Apple denied Samsung’s proposed deal in Australia that would allow the South Korea-based company to begin selling its Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet there. Apple believes Samsung’s products are “copycat” versions of its iPad and iPhone, and that the touchscreen technology used in the Galaxy Tab 10.1 infringes on its patents. According to Reuters, Apple attorney Steven Burley said, “The main reason we are here is to prevent the launch of [the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1] and maintain the status quo.” Samsung agreed not to sell or advertise the tablet in Australia until the court reaches a decision, but time is running out. The Galaxy Tab 10.1 will be “commercially dead” if Samsung cannot get the tablet on the market by mid-October, in time for the holiday season, Samsung said. If that happens, the company’s lawyer Neil Young noted that Samsung will take its time preparing a case and will continue to fight into next year. Apple has successfully banned Samsung’s German subsidiary from selling the Galaxy Tab 10.1 and there are similar lawsuits around the globe in Japan, France and the United States. More →
Samsung recently offered Apple a secret deal in Australia that could potentially allow the South Korea-based phone maker to put its Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet on store shelves as soon as next week, The Wall Street Journal said Friday. Samsung’s lawyer David Catterns discussed the deal briefly in the Federal Court in Sydney but did not divulge the details of Samsung’s offer. However, Apple lawyer Stephen Burley suggested the iPhone maker may be interested in taking Samsung up on the offer. Samsung’s “inconvenience would be diminished and we would be comforted” if the deal was accepted, Burley explained. Apple and Samsung are locked up in multiple patent-related lawsuits around the globe, as Apple has accused Samsung of creating “copycat” versions of its iPad and iPhone. An injunction has not been leveled in Australia just yet, but Samsung has agreed not to sell or advertise the Galaxy Tab 10.1 until a judge rules whether or not Samsung is in violation of Apple’s patents.
Microsoft announced and launched a new deals website on Friday tied to its growing Bing suite of services. Bing Deals is a shopping site that compiles specials from GroupOn, Target, LivingSocial, Nordstrom and others. “Instead of building another program, we’re harnessing deals from major providers and retailers,” said Bing senior director Lisa Gurry. Microsoft’s Bing Deals offers more than 200,000 specials across the United States and, as a deal aggregator, it should eliminate the need to sign up for email alerts from multiple coupon-based services. Just like competing options, Microsoft will offer daily specials that will be accessible from its desktop website located at http://bing.com/deals and from mobile devices.
Dolby dropped a patent infringement case against Research In Motion after the two sides reached a licensing agreement, Reuters reported on Monday. Dolby filed a lawsuit against RIM on June 15th in the United States and in Germany in an attempt to block sales of BlackBerry smartphones and the BlackBerry PlayBook. The audio company also sought to recover financial damages. Dolby accused RIM of using its “highly efficient digital audio compression technologies” and filed a suit after RIM initially declined to pay licensing fees. The terms of Monday’s licensing agreement were not disclosed. Dolby’s technology is used in a number of popular smartphones from manufacturers such as Samsung, Nokia, HTC and LG. More →
Netflix on Thursday confirmed that as of early next year, it will no longer offer Starz content to its “Watch Instantly” subscribers. The streaming movie and television show service, which can be had for as little as $7.99 per month, allows users to stream any content from Netflix’s digital portfolio on demand. Said portfolio currently includes approximately 1,000 titles from the Starz movie library, and those films will all disappear as of March 1st next year when the current contract expires. According to the Los Angeles Times, Netflix offered Starz as much as $300 million per year to continue offering its content, but Starz was pushing for a deal closer to the terms it has with DirectTV and Time Warner Cable, which reportedly amounts to approximately $7 per subscriber. Netflix service starts at just $7.99 per month, so the only option was to walk away. Read on for more. More →
LetsTalk.com has announced that it is offering $50 off any Verizon Wireless smartphone purchase through August 31st, provided users sign up for a new two-year contract. The discount creates several compelling deals. For example, Verizon customers can pick up the Samsung DROID Charge 4G LTE phone for $49.99 with a new contract, or the HTC ThunderBolt 4G device for just $19. LetsTalk.com also confirmed with BGR that it expects to offer Verizon’s new BlackBerry Bold 9930 on August 31st and while final pricing for that phone is still unknown, it will be eligible for the $50 coupon for that day until the deal expires. Customers can take advantage of the LetsTalk.com deal by entering coupon code “bbaf0cf6″(updated) during check-out, and the offer is valid through August 31st. More →
Google has agreed to pay Motorola Mobility $2.5 billion if its planned acquisition of the cell phone vendor fails to close, Bloomberg claims. The report cites an anonymous source as having revealed the figure, which Bloomberg says is more than six times the typical breakup fee for such deals. Google announced on Monday that it plans to acquire Android smartphone and tablet vendor Motorola Mobility for $12.5 billion. While the proposed deal would give Google complete control over future Android device experiences, it would also add approximately 25,000 patents to the tech giant’s portfolio as it prepares to do battle with the likes of Apple and Microsoft. These patents are seemingly so important to Google that it is willing to part with a massive sum should its acquisition fail to get necessary approval. “A high reverse breakup fee shows the buyer’s confidence of getting the deal done,” Donna Hitscherich, a senior lecturer in finance at Columbia Business School, told Bloomberg. “People don’t do deals to get the breakup fee, they do them to get the deals done.” More →
By now, you’ve no doubt seen the news: Google intends to acquire Motorola Mobility for $12.5 billion. What this will do is not only give Google access to Motorola’s vast patent library consisting of nearly 25,000 patents, but it will also give Google an end-to-end hardware and software strategy with smartphones, tablets and even with Google TV. The thing is, Google didn’t need to buy Motorola. Google could have just licensed the patents from Motorola. Google bought Motorola because it felt like control of the Android experience was slipping away. It’s apparent that one Nexus-like device from Google a year won’t be enough — MOTOBLUR has probably given Andy Rubin ulcers — and it’s apparent that a company that’s leading in many areas of the smartphone arena wants to control that entire experience. Open or not, it is Google’s, after all. Smartphones and tablets are also going to be the biggest categories in technology for the foreseeable future, and if you think Google is just going to play around with that, well, you obviously haven’t seen the company’s recent moves. Read on for more. More →
While HP holds a $100-off sale of its own from Friday through Sunday, the product peddlers over at Woot managed to procure an unknown number of webOS tablets on Friday, and it’s offering them at a big discount. Woot is currently selling the 16GB HP TouchPad tablet — new, not refurbished — for $379.99. Tack on the site’s customary $5 shipping and you’re still saving $15 compared to the lowest price we’ve seen for the slate. We reviewed the HP TouchPad back in June and we found that while webOS was a pleasure to use on a large-form device, the hardware was lacking. More →
Later this month, Sprint will formally announce its plans to bring 4G LTE service to its subscribers via a network-sharing deal with Virginia-based LightSquared, CNET reports. The move, seen as inevitable by some, was outed last month when LightSquared owner Philip Falcone revealed the deal in a letter to Harbinger Capital Partners investors. “Sprint will become a significant customer of LightSquared’s 4G LTE network,” Falcone stated in the letter. The deal, which could be worth as much as $20 billion over the next 15 years according to an earlier report, will let Sprint’s U.S. network be used as the backbone for LightSquared’s 4G LTE buildout. CNET says the deal will be revealed on July 28th when Sprint reports its earnings for the June quarter. More →
Microsoft has struck a deal to provide English search results in Baidu, China’s most popular search engine. According to The Wall Street Journal, Microsoft anticipates that the Bing-labeled English search results will help expand its Bing brand in China. Baidu also hopes that the partnership will help its efforts to expand its search engine to the global market. Chinese users typically use Google for English search results, however, the Chinese government has blocked that search engine — and other Google services, such as the newly launched Google+ — from time to time. Baidu will begin implementing Bing results later this year, although neither company provided an exact date as to when that functionality would be added.
Sprint’s CEO Dan Hesse has been a staunch opponent to AT&T’s planned $39 billion acquisition of T-Mobile. He has already proclaimed that the merger would “stifle innovation” in the U.S. wireless market, and now he’s stepping up his game. “Clearly, purely, we want to win and block the merger,” Hesse told Bloomberg in a recent interview. Reportedly, the CEO is working with 18 state regulators to stop the deal, and has even been speaking to CEOs of large U.S. tech firms to get others to speak out against the acquisition. Hesse says he wants the best for the entire industry, not just for Sprint. “The industry just won’t be as innovative and as dynamic as it has been,” he said. “It’ll gum up the works when everything has to go through these two big tollbooths, one that’s called AT&T and one that’s called Verizon.” AT&T’s CEO, Randall Stephenson, has argued the opposite. Stephenson says the merger will improve reliability on his network and will result in net job growth. Despite AT&T’s backing from major industry players such as Facebook, Microsoft, and Qualcomm, Hesse isn’t giving up. “An underdog is not thinking about the point spread; they’re thinking about winning the game,” Hesse said. “We can win this.” More →
Sprint has reached a deal to deploy a 4G LTE network with LightSquared, Bloomberg reports. The deal could be worth as much as $20 billion over the next 15 years according to the report. “LightSquared and Sprint will jointly develop, deploy and operate LightSquared’s 4G LTE network,” LightSquared owner Philip Falcone wrote in a letter to Harbinger Capital Partners investors on Friday. “Sprint will become a significant customer of LightSquared’s 4G LTE network.” It is unclear what implications the deal might have for Sprint’s current 4G WiMAX network. A Sprint spokesperson declined to comment. More →