Internet film subscription service Netflix has announced that it will launch in the UK and Ireland in early 2012. The service offers unlimited TV shows and films that can be streamed instantly to PCs, consoles, TVs and a range of mobile devices, for a monthly subscription. Meanwhile, Google has also launched a new film rental service for its Android mobile operating system, and is preparing to launch a music service too.
As the global director for terminals marketing at the Vodafone Group, Peter Becker-Pennrich holds decision making powers over a procurement strategy that deals in serious volumes. Vodafone buys between 60 and 70 million handsets each year, spending $8bn across it’s footprint, including affiliates and partner markets. In this exclusive interview Becker-Pennrich offers frank assessments of the different strategies adopted by the vendor community, their chances for success and the nature of the relationship – ever evolving – between operators, vendors and platform developers.
Telefónica’s UK operation O2 has told Telecoms.com that it is not fulfilling orders for the Samsung Galaxy Nexus smartphone until Google and Samsung have fixed a bug that sees the phone spontaneously lose audio, affecting voice calls and audio alerts. The Galaxy Nexus is the first commercially available handset to sport version 4.0 of the Android smartphone OS, which Google has dubbed Ice Cream Sandwich.
The Australian shadow minister for communications and broadband, Malcolm Turnball, has criticised Google for its support for the Australian government’s NBN scheme, which Turnball described as, ”the most expensive, most anti-competitive broadband network in the world”.
The ongoing patent disputes between Apple and Google and its Android partners is killing innovation, according to Malik Saadi, principal analyst at Informa Telecoms & Media.
China’s largest search engine provider Baidu has announced that it will launch its own mobile operating system. The platform, which will be called Baidu Yi, is based on Google’s Android OS.
Taiwanese handset vendor HTC has previewed two Windows Phone 7 smartphones to consumers across Europe, ahead of the products’ commercial release in October. The Titan and Radar handsets are the first from HTC to run the latest version of WP7, dubbed Mango.
Google is working with Open DNS and five other firms on an initiative aimed to speed up the internet. The Global Internet Speedup is a collaborative effort aimed to make online tools and web pages run faster, achieved through cooperation between recursive domain name server (DNS) services and content delivery networks (CDNs).
While Google’s acquisition of Motorola’s handset business brings potentially rich rewards in terms of intellectual property, the search firm must be careful to keep its new employees at a respectable distance, industry analysts have warned.
Web giant Google has agreed to acquire handset vendor Motorola Mobility for $12.5bn. “The acquisition of Motorola Mobility, a dedicated Android partner, will enable Google to supercharge the Android ecosystem,” Google said.
Operators are renewing their enthusiasm for location as over the top players build their own means of accessing positional information on consumers. Marketing and advertising will be key and success will be derived from expertise in context, content and customer relationship.
Google has released fresh details regarding its fibre-to-the-premises project in Kansas City. On the Google Fiber blog, Kevin Lo, general manager of the Google Access division said that the company was now conducting the next phase of the project which he referred to as “detail engineering”.
The Nortel patents auction saga took another twist Wednesday when Canadian Industry Minister Christian Paradis said that his government will hold an investigation into the sale to establish whether it complies with the terms of the Investment Canada Act.
Social gaming giant Zynga has filed for its much-anticipated initial public offering in the US. While the company has yet to put a price tag on the shares, as part of the process of calculating its registration fees with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Zynga has estimated it will raise $1bn from the sale.
The bunfight for Nortel’s patent chest concluded yesterday, with Chief Strategy Officer George Riedel’s announcement that “following a very robust auction”, the winning bid came from a buyer too big for even Google to take on. Following months of speculation and a $900m kick-off bid from Mountain View, the booty has gone to a consortium that reads like a Who’s Who of the tech industry: Apple, EMC, Ericsson, Microsoft, RIM and Sony. Even with names like that in the mix, the $4.5bn price paid is still pretty eye-watering or, as Nortel’s Riedel preferred to put it, “unprecedented.”
Taiwan’s Taipei City Government has accused Google of attempting “to hold Taiwan’s consumers hostage, in exchange for the privilege of refusing to follow Taiwanese law.” The accusation arises from a dispute between Google and Taiwanese regulators that has resulted in the suspension of all paid-for applications in the Android market in that country.
Google has announced its entry into the games market via a job posting on its web site. The role of “Product Manager, Games”, will be based at Google’s Mountain View HQ and comes with a fairly broadly defined job description suggesting that the company’s strategy is very much in its infancy.
Microsoft’s bid for Skype has received the go-ahead from American anti-trust regulators, following an “early termination” of a review into the proposed sale. Under America’s Hart-Scott-Rodinho (HSR) Act, certain types of large mergers and acquisitions deals must be submitted for review by the government.
Microsoft has joined HP, Motorola Mobility and Nokia in a growing line of tech companies opposed to Google’s proposed $900m purchase of Nortel’s patent assets. According to Redmond, a 2006 deal means that Microsoft has a “worldwide, perpetual, royalty-free licence to all of Nortel’s patents” and that this agreement is binding regardless of who buys the intellectual property.
As interest in defunct kit maker Nortel’s patent portfolio heightens, the US Department of Justice (DoJ) is reported to be taking a close interest in the bidders. Apple is the latest company reported to be interested in making a purchase after Google opened bidding with a $900m offer in April. Now the DoJ is said to be concerned that the patents will be used to stymie competition in the telecoms sector.