It’s huge news: Google and Motorola, joining forces to take over the mobile world. Okay, okay, it was also for the patents; there’s no denying the fact that any mobile company needs to have a good patent shield, thanks to our lovely, broken patent system. Back a number of weeks ago, we saw a huge bidding war over Nortel, mainly for their patent portfolio.Google threw their hat in the ring briefly, only to be almost immediately outbid by Apple. No shock there; what was surprising, however, was the fact that Google seemed to be going after these patents with minimal vigor. Why? I think our answer came today.
Google was, most likely, already in talks with Motorola on the merger we saw come to fruition today. Why on earth would Google want to spend precious time and effort going after a company that every mobile player in the industry was after, when they could quietly knock on Motorola’s back door and come in for tea? Everyone else was across the street, prying for the attention of the Nortel case; nobody even saw Google slip away.
With the patent wars heating up, this was, ultimately a smart move for Google. Not only does this gain them the patent portfolio of the company that gave Android one of the boosts it needed with their wildly popular Droid line, but it gives them exclusive access to a manufacturer, which has been the big thing missing from Google’s repertoire. There’s one thing this writer knows for sure: he’s excited to see what comes of the merger. Motorola’s days of locked bootloaders and anti-development (as of late) will more than likely be coming to an end, and there’s some really cool stuff on the horizon. We’ll just have to wait for sunrise to see what it is.
Last week in Germany, Apple was successful in getting a preliminary injunction on the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 for most of Europe, excluding the Netherlands. Samsung wasn’t able to defend themselves and the injunction was granted based on community design (the products look similar). Samsung gets their chance to defend themselves on August 25th.
I am not going to come out and say Apple tampered with evidence, but there is an interesting development that needs to be noted.
A Dutch website called Webwereld compared images (above) of the court documents and found that the Samsung Galaxy 10.1 was shown as having an aspect ratio of 1:36. It actually has an aspect of 1:46, while the iPad is 1:30. You will also notice that the Samsung logo was removed and the image is of the app drawer and not the normal homescreen.
I am no fan of Apple, but I find it hard to believe they would attempt to do this. Forget the pictures, I am sure the physical devices were (or will be) presented to the court. There is no way Apple could alter the physical devices. I just don’t think that Apple could be that naive to think that Samsung would not catch this. Trust me when I say that I hope I am wrong.
We recently reported about Motorola and their large patent portfolio. Some even thought that Motorola would use them to hurt other Android manufacturers, which we now know was never going to be the case because Google is going to acquire Motorola Mobility for $12.5 billion or a 63% premium over Friday’s closing price.
Google takes care of two major things with this purchase. They picked up a slew of patents that could finally slowdown Apple and Microsoft from their cowardly attacks, and they now have a true manufacturing partner to take Android to “infinity and beyond” as Buzz Lightyear would say.
In case you are nervous that Android will be closed off to other manufacturers, that won’t be the case. Android will remain open, and Motorola will continue to run as a separate business.
Wired.com has learned that Google has intervened in an ongoing intellectual property dispute between Android smartphone application developers and East Texas based patent-holding firm Lodsys. This marks the first public move by the Mountain View Company to defend Android programmers from a patent troll lawsuit that’s cast a cloud over the community.
Google says it filed a request with the United States Patent and Trademark office Friday for reexamination of two patents asserted by Lodsys. The request by Google calls for the USPTO to assess whether or not the patents’ claims are valid.
“We’ve asked the US Patent Office to reexamine two Lodsys patents that we believe should never have been issued,” Google senior vice president and general counsel Kent Walker told Wired.com in a statement. “Developers play a critical part in the Android ecosystem and Google will continue to support them.”
Lodsys is currently suing 11 smartphone app developers for allegedly impending on patents U.S. 7,222,078 and 7,620,565. Lodsys claims its patents cover the use of in-app payments technology, which allows users to carry out transactions within the context of an application itself. This technology is used by countless app developers in their applications.
Well, that was quick. With the recent injunction granted by a German court to halt all Galaxy Tab 10.1 sales in Europe, the hearing was moved up to August 25th after initially thought to be on September 15th. Samsung hopes to fight the ban and remain on target to sell its popular tablet despite Apple’s effort to squash that plan. Stay tuned to Talk Android as we follow up on the hearing which is expected to turn over a verdict a few weeks following that date. Feel free to leave your thoughts and rants in the comments below.
We know that Amazon will be launching a tablet or tablets soon, and most analysts are predicting that they will have the best chance at putting a dent into Apple’s dominance with the iPad.
How do they plan on doing it? Well their name for starters, but lets be serious, if you want to come out with a splash then you severely undercut your competition with price. Creative Strategies analyst Tim Bajarin thinks the Amazon tablet will cost $300, but they will discount the price to $249 with the hopes of getting their money back with sales from the Amazon app store. It is expected that they could recoup the loss from each tablet within 6 months and make a profit of 10 to 30 percent per tablet over the next 18 months.
Not only would this effect Apple, but it would also affect all Android manufacturers. Pricing like this make sense because I am still asking myself why anyone needs to pay $400 to $600 for a tablet that gives you nothing more than a smartphone except for screen size.
I have already predicted that Android will own the tablet market share by March 2012. If Amazon decides to go with this lower price, it may happen by the end of 2011.
Are you guys ready to jump on board with Amazon if they come in at $249?
Ladies and gentlemen, the figures are in from Gartner and Android is looking good. The numbers list a little over 107 million smartphones sold with Android being at 43.4% of those sales. Take note that these figures are the number of devices actually sold to end users. Reflecting on our very own Andrew Greenfield’s article, I too want to see Apple once again fade away into the sunset. Go ahead and boast about being the worlds largest smartphone manufacture, Apple. Keep it up Google!
Out of this list I’m sad to see Nokia dying off slowly as they were the company to first open my eyes to the smartphone world. I’d love to see them make a comeback with Android loaded phones. I highly doubt that will happen, but one can dream.
Microsoft hits 1.6% with their Windows Phone 7 being on the market less than a year. While this is closely trending what Android had done, it doesn’t paint a clear picture for their future. Motorola’s mobile devices have always disappointed me. I gave them an honest shot with the Motorola Q, but that device was quickly returned. Working daily with Motorola’s MC-70 handheld computer probably helped put that bad taste in my mouth as well which is loaded with the Windows Mobile platform.
We already reported that Apple succeeded in getting the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 blocked from most of Europe. The exception was the Netherlands, and the proceedings came to a close today. Apple presented market research that 80% of respondents felt that the iPad and Galaxy Tab 10.1 were “identical” or at least “similar in general impression.” Apple also alleged infringement from the Galaxy S and Galaxy Ace. Samsung argued that Apple’s arguments were so vague that any digital photo frame would be an infringement.
The judge seemed amused at the arguments and called the legal representatives “terriers.” He finished by saying a ruling would come down on September 15th, and if an injunction were to come, it would be October 13th. If you are in the Netherlands and you are thinking about getting a Galaxy Tab 10.1, you have at least 63 days to save up your money.
Alright, raise your hand if you were surprised when Apple sued Motorola for their XOOM tablet. No one? You know why no one is surprised? This is becoming a common Apple product. Apple doesn’t seem content with suing Samsung, their (more than likely) biggest tablet competitor. Now that they’ve won that battle, they’ve moved onto Motorola for their XOOM. It’s like I called Apple’s success against Samsung being used as a precedent in other cases. Oh wait, I did. We just reported that Apple has filed a complaint against Motorola in Europe for its XOOM tablet. You know what this means? Apple is officially a patent troll.
Earlier today we reported that Apple got a preliminary injunction against Samsung from selling the Galaxy Tab 10.1 across Europe. Well prior to or simultaneously with the motion for this injunction, Apple filed a complaint with the same court over the design of the Motorola XOOM.
There is a passage within the Samsung complaint that mentions Motorola and a local German company called JAY-tech. The passage says that Apple filed a complaint with Motorola, but doesn’t state whether they requested a preliminary injunction or not. It is possible that they asked for a permanent injunction instead.