Archive for October, 2010


Apple vs Motorola Lawsuit

More Apple drama is coming Android’s way! Apple is going to sue Motorola specifically over multitouch on nearly every Motorola device running Android OS. In addition to the multitouch claim, Apple is bringing Motorola to court for:

  • Object-Oriented System Locator System
  • Touch Screen Device, Method, and Graphical User Interface for Determining Commands by Applying Neuristics
  • Method and Apparatus for Displaying and Accessing Control and Status Information in a Computer System.
  • Support for Custom User-Interaction Elements in a Graphical, Event-Driven Computer System.

Rest assured, if Motorola loses it doesn’t mean your phone will be taken away; Motorola will have to either change how it’s doing things and/or pay Apple in what’s bound to be a large sum of settlement money.

 

Advertisements

Dashboard, that is. You’ve already seen the new Xbox 360 dashboard update right here and thousands of you have tried its flatter, faster interface for yourselves, but if you’ve missed out, it’s looking like your Halloween candy bag may include a full-scale rollout. Xbox Live subscribers are getting the above message in their inboxes right now, indicating that November 1st will bring a service update of some sort, after which point “You will notice a change to the layout of the Xbox LIVE Dashboard, a new color scheme, and new fonts being used.” That doesn’t necessarily sound like a cornucopia of Netflix Search, ESPN, Kinect and Zune Music to us, but it’s not like you have a choice — it’s mandatory, and you’ll lose all Xbox Live functionality unless you comply. We for one welcome our new gaming software overlords.Unlike some of the competition’s updates, these at least add functionality.

Can iPad competitors compete?

This week we found out the Android-powered Samsung Galaxy Tab would be hitting Verizon for $599, with a $20/1GB month data plan, and the Windows 7-powered HP Slate, 10 months after Steve Balmer showed it off on the CES stage, will be available to Enterprise for $799. RIM has the BlackBerry PlayBook coming next year and HP the PalmPad in the pipeline as well.

The baseline iPad 3G is $629 with a $15/256MB month AT&T plan, the baseline Wi-Fi iPad + MiFi bundle on Verizon is likewise $630 with a $20/1GB month data plan (the Mi-Fi isn’t built in but can serve as a router for up to 5 devices). At that price, the iPad includes a 9.7-inch screen at 1024×768 , aluminum unibody, 1GHz A4 SoC, 256MB of RAM, 16GB of storage, a 35,000 iPad and 300,000+ strong compatible App Store, the iTunes ecosystem, and a good, tablet optimized OS that’s about to become great with iOS 4.2 in November.

 

The Galaxy Pad boasts a 7-inch screen at 1024×600, 1GHz hummingbird SoC, 512MB of RAM, 16GB+ MicroSD storage, the Android Market (most apps are compatible if not optimized), and an OS that Google hasn’t yet optimized for tablets but Samsung has done a great job of embiggening all on their own. And it has cameras.

The HP Slate comes to the table with an 8.9 inch screen at 1024×600, 1.86GHz Intel Atom Z540 processor, 2GB of RAM, 64GB SSD,Windows 7 which means it can run Windows 7 applications, a stylus, a pull out tab with — we kid you not — a Windows barcode sticker, and a CTL-ALT-DEL hard button. And it also has cameras.

We don’t know BlackBerry PlayBook pricing yet, but the specs don’t look too far removed from the Galaxy Tab, albeit with a dual-core processor and the new QNX-based BlackBerry Tablet OS. Native apps will probably take a while to come but their supporting Flash and AIR out the gate so rich internet apps developed on that platform should be good to go.

There’s no information on the PalmPad yet, but it will run webOS which Palm aficionados say scales automagically but given the size differences between 3.1-inches and 7 or 9.7-inches we’re guessing they’ll have to right-size UI elements and probably re-conceptualize the UI in general to make use of all that extra space. (Twitter for iPhone would look really sparse at 9.7-inches which is probably why Twitter for iPad is very different, and the same goes for most apps).

Microsoft has said they’re sticking with Windows 7 for the tablet, which means we’re expecting Windows Phone 7, with its tiles and panoramas to make an appearance as soon as engineeringly possible — or at least we’re hoping.

Steve Jobs famously — or infamously depending on your point of view — said earlier this week that he doesn’t think competitors can match Apple’s price points. Apple uses the same guts — from A4 processor to battery chemistry to case machining to core OS development — across a huge range of products. That kind of internal coordination is unheard of in most other companies and those economies of scale very difficult to match. Jobs accused Samsung and RIM of using 7-inch screens (48% smaller surface area than iPad) in order to keep costs down. However, Samsung and RIM are adding cameras, ports, and other features simply not available in the first generation iPad, and some of them likely not coming to iPad 2 either. (Apple’s not adding a ton of ports any time soon, they’re moving further way from the power user and aiming squarely at the mainstream with iOS and OS X now.)

Will the Galaxy Tab and HP Slate sell 7 million+ in the first 6 months the way the iPad has? Probably not. The tablet market right now is an iPad market. But it doesn’t matter. More Android tablets are coming, and Google is working to make sure either the next version of Android, Gingerbread, or the version after that, Honeycomb, has full support for larger screens. BlackBerry is coming with its BES and BBM. HP is coming with Palm’s visionary webOS. And Microsoft just might be there too, eager to own a piece of the Tablet PC market they began and Bill Gates championed for many, many years.

And that’s not even counting netbooks, cheap laptops, or Apple’s own, newly announced 11-inch MacBook Air.

Steve Jobs might be right. Apple has a huge lead, incredible economies of scale, and the greatest product-savvy CEO in the history of the business. The market could end up like iPod, where Apple built such a lead it now enjoys 70% and everyone else fights for what’s left over. Will everyone who wants a tablet, as Georgia has suggested, already have bought an iPad? (Including some of ourfellow SPE editors and writers?) Or, given the stakes, is it more likely iPad could end up like the iPhone, where Apple winds up with a highly profitable slice of a gigantic pie, incredible mindshare, and competitors who hunt them, Cylon-like, every step of the way.

 

 

 

Apple shipped 20% more iPhones than RIM shipped Blackberrys during Q3 2010, according to Strategy Analytics. PC World got a look at the report and says:

With the shipments, Apple grabbed a 15.4 percent share of the market during the period, while RIM finished well behind with a 12.3 percent share. Top dog in the kennel, though, remains Nokia with 26.5 percent of the worldwide market.

With Apple adding global distribution channels all of the time, not mention the increased chances we might see a Verizon iPhone next year, could we soon be looking at even better numbers coming out of Cupertino? Could they ever overtake Nokia, the current top-dog in the mobile space?

 

iPad on Verizon

Lately rumors surrounding Verizon and Apple have pointed towards a new CDMA iPhone, but today the companies have announced that the iPad will be coming to Verizon Wireless customers October 28th. The device will also be coming to AT&T retail stores on the same day.
When it comes to pricing, Verizon will be offering their MiFi 2200 Intelligent Mobile Hotspot with WiFi-only iPad models for $830 for 64GB, $730 for 32GB, and $630 for 16GB. Those who purchase the WiFi + 3G models will be offered an option of several commitment-free data plans including 1GB/monthly for $20, 3GB for $35, or 5GB for $50.

Word on the street this morning is that a few people have gotten an over-the-air update on their T-Mobile G2 that enables Wifi calling, tethering and a sundry of other trinkets. Rollout doesn’t seem widespread just yet, so we’re likely in the very early stages here. But any update is a welcome update, especially one that brings this kind of functionality.

 

Sony Internet TV

 

Sony just took the wraps off its Google TV line, and it’s a double shot. If having everything bundled together into one sleek unit is your style, Sony is offering Internet TV models starting at just $599.99 for a full 1080p HD 24-inch model, going up the ladder to the top of the line 46-inch version for $1399.99.  They all have full LED backlighting, a picture-in-picture style system Sony is calling Dual View, and are being powered by Intel processors.

If a component-style setup is your thing, you can grab the Internet TV Blu-ray player for $399.99. It’s also powered by Intel, offers built in WiFi, and support for Sony’s Dual View technology.

Both Television sets and the Blu-ray player will be available for purchase on Oct 16 at Sony Style, and followed “shortly” by Best Buy.

 

Google’s Street View goes worldwide, Antarctica and all

Google’s Street View still needs to add a lot more data on the lesser traveled roads of the world, but there’s no denying that the virtual vacation assistant has evolved quite nicely since launching in May of 2007. Back then, only five US cities were programmed in; today, there are street-level views of locations on every single continent, including Antarctica (shown above, as if you couldn’t tell).

Sprint said it was coming, and lo and behold, the carrier has proven to be true to its word. Here on the final day of September, the year 2010, Sprint has issued a highly anticipated firmware update for the Epic 4G. We’re told that it’ll be pushed automatically to phones, bringing along four major fixes: WiFi standby battery drain, Amazon MP3 cannot download in 4G, large emails lag in upload speeds and increased 3G upload speeds. The new version is S:D700.0.5S.DI18, should take seven or eight minutes to download and will be beamed across The Now Network over the course of the next few days. Is that a congregation celebrating off in the middle distance? Sure is.