Posts tagged Reportedly
The Amazon smartphone is a rumor that just will not die. Citing unnamed sources, the Wall Street Journal reports that Amazon is working on building two smartphones — one of which would be a high-end device with 3D visual capabilities where images would appear to float above the screen without the need of 3D glasses. Users could reportedly control the smartphone via eye movements, perhaps similar to the facial-tracking features of the Samsung Galaxy S4.
[See Also: Where Does Amazon Fit in the Game of Phones?]
An Amazon lab in Cupertino, Calif. (where Apple is also headquartered), is reportedly working on a variety of devices for the e-commerce giant. These could include additions to its Kindle Fire lineup of tablets and Kindle e-readers, set-top boxes for streaming television shows and movies and the long-rumored Amazon smartphones. Various efforts at the lab has names like Project A, Project B and so forth and are supposedly known as the “Alphabet Projects.”
The WSJ notes that, “some or all of the devices could be shelved because of performance, financial or other concerns.” So there is no guarantee we’ll see an Amazon smartphone this year, if ever.
[See Also: Is Amazon Jumping Into The Smartphone Game?]
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Google Reportedly Wants To Help Someone Else Buy Yahoo
ReelSEO Online Video News (blog)
He is also founder of The Viral Orchard (http://www.viralorchard.com), an Internet marketing firm offering content writing and development services, viral marketing consulting, and SEO services. Jeremy writes constantly, loves online video, …
Search marketing alert: Google mum, but rumors of a Yahoo takeover swirl
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Details are very sparse, but All Things Digital is reporting that Carol Bartz’s rocky tenure as Yahoo CEO has ended. All Things Digital reports that current CFO Tim Morse will take over the CEO spot on an interim basis. Speculation raged earlier this summer that Bartz’ days were…
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Google must really want Hulu. As it fields bids from potential future owners, the premium video content site is reportedly seeing the most generous offer come from Google, reports AllThingsD.
Google joins Yahoo, Amazon and the Dish Network in bidding on the company, but is apparently going above and beyond what those companies are willing to offer. The exact numbers are not known, but Google may well be offering “a couple billion dollars more” than the other bidders, presumably for an acquisition that goes beyond what Hulu was originally offering to sell.
Hulu is selling its video website and subscription service, along with exclusive content rights for a minimum of two years. Currently, the site is a joint venture between NBCUniversal, Fox Entertainment Group and Disney-ABC Television Group, who collectively supply the lion’s share of the site’s content.
In making an aggressive bid for Hulu, Google appears determined to shore up its holdings in the video content space, where it already owns YouTube, the largest video site on the Internet. Historically, the company has had a somewhat tense relationship with traditional content providers, although it’s been extending a few olive branches lately.
An acquisition like Hulu could be just what the search giant needs to revamp its Google TV product, which has been met with a lukewarm reception in the United States so far. In addition to user experience issues, the platform struggled early on as content providers moved to block their content from working on Google TV-powered devices.
That said, if it were to take over Hulu, Google would need to assuage any concerns held by its chief content providers, whose businesses are entrenched in the older, more lucrative distribution model and may be at liberty to pull their content from the site at some point in the future.
Of course, it’s still very early in the game and it’s possible that Hulu’s owners may end up holding onto the site. Whatever ends up happening with Hulu may well foretell the future of Internet TV, if not indicate a few things about the future of the Web in general.
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Intel is reportedly stepping away from its investment into mobile operating system MeeGo. According to DigiTimes, Intel may be discontinuing development of MeeGo due to lack of interest from original equipment manufacturers and vendors. Has another mobile OS been buried in a shallow grave?
MeeGo was initially a joint project between Intel’s Maemo and Nokia’s Moblin projects and was designed as a response to mobile devices not supporting Intel’s Atom line of mobile processors. The Linux-based OS has been doomed since Nokia shifted its resources away from the project when the company signed on to make Windows Phone 7 devices. In the opinion of one Linux admin, Intel has “been flogging a dead horse.”
Everything Wrong, From Start to Finish
Our Linux expert, Joe Brockmeier (known in the Linux community as Zonker) said that Intel and Nokia have “done everything entirely wrong, from start to finish” when it came to MeeGo. They put obstacles in the way for developers and innovation was hampered. When Moblin and Maemo were merged, the Linux community was not entirely behind the move and developers were discouraged from making changes that were not under the thumb of either Intel or Nokia.
The ostensible death of MeeGo will compound Intel’s mobile problem. Mobile is an ARM-based world. Intel’s Atom processor designed for mobile devices has found no real home in any popular devices. MeeGo was supposed to be Intel’s way to tie an operating system to a chip and create a device line that would be entirely Atom. Nokia then fled to Microsoft and the other OEMs primarily use chips made ARM-based chips made from Samsung, Nvidia, Qualcomm and Texas Instruments.
No Dice for Vertical Atom Integration
One of the reasons that Apple has a line of superior devices with iOS is that it designs its A-series ARM chips specifically for the operating system. It is the classic vertical integration scheme of device design. Android, almost by definition, cannot do this because of the nature of the ecosystem. Android runs on ARM but not all chips are the same, from Humming Birds to SnapDragons.
Nokia did release one MeeGo phone earlier with the N9, to good reviews. Yet, that phone is not going to be sold in the U.S. and Nokia is probably not going to be making anymore MeeGo-based phones for the mass market.
The death spiral of MeeGo wipes out the dark horse of the mobile ecosystem. Android, while dominant, is in a precarious position amid patents battles and how OEMs eventually respond to Google’s acquisition of Motorola. If Android were to be dragged down by the legal system, MeeGo could have been the open-source alternative that OEMs turned to.
Linux community: what do you think about the final death spasms of MeeGo? Is it worth continuing as an independent project outside of Intel and Nokia’s watchful eyes? Let us know in the comments.
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Apple’s long-rumored, cloud-based music service may be coming to fruition. According to reports, Apple has acquired the domain name iCloud.com from Swedish cloud services provider Xcerion for $4.5 million. Coupled with the 500,000 square foot data center that is being finished in North Carolina, Apple may finally be ready to make its big cloud push.
The speculation so far has been that the data center will be for iTunes storage and streaming. Think “iTunes Everywhere.” It is also likely that Apple will rebrand its existing cloud product MobileMe at some point, perhaps with the iCloud designation. Either way, with a $4.5 million price tag for the domain name, it is likely that iCloud will be a significant chip in Apple’s portfolio.
Om Malik of GigaOm first reported the possible iCloud.com purchase. Currently iCloud.com is redirecting to CloudMe.com. CloudMe is what Ecerion rebranded its cloud service from iCloud earlier this month. According to Malik, Ecerion acquired CloudMe.com on April 5, 2011.
The North Carolina data center cost Apple approximately $1 billion to build and the company looks intent on joining the cloud music rush currently underway. Amazon launched its Amazon Cloud Drive at the end of March that allows users to upload music from their hard drives and stream it online.
Google has been making waves in the music sector as well. Recent reports have them talking to European-based music streaming service Spotify that is in process of launching in the United States. Google Music was announced at Google’s developer conference in 2010 and the service is said to be undergoing in-house testing at Mountain View.
That leaves Apple. The company has been the prime disruptor of the music industry over the last 10 years with the iTunes model. Yet, Cupertino’s stranglehold on the music business has shown cracks in recent years as Amazon and Google look to get in the game and streaming services such as Rdio, Pandora and MOG gain headway in the market. Is iCloud.com going to be Apple’s response?
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Google is in talks with European-based streaming music service Spotify, according to a report today on CNET. Google has been rumored to be working on launching a streaming music service of its own for years now, with clamor over the potential service reaching a peak last summer when Big G was said to have a service near ready for launch last fall. That rumor did not, however, come true.
Spotify has had a similar past, but perhaps this sort of deal could get both companies what they really want – a piece of the musical pie in the U.S.
Last year, we wrote that Spotify was preparing for a U.S. launch by Q3. Q3 came and went, as did the expected Fall launch date for Google. Again last January, word circulated that Spotify was finally on its way, with some saying the company had managed to ink a deal with Sony, but still the service eludes American soil.
Now, CNET’s Greg Sandoval reports that, according to "a source with knowledge of the talks, Google has told the labels that it has begun discussions with Spotify in recent weeks, though no agreement is in place."
The mobile streaming music market isn’t an empty one, of course. Recommendation services like Slacker Radio and Pandora offer free streaming music, though at the expense of control. Other services, like MOG, Napster and Rdio provide full desktop and mobile streaming music experiences, but at $5 to $10 per month. This isn’t to say that either Google or Apple couldn’t shove them aside and make some waves in the music market if they found a way in.
As Sandoval points out, "The issue of Google or Apple being first is sort of moot now. Amazon beat them both."
Both, however, have something that Amazon doesn’t – a mobile operating system and ecosystem of their very own.
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The next generation iPhone and iPad will contain Near-Field Communication (NFC) technology enabling the devices to become your wallet, according to a report today in Bloomberg.
NFC is a short-range, high-frequency wireless technology which lets devices – primarily mobile phones – communicate with other NFC devices. This can be utilized in a number of applications including mobile ticketing, mobile money, and smart billboards.
The Bloomberg story cites Richard Doherty, director of the consulting firm Envisionering Group, who says that Apple has been working to embed the technology in the “next iteration of the iPhone for AT&T Inc and the iPad 2,” both of which are expected to be launched this year.
NFC Plus iTunes
What makes the Bloomberg news interesting, if true – other than the fact that the report only mentions this NFC technology in the AT&T iPhone, not a Verizon iPhone – is the way in which NFC, matched with the iTunes checkout system, could truly become a de facto payment method for may of us. Users are already incredibly familiar and comfortable with purchasing things via iTunes, and as we look to alternatives to cash, checks, and even credits cards – particularly when it comes to making payments on the go – it makes sense that Apple provide a that service.
It makes sense for users and for Apple. As the Bloomberg story notes, it could help Apple cut costs associated with credit card processing fees. But it could also greatly expand the reach of the iTunes service. And according to Doherty, this is in the works for mid-2011, with plans to “revamp iTunes, a service that lets consumers buy digital movies and music, so it would hold not only users’ credit-card account information but also loyalty credits and points.”
So get ready to pay with your phone. Get ready to receive targeted ads and coupons with your phone. The industry has been saying that for a while. But while NFC has been touted as the future of mobile money and mobile shopping, one of the major pieces missing from implementation is the infrastructure necessary to facilitate it. And it sounds like Apple, if the Bloomberg report is true, may be working on just that very thing.
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