This week we sit down with Jo Harlow, the executive vice president in charge of Nokia’s (NOK) smart devices, to talk about the company’s current and future lineup as well as Nokia’s challenges and hurdles. Nokia is obviously deeply invested in Windows Phone, but how much of a role will Microsoft (MSFT) play in the company’s future? What about Windows 8? Well, from our conversation, it sounds like Nokia is interested in building a tablet, and we think Nokia might even release one in the coming months. All this and more on this week’s episode of The BGR Show. More →
Apple CEO Tim Cook opened up All Things Digital’s tenth annual conference on Tuesday evening and while no one expected any product announcements during his time on stage with Walt Mossberg and Kara Swisher, all eyes were on Cook during one of his first public appearances as CEO. Highlights from the interview:
- Cook believes the system that governs standards-essential patents is broken, and he says that Apple’s ongoing patent disputes with rival vendors like Samsung and HTC are a “pain in the ass.” We’re sure Samsung, HTC and other vendors targeted by Apple would agree.
- While the company is considering killing off its social network flop “Ping,” integration with social services like Facebook will play a more important role in iOS moving forward.
- Tim Cook would like to see his company launch products that are made in America.
- Where Apple’s voice-controlled virtual assistant Siri is concerned, Cook made it clear that big things are coming in the next few months. “There’s more that it can do,” Cook said. “We have a lot of people working on this. You’ll be really pleased with the things you’ll see over the coming months. The breadth that you’re talking about… we’ve got some cool ideas about what Siri can do. We have a lot going on on this.”
- Cook wouldn’t comment specifically on the upcoming “iTV” Apple is widely rumored to be readying for launch, but he did say Apple will focus more on the television market moving forward. “This is an area of intense interest for us,” Cook said while speaking about Apple TV, noting that Apple has sold more than 2.7 million Apple TVs so far in 2012. “We’re going to keep pulling this string and see where it takes us.” Some reports suggest Apple’s HDTV will launch in the fourth quarter this year.
- While he obviously didn’t get into specifics, the CEO mentioned that we can expect exciting new product launches from Apple in the near future. Apple’s annual WWDC convention kicks off next month and the rumor mill suggests we’ll see new MacBooks and iMacs unveiled with Retina Displays.
Apple may be the most valuable company in the world, but when it comes to security, the Cupertino-based company doesn’t hold a candle to Microsoft. Kaspersky Lab co-founder and chief executive Eugene Kaspersky on Wednesday told CBR that Apple is a decade behind Microsoft in terms of computer security. “I think they are ten years behind Microsoft in terms of security,” Kaspersky said. “For many years I’ve been saying that from a security point of view there is no big difference between Mac and Windows. It’s always been possible to develop Mac malware, but [Flashback] was a bit different. For example it was asking questions about being installed on the system and, using vulnerabilities, it was able to get to the user mode without any alarms.” More than 600,000 Macs were infected by the Flashback trojan virus before it was discovered earlier this month and the exploit it used to infect OS X PCs was patched. “Apple will understand very soon that they have the same problems Microsoft had ten or 12 years ago,” Kaspersky said. “They will have to make changes in terms of the cycle of updates and so on and will be forced to invest more into their security audits for the software.”
It isn’t uncommon for companies to scan through the Internet looking for information on potential hires. Young job seekers, however, have found ways to avoid having prying eyes find private data by applying a wide-range of privacy settings to their Facebook accounts. Now, the Associated Press reported on Tuesday that numerous employers are asking potential hires to hand over login credentials to their email accounts, social networking websites and other online services. The ACLU immediately blasted the practice, calling it “an invasion of privacy” and insisting that “people are entitled to their private lives.” Sen. Richard Blumenthal echoed these concerns and is now drafting a bill to make such actions illegal. Read on for more. More →
Apple and Samsung have met in court dozens of times over designs, patents and more over the past few years. Among Apple’s numerous complaints was the repeated allegation that Samsung smartphones and tablets are copycat devices that stole numerous elements from the iPhone and iPad’s designs. While similarities between rival gadgets are sometimes bound to appear from time to time — Apple’s own iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S feature a design that is quite familiar — the Samsung executive responsible for the Galaxy S II design has finally spoken out in response to claims that the device is an iPhone clone. More →
Sprint chief executive Dan Hesse is being watched closely by the company’s board of directors, but the CEO has to answer to investors and subscribers as well. Last year in October, Hesse revealed that the company is placing a massive $15.5 billion bet on Apple’s iPhone, and in a recent interview with the GSMA’s Mobile World Live blog, Hesse defended the move, which has been criticized by a number of industry watchers. Read on for more. More →
Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom on Thursday questioned his accusers’ motives while speaking to The Guardian. “I’m no piracy king,” Dotcom told the paper. “I offered online storage and bandwidth to users and that’s it.” Dotcom was arrested in his New Zealand mansion on January 20th after his notorious Megaupload service was shuttered earlier that week as part of a multi-agency sting across several countries. He was released on bail and it currently awaiting trial, having been accused of money laundering, violating piracy laws and a number of other crimes. “It’s kind of like weapon of mass destructions in Iraq, you know?” Dotcom said during an interview with The Guardian. “If you want to go after someone and you have a political goal you will say whatever it takes.” Read on for more. More →
Sony has no plans to launch smartphones with more powerful quad-core processors this year, a Sony Mobile Communications executive confirmed on Wednesday. Speaking with CNET Asia, Sony Mobile product marketing manager Stephen Sneeden said he believes Sony will wait until 2013 to launch smartphones powered by quad-core processors like NVIDIA’s Tegra 3. “We’re going to join quad-core when we feel that the performance matches the battery efficiency,” Sneeden said. “Because right now we don’t feel that is there. What we are going to be doing in the second-half of the year is moving to the Cortex A15 architecture, which we feel outperforms the current quad-core architecture.” While smartphone vendors like HTC, ZTE and others were busy unveiling quad-core Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich phones at Mobile World Congress this past week, Sony took the wraps off two new dual-core Xperia smartphones that will launch with Android 2.3 Gingerbread. “You’ll see in 2013, as we’re evaluating the quad-core performance where it makes sense, where you’re not suffering in quality and the performance truly is there, and there really is something that demanding applications need,” Sneeden added. “That’s when we make the right move to quad-core.” More →
Apple and Foxconn have each responded to various claims made in ABC’s Nightline segment that took a look inside two Foxconn factories in an effort to shed light on their working conditions. Responding to a comment made by one worker who claimed she carves aluminum shavings from 6,000 iPad cases each day, Apple said this was likely the result of a miscommunication. “In manufacturing parlance this is called deburring. Her line processes 3,000 units per shift, with two shifts per day for a total of 6,000. A single operator at Ms. Zhou’s station would deburr 3,000 iPads in a shift,” Apple told ABC. Read on for more. More →
Apple deviated from its standard closed-door approach to unveiling new software earlier this week and gave a number of media outlets early access to an upcoming version of its OS X operating system for Macs. Apple’s OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion will launch this summer, featuring a wide range of enhancements that will see Apple’s desktop platform look and behave more like its mobile platform. Executives from the Cupertino, California-based technology giant even met with reporters personally to demonstrate the new software, perhaps in an effort to help foster the same type of enthusiasm for OS X that iOS enjoys. During one such meeting with The Wall Street Journal, Apple CEO Tim Cook shed some light on the PC industry from Apple’s point of view. Read on for more. More →
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 shattered sales records when it launched last November. The wildly popular first-person shooter sold an estimated 6.5 million copies and pulled in more than $400 million during its first 24 hours of availability, and more than 12 million copies were purchased over the game’s launch week, racking up about $740 million in revenue. But Activision isn’t done, of course, and the next major launch in the Call of Duty franchise is shaping up to be a big one. “The next Call of Duty will bring meaningful innovation to the series,” Activision Publishing chief Eric Hirshberg told The Guardian. The executive wouldn’t elaborate on exactly how the next major CoD release — presumably Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 — might revolutionize the popular game, but he undoubtedly piqued the interest of millions of gamers around the world. Despite being released in mid-November last year, Activision’s Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 was still the best-selling video game in the U.S. last month according to recent data from market research firm The NPD Group. More →
Former Research In Motion co-CEO and co-Chairman Mike Lazaridis said in a recent interview that he had been planning to step down from his role at the helm of the company for several years. While speaking with The Record, Lazaridis confessed that he had been planning to relinquish his co-CEO role for several years leading up to January 22nd when RIM announced that Lazaridis and co-CEO Jim Balsillie were stepping down. Lazaridis said in the interview that he had been grooming new CEO Thorsten Heins for the CEO position since he was first hired in 2007, but the former chief did not explain why he waited so long to step down while RIM’s stock plummeted and investors clamored for new leadership. Though Lazaridis is no longer RIM’s top executive, he will continue to play an active role on the company’s board. He also said he plans to purchase an additional $50 million in RIM stock. “This company has a strong balance sheet of $1.5 billion,” Lazaridis said. “It has strong sales of over $5 billion a quarter. This is a strong organization with a strong global brand, an iconic product and a strong future.” More →
Investors had been clamoring for Research In Motion co-founders Jim Balsillie and Mike Lazaridis to relinquish their co-CEO and co-chairman roles, and the company finally announced this past Sunday that Balsillie and Lazaridis were out, replaced by new chairperson of the board Barbara Stymiest and new chief executive officer Thorsten Heins. RIM’s stock plunged more than 13% when Heins introduced himself as the company’s new CEO, due in large part to a video interview during which he essentially told the same story RIM’s former chiefs have been telling for more than a year. The new CEO has since backed away from the company’s old it’s OK, we’re OK message while speaking to the press and analysts, however, and it is no coincidence that RIM’s stock has recovered a bit as Heins assures investors that change is brewing. Read on for more. More →