Feature Article

November 17, 2012

Mobility TechZone Week in Review

Our favorite news of the week is that HTC and Apple have resolved their patent lawsuit. As it turns out it is favorable to Apple. HTC will end up paying Apple some dollars per device, but the company at least gets out from under the lawsuit’s thumb. Meanwhile, perhaps the more interesting thing about all of this is that the dollars Apple will collect from the lawsuit points out that there is hardly anything free about the supposedly free Android.

HTC emerged shaken but not stirred. Immediately following the announcement of the settlement, HTC went on to announce what looks to us to be a very stunning new Android phone. The new HTC DNA is big, with a five inch screen, but it will also deliver 1080p video resolution, a first among smartphones. Go check it out.

Research in Motion meanwhile, has finally confirmed that it will absolutely be shipping its new mobile toys, along with its new operating system on January 30, 2013. This is good to hear.

Nokia this week also provided some very interesting announcements. First, it has reached a deal to acquire Earthmine, a 3D mapping company with some seriously solid technology. Second, along with the acquisition Nokia has also announced a major re-branding of its entire mapping and location services group – now re-branded as HERE. It’s an interesting name – we sort of think of it as “here, there and everywhere” without all the extra words.

Here is a very interesting thing to note: Flomio has now launched FloJack, a one-of-a-kind NFC reader and writer that can be effortlessly plugged directly into your iPhone, iPhone Touch and iPads. Adding NFC to your iOS device has never been easier. Wal-Mart is anticipating a very high number of mobile users for the holiday buying season, and may very well have some NFC capabilities to use your new FloJack device. If you happen to be looking for a new toy to plug FloJack into, AT&T is now offering a $100 rebate on tablets.

If you are a Sprint customer and you are hungering for a Windows 8 phone, you are going to be out of luck until 2013. Sprint has decided to sit back and wait on offering them until then. To make up for this possibly egregious behavior Sprint is at the very least providing some new details on its Sprint Phone Connect, a plug-and-play product available to Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNO) in order to provide their customers with a home phone service without the need for a landline or broadband service. Shoppers can already purchase the device directly from Sprint, but by offering it to its MVNOs, the company may see an exponential growth in product adoption.

AT&T is getting ready to release an unprecedented – and potentially very useful new toy. As of November 19, AT&T subscribers will be able to buy the world's first mobile data hotspot device to feature 4G LTE support as well as an innovative 2.8-inch LCD touchscreen. The new gadget is called the MiFi Liberate, and it will be able to connect up to 10 LTE devices simultaneously to share the same 4G LTE wireless Internet line via standard 802.11n Wi-Fi. Very cool.

While you are busy putting that LTE capability to good use, you might begin to think about that mobile data you are now pushing through the wireless network. If so, then check out Everything You Wanted to Know about the US Mobile Data Market but Were Afraid to Ask, which provides some very interesting insights on this front. There is absolutely no doubt that LTE continues on a huge growth trajectory. Clearwire meanwhile, a purveyor of LTE spectrum, is also delivering some very interesting toys of its own for the consumer.

We are going to close this week on a very sad note – one that is sad in two respects. First, the founder of Samsung has passed away. Second, the relatives of the founder -- Lee Byung-chull, are now embroiled in a heated dispute over the family fortune, estimated at more than $8.3 billion. The conflict has spilled over out of the boardrooms and courtrooms and actually threatens to disrupt the traditional Korean memorial services for the deceased. Ah well, if Michael Jackson’s relatives can do it, why not Lee Byung-chull’s?

Those are the week's mobile musings and highlights. For much more, make sure to scope out Mobility TechZone directly.

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