The enemy of my enemy is my friend. The old proverb has resulted in such unlikely alliances as the United States and the Soviet Union vs Germany, or the former aligned with China (yet-to-be-communist) against Japan. This is the nature of international relations. It’s sometimes also the nature of business, when two or more rivals put down their gloves to turn their sights on a bigger fish.
This is what’s transpiring in Samsung’s ongoing patent feud with Apple. Though they are competitors in the Android market, HTC, LG, and Samsung all have a united interest in fighting Apple on intellectual property. Google itself is also deep in the mix, having been in Samsung’s corner for a bit longer already.
Monster LLC which helped kick start the Beats line of headphones back in 2008 has now sued the Apple owned Beats by Dr. Dre brand over allegations of a “sham” transaction. The company has filed an official complaint at the Superior Court in San Mateo County, California. Apple hasn’t yet been named in the suit filed by Monster as the issue pertains to the change in ownership of Beats since it was partially acquired by HTC in 2011. Read more
While most American’s probably haven’t heard of the Chinese phone manufacturing company Xiaomi, their immense success in China has propelled the company into new heights. With the company being previously valued at $4 billion (2012) and $10 billion (2013), rounds have now valued the company at a whopping $45 billion.
How did Xiaomi gain this much success in such a quick time you ask? Clever on-line marketing coupled with cheap/affordable high-powered devices have made them a household name in China. Not only has the company knocked off both Apple and Samsung as the the #1 smartphone manufacture in China, but they are also now #3 world-wide. With over 500 million smartphones expected to be sold in China next year (more than double that is expected to be sold in the US), one can only expect Xiaomi to grow even further. With China clearly under their belt, the Chinese company has their eyes set on the rest of the world starting with India and Brazil, and I’m sure they have hopes of someday being a household name in Europe and possibly even the United States.
In another sign of the continuing end of hostilities between the world’s smartphone manufacturers, Rockstar Consortium, Inc. has announced the sale of 4,000 patents to RPX Corp. The portfolio was originally obtained by Rockstar in a bidding war that took place during 2011 between Rockstar and Google to obtain the intellectual property from Nortel Networks. Rockstar is a consortium made up of Apple, Microsoft, Blackberry, Ericsson and Sony. RPX licenses patents to companies that join their syndicate, including Google and Cisco Systems. Read more
Samsung and Apple are back in court again as Samsung looks to appeal the $930 million jurors awarded to Apple for intellectual property infringement. During the oral argument hearing yesterday, discussions were technical in nature, and discussed whether or not portions of the iPhone’s design was functional or ornamental. But that wasn’t the only aspect that the three-judge panel discussed.
For the first time ever, Chromebooks surpassed iPad sales to U.S. schools. According to IDC, 715,000 Chromebooks were sold to U.S. schools in the 3rd quarter as opposed to 702,000 iPads for the same period. It might not be by much, but the spread is likely to grow.
It’s obvious the lower costs that Chromebooks enjoy is a big factor. Schools can buy Chromebooks for as low as $199 vs the iPad Air, which runs $379 after educational discounts. Let’s also not forget the full keyboard that makes things a lot easier. Last but not least, Chromebooks are easier to manage.
Although Google’s Android easily dominates the operating system market on a global basis, there are still areas where Apple’s iOS prevails. One of those areas is in the enterprise where Apple enjoys a slightly more than a 2-1 lead. That dominance had been slipping a bit during Q2 of 2014, but new data from Good Technology suggests the release of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus helped Apple regain some share it had lost. Read more
Let us not forget that Apple Pay is not the only mobile payment system out there. Google Wallet has been around for more than three years. The mobile payment system from Google ran into an issue to remain relevant and now the company rarely talks about it. Luckily, the arrival of Apple Pay seemingly sparked interest in Google Wallet.
Disney just set history today by allowing you to purchase Disney, Pixar and Marvel movies from either iTunes or Google Play and use them on either platform. This all done through the Disney Movies Anywhere app, which was already available on iOS. With the launch on Google Play, both platforms work seamlessly.
All you have to do is create an account through the Disney Movies Anywhere app or your desktop browser. Once you link both your iTunes and Google Play accounts, movies that you purchased from either store will be visible and playable to you. This holds for not only the app, but also the Play Movies & TV app as well as iTunes. This means you can also utilize Apple TV and a Chromecast. In fact, you really don’t need the Disney Movies Anywhere app, but you might prefer it for playing your content on your tablet or phone.