MacRumors has posted this video of what the next iPhone could look like in action:
Check out MacRumors for the full details.
And with that – Happy Labour Day Weekend!
Google wants to sell the unit within Motorola Mobility that sells set-top boxes and other equipment to cable television providers and has hired Barclays to seek buyers, according to two people familiar with the situation.
Google, based in Mountain View, California, is shifting Motorola’s focus toward high-end smartphones as it competes with Apple. This month Google announced it would cut 4,000 Motorola staff and close about a third of its 90 facilities as part of a plan to restore the hardware firm’s leadership in the mobile market. Google completed the $12.5 billion purchase of Motorola Mobility in May in its biggest takeover.
Is Google stupid? The set-top box is the actual route to control the living room, by partnering with cable, satellite, and telcos. Selling the one part of Motorola accustomed to dealing with all those partners is unbelievably short-sighted.
If you read one thing about Windows 8 today, make it this piece at Robert X. Cringely’s blog. Here’s a snippet:
So the company is trying very hard to use this new Windows release to help gain the upper hand in mobile.
It won’t work.
It won’t work because you can’t takeover mobile by hobbling the desktop. By adopting a common code base for both desktops and mobile all Microsoft is doing is compromising both. This is not good but I’m fairly confident it will also be shortly reversed.
Using the Windows 8 beta the first three words out of my mouth were “How do I?” and then frustration. Have you tried it? It is not intuitive. Power users will persist and figure it out, but Mom and most everyone else will not be happy.
We are less than two months away from the Windows 8 launch, and Microsoft is going full steam ahead.
The Next Web has details of Amazon’s so-called “sell out” of the Kindle Fire:
The announcement all but confirms that Amazon will debut new tablet devices next week, with its founder and CEO Jeff Bezos noting that the company will “offer our customers the best hardware, the best prices, the best customer service, the best cross-platform interoperability, and the best content ecosystem.”
Amazon has a coherent strategy to fight the dominant iPad in the tablet space – but the Kindle Fire needs to expand beyond the United States’ borders to have any chance of real success. Otherwise, it’ll remain an option only for budget buyers. By expanding overseas and adding a 10-inch tablet and smartphone into the mix, Amazon could become a serious player in the gadget world.
Trey Smith on how “Free To Play Games” are changing the gaming industry:
Right now, 18 of the top 25 grossing of all apps are Free To Play Games (72%). Also, it should be noted that 22 of the 25 top grossing apps are in the games category (88%), confirming the fact you need to be into games if you want to have the biggest potential payout. The reason for this is people have a stronger emotional attachment to games than any other type of app, therefore they are more likely to spend money.
I don’t want to game in a world where the only way to support developers is by buying virtual coins.
Thanks to twitter follower @dataTK for the heads up.
A couple of interesting things have come this week. First, this tidbit from The NPD Group on how Apple’s excellent tech support is leading to repeat customers:
“People tend to associate any type of tech support as a negative experience, but Apple has demonstrated that those ‘negatives’ can be turned into positive brand experiences and result in a trip back to the store.”
Then, ifoAppleStore.com published this report on the disaster that John Browett has been since CEO Tim Cook hired him as Senior VP of Retail:
Last year when Cook became the permanent CEO, he hired Browett from UK-based Dixons to head the retail chain. Cook was apparently attracted by Browett’s like-minded focus on the more traditional concepts of retailing—logic and process leading to revenues and profits. With his new position as CEO and staffed with a revenue-focused Sr. VP, Cook naturally moved the retail operation in different directions, the sources say, resulting in last month’s staffing changes.
Ironically, Apple’s original retail mission was to re-invent retail, and it succeeded for the first 10 years. Now, sources lament, innovation in retail seems to be coming to an end. A source says, “Those that have come from other failed or failing retailers will be allowed to peddle their poor ideas at Apple, and tarnish what has been one of the single greatest retailers on the planet.”
The ifoAppleStore.com exposé is a must read, and the importance of Apple’s retail operations to its current success cannot be understated. Any decision by Tim Cook to emphasize profits over customer service would be an enormous mistake, and a tragic reversal of one of the most successful retail initiatives ever.
The Next Web on Twitter’s plans to de-emphasize twitter clients:
This move makes tweets client-agnostic to the reader. For someone viewing Twitter, which a lot of people do exclusively, it looks like a cohesive whole, not a set of posts coming from disparate clients. This is part of the company’s move to make it feel more homogenous and to emphasize its first-party clients.
For a lot of Twitter’s most hardcore users, the service wouldn’t be useable without the incredible third-party apps that have come out over the years. Twitterrific, Echofon, Tweetbot – the list goes on and on. So it’s understandable when these power users freak out over the seemingly inevitable demise of these apps, if and when Twitter decides to lock them out in favour of its own solutions.
Twitter isn’t a charity, and has every right to make money providing the service. Unlike Facebook, the company hasn’t had many privacy snafus, and has in fact protected users from government and law enforcement trying to gain access to account information without proper warrants and court orders. They deserve a lot of credit for that. It’s funny, when you want to access Facebook, you pretty much have only one choice, facebook.com or Facebook’s own apps. But when Twitter decides it should have some of that same kind of control – people are up in arms. While it is true that a lot of what makes Twitter great came from users and developers – not Twitter itself – that doesn’t mean that the company has to renounce making money on its world-changing service.
Here’s the real problem for most users: Twitter’s own apps aren’t very good. The iPad and Mac apps have seemingly been abandoned since the key architect of them left the company, and the iPhone app is missing many of the features I want in a Twitter client. Same for the Android versions. The website has gotten better over time, but still has only the very most basic of functionality.
Twitter only owes us one thing: a flexible and robust service to communicate with the world. If they can’t accomplish that with their own website and apps, they need to let developers continue to do the terrific work they do every day.
Joel Tenenbaum is out of options. A Massachusetts District Court judge ruled the $675,000 fine levied against him is indeed appropriate and refused calls for a new jury trial, meaning the former Boston University graduate student will pay a staggering $21,774 for every song he shared over P2P networks.
This does not make me people go out and buy individual songs on iTunes at $1.29, it just makes them angrier at the RIAA. Instead of going after average consumers, the RIAA should use its resources to give music lovers a better product.
The Verge has a look at what’s on deck in the patent trial of the century:
Mixed in with all of this will be Apple’s inevitable motion to increase the damages based on the jury’s finding that Samsung’s infringement was willful. This is Apple’s most important outstanding issue. The law allows Koh to increase the damages up to three times if the jury finds willful infringement, so Apple’s billion-dollar win could turn into three billion. While significantly increasing damages based solely on a finding of willfulness is not the norm, there are reasons for Samsung to be worried.
As Apple has absolutely no motivation to reach a settlement now that the jury has dealt them such an advantageous hand, I expect Samsung to drag this out as much as possible. Depending on how much the judge increases damages, Samsung may end up seeing all its Android phone profit in the states disappear.
Reuters has an extensive look at Apple’s strategy against Samsung:
Apple’s late co-founder, Steve Jobs, had already told Samsung executives at a meeting earlier that summer that he considered the Galaxy S, based on Google’s Android operating system, an illegal copy of the iPhone. But given the extensive business ties between the two companies – Samsung is one of Apple’s key component suppliers – a negotiated solution seemed most likely.
Whatever damages Samsung finally ends up paying Apple as a result of this court case, it will pale in comparison to the component business Apple has already started to shift to other manufacturers. The decision to fight Apple, instead of making a deal, will go down as one of the most stubborn and boneheaded decisions in tech history.
Posted for the benefit of said children:
Via The Korea Times:
“It’s absolutely the worst scenario for us,’’ a senior Samsung executive said as he rushed into the company’s compound in southern Seoul.
Inside the building, Choi Gee-sung, former Samsung Electronics CEO and now the head of Samsung Group’s corporate strategy division, was holding an emergency meeting attended by Shin Jong-kyun, the company’s mobile devices chief, and Lee Dong-joo, lead marketing official.
Ahead of the court decision, Choi met twice with Apple CEO Tim Cook to talk about a settlement, but negotiations failed.
Should have taken those negotiations a little more seriously, I suppose.
From CNET‘s interview:
“The e-mails that went back and forth from Samsung execs about the Apple features that they should incorporate into their devices was pretty damning to me. And also on the last day they showed the pictures of the phones that Samsung made before the iPhone came out and ones that they made after iPhone came out. Some of the Samsung executives they presented on video [testimony] from Korea, I thought they were dodging the questions. They didn’t answer one of them. They didn’t help their cause.”
Worth reading the whole thing.
For the record, Apple CEO Tim Cook’s email to employees following his company’s huge victory against Samsung, via 9to5Mac:
Today was an important day for Apple and for innovators everywhere. Many of you have been closely following the trial against Samsung in San Jose for the past few weeks. We chose legal action very reluctantly and only after repeatedly asking Samsung to stop copying our work. For us this lawsuit has always been about something much more important than patents or money. It’s about values. We value originality and innovation and pour our lives into making the best products on earth. And we do this to delight our customers, not for competitors to flagrantly copy. We owe a debt of gratitude to the jury who invested their time in listening to our story. We were thrilled to finally have the opportunity to tell it. The mountain of evidence presented during the trial showed that Samsung’s copying went far deeper than we knew. The jury has now spoken. We applaud them for finding Samsung’s behavior willful and for sending a loud and clear message that stealing isn’t right. I am very proud of the work that each of you do. Today, values have won and I hope the whole world listens.
A breakdown of the statement Samsung issued following its devastating loss against Apple:
Today’s verdict should not be viewed as a win for Apple, but as a loss for the American consumer. It will lead to fewer choices, less innovation, and potentially higher prices.
Coming from Samsung, that line is rich. Samsung has tried to extort Apple on standards-essential patents for some time now. Had Samsung prevailed on its counterclaims, that would have actually led to price increases.
It is unfortunate that patent law can be manipulated to give one company a monopoly over rectangles with rounded corners, or technology that is being improved every day by Samsung and other companies.
As a jury in the US and judges around the world have decided, Apple isn’t trying to patent the rectangle. Samsung’s copying was so far beyond what any rational person could describe and a natural design evolution, as the company claimed. Windows Phone is a perfect example of innovating without copying.
Consumers have the right to choices, and they know what they are buying when they purchase Samsung products. This is not the final word in this case or in battles being waged in courts and tribunals around the world, some of which have already rejected many of Apple’s claims. Samsung will continue to innovate and offer choices for the consumer.
Samsung’s blatant copying of Apple continues, with everything from S-Voice’s similarity to Siri and lookalike stores blurring the choice for consumers that aren’t tech-savvy. This statement is very much an echo of what Samsung argued during the court trial, arguments that didn’t carry any weight with the jury. The next batch of phones Samsung releases will come under so much scrutiny Samsung will have no choice but to change them significantly.
Via his always excellent Foss Patents blog, Florian Mueller on Samsung’s suspicious “victory” today in South Korean court:
Even the 2:1 score in Samsung’s favor is noticeably inconsistent with the track record these companies have against each other in litigation in countries in which neither one is headquartered. In such neutral countries, Samsung has won zero — ZERO — injunctions so far. It has failed miserably in Germany (three times already), in France, in Italy, and in the Netherlands. Now, all of a sudden, it wins two injunctions in a country in which about 20% of the GDP depends on the Samsung group (compared to that percentage, Apple means nothing to the U.S. economy).
And now all eyes turn to California and the jury of nine people deliberating Apple v. Samsung. While California is home territory for Apple, there’s a much better chance of an impartial judgment.
Via the Bits blog on New York Times.com:
The new apps are the result of a major restructuring happening inside Facebook. In recent interviews, Facebook executives said they have retooled the organization so that every product team is working on mobile, and the company holds weekly training courses on programming for Apple and Android devices.
Facebook engineers say the changes to the apps were necessary to deliver the instant gratification that people want when they are on mobile devices.
Facebook’s iPhone and iPad apps were so slow and laggy, I gave up on them many months ago. Let’s hope this move gets other companies using HTML-based apps, like LinkedIn, to change their tune as well.
Microsoft is exceedingly excited about revealing the new look ahead of Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8, two new bits of software that they hope will revolutionize the way they do business. A rebirth of the Microsoft way is in the works, and with what they say is the 10th most visited website in the world being Microsoft.com, they need to be bright as possible for the new wave. Per Microsoft, this logo represents a “new era in which we’re reimagining how our products can help people and businesses throughout the world realize their potential.”
You can check out the logo at SlashGear. It certainly is an improvement, but Microsoft needs better products to go along with it.
Tim Edwards at PCGamesN:
I don’t think it’s an exaggeration to say that Windows 8 is the worst computing experience I’ve ever had. As a desktop operating system, it’s annoying, frustrating, irritating, and baffling to use. I’ve tried on many occasions to explain exactly why it’s so awful to use day-to-day, and most of the time, smoke starts pouring out of my ears. I thought it would be better to get down exactly what the issues are and why you should avoid it.
Microsoft’s decision to put tablet software on non-touch laptops and desktops may turn out to be the biggest debacle in the history of computing. Just the time it takes to move between giant icons with a mouse will frustrate users within minutes. Edward’s dissection of the problems with Windows 8 is a must-read.