Mobile Sports Report TechWatch: Facebook buys Karma

Lost amid all of the noise about Facebook’s huge IPO was the fact that the company is continuing to address a shortcoming in the mobile app space. It has purchased a company called Karma that has developed an e-commerce platform as part of its overall presence.

The management team at Karma has already developed one successful app and the current focus, on gifting, seems to be a good match since Facebook has a huge amount of personal data on users and can now send alerts about anniversaries etc and recommend gifts and send users to Karma. The terms of the deal were not revealed in the announcement made on Karma’s blog but the company’s founders have had success in creating other successful apps.

Samsung’s Galaxy S3 sees strong preorder demand

Samsung, the leading smartphone developer in the world is about to see a nice spike in sales if reports are correct about pre availability demand for its Galaxy S3. According to a report from the Korean Economic Daily, forwarded by Mashable there is already a 9 million unit demand worldwide.

That is very impressive, especially considering the company’s factories can only crank out 5 million units a month, and I am assuming that is for all handsets not just this model. I hope they have been building the devices for the last few months.

China gives Google a thumbs up on Motorola
The long wait is over for Google with the company finally gaining approval for its $12.5 billion purchase of Motorola Mobility. The approval, which came from China’s Anti-Monopoly Bureau, had followed a delay in which the agency had requested more information.

This approval was the last before the deal can go through and give Google access to Motorola’s huge patent portfolio and manufacturing capabilities. According to a report from the AP the deal has a condition- Google must make the Android operating system available for free to mobile device users for the next five years.

Motorola faces possible ban in US
To counter the good news coming out of China, Motorola was on the losing side of a judge’s ruling the Motorola did infringe on a patent held by Microsoft. The ruling came from the US International Trade Commission and has the result of banning Android-powered smartphones made by Motorola from being imported into the US.

While the ban will not go in effect until July, it is likely that Motorola will seek a licensing deal rather than eliminate the technology. With Motorola having recently won a ruling against Motorola regarding different patents they could just sign a cross licensing agreement, but right now no word on what its plans are.

Apple seeks to block Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 10.1 in US
If this sounds familiar well… Apple is following up a win in US Appeals Court that said a ban should probably have been imposed on Samsung for copying features from Apple’s iPad, Apple is now once again asking for that ban in the United States.

It could be a negotiating ploy since as has been reported here and elsewhere the two have been ordered into a settlement talks that will feature the top executives from both companies and it appears likely from this piece at Electronista that no action will occur until after the settlement talks are over.

EU regulations will apply to Android and iOS apps
Apps that are downloaded to devices running both the iOS and Android operating system are subject to the European Union’s Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations, officials from the Information Commissioner’s Office said.

The rules regulate, but do not prohibit the use of technologies such as cookies and require that users provide informed consent. This will require the apps to inform the user that it is downloading a cookie and provide them with the option to not have them loaded in their device, according to an article in

Is a 10-inch Kindle in the works?
Increasingly rumors are surfacing that the next generation of devices from Amazon will include a model with a 10.1-inch form. The move would make it a more direct competitor to Apple’s existing iPads as well as to the rumored smaller iPad that has been talked about for months.

According to DigiTimes the pad is expected in the third quarter of this year and that at the same time the company is likely to kill its 8.9-inch pad that has been on the drawing board. Around this time Google is also expected to bring out a pad to help heighten the competition even more.

Apple loses round in e-book case
A United States District Court judge has denied petitions from Apple and several of its largest e-book publishing partners to dismiss a lawsuit against them. The lawsuit claims that the companies conspired to illegally price fix e-books. This case is similar to, but separate from the one filed by the Department of Justice against the same companies.

New Kickstarter project trying to get light on a dark subject
A company called Scrap Pile Labs has developed a docking cable for iPads and iPhones that has a built-in LED that allows for easy use at night. Called CordLite it is now seeking funding at the site Kickstarter and the developer is seeking to raise $70,000. If it succeeds the company expects to ship the cables in September.

While the initial focus is on Apple’ products the company said that it plans to develop for other platforms as well and has a microUSB cable in prototype but that production costs are scheduling issues it will be some time before that sees the light of day.

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