AT&T CEO blames Google for slow Android updates, Google fires back

By on May 8, 2012 at 9:00 AM.

AT&T CEO blames Google for slow Android updates, Google fires back

AT&T CEO blames Google for slow Android updates, Google fires back

When asked about the slow roll-out of updates for its Android-powered smartphones and tablets, AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson claimed Google was at fault and the carrier could do nothing about it. “Google determines what platform gets the newest releases and when,” the executive said. “A lot of times, that’s a negotiated arrangement and that’s something we work at hard. We know that’s important to our customers. That’s kind of an ambiguous answer because I can’t give you a direct answer in this setting.” The Mountain View-based company has fired back, however, and said the CEO’s statements are not accurate.  More →

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Wireless carriers continue to battle phone subsidies

By on May 8, 2012 at 7:45 AM.

Wireless carriers continue to battle phone subsidies

Wireless carriers continue to battle phone subsidies

Wireless carriers have traditionally made money off lengthy two-year service agreements, rather than physical device sales. In the age of smartphones, however, carriers are footing the bill for expensive handsets that result in smaller margins, while phone makers such as Apple reap the benefits. To combat traditional phone subsidies, carriers in the U.S. have continued to raise monthly rates and employ new and higher fees. In Europe, service providers are taking more aggressive measures, with some carriers refusing to subsidize devices for new customers. The carriers’ latest cries of resistance are drawing applause from investors and analysts alike, who say carriers could benefit more from the smartphone boom if they raise contract prices and slow the rate at which customers buy new phones. More →

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Angry Birds generated $106 million for Rovio in 2011

By on May 8, 2012 at 1:15 AM.

Angry Birds generated $106 million for Rovio in 2011

Angry Birds generated $106 million for Rovio in 2011

Rovio on Monday announced the company’s financial results for 2011. The mobile game developer generated $106.3 million in sales based on the success of its Angry Birds games and strong merchandising business. “The strong growth in revenue clearly demonstrates the popularity of the Angry Birds brand.” Mikael Hed, Rovio CEO said. “The heavy investments made in 2011 to all business areas will be seen in future products. To ensure continuous success we need to be creative and stay focused on entertaining our millions of fans by continuously developing new and innovative products and services.” Rovio’s three Angry Birds offerings in 2011 — Angry Birds, Angry Birds Seasons and Angry Birds Rio — were downloaded 648 million times and featured 200 million active monthly users. The company expects business to continue to grow well into 2012. “We are very optimistic about 2012 due to significant investments in product development, cutting-edge branding, brand protection and corporate infrastructure,“ the CEO said. Rovio’s press release follows below. More →

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More than 50% of U.S. mobile users own smartphones

By on May 7, 2012 at 8:15 PM.

More than 50% of U.S. mobile users own smartphones

Over 50 percent of US mobile users own smartphones

The majority of mobile subscribers in the United Stated now own a smartphone according to the latest numbers from Nielsen. The research firm found that 50.4% of all U.S. mobile subscribers owned smartphones in March, up from 47.8% in December 2011. Consumers purchasing new phones picked smartphones more often than featured phones, with Apple called the top manufacturer and Android as the top platform. During the first quarter of 2012, 48% of smartphone owners had an Android-powered device, while 32% of devices ran iOS and 11.6% were on the BlackBerry platform. The dated Windows Mobile OS owned a 4.1% share of the market, ahead of Windows Phone at 1.7%. More →

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Microsoft may be forced to give Nokia a bail out

By on May 7, 2012 at 7:00 PM.

Microsoft may be forced to give Nokia a bail out

Microsoft may be forced to bail out Nokia

Nokia continues to struggle as the once dominant cell phone maker continues to lose share in both the smartphone and broader mobile market. The Finnish vendor’s Lumia handsets have yet to take off and Nokia’s stock has tumbled 90% over the past five years. Nokia CEO Stephen Elop may look toward his former employer, Microsoft, to step in and help the troubled handset maker, Reuters suggests. The company’s partnership with the software giant is seen as a last chance to turn its business around. Microsoft is already paying Nokia $1 billion a year to use the Windows Phone platform, and many analysts believe the company may be willing to help out further if Nokia’s problems were to intensify. More →

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New iPhone app enables self-destructing sext messages

By on May 7, 2012 at 3:30 PM.

New iPhone app enables self-destructing sext messages

New iPhone app enables self-destructing sext messages

Sexting, or the act of sending sexually explicit messages or photographs between mobile phones, continues to grow increasingly popular. Mobile users often have private photos posted to the Internet without their permission, and politicians and celebrities alike have taken explicit photos that using mobile devices that were eventually leaked. Unfortunately for Anthony Weiner, the congressman wasn’t aware of an iPhone app by the name of Snapchat. The program is available for free in Apple’s App Store and allows users to send photos that self-destruct within 1-10 seconds. Images cannot be saved in the app, and Snapchat will even notify users if the recipient takes a screenshot — though there is no way to prevent screenshots from being taken, of course. It should also be noted that images are stored on the developer’s servers, and while the company “attempt(s) to delete image data as soon as possible after the message is transmitted,” it cannot guarantee messages will always be deleted. “Messages, therefore, are sent at the risk of the user,” the company’s privacy policy warns. More →

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Samsung looking to acquire mobile companies (but not RIM)

By on May 4, 2012 at 10:00 PM.

Samsung looking to acquire mobile companies (but not RIM)

Samsung looking to acquire mobile company (but not RIM)

J.K. Shin, president of Samsung’s mobile business, sat down with The Wall Street Journal and revealed that the South Korean manufacturer has begun aggressively hiring foreign software engineers in an effort keep pace with Apple’s iPhone. Samsung, which has traditionally developed its own hardware, is also embracing the possibility of making key acquisitions in the mobile space. “The technology industry is growing very quickly and it is too much of a burden to try to do everything in-house,” Shin said. “There are many qualified workers from India that are very skilled in software. And there are small companies that we can acquire that have good research and development capabilities.” More →

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Android lost money in 2010

By on May 4, 2012 at 8:45 PM.

Android lost money in 2010

Android lost money in 2010

During Google’s ongoing legal dispute with Oracle, the judge presiding over the case revealed the Internet giant’s Android mobile operating system was not profitable in 2010, Reuters reported. Google does not publicly report financial information regarding its Android operating system, however the judge did not disclose specific figures, but instead said it lost money in each quarter of 2010. “That adds up to a big loss for the whole year,” he said. Oracle argued that Google should not be able to deduct certain Android expenses for the purposes of copyright damages related to the case. More →

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Mobile porn revenue to reach almost $1 billion by 2015

By on May 4, 2012 at 11:15 AM.

Mobile porn revenue to reach almost $1 billion by 2015

Mobile porn revenue to balloon

Juniper Research’s latest report estimates that mobile adult content subscriptions will reach nearly $1 billion by 2015, led by increased growth in the smartphone and tablet markets, along with the availability of increasingly faster mobile data connections. The firm states that tablets offer a “more engaging experience,” allowing users to see content in more detail and delivering more browsing options. The porn industry still faces many hurdles in emerging markets, however, due to the limitations of low-end smartphones, lack of viable payment methods and legal and social barriers. North America and Western Europe are expected to account for over 70% of the total end-user mobile adult revenues, and the numbers of individual who use adult video chat services will more than triple by 2015, accounting for more than half of all mobile porn revenue. More →

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Nokia prepping 'hybrid' devices and tablets, admits it failed to adapt

By on May 3, 2012 at 11:45 PM.

Nokia prepping 'hybrid' devices and tablets, admits it failed to adapt

Nokia prepping hybrid devices and tablets

Nokia’s outgoing Chairman Jorma Ollila told the Financial Times the company plans to launch a range of tablets and “hybrid” smart mobile devices, although no time frame was given, Reuters reported. The Chairman, who has been with the company for 27 years, admitted that Nokia acted too slow at the start of the smartphone revolution. He believes, however, that the combination of new products and Nokia services will help the company recover.”Tablets are an important one, so that is being looked into, and there will be different hybrids, different form factors in the future,” he said. Nokia’s failed smartphone strategy has cost the company dearly. Due to Samsung’s success in the market, the South Korean manufacturer recently ended Nokia’s 14-year streak as the world’s top mobile phone vendor. More →

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Smartphone shipments estimated to reach 1.7 billion in 2017, led by Android

By on May 3, 2012 at 9:15 PM.

Smartphone shipments estimated to reach 1.7 billion in 2017, led by Android

Smartphone shipments to reach 1.7 billion in 2017

Market research firm Ovum estimates that smartphone shipments will continue to grow and reach 1.7 billion units in 2017. The company cites increased demand from emerging markets, alongside the growth of Android, which will fuel ballooning handset shipments. “Android will dominate the smartphone market over the next five years,” said Adam Leach, principal analyst at Ovum. “While Apple has defined the smartphone market since it introduced the iPhone in 2007, we’re now seeing a sharp rise in the shipment volumes of Android, signaling its appeal to leading handset manufacturers.” Android-powered handsets accounted for 44% of the smartphone market in 2011, a significant increase from 17% in 2010. The firm estimates Android’s share will reach 48% in 2017 and Apple’s iOS will account for 27% of the smartphone market, an increase from 23% in 2011. “Although it will remain behind Android in terms of shipment volumes, Apple will continue to be a key player and innovator in the smartphone market over the forecast period,” said Leach. “We expect Microsoft, despite its slow start, to have established Windows Phone as a relevant smartphone platform by 2017.” Ovum’s press release follows below. More →

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Samsung Galaxy S III coming to Sprint

By on May 3, 2012 at 6:55 PM.

Samsung Galaxy S III coming to Sprint

Samsung Galaxy S III coming to Sprint

During Samsung’s announcement of its flagship Galaxy S III smartphone, the manufacturer did not reveal which U.S. carriers would offer the device. According to The Verge’s anonymous sources, however, Sprint will launch the highly anticipated handset later this year. The nation’s third-largest carrier has previously offered a variant of the Galaxy S, Galaxy S II, Nexus S and Galaxy Nexus smartphones. While details surrounding a Sprint-specific model are unavailable at this time, the device will most likely run on the carrier’s upcoming 4G LTE network. More →

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Numerous websites found to contain malware specifically targeting Android devices

By on May 3, 2012 at 5:40 PM.

Numerous websites found to contain malware specifically targeting Android devices

Android malware found on numerous websites

Hacked websites are frequently used to infect PCs with malware, however the team at Lookout Mobile Security has discovered that hacked websites are specifically targeting Android-powered mobile devices for the first time. The malware, called NotCompatible, is a Trojan that poses as a system update but acts like a proxy redirect. After visiting an infected website, the Android mobile web browser will automatically begin downloading the NotCompatible malware, which is named “Update.apk.” Like any drive-by downloads, to become infected a user needs to install the downloaded application. The malware is found on a number of websites, but all have relatively low traffic. Lookout notes that the threat does not appear to cause any direct harm to an infected device, although it could potentially be used to gain illicit access to private networks by turning an infected Android device into a proxy. If an Android device has the “Unknown sources” settings disabled — thus disabling sideloading — the NotCompatible malware will be unable to install. More →

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