Here I am thinking Apple were really only targeting the use of 'rounded corners' and the 'style' of the iPhone compared to competitors' devices. But, it looks like Samsung's pen-toting Galaxy Note 10.1 has just been added to Apple's on-going lawsuit against Samsung.
But, we haven't even gotten to the best part yet - the Cupertino-based iPhone maker has sought to add Google's Android 4.1 Jelly Bean OS to the lawsuit. Apple told US Magistrate Judge, Paul S. Grewal in a federal court in San Jose.
Apple attorney, Andrew Liao, told Judge Grewal that the Galaxy Nexus is the only phone with Jelly Bean that Apple wants to add to the patent complaint. Liao also said that Apple seeks to add 17 devices that could use a stylus, even if the products don't ship with a stylus. Grewal hasn't issued a ruling today, saying he was concerned that if he denied both sides their requests, the companies would file a new round of lawsuits.
HTC have been having a very rough year, where their last quarter results pretty bad, and back in August I reported that Taiwan Central Bank proposed a bailout of the struggling phone maker. Now we're looking at October's sales numbers and for the second month in a row now, revenues have dropped in double digits.
Revenue for HTC is down around 19% from September, with year-over-year figures even worse. We're talking 61% since October of 2011, which is a huge drop, even after last month's drop of 53%. The phone maker could possibly soon reach the point where they would struggle to even meet their very conservative earnings goals.
I really don't expect HTC to be here twelve months from now, and this is going to be the case for most other Android phone makers in the near future. With Google selling subsidised Nexus 4 handsets for $399, why would you buy a smartphone for double the price with the phone maker's UI splashed on top and slow updates of Android? I know I wouldn't.
Samsung seem to be revving up for a huge 2013, with a new multi-year partnership with Yahoo. The two companies announced the deal which will see Yahoo's interactive television software reaching Samsung's 2012 Smart TVs.
Yahoo's interactive content won't be half-arsed, either, as it gives the interactivity to the programming you're watching at the time. This will include trivia, program statistics and other types of playable games. The option of using your smartphone or tablet as a quasi-remote control to view and share additional interactive content is also on offer.
Looks like Samsung Smart TV owners have something to look forward to over the coming months, with EA also jumping on-board with Monopoly and The Game of Life apps, too.
The IDC's latest numbers are here and it is reporting that tablet numbers have increased by 6.7% in the quarter just gone, and 49.5% year-over-year. Apple enjoying shipping just over half of the 27.8 million slates across the world, but they lost a considerable amount of market share.
The iPad maker had 65.5% of the market in Q2, but dropped down to just 50.4% of the market in Q3 - a huge drop. IDC says that this is because people were holding off for the iPad mini - but I don't agree with that. There can't be that many people in the market knowing three months out that there was definitely going to be a new iPad on the market.
Samsung were number two, increasing their market share to 18.4% thanks to their Galaxy Tab and Note 10.1 products, with Amazon and ASUS having a great quarter also. Kindle Fires and Nexus 7's helped them ship around 2.5 million of each.
Staples to install Amazon lockers in US stores, prevents customers from having to wait for a delivery
That feeling of missing a package is terrible--trust me, I've experienced it many times. Amazon is looking to get rid of that feeling forever by offering a locker service at more and more locations. Staples is the latest US location to agree to install these Amazon lockers, likely hoping to entice users into buying things while in-store picking up their Amazon package.
How it works is that Amazon ships a package to these lockers. A code is then e-mailed to the customer who has three days to go to the location. Once there, they enter the code on a touchscreen and the locker with the package in it pops open.
Staples will profit by installing these lockers because Amazon pays a small fee to locations which host these lockers. They will also likely see an increase in sales by people coming in to pick up their package.
Bloomberg news is reporting that Apple may be toying with the idea of designing its own chips for use in its Mac line of computers. As technology grows increasingly mobile, the x86 platform pioneered and championed by Intel draws just too much power and produces too much heat. In order to unify the experience between this mobile market and desktop component, Apple may opt to use its own chips.
By using chips that feature similar architectures in both mobile devices and desktop and laptop systems, its easier for programmers to unify the experience. Apps will theoretically have no problems running on the Mac laptops and desktops due to the common architecture and Apple will be able to use iOS on desktop systems--not an idea I am fond of.
This change in processor would take a good while to implement. The Apple team will have to craft their own processor, either through licensing agreements with ARM, or by developing their own instruction sets. Even still, Apple will want to repeat the success they have seen with the iPhone 5's processor.
This means years of design work, along with reprogramming Mac OS X to be compatible with the new chip architecture. There is certainly no promise that Apple will go this direction, though they have the money, and ego, to do just that.
Get ready for a new Samsung logo and branding come CES 2013. Reports have surfaced that Samsung is planning on doing away with its current blue oval logo in favor of a new design that will rival Apple's. The thought is that the new brand will feature multiple colors, with individual colors being used to represent different portions of the business.
The logo will reportedly be replaced with "a more vibrant international brand image." The design work is reportedly being done by freelance brand consultant Scott Bedbury. Bedbury has previously contributed to the development of multiple Nike brand projects, as well as Starbucks, home of the ever changing logo.
The designs for individual product lines will be different and linked to an overall brand family through colors. Samsung would also like to change up its advertising, including linking products with lifestyle activities. This is all in hopes to beat out Apple, who currently leads the electronics industry in profit.
Verizon is looking to close the doors on its app store this coming January. Originally set up in March 2010, the market served as an alternative source for Android and BlackBerry apps for Verizon devices. The store is better known as Vcast Apps and will hopefully be removed from all customer devices by March 27, 2013.
Verizon has recognized that times have changed and that it's pretty pointless for them to be hosting their own app store when Google does such a great job with Google Play and BlackBerry is now pushing apps on its new devices. The majority of the apps that have been available in the Vcast app store are available through other sources.
Verizon, along with other carriers, would like to provide apps that are specific to the network as it gives them a little something extra to bring customers over from competitors. These custom apps would include providing things specific to a single network, such as carrier billing or other carrier-specific features.
Outside of the United States, Apple only paid a slither of their corporation tax - just 2%, according to their filings with US regulators. Apple paid $713 million in the year to September 29 on foreign pre-tax profits of $36.8 billion, a rate of just 1.9%.
It hasn't been suggested that their tax avoidance is anyway illegal, but considering the record profits they're making, it's a bit of a sour grape. Apple aren't the only ones doing so, with Starbucks, Facebook and Google paying low rates on overseas tax.
Apple paid just 2.5% in the previous year, as the company funnels most of their business in Europe through a subsidiary in the Republic of Ireland, which has much lower corporation tax than Britain. Ireland charges just 12.5% compared to Britain's 24%.
We all know smartphones and tablets rule our lives now, but just how much do we use them to surf the Internet? Well, according to the latest data from NetMarketShare, it looks like it's a lot.
Their data points out that smartphones and tablets accounted for 10.3% of all web browsing in October, which is the first time it has broken through the 10% barrier.
More interesting is that mobile browsing was at just 7.2% of all browsing in March, meaning that we're seen an explosion of web browsing on mobile phones in the last few months alone. iOS-based smartphones and tablets like the iPhone and iPad account for around 60% of all web browsing in october 2012. Android devices scooped up a little over 27% of mobile web browsing.
It has not been a good couple of months for Apple. After launching the iPhone 5, their stock took a dive. After launching the iPad mini, their stock took a dive. After announcing executive changes, their stock took a dive. Adding all these up, their stock value has dropped from over $700 to below $600, a pretty large change.
Not only has the stock price been falling, they've suffered a few losses in court. The UK courts ruled that the Galaxy Tab does not infringe on the iPad design copyrights and Apple has been forced to run ads saying so. Well, now the company has suffered another loss at the hands of the court, this time in Mexico.
The Mexican court system has ruled that iFone, a telecommunications and call answering service in Mexico and Latin America, has the legal right to the trademark iFone and, subsequently, iPhone, since it is said the same way. The trademark was registered in 2003, and Apple didn't launch their iPhone until 2007. Oops.
Apple must now pay the company sanctions of up to 20,000 days minimum wage, which is $5 a day. $100,000, no big deal, right? Well, it also can be no less than 40 percent of the sales of iPhones in Mexico. This number is not as easy to determine, but I'm sure it adds up to more than $100,000.
What are your thoughts regarding Apple as of late? Think they're heading for the poor house? Let us know in the comments.
Apple's first published "apology" statement surfaces in UK newspaper, more subdued than website version
Apple is forging ahead with making good on the ruling that the court imposed upon them. The first of its print advertisement requirements has shown up in a UK newspaper and features more subdued tones than the piece that appeared online. The piece that appeared online has been ruled to not meet the requirements and Apple has been forced to update it.
As you can see in the image above, the advertisement is a rather boring block of text that will likely be missed by consumers reading the newspaper. After all, who looks at the ads in the paper anymore, especially if they are unremarkable in every aspect? If you said no one, you're probably not far off.
For perspective, the advertisement composes roughly one-eighth of the page. It must be ran for two weeks in various widely circulated newspapers across the UK. It's interesting that Apple chose to use the full links instead of using a link shortener that is popular when printing links in the paper. My guess is that they hope to discourage people from going to the links.
Samsung's lawyers argued that the legal posting by Apple proclaiming that Samsung did not copy Apple's iPad design did not meet what the court ordered Apple to post. The court has agreed and now ruled that Apple has 24 hours to remove the current statement and 48 hours to replace it with a proper account.
"This has received enormous publicity and has perpetuated confusion as to Samsung's entitlement to market the Galaxy tablet computers in issue," a Samsung lawyer said in a written statement to judges. "It has created the impression that the UK court is out of step with other courts."
If you'll recall, the statement had in it verdicts that other courts had found, something Samsung clearly wasn't happy with. The original reasoning behind the requirement to post the notice is solid:
"A consumer might well think: 'I had better not buy a Samsung - maybe it's illegal and if I buy one it may not be supported'," Sir Robin said. "Apple itself must (having created the confusion) make the position clear: that it acknowledges that the court has decided that that these Samsung products do not infringe its registered design. The acknowledgement must come from the horse's mouth."
We'll definitely keep you up-to-date with the latest as soon as Apple replaces the statement on their site. Until then, tell us what your thoughts are about Apple having to post this notice up on their website.
DangerDen, one of the greats in customer PCs and watercooling is closing its doors. As they put it, "after 12 years our hobby has come to an end. It's time to pursue other interests and Danger Den will be closing its doors." We here at TweakTown wish Jeremy and the rest of the guys over at DangerDen good luck on their future endeavors.
It's always sad to see a company go out of business when you know people have put their life and blood into building it. We're sure that they will do in all that they attempt. As of right now, their server is getting slammed, which is making the site completely inaccessible. I hope everyone here at TweakTown will join me in wishing DangerDen the best.
It looks like AT&T is making a move for some more 700MHz spectrum, according to the FCC's latest information. A deal between AT&T and Broadband Wireless Unlimited will see the US telco receive more 700MHz spectrum in several markets across the US.
Concerned parties will have until November 14 to submit their complaints, if they have any, but if the deal goes through it will see AT&T receive license to more spectrum in the B Block of the 700MHz band, where it operates its LTE network - in specific markets where more bandwidth is required.
This additional spectrum would be used in markets where it's needed most, which is set to be Georgia, Illinois, Louisiana, Massachusetts, New York, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia. AT&T could also have anywhere between 70 and 125MHz of spectrum available to use, post-acquisition.
Who thought this time last year that SSD maker OCZ would be in this much trouble? The company have announced their reducing a large number of its staff, with as much as 28% of their non-production staff being out of a job, while workers at the company's Taiwan production facility getting cut down by 32%. The company has said:
We are undergoing a transition phase in the Company's evolution in which we are refocusing our efforts on products and strategies that will benefit both OCZ and our stakeholders over the long term. We have already taken aggressive steps to address some short-term tactical challenges and have begun streamlining the organization to help ensure that OCZ will be in the best position moving forward to address the fast growing consumer and enterprise SSD markets.
They aren't just stopping there, either. OCZ plans to discontinue around 150 product variations, too. OCZ adds:
This streamlines OCZ's product offerings to address the mainstream and higher-end consumer products, as well as enterprise and OEM solutions. The company has also evaluated its inventory and is in the process of making the necessary adjustments, including monetizing some inventory to better align its product offerings and to free-up cash for the business.
Microsoft is on the receiving end of a patent troll's lawsuit over its just launched Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8. The patent troll in question is SurfCast and they appear to believe that Microsoft's Windows Live Tiles infringe upon a patent filed in 2000 and granted back in 2004.
The patent that SurfCast is using as the basis of their lawsuit is No. 6,724,403. SurfCast describes Tiles as follows:
Tiles can be thought of as dynamically updating icons. A Tile is different from an icon because it can be both selectable and live -- containing refreshed content that provides a real-time or near-real-time view of the underlying information.
Tiles can provide dynamic bookmarking -- an at-a-glance view of the current status of the program, file, or content associated with it.
Tiles enable people to have all their content, applications, and resources, regardless of whether on their mobile device, tablet, computer, or in their Cloud -- visualized persistently -- dynamically updating.
SurfCast is seeking that the court order Microsoft to "account for and pay to SurfCast all damages caused to SurfCast by reason of Microsoft's patent infringement."
Apple's stock has not come out of Hurricane Sandy looking very good. On Monday, right as the storm was coming into New York and shutting down the trading markets, Apple announced a change up in the executive line-up, saying that two executives would be leaving, with some current executives gaining expanded responsibilities.
Executive change-ups are not usually a good sign for a company, as a company that is doing well does not need to be changing their leadership. Investors finally got a chance today to show whether or not they were pleased with the changes and the stock shows that they aren't too happy with the idea.
At the time of writing, the stock is at $600.64, however the low for the day comes in at $587.70, which is lower than it has been since July. Apple will continue to have some problems as more companies enter the tablet market and as current competitors bring out stronger and stronger competitors.
ZTE can now have a celebratory drink, announcing they're become the fourth biggest smartphone manufacturer in the world as of Q3 2012. Hitting fourth place is a huge thing, as they've just taken it from struggling phone maker, HTC.
ZTE shipped just 7.5 million handsets in Q3, and while it might not compete with the likes of Apple and Samsung, being in fourth place is still an achievement in itself. In Q3 2012, ZTE were only 0.1% ahead of RIM, so things may change early next year if BlackBerry 10 is successful for yet another struggling phone maker, Research in Motion.
Things will change rapidly in the coming months, with Google going full steam ahead with Nexus-branded devices such as the amazing $299 Nexus 4, Apple's iPhone 5 is now here, Microsoft's Windows Phone 8 has just officially launched, and we're sure to see a Galaxy S IV in early-2013, too.
Samsung has finally added the iPhone 5 to their infringement lawsuit, with the South Korean company claiming that all LTE-capable devices that Apple sells are in violation of eight patents the company owns. The lawsuit is already considered weak, as some of Samsung's LTE patents would be considered "standards-essential" and subject to FRAND regulations.
Samsung did threaten to "immediately sue" Apple if the new iPhone was LTE-capable, but at the time were unaware that Apple had already launched LTE-capable iPads a few months earlier. How Samsung would not know this, perplexes me, completely. Apple has maintained their stance, stating that they buy their LTE radios from Qualcomm, who has a full license for the patents and therefore that license extends to its customers.
The biggest issue for Samsung is if their LTE patents will be considered standards-essential when tested in court. The company is now at risk of having some patents ruled FRAND-eligible, which would weaken their portfolio. Worse, is if some of their patents are considered invalid, but Samsung are said to own around 12.2% of all LTE patents. Qualcomm and Nokia both hold equal, or larger stakes in the technology.
In a sea of bad quarterly earnings reports from competitors, ASUS are standing strong with some positive third quarter results this week. The Taiwanese maker of just about everything these days reported a revenue of $3.8 billion with a net income of $230 million.
Revenue saw a rise of 9% year-over-year, with net income boosting up by around 43% in the same period. Revenue is up 18%, with net income up 39%, sequentially. Expectations were lower than this, with over 12 analysts expecting net income to reach just $185 million, meaning ASUS beat analysts' expectations by over 10%. Where is this surge coming from, you aks? Tablets.
ASUS have been able to successfully glide over from the sinking netbook market to the ever-expanding and super-popular tablet market. If we look back to Q2, ASUS shipped 800,000 tablets - fast forward to Q3 and we're looking at tablet shipments hitting 2.3 million, a meteoric rise. Shipment increases can be credited to the great Nexus 7 tablet which ASUS co-developed with Google. ASUS didn't give the goss on just how many Nexus 7's shipped, but it would have to be a chunk of that 2.3 million.