Google apparently had an ace up its sleeve when it comes to getting ahold of patents to protect its Android mobile operating system from the competitive onslaught brought on by Apple and Microsoft through their own partnership in Nortel’s patents. In a 12 Billion deal Google quietly purchased Motorola Mobility in what it says will give them the ability to supercharge their Android phones and bring more competition to the market.
What this means for Apple and it’s iOS systems remains unknown, but I believe that Google will use these new patents to fight their current lawsuits and possibly bring their own.
Source: CNN Money
Customers so far with rooted Android devices using the tethering feature are not being redirected to a walled garden asking them to pay for a tethering plan according to the report from ReadWriteWeb. This follows up AT&T’s push to force users to pay more for data they have already paid for and is just another cash grab from the carriers. Perhaps if we had more choices in carriers one of them would make tethering free and the others would follow. Now with a soon to be duopoly in the US when one carrier gets away with squeezing more money out of a consumer’s pocket the other will not be far behind.
Google’s legal counsel decided it was a good time to bash Microsoft and say they bought Nortel’s patents with a consortium of companies to harass and destroy Android. However Microsoft responded to those claims from David Drummond.
“Just in case that wasn’t enough, Frank Shaw, Microsoft Head of Communications, followed up with the real heat-seeker. “Free advice for David Drummond – next time check with Kent Walker before you blog.”
Read more of the story at TechCrunch here.
AT&T has announced they will begin to throttle they top 5% of their unlimited data plan users beginning Oct 1st 2011. In their announcement they go about explaining that this will not impact the average user, but provide no details on how they’re going to measure data plans. Again the definition of Unlimited has changed and again it’s a mystery cap just like Comcast operated under for years and years. AT&T should be honest with users and say what constitutes abuse of their Unlimited plans.
FYI depending on signal for every megabyte of data you request through a cellular connection the packet loss that occurs can cause retransmit of data which increases your traffic use. There’s no good way to measure packet loss other than doing some statistics by using a tool like Wireshark which then you can see what % of the packets of a certain request were retransmitted.
Despite the fact that Apple is waging a war against companies like Amazon and the last remaining retail book company Barnes and Nobles, the iBook App and it’s store has no value to me and many readers. It’s poor selection and Apple’s protectionist moves serve to prove that Apple does not get why the Kindle App is so popular. Selection and Availability. With the Kindle App I have millions of books at my fingertips through Amazon at prices that beat Apple. With the Kindle App I have a choice of which device I can read my App’s and with iBook’s I have no choice.
I believe that Apple is going to face a massive and embarrassing lawsuit down the road where Amazon and others will come and Sue Apple over the right to direct users to their own stores in App. Apple can still link to their iBooks store, but these other companies can not link to their own stores. Apple itself originally said if you sold a product outside their store you would not be charged the 30% cut they’re taking which in the books business is completely unreasonable. While a fan of Apple, this business practice probably will not stand the test of law, more than likely it’s an illegal move in the terms of antitrust laws which prevent this type of behavior that Apple is exhibiting.
Apple would be better served to negotiate deals that they can receive some cut of in App sales where books and magazines are concerned. Right now they are getting no cut, and probably are breaking the law, and are mistaken that people will suddenly come running to their iBooks store just to find out that they should have went to Amazon’s store in the first place. I’m willing to bet that the majority of Kindle users will just fire up a web browser and search their books through Amazon because they know they’re getting a better deal even if it takes them an extra 5 seconds to get a book they want.
Research In Motion RIM has layed off 10% of it’s employees as it struggles with its failure to anticipate and react to the smart phone and tablet markets. It is also reshuffling its executives in an effort to streamline operations. RIM has become another Nokia in the smart phone world chasing it’s tail trying to come up with a product that frankly nobody wants anymore.
The iPhone is becoming the dominant phone in the professional marketplace and has features beyond what RIM can produce anymore. RIM would be better served in producing blackberry app’s for businesses on Android and iPhone rather than wasting considerable resources producing hardware such as the PlayBook which cellular providers treated as if it were a leper.
The wait for users in the U.S. is finally over, that is if you pay for the premium service. Today Spotify changed their US landing page and if you scroll down you will see that if you sign up for their 4.99 plan you can skip the wait for an invite.
You can sign up or view the updated landing page by clicking here.
In what I thought to be a gross misspelling of Monopolist or Monopoly CNN Money is running a story about how Apple now controls the supply market much in the same way a monopoly would control the consumers. Since for a lot of things made, Apple buys so much volume that these companies find themselves with a single buyer of their product. Apple has for quite a while struck deals that shut out other companies so Apple can get their products to market and in the hands of waiting consumers.
Later in the story they begin talking about Apple’s huge cash reserves and why Apple is not spending the money. Apple’s probably not spending the money because the economy has too much uncertainty to it at this moment to make any big moves. If the last recession proved anything it’s that Cell Phones are indispensable because you can lose you house, but you can’t lose your phone if you expect to find a job. iPads and everything else would fall by the wayside.
Some may ask why these companies are not expanding to fill the needs of multiple buyers, and that’s a valid point. The reason is that their profit margins are so thin in many cases they’re not able to expand. Foxconn has to make their profits through volume and the proof is in their Brazilian expansion, but we will see how that works out as Brazil has a modern economy and would expect modern wages.
Hulu has been up for sale for a bit, and today we learn that Netflix has passed on the opportunity to purchase its competitor. It’s a smart move actually, because of the antitrust hurdles it would face, and in reality Hulu decoupled from its media giant parent would cost millions more than they paid for it just to keep up with the content licenses. The only worth Hulu brings at this point would be any patents it might have and that’s probably something that’s not included in the sale.
The recent departure of new movies such as “The Social Network” shows some cracks that are appearing in Netflix’s business strategy. Their contract with Starz which allowed them to play recent Sony Releases had a clause against too many subscribers and they hit that limit, and a similar clause for Disney is close. Netflix’s profit post taxes and expenses is less than 200 million, with revenue about 1.8 billion. Content creators want to charge more, but also want to run their own setups. This is not surprising considering that these same studios who make the content are about as smart as the music industry in selling itself that they caved on music prices when Wal-Mart threatened to replace the music section with more shoes.
The studios have a storefront that is universally available across more devices than they would be capable of building an access model. If they take their content and try their own stores, they’re not going to find any customers, and if they think they’re not getting a good deal from Netflix, good luck on getting any kind of break from Apple if it chose to enter the streaming market.
Our friends up north have had a few bad years in the broadband front, from caps, and anemic iPhone plans, but now Rogers has shown it’s serious about speed with LTE with ideal tests showing 40Down 20Up megabit speeds. With latency similar to that experienced in a normal cable modem network, LTE will be a breath of fresh air to those who adopt it early. I can not wait until we finally see a LTE enabled iPhone, but for now my LTE mifi will do. If you’re curious if there’s any difference, let me tell you it’s night and day from AT&T 7Mbit speeds to Verizon’s LTE speeds which are normally double and fare better indoors than AT&T due to the lower 700Mhz signal LTE occupies in the states.