Monthly Archives: September 2013

Hannah Kuchler

Google has lost an appeal in a case about its controversial Street View feature, after a panel of judges rejected its claim that wiretapping laws did not apply to its accidental interception of household WiFi data.

The long-running case came to a head on Tuesday when the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals found that private Wi-Fi networks could not be considered radio communication. Google had argued household wireless internet should be considered in the same category as radio, as data “readily accessible to the general public”, which would make it exempt from the Wiretap Act.

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Tim Bradshaw

It’s the biggest day in the Apple calendar: the iPhone launch. This year, for the first time, Apple unveiled two new smartphones: the upgraded 5S, with a 64-bit chip and fingerprint scanner, and the all-new 5C, with plastic casing in a handful of colours.

Tim Bradshaw was at Apple’s Cupertino headquarters and April Dembosky reported from San Francisco.

 

Nexon continued its march westwards this week as it partnered with one of the newest entrants to US video game development, writes Jennifer Thompson in Tokyo.

The Japanese online game maker is to take a minority stake in Shiver Entertainment, a Florida-based studio set up by industry veteran John Schappert, a former top executive at Electronics Arts and Zynga. Read more

Tim Bradshaw

Twitter’s chief executive Dick Costolo is facing intense scrutiny about when the messaging site will go public. His appearance at the TechCrunch Disrupt event in San Francisco taught us little about that, instead going back to first principles of managing a company – whether brand new or about to IPO. Read more

Tim Bradshaw

Snapchat’s investors were betting on growth first, monetisation later when they put $60m into the pioneer of ephemeral messaging.

That growth is continuing apace, Snapchat’s co-founder and chief executive Evan Spiegel said on Monday, with 350m “snaps” sent every day last month, up from 200m in June.

But the LA-based company is slowly starting to think about ways to make money, too, saying that Chinese internet giant Tencent – which makes much of its income from in-app purchases – was a “role model” for Snapchat. Read more

Sarah Mishkin

Trendy China tech group Xiaomi is branching out from smartphones into China’s increasingly competitive market for smart TVs.

The private company, which said its latest round of fundraising valued it at $10bn, launched the $489 TV at a jam-packed and much-hyped launch event in Beijing Thursday afternoon. Read more

Tim Bradshaw

It doesn’t seem so long ago that many people thought social networking was done, and that anything that wasn’t Facebook would become a feature, app or acquisition of the social juggernaut.

In the past year, however, that’s started to change. Snapchat brought ephemerality to photo sharing, Nextdoor is reconnecting real-world neighbours and Whatsapp, WeChat and Line are fighting for mobile instant-messaging dominance.

Now, backed by some of Snapchat’s original investors, comes Whisper – an app for sharing (and viewing) secrets, posted anonymously. Read more

Tim Bradshaw

Samsung took to the stage in Berlin to become the first major smartphone maker to launch a smart watch accessory, beating Apple, Google and other rivals to market, and hoping to recapture the innovation initiative in the process. Tim Bradshaw and Paul Taylor report from the “Unpacked Episode 2″ event. 

Tim Bradshaw

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Robert Cookson

A disgruntled British Airways passenger has bought adverts on Twitter to complain about the airline’s customer service, in an unusual reversal of the way that big brands use social media.

Hasan Syed, a businessman who goes by the Twitter username @HVSVN, took the action on Monday out of frustration with the way that British Airways was handling his father’s lost luggage. Read more

In the mid-1990s, Nokia was well on its way to becoming the world’s leader in the adolescent mobile phone business, a dazzling rise that would see it peak with a 40 per cent global market share.

The reborn Finnish upstart, casting aside its heritage in pulp and paper, was brimming with confidence based on its market-leading technology, neat handset designs and a vision of the future that at times seemed to stretch credulity. Read more

Tim Bradshaw

Microsoft’s €5.4bn acquisition of Nokia’s devices business was both long predicted and a bolt from the blue, coming so soon after its chief executive Steve Ballmer announced his retirement. Here Mr Ballmer explains the logic of the deal to investors.  

Elop (l) and Ballmer in 2011

Why now? The key seems to be Microsoft’s ambition.

Since it joined forces with Nokia in mobiles in 2011, neither company has prospered. Microsoft remains a distant third to Google and Apple in terms of operating systems, while Nokia’s share of the smartphone market has collapsed from 17 per cent in 2011 to 3 per cent in the first half of this year, according to Gartner.

“We know we are number three in the market, we’re not number two or one and we need to accelerate,” Steve Ballmer, chief executive, told the FT’s Richard MilneRead more