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From: FUBHO2/16/2012 12:41:51 PM
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9:36 AM - In spite of a customs official's assurances, retailers in additional Chinese cities are being told to stop selling the iPad due to Apple's ( AAPL -1.2%) dispute with trademark holder Proview, according to media reports. The news comes a day after Amazon China yanked the iPad off its virtual shelves. ( previously) [ Tech]

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To: FUBHO who wrote (16777)2/16/2012 1:24:03 PM
From: sylvester80
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Let's see now... Apple kills and abuses their workers and now their trademarks... oh I'm sure that will go down well with the Chinese... LOL

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To: sylvester80 who wrote (16778)2/16/2012 2:28:05 PM
From: zax
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How the iPhone 4S boosted Kindle Fire sales
By Julianne Pepitone @CNNMoneyTech February 16, 2012: 2:18 PM ET

money.cnn.com



After shelling out at least $199 for an iPhone 4S, some Apple lovers turned to the cheaper Amazon Kindle Fire instead of the iPad.

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- Amazon set out to win the tablet market by beating Apple the way no one else could: pricing the Kindle Fire at just $199.

That tactic has paid off -- and it forced Apple to accidentally handicap itself, according to a report from IHS iSuppli.

The firm's analysis found that Apple's ( AAPL, Fortune 500) share of the tablet market slipped in the fourth quarter, and IHS iSuppli blames that on the October release of the iPhone 4S. After shelling out at least $199 for a smartphone, not all Apple lovers were willing to spend another $499 on a tablet.

As IHS iSuppli's tablet analyst, Rhoda Alexander, put it: "Many loyal Apple customers devoted their dollars to shiny new alternatives."

IHS iSuppli estimates that Apple shipped a record 15.4 million iPads in the fourth quarter of 2011. That's almost 40% more units than Apple shipped in the previous three-month stretch.

But overall, Amazon was able to eat a bit of Apple's market share. Apple's iPads comprised 57% of the tablet market worldwide last quarter, down from 64% in the third quarter, by IHS's calculations.

Amazon ( AMZN, Fortune 500) shipped an estimated 3.8 million Kindle Fires last quarter. That gives it a 14.3% share of the tablet market.

Pricing the Kindle Fire tablet at just $199 won't net Amazon a wide profit margin, but the company is willing to get tablets into customers' hands for cheap. Amazon is banking on making money by selling content like e-books, apps, videos and digital music.

Alexander called that method a "business gamble," and noted that the Kindle Fire's success hinges on the viability of those content sales.

Pure hardware players don't have that option, and customers who are willing to shell out $499 or more overwhelmingly choose the iPad. Sales of the Motorola ( MMI) Xoom and Samsung Galaxy Tab have disappointed as a result.

Meanwhile, Alexander notes that the radically low prices of tablet-lites -- specifically the Kindle Fire and the Barnes & Noble ( BKS, Fortune 500) Nook -- have "created chaos" in the market and could force overall tablet prices to come down.

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From: sylvester802/16/2012 6:13:43 PM
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Google Drive in the wild? Screenshot and possible logo
February 16, 2012 at 12:06 pm by Todd Bishop 8 Comments
geekwire.com



Google appears to be getting closer to the launch of its online storage service: A GeekWire reader says Google Drive has been enabled in his Google Account — as shown in the screenshot above, which has been redacted for the sake of his privacy.

Another tidbit: The image at right (which we’ve enlarged for better visibility, at the expense of resolution) is the favicon that displays in the browser frame when the Google Drive service is loaded — providing what appears to be a sneak peek at the Google Drive logo, similar in style to the rest of Google’s icons.

Among the options shown in the screenshot is a link to “Install Google Drive.”

The timing makes sense: The Wall Street Journal reported last week that Google was preparing to launch the long-rumored service “in the coming weeks or months,” rivaling Dropbox and other cloud storage providers. Google Drive is expected to be free for most consumers and businesses, with a premium option available for extra storage.

A Google spokesperson declined to comment when we asked about this today, citing a policy against addressing rumors and speculation.

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From: zax2/16/2012 9:08:05 PM
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Explosive debut quarter brings Kindle Fire 14% share of tablet market

By: Zach Epstein | Feb 16th, 2012 at 05:20PM

bgr.com



Amazon’s Kindle Fire exploded onto the scene last November, quickly becoming one of the hottest gadget gifts for the holidays and maintaining its position atop Amazon’s best-sellers list for several months. According to a new report issued by market research firm IHS iSuppli, the Kindle Fire managed to secure 14% of the tablet market last quarter despite only being available for just over six weeks. ISuppli estimates that the retail giant shipped approximately 3.9 million Kindle Fire tablets in the fourth quarter of 2011, making it the No.2 tablet vendor in the world behind Apple, which saw its market share slide to 57% from 64% in the third quarter. Samsung shipped 2.1 million Galaxy tablets for 8% of the global market, Barnes & Noble shipped 1.9 million Nook tablets and Asus rounded out the top-5 with 612,000 tablets shipped. IHS iSuppli’s full press release follows below.

Apple’s Toughest Competition in the Fourth-Quarter Tablet Market Was…Apple

February 16, 2012
RHODA ALEXANDER

Although soaring sales of Amazon’s Kindle Fire and other low-priced tablets trimmed Apple Inc.’s media tablet market share in the fourth-quarter, it was Apple’s own newly introduced iPhone 4S that proved to be the strongest competitor for the iPad during the final three months of 2011.Apple shipped 15.4 million iPads and iPad 2s during the fourth quarter of 2011, according to the IHS iSuppli Display Materials & Systems Service at information and analysis provider IHS (NYSE: IHS). But while shipments were up 39 percent from 11.1 million in the third quarter, Apple’s share of the global media tablet market slipped to 57 percent in the fourth quarter, down from 64 percent in the third quarter, as presented in the table below.



“Shipments of the iPad line fell short of IHS estimates in the fourth quarter as many loyal Apple customers devoted their dollars to shiny new alternatives,” said Rhoda Alexander, senior manager, tablet and monitor research for IHS. “However, the primary alternative wasn’t the Kindle Fire—which debuted to solid sales in the fourth quarter—but Apple’s own iPhone 4S smartphone. The rollout of the iPhone 4S in October generated intense competition for Apple purchasers’ disposable income, doing more to limit iPad shipment growth than competition from the Kindle Fire and other media tablets.”

Amazon Opens Fire on Apple
The debut performance of the Kindle Fire played a strong role in the share shift as well, particularly in the U.S. market, which accounted for more than half of global fourth-quarter media tablet sales. Amazon shipped 3.9 million Fire tablets in the fourth quarter, allowing the company to garner a double-digit share of the market, at 14.3 percent. This drove Amazon to become the world’s second-largest tablet shipper in the fourth quarter, surpassing Samsung Electronics.

“Kindle Fire shipments in the fourth quarter came right in line with the IHS early December forecast of 3.9 million units, representing a respectable start for the Fire.” Alexander noted. “However, the long-term viability of the product will hinge on the success of Amazon’s business gamble, which depends on tablet sales driving substantial new online merchandise sales at Amazon.com in order to attain profitability.”

Sharing the Tablet Wealth
For the entire year of 2011, Apple shipped 40.5 million iPads and iPad 2s, up 168 percent from 15.1 million in 2010. This gave the company a 62 percent share for the year, down from the dominant 87 percent in 2010, when Apple had the media tablet market all to itself for most of the year.

Despite Amazon’s strong showing at the end of the year, Samsung held on to second place, with shipments of its Galaxy Tab line amounting to 6.1 million units, or 9.4 percent of the 2011 market. Amazon’s share for the year amounted to 6 percent.

Stress Tablets
The fourth-quarter introduction of value-priced tablets, most notably the Kindle Fire and Barnes & Noble’s Nook, created chaos across the Android tablet marketplace, forcing competitors to slash pricing in order to clear inventory.

“The surge in non-iPad shipments in the fourth quarter was achieved at considerable financial cost, with sharp price reductions across most of the competing Android tablets and actual product giveaways from a number of vendors as part of promotional efforts for other electronic products,” Alexander noted.

In the wake of the new low bar for pricing set by the Fire and the Nook and the looming Google acquisition of Motorola Mobility, manufacturers and branded vendors are looking to Windows 8 tablets as a more profitable alternative. Watch for a surge of Windows 8 and ARM microprocessor-based tablets in late 2012 and early 2013.

Apple’s Tablet Plans
Apple is set to reclaim its tablet market share when it commences volume shipments of the next version of the iPad, which is expected in the second quarter of this year.

IHS iSuppli anticipates strong sales for the iPad 3, with demand expected to outstrip supply for several months. The new device is reported to feature a QXGA retina display with a pixel format of 2,048 by 1,536, as well as SIRI, the popular voice interface of the iPhone 4S. As with previous iPad releases, Apple is anticipated to stage a staggered rollout, introducing the new product in different countries around the globe as supply improves.

Media Tablet 2011 Results
Year-End Media Tablet Shipments Came In At 65.2 Million Units, Slightly Above The IHS Forecast Of 64.7 Million Units.

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From: zax2/17/2012 7:17:03 AM
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The Irish Times - Friday, February 17, 2012

Mango's a peach compared to Apple
JOHN COLLINS

irishtimes.com

With Windows Phone, Microsoft has come from a standing position to overtake its rivals. Given its recent history, that’s a surprise

THE EVIL empire. The Borg. These were phrases commonly used to describe Microsoft just a few years ago.

In 2004, European authorities had just found the company guilty of abusing its dominant position with Windows to freeze out competitors. The original fine of €497 million ultimately swelled to €1.68 billion by 2008 as the US company failed to comply with the sanctions imposed by Europe.

During the middle of the last decade, the world’s largest software company was being dogged by security breaches in its flagship products. This ultimately led to a five-year lag between Windows XP and Windows Vista – the biggest gap between Windows releases ever – and when Vista arrived, it was a resource hog which failed to live up to expectations.

In parallel with all this, Microsoft was an also-ran in internet services and mobile, two of the fastest-growing areas of technology. The company clearly felt Google, in particular, had come to dominate in areas which were rightfully Microsoft’s. Little wonder it tried to buy the next emerging web giant, Facebook, for $15 billion in 2007. When its overtures were rejected, it consoled itself instead with buying 2.6 per cent of the social network for $240 million – a move that now looks like one of its more prescient internet investments.

Over the period of those events, I had more than a couple of differences of opinion with Microsoft executives and their handlers as I covered what I believed were major errors of strategy by the company.

The Web 2.0 movement was ushering in a new era of openness and collaboration which I felt the Redmond giant was going to fail to capitalise on spectacularly. In fact, I never thought I’d type the following sentence.

Microsoft’s recent approach to the web and mobile displays a more fundamental understanding of how people are going to want to engage with ubiquitous web access than Google, Apple and Facebook, the current leaders in the space.

My evidence for this claim? Three weeks spent living with Nokia’s Lumia 800, which runs the latest version of Windows Phone 7, codenamed Mango.

Up to about a year ago, one of the biggest hassles of bringing a new smartphone back to the office was negotiating with our IT department so that I could get it to speak to my desktop PC. With my first iPhone, that meant getting iTunes installed on the PC. With my first Android phone, things were a little easier but I still had to export my Outlook contacts on a PC, upload them to Gmail and then wirelessly synch them. But contacts added to my PC would not be copied to my phone.

Heading back to the office with the Lumia in my pocket, I expected I’d have to copy my contacts and other data to Microsoft’s Live services to get them on my phone. Unlike Apple and Google, though, Microsoft’s software doesn’t appear to be a Trojan horse designed to get you using their services, whether that’s iTunes or Google Maps. Want to add LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook or Google accounts? Just input your username and password and Windows Phone does the rest.

These accounts don’t just live in discreet apps. The People feature shows me everyone with whom I am in contact on these networks mixed with the standard contact data you have on your phone.

Look up a contact and I have options to write on their Facebook wall or send them a Twitter message. Add an event to my diary and I can choose whether it’s stored on my corporate Outlook account, my Google calendar or on Windows Live.

And with its interface based on “live tiles”, Microsoft has shown the iPhone is not the be-all and end-all of interface design, while Google’s Android looks overly complex in comparison.

When it is introduced on PCs with the launch of Windows 8, possibly by the end of the year, it could quickly become ubiquitous.

There are other nice features, like the ability to access my Xbox Live account on my handset.

Windows Phone isn’t perfect, particularly when compared to the iPhone 4S or Samsung Galaxy Nexus. It is however a leap ahead of the original iPhone or first Android models.

One start-up veteran reacted to my tweets in favour of Windows Phone saying it’s fine if you have limited Facebook or Twitter feeds, otherwise it just becomes information overload. His company is developing for Windows Phone, which he said is very easy compared to the Apple and Google systems, and “could be key to [its] success”.

Microsoft may have little choice but to open up to services from its rivals – it’s playing a game of catch-up in what was in danger of becoming a two-horse Apple versus Google race – but its decisions in regard to Windows Phone contrast positively with recent moves by its competitors.

Google was slammed when it overlaid a social networking element on its search results, a feature called Search Plus your World. The only problem was “your World” was your network on Google+, not Twitter, Facebook or any other popular network.

Facebook is notorious for only allowing limited amounts of its pages to be accessed by search engines and seems to be inexorably moving to recreate the wider internet behind its own firewalls.

Apple controls its entire “stack” – hardware, software and services – and has been reluctant to let competitors in. Look how long it took for Google’s native Gmail client to get included in the App Store or for Norwegian minnow Opera to get its browser listed.

The move to the cloud may be one of the most hyped trends ever in technology, but we are moving to an era of services that will be accessed from a range of devices.

With Windows Phone, Microsoft has come from a standing position to overtake its rivals, certainly in terms of openness. Given its recent history, that’s quite a surprise.

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To: zax who wrote (16782)2/17/2012 8:13:04 AM
From: sylvester80
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BREAKING..Google Also Files For Patent On Notification Pull Down Bar – Yeah, Back In ’09 [Fun Facts]
Google Also Files For Patent On Notification Pull Down Bar – Yeah, Back In ’09 [Fun Facts]
by Chris Chavez on February 17th, 2012 at 2:27 am


Yup, it’s true. I can’t tell how you many furious comments I read back when Apple introduced their “all new” and “revolutionary” Notification Center feature in iOS, complete with a handy pull-down bar. Many Android fans screamed from the rooftops, “Why hasn’t Google applied for a patent on the notification bar!? Why don’t they even care!?” Well, they do and they did.

What you’re looking at above you is Google’s application for a patent on their notification bar system, filed back in January of 2009. Yeah, things move slow over at the USTPO. Application number 12/363,325 which is still pending is described as,

“A computer-implemented user notification method includes displaying, in a status area near a perimeter of a graphical interface, a notification of a recent alert event for a mobile device, receiving a user selection in the status area, and in response to the receipt of the user selection, displaying, in a central zone of the graphical interface, detail regarding a plurality of recent messaging events for the mobile device.”

Guess all we can do now is play the waiting game because, ohhhhh man, once/if this patent is granted, Apple is so — for lack of better word — screwed.

[ Google Patents | Via Reddit]

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To: zax who wrote (16782)2/17/2012 8:15:56 AM
From: sylvester80
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I wonder how the iOS5 user experience would be without the pull down notification bar??? Probably it will suck just as much (or even more) as its users said it did before stealing Android's notifications...

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To: zax who wrote (16782)2/17/2012 8:20:56 AM
From: sylvester80
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Nokia broke above the $5.20/5.25 resistance line. It may or may not retest it but very soon it will be off to the races... we could be looking at $10 this year (a double) if the Lumia gets any traction....

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To: sylvester80 who wrote (16784)2/17/2012 8:21:42 AM
From: zax
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Daily Report: Early Praise in Inspection at Foxconn Brings Doubt at New York Times 07:56 am EST

China faces conflict of law, business in iPad row AP 07:49 am EST

Apple gives the Gray Lady the cold shoulder at Fortune 07:25am EST

Apple's iPhone market share in China falls, Reuters reports at Reuters 02:24am EST

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