Amazon Acquires Yap, Hopes To Compete With iPhone’s Siri

After much investigation it appears as though Amazon is looking to go head to head with Apple’s new Siri technology found on the iPhone 4S.  How do we know this?  Elementary my dear Watson.  According to the folks over at All Things D, Amazon has yet to return calls for comment, but it looks as though Amazon has recently purchased Charlotte based Yap, a popular voice recognition software.  Earlier today reports of the acquisition came to light on a Charlotte-based blog, CLT.  They added up all the pieces after an SEC filing revealing that as of Sept 8th, Yap was now owned by Yarmuth Dion.  Who?  In any event, it was later discovered that the company’s address was none other than Amazon’s Seattle based headquarters.  
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Apple Must Reveal Australian Phone Contracts to Samsung

Things are really getting juicy between Apple and Samsung in Australia as Federal Court Justice Annabelle Bennett ruled that Apple must now provide Samsung with copies of contracts with Australian cellphone carriers.

If you wil remember, Samsung has sued Apple in Australia claiming that the iPhone and the iPad infringe on patents that the company holds for various wireless technologies. Samsung asserts that Apple forces carriers to subsidize iPhone sales and is requesting contracts from Vodafone, SingTel, and Telstra if the two mobile giants can’t come to an agreement on said accusation. Apple’s lawyer Andrew Fox told the judge that “We will resist any attempts by our friends to push us into a corner,” and “This is quite clearly a fishing expedition,” and that Apple will do its best to prove that this is just another way for Samsung to find other damaging evidence.

However, Apple has already managed to ban Australian sales of the Galaxy Tab 10.1 and the two continue ongoing lawsuits in Japan, Germany, france and the United States. Earlier this month, Samsung also requested the iPhone 4S source code and was given 220 pages of code, but was mysteriously missing one file.

[via Bloomberg]

Google’s Eric Schmidt: Apple Siri Poses “Competitive Threat”

Google’s chairman looks to be proclaiming Google’s humility by asserting Apple’s “competitive threat”. Apple Insider reports Eric Schmidt responded to questions from the senators after a hearing in September. Schmidt writes “even in the few weeks since the hearing, Apple has launched an entirely new approach to search technology with Siri, its voice-activated search and task-completion service built into the iPhone 4S”. When addressing his previous statement in September 2010 where he denies Apple and Facebook were a “competitive threat”, Schmidt goes on to say “my statement was clearly wrong… Apple’s Siri is a significant development– a voice-activated means of accessing answers through iPhones that demonstrates the innovations in search”.
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Motorola Defeats Apple in German Patent Dispute, Outcome is Not as it Seems

The international patent debacle got a little spicy yesterday when FOSS Patents reported that Motorola Mobility had actually won a German injunction against Apple that could potentially prevent them from selling Apple products in Germany. Apple has since issued a statement confirming the injunction, but before you go getting all excited, a little bit of research reveals the outcome may not actually be as it appears.
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Apple Loses iPad Design Suit Against Spanish Tablet Computer Maker NT-K

Apple has just been beaten at its own game of bullying.  The story initially begins last year as the Cupertino giant accused the small Android-based computer maker Nuevas Tecnologías y Energías Catalá (nt-k) of copying the iPad and sought out a customs ban. Spanish customs ultimately seized shipments from China containing nt-k’s Android-based tablets and Apple even went on to bring criminal charges against nt-k on December 9, 2010. Not fearful of Apple’s threats and treatment, nt-k decided to fight back by defending itself in the matter. nt-k filed an antitrust complaint with the Spanish competition regulator Comisión Nacional de la Competencia (CNC). Its defense was successful to say the least. The CNC is currently reviewing and has not dismissed nt-k’s  complaint against Apple, while the judge overseeing Apple’s charges against nt-k has dismissed them completely, concluding there was no ‘sufficient justification’ for a criminal case against nt-k. Moreover, nt-k is now seeking damages from Apple for monetary damages, lost profits, and ‘moral damages’.

Kudos to nt-k for standing up for not only themselves, but other Android manufacturers who are at a seemingly constant battle with Apple over patent infringements and injunctions. We’re sure most of you are giving each other hi-fives all around. Be sure to let us know what you think about this victory in our Comments section.

[via FOSS Patents]

Q3 Smartphone sales Go to Samsung, Not Apple

Samsung claimed the top share of the global smartphone market in the third quarter with 23.8 percent, compared to Apple’s 14.6 percent. (Samsung fans rejoice.) Nokia took third with 14.4 percent of the market. Apple had the lead in the second quarter with 18.5 percent and Samsung was in second with 17.5 percent and of course Nokia was third with 15.2 percent.

Can anyone else see the same pattern I do? Samsung gained 6.3 percent from the second quarter to the third, while Apple and Nokia both lost ground. Best guesses are most buyers waited for the iPhone 4S release in the forth quarter.

Those  are still some impressive numbers from Samsung. This time last year, Samsung was in third with only 9.3 percent of the market. That is a 14.5 percent increase in one year. Apple lost 2.8 percent, while Nokia lost the most with 18.3 percent of the global market share. Samsung’s rise can be attributed to the 30 million Galaxy S, And Galaxy S II phones sold.

Are you happy for Samsung? Let us know what you think in the comments below.

[Via PCWorld]

Apple Wins Patent On Lock Screen Gestures

In a result that surprises many, Apple was granted patent number 7657849. You probably know this patent as “slide to unlock.” Before you start screaming and demanding to the heads of those responsible, realize that there is still a decent chance that this will be invalidated. It took 6 years for Apple to finally convince the US that they deserved this patent, and the US seems to be the only ones buying this. A Dutch Judge has already denied Apple the patent based on the fact that Apple was not the first to use a “slide to unlock” gesture. Regardless of what happens, you can be sure that Apple’s leeches lawyers are already getting their suitcases and papers ready. The full patent can be found after the break.

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Samsung achieves #1 spot in Q3 as shipments top Apple, Nokia

Reports are saying that Samsung has sold more than 20 million smartphones in Q3 of this year, nudging Apple out of the top spot for the first time since the original iPhone was released. Tuesday, Apple announced that September quarter sales of the iPhone peaked at 17.1 million, 3 million short of analyst expectations. According to The Wall Street Journal’s anonymous source, Sammy banged out 20 million units in one quarter, just under 3 million more than Apple had reported.

Nokia shipped 16.8 million smartphones in the same quarter, down 38% from 27.1 million from a year earlier. Although Samsung has not officially revealed Q3 shipment figures, reports are saying that they have taken the title of #1 smartphone vendor by volume in the third quarter of 2011. We may never see an official Q3 report from Samsung as they have stopped reporting sales figures unless a milestone in achieved. With the upcoming release of the Galaxy Nexus, we only expect these figures to increase.

[via WSJ]

Samsung exec denies Galaxy Nexus might have been designed with Apple patent workarounds

News came out yesterday that Samsung might have designed the Galaxy Nexus in such a way that it would avoid patent infringements against Apple. Samsung Mobile president Shin Jong-kyun said the company “will avoid everything we can” and that they “take patents very seriously,” but there was no guarantee that the Galaxy Nexus wouldn’t be subject to any litigation. He went on to say “We will see if (the new phone) will be 100 percent free.”

Those comments seem to vague to me to take the impression that they definitely worked hard in avoiding patents, and later Samsung’s head of mobile global product strategy, Won-Pyo Hong, denied it. Hong said, “That wasn’t really part of our discussions when designing the device.” He went on to say, “I don’t know where the rumor came from.” He apparently was not aware of the early comments by Shin Jong-kyun.

Whatever Samsung did with the Galaxy Nexus, I highly doubt the bitter war between Samsung and Apple will end now, so expect suits involving the device.

[via slashgear]

Meet Iris – “Yeah, that is Siri in reverse.”

Introducing Iris; your new intelligent Android assistant. Talk to Iris about anything and listen to its wisdom.

Android developers sure do know how to mock Apple, as clearly evidenced by this new addition from developer, Dexetra, to the android market. You may be familiar with Dexetra already for their former claim to fame, the “Friday” app. Their latest, Iris, is a direct play on Apple’s Siri. In fact, it’s an acronym for Intelligent Rival Imitation of Siri. Iris talks to you in a conversational manner about whatever topic you desire; Philosophy, Culture, History, Science to general conversation. I’ve tried it myself* and it works pretty decent, and it even has a bit of personality. You may get a few oddball responses but understand the app is still alpha. The real kicker of this story is that, Siri, the main attraction of Apple’s iPhone 4S announcement, was imitated on Android with a mere 8 hours of work, according to the developers. Looks to me like some Siri-ous alternatives are taking shape… Ok, maybe that was lame, but really there are a lot of alternatives to Siri on Android right now. We wrote a comparison of Siri and Android’s built in speech controls earlier in the month while at the same time offering up some examples of alternative apps; apps such as Vlingo, Voice Actions, and Eva. By the way if you are already using Androids built in voice search tool, here’s a quick tip. Long pressing the search key can automatically launch the voice controls. Nifty right?

Update: Leave a comment with something funny she said :D

Android Market Link

Screen shots from within the app after the break.
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