MediaFile

Google exec says Chrome isn’t the end of Android

Google’s vice president of engineering has dismissed the idea that plans to bring out a new computer operating system, Chrome OS, will mean the end of Google’s existing operating system for mobile phones, Android.

As soon as Chrome was announced earlier this week “all the press and speculation started, ‘Oh, the Android is doomed,’” said Andy Rubin at an event with T-Mobile in San Francisco to show off the latest Android iteration, the myTouch 3G phone, manufactured by Taiwan’s HTC.

Google CEO Eric Schmidt said in Sun Valley yesterday that Chrome OS is a separate product from Android, but the two products are closely related and could eventually “merge even closer.”

Earlier this week, Michael Gartenberg, an analyst at market research firm Interpret, said the introduction of a second operating system to work on netbooks could hurt Google winning hardware partners. “If you’re a vendor you don’t know what to do,” he said.

Rubin argues that there is room for both Chrome and Android, and it doesn’t mean that “one wins and one doesn’t.” Android is specialized and does things that you would not expect from an ordinary operating system, he said.

Analysts question T-Mobile’s choice of myTouch over Hero

 Some analysts worry that T-Mobile USA may have missed a trick by opting for a new Android device, myTouch 3G, which is mostly the same as HTC’s first one, the G, except for its slimmer shape and lack of a physical keyboard.

According to T-Mobile USA Chief Technology Officer Cole Brodman, the No. 4 U.S. carrier currently has no plans to sell Hero, another HTC phone that runs Google’s Android but has an updated user interface that looks similar in some ways to Palm Pre.

From today until July 28, T-Mobile USA customers can order the myTouch online with the potential to have their phones deliverd before its national launch stores on Aug. 5. Brodman says myTouch, with its nifty travel case, personalizable covers and T-Mobile recommendations for hot applictions, will appeal to a broader audience than G1. The idea is that myTouch’s sleek shape and Android’s straightforward user interface will encourage T-Mobile customers who had never bought a smartphone before to now consider this one.

from Summit Notebook:

AT&T: Beer keg, please phone home

Next time a bartender draws a long, cool German brew on tap at your favorite U.S. bar, you might be sipping beer that made a mobile phone call along the way.
At the Reuters Technology Summit in New York, AT&T's Ralph de la Vega, who heads its wireless division, described a firm that has fitted its beer with mobile devices.

"We had a customer in Germany that wanted us -- and we have found a way -- to track their beer kegs as they were shipped," said de la Vega. He said the wireless devices track how cold the keg is, whether it was properly pressurized and its location.

"It helps to run their business better," he said of the beer company. AT&T uses the GSM system, which is the same one used in Europe, has roaming agreements with European carriers, and bills its client for the calls. De la Vega said that's only the beginning.

Nokia to give away 100 ideas for others to make money

News from Helsinki:******In a spurt of generosity, the world’s top cellphone maker Nokia plans to pass on to smaller Finland-based firms some 100 ideas for which it has not found any use in its core business, figuring the move could lead to new business opportunities for others.******”The current economic climate is just right for a critical evaluation of intellectual property portfolios and the release of the innovations that are more suitable for others to exploit,” Esko Aho, Nokia’s Executive Vice President for Corporate Relations and Responsibility and Finland’s former prime minister, said.******Some expect Finland’s economy to sink about 5 percent this year due to its heavy reliance on exports, and the country is looking desperately for new ideas to boost its economy.******Nokia itself is expected to recover from the market slump faster than its rivals, but it reported its first-ever quarterly pretax loss for the January-March quarter.******The new public-private initiative includes opening access to Finnish state investments for companies involved in the program. So far, some 300 firms have said they are interested in participating. Most of these firms are outside the IT industry — even a concrete foundry from Tampere, Finland’s third largest city, has said it would like to get access to Nokia’s bag of ideas.******Nokia’s Aho said it would be easy to see additional value from mobile services for the concrete foundry.******”With location-based services they can make sure the concrete is poured down at the right plot,” he said, adding that if all goes well, some of the ideas could end up with Nokia in the end anyway.******”It would be easy to see this river flowing also in the other direction,” Aho said. “It could well be that some idea lead to the situation where the result can later be added to Nokia’s offering.”******Smart thinking, right?

Cellphone touch screens to bring drawing messages?

The traditional art of drawing could see a renaissance helped by the boom in touch-screen mobile phones following the launch of Apple’s iPhone in 2007, says British artist Derrick Welsh.

“The touch has tipped, and drawing messaging is where touch leads,” said Welsh.

It could also create the next money-spinner for mobile operators, for whom text messages are still the key data revenue generator in 2009.

Las Vegas telecoms show fizzles out

The CTIA’s annual U.S. wireless technology showcase in Las Vegas was quieter than usual this year as vendors sent fewer employees and rented less floor space for their booths in an effort to crimp spending due to the recession.

Aside from a lot of talk about cellphone applications and a software store launch from BlackBerry maker Research In Motion, the show offered few surprises.

A handful of operators and vendors, however, offered insights into their technology strategies — even if they were less than keen to indicate how their businesses were faring exactly. Some even launched new gadgets.
    
AT&T, the exclusive operator for the iPhone, used the show as an opportunity to talk up application sales for its less fancy phones, which have brought it $1 billion in revenue in the last few years. In comparison, it does not get a revenue share for iPhone apps, which kicked of the craze for application stores when they launched last year.

Verizon Wireless sues Velveteen Rabbit promoters

You’d think nothing could be cuter than a stuffed rabbit that comes to life to cheer up a lonely child. But Verizon Wireless rewarded the promoters of Velveteen Rabbit, the movie, with a not-so-cuddly lawsuit.

A representative for the mobile service said Verizon had nothing against children’s movies but it is taking issue with a Utah-based telemarketing company, which has apparently been calling cellphone users to advertise the movie.

Verizon said it filed a suit in the U.S. District Court in Trenton, New Jersey , alleging that Feature Films For Families Inc illegally used an auto-dialler for LA-based Family 1 Films. The suit says Verizon Wireless customers and employees received nearly 500,000 calls with a scripted promotion for the film over a 10-day period in February.

Will Boost’s “so wrong” ads bring it to the masses?

How would you widen your appeal beyond an audience of  14-24 year-olds to say the 18-35 year-old demographic? Some companies might give their advertising a gentler or more grown up tone. Others might throw in a service credit or some airmiles. 
Boost Mobile has decided the right theme is “wrong”
Investors already thought its recently-launched $50 unlimited mobile service plan was so competitive their first reaction was to sell shares in rival companies. The plan’s arrival in a terrible economy plagued with job cuts is also expected to draw crowds. 
But to make sure Boost, a unit of Sprint Nextel, launched an ad campaign designed by Santa Monica-based ad agency 180 LA, to stand out from the clutter. 
One has a coroner eating lunch over a dead body and at one point holding an internal organ in one hand and sandwich in the other. Is this wrong? he asks. Not as wrong like high prices. 
Then there’s a girl on a bike questioning if there’s something wrong about her flowing long arm pit hair.  The answer is of course that its not as wrong as sneaky charges in phone bill.
And what about the cute pig who’s tucking into a plate of ham at the dinner table. 
“Is this so wrong? Its delicious.” says the pig. “I’ll tell you what’s wrong, a cellphone company that advertises one price and charges you hidden fees well north of that.”
Sprint said yesterday that Boost has been taking in 6 times more customers than it is losing since the new plan was launched Jan. 22. Now that  the campaign launched this week on national TV it will be interesting to see the effect on sales.
(Photos: Boost)

Picture gets darker for 8,000 Sprint workers

Employees of embattled wireless service Sprint had yet another reason to complain on Monday after the company, which has been losing customers for years, announced 8,000 job cuts.

However, even after they’ve been booted out in the cold, these workers will likely still be reminded of their previous job by the sight of their old boss Dan Hesse, when he moonlights as lead actor in Sprint’s sepia-toned TV commercials on top of his day job as CEO of a struggling wireless company. 
    While Hesse’s dual lead man/CEO role may be saving the company some money, a few experts have wondered whether the commercials are doing more harm than good to Sprint, which has been roundly criticized for its marketing message. 
    Or perhaps it’s just a coincidence that the company has continued to report steep customer losses since the ads started to run soon after Hesse took on the job just over a year ago.

(Photo: Still shot of Dan Hesse in Sprint ad)

Here it comes …. the 3G iPhone

“The big news is $399 to $199,” CEO Steve Jobs said of sharp price-cuts Apple is making on its iPhone 3G.

Summary

Eight-gigabyte 3G iPhone to be priced at $199

 199

 16-gigabyte 3G iPhone at $299

16_gig

3G iPhone features:

    Jobs calls it iPhone 3G. Offers two to four times faster speeds that existing models working on so-called 2.5G “Edge” networks, he says. The phone offers GPS – Global Positioning Services for real-time location tracking on one’s iPhone. Same 3.5 inch display. Jobs says it is thinner at the edges and has “dramatically improved audio” Promises five hours of 3G talk time. Five to six hours of Web browsing. Video viewing can run seven hours. In the first year of sales, six million of first-generation iPhones have been sold, Jobs says. The new phone will be available in 70 countries over the next few months — in 29 European countries, 15 Latin American countries and 8 in the Asia Pacific, not including China. price: $199 for 8GB ; $299 for 16 GB Available July 11, in more than 20 countries, with 70 by the end of the year, Jobs says. “We are going to be in 70 countries, this year,” he said.

A side-by-side demonstration of faster Web download speeds of iPhone 3G devives versus existing iPhone.

Faster_downloads

Promised improvements in battery life for selected functions on iPhone 3G: 

 Battery_life

Here is a side shot of the slimmer iPhone 3G

Slimmer

A shot of the back of the new iPhone in black and white versions:

MobileMe

Apple head of worldwide sales and marketing Phil Schiller introduces MobileMe, a desktop-quality e-mail, calendar and contacts Web service. It’s a companion Web service for iPhone users. It’s priced at $99 a year and will be available in early July, he says.