android (just the way I like it). For all those stories that pass by our desk, we don’t always get to feature them on the front page. Rather than throw them in the dumpster of the internets, we bring them to you here — in the Android Overload. This can always be your place to turn to when you need a midnight snack or just want to make sure no Android news gets left behind. So have it and if you find something of interest, don’t be shy and leave your thoughts in the comments. Cheers!

  • Deal Alert: Woot has a refurbished Velocity Micro Cruz tablet for $70. [Woot]
  • New battery technology could make your phone last days, not hours. [Pocketnow]
  • Dolphin Browser celebrates 10 million downloads. Wants to send you to Disney World. [DolphinBlog]
  • Android malware on the rise. Quadruples from July to November. [CRN]
  • Galaxy on Fire 2′s Valkyrie expansion pack arrives exclusively for Xperia Play for $5. [Trailer]
  • Another Galaxy S2 version – the I9100G – goes on sale in Asia [GSMarena]
  • Sprint becomes first US carrier to offer wireless emergency alerts on its network. [Sprint]
  • NTT Docomo to spend $11 billion on 4G LTE rollout through 2015. [Reuters]
  • Huawei Vision wins iF Design Award… but is it winning when 1,218 entries out of 4,322 are winners? Sounds more like making the cut to me [Intomobile]
  • Australian retailers attempting to circumvent the Apple-driven ban of Galaxy Tab sales in the country has been suffocated by Apple themselves going on the aggressive [The Australian]

Gartner’s Q3’11 Smartphone Report: Android Sells More Than Half of Global Market Share; Samsung Biggest OEM

This image has no alt text

Our friends at Gartner have just released their smartphone sales report for the third quarter of 2011. Android was an absolute stud this quarter, remaining the far and away leader gobbling up 52% of the global market share. Considering they held just 25% the same quarter a year ago, I’d say that’s pretty good upswing.

Strangely enough, Symbian was in second place with 16%, though their margin over iOS wasn’t all that staggering. Apple grabbed 15% there. While global numbers for Symbian have always been in its favor, it’s taking a sharp decline as more and more OEMs wane off of the operating system for others more “modern.”

RIM is still holding on with 11%, not a huge decline from the same quarter last year but it’s a decline nevertheless. And then way below all those guys are Samsung’s Bada with 2.2% and Microsoft with a lowly 1.5%. Microsoft would have you believe that they’re not doing too bad at all, but numbers don’t lie. I suppose this is why they’ve been putting a lot more emphasis on cashing in on Android as of late.

As for OEMs, Samsung was the top device maker with 24 million smartphones sold, a large margin over the iPhone. It’s important to note that iPhone 4S sales are not being included here as it launched in Q4. We expect Apple to dominate the charts when Q4 figures are all wrapped up.

With predictions seeing Android taking up more than half of all smartphone market share (period, not sales by quarter) by 2013, it looks like it is headed in the right direction. Read on for other highlights.

Gartner Says Sales of Mobile Devices Grew 5.6 Percent in Third Quarter of 2011; Smartphone Sales Increased 42 Percent

- Android OS Rose to Account for More Than 50 Percent of Smartphone Sales
Egham, UK, November 15, 2011-

Worldwide sales of mobile devices totaled 440.5 million units in the third quarter of 2011, up 5.6 percent from the same period last year, according to Gartner, Inc. Non-smartphone devices performed well, driven by demand in emerging markets for low-cost devices from white-box manufacturers, and for dual-subscriber identity module (SIM) devices.

Sales into the channel reached 460 million units. Gartner analysts said this increase was because of inventory build-up in the channel partly because of the shipping of new devices late in the quarter but mostly to prepare the channel for the holiday season. Gartner expects most of the build-up to be sold by the first quarter of 2012.

“Our forecast for the end of the year remains broadly in line at a worldwide level as regions such as Asia/Pacific and the Middle East and Africa make up for weaker performance in the Western European market,” said Annette Zimmermann, principal analyst at Gartner based in Munich.

Smartphone sales to end users reached 115 million units in the third quarter of 2011, up 42 percent from the third quarter of 2010. Sequentially, smartphone sales slowed to 7 percent growth from the second quarter of 2011 to the third quarter of 2011. Smartphone sales accounted for 26 percent of all mobile phone sales, growing only marginally from 25 percent in the previous quarter.

“Strong smartphone growth in China and Russia helped increase overall volumes in the quarter, but demand for smartphones stalled in advanced markets such as Western Europe and the U.S. as many users waited for new flagship devices featuring new versions of the key operating systems,” said Roberta Cozza, principal research analyst at Gartner. “Slowdowns also occurred in Latin America and the Middle East and Africa.”

“Some consumers held off upgrading in the third quarter because they were waiting for promotions on other new high-end models that were launched in the run-up to the fourth quarter holiday season,” Ms. Cozza said. “Other consumers were waiting for a rumored new iPhone and associated price cuts on older iPhone models; this affected U.S. sales particularly.”

Despite a drop in market share, Nokia continued to be the worldwide leader in mobile device sales as it accounted for 23.9 percent of global sales (see Table 1). The second quarter of 2011 was the low point for Nokia, and the third quarter brought signs of improvement. Dual-SIM phones in particular, and feature phones generally, maintained Nokia’s momentum in emerging markets. Heavy marketing from both Nokia and Microsoft to push the new Lumia devices should bring more improvement in the fourth quarter of 2011. However, a true turnaround won’t take place until the second half of 2012.

Samsung became the No. 1 smartphone manufacturer worldwide as sales to end users tripled year over year to reach 24 million; sell in was high as the channel built inventory. Samsung was the No. 1 smartphone manufacturer for the first time, ahead of Nokia in Western Europe and Asia. Gartner attributes this to the strong performance of Samsung’s Galaxy smartphones, which now cover a broad range of prices, and a weaker competitive market. Analysts expect more competition in the fourth quarter of 2011, not least because sales of the iPhone 4S, 4 and 3GS will capture share from Android manufacturers.

Apple shipped 17 million iPhones, an annual increase of 21 percent, but down nearly 3 million units from the second quarter of 2011 because of Apple’s new device announcement in October. Gartner believes Apple will bounce back in the fourth quarter because of its strongest ever preorders for the iPhone 4S in the first weekend after its announcement. Markets such as Brazil, Mexico, Russia and China are becoming more important to Apple, representing 16 percent of overall sales and showing that the iPhone has a place in emerging markets, especially now that the 3GS and 4 have received price cuts.

The Android OS accounted for 52.5 percent of smartphone sales to end users in the third quarter of 2011 (see Table 2), more than doubling its market share from the third quarter of 2010.

“Android benefited from more mass-market offerings, a weaker competitive environment and the lack of exciting new products on alternative operating systems such as Windows Phone 7 and RIM,” Ms. Cozza said. “Apple’s iOS market share suffered from delayed purchases as consumers waited for the new iPhone. Continued pressure is impacting RIM’s performance, and its smartphone share reached its lowest point so far in the U.S. market, where it dropped to 10 percent.”

Source: Gartner (November 2011)

More information is available in the Gartner report “Market Share: Mobile Communication Devices by Region and Country, 3Q11,” which is available on Gartner’s website at http://www.gartner.com/resId=1847315.

Maroo iPad 2 cases add design flair to wear and tear

Safe and totally sound
Maroo iPad 2 cases add design flair to wear and tear

New kid on the iPad 2 case block Maroo, at least in the UK, has released a range of 11 tastily designed nylon covers that promise to keep your tablet safe and secure.

Featuring the company's patent-pending Secore Guard Bumper Technology, each protects the enclosed iPad 2's front, back and rather fragile corners. And comes with a scratch-free suede interior in order to protect the capacitive touch screen of your Apple device.

Smart magnet?functionality?is also built into each case, so each will "wake" or "sleep" the iPad 2, much like Apple's own Smart Cover. There's a camera hole at the back, and they can all be used in two separate viewing angles; flat and free standing.

Each design has a different name, including our particular fave Mana II, which is emblazoned with an old skool audio cassette on the front, and they're available now from Maroo.com for ?49 apiece.

A new step-up range designed by winner of US series?Project Runway, Seth Aaron, is also coming to the UK in 2012. Pocket-lint will bring you more details, and a hands-on with those ultra cool cases soon.

Tags: iPad 2 Tablets iPad 2 accessories Maroo

Maroo iPad 2 cases add design flair to wear and tear  Maroo iPad 2 cases add design flair to wear and tear  Maroo iPad 2 cases add design flair to wear and tear  Maroo iPad 2 cases add design flair to wear and tear 

Maroo iPad 2 cases add design flair to wear and tear originally appeared on http://www.pocket-lint.com on Mon, 14 Nov 2011 15:11:00 +0000

LG Rumored To Announce Google TV Device at CES

This image has no alt text

You win some and you lose some. It appears Google lost the support of Logitech who blamed Google for their Revue flop and $100 Million loss, but they may have gained the support of LG, the world’s second largest television maker. Rumor has it that LG will announce their first GTV at CES in January 2012, just a couple short months away.

Google TV launched last holiday season and has been extremely slow to catch on. I’m still convinced that it will inevitably catch on like wildfire. The missing link has been Android Market and despite GTV being updated to include the market a few weeks ago, it’s still not open for all developers to submit their apps and games. Once that happens? Watch out.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Google TV is one of the next big frontiers of Android growth and once it catches on, I’d expect competitors to follow suit. You never know, Apple could be preparing their own iTV right now (Apple TV doesn’t count).

[Bloomberg via GTVsource]

Samsung Galaxy Note Unboxing – Tablet or Phone?! (Video)

We at tablet-news.com usually test tablets, but when faced with the Samsung Galaxy Note it’s hard to tell what we’re actually messing with here. Considering it has a 5.3 inch diagonal and it’s bigger than the Dell Streak, I’d say it’s safe to say it’s a tablet…

The Galaxy Note feels a bit like a bigger Galaxy S II and you can see its elegant package (that some people say ripped off Apple) in the video below. Inside the box I found the device, a bunch of manuals, the microUSB cable, the charger and headphones. On the lower back side of the Note there’s a tiny stylus that’s well hidden and discretely integrated.

The battery cover is plasticky, flimsy and feels fragile, just like the one on the Galaxy S II. The 5.3 inch device feels huge in one’s hand and using it to talk on the phone sounds like a pretty strange idea, although this slate does calls. It runs Android 2.3 with TouchWiz and I’ll be back in a couple of days for the full review!

iOS 5.0.1 released to fix your iPhone battery woes

Adds multitasking gestures to iPad too
iOS 5.0.1 released to fix your iPhone battery woes. Tablets, Phones, iPhone, iPad, Apple, Software updates, iOS 5 0

Apple has released its first update for iOS 5 with the release of iOS 5.0.1. The update looks to fix battery issues suffered by many since the new mobile operating system was launched.

The new update, which is available OTA for the first time as well as the usual wired channels also promises to fix a number of bugs at the same time.

Apple was first alerted to the battery issues last month after thousands of users complained that having upgraded to iOS 5 they iPhone didn’t last as long.

In addition to the battery-related fixes, iOS 5.0.1 also brings multitasking gestures to users of the original iPad, something that was originally only available to iPad 2 owners.

It also specifically fixes some bugs in Documents in the Cloud and improves voice recognition for Australian users of the iPhone 4S’s dictation feature.

The update is available for the iPhone 4S, the iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS, iPad 2, iPad, iPod Touch (4th gen), and iPod touch (3rd gen) models.

You'll need at least 50 per cent battery to install the new software once wirelessly downloaded. Well, you probably won't - but Apple insists on it.

Tags: Tablets Phones iPhone iPad Apple Software updates iOS 5

iOS 5.0.1 released to fix your iPhone battery woes. Tablets, Phones, iPhone, iPad, Apple, Software updates, iOS 5 1  iOS 5.0.1 released to fix your iPhone battery woes. Tablets, Phones, iPhone, iPad, Apple, Software updates, iOS 5 2 

iOS 5.0.1 released to fix your iPhone battery woes originally appeared on http://www.pocket-lint.com on Thu, 10 Nov 2011 20:03:00 +0000

More HTC Edge Details Emerge

This image has no alt text

If learning of the quad-core HTC Edge yesterday wasn’t enough to make you second-guess your next smartphone purchase, just wait. BGR has a follow-up to the story that broke yesterday with some additional details. The 4.7-inch 720p display is now said to an S-LCD 2 panel with optical lamination, resulting in the sort of clarity and pixel density comparable to Apple’s Retina display. Other design notes place the phone at 8.8mm thick (no RAZR, but with twice the cores the extra girth is excused) with a microSIM slot, 8MP backside-illuminate rear camera with 1080p video recording, and a 720p front-facing camera. Beats Audio, Bluetooth 4.0, NFC, and an 1,800mAh battery round out the rumored hardware. A microSD slot is absent but the Edge is said to have 32GB of on-board storage. Quite the cutting-edge device…HTC you make these puns too easy!

[via BGR]