A Netherlands judge has banned the sale of three Samsung smartphones deemed to be infringing on Apple patents. The Samsung Galaxy S II, Galaxy S and Galaxy Ace may no longer be marketed or sold by Samsung’s Netherlands-based companies in numerous countries across the European Union as a result of the ruling, FOSS Patents reports. The judge also noted that other Samsung devices — the Galaxy Tab 10.1 and the Tab 10.1v — violate Apple patents, though it is currently unclear if Samsung’s latest tablets will be banned as well. Of note, Samsung’s three Netherlands-based subsidiaries are banned from selling the devices, though South Korea-based Samsung Electronics may reportedly continue selling the phones. As Samsung reportedly uses these companies as a primary hub for European imports, FOSS Patents suggests that the company will need to rework its logistics if it wishes to continue selling these phones in Europe. Samsung’s Galaxy S, S II and Ace were found to be violated Apple patent numbers 2,058,868 and 2,098,948, which cover a method of scrolling in the UI and a method for unlocking a phone from a locked state. The full verdict will be published later today and the ban will take effect on October 13th. More →
Verizon Wireless is seemingly following AT&T’s lead and taking action against subscribers who make use of unauthorized tethering apps. ReadWriteWeb reports that one of its writers was using a “jailbroken tethered Verizon Motorola X” with an unauthorized third-party app, rather than paying for Verizon Wireless’ mobile hotspot solution as its contract terms require. According to the report, the writer was blocked from accessing webpages on devices tethered to her DROID X on Friday, and was instead redirected to a Verizon Wireless page outlining rates for authorized mobile hotspot usage. Last week, AT&T confirmed to BGR that it would soon begin to revoke unlimited smartphone data plans from users who used third-party apps to share their smartphone’s data connection with other devices. Verizon seems to have taken a slightly less abrasive approach, though the outcome is the same: carriers want customers to stop abusing their congested data networks, and AT&T and Verizon are apparently done asking politely. More →
The Russian government is considering disallowing the use of Apple’s iPad tablet within government agencies due to security concerns, Russian-language business news site RBC Daily reports. Instead, it is investigating various alternative tablet options including RIM’s BlackBerry PlayBook, Android-powered tablets or even a new device created by a Russian agency. Government security experts are reportedly looking for more “cryptographically secure tablet PCs” than Apple’s iPad tablet, and if the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology’s recent certification is any indication, the BlackBerry PlayBook could fit the bill. RIM announced last week that its PlayBook tablet received FIPS 140-2 certification, thus allowing it to be used by U.S. government officials. No other tablet has received FIPS certification to date. More →
Though the move has yet to cause Nokia CEO Stephen Elop to storm out of an interview, India’s Economic Times reported on Thursday that the country’s government has barred Nokia’s upcoming push email service. India’s Ministry of Home Affairs has relayed directives to the Department of Telecom stating that Nokia’s new push email product should not be permitted to launch in India until a system is put in place that will allow the government to monitor communications sent a received on devices. “In view of the Intelligence Bureau’s report, Department of Telecommunications is requested to advice the Telecom Service Providers not to launch Nokia’s proposed pushmail/powermail service without putting in place monitoring facilities to the satisfaction of the LEAs,” the Ministry wrote. Nokia did not immediately respond to a request for comment. More →
India’s government reiterated its stance on Research In Motion and other companies providing officials with access to to monitor encrypted data. “It’s not a question of their giving access. Under law, they have to give access, everybody has to give access,” federal Home Secretary Gopal K. Pillai told reporters on Tuesday. “Whoever gives access will be allowed to operate. Whoever does not give access will not be allowed to operate.” The Indian government notified several companies last year that they would have to provide access to emails and other data in order to comply with regulations and remain operational in the country. Following the ultimatum, the spotlight turned to RIM, a company known for providing secure and encrypted mobile services to its global subscriber base. RIM would later state publicly that it does not have the capability to give the Indian government, or anyone else, access to emails sent and received using its corporate email solution. Unless RIM can come up with a solution that falls within the guidelines set forth by applicable laws, India appears ready to pull the plug on BlackBerry smartphones. More →
We should have known it was too good to be true. Just hours after mobile web browser Skyfire landed in Apple’s iOS App Store, it was gone. For reasons only known to Apple, the iDevice company has deemed the alternative browser unworthy of a place in its famed App Store. Skyfire’s claim to fame is in its ability to remotely convert Flash video into HTML5 video that is then viewable on the iPhone. We’ve reached out to Skyfire for comment and will update the post if they respond.
UPDATE: We’ve been informed that Skyfire pulled the application from the App Store, not Apple. High demand for Flash to HTML5 video conversions stressed the company’s servers to the max. Skyfire plans on retooling their backend infrastructure and relaunching the application.
It’s not every day Google dusts off the trusty old ban hammer and squashes an Android app. After all, the Android Market is an open one, where any developer can bring any app to the masses — almost. Mobile developer DLP Mobile launched an app earlier this week that performed a pretty questionable function; it allowed users to spy on SMS messages by having them automatically and secretly forwarded from a host phone to their own cell phone. The app, dubbed Secret SMS Replicator, was added to the Android Market Wednesday and it almost immediately caused a stir. Before long, Google exercised its ultimate authority and removed Secret SMS Replicator from the Market, saying the app “violates the Android Market Content Policy.” While the removal of this malicious app is seen as a positive move by most, some question whether or not Google’s actions push the Internet giant further away from the “open” descriptor it loves to boast. Most would likely agree, however, that leaving spyware in the Android Market would certainly have been the greater of two evils.
Across the pond in the UK, they do in fact have something very foreign to us here in America called advertising standards. Apparently, in some cases at least, companies are actually held accountable for claims made in their advertisements. Crazy, we know. The body responsible for ensuring that advertising is up to par with UK standards, the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), was none too happy with a recent iPhone 3G commercial and ended up banning it from UK airwaves. Apparently it received complaints from 17 people claiming that the commercial was very misleading, citing one point in the ad where the handset loads web pages in just a fraction of a second. Apple responded with the claim that its representations and statements in the commercial were “relative rather than absolute in nature,” but still complied when the ASA instructed it to cease the ad run. Despite the presence of the text, “Network performance will vary by location” in the ad, the ASA seems to think that the iPhone 3G is not capable of such speedy performance regardless of the network. We can’t say we disagree. Here in the US, similar ads continue to run but may in fact be pulled by Apple in the not-so-distant future. Why? We don’t complain to an ad-watching organization here in the States, we sue.