Federal grand jury to investigate Apple, Google over app privacy concerns

By on April 4, 2011 at 5:11 PM.

Federal grand jury to investigate Apple, Google over app privacy concerns

A new report filed by The Wall Street Journal suggests that New Jersey federal prosecutors are beginning to take a long, hard look at mobile applications. The publication writes that a grand jury will investigate whether iOS and Android applications distributed by Apple and Google “illegally obtain or transmit information about their users without proper disclosures.” Several application makers, including Pandora Media, informed the Journal that were issued subpoenas by the court, but have been told that they are not the target of the impending litigation.

“In early 2011, we were served with a subpoena to produce documents in connection with a federal grand jury, which we believe was convened to investigate the information sharing processes of certain popular applications that run on the Apple and Android mobile platforms,” Pandora noted in a regulatory filing on Monday.

The investigation aims to determine whether mobile application developers have violated the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act by transmitting anonymized (read: not so anonymized) data to app makers and/or third-parties. The report notes that prosecutors could charge individuals or companies with a “felony or misdemeanor” or could “pursue civil charges.” Neither Google nor Apple responded to the WSJ‘s request for comment. More →

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WSJ: Google to hook up with MasterCard, Citigroup in mobile payments venture

By on March 28, 2011 at 6:59 PM.

WSJ: Google to hook up with MasterCard, Citigroup in mobile payments venture

According to the Wall Street Journal, Google, MasterCard, and Citigroup are collaborating to bring mobile payments, via NFC, to Android smartphones. Citing anonymous sources, the publication writes that the new service would “allow holders of Citigroup-issued debit and credit cards to pay for purchases by activating a mobile-payment application developed for one current model and many coming models of Android phones.” The report also notes that users of the mobile payment service will be delivered “targeted ads or discount offers” — which will be sold by Google. Ed McLaughlin, Chief Emerging Payments Officer at MasterCard, provided BGR with the following statement:

We are aware of the speculation that appeared in the Wall Street Journal today concerning our role within mobile payments with Citi and Google. However, we do not comment on market rumor or speculation. What we can tell you is that we are pleased to see great interest in NFC technology – it is a very high priority at MasterCard – and we think that 2011 will be the year of mobile payments.

It is assumed that both MasterCard and Citigroup will profit from the venture by dividing the fees assessed to retailers for accepting credit payments. Google will generate revenue from the sale of the aforementioned, targeted adverts and coupons. The purported system is expected to be released sometime “this year.” More →

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CDMA iPhone and iPad 2 chatter grows ahead of Verizon’s January 11th announcement

By on January 10, 2011 at 7:52 AM.

CDMA iPhone and iPad 2 chatter grows ahead of Verizon’s January 11th announcement

Last Friday, technology-centric Internet sites exploded when news of a January 11th Verizon press conference broke. The nation’s largest wireless provider is expected to finally announce the highly-anticipated, oft-rumored, CDMA iPhone. Media outlets ranging from AllThingsD to the Wall Street Journal have emphatically proclaimed that an iPhone announcement is in the works. The publications have also reported that the unannounced device will have a truly unlimited data plan. Speculation is not, however, isolated to this one event and this one device. Digg founder Kevin Rose has thrown his hat into the ring with a next generation iPad prediction. Reporting on “good authority,” Mr. Rose notes:

Apple will be announcing the iPad 2 in the next “3-4 weeks”, possibly Tuesday February 1st. The iPad 2 will feature a retina display and front/back cameras.

Mr. Rose, who has speculated about Apple-specific announcements before and has a fairly reputable track record, did not offer any additional details about the device.

Whatever Verizon has planned, we’ll know at 11:00AM ET tomorrow.
More →

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Wall Street Journal: Verizon announcing iPhone on the 11th

By on January 7, 2011 at 5:44 PM.

Wall Street Journal: Verizon announcing iPhone on the 11th

Perhaps you’re one of those people who prefer a second opinion on things. Be it where you’re eating dinner, what movie you’re going to see, or what cell phone Verizon is going to announce on January 11th, you like validation from a third party. The Wall Street Journal has just published a report — citing “a person familiar with the matter” — that states Verizon will indeed pull the curtain on the fabled Verizon iPhone. There you have it, reaffirmation from an additional media outlet. Any skeptics still out there? More →

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WSJ: Vizio plans to announce Android phone, tablet intentions today

By on January 3, 2011 at 7:29 AM.

WSJ: Vizio plans to announce Android phone, tablet intentions today

According to a report by the Wall Street Journal, TV manufacturer Vizio plans to announce its intentions to break into the Android smartphone and tablet market sometime today. “The Irvine, Calif., company said its first mobile phone, to be called Via Phone, will have a 4-inch screen, a front-facing camera for video calls, a rear-facing five megapixel camera and the capability to shoot video,” writes the Journal. The article goes on to note the Vizio will also introduce an 8-inch Android tablet with a “high-resolution screen, WiFi wireless connectivity; three speakers; and a front-facing camera for video conferencing.” Vizio is expected to release both its tablet and smartphone offerings in the summer of 2011. More →

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WSJ: International Trade Commision will side with Nokia in Apple patent case

By on November 4, 2010 at 12:04 AM.

WSJ: International Trade Commision will side with Nokia in Apple patent case

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that International Trade Commission (ITC) staffers, in a pre-hearing statement, noted that evidence in a pending patent-case Apple launched against Nokia will “not establish a violation.” Nokia and Apple have been exchanging legal blows since October of 2009; both companies have filed multiple complaints with the ITC in an attempt to get the competition’s importing rights banned.

“The ITC staff said on Monday that some of the Apple patents were invalid and others weren’t infringed,” writes the WSJ. “The statement said that if a judge determines Nokia violated patents, he should ban some Nokia phones from being imported into the U.S.”

The judge is expected to render a final decision in February. More →

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Microsoft and AT&T to unveil Windows Phone 7 handsets October 11?

By on September 30, 2010 at 7:59 PM.

Microsoft and AT&T to unveil Windows Phone 7 handsets October 11?

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that, “Microsoft Corp. will unveil a lineup of smartphones using the revamped version of its mobile operating system on Oct. 11,” and that AT&T will begin selling said devices in early November. Microsoft does have an event planned for October 11 — Columbus Day — in New York City (which we will be at), but we’re not sure any significant announcements will be made at the open-house style event. Perhaps there is another, mysterious event planned for that day? We’ll try to dig up some more information and report back. More →

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WSJ: MetroPCS to launch LTE services next month

By on August 27, 2010 at 10:35 AM.

WSJ: MetroPCS to launch LTE services next month

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that a Samsung has executive publicly stated that U.S. pre-paid wireless provider MetroPCS will launch its new 4G LTE-based network next month. Jaebeom Choi, vice president of systems research and development for Samsung, quipped that MetroPCS will light-up their LTE network in Las Vegas and Dallas sometime in September. The company’s first LTE device will be the Samsung Craft, which we reported on earlier this month. If the VP’s statements are accurate, the company — which is currently the fifth largest wireless provider in the U.S. — will be the first Stateside wireless carrier to offer LTE services publicly. When contacted, MetroPCS declined to comment on the report. Now all the company needs is a better marketing campaign to promote their new service.

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RIM: your BlackBerry data is secure, even from governments

By on August 2, 2010 at 5:30 PM.

RIM: your BlackBerry data is secure, even from governments

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that BlackBerry maker Research In Motion has issued a statement to its customers letting them know just how secure their data is. The handset maker reminded everyone that “no one, including RIM” could access BlackBerry user data as it is encrypted without a master key, and that it would “be unable to accommodate any request” for access to the data. RIM continued, the system is designed “to exclude the capability for RIM or any third party to read encrypted information under any circumstances.” The statement comes on the heels of this weekend’s decision by the United Arab Emirates to suspend BlackBerry data services in the country due to reasons related to national security. RIM has not released an official statement regarding talks with the UAE citing the confidentiality of discussions at the government level. More →

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Nokia looking for new CEO

By on July 20, 2010 at 9:10 AM.

Nokia looking for new CEO

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The Wall Street Journal is reporting that mobile giant Nokia is on the hunt for a new CEO. The WSJ claims the motivating factor is the current CEO’s “struggle to find traction for the company in the market for high-end smartphones.” The source went on to say that the company is very serious about this matter and should have a decision rendered by “the end of this month.” What do you think? Too little too late? Or is a change of leadership exactly what Nokia needs right now? More →

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HTC EVO 4G delays hurting Sprint's 4G strategy

By on July 12, 2010 at 6:48 AM.

HTC EVO 4G delays hurting Sprint's 4G strategy

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While speaking to the Wall Street Journal, Sprint CEO Dan Hesse was quoted as saying, “we thought we would have more of a head start than we’ll end up having.” The CEO was referring to his company’s first-to-market 4G strategy, and more specifically about their industry first 3G/4G hybrid phone; the HTC EVO 4G. Currently, the device is listed as “delayed,” and does not have a potential shipping date on Sprint’s website. Sprint has yet to release official sales figures for the handset, but analyst firm Macquarie Group is estimating that around 300,000 EVOs have been sold and that demand is still high. HTC, the manufacturer of the device, is citing part shortages from third-party vendors as the root cause of the delays. HTC has said that they have signed several different contracts with other vendors (including Sony) to provide LCD screens and other parts for future handsets in an attempt to prevent delays. Anyone out there trying to get an HTC EVO without success? More →

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HTC sees profits jump 33%, revenue 58% year-over-year

By on July 6, 2010 at 6:42 AM.

HTC sees profits jump 33%, revenue 58% year-over-year

htc-logo

The WSJ is reporting that Taiwanese handset maker HTC saw Q2 unaudited net profits rise 33% in 2010. Some key metrics from HTC’s Q2 include: $268 million in unedited profit, earnings of $0.37/share, and revenue growth of 58% (beating out HTC’s April forecast of 50% growth). Yuanta Securities analyst, Bonnie Chang, predicts that HTC will ship over 20 million handsets this year, up from 12 million in 2009. All-in-all a very impressive Q2 for HTC. More →

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Nokia to pass on Android, focus on MeeGo and Symbian

By on July 1, 2010 at 8:03 PM.

Nokia to pass on Android, focus on MeeGo and Symbian

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Anssi Vanjoki, the head of Nokia’s new Mobile Solutions unit, sat down with the Wall Street Journal on Thursday to discuss the future of Nokia’s struggling mobile phone business. In the brief but pointed interview, Vanjoki re-confirmed Nokia’s commitment to Symbian and MeeGo, a Linux-based mobile OS  jointly created Nokia and Intel. For the time being, Symbian will remain an integral part of the mobile giant’s handset lineup while MeeGo will form the base for a growing number of upcoming handheld gadgets, including its flagship N-series lineup. Nokia continues to push out handsets, with the Symbian^3-powered N8 slated for launch in Q3, while the first MeeGo devices are expected to land by the end of the year. Nokia shot down any possibility of an Android handset by claiming that it can best create value by focusing on its own hardware and software. Speaking of hardware, Vanjoki assures US consumers that Nokia has not forgotten about the US market and expects to bring additional handsets like the T-Mobile 5230 Neuron stateside. The interview sets the stage for the future of Nokia and addresses many of the weak points singled out by Ricky Cadden in his Farewell to Symbian-Guru post which announced the closing of his popular Symbian blog. Wonder if there is any correlation? More →

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