Purpose likely related to potential smartphone lawsuits
Apple has agreed to pay 1 billion yen, roughly $10 million US, to license patents originally devised by Palm and Palm OS creator PalmSource, among other companies, according to Macotakara. The patents are now owned by a Japanese company called Access. Beyond the Palm properties, Apple has also licensed concepts belonging to Geoworks and Bell Communications Research.
Google picks more former webOS team members
Google is said to have hired the core employees of the webOS Enyo HTML 5 development project team. According to The Verge, the team members were hired individually by Google, but will regroup as a team when they start work with the search giant. Enyo is an HTML5-based application framework for webOS and plays an integral part in HP’s plans to open-source the mobile OS. HP has since issued as statement saying that the staff departures will not impact its planned late 2012 release schedule for Open webOS.
Tony Fadell says three iPhone ideas tested
Apple had considered one of three core ideas for the iPhone, one of which included a hardware keyboard, former Apple executive and now Nest founder Tony Fadell revealed Friday. Speaking in an evening session with The Verge, he mentioned that the all-touch design that eventually shipped first had come after he wanted to try a virtual keyboard before resorting to the hardware option. The key iPod architect had understood the potential of an on-screen keyboard, which has infinite customization and can disappear when not needed, but didn't rule out physical keys at first.
Oracle says it backed off of phone deals
Oracle CEO Larry Ellison in commentary during the ongoing trial against Google revealed that he had tried to buy RIM or Palm. An internal investigation had explored the idea, which was meant to improve competition with Apple or Google. The database developer concluded that it was a "bad idea" that didn't make financial or competitive sense.
JD Power sees early 4G hurting Android makers
BMW brings Stitcher to in-car infotainment system
At the SXSW conference, German luxury carmaker BMW revealed that the BMW Apps and Mini Connected systems in its vehicles now support the popular Stitcher smartphone app. The podcast-focused streaming app can be controlled from the infotainment system, including searching, providing feedback, and creating custom stations. Any cover art is also displayed on the vehicle's screen and is controlled over the iDrive interface, Engadget learned.
Pew shows smartphones now majority in US
More Americans now own smartphones than basic cellphones, Pew Internet deduced on Thursday. By looking at those who either said they had a smartphone or mentioned it using a smartphone platform, the study found that 53 percent of American cellphone owners had a smartphone as of February. With 88 percent of the entire adult American population using a cellphone, that translated to 46 percent of all adults owning a smartphone.
HP webOS group sheds even more staff
Leaks have spread word Friday that HP has cut 275 more webOS team workers. Primarily located around the team's Sunnyvale, California offices, the cuts outlined to AllThingsD would follow a previous 500 from September. An official statement confirmed beliefs that it was a result of open-sourcing webOS and thus not needing either the hardware team or large parts of the software group.
HP sees Brian Hernacki continue webOS exodus
A quick leak Monday has uncovered that webOS chief architect Brian Hernacki has left HP. Details were short from The Verge's source, but the webOS team member had come in during 2009. There weren't indications as to where he was going next.
HP exec explains why he left
HP's newly departed Jon Rubinstein has explained his reasons for going in an interview Friday. He clarified to The Verge that he had planned to leave not long after HP bought Palm and agreed to stay one to two years, both to help transition webOS to HP and out of affinity with Personal Systems Group head Todd Bradley. Whether or not the TouchPad succeeded was incidental, as Rubinstein had already decided beforehand that he wouldn't stay permanently.
Rubinstein HP exit closes major webOS chapter
HP has confirmed that former Palm CEO and one-time Apple executive Jon Rubinstein was leaving the company. Representative Mylene Mangalindan explained to AllThingsD that Rubinstein had "fulfilled his commitment" to stay for one to two years after HP's acquisition of Palm. He wasn't leaving for another company and isn't believed to have some other specific goal.
36 percent upgrading from other platforms
About 21 percent of iPhone 4S buyers are opting for the top-end 64GB model, despite a $399 US pricetag, a Consumer Intelligence Research Partners survey suggests. The group recently surveyed 365 people who bought a 4S during the December quarter, narrowing down candidates from an initial range of 6,316 respondents. The 4S is the first iPhone to have a 64GB option instead of just 8, 16, or 32GB.
DOJ shows no hiring conspiracy, but small deals
Newly publicized evidence in the wake of an agreement to stop no-poaching deals among Silicon Valley technology companies has shown that several firms did ultimately have deals but stopped short of colluding on a larger level. Although short on details of the supposed Apple-Google agreement, an e-mail message from Adobe Senior VP of human resources Theresa Townsley confirmed that Adobe and Apple had an informal rule against hiring each other's staff. At least in 2005, Adobe chief Bruce Chizen and Apple's Steve Jobs had blocked attempts to get each other's staff.
Von Rospach blames both Apotheker, Palm legacy
Recently departed webOS Community Manager Chuq von Rospach has added to the explanations for why webOS was failing with new details of his own. While careful not to blame HP solely or even primarily for the platform's decline, von Rospach noted that the culture fostered under ousted CEO Leo Apotheker only exacerbated what's cast as a revolving-door culture. He likened it to the nadir of Apple's leadership under Michael Spindler, who preceded Gil Amelio and was well before the clarity and lean organization that defined Steve Jobs' return.
WebOS may have been fated to struggle
New scoops both public and private have suggested that Palm, and later HP, may have ultimately had hurdles at the corporate level, not just technical, to ever challenging Apple or Google. WebOS didn't have either the needed management or engineers to bring it to completion, a New York Times source said, and there were few WebKit-savvy developers weren't already working on iOS or Android. This was compounded by a rush to finish the OS in nine months, which required taking shortcuts such as skipping proper APIs (app programming interfaces) until later, hurting the ability for third-party developers to sign on.
HP may have shopped around webOS before change
HP had tried to sell webOS before it settled on open-sourcing the platform, according to a rumor on Wednesday. Sources for VentureBeat claimed that HP had supposedly been asking for the same $1.2 billion that it paid for Palm in 2010 to avoid taking a loss. If it had been talking to Amazon and other companies, they may have balked given that HP was charging the same price for a division whose hardware had since been taken off the market.
Microsoft takes Apple cue to control its own event
Microsoft confirmed late rumors and said it would make 2012 its last CES keynote. Company Corporate Communications VP Frank Shaw said the company's launch windows "generally don’t align" with the January show and that it didn't make sense to have a keynote or booth in the future. Shaw indirectly admitted that the company was increasingly keynoting CES because it was "the way we've always done it" rather than for actual product launches, which were often months after the show.
Von Rospach leaves HP after webOS open-source
HP saw one of its former Apple hires leave Tuesday after Chuq von Rospach revealed he was leaving the company. The webOS Developer Relations Community Manager confirmed that it was to leave for a position at another company that he "had to pursue." While not naming the company, he stressed that it didn't have anything to do with the decision to open-source webOS.
HP to open-source webOS code
HP at its all-hands meeting Friday said it was open-sourcing webOS. Both the Enyo app framework and the OS itself would be published under a license. The company expected to "continue to be active" in making and supporting webOS, but mobile hardware would have to come from others.
HP all-hands on webOS fate to finally come
HP's definitive answer on webOS should come at an all-hands meeting on Friday. Leaked details from staff to PreCentral have CEO Meg Whitman briefing the webOS Global Business Unit at 1:30PM Eastern. The outcome itself isn't known and will likely be a secret until Whitman's presentation.
HP sees Apple with chance of becoming tops
Apple could overtake HP in the computing space in 2012, HP chief Meg Whitman said in a new interview late Tuesday. Referring to a Canalys estimate that had Apple as the top computer builder next year if the iPad was included, she told France's Le Figaro that it was possible. The company would try to get back to the top spot in 2013, but Whitman herself was so recent that her impact wouldn't be felt for some time.
Nielsen breaks down US share from Q3 2011
Android's share of the US smartphone market started leveling off in the summer, Nielsen said Tuesday. With Android at 42.8 percent, its overall summer share was the same as what it managed in August. Apple was also unaffected and held the iPhone firm at 28.3 percent.
HP webOS deal may be held up on printer promise
A rumor emerging from HP's prospective sale of its webOS group has identified a new buyer as well as the possible reasons for HP's indecision on the subject. The VentureBeat tip claimed that Intel has just started discussing the prospect of a deal. Qualcomm, best known for its Snapdragon chips, was allegedly still in discussions in spite of public denials.
HP Slate 2 adds Oak Trail Atom, Swype
HP late Wednesday refreshed its lone remaining tablet through the Slate 2. The Windows 7 hardware keeps the same outside form with an 8.9-inch, 1024x600 display but trades up from the 2009-era Atom of the original Slate 500 to a modern 1.66GHz Atom Z670 from the Oak Trail family. The upgrade theoretically nets it six hours of actual battery life versus the original's claimed five and often much less.
HP PSG head says webOS group very much alive
HP's Personal Systems Group head Todd Bradley in an interview (auto-playing video below) shot down rumors the company would end its webOS division entirely. The executive told Bloomberg it was an "unfounded rumor" and that the company was swinging its evaluation to the OS after deciding to keep PCs. There was "phenomenal software and phenomenal talent" that just needed to be put to the right purposes, he said.
HP drops strategy head in first big shakeup
HP conducted the first big corporate shakeup since it fired Leo Apotheker on Thursday after it said its chief strategy and technology officer Shane Robison would retire as of November 1. While characterized as a graceful exit, it said Robison wouldn't be replaced. The move was to bring "strategy, research and development" more directly into HP, pointing to the restructuring as the primary incentive.
Company cites Oct. 31 deadline
Hewlett-Packard has begun laying off workers at its Palm division. A company spokesman said that reductions were part of the decision announced in August to shut down the webOS unit before the end of the fiscal year on Oct. 31. The move was prompted by the disastrous launch of the TouchPad. The spokesman declined to specify how many positions the company would eliminate. Sources close to the company say that as many as 500 workers may be affected.
HTC openness raises prospect of webOS deals
HTC chairwoman Cher Wang in an interview said her company has considered buying a mobile OS for itself. Following HP's decision to exit webOS hardware and possibly license the platform, the HTC executive acknowledged that the company had discussed the prospect of buying an OS but would "not do it on impulse." She told the Economic Observer that the company thrives on making an OS distinct but that it could do this with its custom Sense interface on top of Android or Windows Phone instead.
JD Power still has Apple above HTC in satisfaction
Apple has managed to keep its significant lead in smartphone satisfaction in spite of improving performance from its Android counterparts. JD Power in a new study saw end users give Apple a score of 838, over 40 points past its spring results and its sixth consecutive spot at the top of the ranks. HTC also improved, but at 801 had garnered at a slightly slower rate.
ClassCo claims patent violations
ClassCo sought to profit off of the cellphone industry Thursday with a lawsuit (below) accusing larger smartphone makers of allegedly violating patents for caller ID. The suit claims that Apple, HP (as Palm), HTC, Huawei, LG, RIM, Samsung, and ZTE all supposedly violate two patents for a "calling party announcement apparatus." Just having a phone like the BlackBerry or iPhone that identifies who's calling is an infringement on the patents, ClassCo argues.
HTC uses Google-Motorola deal to hit Apple
(Update: patents outlined) HTC stepped up its counters to Apple's lawsuits by suing Apple again in a Delaware court. The claim alleges violation of four patents that Google had transferred to HTC's ownership just days earlier, on September 1. The four had originally been granted to Motorola and were the offshoot of the $12.5 billion merger, although Google hasn't closed the deal and would have had to get a separate, voluntary handover.
HP to move webOS group into research
A pair of leaked memos sent out to HP's webOS team has shown that HP may have more of an active role for the platform than first thought. The webOS Global Business Unit's software side will be folded into the Office of Strategy and Technology, where it will directly feed into the research and development section of the company. HP considers the section an "incubator," PreCentral learned, and would be getting some of the added attention and resources that cloud services are getting.
Acacia CEO claims control over some Palm patents
Apple, LG and AT&T have asked a federal judge to stay proceedings in the patent infringement lawsuit filed against them by Acacia Research, says the Wall Street Journal. Motorola, Nokia and Research in Motion recently agreed to settle their part of the dispute. The new stay request is intended to allow additional settlement negotiations.
HP leak backs Dartfish, more devices
HP's decision to get out of webOS hardware may have come as much from HP's top-level commands as anything from the webOS team. Insiders in the former Palm group disclosed that having HP onside hadn't translated to more resources. Staff focusing on one project have often delayed another, leading to hardware that was often several months overdue, GDGT heard.
HP may take big PC blow with exec VP Bradley
A rumor Monday suggested HP could face another serious hit to its PC business beyond the possible spinoff. Its executive VP for the Personal Systems Group, Todd Bradley, has reportedly been interviewing for "every CEO job he can." The maneuver is believed by BGR to represent Bradley's frustration with being passed over for HP's CEO in favor of the outsider Leo Apotheker.
HP CEO didn't quickly tell key staff of webOS end
HP CEO Léo Apotheker didn't inform key executives of the decision to kill off webOS until the evening of Sunday, August 14, AllThingsD reported on Friday. One such exec included Todd Bradley, the head of HP's Personal Systems Group, as well as former Palm CEO Jon Rubinstein. Sources said the two will stay onboard at HP for the near term, though it depends on what HP decides to do with the webOS platform.
HP may have sold 9pc of Touch Pads at Best Buy
HP may be having serious trouble selling the TouchPad at Best Buy. New leaks from internal HP reports claim that Best Buy has taken 270,000 of the webOS tablets so far but has sold only 25,000 so far, just 9.3 percent of its stock. The retail chain hasn't independently confirmed it, but corroborating AllThingsD sources claimed that the result was not only logical but might even be "charitable" as it omits refunds.
Nielsen June 2011 shows iPhone, Android up
Both Android and the iPhone gained market share equally in June at the expense of virtually every other platform, Nielsen said Thursday. Apple and Google were each up one percent over May at 28 percent and 39 percent each. Apple kept its spot as the top individual phone maker by a wide margin as the largest Android seller in the US, HTC, was half as large at 14 percent.
Nokia Q2 2011 clearly disappointing to CEO
Nokia revealed deeper problems than first thought on Thursday after it posted a steep €487 million ($690 million) loss for the spring. The company cellphone shipments fell 20 percent year-to-year, down to 88.5 million total. Its results were compounded by an even quicker drop for smartphones, where its volumes dropped by more than a third to just 16.7 million.
Pew reveals many use smartphone as only access
Pew Internet in a new study on Monday revealed that a full quarter of American smartphone owners use the device as their main Internet source. The tally leaves 10 percent of all US cellphone owners more dependent on their phones than a computer to get online. About a third of those have no home broadband at all, leaving them either partly or completely dependent on the phone to get online.
Sprint drops long-time aliance with webOS
Sprint is quitting its one-time hope of a completely unique iPhone rival and dropping webOS from its lineup, contacts revealed Friday night. A reliable source for This is my next understood that the carrier was not only declining to carry the Pre3 but that HP doesn't have future hardware on the platform in the known schedule. It's not clear which side had quit the other.
HP exec says webOS needs polish like Mac OS X did
HP's Senior VP for Palm Jon Rubinstein in a new memo kicking off the launch of the TouchPad paralleled it to his experience at Apple. After encountering some rough reviews that said the webOS tablet had promise but was buggy, he saw it getting the same reaction as Mac OS X did when it first launched. Early reviewers called OS X 10.0 "sluggish" and complained about a lack of apps, but the OS went on to be Apple's most successful release, PreCentral's copy read.
HP brass hint at Win 8 tablet, play down Android
When HP bought Palm last year, it made it clear it was doing so mainly for webOS tablets and patents. The $1.2 billion deal will soon result in the HP-badged TouchPad tablet. So it's clear HP doesn't want to license the Android OS from Google, but FastCompany learned the computer maker hasn't totally given up on Microsoft's Windows 8. During a talk with Phil McKinney, president and CTO of HP's personal systems group, and Richard Kerris, VP of worldwide developer relations for WebOS, hints were dropped a Windows 8 tablet may show up at HP.
iPhone passes 4th year with Android on top
Without fanfare from Apple, the iPhone on Wednesday marked its fourth anniversary. The company's first smartphone went on sale June 29, 2007 and was the official start to what would become iOS and arguably Apple's most important business. Apple sold just 273,000 devices that opening weekend on one carrier and one country but now ships almost as many every day to dozens of countries and has 200 million iOS devices on the market.
HP gives TouchPad price drop to Pre, Pixi users
HP in an unusual tactic gave early adopters of the TouchPad a discount based on loyalty to the webOS platform. Anyone in the US or Canada who can prove they bought a Palm Pre, Pixi, or their Plus equivalents will get a $50 rebate on a 32GB version of the new tablet. The deal is valid anywhere the TouchPad is on sale and will last through the end of July.
RIM spring 2011 sees stock crash, downgrades
RIM's collapse in performance in spring has triggered one of the worst instances of investory backlash in the company's history. As of mid-day Friday, the company's stock had dropped about 22 percent, aided mostly by an after-hours selloff late Thursday but a lack of confidence on Friday morning. The company's sixth-largest investor group, Jarislowsky Fraser Ltd., said it had sold more than half its shares in the BlackBerry creator after accusing RIM executives of "resting on their laurels."
HP webOS 3 gets in-app purchasing and submissions
HP helped build up to the launch of the TouchPad by adding heavily requested support for in-app purchasing. Much like Android and iOS, webOS 3.0 apps will have the option of extra content. Developers who have a registered account can start adding code immediately and will get the option of an in-app review in about two weeks, supporting notions that the TouchPad is due to ship in a similar timeframe.
Nielsen hints Android has stopped growing
Android saw its first real decline in US share last month, Nielsen discovered in its latest smartphone use breakdown. Google's OS dropped in share for the first time in recent memory, down one point from March to 36 percent. The iPhone and BlackBerry were also largely near their earlier levels at 26 percent for Apple's devices (down one point) and 23 percent (up one).
WWDC media drive explained as iOS 5 overhaul
Apple's big media push for WWDC may be due to the sheer scope of the changes in iOS, a possible scoop uncovered. The OS would nave a "completely revamped" notification system, addressing one of the longstanding complaints of the OS since it arrived. Widgets would also finally join the platform for the first time, TechCrunch said, and give users quick-glance information much like their Android and Symbian peers.
HP Slate 500 at retail through Future Shop
HP's Slate 500 has escaped its primarily US-only, Amazon focus by showing up in a listing at Canadian retailer Future Shop. The 8.9-inch, Windows 7-based tablet costs $800 Canadian, the same as it does in US currency. Its version is similarly equipped with the 1.86GHz Atom Z540, 2GB of RAM, 64GB SSD, and dual cameras.