Tim Cook calls out Google on Motorola and Android’s “crappy” tablet experience

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Apple CEO Tim Cook typically has nothing nice to say about Android. In an interview with The Wall Street Journal, Apple’s head honcho gave his opinion on Google letting go of Motorola. He calls the deal “a logical transaction” because Google was not “committed to” doing anything with Motorola. Cook then said “it’s really hard to do hardware, software and services” as a single company; however, he claims this is “what makes Apple so special.” Cook fails to mention products like the Chromebook Pixel or Google Chromecast. And I’m quite sure Google has a decent amount of influence on the design of Nexus devices.

Then came the harshest of Cook’s comments. On the subject of the Android experience on tablets, Cook feels it “is so crappy because the app is nothing more than a stretched out smartphone app.” Had Tim Cook said this a few years ago, he would be right. But now with devices like the Nexus 7 (2013) becoming more mainstream and accessible, developers have definitely noticed Android tablets.

So there you have it. Tim Cook throwing some more fire at Google and Android. But hey, everyone is entitled to their own opinions.

Source: The Wall Street Journal Digits

Justice Department closes investigation of Samsung patent activity

A man walks out of Samsung Electronics' headquarters in Seoul

Samsung was being investigated by the U.S. Justice Department because of suspicions that the company was using a special class of patents to attack rivals— the investigation will now come to a close, the the Department will continue to monitor the company in terms of patent regulation.

The news comes in the midst of a series of patent infringement complaints filed by both Apple and Samsung, with the most recent filed against Apple— Samsung won, and some older iPhone and iPad models were banned from being sold in the US.

Legal issues were determined to not require any kind of investigation, so the Justice Department has stopped looking into the matter.

Source: Reuters

Samsung wants iPhones banned at the Winter Olympics

Apple vs Samsung

Samsung is a major sponsor of the upcoming Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, and they’re reportedly wanting a ban on iPhones and other competing devices during the games. Specifically, Samsung has requested that all athletes cover Apple and other logos during the opening ceremony while using devices to record video and take photos. This news has also been confirmed by the Swiss delegation.

Samsung has also been offering athletes free products such as the Galaxy Note 3, which is likely to be heavily advertised during the games.


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Lenovo CEO says the goal is to surpass Samsung, Apple

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By now, we all know that Lenovo purchased Motorola from Google. The CEO of Lenovo, Yuanqing Yang, made it quite simple by explaining that Motorola is an excellent foothold for them in the United States. But now he has provided some more insight in an interview with Fortune.

When asked when Lenovo became interested in buying Motorola, Yang stated that after missing out on Motorola Mobility in 2011, he contacted Eric Schmidt in 2012 saying “If you think you want run the hardware business, you can keep the business; but if you are not interested in the hardware business, we definitely can handle that, take over that.” And last November, the two men discussed it heavily. After two months, the deal was closed.

The biggest part of the interview came when Yang was asked how long it would take to surpass Samsung and Apple. Lenovo’s CEO responded confidently by saying “Definitely, over time. Our mission is to surpass them.” After all, Lenovo did end 2013 in fifth when it comes to smartphones shipped. By 2015, the company plans to ship more than 100 million smartphones.

Source: Fortune

Samsung’s lead over Apple in market share grows, other OEMs start to show substantial growth

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The final quarter of 2013 was very good for Samsung. According to Strategy Analytics, Samsung’s market share grew to more than 29.6%, compared to 29.0% for the same quarter in 2012. In looking at the entire year, Samsung’s share increased to 32.4%, up from 30.4%. Apple’s market share, however, fell in both the final quarter and overall in 2013. Huawei pulled into third and LG sits in fourth. These numbers should be interesting to see in a few months as both Samsung and Apple are slated to announce their latest flagship devices within the next few months.

It is great to see Lenovo joining the mix (in fifth). Hopefully they finally make their way to the United States this year. After all, I don’t think an HTC acquisition is happening just yet; therefore, Lenovo needs to think about doing it on their own.

Hit the break for smartphone shipment numbers.
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Latest market share figures from Kantar show Android dominating but Samsung is feeling the pressure

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Kantar Worldpanel ComTech just released their smartphone market share figures for the 4th quarter 2013, and Android not only dominated again, it continued to increase its overall market share. In looking at the U.S., most surveys already had Android as the largest market share, but according to Kantar, Android just surpassed Apple late last year.

Android came in with a 50.6% share, up from 46.2% for the 4th quarter in the previous year, while Apple’s iOS came in at 43.9%, down from 49.7% for the 4th quarter in the previous year. In Europe, things aren’t any different. Android now has a 68.6% share (up from 62.9%), while second place Apple came in with 18.5% (down from 23.7%).


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Huawei settles with Rockstar Consortium, pays to avoid any legal battle

Rockstar_Nortel

Back in October, Rockstar Consortium launched a fierce patent lawsuit against Google and Android. Then in December, Google decided to fight back and stated Rockstar’s own CEO said that every tech company is infringing on their patents. Google, rightfully so, was sticking up for their Android OEMs. But now Rockstar has made one of them give in. Rather than going through a legal battle with a group that has much more power, Huawei has decided to pay off Rockstar.

Had Huawei stood up to Rockstar, they would have faced a group led by Apple, Microsoft, BlackBerry, Sony, and Ericsson. Since Huawei filed a joint motion with Rockstar, the group will now likely push harder against the remaining OEMs they previously sued — Samsung, LG, HTC, ASUS, Pantech, and ZTE. If history means anything, we know one of them will put up a good fight.

Source: FOSS Patents

New ruling says Samsung infringed on Apple autocomplete patent

Apple-vs-Samsung

With a new patent trial scheduled to start on March 31, 2014 between Apple and Samsung, Judge Lucy Koh has entered a summary judgment order on some motions from the two parties. Judge Koh denied some requests from Apple, but did rule that Samsung infringed an Apple patent on “word recommendations” aka autocomplete. At this point, Samsung will now have to argue at trial that the patent itself should be ruled invalid. Considering the ubiquity of autocomplete on any smartphone, this ruling could be a problem for manufacturers of other Android devices. Reportedly, Google is involved with an anonymous reexamination request of the patent. As the parties prepare for trial, Apple still has five patents at issue with one of them ruled as being infringed upon by Samsung even before the jury starts to hear the case.
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Samsung, Sony, and Microsoft score higher than Apple in customer experience survey

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For many years, Apple has been the envy of every other tech company, but kinks in the armor are starting to appear. Forrester Research just posted the results of their third study regarding customer experiences for electronics companies, and things didn’t go so well for Apple this time around.

For the first time, Apple fell below Samsung, Sony, and Microsoft. Interestingly enough, Amazon has led this category for the Kindle line of tablets since 2012.  This year, they got their highest score ever of 91, which lands them in the “Excellent” category. Second place went to Sony with a score of 83, and Samsung and Microsoft tied for third with a score of 82. Apple wasn’t far behind at 81. All four of these companies are in the “Good” category.

Now these scores are all pretty darn close, but it is the first time that Apple is this far back. Are you guys surprised with the results?

source: WSJ

 

Walter Isaacson, Jobs’ biographer, says Google innovates more than Apple

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There is probably nothing better an Android fan can hear from someone surrounded by Apple. Walter Isaacson, Steve Jobs’ biographer, did an exclusive interview with CNBC Wednesday morning on “Squawk Box.” Isaacson started off by talking about Apple’s expansion into China and an anchor asked if it was a bigger move than Google buying Nest. Shockingly, he went on to say the Nest acquisition was bigger.

Isaacson said it “shows an amazingly strong, integrated strategy that Google has to connect all of our devices, all of our lives … the Internet of things is actually real, there are these devices we’re gonna want to have and Google’s going to get ahead of that game.” The biographer followed this up by praising Tony Fadell, one of the men who helped create the iPod, for joining Google. Isaacson said Fadell’s tenure was “when Apple was so innovative.”

Source: CNBC