Google told the Superior Court in Boston last week that it did nothing illegal with regard to blocking Skyhook’s contract with Motorola. Skyhook wireless, a private Boston-based LBS company, filed suit against Google in September 2010, alleging that the Internet giant interfered with a contract the company had recently been awarded by Motorola. The deal would see certain location-based services from Google replaced by Skyhook’s solution, which, according to Google Group Project Manager Steve Lee, were better and more accurate than Google’s own offering. Email chains made public as part of the hearings clearly show that Google took action to get its services back on Motorola phones, but Google contends that its actions were all legal. “To the extent Google took any action that affected Skyhook, those actions were the lawful exercise of legitimate rights of Google and therefore are not actionable,”Google said in a court filing. “If Skyhook suffered any damages, which is denied, then any such damages resulted solely from its own acts or omissions.” More →
Verizon Wireless on Thursday announced its first Windows Phone, the HTC Trophy. The device will be available online on May 26th and will land in stores on June 6th for $149.99. The HTC Trophy offers a 3.8-inch WVGA touchscreen display, a 5-megapixel camera capable of recording 720p HD video, 16GB of on-board storage, 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi, and support for global roaming in more than 200 countries. Anyone who buys the phone before July 15th will get a free Xbox 360 game, and can choose from Halo: Reach, Kinect Sports, or Lode Runner. Hit the jump for the full release. More →
Microsoft on Thursday revealed its back-to-school offer for 2011, which is likely to drop students’ jaws and raise parents’ eyebrows at the same time. This year, students with a valid student ID who purchase a Windows 7 computer for $699 or more will receive a free Xbox 360 4GB video game console. “A hot new Windows 7-based PC with a free Xbox 360 is the ultimate productivity, social and entertainment package for students,” said Kathleen Hall, general manager of Windows Marketing at Microsoft, in a statement. “In one shot, with this great offer, Microsoft is giving students everything they need for a successful new school year.” We’re not sure how much the Xbox offer will help students with their school work, but it will definitely help them blow off some steam and avoid burning out while still managing to save them some money. The deal becomes available to students starting this Sunday, May 22nd. Hit the break for Microsoft’s full press release.
Apple’s first foray into retail was a giant question mark on May 19th, 2001, when Apple opened the doors to its first two retail locations in Glendale, CA and McLean, VA. Ten years later, Apple’s retail stores are a crucial piece of the puzzle that has been assembled to create a customer experience unlike any other. “Apple today announced that its first two retail locations welcomed over 7700 people and sold a combined total of $599,000 of merchandise during their first two day weekend,” an Apple press release boasted on May 21st, 2001. Despite the solid weekend, several media outlets lambasted Apple for its decision to target high-rent areas with its first flock of retail shops while Gateway had just closed the doors on its retail endeavor. “I give them two years before they’re turning out the lights on a very painful and expensive mistake,” one analyst was quoted as saying following Apple’s retail debut.
But the company was still optimistic. “We are blown away with the numbers,” CEO Steve Jobs said following the stores’ opening weekend. “More importantly, customers have told us they love everything about the store—from the knowledgeable sales staff to the Genius Bar to the store’s design and unique approach to presenting digital lifestyle solutions.” In fiscal 2009, Apple Stores grossed $6.65 billion globally for $1.66 billion in profit. In fiscal 2010, Apple’s retail stores pulled in $2.36 billion in profit on $9.8 billion in revenue. So far over the first six months of fiscal 2011, Apple has made $1.84 billion in profit on revenues of $7.04 billion. Apple’s gravity defying retail performance can’t keep climbing forever, but from where we’re sitting, opening those first few Apple Stores 10 years ago seems like it worked out pretty well. And we’re fairly confident Apple still has a few tricks up its sleeve to ensure that the crowds keep coming. Hit the break for a video of Steve Jobs introducing the world to Apple’s first Apple Store. More →
According to research firm Gartner, although Microsoft shipped 2 million Windows Phone units during Q4 of 2010, it sold 1.6 million units during Q1 of 2011.”Windows Phone saw only modest sales that reached 1.6 million units in the first quarter of 2011,” wrote Gartner. “Devices launched at the end of 2010 failed to grow in consumer preference and CSPs continued to focus on Android.” Gartner is, however, predicting big things for Microsoft’s smartphone operating system. By 2015, the analytics company predicts that Windows Phone will see shipments in excess of 215 million units — thanks in large part to its partnership with Nokia. This would put Microsoft in second place in global market share — behind the open-source smartphone-overlord Android and ahead of the not-so-open-source iOS. More →
Apple has completed a cloud-music streaming deal with record label EMI, according to a report filed by CNET. Citing multiple industry sources, the publication notes that Apple, Sony Music Entertainment and the Universal Music Group are working on agreements as well; a previous report claims that Warner Music Group and Apple already signed a cloud service agreement sometime last month. “Apple will finish behind Google and Amazon in the race to the cloud, but Apple now has the freedom to offer a range of features that rivals are prevented from rolling out because of the licensing restrictions,” continues the article. Rumors state that Apple will use a technology acquired from Lala called “scan and match.” Instead of uploading a subscribers music library to Apple’s cloud-music service, the company would scan a music collection and provide access to the master track it has a license to. Apple and the music labels in question declined to comment on the report when contacted by CNET. More →
A new report published by Millennial Media paints a picture of the global smartphone landscape in April of 2011. The company found that Android continued its domination in pure market share, holding a 53% of impressions on the company’s network. Apple’s iOS came in second with 28% and RIM’s BlackBerry OS came in third with 16%; Symbian, Windows, and “other” totalled under 4% of impressions. While Google continues to maim and destroy in terms of handset numbers, Apple continues to hold the crown when it comes to application revenues. “Revenue generated from applications on the iOS platform grew 6% month-over-month and represented 50% of the Application Platform Mix on our network, ranked by revenue, in April,” reads the report. Android is in a close second with 39% of app revenues and RIM ranked third with 9%. What are users downloading? The report states that games, mobile social networking, and music/entertainment applications are the top application categories. Millennial Media sees over 142 million unique mobile impressions on its network each month from over 5,500 different devices. More →
Despite early reports that Rovio would push Angry Birds for Windows Phone out of the nest on May 25th, Microsoft said on Wednesday that the game won’t launch until June 29th. The good news is that there will be plenty of other new titles to hold Windows Phone users over. Hydro Thunder Go will debut on May 25th, Doodle Jump lands on June 1st, geoDefense will launch on June 8th, Sonic the Hedgehog 4 Episode 1 will be available on June 15th, and Plants vs Zombies will launch on June 22nd. Microsoft didn’t clarify why it pushed the launch out, but we suspect it’s just in an effort to offer a new game every week. Don’t forget: we’ll be reporting live from Microsoft’s Windows Phone press event in New York City next Tuesday at 10am, where we’ll hear more details on the platform. More →
On Wednesday Delivery.com — the popular food delivery service — launched a dedicated iPhone application. It offers a bunch of useful features, including a “nearby” feature to find restaurants that deliver nearby, automatic sync with your account, the ability to filter for cuisine, distance, or rating, and more. Users can check out using a debit card, gift card, or credit card, although we suspect that cash-on-delivery is still an option, too. The application is free in case you’re ever looking for McDonald’s delivery in NYC — yes, we’ve done that. More →