Samsung on Wednesday confirmed that it has filed another lawsuit against Apple in South Korea, according to a report from Reuters. Since last year, the two companies have been involved in heated legal battles throughout 10 different countries, racking up more than 30 separate complaints that have been filed. The newest lawsuit targets the iPhone 4S and iPad 2, and Samsung claims both devices infringe three of the company’s “utility” patents, which involve methods of displaying data, a device’s user interface and short text messages. Apple’s former CEO Steve Jobs vowed to destroy Android, and since then the Cupertino-based company has been involved in numerous patent disputes with Motorola, HTC and Samsung, the top three Android vendors in the world. More →
AT&T is preparing a service that will let mobile app developers pay for the mobile data used by their applications, The Wall Street Journal reported on Monday. AT&T’s network and technology head John Donovan compared the service to toll-free calling for the mobile-broadband world. “A feature that we’re hoping to have out sometime next year is the equivalent of 800 numbers that would say, if you take this app, this app will come without any network usage,” said Donovan. Customers are now more concerned than ever when it comes to monthly data allowances, and they might be more likely to purchase an app or a movie if the content provider covered the price of the data associated with using the app or streaming content. “It’d be like freight included,” Donovan noted. More →
Last week it was discovered that a number of popular iPhone apps were invading users’ privacy and uploading entire address books to external servers. The data uploaded included full names, phone numbers and email addresses, and the offending apps never asked for permission to transfer this sensitive data. A group of researchers at the University of California at Santa Barbara and the International Security Systems Lab began a study last year to discover how and where iPhone apps were transmitting data, reports Forbes. The team found that one in five free apps in Apple’s App Store was uploading private data to external servers, and apps from Cydia, an app store for jailbroken iPhones, would leak private data less frequently than Apple-approved apps. Read on for more. More →
Apple has edged out Google to become the most reputable company of 2012, according to a study from marketing research firm Harris Interactive. The firm’s 13th annual Reputation Quotient (RQ) survey had Apple coming ahead of Google, which held the top spot in 2011’s poll. Coca-Cola, Amazon and Kraft Foods rounding out the top five. “We are seeing the emergence of a group of companies that garner reputation equity by being positively associated with multiple industries,” said Robert Fronk, executive vice president of Harris Interactive. “Companies like Apple, Google, and Amazon.com combine innovation and leadership across multiple business areas, giving them true competitive advantage.” Apple recorded an RQ score of 85.62, the highest in the survey’s history, and was the top ranked in four of the six key dimensions of reputation — financial performance, products and services, vision and leadership and workplace environment. The Cupertino-based company was topped by Whole Foods in social responsibility, and by Amazon in emotional appeal. More →
Future versions of Apple’s iOS operating system may incorporate new fitness sharing technology, according to a patent uncovered by AppleInsider. The new technology will encourage users to be more competitive by allowing them to share and compare their performance in real-time with other users around the world. The patent, which was filed only three months ago, builds upon the functionality of the Nike+ iPod system, which allows a user to complete his or her workout and then upload and share the results with others. Apple’s solution, however, would allow users to share live data with other iOS users. Read on for more.
Google on Monday announced that the company would combine individual privacy policies from a variety of its products into one main policy. Critics of the change were worried that Google was now collecting more data than before, and the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee demanded answers. The Mountain View-based company has now responded to Congress and defended its decision to change the policy. Read on for more. More →
Third-party companies that stored Megaupload’s data may delete all user files on Thursday. Megaupload customers, even those not guilty of piracy or using the service illegally, have been unable to access their files since the website was shut down on January 19th. So far, seven men have been charged for illegally allowing Megaupload users to store and share music, movies and other copyrighted content, among other things. The issue, however, is that millions of Megaupload users used the service legally to store family photos and other personal data. Megaupload doesn’t store the data itself, the AP said Monday, instead it hired Carpathia Hosting and Cogent Communications Group to store its data. A letter from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia explained that both companies may begin deleting the data as soon as this Thursday. 50 million users could have their personal photos, videos and music erased; Megaupload attorney Ira Rothken said the company is currently speaking with prosecutors in an effort to save the data.
UPDATE: Megaupload lawyer Ira Rothke on Monday confirmed that Megaupload’s hosting companies have agreed not to delete user files for two weeks, TVNZ reports. “Carpathia and Cogent agreed to preserve consumer data for additional time of at least two weeks so Megaupload can work with US on proposal,” Rothke posted on Twitter.
Speaking during a UBS conference in December, Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam said the company may roll out shared data plans in 2012. According to an unnamed source, the shared data packages could become available soon, reports Engadget. A family plan currently requires each smartphone to purchase a different data plan, but the new plans could allow all family members to share a single pool of data similar to how a they currently share voice minutes. The image above is said to show training materials that contain a new section labeled “account level data plans.” The section reportedly depicts an account-level charge for data allowance and a $9.99 charge per line. More →
Earlier this week, Google announced that the company would combine individual privacy policies from a variety of its products into one main policy. The idea behind it was to provide users with a “more intuitive Google experience.” Critics of the change are worried that Google is now collecting more data than ever, however, leading members of the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee to demand answers. Read on for more. More →
Horace Dediu of Asymco put together a graph plotting the history of personal computing over the last 37 years. Dediu took PC data published by Jeremy Reimer and added smartphone stats along with updated PC and Apple numbers from research firm Gartner. From the data we can see that when combined, Android and iOS account for a higher shipment volume than the entire PC industry. When excluding Macs, the PC industry accounted for just 336 million units shipped in 2011, in comparison to 358 million Android and iOS units. Dediu added that the iPad cannot be considered a niche product. “The absolute volume of units sold after less than two years is enough to place it within an order of magnitude of all PCs sold,” said Dediu. “We can also observe that it has a higher trajectory than the iPhone which became a disruptive force in itself.” More →
iPhone 4S users consume nearly twice the amount of data as iPhone 4 owners according to a new study. Research from Arieso suggests the phone consumes more than 3x the data of the original iPad 3G, too. “I use the iPhone 4 myself and when I first heard of the iPhone 4S features I was not compelled to rush out and get one,” Arieso’s chief technology officer Michael Flanagan said. “However, the data usage numbers I am seeing make me wonder what I am missing.” Apple’s virtual assistant Siri is likely responsible for the added data consumption, although Arieso didn’t specifically say that in its report. In addition, Arieso said just 1% of data users consume half of all downlink data. “While the report provides general trends, the studies on which they’re based demonstrate the importance to operators of understanding the increased consumption each type of smartphone brings,” Flanagan said. “Despite stark industry warnings, mobile operators are still playing ‘Guess Who?’ with their subscribers.” Arieso’s press release follows after the break. More →
Speaking during a recent UBS conference in New York City, Verizon Communications CEO Lowell McAdam said that Verizon Wireless may rollout shared data plans next year. Currently, a family of five must have a different data plan for each member of the household; however, the new plans could potentially allow all five family members to share a pool of data, much like a family would share voice minutes. The same benefits could apply to a single customer who has separate data plans for a tablet, a smartphone and a USB modem. “I think in 2012 we will see it,” McAdam said. “We have been working on this for a couple of years. Getting to one bill and getting to account-level pricing is our goal.” McAdam also said that Isis, a mobile wallet initiative created by Verizon Wireless, T-Mobile USA and AT&T, will begin a “significant” rollout of its NFC mobile payment system by the end of 2012 and that it will begin to generate revenue for Verizon by 2013. More →
Data caps that wireless carriers and internet service providers often implement on heavy data users may not be the right solution for avoiding network congestion. Instead, ISPs and carriers should throttle data speeds to ensure solid network performance. Research firm Diffraction Analysis recently set out to discover if “data hogs” — the few people on the internet who consume more data than the general population — really do have a negative effect on the overall quality of a network. Read on for more. More →