Palm

Chris Nuttall

Apparently robotic hamsters are the cute must-have gift this Christmas, but, as they’re in short supply, the Palm Pixi might make a good alternative.

Palm’s newest smartphone, made available on November 15 on the Sprint network in the US, has a cuddly form factor you can almost fit in your palm and an interface to coo over. Read more

Chris Nuttall

Working from home on Friday, I noted 17 cars, 10 people and a squirrel come and go in our small cul-de-sac.

Not that I spent most of the time looking out of the window – I was just trying out new motion-detecting webcam software from Vitamin D, inspired by the way humans recognise patterns. It has been released in a free public beta from Monday. Read more

Richard Waters

It’s been apparent for some time that the spate of touch-screen smartphones now hitting the market will dent profit margins in the hottest part of the mobile business, but Wall Street seems only now to be digesting that fact.

The slumping share prices of Research in Motion and Palm over the past fortnight make this case eloquently. Two weeks ago, not coincidentally, was the weekend that Verizon began its guerrilla marketing campaign for Motorola’s Droid (see Chris Nuttall’s first impressions last week). Since then, Palm’s stock is off 35 per cent and RIM is down 20 per cent, while Motorola is up.

It’s clearly ridiculous to think that one handset can cause this much damage: what is sinking in are the implications of the much bigger wave of competition that is about to hit. Read more

David Gelles

Chris Nuttall

Apple customers may have downloaded 1.5bn applications from its AppStore in the past year for their iPhones and iPod touches, but the service does not represent the future for the mobile industry, according to Google.

Vic Gundotra, Google Engineering vice president and developer evangelist, (pictured centre) told the Mobilebeat conference in San Francisco on Thursday that the web had won and users of mobile phones would get their information and entertainment from browsers in future. Read more

Richard Waters

  • The board of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, better known as ICANN, picked as the nonprofit group’s chief executive Rod Beckstrom, who until earlier this year served as cyber-security czar at the US Department of Homeland Security. Like his predecessors, Mr Beckstrom didn’t accomplish much there, but it later emerged he had a skeleton staff and equivalent funding. ICANN is as close to a governing body as the internet gets, but its core mission is minding the process by which Website names and numeric addresses are assigned.
  • Some early buyers of Windows 7 will get it for the knock-down price of $49.99. Rob Enderle thought the limited-time special offer was a direct response to the $29 Apple is charging for an upgrade to Snow Leopard. Michael Gartenberg called it a “missed opportunity” to give all Vista users the chance to move beyond the much-maligned operating system.

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The FT’s John Gapper writes that Apple, which just released the new iPhone 3GS, has become the hub of a creative network that is helping it stay ahead of its rivals.

It seems odd that companies can gain an advantage by working with others and by sharing knowledge. Yet being part of a network not only can help a company to gain from others’ knowledge but also can reinforce its market position, as Apple’s contest with Palm shows. Read more

Chris Nuttall

  • Lots of activity on the iPhone front. The reviews are now out for the iPhone 3GS and they are generally very positive. The phone goes on sale on Friday, but its new operating system update – 3.0 – became available on Wednesday and sparked an avalanche of downloads. Meanwhile, Apple’s ongoing irritation with its rival, the Palm Pre, continues. It has already made thinly veiled threats about the Palm device’s similar use of a multi-touch screen. Now, it is warning that newer versions of Apple’s iTunes software may no longer provide syncing functionality with non-Apple digital media players – a reference to a popular function on the Pre.

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  • Access to the internet is a human right. So said France‘s constitutional council, striking down a controversial law that would have given officials the power to block the internet access of persistent copyright violators. The government of Nicolas Sarkozy had sided with content creators in backing the idea.
  • Palm completed its Apple make-over. Jon Rubinstein, the former Apple wizard brought in to mastermind the well-received Pre, was named chief executive officer, taking over from Ed Colligan.
  • Microsoft is to stop selling its Money personal finance software, according to Cnet. Money has never achieved the same popularity as Quicken from Intuit, a company it once tried to buy. Microsoft had signalled its fading interest in the product by failing to take it online as Quicken has done, to compete with newcomers such as Mint.com.

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