Monthly Archives: August 2012

Maija Palmer

Apple’s victory over Samsung in the patents dispute shone an interesting light on the murky world of patents. For one thing it demonstrated clearly that there are two different types of patents around mobile devices that operate very differently.

On the one hand you have patents that are to do with how the phone actually operates, how it connects calls and handles data. These are the standards essential patents and they are the things that companies like Samsung, Nokia and Motorola have a lot of, as they have been in the business of making phones for a very long time. 

The electronic glitch that cost Knight Capital Group $440m points to a new threat to our digital economy: technological risk.

As one of the largest and most technologically advanced broker-dealers in the US, much of Knight’s trading is handled electronically. Its growth is a reflection of Moore’s law, an observation on the trend towards ever cheaper, faster, and more powerful computer hardware.

 

Chris Nuttall

Steve Perlman (pictured left), founder and chief executive of OnLive, has left the groundbreaking cloud gaming company following its restructuring this month.

While Mr Perlman was “departing to work on his myriad of other projects”, according to a company statement, OnLive had been the entrepreneur’s main focus for at least the last three years. 

Samsung’s legal defeat in California on Friday was a nasty PR moment for the South Korean tech behemoth: the jury ruled that Samsung had wilfully copied elements of Apple’s product design and user interface features, as it awarded a shade over $1bn in damages. Still, the near-7 per cent fall in Samsung’s share price on Monday morning was surprisingly sharp.

Continue reading: Samsung v Apple: no more playing nice

Origin PC's Millennium System

A device used just for video games might seem quaint when smartphones, ereaders, tablets and, increasingly, televisions offer fully featured gameplay. But two new computers aim to show why the more dedicated devices might still have the edge.

 

Chris Nuttall

Evernote, the rapidly growing “external brain” service that stores the minutiae of our lives, has announced an Evernote Business service that will help workers share and collaborate on company-related information saved online.

The move marks Evernote’s continuing expansion from its core business of personal web-clippings and note-taking, after it began introducing social sharing of its notebooks in 2009. 

These are not happy days for Apple in China. The iconic American brand, outpaced by Samsung in its appeal among Chinese consumers since last year, is now also losing out to other smartphone competitors.

According to IDC, Apple’s share of the Chinese smartphone market by shipments fell by nearly half to 10 per cent in the second quarter from three months earlier. The company came fourth in a ranking topped by Samsung and Lenovo, the Chinese company that is also the world’s second-largest PC vendor.

 

Tim Bradshaw

Facebook has overhauled its much-criticised application for Apple’s iPhone and iPad, in the social network’s latest attempt to tackle the challenging transition from desktop to mobile

Maija Palmer

It has not been a great week for Sony employees, as the Japanese consumer electronics group carries out some late-summer pruning on its businesses. Around 1,000 people at Sony Mobile’s operations are to be let go, with two-thirds of the redundancies falling in Lund, Sweden,  as the headquarters of the mobile phone unit moves to Japan.

This was widely expected after Sony bought out Ericsson from their Sony Ericsson joint venture last year. In April this year, Sony had announced plans to cut 10,000 jobs globally. About half of these would come from the sale and spin-off of two subsidiaries, but detail about the rest is just starting to trickle through. 

After the dotcom bubble popped so spectacularly in 2000-2001, a few glum years for the technology industry have been followed by an equally spectacular run. Apple has roared back from near extinction and this week became the most valuable company in history. Facebook amassed users and mesmerised investors for years before Wall Street staged what now seems a wildly overpriced initial public offering.