We all knew Google was an extremely valuable company, but many will be surprised to learn that Google is ranked the worlds 5th most valuable brand according to Forbes. The company, which started out as a simple search engine, was beaten to number 1 by companies Apple, Microsoft, Coca-Cola, and IBM.
Google currently is worth a whopping $47.3 billion, and it generated a very large sum of $13 billion before interest and taxes in 2012. Google only continues to grow in value as well and they continue to branch out into other areas of research and technology.
comScore has reported the latest market shares for the month of September, and for every manufacturer that isn’t Samsung or Apple, it’s not good news.
Overall, Android has seen a slight 0.2% dip between June and September with iOS gaining just a fraction more of the total market. Most of that growth has come at the expense of BlackBerry, which is to be expected. On the Android side of things, Samsung was the only major manufacturer that saw any growth. Apple also saw just under 1% growth in the quarter, but HTC and Motorola both lost a few points of market share. What does that mean for those companies? Well, the biggest thing is that the HTC One and Moto X aren’t helping as much as they’d hoped. It also means that Samsung and Apple are selling devices at a significantly faster clip than what HTC and Motorola can do. LG, fortunately, didn’t lose any market share, but they didn’t gain any, either. No news is good news, right?
This report doesn’t really tell us anything we haven’t been expecting thanks to news stories in the past few months, but it solidifies just how strong of a grip Samsung and Apple maintain on the smartphone market. Despite other OEMs best attempts to shake up the landscape, nothing’s worked so far.
If you ever need someone to cause a stir, just go to Steve Wozniak. In a recent interview with the BBC, the Apple co-founder made a bold statement by saying “I wish to God that Apple and Google were partners in the future” because “it would be pretty likely” if he was still there. Can you imagine a world where Apple and Google teamed up for something? Google, with Android being completely open, and Apple, so independent on much of their work, being in cahoots with each other. And that is a concern that Wozniak brings up. Hit the break for an interesting piece from Wozniak on sharing technology. Read more
Remember a few years ago when Nortel’s enormous patent portfolio went up for auction and we had tons of tech companies bidding for it? Well, looks like we’re about to see the effects of it. The group of companies that won the patents – Microsoft, Apple, RIM, Sony, and Ericsson – banded together under a new company named titled “Rockstar” and have filed an extremely extensive patent suit against Google and several Android handset makers, including HTC, LG, and Samsung.
Originally, Google wanted to purchase those patents to prevent this from happening, but stopped bidding for them at $4.4 billion. Rockstar nabbed the patents for $4.5 billion, which is an astronomical sum of money for a patent portfolio. Some of the patents that are being used in the lawsuit include patents for things like an “associative search engine” and “an advertisement machine which provides advertisements to a user searching for desired information within a data network.” Vague? Yep.
Realistically, the ultimate goal for the Rockstar Consortium would be to strong-arm other companies into paying licensing fees for infringing devices. Microsoft already makes several bucks per Android phones sold because of patents and licensing agreements. It’ll be interesting to see how this suit plays out, but make no mistake, it’s probably going to get pretty messy.
source: Ars Technica
Incoming news from China this afternoon— some press images of a white Nexus 5, the iPad 5, and the iPad mini 2. It is expected that Apple announces the upcoming tablets on October 22nd.
If you’re interested, it looks like the iPad 5 will have the Touch ID fingerprint scanner, while the iPad mini 2 will not— the mini will also not feature a Retina display.
You can find the iPad photo after the break.
Apple just got a huge win that will result in continued problems for Samsung and Google. The “Steve Jobs patent” (U.S. Patent No. 7,479,949) was reaffirmed by the U.S Patent & Trade Office (USPTO). The patent has been referred to as the “Steve Jobs patent” because Jobs was named as one of the inventors when Apple applied for it in 2008. It deals with a “touch screen device, method, and graphical user interface for determining commands by applying heuristics.”
It was originally challenged by presumably Samsung and Google, but this reexamination result came down last month reaffirming all 20 claims of the patent. According to Florian Miller of Foss Patents, this is a “major strategic win” for Apple and a “massive setback for Samsung and Google”, as well as a threat to other Android device makers. Samsung must now work around this patent to avoid the U.S. import ban that was ordered in August. Apple is also going after Motorola for this same patent.
source: Foss Patents
An interesting report on the U.S. mobile carriers was released yesterday by J.D. Power. Apparently, when consumers rank their overall satisfaction with their carrier of choice, it might be contingent on what phone they are using. According to J.D., iPhone users are very happy with Verizon Wireless and AT&T, but Samsung users rank Sprint and T-Mobile higher. Verizon was actually chosen as the best carrier among iPhone users while Sprint was chosen as the best by Samsung users.
What’s most interesting is when you lump all smartphones together, you get an interesting picture. AT&T comes in first followed by Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon. Verizon rarely performs that badly, so I’m not sure how that happened. But I do find the type of phone by carrier very interesting. For me, it’s all about the coverage. I am an Android user obviously, and I could never rank T-Mobile or Sprint highly because their coverage in my area is dismal.
Full presser after the break.
They’re back at it again. Apple has requested the United States International Trade Commission to broaden the import ban on Samsung. If successful, it would include a larger amount of Samsung handsets banned. Currently, Samsung is able to workaround bans in order to sell certain phones in the U.S.; however, Apple wants the ITC to investigate three more patents after they found that Samsung was previously infringing upon two patents.
With the government just being brought back from the shutdown, Samsung is expected to file an appeal to Apple’s claim.
Source: ITC Notice of Appeal
LG is at it again with their interesting ad choices choices. This time around LG is going directly after their competitors. Their new banner ads will point out what they believe to be faults with other devices compared to the LG G2. If you’re on a Samsung phone, the ad will take a jab at the the Galaxy S 4’s Snapdragon S600 processor compared to the G2’s Snapdragon S800 processor. iPhone owners will see their phone ridiculed by the tiny screen. The G2 has a 5.2-inch screen while the iPhone is a measly 4-inches. And finally LG goes after HTC because the One’s battery is smaller than the G2’s. To check out the ads up close, hit the break for the gallery. Read more
Stung by a recent ruling by the Obama administration that struck down a potential sales ban of some Apple devices in the U.S., Samsung is smarting even more after the Obama administration declined to strike down a sales ban of some Samsung devices as ordered by the U.S. International Trade Commission. The ITC previously ruled that Samsung had infringed on Apple patents related to detection of headphone jacks and on a multitouch feature. If there is any silver lining, it is the limited number of devices that will be impacted as newer Samsung devices incorporate different designs that get around the Apple patents. Read more