Oh nooo. That was the first thought that crossed my mind as I began to read Jon Zilber’s post on HP’s company blog. Quoting Mark Twain? Oh no he didn’t. In a nutshell, Zilber’s intent was to correct the world’s press, which collectively played Taps while standing over webOS’s grave this past week. “To paraphrase Mark Twain, reports about the demise of webOS have been off the mark,” Zilber wrote. “HP has made these tough decisions to ensure that our efforts with webOS remain tightly focused. Far from burying webOS, our goal is to ensure the platform’s evolution as a robust operating system for an increasingly mobile and connected world.” OK, time to set the record straight. Read on for more.
It may seem that Google’s other Android partners would be upset by the search giant’s decision to acquire Motorola for $12.5 billion but that’s apparently not the case. Execs from HTC, LG, Samsung and Sony Ericsson spoke in support of the purchase earlier on Monday, and now HTC has issued a second statement on the deal. “We are supportive of Google’s acquisition of Motorola Mobility as this is a positive development to the Android ecosystem, which we believe is beneficial to HTC’s promotion of Android phones,” an HTC spokesperson told BGR on Monday. “The partnership between HTC and Google remains strong and will not be affected by this acquisition.” HTC’s CEO Peter Chou said his company welcomes the acquisition and noted Google’s commitment to defending Android, its partners and the entire ecosystem. Google’s CEO Larry Page said that the acquisition will allow Google to “better protect Android from anti-competitive threats from Microsoft, Apple and other companies.”
Nokia’s head of North American sales Chris Weber sat down in an interview Business Insider recently and explained how the Finnish company will regain its market share in the United States by writing “one of the greatest turnaround stories in history.” Weber said that Nokia will release a number of new smartphone models running Microsoft’s Windows Phone Mango operating system and will compete with Android by pricing several of them lower than the cheapest Android models. Weber reconfirmed that Nokia is still on track to release its first Windows Phone handset this year, likely the SeaRay device we’ve seen leaked, but said the majority of its phones will begin to land next year. Business Insider also said that Nokia is deeply integrated with Microsoft’s plans for a complete tablet, PC and mobile phone ecosystem, which loosely suggests Nokia may have a tablet in the works, too. More →
HP is working on phones and tablets with built-in near-field communication (NFC) technology for mobile payments, Bloomberg reported on Monday. Much like Google Wallet, which will soon launch for the Nexus S and eventually other Android devices, HP hopes its customers will be able to use the company’s products to make mobile purchases in retail outlets. Similarly, HP has a plan to create an entire ecosystem where users will be able to to receive coupons or other benefits, such as loyalty points, from NFC-enabled advertisements. While sources told Bloomberg the products could launch by year-end, HP hasn’t been known to deliver new mobile devices to the market very quickly in the past. It’s also still unclear who the company’s mobile payment partners will be. More →
The wait is over — Netflix finally announced on Thursday that its Android application is now available in the Android Market. But there’s a catch: it’s only supported on “select phones that have the requisite playback support.” If your device isn’t on Netflix’s approved list just yet, don’t fret, as the firm says it will add to its supported devices list over time. The video streaming service is already available on Windows Phone and iOS, so why did it take so long to hit Android? “Because the platform has evolved so rapidly, there are some significant challenges associated with developing a streaming video application for this ecosystem,” Netflix product team member Roma De said. “One of these challenges is the lack of standard streaming playback features that the Netflix application can use to gain penetration across all available Android phones. In the absence of standardization, we have to test each individual handset and launch only on those that can support playback.” Netflix for Android currently runs on the HTC Incredible, Nexus One, and EVO 4G with Android 2.2 installed. It’s also supported on the Nexus S and Nexus One with Android 2.3 installed. More →
AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson gave a keynote presentation at Mobile World Congress on Tuesday, during which he shared some interesting thoughts surrounding Apple’s iOS App Store. Stephenson expressed some distaste for the way Apple’s application ecosystem is set up at the moment, saying customers shouldn’t have to lose all of their apps if they switch to a device other than the iPhone. “You purchase an app for one operating system, and if you want it on another device or platform, you have to buy it again,” Stephenson said during his speech. “That’s not how our customers expect to experience this environment.” He went on to essentially call HTML5 the answer to the problem — more specifically, the carrier-run Wholesale Applications Community is the answer to the problem. WAC is a Web-based app store of sorts that houses Web apps theoretically compatible with any device that uses an HTML5-capable browser. The apps within will be limited in function for the time being, since only native apps can take advantage of all of the developer tools available for various platforms. That won’t stop carriers from pitching WAC, however, as they continue to search for ways to make money off of the booming economy apps have created. Each of the four major cellular carriers in the U.S. is a member of WAC, so expect to hear about it quite a bit moving forward. More →