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.
Research in Motion (RIM), already under massive pressure from declining sales and a pending class action suit from disgruntled shareholders, is being sued by audio giant Dolby for alleged patent infringement. The lawsuit, which was filed jointly in both America and Germany yesterday, centres around patents for audio compression technology.
Nokia has announced the settlement of a long-running patent spat with Apple. Under the terms of the agreement, Apple will pay an undisclosed lump sum as well as ongoing royalty payments for its use of patents Nokia claims belong to it. Both parties have agreed to withdraw their respective complaints to the US International Trade Commission (ITC).
In a week during which the UK distinguished itself as the “Whiplash Capital of Europe” thanks to its rep for filing dodgy insurance claims, The Informer is pleased to note that, in the technology world at least, injury-preventing U-turns have been the order of the day.
While the signs are that the next iPhone will not feature LTE, Apple has “reached consensus” with China Mobile on the use of the carrier’s forthcoming TDD-LTE network for a future iPhone.
Google’s bid to buy $900m worth of Nortel patents and patent applications was approved on Monday. The planned sale required the approval of courts overseeing Nortel’s bankruptcy proceedings in Canada and the US. Under the terms of the auction, other parties may submit bids until June 13th, with the auction taking place on June 20th. Nortel filed for bankruptcy protection in 2009.
To a man with an iHammer, everything looks like an iNail, as the Informer’s great friend Mark Twain once said. And just to prove the old man right, the powers-that-be at Cupertino are suing Samsung, HTC, Mother Theresa, Adam and Eve and growers of mostly green, rather tasty pieces of fruit for infringing on its intellectual property. Gwyneth Paltrow’s daughter, who wouldn’t have been able to attend legal proceedings in person as she couldn’t get the time off from kindergarten, settled out of court.
Yahoo has acquired TV tagging start-up IntoNow in a deal reported to be worth between $20-30m. The purchase is expected to bolster the firm’s video and social content offerings. IntoNow, which only launched at the end of January this year, has developed a free iPhone application that allows users to share instantly the programmes they are watching with Facebook and Twitter friends as well as iTunes and Netflix. The expectation is that an Android version of the application will now be developed.
Android’s march towards market dominance continues apace with reports from ABI Research that the collective share of the smartphone market held by Android-based phones has increased from 4 percent to 24 percent in the past year.
Vodafone UK has launched an enterprise smartphone service allowing corporate customers to manage and secure their data over a range of high end devices. The service, dubbed Smarthphone Professional, uses a solution from mobile security firm Good Technologies, which aims to provide security across a variety of devices at the kind of level that has made RIM’s Blackberry solution so popular with enterprise customers.
Smartphone use accounts for 65 per cent of all mobile cellular traffic worldwide, despite smartphone penetration running at just 13 per cent, according to research released today from Informa Telecoms & Media. Usage is set to increase exponentially over the next five years, Informa found, with average traffic per smartphone user increasing by 700 per cent by 2015.
Strong sales of Apple’s iPhone during the third quarter have propelled the Californian vendor to fourth place in the global handset vendor rankings, according to data from IDC. While Apple has had a strong position in the smartphone segment since the launch of the first iPhone, this is the first time that it has made the top five in terms of overall shipments.
Taiwanese handset vendor HTC, the first company to release an Android handset, has taken legal action against Apple for patent infringement, filing a complaint with the US International Trade Commission, asking it to “halt the importation and sale of the iPhone, iPad and iPod in the United States.”
Apple added another string to its bow this week with the acquisition of a mobile search service which pitches itself as a “virtual digital assistant”.
Google’s android operating system is gaining serious momentum. it may lack the definitive experience of apple’s iPhone oS but its supporters argue that the flexibility and customisability that make such a definitive experience impossible on android are its strengths. operators and vendors, they say, can pick and choose from the various parts of android and make it into whatever they want.
The iPhone continues to reap significant rewards for Apple, with the Californian firm posting fiscal Q2 results on Tuesday that saw profits leap by 90 per cent year on year to $3.07bn.
Hooray! Multitasking. Boo! Now the iPhone battery will only last for ten minutes per charge. Last night the Apple faithful were rewarded with a sneak peek of iPhone OS 4, ahead of the software’s release this summer. The big news is multitasking for third party apps which, while beneficial, will in all likelihood lead to shorter battery life and more system crashes as users forget to close their background apps.
An exclusivity deal over the Apple iPhone helped T-Mobile grow its share of the contract mobile market in Germany. But, are these gains tied to the exclusivity deal and will T-Mobile’s current success be affected when and if the iPhone becomes non-exclusive?
Apple will prevent third party developers from using its iPhone platform to enable location based advertising, in a move which is perhaps designed to protect its own future plans in the mobile ad space.
Matthew Key, CEO of Telefónica Europe, talks exclusively to telecoms.com about the challenges faced across his portfolio, his future plans and the new shape of the mobile industry.