Telecoms

So Stephen Elop has taken the plunge. The chief executive of Nokia has just announced a “broad strategic” tie-up with Microsoft on phones and said it would make Windows its main smartphone operating system.

It’s a bold move for the Canadian and investors haven’t greeted the news that well. Shares were down as much 12 per cent in early morning trade. Read more

Paul Taylor

Verizon iPhone 4The enthusiastic initial response Verizon Wireless customers have given the CDMA version of Apple’s iPhone 4 – Verizon had to halt pre-orders just 17 hours after they began – is a double-edged sword for the largest US mobile network operator. 

That is because the hefty subsidy Verizon pays Apple for the iPhone – estimated at about $400 per unit – could depress earnings at least in the short term, if Verizon Wireless sells more iPhones than expected.  Read more

Tim Bradshaw

Reports that Apple could include near-field communication tags in its next iPhone, allowing people to transfer data – and probably iTunes payments – to and from their phones, have got tech watchers very excited indeedRead more

Tech news from around the web:

  • Apple is planning a service that would allow customers to use their iPhones and iPads to make purchases, reports Bloomberg. The company is set to introduce Near Field Communication technology – a system that can beam and receive information at a distance of up to 4 inches – into the next generation of the iPhone and iPad. According to TechCrunch, if Apple can tie NFC directly into its  iTunes payment system, “it could change everything”.
  • The New York Times is poised to unveil its long-heralded online paywall, says the Wall Street Journal. The new system, expected to be rolled out next month, will see the NYT sell an internet-only subscription for unlimited access to the site, as well as a broader digital package that bundles the site with its iPad application.

 Read more

Tech news from around the web:

  • Twitter is set to more than triple its advertising revenue to $150m this year as more companies use it to spread marketing messages, according to Bloomberg, with ad sales set to hit $250m by 2012.
  • In a move that could let its users avoid having their online actions monitored, Mozilla Corp is planning to add a “do-not-track” feature to its Firefox browser, the Wall Street Journal reports. The announcement would make Firefox the first Web browser to heed the Federal Trade Commission’s call for the development of a do-not-track system.

 Read more

Radek Sikorski, Poland's foreign minister, on the linePoland’s mobile phone market may be mature and very competitive with France Telecom, Deutsche Telekom and the UK’s Vodafone slugging it out.

But a chance to take over Vodafone’s Polkomtel, when the British company and its local partners sell out, is attracting a lot of interest. The would-be vendors, who agreed last year to sell, have sent out an informal note to potential buyers of the estimated $5bn operator.

Tech news from around the web:

  • The launch of the Daily, News Corp’s news service for the iPad has been put back by a few weeks, All Things Digital reports. Apple supposedly needs extra time to tweak its new subscription service for publications sold through iTunes.
  • BGR has the details of the two latest BlackBerry smartphone handsets: the Dakota, which it claims will “sit right at the head of the BlackBerry family dinner table”, and an upgrade to its Torch model.

 Read more

Joseph Menn

Perhaps the only surprising thing about Apple’s long-expected decision to end its US exclusivity with AT&T and bring the iPhone to Verizon Wireless is that it didn’t wait for the No. 1 network’s upgrade to much-faster 4G, which is still in process. The fact that it couldn’t wait shows how badly Apple wants to boost growth both for the gadgets themselves and more fundamentally for its slice of the mobile audience, where Google is pulling ahead. Read more

From the FT:

 Read more

Joseph Menn

Federal Communications Commission chairman Julius Genachowski said on Wednesday that a controversial agreement on net neutrality principles between Google and Verizon this August hurt his efforts to forge a broader consensus.

“I would have preferred if they hadn’t done exactly what they did when they did,” Mr Genachowski said, adding that it “slowed down” his attempt to get web companies and carriers to agree to a policy outline that presumably would have given stronger protection to internet traffic.

The FCC chief’s remarks came during an onstage interview at the Web 2.0 Summit in San Francisco. Read more

Joseph Menn

After more than a year of arguing and pressure from regulators, Apple has finally blessed Google’s official Google Voice application for the iPhone.

Google announced the approval on its blog on Tuesday, touting features including low-cost international calls and free transcription of voicemail messages. Read more

Joseph Menn

The version of Google’s Android operating system for smartphones due out in a few weeks can be used with specialised chips to authenticate the precise location of the mobile devices, paving the way for secure payments at physical stores, Google chief executive Eric Schmidt said Monday.

Because the Near-Field Communication chips can store and exchange precise data about the phones, well beyond ordinary GPS, their adoption will allow phone owners to tap their gadgets against a physical surface to confirm their presence and identity, Mr Schmidt said. Read more

Hardly a week goes by without a big technology company trumpeting its cloud computing services. Not to be left out, telecoms operators are also eyeing the burgeoning market.

Orange has just announced a tie-up with Cisco, EMC and VMware that will see the four companies offering cloud computing service for businesses. Read more

Joseph Menn

Dell on Tuesday began selling its first US smartphone, a model using an older version of Google’s Android operating system and seen as a lower-end entry that will be followed by more sophisticated models.

The Dell Aero joins a throng of competitors, even among Android phones, which now collectively outsell Apple’s iPhone. Read more

Joseph Menn

A second credible Taiwanese publication has weighed in with a report that Apple will introduce a 7″-screen iPad mini for the winter holidays.

The Chinese-language account in Economic Daily News, summarised by IDG here, follows a similar DigiTimes article and names multiple suppliers said to have won contracts, though they declined to comment themselves. Read more

Chris Nuttall

Intel and Nokia have announced the University of Oulu in Finland, which has expertise in 3D interfaces, will be the home of their first joint research lab.

The news is an indication of progress on software in the partnership announced in June last year between the biggest chipmaker and handset maker, but there remains no evidence yet of the exciting new hardware that was promised. Read more

Joseph Menn

Hewlett-Packard will bring out a tablet-style computer running Windows after all.

That was the word today from HP’s third-quarter earnings call, which should reverse speculation around the time of HP’s Palm acquisition–and its accompanying enthusiasm for Palm’s WebOS mobile operating system–that the company was killing the Windows slate.

“You’ll see us with a Microsoft product out in the near future and a WebOS-based product out in 2011″, said HP personal computer division head Todd Bradley. Read more

Paul Taylor

‘Place-shifting’ technology, pioneered by companies like Sling Media with its SlingBox and SlingPlayer Mobile service, has proved popular with consumers but has not always lived up to expectations when the content is streamed and the end user device is a smartphone.

Now however AT&T, the US telecommunications group, has rolled out a new free iPhone and Blackberry Torch app that it claims will enable subscribers to its U-verse IPTV service to download and watch select TV episodes on their device over a Wi-Fi network as well as schedule DVR recordings. Read more

Paul Taylor

If Research in Motion had rolled out the Blackberry Torch a year ago when RIM first began serious work on the device, it would have been a showstopper.

As it was when Mike Lazaridis, RIM’s co-chief executive, unveiled the device at a New York event on Tuesday, there were few if any surprises though some eyebrows were raised by the news that AT&T which already boasts the iPhone in its smarphone portfolio, would be the exclusive network partner in the US.  (AT&T’s Ralph de la Vega was on stage at the launch event to say nice things about RIM and the new device.) Read more

Joseph Menn

A researcher on Thursday posted software tools that he said would enable widespread eavesdropping on calls made over GSM networks with less than $2,000 worth of equipment.

Speaking at the second day of the Black Hat technology security conference in Las Vegas, researcher Karsten Nohl, who had previously reported that he had cracked GSM encryption, said he was distributing the tools free in order to pressure carriers to make fairly simple changes to fix the vulnerability. Read more