Mobile Sports Report TechWatch: New Tablets from Google, Acer

The latest rumor, about Google anyway, is that it is preparing to release another member of its Nexus 7 tablet family. The latest is expected to have 32GB of storage, a big leap up from the 16GB that is the current maximum storage available for users. For those looking to mark their calendar the rumor mill says it will be Oct. 24.

AT&T is planning on selling Windows 8 tablets
AT&T has announced that it will be offering a pair of tablets that will be running on the soon to be announced Windows 8 operating system. The company will offer the Asus VivoTab RT, a tablet that will be able to handle 4G LTE cellular communications. The second tablet will be the Samsung ATIV SmartPC, a system that has a removable keyboard and can be configured as either a clamshell notebook or a tablet.

AT&T is also venturing into selling antivirus by offering an app and a service that will work to keep smartphones free from infection. While AT&T Mobile Security is now only offered to businesses it has plans for a consumers offering as well.

Motorola wins one in Germany against Microsoft
The Mannheim Regional Court has ruled that Motorola Mobility did not violate a Microsoft patent on a “method and radio interface layer comprising a set of application programming interfaces (APIs).” The court gave no reason for its ruling and Microsoft is expected to appeal. This is only one of the issues that the two are fighting about in court.

Oracle readies for next round in fight with Google
Oracle has appealed the Google case, the one where the jury found that code in the Android operating system was not stolen, as Oracle had claimed. The case dealt with both patent and copyright infringement and while the jury found very minor infractions the court did not award anything to Oracle.

Acer’s Iconia W700 Tablet to cost $799
We have been a bit lax on reporting on the upcoming AcerW700 Iconia tablet so here is a quick snapshot. The Tablet will be released on Oct. 26 as part of Microsoft’s Windows 8 launch. With an expected $799 price tag it will feature an 11.6-inch display with 1920 x 1080 resolution. The tablet will include a Bluetooth keyboard, a choice of Intel processors including a Core i5 chip and will have 64GB or 128 GB of solid state storage.

Alcatel joins tablet space
Speaking of tablets it looks like communications player Alcatel has developed a 7-inch tablet that will compete with the likes of Google’s Nexus 7 and Amazon’s Kindle Fire families. The One Touch T10 Android tablet looks like it is designed for budget users and will include a 800 x 480 display and 4GB of flash storage.

MobileCon 2012 is this week
For the mobile minded the show formerly known as Fall CTIA has been renamed to MobileCon 2012 and will start Oct. 9 and run until Oct. 12 in San Diego. It should be good for some interesting handset offerings as well as most likely a host of product leaks.

One reason there might not be quite as many new products as expected is because just a short time later, on Oct. 29 to be exact, Microsoft will be officially launching its Windows 8 phone platform, a few days after it introduces Windows 8 for tablets.

Mobile Sports Report TechWatch: Cheap Google Tablet? Apple Map ills

The latest rumor on new tablets comes from the partnership of Google and Asus, which just recently introduced the popular Nexus 7 tablet. Now it is being reported by Digitimes that the t

wo may be looking to break new price point barriers with a $100 offering.

With new Nooks from Barnes & Noble, Kindles from Amazon and systems pending from a host of other OEMs over the next few weeks the competition is getting much stiffer as customers are now being presented with more viable options to Apple’s iPad. It will be interesting to see if this pans out. Others are already claiming that the rumor is false.

Fallout from Apple Maps continues
Apple CEO Tim Cook publicly apologized to customers about the poor shape that Apple’s maps is in. The app, which replaced the popular Google Maps, has some glaring flaws like eliminating landmarks and moving roads.

Cook said that the company was very sorry for the frustration that it caused its customers and he even went so far as to recommend 5 apps that might do as a replacement to Apple’s offering. Speaking of Apple the iPad 3 (not iPad Mini) rumors have started- stay tuned for a growing wave of them as others launch their latest tablets.

Google loses appeal on patent enforcement
Google has been barred from enforcing a German court ruling against Microsoft that would have led to the banning of select Microsoft products on Germany. The ruling came from the US Court of Appeals and it upheld a lower court decision that prevented Motorola from enforcing the ban.

Foss Patents appears to see this as a positive move in getting Google to start licensing its patents on a FRAND basis.

FCC OKs wireless auction
There may soon be more bandwidth available for wireless use as the Federal Communications Commission has given approval to the auction by television broadcasters of bandwidth that they no longer need.

The expected bidders will use the bandwidth to meet expanding cellular and wireless Internet usage. The FCC is still working out the details of the auctions, according to the New York Times.

Nokia signs mapping deal with Oracle
Nokia will now be providing mapping software to Oracle, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal. The deal is expected to be announced today at OracleWorld and will allow Oracle’s application users to integrate mapping capabilities.

Android and iOS market shares grow
Android and iOS grew market share during the summer according to a report from market analytics firm comScore. The study, which tracked the operating systems from May to July show that Android represents 52.2% of the US market while Apple’s iOS is now 33.4% of the market. It looks like the Apple win over Samsung might have had an impact as Samsung had stagnant growth, losing 0.3% of its hardware sales.

Mobile Sports Report TechWatch: HP is Back with New Tablets

Study finds that 74% of smartphone owners use location services
A report from the Princeton Survey Research Associates shows that 74% of smartphone owners use their device to get real time location-based information. The study also found that 18% used a geosocial service to check-in to locations.

With roughly half of all Americans using a smartphone this is very good news for companies that take advantage of the variety of services that provide information about local businesses such as Yelp.

Hewlett-Packard vows return to tablet market this year
PC World is reporting the Hewlett-Packard executives are touting the company’s imminent return to the tablet space, something that they said will occur later this year. It plans to so with models that will support the Windows 8 operating system from Microsoft.

It is expected that HP, along with other Windows 8 tablet developers will focus as much on the business market as the consumer space .The company famously left and then reentered the hardware market and the tablet space over the last year, highlighted by the failure of its TouchPad tablet with HP’s own operating system.

I suspect that we will start seeing a great deal more –preannounced intentions to use Windows 8 as the launch date gets closer and it could make for an interesting dog fight in the tablet space. Will Windows 8 be accepted, will it erode Android and Apple’s iOS appear? Or maybe just make inroads in one of the two rivals space? It is too early to tell but it will make for an interesting end of the year.

Do people share too much info on-line? Intel study says yes.

A recent study conducted by Ipsos Observer and sponsored by Intel on the dual topics of “Mobile Etiquette” and “Digital Sharing,” reaffirmed what I believe many feel intuitively, that 90% of Americans adults believe that online users are sharing too much information.

This is the third such survey conducted by Intel and had some interesting results including a total of 85% said that they share information online while one-third surveyed said they are more comfortable sharing information online than in person and half said that without mobile information they would not know what was happening with friends and family.

Slow Internet Connection top issue for mobile users
In a mobile survey conducted by Prosper Mobile Insights focused on smartphone and tablet users the top issue that is a cause for concern is slow Internet connections with 36.9% listing it as the top service provider issue. Others that rated highly in the complaint list were cost of data plan at 32% (that low?) and dropped calls at 24.1%. Head over and see where your pet peeves were ranked.

Facebook’s Instagram purchase could be delayed
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has started a competition probe into Facebook’s $1bn purchase of Instagram, a move that could push the deal beyond the second quarter and so cause some heartburn at Facebook. The probe was expected as it is usual for deals of this size; the issue is that t could take as long as 12 months and Facebook has been telling people at its IPO road show that it would close in the second quarter.

Microsoft gets delay in German court
Microsoft, already on the end of a major losing patent battle with Motorola Mobility had its current case delayed by a German court. This trial has to do with a different patent that Motorola claims that Microsoft has infringed on, in this case one that deals with two way communications devices.

Facebook updates data use rules
Facebook has update its data use policies about what it gathers from users of its popular social site and how it uses that information. The move was motivated by an audit performed last year by Irish data protection authorities, Facebook said.

New charge in Oracle vs Google
Oracle has managed to get back on the winning track last week in its copyright and patent infringement case against Google over use of the Java technology. Oracle’s request for a judgment as a matter of law regarding an additional eight files copies directly into Android’s code base was granted, giving Oracle an additional copyright infringement win against Google. However as with its first win it still needs the matter of ‘fair use’ to be resolved.

Le Pan now Matsunichi-New Tablets due
Matsunichi has eliminated the Le Pan named that it was using earlier this year and has self labeled its tablet offerings as it enters into the cost effective tablet market. The company now has the MarquisPad MP977, a 9.7-inch table that is powered by a dual core 1.2GHz processor from Texas Instruments.
The $249 device features a 1024 x 768 display and will use the Android 4.0 operating system. There is 4GB of storage if you include the microSD card, or 2GB internal without the card. It has a front facing VGA camera.

The company has an additional tablet in the works, the MarquisPad MP979 that will have a more powerful dual core 1.5GHz processor with 8GB of storage as well as an additional 2GB MicroSD card, and it supports up to 32GB. The 9.7-inch device will also have 1024 x 768 resolution.

Friday Grab Bag: Are Replacement Refs in the NFL’s Future?

Mashable does a nice job showing how fast eight technologies have penetrated the US market since the telephone was patented in 1876. The speed upon which each succeeding generation of technology grows is interesting as many of them piggybacked on older technology. I mean you cannot have these technologies until electricity reached all of the country.

I was interested to see how relatively slowly the Internet caught on compared to mobile phones, but I guess that is partly due to a number of issues from slow connections early on, lack of a substantial amount of meaningful content ( I mean at one time one of the most popular site on the internet was watching a coffee pot) and emerging rival modem standards that helped confuse non-technical users.

From the charts it looks as if it is possible that the two emerging fields, tablets and smartphones are headed to being the fasted technologies adopted to date. Smartphones make sense since they are an extension of an already known commodity but tablets are a relatively fresh start. The data covers the past five years and the numbers from the next five look to be very interesting.

NFL still not produced evidence on Saints bounty program, NFLPA claim
The NFL Players Association continues to claim that it has not been given “specific, detailed evidence of player involvement in a pay-to-injure program.” Domonique Foxworth, president of the NFLPA has an opinion piece in USA Today in which he stated that punishment demands evidence and the league is not willing to produce it.

He claims rather than produce the evidence the league has used media leaks, pr campaigns and character assignation to manipulate public opinion.

Apple wins one
Apple, on a recent losing streak in the legal department won a case this week when a judge threw out the Proview Electronics Co.’s trademark lawsuit against Apple. The case, which has bogged down Apple in China, has ruled that Proview cannot sue Apple in California.

The case revolves around Apple’s purchase of the iPad trademark from Proview and then Proview claiming it did not sell the rights to the iPad name in China. The two are reportedly looking at a cash settlement but are far apart on the terms.

St. Louis Blues sold
The NHL Board of Governors has approved the sale of the St/ Louis Blues hockey team to Tom Stillman, a beer distributor, for an estimated price of $130 million. Stillman has been a minority owner of the team since 2007, Yahoo! reports.

The team has been for sale for the last two years, ever since the current ownership group, led by Dave Checketts and his Sports Capital Partners Worldwide, started to look around. It had originally been looking for investors to buy out Towerbrook Captal Partners which held 70% of the team but could not find investors.

Google wins a bit more in trial versus Oracle
After a jury ruled that Google did infringe on Oracle’s API copyrights but could not reach a decision on if that action was protected by the ‘fair use’ doctrine that allows copyrighted material to be used Oracle asked the judge to throw out Google’s ‘fair use’ defense.

The judge declined saying he did not think that it would be correct for him to rule in favor of Oracle. Experts now expect at least a partial retrial of the first portion of the case.

Who do Crowdfunders Invest in?
We have started talking a lot about crowdfunding, but mostly in relation to just a very few efforts, and yet that industry is starting to emerge as a huge source of funding for startups, enabling a wide variety of developers to get seed money and more to launch products.

Well if you were interested in a breakdown by category of where the money is going at Kickstarter wonder no more because there is now a great graphical breakdown of the effort. A few interesting facts-50,000 projects have sought funding since it opened its doors in 2009 and film and video is the top pledge earner, with $60 million pledged to date. There is a host of interesting information so head on over and take a look.

Replacement officials in the wins for NFL season?
Fox Sports is reporting that the NFL has started to look at replacement officials for the upcoming season in case it cannot reach a new agreement with the NFL Referees Association- currently the talks are at an impasse.

The league is asking its officiate scouting department to help identify potential replacements with an eye out for recently retired college officials as well as current officials at a variety of levels of the sport including semiprofessional leagues. The NFL used replacement officials in 2001 at the start of the season.

Smart Shoes the next trend in computing?
Computer scientists from e Telekom Innovation Laboratories, the University of Munich, and the University of Toronto have taken a step forward on a research paper on the next generation of wearable computing with the publication of a joint paper entitled “ShoeSense.”

The gist of the paper apparently calls for the development of sensors that would be placed in shoes that have the ability to understand customizable hand and arm gestures that are then relayed as commands to a smartphone. Users would be able to then send messages without appearing to while in meetings, at dinner and other places that it is not always appropriate to do so on the handset.

Nielsen looks at smartphone owners in US
A recent report from Nielsen shows that smartphone ownership continues to rise in the US and is now the preferred handset of more than 50% of Americans, actually 50.4%, up from 47.8% in December 2011.

Android is the dominate operating system with a 48.5% market share then followed by Apple’s iOS with 32%. Research in Motion’s Blackberry platform has 11.6% followed by Windows Mobile, Windows Phone and then others.

Is Round 1 of Oracle vs. Google a Tie?

Well the jury has weighed in on part one of the Oracle vs Google battle and it looks like Oracle is in the lead but there is still a great deal of confusion over what the verdict, and the jury’s inability to reach a conclusion on one count, will mean in the long run.

At first glance Oracle wins because the jury said that Google relied on Oracle’s Java technology to build the Android operating system that powers smartphones and tablets around the world. This looks like a big win for Oracle because that is what they have been claiming all along. The jury found that the Android operating system infringed on nine lines of Java coding.

The second issue, which has yet to be determined, is if the use of the technology is a violation of what is permissible under ‘fair use’ protection in U.S. law, which permits some use of copyrighted material to appear in other, third party works without compensation.

On this the jury was deadlocked and did not reach a decision, and unfortunately for Oracle this is the money question. If the jury had found in Oracle’s favor the company was expected to ask for $1 billion in damages, and possibly much more.

The judge in the case said that there is “zero finding of copyright liability” without a fair-use verdict. The jury will later decide on damages in this part of the case.

Well the first round is over and they are leaping into the second part of the case where the same jury will hear if Google’s Android violates two Java patents. It has been reported that the damages for this portion are expect to be significantly less than what was expected in the first part.

Mobile Sports Report TechWatch: Oracle vs Google Round 1 Almost Over

It seems that Microsoft is taking the next step in developing an ecosystem of apps around the next version of its operating system for smartphones with a developer conference at which it is suspected that the company will debut its Windows Phone 8. So save June 20-21 and plan on being in San Francisco.

iPad still hot as Kindle Fire cools?
Market research firm IDC has reported that Apple’s iPad tablet is still the tablet to own to most consumers as it gained market share in the first quarter of 2012, primarily at the expense of Amazon’s Kindle Fire.

The drop is rather sharp for Amazon, which at the end of 2011 it had a 17% market share which dropped to 4% in the first quarter. At the same time the iPad grew from 54.7% at the end of last year to 68%, according to the firm.

IDC said that it expected the drop because the iPad has international sales while the Fire is only available in the United States so that it was helped by the holidays and then the slump hit, but the drop was still larger than expected.

Did Kindle sales really die last quarter?
However its seems that the reports are overstated about the drop in Kindle sales, which while real to a degree seem to be overstated due to how the numbers are being looked at, or rather people are comparing apples to oranges.

Stephen Baker, NPD’s Group’s Vice President of Industry Analysts points out that people are mixing units shipped with units sold, and that not all of Amazon’s huge shipment numbers in the 4th quarter of 2011 were sold in that quarter, some of it leaked over into 2012, so that fewer units were shipped. To read his full comments go here.

Facebook buys another mobile developer
Facebook has purchased Glancee, a Menlo Park, Calif.-based startup that develops apps that help connect users with other people based on their location. The terms of the deal were not disclosed. The app helps connect people by allowing them to examine profiles of people who are in their vicinity and who have either mutual friends or mutual interests.

Use you smartphone as a PC? Yes you can
While this is a bit old it is certainly interesting. Canonical is preparing to release a program called Ubuntu of Android that will allow users to connect a smartphone to a display and have a full Ubuntu desktop computer.

The two programs will work side by side, with the phone operating as a traditional Android phone. When connected to a monitor the Ubuntu OS takes over and the device displays a full desktop for the user.

The two will share data and services so that both run simultaneously on the device. With Canonical’s developer conference starting this week hopefully more information will come out about this effort.

Partial Verdict reached in Google vs Oracle Java battle
The San Francisco Chronicle has reported that the jury has reached a partial verdict in Oracle’s lawsuit against Google. It is reported that there is still one issue that it is divided on and they were sent home for the weekend.

The Boston Globe reported that it sounds like the split might be permanent as the jury sent a note to the judge asking what would happen if they could not agree on a verdict and said that some jurors appear to not be willing to budge from their position, making a split likely.

An interesting side note in the case is the discussion that went on last week over how much money Google has actually made from Android, an issue that will go to the heart of any remedy if Oracle prevails in the case, and one that rival OS developers are watching with interest.

Google presented numbers in the case that reportedly showed what it had earned from the technology and the judge questions if those numbers were ‘manufactured’ for the trial. He asked for the original documents to be presented today.

This is just the first of two stages in the trial, it being concerned with Oracle’s claims of copyright violation and the second, which is expected to start immediately, will have to do with patent violations.

Samsung’s Galaxy S III is here
Samsung, the new king of handset sales has expanded its lineup with the release of the Galaxy S III smartphone as its new top of the class offering. I would say the long awaited release, but it has been less than a year since the Galaxy S II was released.

The phone features a 4.8-inch HD Super Amoled screen with 720p resolution. It will be available in 16GB, 32GB and 64GB versions. According to market research firm NPD Group, Samsung already accounts for a quarter of all US sales of smartphones and now it looks like it might increase on that lead.

Apple’s iOS device sales by quarter
A look at Apple’s smartphone and tablet shipments by quarter from the Boston Globe.
Quarter ending March 31, 2012: 35.1 million iPhones, 11.8 million iPads
Quarter ending Dec. 31, 2011: 37 million iPhones, 15.4 million iPads
Quarter ending Sept. 24, 2011: 17.1 million iPhones, 11.1 million iPads
Quarter ending June 25, 2011: 20.3 million iPhones, 9.25 million iPads
Quarter ending March 26, 2011: 18.65 million iPhones, 4.7 million iPads